Wednesday, February 09, 2005

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

....... in January 1799 , Arthur O'Connor was locked-up in Fort George Prison in Scotland - the Brits left him there , without a 'trial' , for three years and two months .......

Then , in March 1802 , as one of the conditions insisted on by the French under the 'Peace Of Amiens' Treaty (signed between the French and the British on 25th March 1802) the Irish political prisoners in Fort George were released .

Incidentally - under the 'Peace Of Amiens' Treaty , the Brits agreed to relinquish 'control' over all the territories they had 'taken' , except for two - Trinidad and Ceylon . In return , France agreed to evacuate Italy ; if only Ireland had been part of that deal .... missed opportunity !

In 1803 , Arthur O'Connor was deported to France , where he became a General in Napoleon's Army ; within two years he had risen to the rank of General-of-Division . He was to marry into a family which had attempted to assist the Irish fight for freedom by leading an armed expedition to Ireland .......


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 .
(3 of 8).

Reaction throughout Ireland to the heroic hunger-strikers shows how real the question of British imperialism is - the 'Officials' now refer to " a mythical national question ... " diverting our attention from the 'real' (?) issues .

By 1972 , the 'Officials' had declared a unilateral ceasefire on the grounds that a continued military campaign would cause sectarian conflict ; it is hard to take this justification seriously . The Six County 'State' was built on sectarian discrimination and thrived on it until the 1970's when the final stage of the liberation struggle began .

Sectarian conflict is there because British imperialism built up a pro-imperialist minority in Ireland with the crumbs from its imperial table - the Labour 'aristocracy' .

The truth is that by this stage the 'Officials' , or 'Sticks' as they became known , had moved towards ' a two nations' theory . The collapse of Stormont in March 1972 , which was a great victory for the risen Nationalist people , was bemoaned by them because Loyalists saw it as their institution and hence it was 'legitimate' ('1169...' Comment - note that it is now the Provos themselves who " bemoan .... the collapse of Stormont ... " ; what a tangled web etc !!) .......


'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 .
(4 of 7).

Uinseann MacEoin deliberately chose to interview those who had been on the Republican side in the Civil War ; I don't know whether this is intended to convey to the reader that the people he interviewed were not 'coloured' by the 'great parting' but I feel that he made a mistake in not including the Free Staters .

They were Irishmen too and fought gallantly during the Anglo/Irish War ; they did not become retrospectively less patriotic , or in some way reverse their earlier roles by the choices made . It would have been illuminating and balancing if the interviews had been carried out on both sides .

But even the note of bitterness which some of the survivors occasionally strike in ungenerous references to their opponents will be salutory in reminding younger readers of what the post Civil War bitterness was like . Obviously , reading of the executions carried out during the Civil War against Republicans , this generation is going to have an insight into why such feelings are still held by old men .......