Saturday, November 29, 2003


.......Ireland , late 1850's ; British 'landlords' owned the land-- the Irish were their 'tenants' . But the Brits wanted livestock on 'their' land , not farmers .......

The British 'landlords' were not alone in thinking that they could do as they wished with 'their' holdings ; their bigotry was shared by the political establishment . In 1860 , the British-appointed Attorney General in Ireland , Richard Deasy , had his 'Act' passed into 'law' in this country -- it was known as ' The Landlord and Tenant Law Amendment (Ireland) Act of 1860 ', but was better known as ' Deasy's Act' .

In a nutshell , ' Deasy's Act ' removed whatever insignificant amount of protection that the 'tenant' had in relation to their rights and those of the 'landlord' ; it allowed the Brits a 'free-hand' to do as they choose with 'their' Irish 'tenants' ....... (MORE LATER).


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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......Irish children were denied education by the British ; so the Irish organised underground 'schools' as best they could -- in fields and in abandoned shacks , and behind stone walls . The teachers were paid sometimes , as the people just had'nt got the money ....... "

"....... Padraig Colum , the poet , gives a description of the teachers' difficulties :

My eyelids red and heavy are ,
With bending o'er the smouldering peat ,
I know the Aeneid now by heart ,
My Virgil read in cold and heat ,
In loneliness and hunger smart.
And I know Homer, too , I ween,
As Munster poets know Ossian.

Evidently he must have reprimanded one of his students of the 'forties' for inattention , for --

-- You teach Greek verbs and Latin nouns,
The dreamer of Young Ireland said .
You do not hear the muffled call ,
The sword being forged , the far-off tread
Of hosts to meet as Gael and Gall -
What good to us your wisdom store ,
Your Latin verse , your Grecian lore ? (MORE LATER).


[from ' The Sunday Tribune ' , 5th August , 1984]

.......The Catholic Archbishop of Managula , Obando Y Bravo , recently (ie 1984) appealed to American business executives for funds to help organise opposition to the Sandinista Governments attempts to install what he termed " a communist system " in Nicaragua .

The Archbishop told the American businessmen that he hoped the Sandinista's would be removed from power if they did not change their policies !

Was the Archbishop afraid that he and his would lose their influence over the poor if they began to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps ?

.......FUND-RAISERS ---->

[from ' The Evening Press ' newspaper , 6th November -- a Tuesday , if memory serves -- 1984]

<---- A Reverend Mother and a nun at a Belgian Convent have been jailed and fined £500 each for fiddling £3 million from the state health services . When a police inspector visited the convent , he found the two women dressed in bikinis and splashing about in an indoor swimming pool !

The police searched the building and discovered that every room had plush carpets , leather armchairs and a colour television . The fridges were stocked deep with beer , brandy and wine , and foodstuffs for three-course lunches were found .

Mother Rafaelle (46) and Sister Anne (43) were found guilty of defrauding Belgiums health service of nearly £3 million , and were jailed for three and two months respectively , and both were fined £500 . The two women were claiming payment for hospital treatment that was never carried out on patients who never existed !

Is that the calibre of people that the above-mentioned Archbishop wanted to put in charge of the poor in Nicaragua ?

Friday, November 28, 2003


Twenty million acres of land in Ireland ; 661,931 'tenants' (ie native Irish) in Ireland and 19,284 'landlords' (ie British Planter) in Ireland --- if the 'landlord' could get rid of the 'tenants' they could increase the size of 'their' ranches .......

In the late 1850's , an unscrupulous Brit named John George Adair arrived in the Derryveagh area of County Donegal and , by guile , hook and crook , within one year of being in the area , 'owned' more than ninty square miles of the surrounding countryside . Adair imported black-faced sheep from Scotland and allowed them to wander on 'his' land....... (MORE LATER).


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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......the British had declared it to be a crime for the Irish to seek education ; it was one of the methods used to keep the natives in slavery......."

" Under these terrible conditions , the 'hedge-schoolmaster' or " poor scholar " was the man in the gap . He had been so since the battle of Kinsale. The 'hedge-schoolmaster' was a survival of the ancient Bardic professional schools . The Bards , who were poets as well as scholars , were classed next to royalty .

