JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......
....... Michael Collins was in charge of the funeral of Irish hunger-striker Thomas Ashe in 1917 ; another Irish hunger-striker of that period , Terence MacSwiney , summed-up the Irish feeling at that time (a feeling and determination which is still prominent to this day).......
" The contest on our side is not one of rivalry or vengeance but of endurance . It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can suffer the most who will conquer . Those whose faith is strong will endure to the end in triumph ."
In mid-January 1976 , the Free State Gardai (police) located what they claimed to be a "bomb factory" in the Donabate area of North Dublin ; five Irish Republicans were in Free State custody in connection with that 'find' - Jim Monaghan , Donal Murphy , Michael O'Rourke , John Hagan and Joe Reilly .
And the leadership of the then IRA wanted those men out .......
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 .......
".......built in the 12th Century , owned by the MacCarthys , besieged by Wilmot's forces in 1602 , burned down in 1641 , restored within a few years and 'gifted' by Cromwell in 1656 ....... "
" After Judge Bernard 'purchased' it from The Hollow Sword Blade Company , he 'sold' it to Robert Hedges Eyre , whose daughter married Simon White of Bantry , and their eldest son , Richard , was created 'Viscount Bantry' in 1800 , and Earl of Bantry in 1816 . The 'Third Earl' modernised the castle and it passed on to his sister , 'Lady' Ardilaun .
In 1920 , it was taken over by the Auxiliaries - these were its last British occupants and , in fairness to them , I must say that they were no worse than some of its former tenants . Generally speaking , after the Battle of Kinsale , the castle in Ireland became an instrument of slavery and repression . The seat of alien government was housed in Dublin Castle , and the other castles through the country were occupied by Planters , or by people Irish in name , perhaps, but no better than the Planters .
Hugh O'Neill , of Tyrone , brought up at an English 'court' , well knew the value of the influence of the castle : passing by Mourne Abbey on his way to the fatal field of Kinsale , he saw a castle on a hill - " Who lives there ?" he asked a local man . " Oh, Barret is his name ," answered the man , " he is here a long time , nearly two hundred years , and he is a Catholic . " " I hate the bodach as if he came only yesterday , " O'Neill replied !
'The Big House' had a powerful denationalising effect on the people - from time to time it pauperised , demoralised and tried to Anglicise them . The castle might be referred to as 'the Great Big House' : it co-ordinated the activities of all the 'Big Houses' around it , as well as demoralising its own vicinity ....... "
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 .
8 of 12 .
It emerged , on 7th February 1975 , at which the British produced a new version of their (by now) 16-point document , that the early removal of the 'Emergency Provisions Act' was foreshadowed : they also made three other central points , on which the fate of the Truce ultimately hung -
1. The highest possible consultation had taken place on their (H.M.G.'s) side , involving the Prime Minister , the Attorney General , the Director of Public Prosecutions and a named British Civil Servant who acted as 'link-man' between Whitehall and the negotiators .
2. All points had been considered , and they had gone the furthest possible distance .
3. They were now presenting an 'amended version' of their previous document , and they had also prepared a document containing possible forms of words for the public announcement on both sides .
The bulk of the Republican demands were then conceded , though in phrases that, in some cases, differed from the original Provisional 12-point document .......