Saturday, July 05, 2003

....IRA attack on British military barracks , Mallow, County Cork, 28th September 1920 .....

.... when the IRA unit, under Liam Lynch, were in the process of taking over Mallow military barracks , a Sergeant Gibbs attempted to lock the door of the guardroom where the munitions were stored - he was shot dead .....

Some thirty rifles , a couple of light machine-guns and dozens of boxes of ammunition were removed from the barracks and placed in waiting motor cars which drove off immediately ; the RIC knew nothing of the raid and were not seen that morning .

As they were leaving the barracks , the IRA set fire to a load of straw, hoping to burn the place down, but the fire did'nt catch - the stairs, floors and walls were all made from stone flaggings.

The next night , British troops from surrounding areas wrecked and burned Mallow Town Hall and the local creamery , and looted any shop they could get in to. They were to pay dearly for their presence over the following months , as their own weapons were turned on them .....

... The Garrane Fight .....

.... after a forced march of some fifteen miles , the five Republican prisoners suffered swollen arms (from being strapped together) and had lost the use of their hands due to the cold and poor blood circulation because of the straps ....

" An officer named Swayne insisted on relieving the pressure , secured breakfast for them and let them rest . While they were there Captain 'Tiny' Lyons came up from Killarney with the escort which was to take them the rest of the way . Before they left Mountain Stage , Lyons arrested Frank Grady and shot him dead . That was the eleventh of March (1923). About twenty prisoners , arrested some weeks before, remained in the Workhouse at Bahaghs . They included Michael Courtney , Eugene Dwyer , Willie Riordan , John Sugrue , and Dan O'Shea " .


"John Sullivan's father and mother live in Killurley East and even while his column were hunted in the mountains he came home to them every week . As time went on and the war became more cruel it grew harder to see him go . "Don't fret , now, mother ," he said the last time , "I'll come to you on Thursday , never fear" ....... " (MORE LATER)>

" The SDLP are queen lovers - lets join them in a mass-movement .... " :

On 2nd February , 1989 , the Provos published an Ard Fheis issue of their 'paper ; on page five of same , the Stormont Minister for Agriculture and Education (!) , Martin McGuinness, was quoted - " Bloody Sunday made us all very angry and we all reacted as a community should react . We were also angered that the para's commander that day was later decorated by the British Queen. And I have been angered recently by the fact that Mary McSorley, SDLP Councillor for South Derry, was also decorated by the very same queen. That tells us an awful lot about the SDLP " .

---- good sound-bite, Martin - got the crowd moving , I'll bet .... BUT ..
..... on page six of the same Ard Fheis issue , the following was printed : "One of the most important debates of the weekend Ard Fheis was on motion 37 , in the section of political policy, which called for 'the adoption in principle of the need for an all-Ireland anti-imperialist mass movement' "- the motion was passed .

That so-called 'mass-movement' would include the SDLP ....

Friday, July 04, 2003

.... IRA attack on British military barracks , Mallow, County Cork , 28th September 1920 .....

...early on that Saturday morning (28th September , 1920) Richard Willis and Jack Bolster , two tradesmen, went to work in Mallow Barracks ; they were accompanied by their 'foreman' , Paddy McCarthy - all three were IRA Volunteers , and all three were armed .....

At the same time , Liam Lynch and eighteen members of the 'Flying Column' were assembled in small groups in Barrack Street (where the military barracks was located) and six other armed Volunteers were already in control of Mallow Town Hall , a building which the RIC would have to pass should the alarm be raised and the RIC attempt to get to Barrack Street.

The barrack gates opened as usual to allow the thirty or so Lancers out and, once they were out of sight, Liam Lynch walked up to the gate, with an envelope in his hand, and knocked until the guard opened up ; when the gate was opened enough to allow the guard to take the envelope , he was rushed by about twenty IRA Volunteers and held captive. The other twelve or so British soldiers were quickly rounded-up : a Sergeant Gibbs attempted to lock the door of the guardroom where the munitions were stored and was shot dead ...... (MORE LATER)>


" The fight lasted until about three in the afternoon when the Free State troops retired , having lost five or six men . They had killed Dan Clifford and captured six Republicans. The remaining thirty had successfully retreated into the mountains. There was great anger against the handful of Republicans who had made such an obstinate defence . In Bahaghs Workhouse the six prisoners were punished , day and night, for a week.

