" 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. Ah well! Thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again next year!

Saturday, July 03, 2004

JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......

....... Michael Collins was in charge of the funeral of Irish hunger-striker Thomas Ashe in 1917 ; another Irish hunger-striker of that period , Terence MacSwiney , summed-up the Irish feeling at that time (a feeling and determination which is still prominent to this day).......

" The contest on our side is not one of rivalry or vengeance but of endurance . It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can suffer the most who will conquer . Those whose faith is strong will endure to the end in triumph ."

In mid-January 1976 , the Free State Gardai (police) located what they claimed to be a "bomb factory" in the Donabate area of North Dublin ; five Irish Republicans were in Free State custody in connection with that 'find' - Jim Monaghan , Donal Murphy , Michael O'Rourke , John Hagan and Joe Reilly .

And the leadership of the then IRA wanted those men out .......

(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.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .......

".......built in the 12th Century , owned by the MacCarthys , besieged by Wilmot's forces in 1602 , burned down in 1641 , restored within a few years and 'gifted' by Cromwell in 1656 ....... "

" After Judge Bernard 'purchased' it from The Hollow Sword Blade Company , he 'sold' it to Robert Hedges Eyre , whose daughter married Simon White of Bantry , and their eldest son , Richard , was created 'Viscount Bantry' in 1800 , and Earl of Bantry in 1816 . The 'Third Earl' modernised the castle and it passed on to his sister , 'Lady' Ardilaun .

In 1920 , it was taken over by the Auxiliaries - these were its last British occupants and , in fairness to them , I must say that they were no worse than some of its former tenants . Generally speaking , after the Battle of Kinsale , the castle in Ireland became an instrument of slavery and repression . The seat of alien government was housed in Dublin Castle , and the other castles through the country were occupied by Planters , or by people Irish in name , perhaps, but no better than the Planters .

Hugh O'Neill , of Tyrone , brought up at an English 'court' , well knew the value of the influence of the castle : passing by Mourne Abbey on his way to the fatal field of Kinsale , he saw a castle on a hill - " Who lives there ?" he asked a local man . " Oh, Barret is his name ," answered the man , " he is here a long time , nearly two hundred years , and he is a Catholic . " " I hate the bodach as if he came only yesterday , " O'Neill replied !

'The Big House' had a powerful denationalising effect on the people - from time to time it pauperised , demoralised and tried to Anglicise them . The castle might be referred to as 'the Great Big House' : it co-ordinated the activities of all the 'Big Houses' around it , as well as demoralising its own vicinity ....... "

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
8 of 12 .

It emerged , on 7th February 1975 , at which the British produced a new version of their (by now) 16-point document , that the early removal of the 'Emergency Provisions Act' was foreshadowed : they also made three other central points , on which the fate of the Truce ultimately hung -

1. The highest possible consultation had taken place on their (H.M.G.'s) side , involving the Prime Minister , the Attorney General , the Director of Public Prosecutions and a named British Civil Servant who acted as 'link-man' between Whitehall and the negotiators .
2. All points had been considered , and they had gone the furthest possible distance .
3. They were now presenting an 'amended version' of their previous document , and they had also prepared a document containing possible forms of words for the public announcement on both sides .

The bulk of the Republican demands were then conceded , though in phrases that, in some cases, differed from the original Provisional 12-point document .......

(MORE LATER).






Friday, July 02, 2004

JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .......

.......towards the end of 1975 , the Brits announced (through their spokesperson Merlyn Rees) that as of from March 1976 , political status for political prisoners was being withdrawn . Republican POW's referred the Brits back to the aftermath of the 1916 Rising when Thomas Ashe went on hunger-strike over the same issue and died after being force-fed .......

Michael Collins organised the funeral of Thomas Ashe and transformed it into a national demonstration against British mis-rule in Ireland ; armed Irish Republican Brotherhood Volunteers in full uniform flanked the coffin , followed by 9,000 IRB Volunteers and approximately 30,000 people , who lined the streets . A volley was fired over Ashe's grave , following which Michael Collins stated -

- " That volley which we have just heard is the only speech which it is proper to make over the grave of a dead Fenian . " The London -based 'Daily Express' newspaper perhaps summed it up best when it stated , re the funeral of Thomas Ashe , that what had happened had made " 100,000 Sinn Feiners out of 100,000 constitutional nationalists . " Another Irish hunger-striker of that period , Terence MacSwiney (who was imprisoned for possessing 'anti-British' documents) summed it up for the Irish people in a famous short , sharp statement he issued to the Brits .......

