Thursday, February 10, 2005

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

....... in 1803 , Arthur O'Connor was deported to France , where he became a General in Napoleon's Army - he quickly rose to the rank of General-of-Division .......

Arthur O'Connor married Elisa de Condorcet , daughter of the French philospher and statesman , the Marquis de Condorcet . Arthur became known as ' General Condorcet O'Connor of the French Service' ; his wife was a niece of the Marshal de Grouchy who himself actually commanded an abortive expedition to Ireland between 1796 and 1797 to assist the Irish Rebels .

On 25th April 1852 , Arthur O'Connor died , at 92 years of age (or 87 years of age , depending on your source) . Arthur had a brother , Roger (1763-1834) , who was also a barrister , and was a member of the United Irishmen , too - and , like Arthur , Roger O'Connor had 'done time' for 'membership' in Fort George Prison , in Scotland . And full marks to that side of the O'Connor (Conner) Clan - a thorn in the side of the Brits ! :

' There's not an Irishman today would ever wish to roam
unto a foreign land to live , if he could live at home ,
So give us our liberty , let our banners be unfurled -
In Ireland , then , her children shall prove a credit to the world ! '

The other 'main man' behind the launch of 'The Press' newspaper was 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald , an interesting character .......


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 .
(4 of 8).

On this basis Hitler's Third Reich was also 'legitimate' ; the 'two nations' theory was , of course , one of the reactionary justifications for partition - loyalists had ' the right to national self-determination ' .

However , this theory has absolutely no historical or practical validity , it is just an imperialist smoke-screen to maintain an anti-Nationalist 'beachhead' in Ireland . As the 1970's wore on , the 'Officials' settled down to an electoralist path , regularly running candidates in the North and South , and trying to win official positions in the trade unions .

In the North , particularly , they entered enthusiastically into local councils , trying to replicate William Walker's 'gas and water socialism' , so soundly criticised by James Connolly .......


'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 .
(5 of 7).

But it is important to remember that , for example , my generation born in the mid-thirties , was the first to emerge into the political arena in which the old 'catch-cries' about "Blueshirts" , "the 77" , "the Treaty" , "the Oath " and the rest of it began to be overlain by debate about the new men and the new ideas that Sean Lemass , Ken Whitaker , and Sean O Connchubair brought forward and thereby allowed the careers of contemporary figures such as Charles Haughey to take their rise .

But it was this earlier feeling of bitterness which shaped and mis-shaped the political and economic climate in which we were brought up ; not that all the memories are bitter . The phenomenal Sean MacBride , for instance , is his usual urbane and multi-faceted self and the memoirs of Sighle Ui Dhonnchadaha , May Dalaigh , Eithne Coyle and indeed of all the women generally , are a joy .

Then , to the left , the recollection of Frank Edwards and John Swift cannot be faulted on the grounds of either objectivity or clarity or charity .......