Saturday, November 08, 2003

NO POST TODAY - Saturday , 8th NOVEMBER, 2003.....

NO TIME....... !

The ' 1169..... ' crew are on a 'working holiday ' (!) at the 99th Republican Sinn Fein Ard Fheis in Dublin .

Should be back to normal output tomorrow , Sunday 9th ( ...but could be Monday -- depends on how good the Ard Fheis ballad-session is tonight !)

Friday, November 07, 2003


....... John Mitchel was joined in a Tasmania jail by six other leaders of the Young Ireland Rising ; in America , members and supporters of the Irish Rebels were watching developments with interest .......

The American supporters appointed one of their men , Patrick James Smyth , --- who had fought well in Ireland during the 1848 Rising and was lucky enough to have escaped to America after its collapse --- to travel to Australia to effect a rescue of all or some of the imprisoned Rebel leaders .

It was now the year 1853 ; John Mitchel and the other six Young Ireland leaders had been in prison for five years and were by now being allowed out on parole on a regular basis on condition that they give their word not to escape .

P J Smyth had arrived in Australia and had arranged to meet John Mitchel in a hotel outside the town of Hobart ....... (MORE LATER).


war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


"....... as you leave to go south-westward from Macroom you enter the country about which all those stories are told ......."

" We cross the Toon river by the bridge of the main road to Bantry and Glengariff . We are still on the northern bank of the Lee . We pass through Inchigeela village and now the Lee has widened and levelled to form Loch Allua which in places almost laps the road until we come to Ballingeary , five miles further on .

Passing through this village of the Gaeltacht , we cross the bridge over the now narrow Lee , and continue westwards along its southern bank . Through a rugged glen with the cascading Lee as companion for a while , we go upwards through Tuirin Dubh and soon the Pass of Ceimaneigh confronts us . We will not go through that gap . We will look back for ten miles to Toon Bridge . Ten miles of rugged scenery with a lake and two villages .

Little pockets of green fields set , high and low , among the overwhelming rocks , marshes and bogs . Those ten miles from the southern boundary of the area I write about ." (MORE LATER).


" There is no art that one government sooner learns from another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people . "

--- Adam Smith , , ' The Wealth of Nations ' , 1776 .

.....MONEY ,MONEY .......

[from ' The Evening Press ' newspaper , 14th September , 1985 -- a Saturday , if memory serves ---page 1]

The extent of social welfare abuse in 1983 was £2.3 million punts , which was only one-eight of one per-cent of total social expenditure by the State that year .

......IT'S A RICH MAN'S WORLD ---->

[from ' Magill ' magazine , January , 1998 , page 15]

<---- Between 1st August , 1988 , and 31st January , 1991 , Charlie Haughey ( ex-Fianna Fail Free State Taoiseach ) spent £5446 Punts ( Euro 6914 ) a week . Every week !

....and they call us " Spongers " because we won't pay twice to have our bin's emptied !

Thursday, November 06, 2003

P.J. SMYTH AND THE TASMANIA ESCAPE , 1853....... May 1848 , ' Young Ireland ' leader John Mitchel was sentenced by the British to fourteen years transportation , under the newly-enacted ' Treason Felony Act ' . The Rebellion against British mis-rule in Ireland began shortly after Mitchel's 'trial' .......

The Rising was short-lived -- it was over by July 1848 , the same month in which the British suspended the legal rule of ' Habeas Corpus ' . John Mitchel spent his first year of imprisonment in Bermuda before being sent to Van Diemans Land ( Tasmania ) , which was a penal colony in Australia .

Back home in Ireland , the British had captured the other leaders of the Young Ireland Rising and transported them to Van Diemans Land as well , to serve their sentences . John Mitchel was joined by William Smith O'Brien , Thomas Francis Meagher , Terence Bellew MacManus , John Martin , Pat O'Donoghue and Kevin Izod O'Doherty .

However , members and supporters of the Young Ireland movement in New York , America , were watching developments with interest ....... (MORE LATER).


war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......west of Macroom , in County Cork the landscape changes ; it is a rough , forbidding area , with large , sleepy rocks on outpost duty ......."

