Tuesday, October 05, 2004

JULY 29th , 1848 : RIC , Firearms , Pikes - and Five Children .......

.......the President of the 'Irish National Land League' (also known as 'The Land League of Ireland') , Charles Stewart Parnell , was in an unenviable political position for a while - he was distrusted by both the British and the Irish .......

Charles Stewart Parnell's great-grandfather was known to have been strongly opposed to any form of an ' Official ' union between Ireland and England ; his mother , apparently , by all accounts, was an 'in-your-face' up-front lady , American by birth , who had no great love for the British -

- her own father had dispatched many an English soldier during the war of 1812 . However - I'll leave the Parnell 'tangent' there and refer back to the previous 'tangent' (!) ; the 'boycott' campaign , which got its name during the Irish 'Land War' when Charles Stewart Parnell (... mini-tangent coming up !) was addressing a large outdoor meeting at Ennis in County Clare , in 1880 .

The previous year (1879) , Parnell had delivered a speech on the same topic (ie 'tenants , rents and landlords') to a large crowd in Westport in County Mayo .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE TRUCE.......

".......we were working the corn-fields at my uncles farm at Knocksaharing , on a beautiful day in 1921 . 'Reaping' and 'Stooking' , and working up an appetite ....... "

" Above us stood a grassy plateau with a lone pine tree in the middle of it ; the sun , slanting downwards from the west , fell on the short green grass and cast a long shadow eastwards from the pine . My uncle spoke - " It is too early for tea , lads . " Then , looking at the land , and then at the pine tree , he quoted -

- ' Come to the sunset tree ,
The day is past and gone ,
The woodman's axe lies free ,
And the reaper's work is done . '

With one accord we all moved towards the grassy plateau and sat or stretched ourselves at ease around the stem of the pine tree . No one spoke for a while , but I broke the silence - " Dan ," I asked , " did you finish your poetry ? " " No ," he replied , " there's a little more , and it is very appropriate to the time and place . Here it is : "

' Sweet is the hour of rest ,
Gentle the winds low sigh ,
And the bright gleaming of the west ,
On the turf whereon we lie . '

Certainly it was appropriate : above us a gentle breeze stirred the dark branches of the pine , while the sun sinking towards Beal a' Ghleanna maintained its pleasant radiance of light and heat . We thought , and spoke , of the troubled times we lived in ....... "


By Patrick Murphy .

First published in 'New Hibernia' magazine , May 1987 , page 13 .
A 'skit' in five parts .
[5 of 5].

Special guerilla training will of course be provided on such subjects as how to smuggle washing powder across the border from the North and how to live off the land without paying income tax . Counter espionage tactics will include how to spot a television licence detector van at 100 yards and training in how to blend in with the countryside will be given by county council workmen .

And news is just coming in of clashes between rival Arab groups in Limerick ; heavy fighting is reported in the pro-Iranian area of the Ennis Road and the United Nations has asked the Government to send peace-keeping forces to the area . But as part of the Government cut-backs , Mr. Brian Lenihan has suggested that the fighting should take place for only an hour each day .

Mr. Lenihan was later sold to an Arab by a senior Civil Servant in his department for five pounds . In a communique just issued from Damascus , the Arab has demanded his money back !

[END of PASSPORT SCANDAL....... ! ].
(Tomorrow - 'History Lives On : Survivors . ' : from 1981).