IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......
....... Ireland , 1940's - the island had been partitioned by the Brits , and Westminster was looking at the Six County area and thinking , again , of conscription ; the pro-British U. S. Ambassador to the Free State , a Mr. David Gray , contacted his 'boss' , the American Secretary of State , on 24th May 1941 , regarding the political situation on the island .......
In his message , Mr. Gray stated - " Opposition leaders yesterday informed me that conscription without a conscientious objectors escape clause for minority Catholic nationalists will constitute a major irretrievable and probably fatal political blunder at this time and play directly into de Valera's hands with grave possibilities for American interests . They [the opposition leaders] predict draft riots , the escape of draft dodgers to Southern Ireland who will be acclaimed as hero martyrs by three-quarters of the population and the fomenting of trouble by Republicans and Fifth Columnists .
The clearest headed leader predicts that de Valera will seize the opportunity to escape from economic and political realities by proclaiming himself the leader of the oppressed minority and with the blessings of the Cardinal will rouse anti-British feeling and call a Holy War . I think it a very likely prediction . All classes of opinion here unite in condemning the move as calamitous . It appears to be a repetition of the same fatal blunder made during the last war .
The weak and failing Ulster [sic] Government is probably seeking to sustain itself by provoking a crisis . Unless Great Britain is prepared from a military point of view to seize the whole country it appears to be madness . So little can be gained and so much lost ... "
WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :
war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.
By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.
" ....... Aileach , ancient fortress of the O'Neills , is over two thousand years old ; one of its Chieftains was baptised by Saint Patrick ....... "
" Out of Aileach came the High Kings from whom were descended Hugh , and Shane the Proud and Eoin Rua . They , with their neighbours the O'Donnells of Tir Conaill , will be ever remembered for the prolonged fight they made . Aubrey de Vere says of them - " Lo ! these are they that year by year , rolled back the tide of England's war . "
And finally , when Red Hugh O'Donnell had been poisoned and Hugh O'Neill forced to exile in his old age :
: " He sits abstracted by the board ,
Old scenes are pictured in his brain ;
Blackwater , Armagh , the Yellow Ford ,
He fights and wins them o'er again .
Again he sees fierce Bagenal fall ,
sees craven Essex basely yield ;
Meets armoured Seagrave , gaunt and tall ,
And leaves him lifeless on the field . "
There is a legend that , in a cave under the Hill of Aileach , a group of Knights of the Gael stand by their steeds ; all are asleep , but only wait the word of Sile Ni Ghardha [Ireland] to spring into action for the ultimate freedom of their country . Our gifted and patriotic poetess , Ethna Carbery , describes Aileach and the sleeping warriors . I believe , with her , that the men of today are as good as the men of the past .
" Oh , Sile Ni Ghardha , why rouse the stony dead ?
since at your call a living host will circle you instead ,
Long is our hunger for your voice , the hour is drawing near -
Oh , Dark Rose of our Passion ; call , and our hearts shall hear ! " "
[END of 'AISLINGI ' ; END of the book - 'Where Mountainy Men Have Sown'].
(Next - A few details about the author , Micheal O'Suilleabhain.)
Communication from BOBBY SANDS , Long Kesh H-Blocks , early December 1978 .......
As published in 'IRIS' magazine , November 1981 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
[6 of 6].
" We will not allow ourselves to be tortured to death in this modern day stalag which has nothing to offer but a modern day holocaust and remembering Germany after the war , it cannot be said - 'We did'nt know...' "
Republican POW's ,
H-Block 3, 4 and 5 ,
Long Kesh .
(PS : A Chara , have had to rush this . Can you issue it as a statement . This is the seriousness of the situation here . It's very , very bad . But we shall not be broken . Venceremous , Marcella ).
[END of ' Communication from BOBBY SANDS.....'].
(Next - 'One that got away' ; 1978 - Donegal IRA men , the RUC , the Gardai and the Free State High Court : from 'Magill' magazine , June 1987 .)