(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.

THE CASTLE OF MACROOM .

" The Castle of Macroom stands on the banks of the Sullane , a few miles beyond the eastern boundry of our area . Yet it is relevant to speak of it , since it played a part , and not a helpful one , in the lives of our people . Again , Macroom was our nearest or home town . The Castle was first built by the O'Flynns in the twelfth century ; later it came into the possession of the MacCarthys - in 1602 it was besieged and damaged by 'Sir' Charles Wilmot .

This must have been its last stand as an Irish Castle - it was burned down in 1641 . Donogh MacCarthy restored it and the Papal Nuncio , Rinuccini , stayed in it for a short time in October 1645 , while on his way from Kenmare to Kilkenny . Cromwell , in 1656 , 'gave' it to Admiral 'Sir' William Penn . MacCarthy got it back on the Restoration , but finally lost it in 1691 .

The 'Hollow Sword Blade Company' of London bought it by auction and sold it , at a profit, of course, to Judge Bernard , ancestor of the Earls of Bandon....... "

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
7 of 12 .

By 31 January 1975 , the British had suggested that the key to progress lay in keeping "off principle" and getting on with practical arrangements . Towards this end , they handed over two formal documents ; one was a comprehensive system of liaison involving two alternative schemes , the other was a questionnaire regarding the running of proposed Incident Centres .

In the process of reporting back to London , the initial impression was that there was welcome for the constructive discussions that had taken place . But work on the two schemes , the proposals for Incident Centres to monitor a Truce , and other matters , continued into February 1975 - on the third of that month , the British added four points to the 12-point document which the Republicans had prepared , and which formed the ultimate basis of the bilateral ceasefire .

Three of these new points concerned the types of paramilitary activity in which the IRA could not engage during a cessation of hostilities : the fourth new point promised that "the rate of release will be speeded up with a view to releasing all detainees" as soon as violence had come to a complete end .......

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, July 01, 2004

JULY 15th , 1976 : IRA PRISONERS ESCAPE FROM DUBLIN'S 'SPECIAL COURT' .

Near the end of the year 1975 , the then British Secretary of State for 'Northern Ireland' (sic), Merlyn Rees , announced that as of from March 1976 , those found guilty of " terrorist offences " (sic) would be treated as " criminals"; Irish Republicans at that time highlighted the issue in question (ie political status) by referring back to the aftermath of the 1916 Rising , when Republican prisoners in Dublin's Mountjoy Jail demanded to be treated as Prisoners Of War , not as " commom criminals ".

The Brits refused , and a hunger-strike was called - Irish Republican Brotherhood leader Thomas Ashe went on hunger-strike and died after being force-fed by the British . Michael Collins took control of the burial .......

(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.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.......

"....... Den Buckley , from Toames , later shot dead by the Brits , was in his pub with about one dozen customers when 'Percival's Crowd' ('The Essex Regiment') entered , and all were ordered outside ......."

"The customers were lined-up along the wall at right-angles to the road and had to remain there until the first of the main body of British troops arrived . Percival was on horseback and his attention was called to the prisoners ; he did not leave his position to have a frontal view of them , but called a sergeant - " Have a look at those " , he instructed . The sergeant marched smartly to the end of the line remote from him and started his scrutiny as he walked slowly back to the other end . Eyes front again , he marched up to Percival and , saluting , he reported - " There's not a Shinner amongst them , Sir ! "

Later on in the evening I came home to find my mother and Mrs. Buckley , the wife of the owner of the pub , at our gate ; both were laughing heartily . Mrs. Buckley had seen and heard the scene from an upstairs window . " Not a Shinner amongst them , said he , and sure the man was right ," said Mrs. Buckley to us , " what were they , too, but a lot of little dravelisheens . "

I must explain that it was not at any lack of physical fitness that the people laughed , but that the group so contemptously rejected by the sergeant had long before been rejected by "the Shinners" as hostile but harmless !

[END of ' The Big Round-Up.......'].
(Tomorrow - ' THE CASTLE OF MACROOM ...').


