" 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.)



IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Friday, October 15, 2004

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

.......British Crown re-inforcements had arrived at the Widow McCormicks house at Ballingarry , County Tipperary , to rescue their forty-six colleagues who were hiding-out in the house , and who were holding the five McCormick children as hostages , in order to stop the Irish Rebels from attacking them . The Rebels had to flee the scene.......

William Smith O'Brien , Thomas Francis Meagher and Terence Bellew MacManus were captured , but John O'Mahony , James Stephens and John Blake Dillon escaped . John O'Mahony went to America and was one of the founders in that country of the American Fenian Brotherhood (or 'Clann na Gael' , referred to in Ireland as simply 'The Organisation' or the 'IRB') , while James Stephens made it safely to Paris , France , and , that being the time of Louis Napoleon , made contact with several 'secret societies' which existed in France at that time .

(Small 'tangent' - eight years later [ie in 1856] , James Stephens was to go on a 3,000-mile 'tour' of Ireland , mostly on foot , organising opposition to British mis-rule in Ireland) On Saint Patricks Day in 1858 (17th March) , James Stephens was one of those who took an Oath , in Dublin , -

- "...in the presence of God , to renounce all allegiance to the Queen of England , and to take arms and fight at a moments warning to make Ireland an independent Democratic Republic , and to yield implicit obedience to the Commanders and Superiors of this Secret Society . " That "..Secret Society ..." was the Irish Republican Brotherhood ...

(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.

AISLINGI .......

"....... in Ireland , the 'vision' of freedom is known as the 'Aisling' - a desire to strike back at the British , and lead others in that Cause . One who had this 'Vision' was Tom Clarke ... "

" Tom Clarke was born in a British military camp at Hurst Park in the Isle of Wight , on 11th March 1858 . His father was then a Corporal in the British Army but , like Tom's mother , was Irish born . A year later Corporal Clarke was drafted to South Africa where the family lived until 1865 . Tom first saw Ireland about 1870 , when his father was appointed a Sergeant of the Ulster Militia and was stationed at Dungannon , County Tyrone .

Here Tom grew to early manhood , and his father wished him to follow in his own footsteps and join the British Army , but the 'Old Woman' had already enlisted Tom in her own small but select Army , and at a time when prospects appeared most dreary . For the gloom of the 'Famine' and the defeat of the Fenians still hung heavy over the land . Tom Clarke was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood by Michael Davitt and John Daly ; he could have had no more worthy sponsors .

In 1880 , at twenty-two years young , he emigrated to the United States where he joined Clann na Gael , and quickly volunteered for Active Service in Britain . The ship he travelled on struck an iceberg and sank , but he was rescued and landed on Newfoundland . Resuming his interrupted journey , he reached London where he was soon arrested - he had been followed from New York by 'Henri Le Caron' , a British spy . On 14th June , 1883 , at the 'Old Bailey' , he was , with three others , sentenced to penal servitude for life ....... "

(MORE LATER).


THE IRA ATTITUDE TO ELECTIONS .......
First published in 'AP/RN' , September 5th , 1981 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
(2 of 5).

" There was also , at the time of the split , a simplistic republican attitude , heightened by the 1969 pogroms , to the 'Stickies' position . Therefore , there was a reaction within the Republican Movement against taking political control within the nationalist community or examining methods , even electoral , for doing this .

The 'Sticky' attitude towards elections is one of complete involvement with the system and cannot be divorced from their collaborationist attitude towards the RUC and loyalist paramilitiaries and reactionary elements within Fine Gael , and towards the whole national question , and the partitionist state , Leinster House and Stormont . ('1169 ...' comment - 'Stickies' [WP] then , Provos now ...)

Similarly , the republican attitude towards elections cannot be divorced from our total rejection of the six-county state , our struggle for the last twelve years , of unbroken resistance to the British government and to its crown forces , and our refusal to compromise with loyalism . "
(MORE LATER).






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 ...

(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.

AISLINGI .

" 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 ....... "

(MORE LATER).


THE IRA ATTITUDE TO ELECTIONS .
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 ." )
(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, October 13, 2004

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

....... fleeing from a crowd of about one-hundred armed Irish Rebels , the RIC forced their way into a two-storey house just east of the town of Ballingarry , County Tipperary . There were no adults in the house at the time , but five children were inside .......

An RIC Inspector , followed by forty-five of his men , ran into the house shouting - " British Grenadiers ! British Grenadiers ! " They then proceeded to thrash the dwelling , ignoring the cries of the children , and used what little furniture there was , and the debris they created , to block doors and windows .