The 'hedge-schoolmaster' , often educated abroad , taught by the sheltered side of a fence in summer . In winter the school was indoors in some old cabin . The children brought sods of turf each day for the fire , as well as bottles of home-made ink and quill pens . They sat on planks mounted on stones , and wrote on their knees . The subjects taught were Irish , English , Greek , Latin , Mathematics and Natural Pilosophy .

The teacher was paid , as best they could , by the people whose children he taught ......." (MORE LATER).


[from ' The Sunday World ' newspaper , 6th November , 1983]

In a report home dated 10th December 1887 , a Mgr. Ignazio Persico , who was sent to Ireland by Leo XIII as a Papal Legate , stated --

-- " The state of this country is getting worse , owing to increasing repressive measures introduced by the English Government. It would seem that the English wish to provoke the Irish people into rebellion . "

Persico also said that , when reciting 'The Lord's Prayer' , Irish priests omitted the passage - " we forgive them that trespass against us . "

No more "cheeks to turn ....."

.......ARMY ---->

[from ' The Evening Herald 'newspaper' , 28th November -- a Monday , I'm sure -- 1983]

<---- Father Rogelio Poncel , a forty-four year 'old' Belgian priest who joined up with El Salvador guerrillas , the 'Peoples Revolutionary Army' , stated---

--- " The Bible confronts established order , it must be seen from the point of view of the poor , and Christ was poor . The Bible carried a message of liberation . A Christian , a priest , must be revolutionary - how can we conform what we preach with a system that oppresse's and exploits ? "

Are all the good priests abroad ?

Thursday, November 27, 2003

' THE NORTHERN STAR ' : 1792 - 1797 .......

.......convinced that the French were on their way to assist the Irish rebels , the Brits declared martial law in Ireland ; they used the opportunity to raid the Offices of ' The Northern Star ' newspaper and wrecked the machinery before burning the building . The 'paper was out of business . But out of the ashes .......

.......a new Irish Republican newspaper was born -- ' The Press of Dublin ' , which published its first edition in late 1797 - within months of the demise of 'The Northern Star' , which it effectively took over from .

But , in March 1798 , it , too , was put out of business by the British .

Today , the only newspaper worth reading in connection with the Irish Republican struggle against the British presence in this country can be found here. Take out a subscription ; play your part .



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......the Irish people had been evicted from their cabins and their livestock taken in lieu of 'rent' by the British ; they lived in ditches and behind stone walls . One of the leaders of the failed 1848 Rising , Michael Doheny , lived while 'on-the-run' with the people of Ceimaneigh ......."

" In a poem he wrote , Michael Doheny praised the poorest of the poor , the people that gave him comfort and shelter while he was being chased by the British ---

The Felon's Track

Hurrah for the scanty meal
When served by ungrudging hand,
Hurrah for the hearts of steel
Still true to a fallen land.

And in his poem , ' A Cuisle Geal Mo Chroidhe ' , he mentions the treatment he received from the rich , who lived on the fat of the land . Speaking of the Ireland of his love , he says :

For thee I've tracked the mountain's sides ,
And slept within the brake,
More lonely than the swan that glides,
O'er Lua's fairy lake .
The rich have spurned me from their door ,
Because I'd make thee free:
Yet still I love thee all the more,
A cuisle geal mo Chroidhel !

Among the many and varied devices resorted to for keeping the people in slavery was the effective one of keeping them uneducated . Not until 1831 were the penal laws against education for the Irish relaxed .

Not alone was it a felony for the Old Irish to teach or be taught in Ireland , but it was a crime to send a child to school abroad ." (MORE LATER).


[from ' The Evening Press ' newspaper , 10th November , 1983]

A Mr. John Kirkwin was elected as Town Supervisor in Rotterdam , New York , by 6921 to 4780 votes . Kirkwin (57) , died of a heart attack ten days before the elections , live on television !

But he was a politician : how could the punters tell .......?

.......LOSS ---->

[from ' The Evening Herald ' 'newspaper'(!) , 29th November , 1984]

<---- " The Dail(sic) is no better than a poor debating chamber , a place where TD's(sic) gather to talk to each other , but where nobody listens . The deputies are so involved in constituency work that they do not have time to study Bill's coming before them .

After seven-and-a-half years in the Dail (sic) I have lost faith in politicians and in the political system . I have become totally disillusioned with the whole system . "

--- So said Charlie McCreevy , Fianna Fail , the present Free State Minister for Finance .