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
6 of 12 .

Discussions continued from 23 January 1975 , with substantial progress being made on what was seen as the less difficult points in the Republican demands . Freedom of movement for all Republicans during the period of the Truce was a particular sticking-point , in spite of a precedent set during the course of the negotiations with Mr. Whitelaw and the Tories in 1972 .

Towards the end of the month , the Gardiner Report and its implications were discussed . The Republican negotiators emphasised , once again , the " terrible consequences " that would follow any attempt to deny political status ; they also re-iterated their original aim in entering the dialogue ie - " If Her Majesty's Government wished to disengage from Ireland the Republican Movement would help them , but if their aim was to reconstruct British Rule in Ireland in some type of more acceptable form , then Republicans would contest the ground with them ......."
('1169.....' comment - in our opinion , the 1998 Stormont Treaty ('GFA') was an agreement between the Brits , the Free Staters and the Provos "to reconstruct British Rule in Ireland" : Irish Republicans will not accept any agreement which seeks to do that.)

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, June 30, 2004

MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER .......

....... Martin McDermott was 'Chief Architect' to the Egyptian Government when , in 1882 , the Brits bombed the City of Alexandria (July 11th , 1882) ; he designed new buildings to replace those destroyed , then, at sixty years of age , he retired and moved to London , England .......

Whilst living in London , Martin McDermott became involved in the thriving literary scene ; he helped to establish the Southwark Library Club in the same year that he moved there (1883) and , at 68 years of age , he was a founding member of the Irish Library Society (in 1891). He published a number of books ('The Coulin' , 'The Exile') and , at 71 years of age , wrote 'The New Spirit of The Nation' , perhaps his best known work .

His old friend Charles Gavan Duffy assisted him , in 1896 , when he was 73 years of age , in publishing his 'Songs and Ballads of Young Ireland' . After a life which saw him born into a wealthy family , become a leading architect , hold political discussions with a revolutionary government and spend 35 years in Egypt , Martin McDermott died in Bristol , England , on April 25th , 1905 . He was 82 years of age .

Again , we found it difficult to obtain the above information on this man - like many of those we attempt to write about on this 'blog' , the name 'Martin McDermott' did not 'jump-out' at us from the history books , and we can only hope we have done him justice . The man made his mark in his day but , like many others , todays commercialised society sees no value in remembering him .

To us , Martin McDermott is another link to our past , part of an 835-year-old saga . And Counting .......

[END of ' MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER.......'].
(Tomorrow - '1976: IRA Jail Break.......').


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.......

".......the 'Big Round-Up' was over ; the Brits were pulling-out of the area . The last to leave were 'The Essex Regiment' ('Percival's Crowd') and I knew the direction in which they were leaving - I had my Lewis-Gun , I was high up on Candroma Rock and I had the advantage of surprise ......."

"I would have given much for a shot at that murderous crowd . As they passed me by , I recognised John J. Quill , a prisoner among them ; I was in no doubt about what the result for him would be if I fired on them . Some hours later they wantonly fired at and killed Den Buckley at Toames . At the same time I must give the devil his due , and tell how one of 'Percival's Crowd' saved the life of my uncle before their rearguard had passed out of my sight ; my uncle had come to the Cross for some provisions , and left his horse and cart near the door of Den Buckley's shop and pub , which stood at the corner made by two roads .

Down the hill from Caherdaha came the Advance Party of British troops on bicycles ; some one ran to the pub door and gave the alarm and my uncle Dan ran out , jumped on his cart and went off at a fast trot . Reaching the corner , the Brits saw him go and dismounted , unslung their rifles and shouted at him to stop . He kept going . " Open fire on him ," a British Officer ordered : " No , do not," said another , " he does not hear us with the noise of the cart . I'll follow him ." Mounting his bicycle , the Brit chased after and overtook the cart . My uncle pulled up , feigning surprise as well as he could . " Did you not hear us calling you ?" the soldier asked . " No " , my uncle said , " I heard nothing until you spoke . "

A few simple questions about his business at the village and where he was going to were put to him , and he was allowed to go . Meanwhile , the rest of the British Advance Party entered the pub ; the day was warm and a dozen customers were on the premises ; nearly all were past military age and none could be accused of having a military appearance . But that did'nt matter to 'Percival's Crowd'......."