On being told that there were five children in the siege house , Rebel leader William Smith O'Brien offered the RIC hostage-takers the opportunity to surrender , making it clear that they would only lose their weapons , not their lives ; but the offer was rejected . The RIC contingent inside the house realised that the Rebels would not attack as long as the McCormick children remained in the house .

They also knew that their RIC colleagues were on the way ; so they 'got brave' , refusing to release the child hostages or surrender : surrounded by their enemy , yet safe from attack . They cleared window-space in the house and readied their rifles .......

(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 TRUCE.......

" ....... one of the neighbouring Republican judge's , a good man in all ways , had let his new position go to his head , with talk of "...long experience..." on the bench ......."

" The Courthouse was packed when he made that remark - people looked at each other , but the heavy silence was maintained . It continued long enough to allow the full import of the judge's opening remark to be assimilated by even the most dull-witted among the audience . And then the ' envious Casca' struck - not from behind the judge's back , but from somewhere amongst the edge of the populace . It was not a short sword or dagger that was used ; it was a high-pitched cachinnation .

It rent the silence with cumulative effect , for it was possessed of that diabolical quality which compelled the listeners to genuine laughter in spite of their utmost efforts to restrain it . Alas for the blight on flowering genius ! Olagon for the glories departed !

It is indeed a fact that people in high places must needs walk warily , and even the utmost circumspection will sometimes avail them little ..."

[END of ' THE TRUCE....... '].
(Tomorrow - 'AISLINGI'['Visions']).


HISTORY LIVES ON .......
Review of the book 'Survivors' , written by Uinseann MacEoin , and published by Argenta Publications , Dublin , 1980 .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 , page 117 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
[6 of 6].

Cumann na mBan was incredible in its militancy - Eithne Coyle (Cumann na mBan President) recalls how ..."...as things developed in 1922 , we could see that the Free State was toeing the line for Britain . Nearly all the girls stayed Republican , but the men seemed to waver ." Later , in a political address to Cumann na mBan in 1935 , she stated : " We offer no apology to the rulers North or South of this partioned land in asserting our rights as freeborn Irish women to repudiate that Treaty and the Imperial Parliament of partioned Ulster . We fight for an Ireland where the exploitation of Irish workers by imported or native capitalists will be ruthelessly exterminated . (We will) put an end for all time to that state of chaos and social dis-order which is holding our people in unnatural bondage . "

In this book , Republican women and men recall for the first time the vivid and historic epoch through which they lived ; the high hopes , the scrambles , the fights , the escapes , periods of imprisonment , executions ; the long weary road back into civilian life , back to an Ireland where the reality fell far short of the dream ...

[END of 'HISTORY LIVES ON .......'].
(Tomorrow - 'The IRA Attitude to Elections' : first published in 1981).






Tuesday, October 12, 2004

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

....... a contingent of forty-six RIC men from Callan in County Kilkenny arrived in Ballingarry , County Tipperary , on 29th July 1848 , to arrest the Irish Rebels that were in that town . Realising they were outnumbered , the RIC retreated - but were seen by the Rebels .......

The RIC gang quickly headed out of the town , followed closely by the insurgents . The British 'policemen' headed East out of Ballingarry and took refuge in a two-storey grey-stone farmhouse on the top of a small hill (the house now boasts a plaque above its door , inscribed 'Remember 1848' , and is known locally as 'The War House' ) .

At that time , a British 'warrant' had been issued for the 'arrest' of William Smith O'Brien and , in all probability , the RIC detatchment from Callan , Kilkenny , were out to prove to their British paymasters that they were a trust-worthy bunch of loyal serfs , and decided that , by putting down a Rebel Rising and 'arresting' a wanted man , they could do just that .

But , out-numbered two-to-one , they fled - but could'nt escape their pursuers ; so they forced their way into a house owned by the Widow McCormick , who was not at home at the time . But her five children were .......

(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 TRUCE.......

" .......the Republican Court system was up-and-running ; a neighbouring Republican , a small farmer , who acted as a judge , was on his third case ....... "

" His judgements had been applauded by the litigants , the people and the lawyers ; naturally , like all good workmen , he took a legitimate pride in his work , and why not the same in his new profession ? So far his efforts had been crowned with success , and a bright future beckoned to him imperatively . But the course of success , like that of true love , does not always run smoothly . Around the corner will be found the obstacle , awaiting its opportunity .

The scene was again the forum , and the third trial was in progress . The great interest it had aroused was manifest in the numbers of the populace who followed with respectful and rapt attention the varying stages in the unravelling of its tangled skein . For it was a fairly complicated legal problem ; at length , however , the full legal facts were before the bench , and nothing remained to be said but the pronouncement of judgement . All eyes were now turned on the judge .

