Monday, August 30, 2004

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

.......Dublin , Thursday , April 27th , 1916 - three men 'arrested' by the British the previous day were shot dead by a British Army firing squad ; the British Army Captain who organised the executions , Bowen Colthurst , was 'tried' for the offence . He was found "guilty but insane ..." - but a different account of what had happened began to emerge .......

....... it was during the court-martial of Bowen Colthurst that a different version of the events surrounding the executions of Francis Sheehy Skeffington , Patrick mcIntyre and Thomas Dickson was spoke of - a British Army Officer in Portobello Barracks stated that he heard a number of shots on Wednesday (ie April 26th , 1916) and went to investigate ; he claimed to have seen three stretchers being carried out of the porch of the guardroom on which were three dead bodies -

- one of those bodies had a blanket thrown over it and a bowler hat placed across the face and , from either side of the stretcher , an arm hung down , dripping blood ; this (un-named) British Army Officer claimed that the body with the bowler hat on the face was that of Francis Sheehy Skeffington - the 'witness' stated , apparently in a jovial manner , that the firing party had done its work so badly that a second one had had to be summoned to finish Skeffington off ...

.... Were the three men shot dead in the guardroom on the Wednesday night by a vengeful British enemy and then , in order to cover-up the deed , were their corpses 'wheeled out' the following day for an 'official' British Army 'execution' .......?



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


"....... Dannie Casey , an IRA Volunteer , was in hiding from the British Auxiliaries - he had in his possession a box of ammunition and gelignite . He was heading uphill when he met his brother with two other young lads , and he told them to get away from him - as they were leaving , the Auxies shot at the three lads , who fell down . Dannie grabbed the box ....... "

"... he threw himself into a hollow , a shallow depression , and he ran crouching in its poor shelter ; luck came to him in the shape of a mossy patch of ground under his feet . Parting the long moss , he found a hole just the size of the box and quickly inserted it . He re-arranged the ground swiftly , but carefully , and it was well that he did so - for he had barely straightened up and walked a few paces forward when three Auxiliaries appeared immediately in front of him , and ordered him to raise his hands , which he did .

Approaching , they searched him but found nothing ; they questioned him , emphasising each question with a blow from a rifle butt . One of the British Auxies kept prodding his back with a revolver muzzle , several times asking him what his business was on the hillside . He replied that he was looking after his sheep . Tiring of the questioning , they started to search the hollow where the box was hidden - they diligently poked and kicked the moss that covered it but , fortunately for their prisoner , they did not find it . Disappointed , they resumed their interrogation . Dannie did not know it yet , but his brother , Jeremiah , was in trouble ......."




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

Whether the contempt for children's lives has been shown by placing the British military installations beside schools in the first place was not a 'live' question ; indeed , the situation was so weird that it would have been virtually impossible to attack a military installation without endangering a school , and if there were an old people's home nearby , then this was, from the British military point of view , a welcome bonus !

Soon after the crisis in 1969 the British military established headquarters in the centre of Belfast ; to those who believed the propaganda of the time , the British military were there in order to protect the city traders and shoppers . However , those with eyes in their heads knew better ...

The British military base (in Belfast) - previously a relatively large and rather posh hotel - was in one of the principal city centre streets . All around the area , the British erected security barriers which could only be properly passed at specific points . These points were manned - and 'wommaned' - by civilian search teams . In other words , in the circle of protection round the British Army base it was civilians who were protecting the British Army , not the other way round .......