Wednesday, September 01, 2004

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

.......the 'An tOglach' Irish Republican newspaper , founded in August 1918 , was printed by the 'Gaelic Press' in Dublin , which had a record of pro-Republican activity ; on the strength of its first issue alone , Westminster declared 'An tOglach' an 'illegal publication.......'

The 'Gaelic Press' operated out of premises in Probys Lane in Dublin and , two years earlier (ie in 1916) had come to the rescue of 'The Kerryman' newspaper , which had its printing press 'dismantled' by British soldiers - the (first) Editor of 'The Kerryman' newspaper , Tom Nolan , refused to let the Brits put him out of business and a deal was struck with the 'Gaelic Press' in Dublin .

For about two months , the 'illegal' newspaper 'The Kerryman' was printed , in secret , in Probys Lane and was transported to Tralee by sympathetic railwaymen who worked on the locomotives ; the newspaper was then sold over the counter of the Nolan family public house ('Bar') in Tralee !

A story is told by one of those train drivers , 'Bolger' O' Donoghue , about the time he was carrying the usual 'illicit' load of 'The Kerryman' newspaper from Dublin to Tralee .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


"....... IRA Volunteer Dannie Casey was being held captive by the British Auxiliaries in the yard of his house - his younger brother , Jeremiah , was in the house , dying ; he had been shot three times by the Brits . Then an Auxie Officer came on the scene - a diversion to escape ...?"

" The Auxie Officer called away all his men , save one ; he was instructed to hold Dannie Casey a close prisoner until they returned . They marched away and , scarcely had they turned the corner of the house when the Auxie spoke - " Listen " , he said , " slip in and say good-bye to your brother . Promise me that you will not stay long . "

Amongst the ruins of humanity , the kindly deed of a good man shines brightly . It is a great pleasure to record it ; Dannie willingly gave his promise and saw his brother . He found him cheerful and only concerned for Dannie's safety . He lived to see his father and mother who had been away from home and who returned an hour later . Meanwhile Dannie had been taken to Macroom , to the Castle . The ordeal he had endured since morning had been a heavy one , and it did not end with the close of day .

It continued until after midnight , and even then his hopes of leaving Macroom Castle alive were indeed small - every now and then he was taken to a room where a number of British Auxies sat around a table . Each of them , in turn , asked a question to which he expected an immediate answer......."




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

This , it seems , is the way armies behave - using the civilian population , including children , as 'cover' ; it appears that one of the things a British Army Officer must see to is that he arrives back in Britain with precisely the same number of soldiers as he arrived in Ireland with .

The anger expressed by military Officers at the loss of men is not just anger at the fact that lives have been lost - which would be a matter of grief to anyone with any wit - it is also an expression of shame that the expected duty of an Officer to save 'his men' has been unfulfilled . He will therefore do a lot to make sure that 'his men' are not unnecessarily endangered .

Protective devices are welcome and in a city like Belfast quite easy to come by ; after all , there are plenty of easily available civilians . In most cases , however , the civilians do not realise that they are providing such a necessary military service .......