" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......



.......in March 1802 , Arthur O'Connor and other United Irishmen were released from Fort George Prison in Scotland under the terms of the 'Peace of Amiens' Treaty ; the men immediately travelled to France .......



Incidentally , under the 'Peace of Amiens' Treaty , the Brits agreed to relinquish control over all the territories they had 'taken' , except for two - Trinidad and Ceylon ; in return , France agreed to evacuate Italy . Surely a missed opportunity ? - how history would have changed had the French insisted on Ireland being added to that list ...

Arthur O'Connor settled in France and enlisted in the French Army ; within two years (ie by 1804) he was appointed 'General-of-Division' by Napoleon . On 25th April , 1852 , at 92 years of age , Arthur O'Connor died ; he had given 65 years of service to the Cause of Irish Freedom , but is perhaps better known and remembered in France than he is in Ireland .


' There's not an Irishman today would ever wish to roam
unto a foreign land to live , if he could live at home .
So give us our liberty , let our banners be unfurled -
in Ireland then , her children, shall prove a credit to the world . '

(From 'Show Me the Man ' , as published in the book - Songs of Resistance , 1982).


[END of -' ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......'].




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


TUIRIN DUBH and CEIMANEIGH .......


".......on the evening of 27th July 1920 , two British Army trucks were going through Ballingeary on their way to Bantry ; in the village of Ceimaneigh , the soldiers on the lead truck noticed that the second truck was no-where in sight ......."


" The old bog road , or 'tochar' , was never made to carry such a heavy vehicle with its solid tyres . An Irishman would have avoided the soft treacherous sides and kept to the road surface . But the foreign driver did not realise this danger - it transpired that the driver of the second lorry had pulled in to the side at Tuirin Dubh even further than his colleague had done at Ceimaneigh .

Perhaps the solidity of the rocks around gave them a false idea of stability below their feet . In any case , both vehicles were now held firmly , with their inner wheels sunk to the axles . Their distance apart was roughly one mile . The leading lorry had stopped in the shadow of the national school of Ceimaneigh , which stood on a sharp height above the road . Nearby , and across the road , lived a local IRA Volunteer , Dan O'Sullivan . Dan got his bicycle and left for the village of Ballingeary , to acquaint the Volunteers there of the chance that had presented itself .

On his way he saw the position of the second lorry and noted the number of the escort . Between the two , the total personnel numbered thirteen - eleven of them , a British Corporal and ten men , were armed with rifles , while the two drivers were unarmed ..."

(MORE LATER).




A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(5 of 12).



" Brian Lenihan seemed taken aback at how well organised we were , " says Patrick Hurley , from the Irish Immigration Reform Movement - " He was friendly but aloof in the way that politicians can be . He seemed not at all well-briefed about the situation on the ground , as if his impressions of New York came from a cocktail party in the consulate . "

The meeting lasted for ninty minutes , at the end of which it was agreed that the 'IIRM' would present a 'shopping-list' of action , and that the two sides would meet again a month later . The 'IIRM' came away reasonably satisfied , confident that their next meeting would produce immediate results .....

(MORE LATER).


Friday, March 26, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......



....... Arthur O'Connor and others in the United Irishmen wanted an immediate attack on the Brits ; however , others in the leadership , led by Thomas Addis Emmet , wanted to wait a while , as the French had again agreed to help . A decision was made to send Arthur O'Connor to France to finalise arrangements - he was arrested while through England ....


But the Brits failed to 'stand-up' their 'case' against Arthur O'Connor - he was found not guilty and released ...only to be immediately re-arrested , transported to Kilmainham Jail in Dublin and charged , again , with "sedition" . He was held in the prison with other members of the United Irishmen , without a 'trial' of any type , for seven months (ie until January 1799) and then all the Irish political prisoners were moved to Fort George Prison in Scotland .

They were held in Scotland for a further three years and two months (ie until March 1802) when , as one of the conditions insisted on by the French under the 'Peace Of Amiens' (which was signed between the Brits and the French on 25th March , 1802 , to bring their war to an end) the Irish political prisoners in Fort George in Scotland were released - they left Scotland immediately and travelled to France .....

(MORE LATER).





WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


TUIRIN DUBH and CEIMANEIGH .


