Thursday, October 07, 2004

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

.......'evictions' were common-place ; as the President of 'The Irish National Land League' (also known as 'The Land League of Ireland') , Charles Stewart Parnell was advocating a different method other than " violence " , by which 'tenants' could strike-back .......

It should be noted that the " violence " referred to by Parnell was , in this scribblers opinion , used in self-defence , as is the " violence " used today by the Irish .

However - at a meeting in Ennis , County Clare , in 1880 , Charles Stewart Parnell stated - " Now what are you to do with a tenant who bids for a farm from which his neighbour has been evicted ? Now I think I heard somebody say "Shoot him !" - but I wish to point out a very much better way , a more Christian and more charitable way . You must show what you think of him on the roadside when you meet him , you must show him in the streets of the town , you must show him at the shop counter .

Even in the house of worship , by leaving him severely alone , by putting him into a sort of moral 'Coventry' , by isolating him from the rest of his kind as if he were a leper of old , you must show him your detestation of the crime he has committed . " That became known as the 'Boycott Campaign' , after the name of the first British 'Land Agent' (in County Mayo) against whom it was applied .

But I digress (again...) ; In July 1848 , the 'Young Irelanders' assembled a 'War Council' and then set-up a 'Provisional Government of Ireland '.......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

THE TRUCE.......

" uncle , Dan MacNamara , was a judge in the Republican Courts , which we all had experience of ....... "

" The judge of the District Court was always a local man - farmer , labourer or artisan , selected by the people as the man best qualified for the position ; his honesty was his only qualification . The Court was held in the parish school or hall , and the litigants could employ the men who had practised during the British regime , or call on any man they liked to defend them . IRA Policemen and magistrates were all local men ('1169....' Comment - Unlike today , the 'IRA Policemen' of the 1920's did not safely usher Orange parades through Nationalist areas and then rescue British Army footpatrols - ref the Provos in Ardoyne recently ...) .

It might appear to some people that such an arrangement was not conducive to the dignity and proper administration of the law , but such an opinion would be very far from the fact - the public were , of course, admitted to the court , the proceedings were conducted with the utmost decorum and a respectful silence was always maintained .

This atmosphere was not due to the presence of IRA Policemen or other Officers of the law ; it was just due to the pride the people felt in the realisation of one of their ideals . True , if the occasion arose to justify laughter , then they had to laugh , but it was not done without ample provocation . In the days of the old regime the judge sat sphinx-like on the bench , and his wig and gown gave him a most sinister appearance ......."


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 .
(2 of 6).

Peadar O'Donnell is also critical of the abstract "leftist" critics of Republicanism - " Though the IRA was often dubbed a purely nationalist organisation , those critics forgot that nationality itself is a progressive force . A nationalist movement , generally speaking, gathers its strength from the working class . If the working class pushes up to the front , they can carry on the revolution to the social revolutionary stage . "

A similar theme - the relation between national and social liberation - is developed by Frank Edwards who was a Lieutenant with the Waterford City Battalion IRA , and a Sergeant with the XV International Brigade in Spain . In his recollections , he tells of agitation in the 1930's in Waterford over the slum 'landlords' , the organisation of 'tenants' and the unemployed and , of course , strikers , concluding simply - " Most of the local IRA supported us , They were working class ."

Nora Connolly O'Brien , the late daughter of James Connolly , provides fascinating glimpses of her eventful life , as does Sean MacBride , one time Chief of Staff of the IRA , today an 'international statesman .......'