Monday, August 02, 2004

Working within British 'law' with a vow NOT to use force against the British....... :



....... Ireland 1843 - 'famine' and emigration ; one million Irish people put on board emigrant ships - from 90 years of age to babe's in arms - no food or medicine , no light , no air , no room . Thrown overboard when death took them .......

It was around this time that a Mr. Nicholas Cummins , a Cork Magistrate , found himself in the village of Skibbereen , in Cork . The account of what he witnessed was published in 'The Times' newspaper -

- " I shall state simply what what I saw there : On reaching the spot I was surprised to find the wretched hamlet apparently deserted . I entered some of the hovels to ascertain the cause , and the scenes which presented themselves were such as no tongue or pen can convey the slightest idea of . In the first hovel , six famished and ghastly skeletons , to all appearances dead, were huddled in a corner on some filthy straw , their sole covering which seemed a ragged horsecloth, their wretched legs hanging about , naked above the knees .

I approached with horror , and found by a low moaning they were alive - they were in fever , four children , a woman and what had once been a man . It is impossible to go through the detail : suffice it to say that , in a few minutes, I was surrounded by at least 200 such phantoms , such frightful spectres as no words can describe , either from famine or from fever . Their demoniac yells are still ringing in my ears , and their horrible images are fixed upon my brain . My heart sickens at the recital , but I must go on ...

The same morning the police opened a house on the adjoining lands , which was observed shut for many days , and two dead corpses were found , lying upon the mud floor , half devoured by rats . A mother , herself in a fever , was seen the same day to drag the corpse of her child , a girl about twelve , perfectly naked, and leave it half covered with stones . In another house , within five hundred yards of the cavalry station at Skibbereen , the dispensary doctor found seven wretches lying unable to move , under the same cloak . One had been dead for many hours , but the others were unable to move either themselves or the corpse ......."

But even still , some tried to fight back .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......trying to get the RIC out of their barracks to investigate 'riots and civil strife' did not work anymore ; neither did walking up to their front-door and knocking on it ! A small group of us went out on a 'job' one night ......."

" .....we had the RIC barracks surrounded ; another group of IRA Volunteers got busy at their work of destruction - large quantities of petrol and paraffin had already been hidden near at hand . Since we had no explosives to spare and the building was immensely strong , we had decided on using petrol freely ; at that period of time the danger of handling such fuel was not generally appreciated . Among the IRA Volunteers engaged in the operation , however, it was well appreciated ; all had been thoroughly instructed on its dangers and the utmost precautions against premature ignition were taken . One-hundred-and-twenty gallons of petrol had been sprinkled on the woodwork ... addition , several unopened barrels of paraffin oil stood on the Courthouse floor , one of which had been put in the dock for 'contempt of Court' by the IRA Volunteer on whose toe it had rolled over ! Our men had gone upstairs in the building to open or break the highest windows to create an upwards draught . How the accident happened was never established : with two other IRA men I was standing behind a wall near the gate of the barracks - a dull explosion , and the Courthouse became a fiery torch with every window jetting flame . Other explosions followed as the unopened barrels burst and threw on fresh fuel . In an incredibly short time the floors all collapsed together , and only the thick walls remained . Stout walls they must have been to have survived the intense heat and pressure .

But what of the four men on top of that inferno ? A figure approached from the Lawn Gate ; it was my brother Pat , our Commandant ; I hardly knew him - his face and hands were terribly burned ......."



Since 1947 , the CIA has been a powerful force in covertly executing American internal and foreign policy . A major book detailing the workings , methods and sometimes incompetence of the secret service - 'The Agency ; The Rise and Decline of The CIA ' , by John Ranelagh , has recently been published .

Gene Kerrigan examines the books findings and assesses the importance of 'The Agency' and the role it has played over the last 39 years .

First published in 'The Sunday Tribune' newspaper , Dublin , 24th August 1986 , page 11.

Re-produced here in 21 parts .

(3 of 21).

The (American) 'Office of Strategic Services' (the then CIA) had a proud history of bravery behind enemy lines during the war ; the CIA , established in 1947 , was full of ex-OSS agents and infected with the 'derring-do' tradition . The 'new enemy' was the Soviet Union , the 'new war' was a cold one but a 'war' nevertheless . U S Secretary of Defence James Forrestal had on his desk a card which read - ' We will never have universal peace until the strongest army and the strongest navy are in the hands of the most powerful nation .'

Forrestal pushed through a 'National Security Council' directive , 'NSC 4a' , in December 1947 , which authorised CIA covert activities ; he feared a left-wing victory in the Italian elections and the CIA was sent to stop it . Millions of dollars were pumped into the Christian Democrats in a successful bid to win the election .

The same was happening elsewhere .......