" Tuirin Dubh and Ceimaneigh ! It was not surprising that some event of note should happen in these places in our time . It merely repeated what had happened there before , for the spirit of Maire Bhui lives on in her native Uibh Laoghaire . Her's was no mere huckstering spirit that would recommend patience and politicians as a remote cure for Ireland's ills . The present was ever and always the time to deal with tyrants , she had declared . She did not want courts or other useless machinery for their trial , but a high gallows and a good rope !

She counselled the young men to be always ready with serviceable pike and gun to meet the enemy . She exhorted them , over a hundred years ago , boldly to retake possession of the lands and homes of their ancestors . We understood how right she was ...

On the evening of 27 July 1920 , two heavy British military lorries passed through the village of Ballingeary . Their destination appeared to be Bantry , the nearest military barracks on the road to the west . The British lorries were laden with material for the maintenance of buildings . A large quantity of paint in tins added considerably to the weight of each lorry . They travelled about two hundred yards apart . Near the school at Ceimaneigh , the British soldiers on the first lorry noticed that the second was not in sight - they told their driver to pull in to the left and stop ......."


(MORE LATER).




A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(4 of 12).



It was Brian Lenihan's misfortune that his remarks on emigration came at a time when the new 'Irish Immigration Reform Movement' was mounting a campaign of unprecedented quality aimed at getting the Irish(sic) and American governments to alleviate the situation of the Irish 'illegals' , and at a time when he himself was under very heavy pressure from the 'IIRM' . Brian Lenihan met representatives of the 'IIRM' for the first time in New York at the end of August 1987 .

The delegation was mostly young , first-generation Irish immigrants with their ears close to the ground of the growing and increasingly resentful 'illegal' community , untouched by sentimentality for the old sod or reverence for politicians in Leinster House ...

(MORE LATER).


Thursday, March 25, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......



....... The Brits openly used torture on the Irish to get them to inform on the Irish Rebels - 'pitch-capping' and the use of the 'Walking Gallows' . But the United Irishmen were still active.......


Arthur O'Connor and 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald were calling for an immediate armed campaign against the Brits - the two men were prominent members of the Leinster Directory of the United Irishmen and had good 'pull' within the organisation . But so had those who were not in favour of an immediate campaign - their chief spokesperson was Thomas Addis Emmet ; the United Irishmen organisation agreed to postpone plans for an immediate attack on the British after Emmet told the leadership that the French were prepared , again , to help the Irish .

It was agreed that Arthur O'Connor would go to France to finalise the arrangements and , on his way there , whilst passing through Margate in England , he was arrested by the British police . O'Connor was 'tried' in May 1798 , in Maidstone , England , charged with "sedition" (ie "talk or action exciting discontent or rebellion" against the Westminster Parliament) - but the British had moved against him too quickly ; they knew what his intentions were but , with typical Brit arrogance , had not bothered to back-up their 'case' with proof .......

(MORE LATER).




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......





"....... Micheal O'Briain , the school-master , was trying to get through to the children that the 'gentlemen' throwing pennies on the ground for them to scramble for , were the same people that had brought a curse of blood and hardship to the land ......."



" He expected the children to show those 'gentlemen' and , indeed , to show to their own people , that their young spirits were not subdued and that as soon as possible they would rise again . He did not blame them for their action of the morning , but he expected them , now that they understood , to recover their lost prestige . The way to do that was to fling the pennies back to the English 'gentlemen' bodachs.

The seeds the good man sowed that day fell on fertile ground ; that evening , as the children were on their way home , they met the same shooting party . Again , the pennies were thrown amongst the children from the cars . And again , the children scrambled for them eagerly , much to the amusement of the rich 'gentlemen' .

But , to the consternation of the bodachs , the pennies were returned to them with a high velocity imparted by youthful arms ! "


[END of - 'GEATA BAN' : - tomorrow...'Tuirin Dubh and Ceimaneigh'.......].




A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(3 of 12).



But the 'rosiness' from Brian Lenihan re emigration continued , culminating in his now famous remark that - " After all , we can't all live on a small island . " Journalist Paul Keating is convinced that the remarks were not inadvertent -

- " In the context , it was not a throwaway line. He knew he had to look for the 'silver lining' to a cloud that had hovered over him all during his visit . He was trying to be the 'pitch-man' for a 'things-that-are'nt-that-bad' line . "

Brian Lenihan , in other words , was doing what he has always done - putting a brave face on things , stepping into the gap . For once , his burbling optimism rebounded on him ....