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
5 of 12 .

The game of bluff ended on 22 January 1975 , when the British returned to the bargaining table , handing over a copy of the Rees Statement in the Commons , and emphasising two points in particular which stressed a positive role for Sinn Fein as the political wing of the Republican Movement , if a Truce came into operation on a permanent basis , and steps were needed to ensure it did not break down .

They also stressed that they would have to break off the talks if two acts like those which had happened in Belfast the previous day , were repeated . On this and on several other occasions , while the British stressed the need for an over-all ceasefire , the impression was given that IRA attacks on Britain were particularly resented . They had a political effect on Westminster far outweighing much greater horrors in 'Northern Ireland' (sic) though this did not mean , of course , that London was in any way over-looking the suffering which violence had caused there .......

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, June 29, 2004

MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER .......

.......one of the Irish Rebels on the French Delegation in 1848 with Martin McDermott , Thomas Francis Meagher , dedicated twenty-four of his forty-four years on this earth to challenging British mis-rule in Ireland .......

The 'Young Ireland' Movement staged a Rising against the British in 1848 , but this was soon put down by the Brits ; Martin McDermott fled to Egypt and eventually secured a job there as the Official Architect to the Egyptian Government ; he was still in that job when , in 1882 , at 59 years of age , the British bombarded the City of Alexandria (on July 11th , 1882) - a munitions store at Marsa-el-Kanet exploded , levelling everything around it and other landmark buildings , such as the Meks Fort and Fort Napoleon , were also destroyed .

The British 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper reported at the time that ".....the Grand Square and all streets leading from it were burning . The whole European quarter of Alexandria is doomed to destruction . "

As Chief Architect , it was Martin McDermott who designed the buildings which replaced those that were destroyed by the Brits . He retired from his job when he was sixty years of age (in 1883) and moved to London , England , where he became involved in the thriving literary scene .......

(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.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.......

".......during their 'round-up' operation , the Brits did indeed capture a few IRA men , but were not sure themselves that this was the case . A group of British Army Officers told the prisoners that they would be sleeping on the floor that night , in captivity ; one of the captured (IRA) men , Patsy Cronin , slouched and shuffled around the room , with the Brits watching him in disbelief - he was stooping down to press on the floorboards every few feet ......."

" What the devil are you after ? " one of the Brits shouted at Patsy . With a vacuous stare , Patsy replied - " I am looking for a soft board to lie on , sir . " Aghast at this revelation , it was now the Brit Officer's turn to stare ....then , a smile of triumph flooded his features and , turning , he quickly walked back to his colleagues , laughing . " Did ye hear that ? " he said , " Now who was right ? We have picked-up all the imbeciles of the county ! " For that night , the prisoners had to be content with the 'bed' that Patsy thought too hard ; on the following day , they were , with one exception , all released .

They were far from being "imbeciles " - the man detained by the Brits was a giant IRA Volunteer , John J. Quill , from Bardincha , Coolea . He was taken by the (British) Essex Regiment to Toames , on Wednesday evening , en route for Kinsale . When captured , John became the target of jibes from the British Tommies , because of his height and build . They referred to him as "Enormous Paddy" , and wondered if he were as strong as he looked . At length ,exasperated , John turned on them - " I'd take any four of ye in the arse of me breeches for the whole day and never feel ye were there at all , " he told them . They became quite respectful after that retort , and did not further annoy him !

The Essex Regiment , or 'Percival's Crowd' , as they were called , were the last to leave Ballyvourney on Wednesday afternoon . I had been watching their exodus , since the day before , from Rahoona Hill , Candroma Rock and other vantage points overlooking the Ballyvourney Road . All had , so far , returned by the way they had come , along that highway . I actually saw 'Percival's Crowd' turn off the main road at Poul na Bro and come along by the foot of Rahoona ; with plenty of time to spare , I reached Candroma Rock ahead of them . My intention was to catch them with enfilading fire from the Lewis-Gun as they ascended the long steep Hill of Caherdaha ....... "

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
4 of 12 .

