Tuesday, May 25, 2004

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

.......An attack on the English Barracks in Cappoquin , Waterford , by the Irish Rebels , on 16th September 1849 , went wrong - Philip Grey escaped from the area and made his way to Dublin . The wretchedness of 'living' conditions in those days , which Philip Grey would have witnessed on his travels around Ireland , would have turned any proud Irish person into a Rebel .......

The Catholic Church had gone on record in that same year of the Cappoquin incident (ie 1849) as stating - " The great majority of poor located here are in a state of starvation , many of them hourly expecting death to relieve them of their sufferings ." Incidentally , that statement was issued in February 1849 , the same month that a 'Grand Ball' was held in Dublin's Mansion House at which it was reported that " ...dancing continued until a late hour of the night and refreshments of a most recherche description were supplied with inexhaustible profusion ..." Thus did the British enjoy themselves during 'The Great Hunger' .

Also making the news that same year (1849) was the statement of an eye-witness to 'living' conditions outside of 'Grand Balls' - " Every village has dead bodies lying unburied for many days . Almost every hovel in the suburb of this town (Ballinrobe , Galway) has its corpse . May God forgive our rulers for this cruel conduct towards God's creatures here . The poor are dropping into their graves in multitudes . "

However , not all on the island of Ireland were effected by 'The Great Hunger'.......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


" Early in March 1921 , our IRA Column was located at Cumuiclumhain , Ballyvourney . Things had quietened down since Coolnacahera , and the days were peaceful . Then one evening I heard : " Hughie , you're wanted . Mick , you're wanted ." Hughie was Eugene O'Sullivan , our Lewis-Gunner , and Mick was myself , his assistant . The speaker was Dan Donovan ('Sandow'). Dan's eyes were bright and he was smiling . We knew something was afoot ; we followed him into Twomey's , our headquarters .

Within , we found our Brigadier , Sean O'Hegarty ; my brother Pat , our Commandant ; Jim Grey , our driver ; Sean Murray , our instructor , and Corney O'Sullivan , our engineer . Sean came to the point quickly - with him and with all his Officers there was no formality . While the highest proficiency in military skill had been attained in the use of arms and by necessary exercises , yet formal salutations and the like were intolerable to him , and indeed to all concerned . Now he addressed us thus -

- " Flurrie has found out that Strickland and a party will be going on a trip down the river from Cork the day after tomorrow . We'll try and sink them at the Marina . Dan will be in charge ; Jim will drive the Buick , Sean and Corney are going , and Hughie and Mick with the Lewis . Ye will go to Donoughmore tonight by the old route . After the British curfew patrols are withdrawn in the morning in the city , ye must get to the southern-side of the river . Then stay tomorrow night at Ballygarvan . Mick Murphy will meet ye at Kaper Daly's pub , Farmers Cross , on the following morning , and take ye in to the city . Be as careful as ye can . "

We had a job ; it was time to get ready for our journey ......."



By Carol Coulter.

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

Reproduced here in 7 parts .

(3 of 7).

Clann na Talmhan (1938-1965) had a rival political party in the form of Clann na Poblachta , which is perhaps better remembered , although it only briefly had as much support as Clann na Talmhan and did not last as long . It was founded as a radical Irish Republican party by Sean MacBride in 1946 , and the following year won two out of three by-elections , defeating Fianna Fail .

The General Election of 1948 marked its high point ; it won 13 per cent of the vote and 10 seats . It too entered the first inter-party (Free State) government , and one of its members , Noel Browne , held the key Ministry of Health . This provoked the 'Mother and Child' controversy , when Browne's progressive proposals were repudiated by the government , including his own party colleagues .

In the next election the party lost heavily , emerging with 4.1 per cent of the vote and only two seats . Even Sean MacBride lost his seat .......