Friday, August 27, 2004

'TAN WAR' REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER - 'An tOglach' , 1918-1921.......

.......Dublin , April 1916 - the Rising was on ; British re-inforcements were on the way , 'martial law' had been imposed by Westminster and the centre of Dublin was in chaos . Francis Sheehy Skeffington , a writer and pacifist , was in the city centre trying to deter the looters who were out in force .......

On his way home (to Rathmines) that Wednesday evening , Francis Sheehy Skeffington was 'arrested' by British troops from Portobello Barracks , as were two other civilians - Dublin journalist's Patrick McIntyre , then Editor of the 'Labour' newspaper , 'Searchlight' , and Thomas Dickson , then 'Editor' of a pro-Republican weekly newspaper , 'The Eye-Opener' .

On Thursday morning , April 27th , 1916 , the three men were shot dead in the barrack square by a British Army firing squad , without any 'formal' charges having been brought against any of them . Later , the British Army Captain in charge of the firing squad , a Bowen Colthurst , was 'tried' by court-martial regarding the order he issued to the firing squad ; he was found "guilty but insane...."

But a different account re the shooting of the three men was beginning to emerge .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


"....... IRA Volunteer Dannie Casey was in his house at Doire Finin , Renanirree , with his younger brother , Jeremiah , when British Auxiliaries began a raid on the village . There was a box of ammunition and gelignite in the Casey house - Dannie grabbed it , making for the door , and Jeremiah insisted that he go , too ......."

" Dannie told his younger brother that it would be foolish to risk running away without necessity , but Jeremiah replied that he had already met with the Brit Auxies and that they had beaten him with rifle butts and otherwise ill-treated him , which was perfectly true - he was shouting that he was not going to give them the chance to do so again , if he could avoid it . Seeing that he could not dissuade him , Dannie told him to go on ahead so that , if captured , it would not be in the company of a man carrying ammunition .

Jeremiah left , and Dannie with the box soon followed ; his direction was roughly north . A quarter of a mile uphill over rough ground brought him to a point where he had a view of the ground which fell away in front of him to the east and north . Here he put down the box to reconnoitre and to rest a little . Hardly had he laid the box on the ground when his brother and two other youths came down a short slope from the west . He spoke to them , pointing out the danger of thus exposing themselves on high ground , and advised them to avoid himself until he could dispose of the box . The three young lads decided to drop into the low ground to the north .

Scarcely had they gone twenty yards from him when a group of British Auxiliaries rose from the ground to the north-east and fired a volley at them ; the three immediately fell - Dannie concluded that all three had been hit . He grabbed the box ......."




First published in ' Dublin Diary ' magazine , Vol. 1 , No. 3 , May 1989 , page 21 .
Re-published here in six parts .
(1 of 6).

One of the striking things about British military bases in Belfast is how near so many of them are to schools . In the early seventies , some of them actually were in schools , the British military seizing part of the school premises and allowing the children to do the best they could with the rest .

Charitable observers might believe that this arrangement was made in order to protect the children from the 'terrorists' in a situation where , as the world has been told , the 'terrorists' are "evil" and the 'Territorials' (a Six-County British militia) are "good" , the Irish are "violent" and the British are , as in everything else , "best" . But not so ...

Placing military installations in schools meant that the soldiers were literally being protected by the children - it would be unlikely , so the theory went , that anyone would attack a military installation if there was a danger of hitting a school . Further , if an attack was mounted , then BBC , RTE etc and all right thinking people could point out in their first bulletins that the attack was launched within yards of an adjoining school , thus showing the disregard for children's lives that the 'terrorist's' have .......