" 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!

Friday, October 29, 2004

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

....... Ireland , 1940's - the island had been partitioned by the Brits , and Westminster was looking at the Six County area and thinking , again , of conscription ; the pro-British U. S. Ambassador to the Free State , a Mr. David Gray , contacted his 'boss' , the American Secretary of State , on 24th May 1941 , regarding the political situation on the island .......

In his message , Mr. Gray stated - " Opposition leaders yesterday informed me that conscription without a conscientious objectors escape clause for minority Catholic nationalists will constitute a major irretrievable and probably fatal political blunder at this time and play directly into de Valera's hands with grave possibilities for American interests . They [the opposition leaders] predict draft riots , the escape of draft dodgers to Southern Ireland who will be acclaimed as hero martyrs by three-quarters of the population and the fomenting of trouble by Republicans and Fifth Columnists .

The clearest headed leader predicts that de Valera will seize the opportunity to escape from economic and political realities by proclaiming himself the leader of the oppressed minority and with the blessings of the Cardinal will rouse anti-British feeling and call a Holy War . I think it a very likely prediction . All classes of opinion here unite in condemning the move as calamitous . It appears to be a repetition of the same fatal blunder made during the last war .

The weak and failing Ulster [sic] Government is probably seeking to sustain itself by provoking a crisis . Unless Great Britain is prepared from a military point of view to seize the whole country it appears to be madness . So little can be gained and so much lost ... "

(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 .......

" ....... Aileach , ancient fortress of the O'Neills , is over two thousand years old ; one of its Chieftains was baptised by Saint Patrick ....... "

" Out of Aileach came the High Kings from whom were descended Hugh , and Shane the Proud and Eoin Rua . They , with their neighbours the O'Donnells of Tir Conaill , will be ever remembered for the prolonged fight they made . Aubrey de Vere says of them - " Lo ! these are they that year by year , rolled back the tide of England's war . "

And finally , when Red Hugh O'Donnell had been poisoned and Hugh O'Neill forced to exile in his old age :

: " He sits abstracted by the board ,
Old scenes are pictured in his brain ;
Blackwater , Armagh , the Yellow Ford ,
He fights and wins them o'er again .
Again he sees fierce Bagenal fall ,
sees craven Essex basely yield ;
Meets armoured Seagrave , gaunt and tall ,
And leaves him lifeless on the field . "

There is a legend that , in a cave under the Hill of Aileach , a group of Knights of the Gael stand by their steeds ; all are asleep , but only wait the word of Sile Ni Ghardha [Ireland] to spring into action for the ultimate freedom of their country . Our gifted and patriotic poetess , Ethna Carbery , describes Aileach and the sleeping warriors . I believe , with her , that the men of today are as good as the men of the past .

" Oh , Sile Ni Ghardha , why rouse the stony dead ?
since at your call a living host will circle you instead ,
Long is our hunger for your voice , the hour is drawing near -
Oh , Dark Rose of our Passion ; call , and our hearts shall hear ! " "

[END of 'AISLINGI ' ; END of the book - 'Where Mountainy Men Have Sown'].
(Next - A few details about the author , Micheal O'Suilleabhain.)


Communication from BOBBY SANDS , Long Kesh H-Blocks , early December 1978 .......
As published in 'IRIS' magazine , November 1981 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
[6 of 6].

" We will not allow ourselves to be tortured to death in this modern day stalag which has nothing to offer but a modern day holocaust and remembering Germany after the war , it cannot be said - 'We did'nt know...' "

Republican POW's ,
H-Block 3, 4 and 5 ,
Long Kesh .
(PS : A Chara , have had to rush this . Can you issue it as a statement . This is the seriousness of the situation here . It's very , very bad . But we shall not be broken . Venceremous , Marcella ).

[END of ' Communication from BOBBY SANDS.....'].
(Next - 'One that got away' ; 1978 - Donegal IRA men , the RUC , the Gardai and the Free State High Court : from 'Magill' magazine , June 1987 .)






Thursday, October 28, 2004

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

....... the Brits tried to introduce conscription in Ireland in 1918 ; it went bad for them , but they did'nt learn from it : in 1941 , they looked at the Six partitioned North-Eastern Counties of Ireland -and considered conscription again ! At a meeting in January 1941 between the US Ambassador to the 26-County State , a Mr. David Gray , and Eamon de Valera , strong words were spoken .......