" You will not wonder at this , when you see all their connecting files and advance guard . Ill-kept and ill-mannered fellows they look , peering at you from behind their cover of brushwood or furze , and some standing naked and unashamed in the middle of small fields on steep hillsides .

But they are not bad fellows after all , and when you get to know them you will like them very much . Personally , I have a grievance against some of them , for I live amongst them . So have my neighbours , for these stubborn fellows are forever coming in one's way . Yet they have their uses .

And you must admire them for they are solid and unyielding , and the people who live with them must also acquire those qualities . Let us continue our tour south-westward from Macroom into the country about which all these stories are told ........" (MORE LATER).


[from ' The Irish Reporter ' Magazine , Issue 2 , 1991 , page 23]

A poem by Brendan O hEithir ;


' Come all you staunch revisionists and listen to my song ,
Its short and its unusual and it won't detain you long .
Its all about a soldier who has carried history's can ,
Who dodged Tom Barry and Dan Breen , the gentle Black and Tan . '

Our poet-in-residence here at '1169 ....' replies ---->

<---- ' Read it twice or more , you Stormont crew ,
then learn it ' off-by-heart ' .
'Cause what you're doing is old , not new ,
as from Republicans you part ......'

.......AND TREASON ---->

[from ' Fortnight ' Magazine , No. 294 , April 1991 , page 26]

<---- A Reverend J. O' Hannay once advised his flock that " reading Irish history was a fatal thing to anyone wishing to remain a sound Unionist . "

Unless , of course , the Reverend O' Hannay's parishioners were to read the type of 'history' referred to in Brendan O hEithir's poem !

Wednesday, November 05, 2003


Knowing from their informer network that the Irish Rebels were planning an armed Rising , the British introduced a new 'law' in April , 1848 -- ' The Treason Felony Act ' .

The first person to be 'tried' under the new 'law' was Young Ireland leader John Mitchel , who was arrested in March 1848 , a few weeks before the new 'law' was introduced . Mitchel was sentenced , under ' The Treason Felony Act ' to fourteen years transportation .

His 'trial' was held in Dublin's Green Street Courthouse in May , 1848 ; the rebellion took place shortly after Mitchel's 'trial' , but was short-lived ....... (MORE LATER).


war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1616-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


" If you journey westward along the valley of the River Lee from Cork city you see on either hand , in the main , a pleasant and fertile land . It is a hilly country , but not such as to hinder cultivatiuon of the hills . This cultivation adds beauty to the landscape , especially in the harvest of the year .

What vista can excel one of hillsides with the green of grass and gold of ripening grain ? For twenty-four miles the scene unrolls itself before you until the town of Macroom is reached . Here the vista ends . West of Macroom is a new countryside , a more forbidding one . Rocks begin to uncover themselves , sleepy fellows on outpost duty .

Before you have advanced many miles , however , you will have discovered that somehow they have managed to warn the main body . " (MORE LATER).


[from ' The Observer ' newspaper , 21st April , 1991 page 63]

The New Market area of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia , U S A , is remembered chiefly for the fact that when the tide swung against the Confederates , two-hundred-and-forty-seven teenage Cadets from the Virginia Military Institute were ordered into battle to hold an apple orchard !

That was , I believe , the only time in U S history a Cadet corps has seen active service . They withstood repeated attacks from Union troops massed in a muddy morass known as the ' Field of Lost Shoes ' and , after the Confederate victory , received specially-minted medals and Jackson's personal thanks .

The youth of Ireland are organised , too - check them out here.

.......AND VEG ---->

[from ' AP/RN ', 5th September , 1985 , page 14]

Before he was U S President , actor Ronald Reagan was a member of the ' Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of Arts , Sciences and Professions ' ; he resigned from that body on 10th April , 1947 and went straight to the FBI to give a complete report to them on that organisation and its membership !

Ronnie in the running for a ' JAMES BOND ' -type role ? Or perhaps he thought he was a 'super-spy' !

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


.......enraged that the IRA had held-up a British patrol in broad daylight and taken their rifles , and angry that the locals in and around Fermoy refused to help them , the Brits wanted revenge .......

At around Eight P M on Monday , 8th September , 1919 , hundreds of British troops stationed in the area were sent into Fermoy town-centre to make the locals pay for their silence . People on the street were pistol-whipped , shops were broken in to and looted , and pubs were thrashed .

