Monday, June 21, 2004

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

....... John Sadleir , ex-'Independent Irish Party' MP and now 'Lord of The Treasury' in a British 'Whig' Administration in Westminster and owner of a Bank in Tipperary , lived the 'good life' - but could'nt afford to 'keep up' with his new friends ; so he borrowed over a million pounds from his Tipperary Bank , was found out , and topped himself in 1856 .......

However , Sadleir's old buddy , the British Solicitor-General for Ireland , William Keogh (ex-'Independent Irish Party' MP) , somehow managed to 'soldier-on' ; he became a Judge for his British pay-masters during the infamous Fenian Trials of 1865-1867 , where he verbally cracked many an Irish Rebel skull , saving his employers from getting their hands even more bloodier . His conscience must have eventually got the better of him because , in 1878 , he , too, killed himself . It could only make you wonder that , had he a Bank to embezzle , would he have lived longer ?

Perhaps Oscar Wilde summed-up people like John Sadleir and William Keogh (and their 21st Century equivalents) when he wrote - " I know how people chatter in England . The middle classes air their moral prejudices over their gross dinner-tables , and whisper about what they call the profligacies of their betters in order to try and pretend that they are in smart society , and on intimate terms with the people they slander ! "

[END of ' JOHN SADLEIR and WILLIAM KEOGH - 19th Century Irish Turncoats .......'].
(Tomorrow : 'MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER').


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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.......

......." 10,000 armed British troops and Auxiliaries out 'hunting' for the IRA in our area ; they were using young and old men as 'target practice' , and then arguing between themselves as to who was the better shot ......."

" It was said at the time that the enemy forces , ten-thousand in number , had converged on the Claodach Valley to encircle and destroy an IRA Army of one thousand men ; now there was no such thing , even scattered over the whole of Munster . The odds against a thousand men would have been ten to one , had such an IRA Army existed . The British force , moving from every point of the compass on Claodach , interviewed every person they met , and had the same story for everyone - 'One thousand IRA men ' were waiting for them in Claodach .

Had the Brits been really certain of this they would not have advanced with such confidence ; fifty men was about the number they expected to take in - that would provide them with ample 'sport' for the day . But twenty times fifty ? What a pity such a force could not have been waiting for them ! But , could it have been mustered , it would not have been waiting in Claodach for them to call ; it would have been down on them before then to meet the Brits on the Ballyvourney Road . As I watched them march past on that evening I looked in vain for some flanking protection for the massed battalions , but there was none . They just marched stolidly through Coolnacahera and Poul na Bro .

Had they dreamt that a thousand IRA men were assembled within six miles of them , their disposition would have been entirely different . On Sunday afternoon , a local IRA Volunteer, Murt Twomey , left the village in good time before the influx of foreign troops to Ballyvourney ; while walking uphill to the north , he decided that to keep on in that direction , or perhaps to the west or south , would end only in his capture a long way from home . He decided to return and , since there was little chance of his being identified as an IRA Volunteer , to pass off as a peaceful citizen ......."




(First published in 'DUBLIN DIARY' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 3 , May 1989 , page 11.)

Re-produced here in 5 parts .

(1 of 5).

Four men presently sit in Portlaoise Prison awaiting extradition to the north ; one of them - Belfastman Paul Kane - could be handed , or dragged , across the border any time from the first week in April .

Regardless of any arguments for or against extradition in general , Paul Kane's case seems unanswerable ; when , for instance , leading anti-extradition campaigner and long-time Fianna Fail member Nora Comiskey publicly challenged Progressive Democrat spokesperson Anne Colley , through the pages of the Irish Times newspaper to justify extradition , Colley (who had previously argued in favour of it) , was unable to reply .

Kane's argument against extradition hinges on the fact that he is wanted for escaping from a jail where he was wrongfully imprisoned in the first place .......