Friday, February 04, 2005

'THE PRESS' Newspaper , October 1797 - March 1798 .
Too Radical for the Radicals .......

....... Ireland , January 1792 ; the first issue of the 'United Irishmen' newspaper , 'The Northern Star' , was published . Westminster did'nt like the look of it and set about closing it down : five years later (ie 1797) they sent in a 'heavy-gang' .......

In 1797 , the five-years-young newspaper ' The Northern Star ' was finally put out of business when its Offices and printing-press were destroyed by pro-British militia ; please note that this 'blog' already covered , in far greater detail than the above two posts , 'The Northern Star' newspaper (see 'Archives' list) .

However - within a few months of the closure of ' The Northern Star ' newspaper , a new 'star' (!) was born ; 'The Press' newspaper . The two 'main movers' behind the new newspaper were Arthur O'Connor ( a nephew of British 'Lord' Longueville ) and 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald (whom we have mentioned on this blog before) .

Both those men were known by other members of the United Irishmen organisation , and by its leadership , to be amongst the more militant element in that group .

Arthur O'Connor was born in Cork in 1760 (or 1765 - different dates given by different sources) to the Conner family ; Arthur later changed his surname , put himself through school , became a barrister and , later , an M.P. in Westminster - and , along the way , he joined the United Irishmen .......


Encounters with youths exposed him to IRA.

First published in 'NOW' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 4 , October 1989 , page 37 .
Re-published here in 5 parts .
[5 of 5].

'Lord' Mountbatten was particularly attracted to boys in their early teens ; it was this characteristic which made him especially vulnerable to the IRA , because he needed to slip away from his personal bodyguards to keep dates with such boys , some of whom came in contact with IRA men .

His vice habit was similar to that of the former British Secret Service Chief , 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield , who was appointed ' Ulster (sic) Security Co-Ordinator ' by Margaret Thatcher in the wake of the Mountbatten assassination .

'Sir' Maurice also slipped away from his 'personal protection detail' - a team of handpicked , plain-clothes British 'Royal' Military Policemen - on various occasions while he was living in Stormont House , beside Stormont Castle in Belfast . But a plan by the IRA to kill him during one such expedition into County Down failed when he was unexpectedly moved back to London .

(Monday 7th - ' A STICKY END ; THE OFFICIALS ' , from 1981 ).

'Survivors' : collected by Uinseann MacEoin .
Reviewed by Tim Pat Coogan.

First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , December 1980 , page 53.
Re-published here in 7 parts .
(1 of 7).

My judgement on this book can be summed up in two words - get it ! Apart from being produced with fine illustrations by Colman Doyle , large print and so on , at the contemporary market level for hard cover books it is reasonably priced . It is a " good read " in itself and a thoroughly significant collection of memoirs which , though they deal (as the title suggests) with survivors of the Anglo/Irish War and Civil War period , also throw a very significant light , or shadow , depending on how one looks at the predominantly Republican viewpoint of the survivors , on the present Northern situation .

For instance , one of the most formidable guerrilla fighters of the Tan War was Tomas O Maoileoin of Westmeath , better known as Sean Forde , Commandant General of the IRA . A couple of his reminiscences give the calibre of the man -

- " At that moment the tongs , reddened in a fire , was carressed along my back . I fell forward with the shock and pain . Struggling to my feet , I let them have the weight of my tongue for treating a prisoner so . They forgot the tongs and lunged at me instead . I received a rain of blows before I collapsed again ....... "