(MORE LATER).


Wednesday, March 24, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......



....... The Brits wanted information on the Irish Rebels ; those not 'triangled' in public were either 'pitch-capped' or put on British Sergeant Heppenstall's list .......


The British 'pitch-capping' torture was when a paper cap was filled with wet tar and jammed onto the victim's head ; when the tar was just about set (ie hard) it was put on fire and the victims hands were untied , once the fire had caught . Hands , hair , scalp , forehead and most of the face suffered horrific burns as the victim tried to remove the flaming cap .

The list which British Sergeant Heppenstall kept contained names of possible or suspected 'dissidents' , or those thought to know of same - Heppenstall was known as ' The Walking Gallows ' because his height and strength made it possible for him to hang a man or woman over his shoulder - he had refined his 'technique' so that the victim was half-hung , revived and , if he/she did'nt give information (or simply did'nt have any) he/she was half-hung again .

In most cases , if the victim did have information and gave it to the Brits after a 'session' with Sergeant Heppenstall , he/she was usually 'finished-off' by him as a lesson to others to 'speak-up' before they were introduced to Heppenstall . Many a person died on that man's shoulder because they genuinely had no information to pass-on .

While the 'pitch-capping' and 'half-hanging' was going on around the country , the United Irishmen were organising to hit back .......

(MORE LATER).




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......




"....... The Brits were angry ; their Captain was dead and their comrades in the truck were wounded . Just then , the local school-master , Micheal O'Briain , was passing the scene on foot . The British soldiers surrounded him and , for a while , it looked like he was in trouble . But they let him go ......."


" Many years before , when The Great Hunger flourished in Ballyvourney , and when Irish nationality seemed dead everywhere , Micheal O'Briain was at work in his school on a certain morning . Presently he noticed an undercurrent of disturbance in his classes . Investigating , he found that some of the children had pennies which they were proudly displaying to their less opulent neighbours . A little further research and he had the complete story of the fount of prosperity .

As the children coming to school approached the 'Big House' they were met by a shooting party , travelling in open brakes or two-horse cars . These had thrown handfuls of pennies on to the roadway to see the children scramble for them . Micheal O'Briain was shocked and grieved . There and then he delivered a lecture , and explained to the children that they belonged to a conquered race . They had been beaten by the sword , the torch , the rope , the pitch-cap and other devilish methods of torture , and every effort by famine and deportation had been made to secure their final extinction .

Yet , by the grace of God , they had managed to survive in the mountains and other waste places . Their forefathers had once lived on the good land in the middle of Ireland . That land was now held by the English 'bodachs' who had dispossessed them . It was some of these 'bodachs' who that day had thrown the pennies to them . It was no shame to be conquered , but it was a shame to become a subject race......."

(MORE LATER).




A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(2 of 12).


Paul Keating (Associate Editor of 'Newsweek' Magazine) had forty minutes of tape which was already too much for the short , highly edited piece he was going to print . The interview (with Brian Lenihan , Free State Minister for Foreign Affairs) was winding down , and both men relaxed . Keating began to ask philosophical questions , quoting John F. Kennedy on asking what you can do for your country and wondering what Brian Lenihan thought Irishmen could do for theirs .

Things began to get "a little looser" , the answers a little less pat , a bit more speculative . " But was'nt emigration a defeat for the Irish Republic(sic)?" , Keating asked . Brian Lenihan began to give a rosy picture of emigration , of skills being learned and a work ethic being developed which would be useful when the emigrants returned home . Keating was , he says , "very surprised".

"It was the first time I had heard this kind of optimism about the issue , and what he was saying seemed extraordinarily positive , given the scale of the problem . It struck me as a trifle unrealistic , given the real concerns of the Irish aliens here . When he first started to get rosy , I felt I had to press him on it . I did'nt want to give a Polly Anna-ish response if it was'nt fully considered ...."

(MORE LATER).


Tuesday, March 23, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......


