Sunday, June 06, 2004

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

....... Ireland , 1849 ; Joseph Brenan was writing for 'The Irishman' newspaper when he heard that James Fintan Lalor , one of 'The Young Ireland' Movement leaders , was planning an attack on the British.......

A date for the J F Lalor-inspired Rising had been set - 16th September (1849) , and a venue had been chosen ; Cappoquin , in Waterford . Joseph Brenan left 'The Irishman' newspaper and set-out to meet up with James Fintan Lalor .

James Fintan Lalor took the position that the issue of land was at the core of the British/Irish conflict , and that it was necessary to organise the "peasantry" [as Westminster called them] into a fighting force , militarily and politically , to challenge British mis-rule in Ireland - as he himself said :

: " The entire ownership of Ireland is vested of right in the people of Ireland : that they , and none but they , are the land owners and law makers of this island . That all ties to land are invalid if not conferred or confirmed by them , and that this full right of ownership may and ought to be asserted and enforced by any and all means which God has put into the power of men . "

The armed action started in September 1849 .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


"....... The Brits in Ballinhassig Barracks heard our car pass them by , but they did'nt come out to us ; instead , they notified all their posts in the district to be on alert for us ......."

" From Coachford we went north to Peake , then north-west to Ballinagree . Here we rested during the day as we got word that the British Auxiliaries were out across our road home . When night fell we returned by our old route to Carraig an Ime and reached our camp at Cumuiclumhain before midnight .

Approaching , with full lights on , a narrow part of the road shaded by trees , a horse-cart was suddenly run in front of us , bringing us to a stop . Around us we could see muzzles of rifles and shotguns , but nothing else ...

... " All right lads , " shouted Jim Grey into the darkness . It was the IRA guard for the night . They welcomed us home . "

[END of ' A DRIVE TO CORK CITY .......'].
(Tomorrow - 'Knocksaharing ...').


'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].

(8 of 10).

Would the British armed forces in the North stay loyal and hold their discipline ? This would be far more likely if the British and Irish governments guaranteed the future employment and pension rights of those who obeyed orders . Apart from the UDR and RUC , the Protestants own most of the 100,000 or so guns - mostly shotguns- which are 'legally' held in the 'province' . There are also an unknown quantity of revolvers , rifles and machine-guns held 'illegally' by Protestants in self-defence and , of course , by the paramilitaries . There is no way Britain can do anything about these weapons .

But regardless of how well-armed the Protestants are , would they actually fight ? Most Protestants are opposed to British withdrawal , and they know that the threat of massive bloodshed is a formidable deterrent . But to threaten is one thing , to deliver is another . More relevant here than their armed strength are two quite different factors : war-weariness and economic self-interest . The majority of Protestants are heartily sick of the violence . If they were genuinely convinced that Britain was going and would crush resistance by strong economic sanctions , and were at the same time fully reassured about their future , most Protestants would accept re-unification as a fait accompli .

Some Protestants would emigrate , and the few who wanted to take up arms would be likely to find only minimal support .......