The initial 'off-the-cuff' British reaction to these demands was as follows -

1. Difficult ;
2. No trouble in principle ;
3. Do ;
4. Difficult where political charges were concerned ;
5. Timing and extent an issue ;
6. 'A rock' ;
7. OK ;
8. Difficult ;
9. Would have to involve the Republican Movement and the Northern Ireland (sic) Office ;
10. OK ;
11. Yes ;
12 . Fact.

There were a few days of indecision , during which the IRA had resumed limited operations in both Britain and the North , leading to a threat from the British side that " if any further activity takes place in Britain or Belfast , the meetings will probably end . "

The Republican response was to note that there had been " a genuine and sustained cessation of violence for 25 days during the Christmas and New Year Truces and there had been no worthwhile response from the British Government ." A game of bluff.......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, June 28, 2004

MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER .......

....... Martin McDermott was a member of the 'Young Ireland' delegation which travelled to Paris , France , in 1848 , to present the case , and seek support , for Irish Freedom ; they met with the French Minister for Foreign Affairs , Alphonse de Lamartine .......

...de Lamartine was well-respected by his own people ; the French President at that time , Dupont de L'Eure , was more or less a 'figurehead' , with de Lamartine holding the real power in the new French Administration . He admired the 'Young Irelanders' and supported their cause to end British mis-rule in Ireland and , as a gesture of goodwill , presented the 'Young Ireland' Movement representatives with a gift for the Irish Nation - a Tricolour Flag of Green , White and Orange , which the Irish Rebels returned with to Dublin in April 1848 .

A member of that delegation which went to Paris , Thomas Francis Meagher , was only 25 years young when he sat down with the Government of the Second French Republic ; he was born in Waterford on August 3rd , 1823 , and was only 20 years young when he decided to challenge British mis-rule in Ireland . At 23 years of age (in 1846) he became one of the leaders of the 'Young Ireland' Movement and , at the age of 29 , wrote what is perhaps his best known work - ' Speeches on the Legislative Independence of Ireland ' , of which six editions were published .

Thomas Francis Meagher died , aged only 44 , in Montana , USA , (near Fort Benton) on July 1st , 1867 .......

(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.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.......

".......I had no choice other than to abandon my plan to turn the Lewis-Gun on the British troops in their camp ; they were holding some of my comrades as prisoners and would have killed them had I gone ahead as planned ......."

" The British military from Tralee , who took part in the round-up , carried with them two IRA Volunteers but , on the following day they released them , having failed to identify them . Among the prisoners in the school at Ballyvourney were the two brothers Cronin , from Toureen , across the border in Kerry ; both were IRA Volunteers and their home , like the neighbouring houses of Muing , was always our refuge when we needed a rest . Indeed , having once crossed their hospitable threshold , one found it hard to leave again - to sit by the fireside , listening to the mother and her two sons discussing even very ordinary affairs , was a great joy in itself . A rich humour enveloped the most trivial matter but , when one of the three began to tell a story , we held our breath in gleeful anticipation .

For the story-teller could assume the role of every character in the tale , merely by the change of facial expression and the inflexion of the voice . This natural talent was to prove of great value to them , and to others , while prisoners in the school on Monday evening : a group of British Army Officers stood regarding the men they had hoped to classify as Units of the IRA . If there were some among them who thought their 'catch' was good , there were others with a more discerning eye who thought otherwise . The matter was soon put to the test , as a Brit Officer stepped forward and spoke to the prisoners -

- "Here , you fellows , you will remain here for tonight ; you may sleep there ," indicating the timber floor at large . The announcement was not received with enthusiasm , and there was no great rush to get to bed . Patsy Cronin slowly detached himself from the group of prisoners and , with a well-simulated slouch , he crossed , in full view of the Brits, to the farthest corner of the room .Here , stooping , he pressed the floor with the palms of both hands and , evidently not satisfied , straightened himself a little and moved a few yards further along the wall . Again stooping , he tested the area of floor around him within the radius of his hands .

With a frown he arose , and moving quickly forward , dropped down on his hands and knees to investigate again . The British Army Officers were watching this , with interest ......."


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
3 of 12 .

