Wednesday, November 03, 2004

IRELAND , JANUARY 15th , 1920 : ELECTIONS .......

....... some of those within the 'Irish Volunteers' did not agree with the pro-British 'call-to-arms' statement of its leader , John Redmond ; Eoin MacNeill , who was in a leadership position in that organisation , was one of them .......

However , in 1916 (two years after John Redmond's 'call-to-arms' to assist the British war effort) , Eoin MacNeill did something just as bad himself - he was then a Professor of Early Irish History and co-founder (with Douglas Hyde) of the 'Gaelic League' (in 1893) . MacNeill issued the " Manoeuvres Cancelled " order , regarding the 1916 Rising , which was published in 'The Sunday Independent' newspaper the day before the Rising .

MacNeill believed that the Brits were about to make a move against the 'Irish Volunteers' and this apparently swayed him into supporting an Easter 1916 Rising , but he was , for the most part , reluctant to follow that path . On hearing that the weapons on board 'The Aud' would not now be available to the Irish Rebels , and that Roger Casement had been 'arrested' by the British , he reverted to his anti-Rising position . His "..Cancelled .." Order caused great confusion within the ranks of the Rebels and , although Padraig Pearse , James Connolly and other Rebel leaders immediately issued an Order that the 'manoeuvres' which had been 'cancelled' would now go ahead twenty-four hours later (ie at 12 noon on Easter Monday) , the damage had been done - less than one-thousand armed men turned out on the day .

However - end of that particular 'tangent' ! : as a result of John Redmond's pro-Brit 'call-to-arms' (in September 1914) , the 'Irish Volunteers' split - about 160,000 men stayed with Redmond , calling themselves the 'National Volunteers' , and at least 12,000 men , who dis-agreed with the 'lets-help-the-Brits' plan , left with Eoin MacNeill and other leaders , keeping the original name of the 'Irish Volunteers' : it was this (smaller) organisation which soon became known as the 'Sinn Fein Volunteers' , a 'loose term' used at the time to describe anyone , or group , who refused to help in the British war effort .......



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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

Some details about the Author , Micheal O'Suilleabhain -

The people successfully resisted the efforts to impose a foreign tongue on themselves and their children , and they countered the proselytising attempts by ardently and intensively preserving the Irish language , music , songs , games and pastimes . Micheal O'Suilleabhain is of his people - bone and tissue . Brought up in their tradition , he was a member of the Volunteers at the age of thirteen and had just reached his fourteenth birthday when the men and women of 1916 wrote the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Ireland and of the entire British 'Empire' .

During the years that immediately followed the Easter Rising he and his comrades were destined to fight a guerilla war on their native mountainsides , that was to become an important part of the pattern of the nation-wide fight for freedom . Through mountain passes and along the beds of creeks , Micheal O'Suilleabhain takes us to attack an armed 'police' patrol or to plan a large-scale engagement against the elite of Britain's specially recruited fighting forces in Ireland - the infamous Auxiliaries , all ex-commissioned Offices and , to a man , much decorated veterans of 'World War One' .

The rank smell of cordite and the smoke and dust of battle on rock-bordered roads are in this book . But in it , too, is heard the beating of the hearts of the mountainy men ; through it rings the gay laughter of its comely young women and the warm affection of parents , sons and daughters , in the mountain homes of Muskerry .

It was inevitable that Micheal O'Suilleabhain and his people should rally to the armed struggle for freedom with an all-embracing dedication . They comprehended , perhaps better than most areas in the country , the fundamental causes that led to 1916 and to the War of Independence . And from the ranks of their fighting men has come a chronicler of competence and talent to tell their story as few others could have told it .

[END of 'WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN ... - Some details about the Author'].
(Tomorrow - from November 1981 : 'Why we ended the Hunger-Strike').

Donegal IRA man , Patrick McIntyre - wanted by the RUC and by Gardai - was released by the High Court last month when his lawyers convinced the Court that he was not properly arrested and held by the Gardai . Tommie Gorman details McIntyre's story of two escapes and meets him 'on the run' .
From ' Magill ' magazine , June 1987 , pages 24 , 25 , 26 , 28 and 29 .
Re-produced here in 13 parts .
(3 of 13).

After 14 months on remand in the North , Patrick McIntyre came before a judge ; he was in deep trouble , as he had signed a statement admitting involvement in the attempted 'murder' of a UDR member ('Ulster[sic] Defence Regiment' - a pro-British militia) near Castlederg in County Tyrone , in late 1977 . McIntyre refused to recognise the court , was convicted and given a fifteen year jail sentence ; Jim Clarke was also jailed for the Castlederg attack - he got eighteen years .

The first part of their detention was spent in Crumlin Road Prison - Patrick McIntyre says he was locked-up for twenty-three hours each day . A different source says " ...conditions in the Crum were relatively calm because , soon after , Republicans in Long Kesh were breaking every stick of furniture in their cells . " Patrick McIntyre amd Jim Clarke were transferred to the Kesh at a time when the campaign for retention of political status was intensifying ; they took part in the Blanket Protest and were still there during the 1981 Hunger-Strike .

The two men were together , too, among the 38 inmates who escaped from the prison in September 1983 ; sticks and screwdrivers and handguns were used and a Prison Officer , James Ferris , was killed during the break-out . Patrick McIntyre managed to stay loose for two days ; cameramen were alerted to film him and another escaper , Joe Corey , being recaptured near Castlewellan , County Down . He would have to wait three years and three months before he got a second chance to escape .......

(Readers please note - we will publish critical comments in the 'Guestbook' , providing same contains no foul language . Go raibh maith agat , agus slan go foill - Sharon . ).