'TAN WAR' REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER - 'An tOglach' , 1918-1921.......
....... Ernest Blythe , one-time Editor of 'An tOglach' , the Irish Republican newspaper , accepted the 1921 Treaty of Surrender ; in his new position within the Free State Cabinet he cut the old-age pension by one shilling and discussed , with his Free State Cabinet colleagues , which IRA prisoners should be executed next .......
At one such Free State Cabinet meeting it was agreed that IRA leaders Rory O'Connor , Liam Mellows , Richard Barrett and Joe McKelvey should be executed immediately ; at 3.30 AM on the morning of the 8th of December 1922 , the four men were told that they were to be placed in front of a Free State firing squad in a few hours time - no trial , no jury .
Indeed , in one month alone - January 1923 - 34 IRA members were executed by Free State firing squads in nine different towns in the new Free State . However - one of the Free State Cabinet Ministers that had condemned to death the four IRA men named above , Kevin O'Higgins , was only a couple of months in his new position as Free State 'Minister for Home Affairs' - effectively the 'hard man' of the new Administration .
But ordering the death of those four IRA prisoners gave O'Higgins a troubled mind ; and with good reason .......
WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :
war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.
By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.
" .......one of our supporters , Sean , lived off the beaten track , and was not accustomed to having his house raided ......."
" Sean was past middle age - stout , humorous and excitable . On this particular day he worked in a field at a good distance from his house and uphill from it ; his neighbour , a young man , came running downhill to him . " Sean , " he said , " have you anything in the house ? If you have , tell me , quickly , and I'll dump it . The Tans are coming ! "
" Oh ! H'anam an diol , na bitcheanna , " shouted Sean , as a prelude to a quick mental survey of all the rooms in his house . " No ! No ! No ! " he added . Then , an inspiration struck him : " H'anam an diol ! The picture of Archbishop Mannix ! Put out Mannix ! Put him out ! For the Tans hate him ...." Then , to ensure beyond a doubt the safety of the picture , he said - "....but put him under a stone , carefully ! "
The neighbour , trying to hide his laughter , was already speeding down the hill .
[END of 'RAIDS.......'].
(Next - 'THE TRUCE' : "...one regrets that it ever came about.....")
TINKER , TAILOR , HIGH RISK SPY .......
By Frank Doherty .
First published in ' New Hibernia ' magazine , May 1987 , pages 7 , 8 and 9 .
Re-produced here in 11 parts .
(4 of 11.)
The British Secret Intelligence Service , under Maurice Oldfield , its de facto chief , began preparing briefings on Ireland in the autumn of 1969 using two Officers sent from London to set up an intelligence network aimed at keeping " a watching brief " . By early 1970 , Maurice Oldfield had set up an MI6 station on the first floor of the Conway House Hotel at Dunmurray , Belfast : with secure , independent communications links to Secret Service HQ at Century House , London , the station became co-ordinating centre for MI6 Offices at Lisburn Army HQ and Stormont , where British Secret Service men served as ' political Officers ."
Ironically , it was Harold Wilson , who , according to Maurice Oldfield , would cross the street rather than speak to him, who sent MI6 into Northern Ireland (sic) , reportedly because he distrusted MI5 even more - with good reason as recent revelations by ex-MI5 man Peter Wright in Australia have shown .......