Mr. Gray stated that de Valera "...had capitalised on hatred of Great Britain for political reasons and so must take some responsibility for the existing popular state of mind ..." , by which he meant the Free State policy of (so-called) 'neutrality' and the then impending strong possibility of conscription by Westminster in the Six Occupied Counties , which de Valera and his State Administration were opposed to .

David Gray said afterwards - " He ( de Valera ) began to talk about his rights . I told him that the only right that he and myself enjoyed was to believe in our religion , and be burned for it if need be . Every other right depended upon force to maintain it , and he was steering a very dangerous course if he thought otherwise ... " ('1169...' comment - that is a truism that the Free Staters and their latest 'new friends' , the Provisional Sinn Fein political party , amongst others , would do well to remember ) .

Although pro-British in his mindset , Mr. Gray recognised the reality of the then existing political situation on the island of Ireland - on 24th May , 1941 , he sent a wire-cable (ie - like a 'text message' , for our younger readers !) to the American Secretary of State ...

(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 .......

" ....... all places steeped in history - Slaine , connected with our Saint Patrick , and Sliabh Mis , where the herdsmen gathered ......."

" We pass over time and space to visit the mighty Brian at Kincora ; he is mighty because by his energy and tenacity he succeeded in uniting the warring factions of his country-men , and with one strong blow drove from Ireland a powerful invader . The death of Brian and the almost entire destruction of his race on the day of victory at Clontarf was a calamity not fully appreciated at that time . For , when the next invader came , a weak-kneed monarch occupied the throne of Ireland .

To encompass within a small space even the names of all the historic places of Ireland would be difficult ; to enumerate the battles , large and small , which, during the past ten centuries , have been fought on the sod of Ireland would take a long time . To assess the amount of suffering endured by the people of Ireland during one day of foreign rule would be impossible .

I will mention only one more famous place - Aileach : ancient fortress of the O'Neills ; its age is over two thousand years ... "

(MORE LATER).


Communication from BOBBY SANDS , Long Kesh H-Blocks , early December 1978 .......
As published in 'IRIS' magazine , November 1981 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(5 of 6).

" We have now reached the stage where we have not a single thing left to lose except the loss of life among us and we know that even this is imminent . We are not prepared to sit back and be battered to pulp , to be literally torn apart , to have our naked bodies scalded and scarred .

In our naked state we are easy prey and very vulnerable to attack . We have little to fight back with . We can suffer no more than is being inflicted upon us now . If necessary we shall fight to the death ... "

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, October 27, 2004

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

....... the 16th April 1918 'Conscription Act' in Ireland (the 'Military Services Bill') was opposed by the majority in Ireland - even a previous 'recruitment officer' for the British , a Cardinal Logue , objected to it .......

This member of the Catholic Hierarchy , Cardinal Logue , had allowed his name to be added to the list of those which were published on British Army recruiting posters which urged Irishmen to join the British Army but , following the passing in Westminster of the British 'Military Services Bill' , the Catholic Church Hierarchy announced at each Sunday Mass that anti-conscription pledges were available to be signed outside the Church Gates following the Mass !

But , as usual , the Brits did'nt learn from the experience in 1918 - in 1941 , conscription was again being discussed in Westminster ; this time for the partitioned Six North-Eastern Counties of Ireland . It is recorded that , at a meeting between the then ' American Ambassador to Ireland' (sic- the Free State) , a Mr. David Gray , who was said to be friendly with the British Ambassador to America , 'Lord' Halifax , and Eamonn de Valera , which took place in January 1941 , Gray rounded on de Valera " ...for capitalising on hatred of Great Britain ..." .......

(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 .......

" ....... Tara and Clonmacnois are known the world over as being associated with Irish Kings and as places of learning . There are other places , perhaps less well known but just as important ......."

" Rath Cruachan of Daihi , Maebh , the Kings of Connaught , and the Tuatha de Danaan Queens who gave their names to Ireland - Eire , Fodhla and Banba - are all buried there , not forgetting Conn of the Hundred Battles . Sheep and bullocks graze on this once mighty and populous plain . Cnoc Almhain , hosting-place of the Fianna , and Eamhain Macha , headquarters of the Red Branch Knights , recall Fionn and Oisin and Oscar and Cuchulainn , Ireland's greatest warriors of the past .

