Sunday, June 13, 2004

JOHN SADLEIR and WILLIAM KEOGH - 19th Century Irish Turncoats .......

....... ' The only time an Irish female slept in a bed was when her master was in it , and Irishmen were honoured when that happened ' - such was the attitude of the British 'ruling class' in 18th Century Ireland .......

However , the Irish spirit was strong ; the British 'Landlords' and their agents did not have it all their own way . The so-called " lower-ranks " , the " wretched people " , those who wore " the mark of slavery " , had organised themselves as best they could - secret , underground oath-bound societies fought back -

- the Whiteboys , Oakboys , Moonlighters , the Defenders and the Steelboys ; fences belonging to British 'Landlords' were ripped-up , the 'masters' cattle were taken , his haystacks and crop removed , his 'Big House' attacked and , when possible, levelled and burnt and he himself , and his minions , put to death when the opportunity presented itself to do so .

It was into this 'melting-pot of madness' that a child was born in County Tipperary in 1815 - John Sadleir .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......Six of the seven British lorries had left the scene - the troops from the seventh one were in hiding , pinned-down by us but still firing back at us . We were about to send a few men to out-flank them ......."

" A shout from Caherdaha Hill drew our attention to the east . A man stood on a fence and pointed downwards to Aha Tiompain . After the first outburst of firing , and as we had watched the British lorries disappear down the road to Macroom , we had heard a wild cheer from the same point . A group that watched there had given vent to their feelings in a 'Gair Caha' . The group was still there but now they had sounded a warning - the Brits had stopped in their lorries just out of our sight , and now they were coming back in skirmishing order along the high ground on both sides of the road . There was no hurry but yet any delay might endanger us .

We had a wholesome respect for the activity and physical fitness of the Auxies , if they found out that only a small group was opposed to them here . Woe to the man or men who allowed them to get the impression that they were weak in any way , for then they followed up relentlessly . In our case they had not yet caught sight of us , and so they would move cautiously . They already had experience of our heavy fire , and I have no doubt , were it not for the ditching of their lorry , they would not have returned at all . But they could not return to Macroom and admit that they had left their comrades to fight it out alone . So they must return to find them , and since we had not a few more men to keep in touch with their flanks , we must withdraw .

Sending the unarmed IRA Volunteer , by a detour to the west , to withdraw my uncle and his comrade , we also moved westwards to meet them , and again crossed the ridge of Knocksaharing and the upper Renanirree Road....... "


ETHIOPIA - A Brief History .......

(First published in 'HOT PRESS' Magazine , 6th May 1988 , Volume 12 , No. 8 , page 28).

Re-produced here in 10 parts .

(3 of 10).

We consider Egypt the premier African civilisation but it was Ethiopia that reincarnated the Nile and its pantheon of Gods . Annually , the rich silt of the Ethiopian highlands passed down the Blue Nile to fertilise Lower Egypt and create the surplus that built the Pyramids and later made those lands the bread-baskets of the Roman Empire , the strategic prize for which Mark Antony courted Cleopatra .

Even then , the highland people had a mysterious , mythic repute , christened the " Ethiopians " , the people with " burnt faces " by the ancient Greeks . Beyond the grasp of the Roman Empire , its Axumite Kings traded myrrh , gold , resins and ivory with Egypt , India and Arabia , finally converting to Coptic Christianity in the 4th Century .

Islam affected but did'nt overpower Ethiopia ; members of Mohammed's inner circle sheltered in Ethiopia before his triumph as the Prophet . Remembering that hospitality and possibly wisely recognising the difficulty of the terrain for any holy war , Mohammed advised his followers " to leave the Ethiopians alone ." Instead Islam gradually infiltrated the Eastern coastlands , threatening only in the 16th Century when the Portuguese helped the Christian rulers ward off a Muslim assault .......