Saturday, June 07, 2003

...... at 22 years young,Brian O'Higgins left Dublin and went home to Glen na Mona in County Meath - he earned his living by writing for local newspapers .....

By the time he was 30 years of age , Brian O'Higgins was challenging , in writing, the British presence in his country and the native apologists for same. His articles were published in like-minded newspapers such as 'Sinn Fein' , 'Irish Freedom' and 'Nationality' and, in those and other newspapers , he wrote against conscription and recruitment into the British Army .

At 34 years young, Brian O'Higgins fought in the GPO during Easter Week 1916 ; following the surrender , he was imprisoned in Stafford Jail in England and Frongoch Internment Camp in Wales - he was released in February 1917. However , during the round-up of republicans in May 1918 (the 'German Plot' arrests), he was lifted and imprisoned in Birmingham , England - while in prison he was elected to represent West Clare in the First Dail Eireann . (MORE LATER)>

".....eight hours, that's all I've left .It will hurt. I know it will hurt. Everyone says it hurts. Oh God, it's not happening to me. It's not happening . I'm trapped . Entombed! No escape ! Nowhere to hide . And nowhere to run . I'm condemned to face what awaits me in eight hours . I can't appeal , I can't plead , they won't even listen , they just laugh, they're glad , they revel in it . That's why they give me a warning of eight hours , to watch me sweat and worry . They have it well planned .

They're watching me now. They're watching me through that little slit in the cell door . They won't give me peace , but what peace can I find ? I'm so scared , I can't even think right . I wish I was at home ..... " .

---- 'The Writings of Bobby Sands' ,April 1981 . (MORE LATER)>

From my lengthy and ever-increasing 'Do-As-I-Say-And-Not-As-I-Do' file ; this one from the 'Private Eye' report entitled 'Rock Bottom', February 1989 , page 3 -

Thames Television proposed to show, in late April 1988, a programme on the Rock of Gibraltar shootings ('Shoot-to-kill' policy) ; the British Tories condemned the TV station and lashed them for propagating "trial by television" . However ,following the Aberfan disaster in South Wales in 1966, a Labour British Attorney-General set up a full-scale public inquiry under a High Court judge. When the judge quietly suggested that press comment on Aberfan might be restricted until the public inquiry , he was subjected to a volley of abuse by the Tories and their friends in the media , who argued that any restriction on comment was "a gross violation of free speech" .

In 1988 , the same politicians and newspapers demanded the restrictions on comment which they had decried in 1966 !

------- it's only "a violation of free speech " if we say it is ....

Friday, June 06, 2003

In Glen na Mona,Kells, County Meath , in July 1882, a child was born who , even to this day, is remembered among Irish Republicans as a soldier,journalist , author and poet .....

Brian O'Higgins was educated at kilskyre National School , but left to work in a relatives shop in Clonmellon on the Meath/Westmeath border in 1896 , at fourteen years of age . It was around that time that he got to know Tom Daly , who was the Editor of the 'Meath Chronicle' newspaper ; Daly saw in the young Brian O'Higgins a flair for the written word , and encouraged him in that regard .

At 19 years young (in 1901) , O'Higgins was being taught Irish by Michael Cusack (GAA founder) in the Gaelic League ; he had moved to Dublin that year and joined the O'Growney branch of same there. In 1904 , he went back home to Glen na Mona and made a living by writing for 'The Meath Chronicle' , the 'Leinster Leader' and 'The Peasant' . (MORE LATER)>

"The heavy steel door of the punishment cell slammed shut behind me. In a bewildered daze I vaguely heard the jingle of keys and the steady footsteps fading away in the wake of its thunderous echo. An ungodly silence fell, leaving only the sound of my sharp rasping breaths .My eyes flashed at the bareness of my humble surroundings . A wooden board for a bed,a concrete block for a stool , a concrete slab as a table . A bright light burned high above me, reflecting off the chalk-white walls , and the severe cold bored through my body and numbed my bare feet .

