Friday, January 07, 2005

THE BOUNDARY COMMISSION , 1921-1925 .......
A British 'sleight-of-hand' which caused a mutiny within British forces in Ireland.......

....... rumours were being spread that the Boundary Commission had decided to order the Free Staters in Leinster House to cede some of its territory to Stormont ; the Free Staters declared that that would not happen but then , days later , its one and only representative on that three-person Commission , Eoin MacNeill , resigned from that body . The rumours persisted and , three days after he resigned from the Boundary Commission , Eoin MacNeill 'resigned' (or was 'pushed' ?) from the Free State Government itself . The Brits , however , had more 'humble-pie' for their serfs in Leinster House to digest .......

A little-known clause in the ruling of the British 'Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ' came into play - this stated that the Boundary Commission was fully within its rights to continue with its brief even if it was reduced in size ie from three to two members ! The 'all new' (ie two-member !) Boundary Commission then reminded the Free State President , William Cosgrave , that he had given a pledge to them , in September 1924 , that he would accept the Commission's findings , which he had because , being the 'cute hoor' Free Stater that he was , he reckoned (and was probably led to believe by the Brits) that the Commission would insist on no territorial change being made , which would allow the Free Staters in Leinster House to shrug their shoulders , rub their hands , fraudently claim
annoyance and say - ' Ah , well , sure we tried our best .... '

But now , by all accounts , it seemed that the Free State would have to hand over some of its territory to the Six County 'State' - the 'get-out' plan was back-firing on them ! On the 25th November 1925 , one day after Eoin MacNeill had washed his hands of the whole lot of them , Free State President William Cosgrave and Kevin O'Higgins , the Free State 'Minister for Home Affairs' , went to Downing Street , in London , where they held a meeting with the then British Prime Minister , Stanley Baldwin , and the Stormont 'Prime Minister' , 'Sir' James Craig . The Free Staters were , by this stage , in a state of controlled panic - as well the Brits knew .

Eight days later (ie on 3rd December 1925) , an 'arrangement' was agreed between the Free Staters and the Brits - and , with the Staters being 'on-the-ropes' , Westminster done them no favours .......


... and Maggie is still on their hit list .

Twenty years into their campaign against the British Army , the IRA is still as far from victory , or defeat , as ever . Now , its leaders talk exclusinely about their plans .
Margaret Thatcher is still a target , so are some members of the British Royal family , while attacks on British forces in continental Europe will continue . Peace is out , says a spokesman , there is nothing to be gained from a ceasefire .

By Derek Dunne .
First published in 'NOW' magazine , volume 1 , No. 4 , October 1989 , pages 5 and 6 .
Re-published here in 10 parts .
[10 of 10].

In an interview , an IRA spokesperson said - " Life for the bulk of our Volunteers is'nt a bed of roses - there is no difference , except in dates , between what is happening in the Six Counties today and what happened in the Tan War . Had the Republicans of 1921 held out against the threat from Lloyd George of an immediate and terrible war perhaps we , the children of the civil rights generation , would not have inherited this British nightmare , and all the calumny that comes with it , from politicians in their cosy positions in the 26 Counties - positions earned from the sacrifices of the IRA earlier this century . " ('1169...' Comment - ironic now that some of those "cosy politicians" are members of Provisional Sinn Fein and , by their (in)action , are postponing the struggle for a future generation to take up !)

The IRA spokesperson said the IRA was appealing to " ordinary people " to take a 60-year view of the North - " Then they'll appreciate that it is not the IRA who are to blame for the state of things but those in power who have chosen to perpetuate injustice and inequality . " On the subject of killing Protestant members of the British forces , he said -

- " Ulsterisation has all the advantages of allowing the Brits to portray the conflict as being between two indigenous peoples on British soil , whose differences are largely religious , whereas the truth is that the UDR and the RUC (pro-British forces in the Six Counties , comprised mainly of locals) are willing puppets of British imperialist rule and their religion has got nothing to do with it . "

[END of ' WE FIGHT ON ....'].


Irish-Americans have long had complex and contradictory relations with Ireland and the 'Irish Question' . On Saint Patrick's Day , all the ambiguities are apparent .
This year (ie 1987) , on Saint Patrick's Day , the latest book by Irish writer , Jack Holland was published in New York , exploring the tangled web of links between Irish-Americans and the Irish in Ireland , the IRA and the Irish government .

' The American Connection ' describes the activities of leading Irish-American politicians , of romanticising writers and of gun-runners .
In this edited extract , the author tells how Noraid was set up and how it has resisted pressures to disclose all the sources and uses of its funds .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , April 1987 .
Re-published here in 31 parts .
(18 of 31).

Another U.S. Grand Jury convened in Philadelphia in 1973 and subpoenaed local members of NORAID ; one of them , Daniel Cahalane , was suspected of purchasing twenty thousand dollars' worth of guns and ammunition in Norristown , Pennsylvania .

Like the men brought to Fort Worth , Cahalane refused to answer the Grand Jury's questions , and on July 27th 1973 he was jailed for contempt . Defence lawyers alleged that Daniel Cahalane and two other local men were the victims of wiretapping .

Two years later , Cahalane , along with four other NORAID activists , was indicted for conspiracy to smuggle weapons and munitions to the IRA ; one of those charged was an ex-steward on the liner 'QUEEN MARY' , who was accused of sending six suitcases of arms and ammunition on the QE2 with an 83 year-old woman .......