Denis Daly received a blow on the head which, later , almost cost him his life ; Peter Brady, a medical student, was shot while he lay asleep with his cheek resting on his hand - his face was scarred and his thumb was shattered. Early on Sunday morning five of them were marched to Killorglin . They were very weak from beatings and from hunger. They were tied together in pairs with straps round their arms. By the time they had come to Mountain Stage , a distance of fifteen miles, their arms were swollen and their hands were dead cold ..... " (MORE LATER)>

-------Dorothy Macardle's 1924 book 'The Tragedies of Kerry' .

THE 'STICKIES' and the dual mandate .....

" is obviously not possible for people to be in two places at the one time " , stated the 'Workers Party',in 1985, in relation to the issue of the dual mandate : they continued - " and, as the European parliament and the 'Dail' often sit on the same days , it is inevitable that those operating the dual mandate will have to miss important business in either Leinster House or Strasburg " .

The then leader of the Stickies, Proinsias de Rossa, proved what good material he was for Leinster House (ie 'do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do') by canvassing for a seat in Leinster House AND the EEC parliament in the June 1989 elections to both institutions ! Good man , Frank - just keep your head down in Europe where you are now and keep adding to your bank balance .....

Thursday, July 03, 2003

..... IRA attack on British military barracks , Mallow, County Cork, 28th September 1920.....

...the British soldier from the barracks in Mallow had complained to the two tradesmen of a possible security weakness in the barracks - the tradesmen were also members of the IRA ....

The seven IRA battalions in the Mallow and surrounding areas had recently formed , from within their ranks, a 'Flying Column' , with Paddy Clancy in charge . Richard Willis and Jack Bolster contacted Clancy and told him of the conversation they had with the British soldier - they also had plans and sketches of the barracks , and mentioned that other men in their unit knew the lay-out of the surrounding district , having lived in the area since they were born .

Clancy got in touch with Liam Lynch and Ernie O'Malley and a start was made on putting a plan together to raid the barracks for munitions . On Saturday morning, 28th September 1920, Richard Willis and Jack Bolster went to the barracks to continue with the job they were doing there , this time accompanied by Paddy McCarthy , whom they introduced to the guards as a Board of Works foreman ; all three were admitted , and all three were armed .... (MORE LATER)>

" Those who, sensitive to the sufferings of others yet tenacious of their own peace of mind , love to solace themselves with incredulity , will put down this book half read . To those who have any eagerness to understand that time in Ireland it is offered as an infinitesimal fragment of the truth . It is in Kerry, among the proud and undefeated people that they will hear all the history told :


Cahirciveen was held by the Republican army during the summer of 1922.
On August 24th , Free State troops landed and, after a fight of some hours, occupied the town.During the winter the Republicans held the mountains inland,bravely welcomed and sheltered by the people in the little farms. Captures were made from time to time and the Free State troops kept their prisoners in the Workhouse at Bahaghs, a few miles from the town.

In March , on the Garrane Mountains, there was a column of about thirty-six rifle men. They had with them an engineer - Dan Clifford, who did not carry arms. When it grew light on the morning of March the fifth they found their retreat surrounded and five or six hundred Free State troops closing in on them over the hills ..... ". (MORE LATER)>

In 1985, the 'Workers Party' (Stickies) made a submission to the Free State 'Joint Oireachtas Committee on Secondary Legislation of the European Community' in which they strongly opposed the dual mandate of Leinster House members also functioning as MEP's.

The Stickies said in their document - " There is no doubt that the public perception of the dual mandate is double-jobbing, and that this has caused considerable resentment, particularly among the unemployed . It is obviously not possible for people to be in two places at the one time ...... " (MORE LATER)>

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

IRA attack on British military barracks , Mallow, County Cork, 28th September 1920.

Richard Willis , a carpenter, and his friend Jack Bolster, a painter, sometimes worked together on jobs; it was on one such occasion that the two men got talking to a British soldier from the military barracks in Mallow, where Willis and Bolster were working ; the conversation ended with the soldier complaining that those in charge of the forty-five strong Mallow garrison were taking a chance by sending a detachment of thirty Lancers out each morning , to exercise their horses for a few hours .

The soldier voiced his fear that the remaining fifteen or so soldiers in the barracks would be unable to prevent the IRA from taking munitions from the barracks should they attack , not realising that the two tradesmen he was talking to were themselves members of the IRA ..... (MORE LATER)>

"..... only a few can be named in this book. Of men put to death within the prisons , of men killed in action,nothing is said , and very little can be told of those we name . Such dark, fearful and secret happenings leave myths and rumours in their trial , but we have nothing to do with myths and rumours here .

