Wednesday, June 30, 2004


....... Martin McDermott was 'Chief Architect' to the Egyptian Government when , in 1882 , the Brits bombed the City of Alexandria (July 11th , 1882) ; he designed new buildings to replace those destroyed , then, at sixty years of age , he retired and moved to London , England .......

Whilst living in London , Martin McDermott became involved in the thriving literary scene ; he helped to establish the Southwark Library Club in the same year that he moved there (1883) and , at 68 years of age , he was a founding member of the Irish Library Society (in 1891). He published a number of books ('The Coulin' , 'The Exile') and , at 71 years of age , wrote 'The New Spirit of The Nation' , perhaps his best known work .

His old friend Charles Gavan Duffy assisted him , in 1896 , when he was 73 years of age , in publishing his 'Songs and Ballads of Young Ireland' . After a life which saw him born into a wealthy family , become a leading architect , hold political discussions with a revolutionary government and spend 35 years in Egypt , Martin McDermott died in Bristol , England , on April 25th , 1905 . He was 82 years of age .

Again , we found it difficult to obtain the above information on this man - like many of those we attempt to write about on this 'blog' , the name 'Martin McDermott' did not 'jump-out' at us from the history books , and we can only hope we have done him justice . The man made his mark in his day but , like many others , todays commercialised society sees no value in remembering him .

To us , Martin McDermott is another link to our past , part of an 835-year-old saga . And Counting .......

[END of ' MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER.......'].
(Tomorrow - '1976: IRA Jail Break.......').


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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

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

".......the 'Big Round-Up' was over ; the Brits were pulling-out of the area . The last to leave were 'The Essex Regiment' ('Percival's Crowd') and I knew the direction in which they were leaving - I had my Lewis-Gun , I was high up on Candroma Rock and I had the advantage of surprise ......."

"I would have given much for a shot at that murderous crowd . As they passed me by , I recognised John J. Quill , a prisoner among them ; I was in no doubt about what the result for him would be if I fired on them . Some hours later they wantonly fired at and killed Den Buckley at Toames . At the same time I must give the devil his due , and tell how one of 'Percival's Crowd' saved the life of my uncle before their rearguard had passed out of my sight ; my uncle had come to the Cross for some provisions , and left his horse and cart near the door of Den Buckley's shop and pub , which stood at the corner made by two roads .

Down the hill from Caherdaha came the Advance Party of British troops on bicycles ; some one ran to the pub door and gave the alarm and my uncle Dan ran out , jumped on his cart and went off at a fast trot . Reaching the corner , the Brits saw him go and dismounted , unslung their rifles and shouted at him to stop . He kept going . " Open fire on him ," a British Officer ordered : " No , do not," said another , " he does not hear us with the noise of the cart . I'll follow him ." Mounting his bicycle , the Brit chased after and overtook the cart . My uncle pulled up , feigning surprise as well as he could . " Did you not hear us calling you ?" the soldier asked . " No " , my uncle said , " I heard nothing until you spoke . "

A few simple questions about his business at the village and where he was going to were put to him , and he was allowed to go . Meanwhile , the rest of the British Advance Party entered the pub ; the day was warm and a dozen customers were on the premises ; nearly all were past military age and none could be accused of having a military appearance . But that did'nt matter to 'Percival's Crowd'......."



" 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 .
5 of 12 .

The game of bluff ended on 22 January 1975 , when the British returned to the bargaining table , handing over a copy of the Rees Statement in the Commons , and emphasising two points in particular which stressed a positive role for Sinn Fein as the political wing of the Republican Movement , if a Truce came into operation on a permanent basis , and steps were needed to ensure it did not break down .

They also stressed that they would have to break off the talks if two acts like those which had happened in Belfast the previous day , were repeated . On this and on several other occasions , while the British stressed the need for an over-all ceasefire , the impression was given that IRA attacks on Britain were particularly resented . They had a political effect on Westminster far outweighing much greater horrors in 'Northern Ireland' (sic) though this did not mean , of course , that London was in any way over-looking the suffering which violence had caused there .......