Wednesday, October 06, 2004

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

.......the 'Boycott' Campaign got its name when Charles Stewart Parnell was addressing a large outdoor meeting at Ennis , in County Clare , in 1880 - the previous year (1879) , speaking in Westport , County Mayo , Parnell stated .......

" A fair rent is a rent the tenant can reasonably afford to pay according to the times , but in bad times a tenant cannot be expected to pay as much as he did in good times . Now , what must we do in order to induce the landlords to see the position ? You must show them that you intend to hold a firm grip of your homesteads and lands .

You must not allow yourselves to be dispossessed as your fathers were dispossessed in 1847 . I hope that on those properties where the rents are out of all proportion to the times , a reduction may be made and that immediately . If not , you must help yourselves , and the public opinion of the world will stand by you , and support you in your struggle to defend your homesteads . "

Evictions were by then common-place and , at the above-mentioned meeting in Ennis , County Clare , in 1880 , Charles Stewart Parnell again promoted a different method by which the 'tenant' could strike-back at the 'Landlord' classes ; but again , what Parnell called "violence" was ruled out .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE TRUCE.......

".......we were relaxing under a pine tree on a sunny day in 1921 on my uncles farm in Knocksaharing , having worked the land that day . We got to talking about the troubled times we lived in ......."

" It was but natural that our thoughts should wander back over that period of eventful years which had ended only a few months ago ; Dan MacNamara was the first to express his thoughts aloud - he laughed and said - " Bedammed , lads , do you know what it is , we have been through some stirring scenes during the past seven or eight years . If one could only think of all the laughable incidents that occurred from time to time .

Here I am , thank God , back at work again on my bit of territory , I who was once a judge on the bench of the Republican Court , dispensing justice alike to rich and poor , bowed to and called 'Your Worship' by the regular practitioners of the law , some of whom always thought , no doubt , that the dock and not the bench would be the summit of my legal career ! Well , at least we can claim to have been the first Irishmen to establish Courts for our own people since the lapse of the Brehon Laws . And did they not work well ?

They never failed to measure out justice so fairly that the parties concerned were well pleased with the judgement . And what more was wanted ? Soon you will see the British system working again , with some of the old outward pomp and ceremony . This was usually accompanied by , as we know from bitter experience , damn little justice for Irishmen . No matter ! That can hardly happen again ..."

The allusion to the Republican Courts which had entirely replaced the British system , and which had proved such a complete success , evoked many amusing reminiscences ....... "


Review of the book 'Survivors' , written by Uinseann MacEoin , and published by Argenta Publications , Dublin , 1980 .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 , page 117 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(1 of 6).

This truly remarkable book covers the story of Ireland's struggle as told through some of her outstanding living people (the 'Survivors') recalling events from the days of Davitt , through James Connolly , Collins , Liam Mellows and Rory O'Connor to the present day . We often forget that there are people still alive today who can remember the Easter Rising , lived through the Tan War , the Civil War and the difficult years of the 1930's .

These recollections are a rich repository of historical knowledge ; not the 'dry' history of the textbooks , but the real history of living people . Some of the twenty-three 'Survivors' are familiar names , people who have written extensively and so on . Thus we have Peadar O'Donnell of 'Land Annuity Campaign' and 'Republican Congress' fame . He is particularly critical of the Labour Party after 1916 -

- " One of the reasons Dublin voted Republican rather than Labour was because the masses in Dublin are very Republican . They resented the fact that Labour had deserted the Republic ..."