The burning passions of impotent hate and anger that shook Kerry when these things were done have quieted into calm resolution . Now , by intimate questioning of witnesses, a few clear facts can be ascertained . It is those clear, indisputable facts only that are here set down, without art or artifice, as they were told ..... ".

------ Dorothy Macardle , in the 'Foreword' to her 1924 book 'The Tragedies of Kerry' - MORE LATER> ...

... the 'American Federation of Labour' called for a second demonstration to take place on 4th May , 1886 - four of its members had been killed by the police at its first demo on 1st May ; the second demo was attended by about three thousand people , and the police were there as well ; with a heavy hand .....

.... the crowd soon dwindled to a few hundred when the police 'came the heavy' with them - people remembered that it was the same force which, days previously, had killed four people in a similar situation. They were scared. Then a bomb exploded in the middle of the policemen, wounding sixty-six of them, of whom seven died later.Without any evidence against them , eight anarchist leaders were arrested , only one of whom was actually at Haymarket Square that day .

One year after their trial , Albert Parsons, a printer, August Spies , an upholsterer, Adolph Fischer and George Engel were hanged after every appeal was lost . Louis Lingg , 21, had previously taken his own life whilst in jail by exploding a dynamite tube in his mouth .

-------- the above incident seems to be lost in American trade-union history ; why ?

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

.... IRA attack on Kilmallock RIC Barracks , 28th May , 1920..... 2am on the morning of the IRA attack on the barracks , its roof and upper storey were on fire ; the RIC men trapped inside the burning building were offered the opportunity to surrender - they refused the offer and , with the imminent collapse of the building, the gun battle started again .....

However , all was not as it seemed to the attackers ; the RIC men had been retreating to the outbuildings at the back of the barracks , braving the sniper-fire from the IRA Volunteers rather than face the onslaught coming through the front of the building.

By about 7am , with the barracks now a smouldering ruin, it was obvious that a fresh plan and re-deployment of the Volunteers would be necessary if the RIC were to be removed from the various outhouses they were now in , and the order was given for the IRA to withdraw ; one Volunteer, Liam Scully, was dead, and the RIC Sergeant and one of his constables were dead - six more RIC men were seriously wounded.

The Kilmallock attack , on 28th May, 1920 , in the middle of the Tan War, was one of the most prolonged and fiercest battles of that period.

" Around Kerry , in the Autumn and Winter of 1922 and the Spring of 1923 , an ominous wall of silence was drawn . The rumours that came through were so terrible that they were scarcely believed .

Those rumours were less terrible than the truth " .

----- Dorothy Macardle , in the 'Foreword' to her 1924 book, ' The Tragedies of Kerry ' :

" The whole history of the war in Kerry is being compiled by those who took part in it , and it is only when that slow labour is completed that Ireland will realize what was suffered for the Republic there . This little book is made , meanwhile, in memory of some of the soldiers of the Republic , men of Kerry, who, during those months, met with lonely and violent deaths " .

On 1st May , 1886, the 'American Federation of Labour' called for nationwide strikes to demand the reduction of the working day to eight hours. Two days later , strikers and sympathisers fought with scabs outside McCormick Harvester Works in Chicago ; police fired at the strikers , killing four and wounding many more of them .

Following these killings, a meeting was called for 4th May in Haymarket Square , and approximately three-thousand people attended . The police were there as well , and used a heavy hand ....

Monday, June 30, 2003

..... IRA attack on Kilmallock RIC Barracks , 28th May , 1920.....

.....the buildings around the barracks had been secured and armed IRA units had blocked all routes into the town .....

A few Volunteers were positioned near outhouses at the rear of the barracks . Just after midnight, IRA leader Tom Malone and his men took it in turns to lob heavy objects out of the skylight of the Carrolls' house , the object being to break a hole through the roof of the barracks, into which prepared petrol-bombs could be thrown.

When Malone's first object hit the roof, the IRA units positioned around the barracks opened fire on the front and rear of the building ;within minutes, the RIC men trapped in the building were shooting back. While this gun-fight was going on, Malone and his men succeeded in breaching the roof - dozens of parafin and petrol bombs were thrown through the hole, followed by a flaming torch and a grenade : the building was now on fire .

