Tuesday, June 29, 2004


.......one of the Irish Rebels on the French Delegation in 1848 with Martin McDermott , Thomas Francis Meagher , dedicated twenty-four of his forty-four years on this earth to challenging British mis-rule in Ireland .......

The 'Young Ireland' Movement staged a Rising against the British in 1848 , but this was soon put down by the Brits ; Martin McDermott fled to Egypt and eventually secured a job there as the Official Architect to the Egyptian Government ; he was still in that job when , in 1882 , at 59 years of age , the British bombarded the City of Alexandria (on July 11th , 1882) - a munitions store at Marsa-el-Kanet exploded , levelling everything around it and other landmark buildings , such as the Meks Fort and Fort Napoleon , were also destroyed .

The British 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper reported at the time that ".....the Grand Square and all streets leading from it were burning . The whole European quarter of Alexandria is doomed to destruction . "

As Chief Architect , it was Martin McDermott who designed the buildings which replaced those that were destroyed by the Brits . He retired from his job when he was sixty years of age (in 1883) and moved to London , England , where he became involved in the thriving literary scene .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

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

".......during their 'round-up' operation , the Brits did indeed capture a few IRA men , but were not sure themselves that this was the case . A group of British Army Officers told the prisoners that they would be sleeping on the floor that night , in captivity ; one of the captured (IRA) men , Patsy Cronin , slouched and shuffled around the room , with the Brits watching him in disbelief - he was stooping down to press on the floorboards every few feet ......."

" What the devil are you after ? " one of the Brits shouted at Patsy . With a vacuous stare , Patsy replied - " I am looking for a soft board to lie on , sir . " Aghast at this revelation , it was now the Brit Officer's turn to stare ....then , a smile of triumph flooded his features and , turning , he quickly walked back to his colleagues , laughing . " Did ye hear that ? " he said , " Now who was right ? We have picked-up all the imbeciles of the county ! " For that night , the prisoners had to be content with the 'bed' that Patsy thought too hard ; on the following day , they were , with one exception , all released .

They were far from being "imbeciles " - the man detained by the Brits was a giant IRA Volunteer , John J. Quill , from Bardincha , Coolea . He was taken by the (British) Essex Regiment to Toames , on Wednesday evening , en route for Kinsale . When captured , John became the target of jibes from the British Tommies , because of his height and build . They referred to him as "Enormous Paddy" , and wondered if he were as strong as he looked . At length ,exasperated , John turned on them - " I'd take any four of ye in the arse of me breeches for the whole day and never feel ye were there at all , " he told them . They became quite respectful after that retort , and did not further annoy him !

The Essex Regiment , or 'Percival's Crowd' , as they were called , were the last to leave Ballyvourney on Wednesday afternoon . I had been watching their exodus , since the day before , from Rahoona Hill , Candroma Rock and other vantage points overlooking the Ballyvourney Road . All had , so far , returned by the way they had come , along that highway . I actually saw 'Percival's Crowd' turn off the main road at Poul na Bro and come along by the foot of Rahoona ; with plenty of time to spare , I reached Candroma Rock ahead of them . My intention was to catch them with enfilading fire from the Lewis-Gun as they ascended the long steep Hill of Caherdaha ....... "



" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .

(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
4 of 12 .

The initial 'off-the-cuff' British reaction to these demands was as follows -

1. Difficult ;
2. No trouble in principle ;
3. Do ;
4. Difficult where political charges were concerned ;
5. Timing and extent an issue ;
6. 'A rock' ;
7. OK ;
8. Difficult ;
9. Would have to involve the Republican Movement and the Northern Ireland (sic) Office ;
10. OK ;
11. Yes ;
12 . Fact.

There were a few days of indecision , during which the IRA had resumed limited operations in both Britain and the North , leading to a threat from the British side that " if any further activity takes place in Britain or Belfast , the meetings will probably end . "

The Republican response was to note that there had been " a genuine and sustained cessation of violence for 25 days during the Christmas and New Year Truces and there had been no worthwhile response from the British Government ." A game of bluff.......