Wednesday, November 10, 2004

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

....... at the first meeting of the 32-County Dail Eireann , in Dublin's Mansion House , on 21st January 1919 , Cathal Brugha was elected as ' Acting President ' in place of Eamonn de Valera , who was at that time still in a British jail ...

It should be noted that Eamonn de Valera had contested a seat in the 14th December 1918 General Election for the Falls constituency of Belfast but lost to local 'United Irish League' leader , Joe Devlin , by 8,488 votes to 3,245 .

However - in January 1919 , the First Dail met ; in September 1919 , the British declared Dail Eireann to be an " ...illegal assembly .." , and it was forced to go 'underground' . But 'underground' or not , it still functioned : Michael Collins and Harry Boland made plans to rescue de Valera from Lincoln Jail in England and , on 3rd February 1919 , after four cakes , each containing a key (!) had been sent into him , he escaped .

In April 1919 , Eamonn de Valera was elected by the Dail as 'Head of the Irish Government' ; finance was raised by selling 'Republican Bonds' and the Minister for Finance , Michael Collins , raised £358,000 in this manner .

A daily (or almost so !) 'News Bulletin' was published , meetings were held regularly , including a large gathering in Cork (in January 1920) organised by the 'Dail Commission on Irish Industrial Resources' which was attended by farmers , business people , shop-owners etc. and various experts in the 'produce market' .

The population were willing to show their support for the "...illegal.." all-Ireland Dail Eireann .......


Why We Ended The Hunger-Strike .
The full text of the H-Block Blanket Men's statement announcing the end of the 1981 Hunger-Strike .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2, November 1981 , pages 23 , 24 , 25 and 26 .
Re-published here in 18 parts .
(5 of 18).

" On July 4th , 1981 , the 'Irish Commission for Justice and Peace' (ICJP) entered the H-Blocks and put proposals to the hunger-strikers ; they put the same proposals to Brendan McFarlane the next day .

On July 8th , 1981 , Joe McDonnell died and the British Government issued their policy statement . We released a statement rejecting the British Government's statement and ambiguous proposals as even less than what we were originally led to believe was offered via the ICJP .

We also rejected the ICJP's proposals which totally evaded the crux of the issue and we expressed our belief that the British Government had used the ICJP to foster the impression that a settlement was imminent . Westminster's renegal on their own commitment to the ICJP compounded our belief that the ICJP were being used .

Later , the ICJP itself dismissed the British Government's proposals as not a genuine attempt at a settlement ....... "


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 .
(8 of 13).

Chief Superintendent Patrick Murphy left the witness box ; defence counsel Patrick Gageby did'nt even attempt to smile ; but he did believe that 'the door had been left ajar' ...

Early last year Patrick Gageby and Anne Rowland had unsuccessfully appealed the three convictions of County Louth men in the Drumree Post Office murder trial - Garda Frank Hand had been killed in an armed robbery .

In the Court of Criminal Appeal , however , Gageby had spotted one sentence and quietly filed it away . He now suggested that Chief Superintendent Murphy had not informed the court of his state of mind when signing the extension order ; it had not been proven that the garda officer had the requisite mental element to justify the detention .

State Solicitor Ciaran McLoughlin was quickly on his feet trying to answer the point ; District Justice McMenamin adjourned the hearing to consider this and other legal matters raised .......