Very efficient and calm , he seemed , as he handled his notes . After a reasonable period of time he appeared to have made up his mind . He glanced upwards , then lowered his eyes again and , clearing his throat a little , said :

" This has been a complicated case , the most difficult I have met with , in all my long experience on the bench ..." The people looked at each other ......."

(MORE LATER).



HISTORY LIVES ON .......
Review of the book 'Survivors' , written by Uinseann MacEoin , and published by Argenta Publications , Dublin , 1980 .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 , page 117 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(5 of 6).

Most interesting of all I found Peter Carleton of Belfast , who was a Section Leader in Na Fianna Eireann ; he tells of when Frank Ryan came up to Belfast in 1925 for the Wolfe Tone Commemoration which was held on the summit of Cave Hill , at MacArts Fort .

Referring to the 'Union Jack' flags flying about the city , he declared - " Where I come from , if we can't pull them down , we shoot them down ..." . A new generation of Irish Republican fighters is now carrying out this task .

Until recently we knew about Republican men in the past but little about Republican women ; this book makes up for that to a large extent . Apart from Nora Connolly O'Brien , it collects the memoirs of a number of very brave and dedicated fighters - Marie Comerford , Eithne Coyle (President , Cumann na mBan) , May Dalaigh , and Shiela Humphreys (Vice-President , Cumann na mBan) .

The story of Cumann na mBan is still largely untold - the steady , hard and unrewarding work they did in the political and military spheres .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, October 11, 2004

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

.......in the midst of so-called 'famine' , with disease such as typhus fever and cholera stalking the land , the 'Young Irelanders' were attempting to recruit for a Rising against British mis-rule in Ireland . The British 'police' force , the RIC , were watching developments .......

The RIC were 'the eyes and ears of Westminster' , and were told by their informers of the intentions of the Irish Rebels and of the fact that armed men and women were gathering in Ballingarry , County Tipperary .

The RIC were also told that William Smith O'Brien , James Stephens and Terence Bellew McManus were in that town , organising the insurgents . A patrol of forty-six RIC men , from Callan in County Kilkenny , were the first to arrive in Ballingarry on that day , the 29th July , 1848 , knowing that more British Crown re-inforcements were on the way .

However , on seeing a rebellious crowd of about one-hundred people , armed with firearms and/or pikes , the RIC decided to retreat until their re-inforcements arrived ; but the Irish Rebels had seen 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.

THE TRUCE.......

"....... during one case in the Republican Courts , at which my brother Pat was the judge , the defendant , Mikeen , was listening to the evidence against him ....... "

" An IRA policeman finished his evidence by stating " I took him into custody ..." , when Mikeen rose and shouted " Ya did , ya yob ya ! " . Calamity ! But the people and court bore up bravely ; not until they saw the learned judge show grave symptoms of disintegration did they surrender . Then , led by the bench , they all laughted together . The sentence was light - the judge lectured Mikeen on the virtures of self-restraint and , of course , on the evils of drink . Mikeen promised to reform completely , but the judge hastened to explain that that was not entirely necessary , that a fair distance along that particular road would suffice .

The neighbour whom he had assaulted was then brought forward and Mikeen completed his sentence by shaking his hand cordially . Furthermore , he promised the judge that never again would he interfere "...with the same man ," a pronouncement so specific as to be viewed with misgiving by some of the more discerning among his neighbours . However , their fears were never realised and , ever afterwards , they lived in the harmony which began on that night when judge and prisoner , people and policeman , all laughed together .

The next case occurred in a neighbouring parish . The new judge , a local farmer , had already dealt successfully with the first two cases to be brought before the Republican Court in his district ......."

(MORE LATER).


HISTORY LIVES ON .......
Review of the book 'Survivors' , written by Uinseann MacEoin , and published by Argenta Publications , Dublin , 1980 .

First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 , page 117 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(4 of 6).

John Joe Sheehy , Commandant Kerry No. 1 Brigade , IRA , stated - " I admire the struggle of the oppressed Northern people , and how they are hitting back at an invading army trying to do the 'cos ar bholg' on them . " So much for the spineless commentators who tell us "...the old IRA was never like this , " etc etc .

Others who provide us with a personal view of the historic battles and ambushes are Pax O'Faolain (Brigadier General IRA) , Tom Kelleher (Commandant General IRA 1st Southern Division) , Tony Woods , Con Casey , Walter Mitchell , Connie Meenan and Dan Gleeson .

From the North there is Neil Gillespie (Volunteer 2nd Northern Division IRA) , who tells of the struggle in Derry , as does James McElduff (Captain 2nd Northern Division IRA) .

(MORE LATER).