Monday, September 13, 2004

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

.......a commemorative pamphlet was issued in memory of Austin Stack (with whom 'An tOglach' Editor , Piaras Beaslai , had shared prison space with in Strangeways Prison in Manchester) who died on 27th April , 1929 .......

' Fittingly , the question - 'What is a Republican? ' fails to be answered in our memorial number for Austin Stack , a man who bore and dared and suffered , remaining through it all and at the worst , the captain of his own soul . What then was Austin Stack , Republican ? A great lover of his country . A man without a crooked twist in him . One who thought straight , acted straight , walked the straight road unflinchingly and expected of others that they should walk it with him , as simply as he did himself .

No man could say or write of him - " He had to do it ..." . That plea of the slave was not his . His duty , as conscience and love dictated , he did . The force of England , of the English Slave State , might try coercion , as they tried it many times : it made no difference . He went his way , suffered their will , and stood his ground doggedly , smiling now and again . His determination out-stood theirs , because it had a deeper foundation and a higher aim .

Compromise , submission , the slave marks , did not and could not exist for him as touching himself , or the Cause for which he worked and fought , lived and died . '

However , I digress ('tangents' again !) - the Editor of 'An tOglach' , Piaras Beaslai , was once again 'arrested' by the Brits , in March 1919 (under the 'DORA' legislation) and locked-up in Mountjoy Jail in Dublin ; but he did'nt stay long .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


" was a harvest evening in 1920 - a dangerous time for us , as the British Auxiliaries went raiding and searching local villages ......."

" Myself and 'Mick the Soldier' had just finished our tea when the furious gallop of a horse sent us running out of doors ; my mother stood at the gate , and the three of us saw a rider on a heavy awkward horse down the steep hill from Caherdaha . Stones and sparks flew from under his thick hairy fetlocks - his hooves tore the road as he was pulled up . The rider was Jim Lehane of Coolierach , an IRA Volunteer , and he told us he was bringing the horse to the forge when two British Army lorries began to climb the long steep hill of Caherdaha behind him .

Jim had urged the horse to the utmost , first uphill , next for two hundred yards on the level , and finally downhill steeply for two hundred yards to our gate . He quickly told us the news and galloped off ; my mother went into the house while we went down to the Cross , to warn anyone who might be in Den's pub at the corner or in Dannie Sheehan's shop . We first looked into the bar - it was empty , and we ran out again and , as we passed along the front of the pub , I got a notion : running to the kitchen window , I seized the lower sash and, raising it , put in my head and shoulders . In the dim light I could see my uncle Dan and Jerrick Sheehan , an ex-British soldier , sitting at the fire . Two full pints stood near them ; Jerrick had been working with my uncle , and both had just come for a drink after the day's labour .

" Clear out the back , and through the Brewery field - now ! " They did not question my unceremonious order , but got busy - I noticed that while my uncle left his pint , Jerrick brought his swiftly but very carefully along . He did not catch the glass by the middle , but from above, with all his fingers around the top .

Dannie Sheehan's shop-door stood wide open ; his wife sat by the fire ......."


(No By-Line)
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983 , Number 5 , page 42.

Re-published here in six parts .
[6 of 6].

Immediately on his release in August 1982 , having served six years of a twelve-year sentence (with full remission) , Lennie Murphy set about regaining control of the UVF and reforming a murder gang on the lines of the ' Shankill Butchers ' . Between August 1982 and his execution in November 1982 , Murphy was known to have been behind the killing of Brian Smith , a UVF dissident , on September 5th , 1982.

He was also involved in the brutal murder of a west-Belfast Catholic , Joseph Donegan , who was kidnapped on October 22nd 1982 . The killing of Donegan , however , was probably Lennie Murphy's last ; for , on November 16th , 1982 , the IRA caught up with him , and then , for him , as for his unfortunate victims - there was no escape .

[END of ' DEATH OF A BUTCHER....... '].
(Tomorrow - ' TINKER , TAILOR , HIGH RISK SPY ' : 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield .)