Tuesday, August 31, 2004

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

.......the three men 'arrested' by the British had been shot dead - either in the guardroom of Portobello Barracks on the Wednesday night (April 26th 1916) or by firing squad on the Thursday (April 27th) - either way , the deed was done .......

The fact that the British had shot dead two journalists and an author was not lost on the Irish media ; ' toe the line , or else ...'. The executions were noted , too , by the Irish Volunteers , who knew from past experience the value of a newspaper in the propaganda war . One of the then leaders of the Irish Volunteers (Oglaigh na hEireann) , Michael Collins , helped to found an Irish Republican newspaper in August 1918 - 'An tOglach' ('The Volunteer') .

The 'An tOglach' newspaper published an issue every two weeks , comprising four pages , and sold for twopence an issue ; its masthead declared it to be ' The Official Organ of The Irish Volunteers'. Piaras Beaslai , its Editor , was a 37 years young Liverpool-born Volunteer , who had fought the British in 1916 , and was to become the Director of Publicity for the IRA .

The newspaper was printed by the 'Gaelic Press' , in Dublin , which had a record of pro-Republican activity . It did not bother the Irish Volunteers nor the management /owners of the 'Gaelic Press' that , immediately upon publication of its first issue , the Brits declared 'An tOglach' to be "...an illegal publication .".......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......Dannie Casey had managed to hide the box of ammunition and gelignite from the British Auxiliaries who were questioning him and slapping him around a bit - they had earlier shot at Dannie's brother , Jeremiah , when he was hiding from them with two of his friends ......."

" Jeremiah Casey had been borne down-hill to his home by his two companions , who had escaped the leaden blast ; he had been struck by three bullets and was mortally wounded . An escort of British Auxiliaries had accompanied the wounded youth and his bearers . By this time Dannie had been driven to desperation by repeated questionings punctuated by blows - he had made up his mind to snatch at a rifle and die fighting , but was always forestalled by the Auxie with the revolver .

It was that particular Auxie's job to kill the prisoner by shooting him through the back should he show resistance to the tormentors in front of him . Eventually , they marched him down to the yard of his house where they kept him under a strong guard . Knowing that his young brother was lying inside fatally injured , Dannie asked to be permitted to see him ; he was brutally refused and the Auxie who replied to his request thrust savagely at him with his rifle-butt . The blow struck him on the chest , throwing him backwards off some steps .

It is hard to have to record that a member of the human race should have been guilty of such conduct under such circumstances ; it would be hard to describe Dannie Casey's feelings while he waited for the order to march off as a prisoner while his brother lay dying within a few yards of him . Then a British Auxie Officer came on the scene ; this caused a diversion ......."




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

For years the British military were secure in their Belfast City Centre fortress while civilians formed a circle around them and searched and prevented , arrested and harassed anyone coming next or near them . Civilian protection of the military is , one soon learned , one of the tricks of the game ...

Eventually , however , the bombers managed to penetrate the outer defences and when this happened often enough to show that the game was up , the Brits went off from the Grand Central and found a new base somewhere else .

In one case they found a base by the simple expedient of chasing workers and managers out of four factories in the poorest neighbourhood of the city and holeing up there ; needless to say there was a secondary school within a few hundred yards of the new 'base' .......