JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......
.......the escape plan was , on paper at least , well-organised , and it was decided to run with it . At an agreed time , the five Irish Republican prisoners were to force their way into the courtyard of Green Street Courthouse and run towards the gates - where the explosives were .......
Seconds before the men were to have started their run , the gates were to have been blown off their hinges by an explosives charge . The confusion caused by the explosion would , it was expected, allow the five men to make it to the cars which would be waiting for them , and then driven to pre-arranged safe-houses . The explosion at the gates of Green Street Courthouse was to be timed for 1.30 PM , lunch-break , because it was known that security would be slacker than usual .
On Wednesday , July 14th , 1976 , about one dozen IRA men held a last meeting to finalise the next days action ; the Dublin Brigade QM and Engineering Officer , the Brigade Adjutant and the Intelligence Officer were present , and each man re-checked their role in the job . Satisfied that they could do no more , the men went their separate ways .
Early on Thursday morning , July 15th , 1976 , the plan came together ; the IRA Unit met-up , as arranged, and took up their positions . And waited .......
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 .......
".......one of our old Irish Rebels , Sean Rua an Ghaorthaig , lived for years in a brushwood forest and used guerrilla tactics on the enemy ; he beat a local British Sergeant in a shooting contest , disguised , but let it be known afterwards that it was he that won ......."
" The Sergeant wanted revenge , and a determined effort to eliminate Sean Rua was decided on - starting at the dawn of a mid-summer day all the 'Gentry' and the British militia surrounded the Gaortha and , gradually and thoroughly , they beat the cover as they contracted their circle . Towards evening they had some indications of success when shots were fired , and some parties alleged that they had actually seen Sean Rua and thought that they had wounded him . But when the twilight deepened over that place of gloom , all had to consider the day's work over and retire to terra firma without delay .
The 'Lord' of the Manor had invited a number of the 'gentry' to dine with him that evening . Mounting their horses , they reached the castle after sunset ; the day had been a strenuous one , wading and struggling through water , mud and undergrowth . Riding equipment was discarded , and the company sat down to dine . The night was warm , windows stood open here and there in the dining room , and 'Mine Host' sat opposite one wide-open window , but well back from it in the deep room . A tall candle stood beside him , and other lighted candles stood beside the guests .
A musket ball passing through the open window knocked the 'Lord' of the Manor's candle to bits ......."
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 .
11 of 12 .
The then British Secretary for 'Northern Ireland' (sic) , Merlyn Rees , stated that they (the Brits) would continue "to explain British Government policy" to Sinn Fein , and "to outline and discuss the arrangements that might be made to ensure that any ceasefire did not break down ." He also outlined details of the 'Incident Centres' which had been set up "to ensure that any ceasefire did not break down ." The Provisional IRA , on Sunday 9th February , 1975 , issued its statement as follows -
- " In the light of discussions which have taken place between representatives of the Republican Movement and British Officials , on effective arrangements to ensure that there is no break-down of a new truce , the Army Council of Oglaigh na hEireann has renewed the order suspending offensive military action . Hostilities against Crown Forces will be suspended from 6.00 pm , February 10th , 1975 ."
For the second time within three years , the British Government had negotiated a cease-fire with the Provisional IRA .......