Saturday, May 24, 2003

On October 15th , 1919 , six IRA prisoners escaped from Strangeways Prison , in Manchester, England ......

The Black and Tan War began in January 1919 ; within months, the British had captured a number of what they considered to be 'diehard' Republicans , and decided that it would be safer for them to hold those prisoners in England. Thirteen IRA prisoners, under the command of Austin Stack, found themselves incarcerated in Strangeways Prison - but none of them wanted to stay !
The men were serving sentences ranging from six months to two years , and all of them had heard about the then recent (March 1919) jail-break from Mountjoy Jail in Dublin , when twenty IRA prisoners used a ropeladder to escape (see '1169...' archives) : Austin Stack decided this was their best bet , and he contacted IRA GHQ Staff in Dublin to outline his plan.... (MORE LATER)>

"'re going alright, son. Get him out" ...

"Jesus , they're on top of me, kicking and punching...I'm out of the cell, and in the corridor. Jesus , they're dragging me by the hair . My head's on fire, my eye is bleeding, they'll kill me! ."Right, get him into it.Get him into it!" . Jesus , it's stinging the eyes out of me! "Get the brushes". They're scrubbing the skin from my back , my flesh is burning, they're murdering me. My face and body are covered in blood and marks.
"Give it to him right. Give it to him right, so the rest of these bastards will see what they're going to get too " .Jesus! They're killing me. They're killing me. My head's light. Remember your spirit. 'Blessed is he who does not give up his hope' . Don't give in , don't give in , they can't break your spirit, they can't ..... " .
---' The Writings of Bobby Sands' , April 1981.

" If he thinks the SDLP and the Dublin government and ourselves will support Assembly elections, James Molyneaux is living in cloud cuckoo land . And I don't believe for one minute that the British government believes that it is a workable solution because they've made it quite clear that there can be no internal settlement " .
---- Martin McGuinness , speaking on the BBC One television programme ' On The Record' , October 23rd, 1994.
So "Assembly elections" (which , by the way,Martin is now crying out for!) equal an "internal settlement" ; or do they represent a step towards a United Ireland , Martin, as you and your organisation promised ?.

Friday, May 23, 2003

.... in 1854 , John Martin was released from jail in Van Diemens Land on condition that he stayed out of Ireland , which he did ......

In January 1856 , that proviso was lifted and John Martin returned to his native County Down , and again involved himself in the struggle - he was an outspoken supporter of the tenants rights movement and , in May 1870, at the age of 58, he helped to found the 'Home Government Association of Ireland' . In 1871 , to the disgust of the British, he was elected MP for Meath.
His good friend and fellow rebel John Mitchel died in March 1875 and, within a fortnight, John Martin died, aged 63 ; he had lived his life as a thorn in the side of "the most abominable tyranny;the British imperial system" . And helped sow the seeds for more thorn bushes ...

"Here they come , keys jingling and their heavy footsteps clattering. Get ready , face them . Jesus, this is it . This time, dear God, protect me. "Get on your feet, tramp , we're coming" . I'm shaking again . Remember your spirit. They won't break that . Keys in the lock, the door is open. Jesus, there must be a dozen of them . "Right,you, let's go" . "I'm...I'm not going". (Laugh all you want you torture mongers). "What did you say ?" .
"I said I'm not going" . (Some day you will all laugh on the other side of your faces). "You're going alright, son. Get him out" ........ (Will finish this paragraph tomorrow).
---- from 'The Writings of Bobby Sands' , April 1981.

Interesting fact re the 1994 U S Congressional elections : 193 million people were entitled to vote - but , to vote, you had to register , and 61 million citizens did not bother to register. Of the 132 million registered voters, the number who did vote was only 51 million ; 70 per-cent of the voters felt the system was not worth supporting !
Should the U S Military turn on those in the White House - they are, after all, unrepresentative of the people ....

Thursday, May 22, 2003 the first issue of his newspaper 'The Irish Felon', published on 24th June, 1848, John Martin wrote --

"I regard the Act of Union as a usurpation and refuse to acknowledge the authority of the London parliament. So long as such a 'government' presumes to injure and insult me, and those in whose prosperity I am involved, I must offer to it all the resistance in my power. I hope to witness the overthrow , and assist in the overthrow, of the most abominable tyranny the world now groans under- the British imperial system " .

John Martin quickly published a second issue of 'The Irish Felon' , again condemning the British Government and its agents in Ireland, and was arrested, charged with treason and sentenced to ten years in Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) ; he was released six years later (1854) on condition that he stayed out of Ireland , which he did ...... (MORE LATER) >

" A cigarette would be nice. It's so long since I've had a cigarette or warm clothing or slept in a dry bed, I forgot what it's like to live. I must be shocked, I don't even feel the cold any more. I've lost the feeling in my poor tortured feet. It does'nt matter. It won't be long now. It's creeping closer. Two hours. Time waits on no man. I'm exhausted . God, I'm tired. I wish I could lie down and go to sleep , and wake up out of this nightmare. They're watching me again . Keep walking.
...... I feel like the only person left in the world. I'm so isolated . Fear is a terrible thing, but I must keep my head up . My spirit will survive. They expect me to give up , to break down , but they're going to be disappointed . I shall resist. It's only natural that I should be afraid. Who would'nt be ? " .
'The writings of Bobby Sands' , April 1981 , first published in 'Republican News',13th January 1979.