Uisneach , one of our most storied hills , where the ancient divisions of Ireland met ; once a great city crowned it . Here was lighted the first fire to the pagan gods in Ireland . Here fell Lugaidh Lamhfada , one of Ireland's greatest Kings and here , Saint Brigid founded a convent . Tleachta and Tailteann , old pagan meeting-places famous for druidical sacrifices and the great fair .

Nearby Slaine where Saint Patrick lighted the fire that quenched the fire of Tleachta and all other pagan fires . From Slaine our thoughts fly to Sliabh Mis where a youth tended his earthly master's herds ....... "

(MORE LATER).


Communication from BOBBY SANDS , Long Kesh H-Blocks , early December 1978 .......
As published in 'IRIS' magazine , November 1981 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(4 of 6).

" The media has reported the barbarities taking place in these hell blocks ; for anyone to say they don't know what is taking place here is an untruth . Many people have sought , to their everlasting shame , to remain silent . We have also listened to many people speak of the atrocious conditions and torture here and we have heard of many seeking solutions , making proposals and investigations .

There has been too much talk and too much talk of talk but no ease in the torture of 345 naked men in these H-Blocks . The torture has multiplied while we have suffered and bled .

While people have remained silent or talked in circles , we have now reached a stage ......."

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, October 26, 2004

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

.......7th May , 1918 - 73 people , comprising the leadership of the then Sinn Fein organisation , were 'arrested' by the British , in what Westminster promoted as the 'German Plot' arrests . But the Irish Republican leadership had been told that that would happen .......

The Sinn Fein leadership was aware of the impending 7th May 1918 'arrests' but did not leave their usual haunts for 'safe houses' (except for Michael Collins , who decided that his time would be better spent 'outside' , stirring things up over the 'arrests' , rather than 'inside') - they (correctly) assumed that the Irish people would be incensed by the British action , thus helping the Rebel cause .

Then , as mentioned previously , on 3rd July 1918 , Sinn Fein , the Irish Volunteers and the Gaelic League were 'outlawed' by Westminster . A good indicator of anti-conscription feeling in Ireland can be gauged by the actions of that most anti-Republican institution , the Catholic Church Hierarchy , and a certain Cardinal Logue in particular : this man had previously joined forces with the British to assist them in their recruitment campaign in Ireland .......

(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 .......

" ....... when we think of the past , we think of places like Tara and Clonmacnois , the two most famous in Ireland ... "

" Tara , seat of the Kings of Ireland , was old when Christ was born ; it was abandoned in the second half of the sixth century but , because of its ancient glories , is still an inspiration . One hundred and fifty-three Irish Kings had reigned there before A.D. 563 . Its traces alone , without the written word , give ample testimony of its former greatness ; four hundred pikemen of 1798 lie buried there - their dust further sanctifies the soil of Tara .

Clonmacnois , founded by Saint Ciaran on 23rd January A.D. 544 , quickly became a seat of piety and learning and a city grew up around it . Students from every country in Europe attended its schools ; now it is a vast graveyard where rest the greatest and noblest of the land . T. W. Rolleston writes of it -

- " In a quiet watered land , a land of roses ,
Stands Saint Ciaran's city fair ;
And the warriors of Erin , in their famous generations ,
Slumber there . "

Other old places , Pagan and Christian , next in renown to Tara and Clonmacnois , pass in review before us ....... "

(MORE LATER).


Communication from BOBBY SANDS , Long Kesh H-Blocks , early December 1978 .......
As published in 'IRIS' magazine , November 1981 .
Re-published here in 6 parts .
(3 of 6).

" Within the past nine months we have seen outbreaks of jaundice , ringworm , dermatitis , disentry and severe diarrihoea - as well as dozens of minor and serious rashes . Never have the medical staff here blinked an eye or even handed out a painkiller to a sick man . We have suffered until men have collapsed and had to be taken out to hospital .

Our resistance to the daily brutalities has been token , in that, when the screws come to drag us out to be forcibly bathed or subjected to a degrading body search , we have sat on the floor of the cell and refused to move ......."

(MORE LATER).
(...and its great to be back ! Our 'Junior' enjoyed his time with the girlfriend , while the rest of us here at '1169...' had a break in County Waterford - it rained [all day !] Friday , on our way down , 'monsooned' with more rain on Saturday and Sunday ... but the sun finally broke through on the Monday , as we were heading home to Dublin ! Ah , sure , we still have our health ...).