....... December 1796 ; the Brits realised that it was only the weather which stopped thousands of French soldiers from landing in Bantry Bay in Cork . The British were now in a hurry to find out if any more attacks against them were planned .......


The British wanted information , and quickly ; torture was used openly and in public . During 1797 and early 1798 , thousands of Irish people were 'questioned' by the Brits re their knowledge of the Irish Rebels : in Athy , County Kildare (the Headquarters of the British 'Ninth Dragoons') for instance , a 'wooden triangle'-type structure was used , in public , with the victim tied to it , spreadeagled , facing the rough timber .

He was whipped untill he gave the Brits something they thought they could use , or until he passed-out , or died . Reports from that time mention " flesh torn in lumps from the body and the baring of bones and internal organs " due to the whippings . An eye-witness account of one of the 'triangle' whippings stated - " There was no ceremony used in choosing victims - the first to hand done well enough . They were stripped naked , tied to the 'Triangle' and their flesh cut through without mercy . And though some stood the torture to their last gasp sooner than become informers , others did not and one single informer in the town was enough to destroy all the United Irishmen in it . "

Those not 'triangled' were either 'pitch-capped' or put on British Sergeant Heppenstall's list .......

(MORE LATER).




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......




".......Our prepared plan of action was now useless ; we fired heavily on the Brit truck , wounding its driver and killing a British Army Captain . But the driver kept control and drove off , with us still firing : its petrol-tank was leaking , but it spluttered on its way . We ran after the truck , but it was too late ......."


" A party of British soldiers from Ballyvourney found the truck before we did - they had sent out a scouting-party to try and find those that had attacked their truck . We approached as near as we possibly could without being seen . Having only two rifles , we could do no better than watch their movements , and reflect with sorrow on our lack of proper arms . Had each of our men had a rifle , we could again have encircled the lot and driven them back on to the road .

As we watched , we saw a tall figure come slowly along the road from Ballyvourney . We knew him by his erect and dignified carriage . He was Master O'Brien , or Micheal O'Briain as he preferred to be called , on his way home from school . The British soldiers gathered around him , evidently questioning him , and gesticulating with their weapons . They were in an angry mood , and we all knew that his life hung on a slender thread . Their Captain had been killed and nearly every man in the lorry wounded . But they could not frighten Micheal O'Briain ....

He was a gentle , saintly man , who would not harm any creature . He was also shy and retiring . But the heart within him was stout , and, while we trembled for his safety , I have no doubt Micheal did not worry . Some of us asked my brother to allow the riflemen to open fire on the British soldiers and scatter them to cover . He told them to be ready to fire , but to wait for his word . He watched through the glasses for a long time , and , once , when Micheal was evidently ordered back from the road to the southern fence , he again said - " Be ready " .

Then Micheal sat down on the fence in a leisurely manner , and our tension eased a little . Finally , they must have given him the all clear to go home for , unhurriedly , he arose , and unconquered , he walked away down the rough boreen .

(MORE LATER).



A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(1 of 12).



Paul Keating was'nt enjoying himself much . As an Associate Editor of Newsweek Magazine with an Irish background , both of his parents coming from Clare , he keeps an eye on Irish stories and on Irish politicians coming through New York . On September 22nd last (ie September 1987) , Paul was involved in a story which the magazine was working on about illegal aliens in America , and he had been thinking in particular about the influx of "undocumented" Irish .

He went to a breakfast for journalists at the Irish(Free State) consulate in New York that morning and arranged to interview Brian Lenihan , (the then) State Minister for Foreign Affairs , the following day . Now he was sitting in the consulate with Brian Lenihan , the Irish(Free State) ambassador and the press attache of the New York consulate , listening to a very unexciting recitation of Lenihan's up-beat optimism about everything from the 26-County economy to the 'Anglo-Irish Agreement'(ie the Hillsborough Treaty).

It was pretty standard stuff , a useful panel to be boxed off the main story , but nothing to make the headlines .......

(MORE LATER).


Monday, March 22, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......


.......After one week in Bantry Bay , the 35-strong fleet of French warships had been reduced to a force of 15 ships - by the weather ! The lead ship (with French General Hoche on board) had been caught in a storm on its way to Ireland and other ships were pushed out of the Bay by gale-force winds . 400 British troops were by now on the beach , shouting 'bravely' at the French soldiers on the ships.......



