Thursday, June 03, 2004

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

....... At 19 years young (in January 1848) , Joseph Brenan met John Mitchel , one of the leaders of the 'Young Ireland' Movement , in Cork .......

The two men apparently knew of each other , and Joseph Brenan began writing articles for the 'Young Irelanders' newspaper , 'The United Irishman' . It was in this newspaper that John Mitchel first suggested that England should be attacked by Irish Rebels while that country was preoccupied with war elsewhere (an example which Sean Russell was to refer to 91 years later , in 1939 , during the IRA Bombing Campaign in England . However , for what its worth , we should also mention the fact that the Irish Rebel leader John Mitchel fought in the American Civil War on the side of the South and slavery ... !).

However , I digress (again !) ; Joseph Brenan was told by John Mitchel that plans were at an advanced stage in Dublin regarding a Rising against the British , and Joseph Brenan wanted to play his part - so he moved from Cork , to Dublin , and was living in the capital when 'The United Irishman' newspaper was suppressed by the British , in May 1848 . Due to his constant "call-to-arms" in his various writings , Joseph Brenan was being monitored by the British 'Authorities in Dublin Castle .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......We were calm and pleasant to the Black and Tan who had stopped and 'searched' us , with his comrades looking on . He was happy with our claim to be on his side , just from a different Barracks . We had been only seconds away from a shoot-out , had the Tan behaved differently ......."

" Well over 40 years have passed since that incident and it is still fresh in my memory - indeed , while I have Jim Grey to revive it , there is no fear that I shall forget it . For when we meet and there is a quorum , Jim does not fail to turn the laugh against me - " Wisha , Mick , " he says , " do you remember the day you picked up the cap for the Black-and-Tan in the Grand Parade ? "

We left the Grand Parade after our encounter with the Tan and soon stood at the counter of Wallaces Shop in St. Augustine Street . Scarcely had we done so , when Sheila and Nora came in with the news that the whole block of buildings around us was cordoned off and a search was proceeding ; we looked out - both ends of the narrow street were held by British troops . We slipped unnoticed across to St. Augustine's Church , and went through the church to the Washington Street door . Here , too , it was cordoned off at the Parade and Main Street . We would have to wait and see what happened .

We knelt down and prayed while we waited . When we looked out , they had gone , so we returned to Wallaces Shop and got any news that was going from Sheila and Nora . Then I insisted on Jim going into a barber's shop at the corner for a shave . He did so and we started for Johnson and Perrots Garage to get the tyres for the Buick . Jim was to go first , with me following twenty yards behind . We had just started out when I noticed a man in civilian clothes fall in behind Jim and follow him at a distance of ten yards or so ; I fell in behind the tout at about the same distance . Jim turned many a corner and crossed many roads before we reached the open space in front of the garage .

Then he crossed the open space and entered the garage through the big door ; the 'shadow' followed to the big door but stopped at the doorway on the right hand side - hidden from view from inside , he craned his neck around the sliding door to watch Jim cross diagonally a space of floor to the office . I had been an interested spectator from across the street . Satisfied , now , that he had located Jim in the office of the garage , the tout took a pace backwards and had started to execute a left turn when my left hand fell on his neck ....... "



'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].

(5 of 10).

Perhaps the most common objection to British withdrawal is the fear that the Protestant community would take to arms to preserve an independent 'state' , thus precipitating a bloodbath in which large numbers of Catholics and Protestants would be killed . This danger is taken so much for granted , even among people who would otherwise advocate re-unifying Ireland , that it is rarely subjected to any scrutiny . But how well-founded is it in reality ?

If Britain simply pulled-out , this sort of scenario is quite possible ; but a planned and responsible withdrawal , founded upon a firm and unequivocal decision to leave and buttressed by the economic strategy we have outlined , would have entirely different results . The decision would have to be clearly irreversible and the timetable for withdrawal would have to be fairly short to minimise the time available for resistance to be mobilised .

The certain knowledge of British withdrawal would produce confusion and disunity within the Protestant community , which already knows that to destroy a rebellion would require no military campaign by Britain , but merely a few weeks' economic sanctions ...