Naked , alone and condemned, I began to pace the small freezing cold cell ; my thoughts in an entangled mess , riddled with panic, worry and fear. Condemned ! 'We'll be back in eight hours' , that's what they said . Jesus, what time is it now ? Eight hours , that's all I've left ..... "

------- From 'The writings of Bobby Sands' , April 1981 - first published in 'Republican News' , 13th January 1979 . (MORE LATER)>

For twelve years , a Mr. Davison Budhoo worked for the 'International Monetary Fund' (IMF) as an economist , but resigned in early 1988 over the attempt by the IMF to "crucify" the economy of Trinidad and Tobago , in the Caribbean -- "The IMF was never designed to help the 'Third World' or end poverty . It was established by the Bretton Woods conference of 1944 to restore economic and financial order to the western world . There was no element of compassion for humanity in its formulation . The Funds aim is first and foremost to secure the interests of developed countries " .

Yes, Yes- perhaps ; but that was back in 1988 !
Today , in this 21st Century, the initials 'IMF' (bless 'em) stand for 'Idyllic and Magnificent Faculty' .
Don't they ......?

Thursday, June 05, 2003 November 1922 , while an appeal against his death sentence was pending in the Free State High Court, Robert Erskine Childers was removed from his cell and shot dead by a Free State firing squad in Portobello Barracks, Dublin .....

His Irish Republican credentials are usually ignored by the 'establishment' , who praise his literary prowess - 'The Riddle of The Sands'(1903) ; 'War and the Arme Blanche'(1910) ; 'The Framework of Home Rule'(1911) ; 'Military Rule in Ireland'(1920) ; and 'The Constructive Works of Dail Eireann'(1921).

Robert Erskine Childers was shot dead by order of his former comrades on 24th November, 1922 , at 52 years of age ; those that pulled the trigger were following instructions from traitors.

FOOTNOTE - Robert Barton signed the Treaty of Surrender but later came to reject it;the Free Staters held a grudge for Childers over that issue :
The 'Court' that passed the death sentence on Childers (on 17th November 1922) came into operation on 15th October that same year and,as well as Childers,passed death sentences on seventy-seven Irish Republicans.

"....or throw scalding water around his naked body. It is also inconceivable for me to describe, let alone for you to imagine,our state of mind just sitting waiting for this to happen. I can say that this physical and psychological torture in the H-Blocks has brought many men to the verge of insanity.We are in a very, very bad state now. What will we be like at the end of the day , or in the years to come ? My mind is scarred deep. It is as equally a worrying thought that we may end up unable to even think at all ! With that in 'your' mind, I will leave off. Think about it, but just don't leave it at that " .

----Bobby Sands, from an article entitled 'The Battle for Survival' , first published in the old AP/RN , 27th January, 1979.

.....a paper produced by senior British civil servants in 1948, as the Free State was about to leave the 'Commonwealth' , concluded - " Now that Eire (sic) will shortly cease to owe any allegiance to the Crown, it has become a matter of first-class strategic importance to this country that the North should continue to form part of His Majestys dominions . So far as can be foreseen , it will never be to Great Britains advantage that 'Northern Ireland' (sic) should form part of a territory outside His Majesty's jurisdiction . Indeed , it seems unlikely that Great Britain would ever be able to agree to this even if the people of 'Northern Ireland' (sic) desired it " .

------Well, that's news to me :I always considered the Brits as a neutral , peacekeeping force.....

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

......Robert Erskine Childers was one of the principal secretaries to the Irish delegation in London during the Treaty negotiations from October to December 1921 - he strongly opposed that Treaty of Surrender .....

When the split took place, Erskine Childers supported the Republican side during the Civil War and was appointed IRA Director of Publicity and Editor of the Republican newspaper 'The Republic of Ireland' ('Poblacht na hEireann'). In November 1922 , Childers was imprisoned in Wicklow Jail , having been arrested by Free State troops while visiting his cousin, Robert Barton, at Annamoe, in County Wicklow, ; he was quickly transferred to Portobello Barracks in Dublin where he was viciously tortured and , on 17th November 1922, was court-martialled on a charge of possession of a revolver (which had been given to him by his former comrade, Michael Collins). He was sentenced to death.

The death sentence was appealed and, whilst same was pending in the Free State High Court , Childers was removed from his cell and shot dead by a Free State firing squad in Portobello Barracks, Dublin. (MORE LATER)>

"....but you know they never forget . They don't come. The next day is the same, and the next, and the next.You become more and more depressed . For days your thoughts have been the same , a mass of fear, fearing what lies ahead. Consider being in that frame of mind every day ! Knowing in your mind that you're to be beaten nearly senseless, forcibly bathed, or held down to have your back passage examined or probed. These things are common facts of everyday H-Block life.

