Thursday, October 14, 2004

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

.......the forty-six RIC men had taken over a house for their own safety - the Irish Rebels they were hunting had 'turned the tables' on them . Five children were in the house , and were now being held as hostages by the RIC , as they knew the Rebels would not attack as long as the five McCormick children were there . They also knew that their RIC colleagues were on the way to assist them .......

The RIC men in the house 'got brave' ; refusing to release the hostages or surrender , surrounded yet safe from attack - so they cleared window-space in the house and fired a volley at the Rebels , killing two and wounding about a dozen . The McCormick children were by now hysterical , the Rebels were in disarray - they could'nt attack but were under fire , and were about to be surrounded themselves : British Crown re-inforcements had arrived .

The Irish Rebels - led by William Smith O'Brien , James Stephens and Terence Bellew MacManus - had to flee , and headed for the countryside . O'Brien , MacManus and Thomas Francis Meagher were captured within days and sentenced to death by the British , but the sentences were later commuted to transportation for life to Tasmania . Other leaders of the failed 1848 Rising - John O'Mahony , James Stephens and John Blake Dillon - escaped capture and left the country ...



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


" What is it that has stirred the hearts of all true lovers of Ireland , in every generation , and has steeled them to do some deed worthy of recognition as a link in the unbroken chain of resistance to slavery ? It is the 'Aisling' or 'Vision' which only true lovers are privileged to behold . It is said that our forefathers saw it before they ever set foot on this land of Ireland ; since then , our bards and poets have sung of it and have spared no effort to describe it . The Spirit of Ireland invariably appears in the form of a woman , young and beautiful in appearance though of immeasurable age , older even 'than the old woman of Beara' . She is the Mother of the Irish race , her children are scattered to the four corners of the earth .

In her hour of need she appears before , and her sorrowful glance rests on some favoured one amongst her children ; sometimes it is at home in Ireland where the task she implies is comparatively easy , but sometimes it is far from it in a foreign land , alone among strangers or in the midst of bitter enemies . But wherever it be , whether on an Irish hillside , or deep in the gloom of a British gaol , or on a barrack square in India clad in the uniform of a British soldier , that appeal shall be , and has been , answered by the true son or daughter . Neither time , nor place , nor environment can intercept or obscure the 'Aisling' of Ireland from the chosen few .

And so it was for one child , the son of an Irish-born British Army Corporal ....... "


First published in 'AP/RN' , September 5th , 1981 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
(1 of 5).

In September 1981 , a spokesperson for the (then - ie ; 1981 , before they went constitutional in 1986) IRA authorised to speak on behalf of the leadership outlined the attitude of the Army to republican participation in elections .

He spoke about the republican attitude to contesting the West Belfast Westminster seat presently held by Gerry Fitt and how the IRA generally view constitutional politics , especially given the experience of republicans of a bitter split with the 'Sticks' (ie - the so-called 'Workers Party') , part of which was their reformist attitude to elections -

- " There can be no doubt that media speculation regarding Sinn Fein contesting the West Belfast constituency may have caused some confusion among republicans , especially given the intensity of falling-out between republican supporters and their erstwhile comrades in the so-called Republican Clubs .

Sections of the Republican Movement have , over the decades , had vastly differing attitudes to an intervention in the British or Free State electoral process . Generally speaking , what was wrong with the Sticks was not just that they contested elections but that they had a totally incorrect analysis of the nature of British imperialism .

They believed that the six-county state could be 'democratised' from within (*) and that the so-called democratic process was one method by which this reformation could be made . "

(* '1169...' comment - as do the Provisionals , but now they call it "...parity of esteem ." )