Thursday, September 02, 2004

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

.......the 'Gaelic Press' , which printed the 'An tOglach' Irish Republican newspaper had , in 1916 , printed 'The Kerryman' newspaper , which had been declared an " illegal publication " by the Brits . One of the train drivers who transported the " illegal" 'The Kerryman' newspaper , a Mr. 'Bolger' O'Donoghue , told the following story re one such trip .......

'Bolger' was driving the train , as usual, when what he described as a " premonition " made him stop and unload the " illegal " newspapers at a small station just outside of Tralee . Having done so , the train carried on and , minutes later , as they steamed into Tralee Station , they were boarded by search parties from the British Army and the RIC .

The train driver , 'Bolger' O'Donoghue , and his helper (who were known on the trains as 'firemen') were ordered to unload the coal (under which the 'illegal' newspapers had been hidden) which they refused to do , so the British soldiers ordered the RIC to do it - which , reluctantly , they did . It was a dirty job which , once finished , yielded no result . Both search parties left the train , with the RIC men a bit the worst for wear !

The 'dumped' copies of 'The Kerryman' newspaper had by then been recovered and distributed in the usual fashion . The episode was raised in a local pub that same night .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


" ....... Dannie Casey's brother , Jeremiah , had been shot dead by the British Auxiliaries , and Dannie was himself a prisoner in Macroom Castle ; he was under interrogation , and felt he would not leave the Castle alive ......."

" The questions circled like a point on a roulette ; all were based on the assumption that Dannie was a member of the IRA and that he had that morning been on duty on the hill . Dannie Casey replied that he had been on the hill on his own business , looking after his sheep . It was evident that the Auxies sought to weary him by incessant questioning until , through mental and physical exhaustion , he should capitulate . But they failed to shake him .

It is likely that , were it not for a diversion , Dannie would not have got off so easily ; a prisoner was brought in , a young man on whose farm an old rusty gun had been discovered . On him , like mad dogs, the Auxies now turned their fury . Peeping through a chink in a door , Dannie saw and heard most of the horror . The British 'authorities' announced another 'official' execution - it was a foul and midnight murder .

Dannie Casey was released on the following day . Just in time to attend his brother's funeral . "

[END of ' SHOOTINGS.....'].
(Tomorrow - 'RAIDS' .)



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

One British Army military base in Belfast which had to be abandoned was surrounded on three sides by rows of houses and on the fourth by a cemetary . Thus , if anyone was rash enough to attack by , say, rocket fire , then a miscalculation would send the missile to civilian houses or the cemetary . In either case , 'bonus points' for the British Army !

If the rocket hit its target that was just too bad , but the risks to civilian lives could be stressed nevertheless . In time the base was abandoned because , in spite of the nearness of civilians (both alive and dead!) the aim of the attackers was being tried out too often with disastrous effect .

All this means that while the role of an army as a 'peacekeeping force' has to be questioned at the highest political level - is not a 'military peace-keeping force' a contradiction in terms ? - the role of an army as that of " protecting citizens " has to be questioned at ground level as well .......