Sunday, May 23, 2004

PHILIP GREY ; 1827 - 1857 : AN IRISH MILITARY MAN.......

....... Philip Grey was in County Meath in mid-1848 when he learned that 'The Young Ireland' Rising had started ; he tried to organise the Rebels in Meath , but failed - so he left for Tipperary .......

He joined-up with William Smith O'Brien and James Stephens and took part in the 'Battle Of Ballingarry' . On 29 July 1848 , the Rising collapsed and those involved dispersed . One of those in command of the Irish Rebels , John O'Mahony , placed Philip Grey and John Savage in charge of organising the Waterford area , and an attack on the British Military Barracks in Portlaw was carried out ; however , before the Irish Rebels could take things further , the Rebel leader John O'Leary requested Philip Grey to assist his team to 'spring' William Smith O'Brien and other Rebels from prison - they were being held in Clonmel Jail in Tipperary .

Arrangements were put in place for the rescue attempt , and a date agreed - 8th November 1848 . But informers were at work , and the English were aware of the Rebel plans ; John O'Leary and about twenty of his men were 'arrested' by the Brits , but Philip Grey escaped and went 'on-the-run' in County Waterford for a few months but , such was the 'man-hunt' for him by the enemy , he was forced to flee the Country for France , where he arrived in April/May , 1849 .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


"....... February 1921 ; there was fifty-two British Army lorries in our vicinity ; one IRA man severely wounded , two cottages , two farmhouses and a hayshed burned to the ground by the Brits. But there was also humour that same day ......."

" Paddy Beag and another old man were behind the rocks at Coolnacahera , unconscious of any impending disturbance . Suddenly the firing started and deflected bullets whined high over them . At their highest speed , the two old men started home . Presently , in comparative safety , they stopped to draw their breath ; " Is'nt it an awful thing , Paddy , to see two oul'lads like us having to run like this . Or what is the country coming ta ? " " It is then ," said Paddy , " but these times won't last always . God is good . " " Ah, " said the other oul'fella , " sure I know He's good , BUT WHAT CAN HE DO ? "

Liam Jer was an old man whose legs were somewhat reduced in efficiency by the march of time , but whose peculiar wit and tongue flourished unimpaired . He lived in a small farmhouse on the side of the narrow road from Poul na Bro to Kilnamartyra . The rocky and steep Rahoona Hill cast its shadow , in the evening , on Liam's hacienda . We scarcely ever passed by without meeting Liam . " Conas ta'n sibh . Bhfuil aon oul'news agaibh ? " (or - in 'Dub-speak' : " How'ya - what's the story ? ") was always his greeting . He took the greatest pleasure in answering questions put to him by enemy forces . This evening Liam met the British Auxiliaries just as they stopped a Crossley truck opposite his door . They dismounted and quickly came to the point - " Did you see any Shinners today ? "

"What !" said Liam ; " Any Shinners , " they repeated , " seen any ? " " What are Shinners ? " asked Liam . " Oh , Shinners - the IRA , you know . " " I don't know them either , " he said , " but I saw soldiers passing ..." " Soldiers ! No soldiers passed this way today ! " the Brits replied . " Oh, but they did ," said Liam to them , " they went up that way , " pointing with his stick to Rahoona . " Were they some of our men ? " " They could be , " said Liam , " but they were not dressed like ye ......."



By Carol Coulter.

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

Reproduced here in 7 parts .

(1 of 7).

The history of breakaway parties in Ireland is not encouraging for those who may be thinking of staking their political careers on the formation of a new one .

Most of the smaller parties which littered the political landscape in the 1930's , 1940's and 1950's either collapsed or merged with larger ones . The first such party was The Centre Party , formed in 1932 by a number of independent TD's (sic- ie Leinster House members), including Paddy Belton . They were joined later by James Dillon .

The Centre Party was conservative and pro-Treaty (ie - the 6th December 1921 'Treaty of Surrender') and won over 9 per cent of the vote and eleven seats in 1932 . In 1937 , it merged with the Blueshirts and Cumann na nGaedhail to form Fine Gael .