Wednesday, June 02, 2004

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

.......When Joseph Brenan was 14 years young (1842) , a man named Hughes was hung in Armagh by the British Administration ; the then Editor of 'The Belfast Vindicator' newspaper , Charles Gavan Duffy , described Hughes' execution as "legal assassination" and was prosecuted by the British Attorney-General for doing so . That was in the summer of 1842 .......

One day that summer , Charles Gavan Duffy (who , incidentally , went on to become Premier of Australia !) , Thomas Davis and John Dillon were walking through Dublin's Phoenix Park , discussing the Hughes case and the feeble newspaper reportage of same , when all three decided to do something about it ; ' The Nation ' newspaper was born . It published an issue every week for 58 years (1842 - 1900) , sold for sixpence a copy (which was a days wages at the time !) and , at its most popular , was shifting 10,000 copies a week ! Indeed , so popular was 'The Nation' newspaper (and , in those days , so expensive) that some of its readers 'hired' the 'paper from newsvendors at one-penny an hour !

....... digressive tangents - I'm full of them !

Joseph Brenan was 19 years young (in January 1848) when he first met John Mitchel , one of the leaders of the 'Young Ireland' Movement , while both were in the city of Cork on separate business .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


"....... Jim Grey and myself were in Cork City , and in a tight spot ; Black and Tans in front and a British Army patrol in a car following us . We walked past the Tans and kept going . Then a shout - "HALT !" We walked on ......."

" The demand to 'halt' was repeated , and we heard footsteps running behind us . We stopped and looked back ; a Black and Tan was running towards us , so we walked slowly back to meet him . Jim was the nearer to him and I lagged behind . Now he stood in front of Jim with his hands out-stretched and raised slightly , in the attitude of one preparing to search : " What is your name ?" he asked Jim , who replied " Grey . " "Grey ! From where ?" " Cork Barracks ," came the answer .

Jim took a chance ; his name was 'mud' at Cork Barracks for some time , but the Black and Tans at Tuckey Street did not know that . The answer seemed to impress the Tan . Now there was another diversion - a sudden gust of wind blew off his peaked cap , and it rolled along the ground towards me . Stooping , I caught it , straightened myself up and , walking towards him with a pleasant smile , gave it to him . He was delighted ! It was not often that a Black and Tan received such courtesy . "Thank you very much indeed ," he said to me , with a smile , "I suppose you have not a gun on you ? ," he added , as raising his hands high he brought them down in a slow sweeping motion , the motion of searching or feeling for a hidden weapon .

This movement of the hands was merely a show for his comrades at the corner - he never touched my body , neither did he touch Jim . I must say he was a decent-looking man for a Black and Tan : his face showed no signs of the brutality that stamped most of them as a type . I would have been sorry for him had he rubbed us the wrong way , for we had guns on us . Our lives were forfeit anyway this long time and while , with our hands in the dog's mouth , we were willing to try out diplomacy to its fullest extent , no enemy , however strong numerically , was going to deprive us of loaded guns , and then torture and kill us at their leisure ......."



'Britain has the economic clout to impose peace in Northern Ireland (sic), argue BOB ROWTHORN and NAOMI WAYNE . Why does'nt it use it ? '

(First published in 'New Statesman and Society' Magazine , 9th September , 1988 , pages 12 and 13).

Re-produced here in 10 parts .

[Apologises beforehand for the use of the descriptions "Northern Ireland" and "Province" , and the constant use of the terms "Catholics" and "Protestants" in the following ten-part article ; they are not our descriptions or terms , but the Authors].

(4 of 10).

The economy of the North is in severe crisis . In the 1950's and 1960's , the 'province' was transformed as local industry was run down and multinationals moved in to dominate its economy . But in the last 20 years this process has gone into reverse , with multinationals reducing their activities or pulling out altogether .

Only huge subsidies from the British Government keep the 'province' afloat : in 1985 , some £1,700 million Sterling in all , now (ie 1988) something approaching £2,700 million Sterling . Despite its numerous problems and high unemployment - around 18 per cent - the 'Republic' (ie-the Free State) has a much stronger economy than 'Northern Ireland' and its long-term prospects are much better (though they are by no means rosy) . Protestants fear that re-unification would bring impoverishment ; but if they co-operated in that re-unification , then peace would come rapidly , and with it the benefits of economic recovery .

If they were to fight a rearguard action , the benefits of peace would take longer to materialise . Even so , it could take some 15 to 20 years for the economy of the North to be strong enough to stand on its own feet . Continuing aid would therefore involve a significant commitment from Britain , even counting the savings from military withdrawal . In the longer run , the cost would be of course much less than that of continued involvement and would eventually come to an end ...