Ah , come on now , Charlie --- cheer up ! Just think of the good you're doing for the community and carry-on .......

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

' THE NORTHERN STAR ' : 1792 - 1797 .......

.......within four years of its formation (ie by 1796) , ' The Northern Star ' newspaper had the largest circulation of any newspaper in Ireland . The Brits were not impressed -- they were harassing the staff of the 'paper on a regular basis and then arrested its Editor , Samuel Neilson , for publishing what they termed a " seditious " article.......

In late 1796 , a French expedition to Ireland , under the command of General Hoche failed ; the British Administration in Dublin Castle convinced themselves that a French invasion of Ireland was imminent and proclaimed a state of martial law ; by May , 1797 , British General Lake had confined Samuel Neilson and almost all of the proprietors of The Northern Star to prison --- the Brits decided to move against the newspaper itself .

A unit of the Irish militia , under orders from their British pay-masters , forced their way into the premises of The Northern Star , smashed the machinery , removed all paper-work and thrashed the building . The Northern Star newspaper was out of business -- it had defied the British for five years ; 1792 - 1797 . However , out of the ashes ....... (MORE LATER).


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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

".......the British 'landlords' removed grain and livestock in lieu of 'rent'-money ; the Irish were evicted and their cabins wrecked . Some died on the roadside or suffocated in the bowels of a coffin ship . The 'landlord' used the now-vacant farm to graze 'his' sheep and cattle ......."

" How fared the people of our area during this period of artificial famine ? People died of hunger here as well as in other places but not to the same extent . This was due to the fact that the people shared their meagre supplies of oatmeal with stranger or neighbour who wanted it . Many of them defended their grain crops . The Battle of Ceimaneigh , fought in 1822 , now repaid them for the losses suffered there .

For besides reducing the tithe and 'landlord rents' , it showed tyrants , who might consider further oppression , the danger of pressing such people too far . Again , eviction of the people would ill-profit the landlord , for the little fields would return to the mountain-state in a short time . At all times , the people deemed it an honour to give food and shelter to men who strove or had striven to free Ireland. Big rewards for information leading to the capture of such men left them unmoved , or rather spurred them to further efforts to ensure their safety .

Treachery was unknown among them . Michael Doheny , one of the leaders of the 1848 Rising , came among them after that failure . He speaks highly of their generosity at a time when they themselves had little to give ......." (MORE LATER).


[from ' The Sunday Tribune ' newspaper , 25th September , 1983]

When he was the leader of the








arty , John Hume asked the ' Federation of Irish Societies ' to make a submission to the then talking-shop-and-salaried body that was the 'New Ireland Forum'.

They replied that , in their opinion , the (then) elected representatives for the (then) Sinn Fein organisation should be allowed to join the 'Forum' . They also told Mr. Hume that the 'Federation' insisted " that Britain should declare its intention to withdraw from the North within a period of ten years . " They called Hume's bluff further by stating that all British troops in the Six Counties " should be returned to barracks immediately . " !

Can't ya just picture what happened next -- John Hume , looking over his shoulder , leggin' it down the road , screaming.......

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

' THE NORTHERN STAR ' : 1792 - 1797 .......

.......having failed in their first attempt to close ' The Northern Star ' newspaper , the Brits seen another opportunity to try again in that newspaper's outright support for the envoy from France , the Rev. William Jackson ; the British had captured Jackson , and the newspaper was in support of him and the new French Administration .......

It was the pretext the British were waiting on -- the ' United Irishmen Society ' was suppressed and declared to be an " illegal organisation " ; its leaders were forced to go ' on the run ' , but not before they had re-organised the 'Society ' as an underground army and re-confirmed its objective to establish an Irish Republic by force of arms .

The Northern Star newspaper which , by now (1796) , had the largest circulation of any newspaper in Ireland , was continuing its business --- and the British were still determined to close it down . However , because of their failed court-case with the newspaper ( in 1792) , they tried a different method ; harassment of the newspapers staff . After a few weeks of this , the Brits moved against the 'paper's Editor , Samuel Neilson , arresting him for a " seditious " article , and transporting him immediately to Newgate Jail in Dublin ....... (MORE LATER).


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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......1847 ; the potato crop had failed-- but the British 'landlord' did'nt care . He still demanded 'his' money , even if the Irish were forced to sell their other crops to get it ......."