Fine Gael's one-time representative on earth , Eoghan Harris (an Irishman who behaves more like a Unionist that the Unionist's themselves) was addressing members of the 'Harbour Action Group'(who they?) on 4th February 1995 when he let rip with this little gem - " Facts are not the truth. The truth is the sense that what is being said is in accordance with the facts. Resist the temptation to tell the facts. Facts are free agents and should be used sparingly ......" (after that I gave up and lost the will to live !). If you want more , see 'The Sunday Tribune', 19th March, 1995 , page 2 - I can't be bothered .....

Christ, Eoghan- it's no wonder you're so well-in with Fine Gael and the other Unionists; you speak their language .....

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

..... John Martin and his friend John Mitchel left the 'Repeal Association' and assisted William Smith O'Brien to found the 'Irish Confederation' Movement ......

Also , at this time,the well-known Fenian James Fintan Lalor was agitating on the land issue in Ireland and John Martin wrote articles in support of Lalor's position and had same published in John Mitchel's newspaper , 'The United Irishman' . Mitchel was arrested in 1848 , and his newspaper was shut down ; almost immediately, John Martin founded his own newspaper, which he called 'The Irish Felon' , and continued on where Mitchel's 'paper had been forced to leave off - on 24th June, 1848, he wrote in his first issue :

" I regard the Act of Union as a usurpation and refuse to acknowledge the authority of the London parliament. So long as such a 'government' presumes to injure and insult me , and those in whose prosperity I am involved , I must offer to it all the resistance in my power ...... " (MORE LATER)>

".... key in the door. It's open. Oh dear God.... "Grub up ! What are you gaping at , son ? Take it " . (You'll pay some day,you bastard, you'll pay.) "Don't stir.Take it in, you tramp ". Got it. He's shutting the door. Slam! Keys jingling. They're going, they're leaving. Thank God. Thank God, they've gone. Don't give up hope, there's hope still. Cold food, no knife, no fork, only a plastic spoon. I'm not hungry, my stomach's turning. Nerves again . I must calm down . Meet them with dignity. That's a word:'dignity'. They can't take that from me either.
Naked as I am , treated worse than an animal,I am what I am. They can't and won't change that " .

----- 'The writings of Bobby Sands' , April 1981.

On November 19th , 1994 ( a Friday , if memory serves...) Archbishop Carey , the most senior ranking member of the British establishment after the so-called 'royal' family, preached at a live televised service for peace and reconciliation in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin , stated - " As an English churchman , I am aware of just how much we English need to ask forgiveness for our often brutal domination and crass insensitivity in the 800 years of history of our relationship with Ireland " .
Well said , Sir , but two questions :
1) Did you pass those comments up the line of the British establishment ?

2) Do you not agree that it would be better for you and yours to withdraw from Ireland before asking for "forgiveness" ?

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

A child born at Loughborne , near Newry in County Down, on 8th September, 1812, grew up to become a prominent member of the 'Young Ireland' movement, a journalist and a politician ; the mark he left on Irish history is perhaps not as well remembered as it should be .....

The son of a Presbyterian cleric, John Martin was educated in Dr.Hendersons school in Newry, where he 'learned his lessons' with,and from ,the young Fenian John Mitchel ; the two young men were of similar mind in relation to the British presence in their country, and formed a friendship that was to last to the end of their days.
John Martin joined Daniel O'Connell's 'Repeal Association'in the early 1840's , and listened as that organisation and its leadership repeatedly condemned the 'Young Ireland' group, stopping short of labelling them as a 'terrorist' body ; Martin and John Mitchel left the 'Repeal Association' and assisted William Smith O'Brien to found the 'Irish Confederation' movement ..... (MORE LATER)>

" They're watching again. Ignore them. Let on you don't see them.Jesus, its freezing.Its so quiet, its ghostly. Walk again, keep moving, get your body warm. How long left now ? What time is it ? I'm losing track . Have a guess. Five hours left, maybe less. I must be ready . I'm shaking again. Don't fail now . Get it right, they'll be back. I'm depressed ! Jesus Christ ! I'm cracking, I'm going insane.... I wish I had someone to talk to , even for a few minutes.
Keys ! The jingle of keys. Footsteps ! They're coming back. Jesus its not time yet. They've tricked me, they're coming for me now. Don't fail , remember your spirit. "Blessed is he who does not give up his hope" . Jesus , Mary and Joseph , watch over me and protect me. Key in the door. It's open. Oh, dear God..... "
---- 'The writings of Bobby Sands' ,April 1981. (Will finish above paragraph tomorrow).