The Brits spent at least two hours on the wrecking spree and then went back to base . The following day , Tuesday , 9th September , not one Irish person contacted the Brits with information . Not convinced that they had made their point , the Brit Officers sent the same number of troops out two nights later ( Wednesday , 10th September , 1919 ) to terrorise the population again .

But this time the IRA were waiting on them , as were hundreds of civilians , who had armed themselves with shovels and hammers etc . The British troops returned early to base that night !


THE TRAGEDIES OF KERRY , by Dorothy Macardle - first published in 1924 .


".......deaths of young , kindly and joyous men ; because of treachery . Destiny demands that honest men be heros , to sacrifice all , to give greater than the treacherous......."

" There is little pity in her destiny , it seems , for the men who die . That courage should blaze up , like a beacon , before the people ; that faithfulness should stand , in their vision , enduring as a rock . That the passion for freedom should be revealed to them deep and irresistible as the sea .

This , it would seem , is expedient , if Ireland is to be saved . Ireland will be saved surely , in spite of treachery , in spite of cruelty , in spite of murder , as the wise people of Kerry say --- " If there's any life in the dead ."


( NOTE - I got my copy of 'The Tragedies of Kerry' in the RSF book-shop at 223 Parnell Street , Dublin 1 . It cost about three Euro , and is a recommended read for those interested in our history . It will leave you with a heavy heart , and angry :....the mark of a good read. )

ON THE FENCE .......

[from ' In Dublin ' magazine , No. 369 , 14-27th March , 1991 , page 7]

According to the book ' Church and State in Modern Ireland ' , by J.H. Whyte , of the thirty-one Catholic Bishops at the time , seven condemned the 1916 Rising , one issued a statement of support --- and twenty-three said nothing one way or the other .

One honest man , 30 pieces of silver .......

.......FOR FOUR YEARS ---->

[from same as above , page 8]

<---- The Catholic Hierarchy issued a formal statement from Maynooth in October , 1920 in which they condemned the British " for murdering the innocent and destroying their property (which) has a parallel only in the horrors of Turkish atrocities or in the outrages of the Red Army of Bolshevist Russia . "

.....sit on the fence , pick up a splinter - and four years later it reaches the brain !

Monday, November 03, 2003


.......once both IRA cars with the rifles on board passed the town of Carrickbrick , two trees were felled by IRA Volunteers ---- the road was now blocked , and the two British Army trucks were forced to skid to a halt at the road-block . They spent a few minutes trying to clear the road .......

They could'nt move the trees , so they drove back to try and find a side-road which would take them around the blockage and back out onto the Lismore Road ; they failed ! By this time , the rifles had been stashed in the pre-arranged dumps -- the operation was successful .

For the rest of that day ( Sunday , 7th September , 1919 ) , and up to tea-time the following day , hundreds of British troops , in trucks and on foot , raided the nearest towns and practically imposed martial law on the population in their search for the rifles and the men responsible for the operation . Shops , houses and other buildings were searched , and people were stopped , searched and questioned as to their knowledge of events .

No-one knew anything , and the Brits went back to barracks on early Monday evening ( 8th September , 1919 ) , empty-handed . However , that was not the end of the matter ; at about eight P M that Monday , hundreds of British troops stationed in the area were sent into Fermoy town-centre to make the locals pay for their silence ....... (MORE LATER).

THE TRAGEDIES OF KERRY , by Dorothy Macardle - first published in 1924 .


".......the survivors of the Clashmealcon Caves siege were executed by the Free Staters on 25th April , 1923 ; only Jim McGrath survived --- the Caves and Jim hold their secrets , they hold the last words of Aero Lyons -- myth and legend will have their say ......."

" " If they had food and water......." "If one of them had known how to swim ..... " " If Lyons had held out for one more hour ..... " the people are saying still . Then they comfort themselves with the sad phrase of resignation : " It seems that it was to be . "

" It was to be , " -- and they comfort themselves with that , for so many deaths - deaths of young , kindly and joyous men . Because there has been treachery in Ireland her destiny cannot be fulfilled without sacrifice greater than that shame - without the prodigal heroism , the extravagant sacrifice of the brave . " (MORE LATER).