The document which the Irish Republican leaders handed over to the British at a meeting on 21st January 1975 called for -

1. Freedom of movement for all members of the Republican Movement .
2. Cessation of all harassment of the civilian population .
3. A cessation of raids on lands , homes and other buildings .
4. A cessation of arrests of members of the Republican Movement .
5. An end to screening , photographing and identity checks .
6. Members of the Republican Movement reserve the right to carry concealed short arms solely for the purpose of self-defence .
7. No provocative displays of force by either side .
8. No re-introduction of RUC and UDR into designated areas .
9. Agreement of effective liasion system between British and Republican forces .
10. A progressive withdrawal of British troops to barracks to begin with the implementation of the bi-lateral Truce .
11. Confirmation that discussions between representatives of the Republican Movement and H.M.G. will continue towards securing a permanent ceasefire .
12. In the event of any of these terms being violated , the Republican Movement reserves the right of freedom of action .......

(MORE LATER).






Sunday, June 27, 2004

MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER .......

....... John Mitchel was one of the many who left the 'Repeal Association' to support the more militant 'Young Ireland' Movement ; Martin McDermott agreed with the stand that Mitchel and the others took - they were all of the opinion that "Ireland will be avenged..."

Martin McDermott continued writing for 'The Nation' newspaper , which supported armed action in defence of Irish Nationhood : he soon joined the 'Young Irelanders' and became one of its leading members and was on the deputation (along with , amongst others , William Smith O'Brien and Thomas Francis Meagher) which travelled to Paris , France , in 1848 , to highlight the demand for Irish Freedom to the Government of the Second French Republic which had been established following the French Revolution of February 1848 .

The new French Constitution affirmed the rights of " Liberty , Equality and Fraternity , Family , Work , Property and Public Order ..." ; that which the 'Young Ireland' Movement sought for Ireland . The 'Young Irelanders' met with Alphonse de Lamartine , the French Minister for Foreign Affairs , who was well-respected by his own Revolutionary colleagues in Government and by the French workers and poor - the French 'peasant class ...

(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.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.......

".......a group of young lads from Ballyvourney were trying to escape the British round-up but were , instead , going towards another British Army camp . I pointed them in a safer direction and asked for any news they had on my comrades - I was told that a few of them had been captured by the Brits ....... "

" This news was most depressing to hear , and I could scarcely refrain from telling the bearers of the tidings how much everybody , including themselves , would benefit by their staying at home . However , I said nothing but , long after they had left , I sat among the rushes trying to decide on what I ought to do . Until I had heard of the prisoners taken , I had been very happy about my project ; I could have got one or more of my comrades to accompany me willingly , but would not think of risking anybody's life on such a scheme . Now , I was confronted with the same responsibility .

I argued the consequences with myself and , finally , had to admit to the voice of reason that , as a reprisal for my actions , the death of the prisoners would follow were I to shoot-up the British Army camp . In a very vicious humour , I shouldered my gun and marched down the road to my uncle's gate . I had kept to the by-ways to avoid meeting people and lo , they had nearly trampled me , as they came laden with bad news ! My comrades who went to Kerry were early on Monday hard pressed to avoid capture ; actually , they were within the 'circle' which had , at dawn , started to join its various arcs . Moving quickly towards the on-coming enemy , they slipped through a gap which soon closed behind them .

Other members of our IRA Column did likewise , in other directions : some who had gone to Kerry had , on Sunday night , returned to the east of Ballyvourney . Thus , on Monday evening , when the net was drawn , the British had little in it . Among a large number of prisoners assembled at Ballyvourney National School , the British had two members of our Column and a few other IRA Volunteers ....... "

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.......

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
2 of 12 .

Two days of general discussion and some 'shadow-boxing' ensued , complicated by the fact that the British side wanted the first two points kept secret but not point three (see yesterday's article...) . The formula about speaking to Provisional Sinn Fein but not directly to the (P)IRA was set out in (the British) Parliament on January 14th , 1975 by Mr. Merlyn Rees , the Northern Ireland (sic) Secretary , and became the basis of policy for the months ahead , even when, later on , (P)IRA Commanders from Derry and Belfast joined with Provisional Sinn Fein leaders in direct negotiations with the (British) Stormont Officials about monitoring and maintaining the Truce which finally was agreed to come into operation on 11th February , 1975 .

The basis of that Truce was laid in a 12-point document entitled 'Terms for a Bi-lateral Truce' which the Republican leaders handed over at a meeting on 21st January , 1975 .......

(MORE LATER).