" The rents had to be paid . Where the grain was not sold to pay the rents it was seized on the field under armed protection . It is a fact that even grain for seed for the coming year was seized . Thus it came about that the rent could not , willingly or otherwise , be paid on the following year . If the tenant had not already left his home the ' Notice to Quit ' was served on him . Then the crowbar and the battering-ram laid his cabin in ruin .

He and his family were thrown on the roadside to die . It was convenient for the 'landlord' in any case . A drop in the price of corn in Britain , due to free import from other countries , and a good market for meat there , decided the question . Now he would get rid of those troublesome human cattle and keep bullocks and sheep instead .

And so it happened . The great exodus started . Some , who left in time , reached America . Some died on the coffin ships. Some died by the wayside ......." (MORE LATER).


[from ' Inside Tribune ' newspaper supplement , 6th November , 1983]

According to the Leinster House 'Debates' register , Sean Lemass (Fianna Fail) claimed --

-- " Our objective (ie Fianna Fail) is to establish a Republican Government in Ireland . If that can be done by the present methods we have , we will be very pleased but , if not , we would not confine ourselves to them . "

Fightin' talk - but the fighting was not done by Fianna Fail against the Brits ; it was , and still is , a Fianna Fail (and Free State) 'war' against those that refuse to accept the British jurisdictional claim to any part of Ireland.

.......ON THE STREETS ---->

[from ' The Evening Press ' newspaper , 3rd October -- a Monday , I believe -- 1983]

<---- When he was the 'Chief Whip' of Fianna Fail , the now-leader of that party (and present Free State Taoiseach) , Bertie Ahern called for a return to times " when more justice was carried out in the streets than in the courts ." !

WOW ! Bertie the basher ! 'Course he was still wearing the oul' anorak in those days , and the nearest he got to a State function was delivering the invites on behalf of his buddy , Charlie Haughey . AND he was still trying to cultivate some street cred -- especially among the " Uncouth muck-savages , unprincipled and power-hungry members of Fianna Fail ," as Charlie McCreevy (Fianna Fail) described his own party members !*

Maybe Bertie should give McCreevy a few clatters the next time he bumps into him on the street ! And not necessarily for the above comments , either .......

( (*) -- from 'The Sunday Business Post' , 'Agenda' section , 23rd November , 2003 , page 6 ).

Monday, November 24, 2003

' THE NORTHERN STAR ' : 1792 - 1797 .......

.......the British 'Authorities' were keeping an eye on the Irish Republican newspaper ' The Northern Star ' ; before it could celebrate its first 'birthday' , they tried a low-key 'diplomatic' approach to put it out of business .......

The Brits arrested the proprietors of The Northern Star and prosecuted them on eight charges ranging from 'sedition' to ' treason' ; the well-known Dublin barrister , John Philpot Curran, and his team , defended the newspaper management and staff -- and the Dublin Castle 'Authorities' (the Brits) lost the case ! The newspaper continued publishing .

However , after the new French Republican Government sent over an envoy ( Rev. William Jackson ) to assist the United Irishmen , the Brits got their way : Jackson was seized by the British and his treatment and 'trial' was published in full by The Northern Star newspaper , which threw its considerable weight full-square behind the French envoy and the 'paper used that opportunity to make it known that it fully supported the new French Administration....... (MORE LATER).


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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......the women and children were in a panic ; the British forces were within earshot , and they had come to collect ' rent-money' from the Irish ; a musket-fight began , followed by hand-to-hand fighting between the Brits and the Irish farmers --the foreigner fled the battle......."

" The return of hope. The exhortation to stand firm with the good steel always ready . The vision of the day when Irishmen would be back in the good land of Ireland which they had had to yield . People admitted harbouring a good deal of ill-feeling for the pot-bellied Planters . They would say no more about them but would merely pray that the slaughter and the terror of rout might attend on them .

The 'Famine' of 1847 did not begin or end in that year . A state of semi-starvation already existed . It is true that the failure of the potato crop in that year precipitated it ; but there was no actual shortage of food anywhere --- better food than the potato . The fact was that all the grain grown by the small farmer went to pay the 'rents' , the 'landlords' and the 'tithe rents'. The failure of the potato crop wrung no concession from the 'landlord'....... (MORE LATER).


