Friday, February 11, 2005

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

....... the two 'main men' behind ' The Press' newspaper were Arthur O'Connor and 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald .......

'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald was born on 15th October 1763 , in Carton House , County Kildare ; he was the 12th child of the first 'Duke' of Leinster and Emilia Mary , who was the daughter of the 'Duke' of Richmond .

At 16 years young he joined the 'Sussex Militia' and was posted to America on 'active service' - he was severely wounded at the battle of Eutaw Springs , when he was 18 years young (in 1781) and returned to Ireland.

At 25 years young he went to Canada and re-joined the British Army , following which 'adventure' he again returned to Ireland and was elected as M.P. for Kildare .

The events at a political 'Dinner Party' which he attended one night was to have a profound effect on his 'career' .......


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 .
(5 of 8).

The logic of this course was to become ' Sinn Fein-The Workers Party' in 1977 and one wonders why they did not drop the Sinn Fein tag altogether . The collapse of this reformist course came in the 1981 local elections in the North when they lost their three seats in Belfast .

In their journal 'Workers Life' [June 1981] they say that this was due to " an assault from two ultra-left groupings .... " referring to the two councillors elected for 'Peoples Democracy' and IRSP on a H-Block ticket : the remaining 'Sticky' prisoners had long since been disowned by their organisation .

But , bemoaning the fate of Gerry Fitt who lost his seat , they say that the results " indicate a sharp swing to the right in the Roman Catholic ghettoes ....... "


'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 .
(6 of 7).

Sometimes one could have done with more rather than less from some of the survivors interviewed : Sean MacBride after all was not alone a survivor but a very active and significant participant in the Clan na Poblachta Inter-Party Government era of the late 1940's and early 1950's ; his insights on this decade would have been literally priceless .

And a figure like Connie Neenan could have opened that closed treasure house of information about the activities of the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes network in America which he and the late Joe McGrath did so much to build-up on the shoulders of the old Clan na Gael organisation .

Both as a journalist and am an amateur historian myself I feel strongly that if people of this calibre and significance are going to talk they should talk the whole way , as it were , because , in many ways , public men's lives are not really their own exclusive property .......