Thursday, June 24, 2004


....... Ireland , 1823 - the potato blight which struck in 1817 had left its mark ; but the population was on the increase , those that 'rented' land from the British 'Landlords' had been evicted to make way for cattle , the Irish 'secret societies' were fighting back as best they could . Turbulent times .......

The British Government in Westminster was worried enough to at least ask - " Looking ahead to fifteen years or more , what must this increase in population without employment end in ? I do not know ; I think it is terrible to reflect upon . " The Irish people would be doing well to live long enough to see the following day , never mind fifteen years down the road ...

A baby was born to a wealthy Dublin business couple in April that year (1823) and , after his schooling , that youth , Martin McDermott , studied as an architect - he began an apprenticeship in that trade with Patrick Byrne , an old Irish Rebel , who had been active with the United Irishmen in 1798 . When he became qualified at his trade , Martin McDermott moved to England to earn his living , and settled in Birkenhead .

However , the skill of architecture was not all that young McDermott learned from his mentor , Patrick Byrne .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

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

"....... Murt Twomey was on his way to visit Sean Jer when the Brits grabbed him and put him to work erecting their field tents ; he was hammering tent-pegs into the ground when the head of the mallet he was using flew off and smacked a Brit Sergeant on the head - the man grabbed his rifle ......."

" Murt thought his end had come ; but the British Sergeant cooled off and he and others contented themselves with telling Murt and his fellow-'workers' of the fun they would have in the evening when the IRA Column was brought in . Murt listened patiently , but said nothing . Presently , when that party had finished with their tents , they allowed their 'workers' to go . As he left the field , Murt saw a clip of ammunition on the ground , which he surreptitiously transferred to his pocket , and went towards home .

A few hundred yards ahead of him at the village cross he saw a British sentry ; dropping the ammunition clip into a convenient hole in the stone fence , he carried on . At the cross he was halted by the sentry and all his pockets were carefully searched . Soon , however , they got to know him and did not further trouble him - indeed , some of the British Tommies were anxious to open trade relations with him . One of them offered a fine pair of British Officer's leggings for three shillings ; Murt said he had no money about him , but credit was forthcoming and the gaiters were handed over . An appointment was made for the transfer of the hard cash .

However , each kept the appointment at a different rendezvous ; soon after , the Brit Tommy shocked and astonished some of the villagers as he went about inquiring for ".... that ****** Murt who had kept my three shillings . " Later on , Murt found him and the matter was amicably settled . Later on Sunday evening , I located the main camp of the enemy - it was situated very favourably relative to the Curragh Hill , I thought , as I went home in the twilight . I knew the ground well ; it would be easy , in the semi-darkness of the June night , to come down the western slope of Rahoona , slip across the Dubh-Glaise River and the road at Cathair Cearnach and , moving cautiously upwards over the eastern scrubby shoulder of the Curragh , approach to within four hundred yards of the huge growth of bell tents .

I might not succeed in doing much material damage , I reflected , but at least I would stir up the big hornet's nest ....... "



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

Re-produced here in 5 parts .

(4 of 5).

The 'Black convictions' and Christopher Black's word had been completely discredited ; the original convictions were overturned and all those imprisoned were set free . In other words , Paul Kane and his co-defendants had been wrongfully convicted and should never have spent a single minute in prison !

For Paul Kane , the nightmare is far from over ; having spent two years in prison awaiting trial , and a further three years inside after the escape , he is now sitting in Portlaoise Prison facing extradition purely for escaping from a jail he should never have been put in , in the first place . He has now spent the bulk of the last eight years in prison - all for nothing .

For himself , his wife , and three young daughters (one of whom was born while Paul Kane was living a fugitive existence in the South) the past eight years have been a living hell . The power to put an end to this nightmare and see justice done for this Irish family lies with the Fianna Fail Government ...