Tuesday, September 14, 2004

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

.......once again , this time in March 1919 , 'An tOglach' Editor Piaras Beaslai was 'arrested' by the Brits (under the 'DORA' legislation) ; but he did'nt stay locked-up in Dublin's Mountjoy Jail for long .......

In early April 1919 , eighteen Irish Republican POW's escaped from the 'Joy , one of whom was Piaras Beaslai but , unfortunately for him , this time freedom did'nt stay long - the Brits caught up with him on May 1st , 1919 but , this time , they sent him out of the country - back to Strangeways Prison in Manchester , England . However , again - he did'nt stay long !

The IRA organised a 'jailbreak' from Strangeways Prison on 20th October 1919 - six prisoners , including Piaras Beaslai and Austin Stack , were free again . Incidentally (another 'tangent...' !) , when Piaras Beaslai was 'arrested' by the Brits for the first time in 1919 (ie in March) , he was succeeded as Editor of 'An tOglach' by Ernest Blythe , TD (in the First Dail , 32-County body) for North Monaghan , and Minister for Trade and Commerce .

Blythe , a Northern Protestant , had some experience in editing a newspaper - with Michael Collins .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


".......two lorries of British Auxiliaries were on their way ; 'Mick the Soldier' and myself were knocking on doors , warning our friends and comrades to make themselves scarce . Dannie Sheehan's shop was open , and his wife was sitting by the fire ...... "

" Tadhg Buckley had just entered as we reached the shop doorway - " How are you Tadhg , " said Mrs. Sheehan . " I am the happiest man in the world , " said Tadhg , " until I hear the sound of a lorry ! " " Tadhg , " I spoke sharply , " get out now . "

He turned quickly and made a dash through the doorway ; just outside was a large polished limestone slab and Tadhg's heels , to use a local expressive saying , " went from under him " on the polished surface and he came down with a crash . ' Mick the Soldier ' found time for a burst of immoderate laughter , while poor Tadhg quickly regained his feet and , crossing the road, disappeared over the meadow fence .

We hastened along past Johnson's Forge until we reached the point where the fence of the Brewery Field joined that of the road at right angles . Here we left the road and slipped along by that fence on the side remote from the village . Reaching a certain point , we stopped to reconnoitre ; we heard a noise on the other side of the fence - my uncle and Jerrick Sheehan were just taking up a position with their backs to the fence , and to us : Jerrick spoke - " Do bheirim o'n diol , Dan , I brought my pint with me . Ould soldier , boy ! " he said in triumph .

A row of strong furze bushes grew along the top of the fence ; raising our heads cautiously , we were just in time to see Jerrick place his pint on a flat stone between two of the thick stems of the bushes then , turning his back on it , he leaned against the fence with my uncle . Both remained silent as they gazed towards the village , listening for sounds of enemy activity , not realising we were only feet away from them . Behind them we stood motionless , leaning slightly forward on the fence . My companion , 'Mick the Soldier' had his eyes firmly fixed on Jerrick's pint ......."


By Frank Doherty .

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

It was mid-afternoon , late March . A small , fat man with thick spectacles and darting eyes swayed back from the urinal in The Highwayman Lounge Bar , in Comber , County Down , nodding , smiling , flashing at each lone customer who arrived to relieve his bladder . His breathlessness was due as much to excitement as to his chain-smoking and asthma , for he was playing a game as dangerous as it was 'exciting' : Maurice Oldfield was engaged in what the homosexual fraternity call " cottaging " - and what police call " importuning " .

It was a game which he played regularly ; several times a week he would climb into his official car at Stormont Castle , where he had an apartment and office , and be driven four miles to The Culloden Hotel outside Hollywood and , having dismissed his driver/bodyguard , he would order a taxi to take him to Bangor , five miles away , from there he would pick up another cab to take him on one of his excursions into the Ards Peninsula or East Down .......