It is inconceivable to try to imagine what an eighteen-year old naked lad goes through when a dozen or so screws slaughter him with batons,boots and punches, while dragging him by the hair along a corridor, or when they squeeze his privates until he collapses, or throw scalding water around his naked body ..... ".

From 'The Writings of Bobby Sands' , April 1981. (MORE TOMORROW)>

A 1984 report commissioned by the Institute for European Defence and Strategic Studies recognised that Ireland has been of fundamental strategic importance to Britain since Tudor times , both as a potential foothold for the conquest of Britain and from the point of view of safe-guarding the approaches to Britains western ports. A paper produced by senior British civil servants in 1948 , as the Free State was about to leave the 'Commonwealth' , concluded ---" Now that Eire (sic) will shortly...... " (MORE LATER)>

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

....the Irish Republican , propagandist and world-famous author Robert Erskine Childers married Boston woman Mary Ellen Osgood in 1904 and , six years later, left his job in the British House of Commons to work full-time in politics .....

On 26th July, 1914, Erskine Childers sailed his yacht 'The Asgard' into Howth harbour in Dublin - he was carrying 900 rifles and 14,000 rounds of ammunition for the Irish Volunteers (the material had been purchased in Germany, by Darrell Figgis). At the time of the 'First World War' , when he served in the British Navy, Erskine Childers was, politically, a 'Home Ruler' but , after demobilisation , he embraced Irish Republicanism and vowed to accept nothing less than a British withdrawal from Ireland. In March 1919 , he moved to Dublin and joined Sinn Fein ; he worked with George Gavan Duffy and Sean T.O'Kelly in preparing material to present to the 'Peace Conference' in Paris (see '1169...' archives). He helped in founding a Republican newspaper , ' The Irish Bulletin' , in November 1919 and was appointed Editor of same in March 1921, following the arrest of Desmond Fitzgerald .

Also , in early 1921, he was elected as TD for County Wicklow in the 32-County Dail Eireann , where he distinguished himself as Minister for Publicity . He was one of the principal secretaries to the Irish delegation in London during the Treaty negotiations from October to December 1921, - he strongly opposed the Treaty of Surrender ..... (MORE LATER)>

" short, imagine being entombed, naked and alone, for a whole day . What would it be like for twenty torturous months! Now again , with this in mind, try and imagine just what it is like to be in this situation in surroundings that resemble a pigsty, and you are crouched naked upon the floor on a corner, freezing cold, amid the lingering stench of putrifying rubbish, with crawling, wriggling white maggots all around you, fat bloated flies pestering your naked body, the silence is nerve-wrecking, your mind is in turmoil . You are sitting waiting on the screws coming to your cell to drag you out to be forcibly bathed. You have heard and seen the horrible results of this from many of your comrades at Mass. You know only too well what it means : the skin scrubbed from your body with heavy brushes . The screws have told you that you are next. You wait all day, just thinking. Your mind is wrecked.Maybe they've forgotten, you kid yourself ; but you know they never forget.... " .

------- Bobby Sands .

From'The Evening Press' , 30th November 1988 , page 6 --

Imelda Marcos, wife of the (then) deposed Philippiners leader Ferdinand Marcos,accused Nancy Reagan of betraying them by blocking a 'Presidential Pardon' for her and her husband.

----- " When I could do for them, I had friends. Now I don't know anymore who my friends are. I only know from certain people what is happening in Washington and it is that Nancy Reagan is against a pardon. It was Mrs. Reagan who said to me 'Come to your friends in the U S .You will be safe here' . We were promised asylum. This is not asylum. This is a betrayal. "

Imelda went on to say that Nancy was opposed to granting a pardon because she "has been told that granting these pardons will be very detrimental for Reagans historical position " !

....but, Nancy, honey ; that was screwed-up anyway !

Monday, June 02, 2003

In June, 1870, a child born in London, who was reared at Glendalough House, Annamoe, in County Wicklow (at the home of his cousin, Robert Barton), grew up to be an Irish Republican, a first-class propagandist and a world-famous author .....

