Tuesday, February 08, 2005

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

....... both Arthur O'Connor and 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald were in favour of staging an immediate armed Rising in Ireland against British mis-rule ; but Thomas Addis Emmet , amongst others that were also in the leadership of the United Irishmen organisation , were not so sure .......

Thomas Addis Emmet managed to convince the United Irishmen leadership that they should hold-off on an armed Rising and , again , seek French help . Arthur O'Connor was sent to France to plead the Irish case - but he never got there .

Whilst passing through Margate , in England , he was arrested by British police , 'tried' in May 1798 (in Maidstone - having been charged with "talk or action exciting discontent or rebellion .... " ie 'sedition') but found 'Not Guilty' ! He was released .... only to be immediately re-arrested , transported to Kilmainham Jail in Dublin and charged , again , with ' sedition ' .

Probably fearful of a second 'trial' - or maybe they just did'nt give a damn either way ! - the Brits held Arthur O'Connor , without 'trial' , for seven months (ie until January 1799) and then moved him to Fort George Prison in Scotland .

A cell in that prison became his 'home' for the following three years and two months .......


Rise and decline of the 'Officials' .
No by-line.
First published in 'IRIS' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 2 , November 1981 , pages 76 and 77.

Re-published here in 8 parts .
(2 of 8).

In 1970 , the media attached the titles of Sinn Fein 'Provisional' and 'Official' which have stuck . The Provisionals have moved ahead to become the undisputed Republican Movement , whereas the Officials have written themselves out of the republican tradition . How did this happen ?

In 1971 , the Officials still posed as a revolutionary current ; in their journal 'Teoiric' (No. 1 , Summer 1971) we already see the seeds of their future trajectory -

- " There is a danger that our fight to establish ourselves among the people , and in our fight to establish the rights of the people .... we would tend to ignore ... the question of National Independence . " This is precisely what was happening .

Uniting Protestant and Catholic workers is something we all want to see , but it cannot be done by ignoring the partition of our country and the presence of British imperialism here . Likewise , taking up 'day to day' issues does not mean setting aside the question of British troops on our streets , which is very much a 'day to day' question for many people .......('1169...' Comment : ironic , now , that the Provos are doing just that - because that's where their 'votes' are ie in 'local issues' like street lighting , trimmimg grass verges in housing estates etc . They have abandoned a 'Brits Out' policy in favour of the 'nationalist'-type agenda of "let them stay if they want , just as long as they treat us better" !)


'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 .
(3 of 7).

Tomas O Maoileoin's (Sean Forde's) fascinating if sometimes chilling account of his IRA connection ends as follows -

- " I must say after a lifetime of struggle on behalf of Irish culture and freedom for the Irish people , I see no differences in the fighting being waged against England's domination of this country today and the fight we fought in Westmeath in 1916 and in East Limerick in 1920 and 1921 . As far as I am concerned they are the same people at grips with the same enemy . "

That is the voice of the physical force tradition in Irish politics . Other voices include Frank Edwards , Peadar O'Donnell , Sean McBride , Connie Neenan , Eithne Coyle , Sighle Bean Ui Dhonnchadha , Tom Maguire and many more . There are in fact some two dozen in all .

Uinseann MacEoin says in his preface that he deliberately chose people who had been on the Republican side in the Civil War because if he had chosen people who " at the great parting had gone Free State , much of their story would undoubtedly be coloured to account for it ....... "