By 2am (approximately two hours after the attack began) the upper storey of the barracks was about to collapse on top of the ground-floor section , where the RIC men were now confined : the IRA stopped the attack and advised the RIC to throw out their weapons and then come out themselves - the RIC refused the offer ...... (MORE LATER)>

"..... an old dog chased its tail on the street where we once played 'kick the tin' and the old fellows made their way to the bookies for the first two across the card . Farmer Thompson's old faithful dog brought his sheep in , a few fields away, and a wood pigeon fell to a distant shotgun , as I arose , not from my panoramic platform, but out of the inky blackness in the corner of my filthy, cold cell, where , wrapping a dirty, flimsy blanket around me to cover my naked body , I stepped towards the barred window and leant my head against it " .

------ 'I Once Had a Life' , by Bobby Sands, first published on 17th March, 1979.

In the same year that Haughey tried to stab himself in the back with a (jewel-encrusted) dagger(1988) , a woman in Italy was out trying to 'earn' her own fortune ;

---- Maria Fioritti convinced thousands of people that she had seen the Virgin Mary, and her local priest, a Fr Vincenzo Diodati, backed her up . The Priest was, in his earlier days , a professional soccer player, and knew how to 'play ball' - both he and Maria wanted to 'score' big and they put the "Virgin Mary visitation" scam together in January 1988 .

It worked for two months but then , in April, they apparently 'scored an own goal' and confessed that the whole thing was a con. The couple were fined 500,000 lire , he was thrown out of the Church and she had to leave the locality.

.....and just what the hell that has to do with Charlie Haughey is beyond me - there is no possible connection between Italian gangsters and Fianna Fail .

Sunday, June 29, 2003

.....IRA attack on Kilmallock RIC Barracks , 28th May , 1920 .....

... plans were made to burn down the RIC Barracks at Kilmallock in County Limerick - a house to the right-hand side of the barracks was taller than it , and had a 'skylight' in its attic ....

Clery's Hotel and a Bank practically faced the barracks, as did a shop, owned by the O'Herlihy family . If , during the attack, RIC reinforcements from other areas were to attempt to rescue their colleagues they would find the routes into the town barricaded by armed IRA units.

Sixty IRA Volunteers were organised for the operation ; at least half of them , plus some local men, went out on the night of 27th May and blocked a number of roads leading to Kilmallock . IRA leader Tom Malone ('Sean Forde') and his unit took over Carrolls house , Tim Crowley and his Volunteer group took control of Cleary's Hotel , D O'Hannigan was in charge of a unit of IRA men which occupied the Bank and J McCarthy and an IRA unit moved in to O'Herlihy's shop for the night . Michael Brennan , an IRA leader from East Clare , was also in the shop ..... (MORE LATER)>

"..... in the distance stood another dogged giant , the Divis Tower, in the shadow of its like-named mountain ; and , nearer by, 'Napoleon's Nose' kept a watch on the city , perhaps in rememberance of Wolfe Tone who visited it all those years ago . I retraced my gaze and found with ease our old house . Nobody I knew was there any more , just strangers, who trimmed the lawn around the ash tree that I grew up with .

The fence needed a coat of paint and the front garden had been deflowered of its colour , my mother and father's pride and joy " . ........ (MORE LATER)>

--- Bobby Sands, 17th March , 1979.

In 1988 , when Charles Haughey was the (Fianna Fail) Free State Taoiseach and was on a 'tour' of Australia , it emerged that a Saudi Arabian government official had previously presented the bould Charlie with a small fortune worth of jewellery as a gift for the State ; there was apparently a record of said jewels being handed over, but no sign of the articles in the place where they should have been.....

Haughey was contacted and asked to comment on the issue , but declined to react, stating that he could not comment on domestic affairs while out of the country- he did, however , promise to hold a press conference when he returned to Dublin. A few days later his 'plane touched down and the Haughey fella strolled, with not a care in the world, into the room where the journalists were waiting and promptly announced that the press conference was cancelled! Just like that , bold as brass .

Haughey's bare-faced cheek ensured that the whole episode was given a new lease of life and it eventually came out that the item in question was , as far as I can remember, a jewel-encrusted dagger , worth a good few shillings. The media lost interest (or were encouraged to) but I suspect that said implement could have been the one used by Bertie in later years ....

(Don't ya just miss those years , when our 'leaders' knew their own value !).