In a book about the 'Second World War' , author Clive Ponting stated that 74,000 tonnes of German bombs were dropped on Britain, killing 51,000 civilians ; and nearly two million 'allied' bombs were dropped on Germany, killing 600,000 civilians. Henry Stimson, then U S Secretary for War(and not regarded as a sensitive soul) spoke of "the appalling lack of conscience and compassion that the war had brought about, the complacency, the indifference , and the silence with which we greeted the mass bombings in Europe and, above all, Japan " .
Not long after he said the above, the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki , partly on Stimsons orders !
Is it about war and sacrifice that it's said "can make a stone of the heart" ....?

Monday, May 19, 2003

.... once again , Edward Duffy was arrested by the British - in Mayo , on 11th March 1866, and was locked-up in Mountjoy Jail , Dublin .....

In May 1867 , Edward Duffy was 'tried' before what the British called a 'Special Commission' in Dublin , and sentenced to fifteen years penal servitude ; he was sent under guard to Millbank Prison in England, which he shared with other Fenian and IRB prisoners, including Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa . The Irish prisoners were treated like animals by the British and, being weak from a lung disease, it was too much for Edward Duffy - he died, aged 27, in Millbank Prison in London , on 17th January, 1868.
His body was returned for burial in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin , where he rests today; a proud, committed and resolute Irishman , he deserves to be better remerbered than is the case .

"....a lifetime of worry and hardship that only she knows the entirety and toll of. And I said: "I'm sorry that you have suffered through my sufferings, mother" . As ever, she replied: "Don't be humble. You're my son, and I'll always stand by you" .My father,quiet as always in his own way, stood beside her. "Take heart, son" , he said, "take heart" " .
-----'The Writings of Bobby Sands' , April 1981 .

The Indian Chief 'Sitting Bull' could quote Melville and Shakespeare , speak German and Chinese and had studied Caesar on the 'art' of war . His enemies were convinced that he was a white man in disguise ; they found it hard to believe that the leader of a people which they described as "red savages" was better educated than they were .....
At the same time as 'negotiations' were under way with Sitting Bull , U S soldiers threw scalps taken after a massacre of Cheyenne across the stage of the Denver Opera House during the intermission , and received thunderous applause for doing so - "savages" alright .....

Sunday, May 18, 2003

..... the two Fenians, Edward Duffy and James Stephens, were arrested by the British in Sandymount , Dublin, on 11th November 1865, and locked-up in Richmond Jail ; but not for long .....

The British released Edward Duffy in January 1866, as they apparently believed he was dying (to let him die in jail would create a martyr)- he suffered constantly from ill-health due to chronic lung trouble ; James Stephens was, by this stage, already a free man as he had escaped two weeks after his arrest (see'1169...' archives) and was in hiding in Dublin.
Edward Duffy effectively took charge of the IRB after James Stephens departed for Paris, in early 1866 and , during the following few months, with the assistance of Ellen O'Leary (John O'Leary's sister) , Duffy planned for a Rising ; again , through the use of informers, the British knew what Duffy was up to and, once more, arrested him, this time in Mayo , on 11th March, 1866 , and locked him up in Mountjoy Jail, Dublin.
In May , 1867 , Edward Duffy was put on 'trial' ..... (MORE LATER)>>

" The smile, the soft warm tender smile of my wife, kept coming up out of the darkness in front of me , and I heard her plaintive gentle voice: "I miss you, and I love you, come home" . And my son lay sleeping like an angel , innocent and unaware of his mother's hardship and loneliness, with no father to tuck him into bed, to love or emulate as he grew; and he sighed as only an innocent sighs, and rolled over in his dreamy sleep.
Then came the faces of my family , my sisters and brother, growing up in my absence. And I knew just how much I loved them , and how I longed to share this short life with them and my poor mother. Lord, my poor tortured mother , grey and marked with a lifetime of worry and hardship that only she knows the entirety and toll of . And I said : ..... " .

... a dispute between the U S Army and the Lakota Sioux , over a cow, in 1854, led to thirty-five years of war ...

At around the same time that the war with the Lakota Sioux began, the Santee Sioux were pressed into reservations, having given up twenty-six million acres of land in exchange for barren lands and small cash payments. When the crop failed , the Santee survived on credit from white merchants at the U S Government-run store , but when their credit was cut off they were left to their own devices ie starve. One of the trader's , on hearing of the Santee's plight , responded -"If they are hungry, let them eat grass" .
Soon after, the Santee went on the rampage across Minnesota- the 'let-them-eat-grass' trader's body was found later stuffed with grass in his mouth.
A bit of 'cop-on' , a little bit of humanity, would have solved both the above issues ; the same in Ireland - the conflict will continue so long as the British claim jurisdiction over any part of this Country. After over 800 years, that much should be obvious .
We Irish don't eat grass....