Robert Erskine Childers was educated at Haileybury and Trinity College, Cambridge; at 24 years young, in 1894, he was working as a committee clerk in the British House of Commons , and was already a skilled yachtsman . At 33 years of age (in 1903) he published 'The Riddle of The Sands' , a fictional account of German preparations to invade England , based on his experiences on sailing holidays in the Baltic. He married Mary Ellen Osgood , from Boston,in 1904 and, six years later, left his job in the British House of Commons to devote himself to political work. (MORE LATER)>

" For someone who is contented, or unconcerned with any great worry, living what is termed an everyday life, you may find my psychological circumstances hard to comprehend. For two reasons : firstly, my inability to describe the psychological struggle of myself and of my three hundred and fifty comrades ; secondly, it is terribly hard, if not inconceivable, to conjure up in one's imagination the pain and stress of psychological torture or to know its many forms or to understand its various effects.

Imagine how it would feel to be locked-up naked in solitary confinement , twenty-four hours a day, and subjected to total deprivation of not only common, everyday things, but of basic human necessities, such as clothes, fresh air and exercise, the company of other human beings ".

------ 'The Writings of Bobby Sands', April 1981 ; continued later ....

More on Maggie ...
In November 1988, Maggie Thatcher was on a 'tour' of Poland ;

She claimed to believe passionately in free trade unions - this was three days after the sacking of workers at the British Government Communications Centre in Cheltenham for refusing to resign their trade union membership ! The woman then associated herself with workers at Gdansk protesting against the closure "on economic grounds" of the Lenin Shipyard - this within one week of having forced through the closure of the Sunderland Shipyard for ... "economic reasons" ! The grocers daughter verbally lashed the then Premier, Miecazyslaw Rakowski, for rejecting "dialogue" with alienated sections of Polish society- not long after she herself dumped from her own cabinet those she considered "wets" ie Ministers who dared suggest dialogue as a means of resolving social conflict in Britain !

"She was only a grocers daughter ,
who could'nt admit, when she oughta,
....... NO, NO - STOP ......!
My stomach can't handle it :
...the hotel room is starting to spin .....

Sunday, June 01, 2003

....the 2nd election results were announced on 12th March, 1875 (the day after the election);.....

The Conservative candidate , Stephen Moore, received 746 votes- John Mitchel won with 3,114 votes total, and was 're-elected' as MP for Tipperary. In a statement he released after the count, Mitchel wrote- "Your county has used her franchise in the best manner possible;that is, in making a desperate protest against the whole system of pretended parliamentary government in Ireland " (NOTE- shades of the present situation with Stormont : "pretended parliamentary government"). However, once again, the British House of Commons showed its contempt for democracy in Ireland, and disqualified John Mitchel as an "undischarged felon" - the Brits awarded the seat to Moore! But , by the time the British could put their man in the seat that belonged to John Mitchel , the winning candidate lay dead in his old home in Newry , County Down ; he died in March 1875, the same month in which he was elected,for the second time that year, as MP for Tipperary .

Once again,thanks this time to John Mitchel, the British had their arrogance exposed to the world .

"The sky began to grey as the dawn threatened , and the birds awoke to proclaim the existence of life and nature . In the outer corridor of silence a key jingled and footsteps approached from afar . Depression slipped away unnoticed , as tension attacked my nerves and fear fell with the dawn . Three hundred and fifty naked bodies stirred , a million thoughts and dreams fled , and a nightmare descended as the sun shone clear . Another day began . The footsteps grew louder and louder, and a voice said : "Get up, you bastards". I braced myself and thought- 'Oh for the darkness of a stormy night' " .

----- 'The Writings of Bobby Sands' , April 1981 ; first published in the old 'Republican News' , 6th January 1979 .

From 'The New Nation' magazine, November 1988, page 11 --

The Irish people are aware of the damage that Maggie Thatcher inflicted on us during her terms in Office , but perhaps less well known is the damage she caused in her own country :

Britain under Thatcher witnessed bank interest rates rise to what was then described as "NASA-style curves" ie up four times in one two-month period , a mortgage rate at a crippling 13 per cent , house prices actually falling in London , a balance of payments deficit piling up to £11 billion (at the end of 1988) which was more than 3 times the British Chancellors estimate , a fall of 25 per cent in the price of North Sea oil and inflation climbing to 6 per cent and beyond !

And here is my tribute to that special lady --

" She was only a grocers daughter
who propositioned the Tories
and they bought her,
she lead them all, smiling, to the slaughter
'cept the Irish Republicans, who fought her " !

I really need a room in a hotel after that .....