The Brits had apparently been 'tipped-off' about the French fleet by the 'landlord' who lived in the 'big house' at the head of Bantry Bay - this man was later 'awarded' the 'title' of 'Lord Bantry' , by the Brits , for his "service to The Crown" . The French ships were being pulled and pushed by the continuing storm and were forced , one by one , to cut their anchor cables and allow themselves to be pushed out of the Bay and forced back to sea again .

They made sail for France , with a dejected Wolfe Tone on board . That happened during December , 1796 ; the Brits realised that it was only the weather that saved them and , in early 1797 , they set-about vigorously investigating the two main Irish Rebel organisations - the United Irishmen and The Defenders , a loose group (although large in number) which concentrated its efforts on the land question rather than the National issue of British interference in Irish affairs .

However , as far as the Brits were concerned , they were all "terrorists" and "dissidents" ; the French fleet had startled the Brits - they wanted information , and quickly .......

(MORE LATER).




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......




".......The arrival of a Ford car at the ambush site at the same time as the British Crossley truck complicated matters for us ; the car passed the site unchallenged but , in allowing it to do so , our ambush plan was no longer an option . One of our men , 'Mick the Soldier', decided to have a go at the Brits anyway ......."


" He stood on the rock , feet apart , pouring rapid magazine fire downwards at the Brit lorry . Dannie Harrington stood a few yards from him to the west firing more slowly . Across the road , Con Sean Jer fired six shots from a double-barrelled shotgun while ,near him , Jamie Moynihan rapidly worked another . A British Army Captain , named Airey , was killed beside the driver , who was himself hit twice , in the arm and the neck . The British Army lorry was by now out of control and it hit the northern rock-face a glancing blow , which tore off a spare wheel mounted on that side .

Swerving across the road , it mounted a low wall which dropped inside to a depth of about fifteen feet - it was 'touch-and-go' for a good distance ; if it toppled in , the survivors would have little fight left in them . But the driver tore it off the wall and straightened it for the road . He was a very worthy man , and when we failed to stop him we wished him well . He drove off at high speed . Dannie had a few cartridges left in his magazine - he aimed carefully and fired ; the bullet pierced the rear petrol tank . This gave us renewed hope , and we set off in pursuit of the faltering truck , running roughly parallel to the road . We had hoped to overtake it before it left the rocky country around Poul na Bro , where we could close with it again . We were doomed to disappointment .

It had cleared the ground that would favour our approach and was stopped in the only patch of open country for miles around . Moreover , a party of British soldiers from the Ballyvourney Garrison had come out to meet it and had sent out sentries ......."

(MORE LATER).




SEAN MacBRIDE : 1904 - 1988 .......

The following information was sent to '1169....' in mid-February last by a 'J.D. , Isle Of Man ' ; we reproduce it here , in 15 parts . 'J.D.' assures us that he/she got the article from an American newspaper , in the late 1980's/early 1990's .

(15 of 15).


In a comment about the death of Sean MacBride , 'The Times' newspaper of London , stated - " Many Irish politicians and voters are still in thrall to the romantic appeal of violence - provided it is directed at British victims and occurs outside the Republic(sic) itself . MacBride was a cosmopolitan high priest of this cult . " There was no mention of the violence of the forces Sean MacBride fought against in Ireland or elsewhere . Britain is untainted by it , according to the London 'Times' newspaper --

-- " Britain is that exceptional society which has not faced this problem , at least not in the agonising form in which it was posed in the Republic(sic) which Sean MacBride helped to found ." The 'Times' editorial - in common with many of the constitutional politicians who attended his funeral and with the revisionist historians - welcomes what it sees as the decline of 'that ruthless and irreconcilable Irish Republicanism '. The punchline in effect says - "good riddance" .

Perhaps , however, that "terrible beauty" will eventually be laid to rest . The absence of Sean MacBride will only help .


[END OF - 'SEAN MacBRIDE : 1904 - 1988 '- our thanks to 'J.D. Isle of Man' for that correspondence].


Sunday, March 21, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......


.......Under the Command of General Hoche , the French fleet of 35 ships arrived in Bantry Bay , Cork , on 21st December 1796 - they carried thousands of fully-armed and experienced French fighters . But a storm at sea had separated the lead ship from the rest of the convoy .......