FAST FOOD .......

[from ' The Evening Press ' , 4th September , 1985 -- a Wednesday , if memory serves -- page 5]

....... In South Africa , Managers of Wimpy food restaurants have to receive Government certificates before thay are allowed to serve blacks !

Black people can only be served at a take-out window facing the footpath unless permission is received from the Government to serve them inside the restaurat !

And to think that was less than twenty years ago .......

.......FASCISTS ---->

from ' AP/RN ', 27th November , 1986 , page 16]

At the Students Union meeting of the ' New University of Ulster ' in Coleraine in early November 1986 , a Michael Stokes , student , voiced his opposition to the use of plastic bullets by the RUC and the British Army -- he said lead bullets were " cheaper and more effective " .

Michael was a card-carrying member of the ' National Front ' . Ever worked in Wimpy , , Mick ?

Sunday, November 02, 2003


.......when the fifteen-strong British Army Patrol reached the Church gates , they were surrounded by a twenty-five strong IRA Unit ; the Brits were told to drop their weapons but , in a panic , some of them went to use their rifles .......

In the following gun-battle , four British soldiers fell to the ground --- one dead , three wounded . But the shooting ended there - the Brits surrendered and were relieved of their rifles - fifteen in all - which were loaded into two waiting cars .

The Volunteers loading the rifles into the cars got in themselves and both vehicles sped off towards the Lismore Road . Their comrades who were covering the now-disarmed British patrol inched away and withdrew from the area . Within fifteen minutes the British had filled two trucks with armed troops and were driving at top speed on the Lismore Road and were only minutes behind the two cars they were chasing .

When the two IRA vehicles passed the town of Carrickbrick , the IRA men at the side of the road toppled the two trees which they had weakened earlier that morning -- the trees fell across the road , blocking it , and the Volunteers made off across the fields . The two British Army trucks skidded to a halt at the road-block and spent a number of minutes trying to move the trees ....... (MORE LATER).

THE TRAGEDIES OF KERRY , by Dorothy Macardle - first published in 1924 .


".......rumour had it that the IRA prisoners had been beaten almost to death ; the Free Staters would not let any visitors in to see them ......."

" Fr. Tom McEnery telephoned the Free State barracks again and again -- eventually , a Free State Brigadier, Daly was his name , gave the priest a definate answer in relation to the prisoners .... " They'll be executed when we have time . "

They were executed at dawn on the twenty-fifth of April , 1923 . It was on the eighteenth that Aero Lyons was killed . On the fifth of May his body came up from the sea . Patrick O'Shea's and Tom McGrath's bodies the sea holds still . Only Jimmy McGrath lives now of the men who stood siege in Clashmealcon Caves .

How those nights and days passed for them , what sufferings they endured , what hopes and imaginations came to them , what Lyons said when he left them to climb the rope , no one but Jim can tell , and his memory of it all is confused . These are secrets that the caves will keep for ever , however myth and legend may shape the tale . " MORE LATER).

GOD IS ONE OF US - 1983 and 2003.......

[from an article by Anthony Lewis , of ' The New York Times ' , and re-published in 'The Evening Press' newspaper on 11th March - a Friday , if memory serves - 1983]

' When a politician claims that God favours his programmes , alarm bells should ring . That is what Ronald Reagan has just done . Speaking to the ' National Association of Evangelicals ' in Orlando , Florida , he said that belief in God should make Americans join him in oppossing a nuclear freeze and pressing for a vast build-up in U.S. weapons . '

" There is sin and evil in the world and we are enjoined by scripture and the Lord Jesus to oppose it with all our might . " --- so said U. S. President Ronald Reagan , who went on to describe the then Russia as " the focus of evil in the modern world " and described that country as having " the aggressive instincts of an evil empire . "

Reagan had his " evil empire " , now Bush Jnr has his " axis of evil . " As Anthony Lewis wrote in the above article ---

--- " If there is anything that should be illegitimate in the American system , it is such use of sectarian religiosity to sell a political programme . And this was done not by some fringe figure , but by the President of the United States . "

Whose 'side' will God be on in 2023 .....?