JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .
Near the end of the year 1975 , the then British Secretary of State for 'Northern Ireland' (sic), Merlyn Rees , announced that as of from March 1976 , those found guilty of " terrorist offences " (sic) would be treated as " criminals"; Irish Republicans at that time highlighted the issue in question (ie political status) by referring back to the aftermath of the 1916 Rising , when Republican prisoners in Dublin's Mountjoy Jail demanded to be treated as Prisoners Of War , not as " commom criminals ".
The Brits refused , and a hunger-strike was called - Irish Republican Brotherhood leader Thomas Ashe went on hunger-strike and died after being force-fed by the British . Michael Collins took control of the burial .......
WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :
war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.
By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.
1921 - The Big Round-Up.......
"....... Den Buckley , from Toames , later shot dead by the Brits , was in his pub with about one dozen customers when 'Percival's Crowd' ('The Essex Regiment') entered , and all were ordered outside ......."
"The customers were lined-up along the wall at right-angles to the road and had to remain there until the first of the main body of British troops arrived . Percival was on horseback and his attention was called to the prisoners ; he did not leave his position to have a frontal view of them , but called a sergeant - " Have a look at those " , he instructed . The sergeant marched smartly to the end of the line remote from him and started his scrutiny as he walked slowly back to the other end . Eyes front again , he marched up to Percival and , saluting , he reported - " There's not a Shinner amongst them , Sir ! "
Later on in the evening I came home to find my mother and Mrs. Buckley , the wife of the owner of the pub , at our gate ; both were laughing heartily . Mrs. Buckley had seen and heard the scene from an upstairs window . " Not a Shinner amongst them , said he , and sure the man was right ," said Mrs. Buckley to us , " what were they , too, but a lot of little dravelisheens . "
I must explain that it was not at any lack of physical fitness that the people laughed , but that the group so contemptously rejected by the sergeant had long before been rejected by "the Shinners" as hostile but harmless !
[END of ' The Big Round-Up.......'].
(Tomorrow - ' THE CASTLE OF MACROOM ...').
TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......
" 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 .
6 of 12 .
Discussions continued from 23 January 1975 , with substantial progress being made on what was seen as the less difficult points in the Republican demands . Freedom of movement for all Republicans during the period of the Truce was a particular sticking-point , in spite of a precedent set during the course of the negotiations with Mr. Whitelaw and the Tories in 1972 .
Towards the end of the month , the Gardiner Report and its implications were discussed . The Republican negotiators emphasised , once again , the " terrible consequences " that would follow any attempt to deny political status ; they also re-iterated their original aim in entering the dialogue ie - " If Her Majesty's Government wished to disengage from Ireland the Republican Movement would help them , but if their aim was to reconstruct British Rule in Ireland in some type of more acceptable form , then Republicans would contest the ground with them ......."
('1169.....' comment - in our opinion , the 1998 Stormont Treaty ('GFA') was an agreement between the Brits , the Free Staters and the Provos "to reconstruct British Rule in Ireland" : Irish Republicans will not accept any agreement which seeks to do that.)