<---- Back in April 1983 , the late John Boland (Fine Gael) had a great idea -- ' Work a Day for Ireland (SIC) ' ; his proposal was for those lucky enough to have a job to " work a day for no pay " , the benefit being that the Free State Exchequer would profit by production with no cost to itself .

When not lodged in his ivory tower , John lived in the family home at Holmpatrick , Skerries , in County Dublin , which he shared at the time with his wife and two children . A former auctioneer , he was educated in Dublin at the Presentation Convent in Terenure , the CBS in Synge Street and University College Dublin . He was Chairperson of Dublin County Council from 1971-'72 , 1976-'77 and 1979-1980 .

He was appointed Free State Minister for Education in 1981 (and floated a lead kite about raising the school entry age) and also served , for about three months , as the Free State Minister for Health , during 1987.

Anyway , at the time John wanted those of us that had a job to work for free for one day while he was being paid £121.70p (Euro 154.53 cents) a day , a sum that most of us only dreamed about earning in a week ! It's easy , I would guess , to give up £121.70p when you know , at the end of the week , you'll still be collecting a salary of £486.80p (Euro 618.11 cents) for the other four days ! Not so easy for the rest of us , though .

Needless to say , the idea never got past the 'OUT' tray on Mr. Boland's polished table ; the rest of us just could'nt afford it .

Sunday, November 23, 2003

' THE NORTHERN STAR ' : 1792 - 1797 .......

.......the new Irish Republican newspaper was a great success ; it was soon publishing leaflets and pamphlets etc and , in 1795 , it published the well-known periodical of the time , ' Bolg an Tsolair ' (the 'Gaelic Magazine').......

By this stage (ie three years after it's formation) , ' The Northern Star ' had well and truly gone beyond seeking only " equal representation of all the people in parliament " and was now openly calling for the overthrow of English rule in Ireland ; its position was that it would not accept less than complete separation from England .

The newspapers circulation soared and people queued to buy each new issue . But the British 'Authorities' in Ireland were in the queue for a different reason : to close the newspaper .

They had tried to put the 'paper out of business before --- within a year of it's first issue , the Brits tried a 'diplomatic' approach to shut it down ....... (MORE LATER).


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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......the hand-to-hand fight between the Irish farmers and the British soldiers left one soldier , John Smith , dead ; his British comrades had enough and fled the scene . The Irish buried the two men they lost , and also buried Smith......."

" Maire Bhuidhe witnessed the battle . One of her brothers fought in it . She composed a poem which , although the engagement itself was relatively small , will keep its memory alive while the Irish language lives . It tells of the peace of the countryside , of how happy she was as she listened to the singing of the birds .

Then suddenly the dreadful sound of an army approaching came to her ears . The heavy harmony of the cavalry and the general vibration of the whole army seemed to shake the mountain . The terror of the women and children as they ran from their homes bewailing the fate of their fathers , brothers and husbands who they thought would be encircled and whose utter destruction seemed imminent .

The sight of other brave men hurrying to the scene to help their neighbours or die with them . The rolling volleys of musketry , the fierce charge with the steel of our men , the immediate break and utter rout of the well-equipped and numerically far superior enemy . The joy at the seemingly-impossible victory . The praise for her great men of the Gael ........" (MORE LATER).

KELLY'S (unsung)HERO'S ---->

<---- In early 1983 , the late Leinster House member John Kelly ( Fine Gael ) was worried about the high level of unemployment -- approximately two-hundred-thousand people were out of work on the island -- and he was also upset about the estimated five-thousand people a month joining those on the dole .

At the time , John , married and a father of five , was living in the family home on Ailesbury Road in Ballsbridge and , as well as his Leinster House 'job' , was employed by University College Dublin (since 1965) as a Law Professor ( Roman Law and Jurisprudence ) from which institution he was being paid a 'half-salary'.

He served in three Free State Departments --- Taoiseach , Defence and Foreign Affairs --- as ' Parliamentary Secretary ' between 1973 and 1977 , was Free State Attorney General for a few months after '77 , and was the State Minister for Trade , Commerce and Tourism (and Foreign Affairs) in the 1981 - 1982 Fine gael/Labour Administration .

Anyway , the bould John , before returning to his cosy Ballsbridge home , advised those who lost their jobs , or could'nt get a job in the first place , to emigrate ! If they refused to go , he said , they would be a burden on the State and on P.A.Y.E. workers.......

The man should've been a Jockey ; he had the neck for it .....