In Bantry Bay itself , a strong head-wind prevented the ships from landing their troops . The Bay was wide open , with no British troops to offer resistance ....but the wind was growing in strength , and soon became a gale-force , which forced 20 of the great French ships out of the Bay and pushed them out to sea ; the other 15 ships attempted to move up the Bay , and it was later reported that they could only manage to move about 50 yards every 8 hours .

The gale-force winds were now mixed with squalls of sleet and snow ; but still no notable British presence to face them had materialised in the area . But the French were unable to land .... General Hoche's men were in Bantry Bay for a week ; by now , a small force of 400 British troops from the Bantry area were on the beach , throwing shapes at the French , safe in the knowledge that the French troops could not get at them .....

(MORE LATER).



WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......




".......A young lady from the neighbourhood had brought us a bucket of tea and a basket of sandwiches . After a few days of waiting , we seen one of our signallers step down from the rock he was using as a 'look-out' post ......."


" The signaller held his flag low and shook it out - then , raising it , he shot it forward ... but the flag flew off the staff and travelled a long way downhill ! We burst out laughing . Now our signaller was in a fix . With commendable presence of mind he threw down the staff and raised both arms , his palms facing towards us . We readily understood - there were two lorries ; the second signaller confirmed that on a nearer stretch of the road . It was a long time before the lorries appeared to us - they were coming very slowly . It was evident that they were heavy haulage lorries in a low gear for the incline . My brother studied them through powerful Zeiss field glasses.

" Pass the word ," my brother said , "let them through . They are laden with petrol and have only an escort of two on each lorry . We want rifles , not petrol ! " So they passed by , unconscious of the eyes that watched them . At about 3pm , one lorry was signalled . It was a Crossley , covered with canvas and well laden with British troops . It came rapidly up the incline and on to the stage set for its reception . Had the fates decreed that the matter be left solely between the two contending parties , I think both would have been better satisfied . We would have got the arms we wanted , and the casualties amongst the occupants of the lorry would have been certainly fewer or probably nil . Now a car on the road , other than a military one , was, at that time , as rare as a four-leaved shamrock .

However , there was one in Kerry , and as the military Crossley came speeding uphill from the east to cross a certain line drawn by us across its path , the Kilgarvan Ford came from the west to straddle the same line at exactly the same time ! The unexpected arrival of the Ford from the west gave pause to the throwing of the road block to allow it to pass . It passed , and the pause was maintained until it was too late . Meanwhile , the Ford met the British Crossley truck and , although going in the opposite direction , became its escort for more than halfway across the deadline to safety . Scarcely had the tails of both vehicles passed each other than a desperate effort was made by some of our men to retrieve ill fortune --

-- a furious round of bullets was opened on the British Army driver or in his direction ; it was 'Mick the Soldier' , standing , his feet apart on the rock , while he poured rapid magazine fire downwards ....... "

(MORE LATER).



SEAN MacBRIDE : 1904 - 1988 .......

The following information was sent to '1169....' in mid-February last by a 'J.D. , Isle Of Man ' ; we reproduce it here , in 15 parts . 'J.D.' assures us that he/she got the article from an American newspaper , in the late 1980's/early 1990's .

(14 of 15).


The British 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper said Sean MacBride was "the former IRA Chief of Staff whose later career saw him transformed - as if by a puff of Irish magic - into a respected figure at the United Nations ." Though less blatant than the Sunday paper's obituary , the racism from 'The Daily Telegraph' was still in evidence - " His war against 'oppression' nurtured on his strong anti-British line , however, made him a firm favourite at the United Nations , where new 'Third World' leaders were reassured with a representative of an older , white nation who could spout platitudes with great beauty at the highest level ."

A more subtle form of anti-Irishness was seen in the editorial of the British 'Times' newspaper , London - this was by far the most interesting of the obituaries as it could have been written by any one of a number of Irish politicians , academics or journalists : the theme was violence in Sean MacBride's career and in the development of the 26-County State . The analysis was that of proponents of , and apologists for, British 'rule'.

Its basic message was that the Irish are a violent race , the authors of their own misfortune . It is as if the British never set foot in Ireland !

(MORE LATER).