IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......
....... 1918 ; Sinn Fein declared by the Brits to be "...an illegal organisation ...." , as was the Irish Volunteers and the Gaelic League . 'The Great War' ('WW1') was going badly for Westminster , and conscription was made law in England in 1916 - now the Brits were looking towards Ireland ...
Since the outbreak of 'The Great War' in August 1914 , tens-of-thousands of Irishmen had fought , and were fighting , side-by-side as volunteers in the British Army , having answered the call by British 'Lord' Kitchener to help defeat "...the dastardly Hun ..to protect small nations ....." . But the 'Conscription Act' worked against the British - even the then leader of the Irish Volunteers , John Dillon , was against it .
It should be noted that that same organisation (Irish Volunteers) , then under the leadership of John Redmond , had , in 1914 , backed the British war machine , which led to a split in the Irish Volunteers . However - John Dillon stated , in the British 'House of Commons' , as he was leading his members in a walk-out from that institution in protest over the Conscription Act - " All Ireland will rise against you ."
He was to be proved right .......
WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :
war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.
By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.
"....... those with the 'Vision' were not 'contented serfs' , happy with their lot as long as their bank account eased their conscience . But the Ireland which Padraig Pearse envisaged was not yet established ....... "
" Padraig Pearse wanted an Ireland " ...not Gaelic merely but free as well ; not free merely but Gaelic as well . " Some progress has been made , but there is yet much to be done . What has been achieved was the result of great sacrifice and hard work by good Irishmen and women ; the ranting of politicians had no part in it , and it is not to be expected ever will have in future progress . It is Irish men and women , educated to the true meaning of freedom , who will one day achieve it .
The 'Aisling' of the Ireland of the future , as seen by the greatest as well as the most humble among her lovers was simply a picture of the people , happy , prosperous and Gaelic-speaking , back on the good land from which they had been driven to make room for the bullock and the sheep . This condition once achieved , the prosperity of the towns and cities was assured . The old virtures , culture and pride of race would soon return ; the politicians say that such a movement was begun soon after the Treaty of 1921 : its progress is not perceptible . The people are still in the waste places where they were driven to die , while the bullock and the sheep live on the fat of the land .
Our people must go up again to the mountain and look out over their splendid heritage and into the mighty past ; there they will see an 'Aisling' that will raise their hearts and cause them to make certain resolutions . Some of these will be the resolutions of James Fintan Lalor ....... "
Communication from BOBBY SANDS , Long Kesh H-Blocks , early December 1978 .
As published in 'IRIS' magazine , November 1981 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(1 of 6).
This communication was written by Bobby Sands in early December 1978 . At that time he was the PRO of the protesting Republican prisoners . This 'comm's' contents say more of the conditions which the prisoners were subjected to in the H-Blocks than any external publicist of the H-Block protest ever could and is an explanation in itself of the conditions and the political commitment of the prisoners which eventually forced them to use the hunger-strike weapon as their last alternative means of protest having exhausted every other method .
" In the past 27 months , we republican prisoners of war on the blanket protest for political status , in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh , have been subjected to continual and extreme torture to break our resistence and protest . We have faced untold and constant brutalities , indignities and torture from the prison administration ...whose daily aim is to break our resistence ...
Not a single day passes in these hell blocks without several blanket men being beaten unconscious . We are hosed down , forcibly bathed until the skin is scrubbed from our backs . We are constantly moved from wing to wing and made run , naked , a gauntlet of merciless screws . We are spread eagled across a table to have intimate parts of our bodies probed and examined . Young lads , some barely 17 and 18 years of age , are punched senseless .
Such injuries as a broken nose , split head and multiple bruising are common place ... "