Tuesday, September 28, 2004

JULY 29th , 1848 : RIC , Firearms , Pikes - and Five Children .

Ireland , 1848 - the third successive year of the potato blight ; man-made 'famine' had put approximately one-and-a-half million men , women and children in early graves , and forced about another two million Irish people to emigrate (of whom thousands died in passage to America and Canada) .

That year (1848) was one year before the 'Battle of Dolly's Brae' in Castlewellan , County Down (or 'Dollis Bray' , as it was also known) ; in 1836 , the 'Orange Order' was formally dissolved but was revived again in about 1846 - the 12th July march was back , and trouble came with it ; deaths and riots at 'Dolly's Brae' .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE TRUCE.......

".......during the 1921 'Truce' , we were at an IRA training camp at Coomroe , Valley Desmond ; one particular IRA Officer we met there was much older than the majority of us ....... "

" We liked him immensely as he was a thorough gentleman , decent in every way and a good comrade . But he was ponderous in his ways ; in his speech he chose each word with meticulous care , and often used a 'heavy' word where a 'lighter' one would have passed muster , with us at any rate . He always dressed correctly and never appeared without a white collar and tie properly assembled .

Only in these small matters and avoirdupois was he at variance with us , but you may have often noticed in your schooldays , and indeed perhaps much later on in life , that youth treats age and weighty matters lightly ! The day of this eventful evening had dawned fair and the morning had been very fine , but a fierce thunderstorm and rain burst over Valley Desmond and the 'thousand wild fountains' had come down and swollen the infant River Lee to the dimensions of a lake which lapped , and in places covered the boreen from Gougane Barra .

Late in the evening the rain stopped suddenly , and nearly all the lads cleared out for a walk ; with them went our gentlemanly Officer . Sean O'Hegarty , our IRA Brigadier , Dan MacNamara and I were left alone in Holland's kitchen . The IRA training camp was being kept a close secret for various reasons and we had been warned to be ready to meet a possible incursion of the enemy . As the three of us talked together a whistle sounded down the valley ; it was one of our whistles and it was repeated insistently .

" What's that about ? " asked Sean O'Hegarty . " We'll see , " said Dan and I , as, picking up our guns , we hurried out ......."


By Frank Doherty .

First published in ' New Hibernia ' magazine , May 1987 , pages 7 , 8 and 9 .
Re-produced here in 11 parts .
[11 of 11.]

It is certain that 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield had an enthusiasm for murder , as in his plan to kill President Nasser and other Middle Eastern personalities , his role in Operation Ajax , which he first suggested and which led to the overthrow of Mossadegh , the Iranian leader , the imposition of the Shah as despot and ultimately the arrival of Ayatollah Khomeini in power , will be related eventually .

But whether the British media will ever get around to the thorny question of why the KGB never exposed Oldfield's weaknesses is another question . Should it prove that 'Sir' Maurice , the man who had such an enormous , although hidden, influence on Irish affairs during one of the most crucial decades in recent history was , like his friends Anthony Blunt and Tom Driberb , a Soviet double agent , then the incredibly bizarre course of British intelligence will have taken its most unusual twist ever .

(Tomorrow - 'PASSPORT SCANDAL !' - a skit from 1987 ...).