Friday, May 28, 2004

JOSEPH BRENAN ; 1828-1857 : 'Young Ireland' Leader .

Ireland , 1828 ; twenty-one months after the subject of our previous article , Philip Grey , was born in Dublin , a baby was born in Cork (ie in November 1828) - Joseph Brenan . He , too, was born when Daniel O'Connell's star was burning brightly - O'Connell had organised the Irish 'peasantry' (as Westminster referred to them) into what was , in all intent and purpose , a political party .

As stated in the previous article , the Catholic Church was in support of 'The Catholic Association' and allowed (indeed , encouraged) its Priests to act not only as that organisations 'spiritual advisers' , but also as political activists !

British mis-rule was reflected in the general state of unrest throughout the country - huge crowds attended 'Association' meetings , with one eye-witness account of the time stating - " The whole district was covered with people ......."



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......Our mission took us through Coolea , Ballyvourney and Liscarragane ; we thought of old heros - Canon O'Leary and Art O'Laoghaire - we were now on the Donoughmore-Blarney-Cork road......."

" For a time we enjoyed the long straight stretches where we could see well ahead of us ; for there was the possibility of meeting with a strong British Army raiding-party of many lorries . That would be their time for such a job - should they come , we would have time to stop and take up defensive positions . But , leaving the Blarney highway , we did not appreciate the lovely woodland road which changed direction so often .

However , we met no enemy and reached St. Ann's safely ; on then to the Kerry Pike where one of our lads stopped to see his mother . Estimating that our time would now be right , without a further stop , we dropped down to the Asylum Road , and got to the end of it without incident ; we crossed the bridge over the northern branch of the Lee . A run of a few hundred yards , and we were moving at a smart pace down the Western Road .

Safety catches were 'off'. There was to be no delay in case of an attempt to interfere with us ; any enemy agents we met who took us for friends were to be given the benefit of the mistake , and we should hope to maintain that relation for some time . Although we were ready for instant action , and the Lewis-Gun and rifles were plain to be seen , we reclined apparently at ease as befitted British Auxiliaries of the better-off class - not those fellows who sat stiffly on hard seats on their Crossley Tenders ......."



By Carol Coulter.

(First published in 'The Irish Times' newspaper on Monday 22nd April 1985).

Reproduced here in 7 parts .

(6 of 7).

Neil Blaney adopted a different course , describing the group around him as 'Independent Fianna Fail', and appearing as an independent in all the results . Although there were other candidates on this ticket , none of them was ever elected .

In 1977 there was another attempt to form a radical party , again involving Noel Browne : he and a number of prominent Labour Party members split to form the Social Labour Party , with Browne as its only TD (sic - Leinster House member).

Quite soon , however , differences emerged between him and other leading members , and when he left Leinster House , the party collapsed .......