JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......
.......towards the end of 1975 , the Brits announced (through their spokesperson Merlyn Rees) that as of from March 1976 , political status for political prisoners was being withdrawn . Republican POW's referred the Brits back to the aftermath of the 1916 Rising when Thomas Ashe went on hunger-strike over the same issue and died after being force-fed .......
Michael Collins organised the funeral of Thomas Ashe and transformed it into a national demonstration against British mis-rule in Ireland ; armed Irish Republican Brotherhood Volunteers in full uniform flanked the coffin , followed by 9,000 IRB Volunteers and approximately 30,000 people , who lined the streets . A volley was fired over Ashe's grave , following which Michael Collins stated -
- " That volley which we have just heard is the only speech which it is proper to make over the grave of a dead Fenian . " The London -based 'Daily Express' newspaper perhaps summed it up best when it stated , re the funeral of Thomas Ashe , that what had happened had made " 100,000 Sinn Feiners out of 100,000 constitutional nationalists . " Another Irish hunger-striker of that period , Terence MacSwiney (who was imprisoned for possessing 'anti-British' documents) summed it up for the Irish people in a famous short , sharp statement he issued to the Brits .......
WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :
war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.
By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.
THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .
" The Castle of Macroom stands on the banks of the Sullane , a few miles beyond the eastern boundry of our area . Yet it is relevant to speak of it , since it played a part , and not a helpful one , in the lives of our people . Again , Macroom was our nearest or home town . The Castle was first built by the O'Flynns in the twelfth century ; later it came into the possession of the MacCarthys - in 1602 it was besieged and damaged by 'Sir' Charles Wilmot .
This must have been its last stand as an Irish Castle - it was burned down in 1641 . Donogh MacCarthy restored it and the Papal Nuncio , Rinuccini , stayed in it for a short time in October 1645 , while on his way from Kenmare to Kilkenny . Cromwell , in 1656 , 'gave' it to Admiral 'Sir' William Penn . MacCarthy got it back on the Restoration , but finally lost it in 1691 .
The 'Hollow Sword Blade Company' of London bought it by auction and sold it , at a profit, of course, to Judge Bernard , ancestor of the Earls of Bandon....... "
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 .
7 of 12 .
By 31 January 1975 , the British had suggested that the key to progress lay in keeping "off principle" and getting on with practical arrangements . Towards this end , they handed over two formal documents ; one was a comprehensive system of liaison involving two alternative schemes , the other was a questionnaire regarding the running of proposed Incident Centres .
In the process of reporting back to London , the initial impression was that there was welcome for the constructive discussions that had taken place . But work on the two schemes , the proposals for Incident Centres to monitor a Truce , and other matters , continued into February 1975 - on the third of that month , the British added four points to the 12-point document which the Republicans had prepared , and which formed the ultimate basis of the bilateral ceasefire .
Three of these new points concerned the types of paramilitary activity in which the IRA could not engage during a cessation of hostilities : the fourth new point promised that "the rate of release will be speeded up with a view to releasing all detainees" as soon as violence had come to a complete end .......