Friday, February 25, 2005

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

... at 34 years young (in 1797) , Dr. William James MacNeven , a leader of the United Irishmen organisation , travelled to France to seek help for an armed Rising in Ireland . Eight months previously , the French had attempted to offer assistance to the Irish .......

In December 1796 , a French expedition to assist the Irish Rebels had failed ; that was under the command of French General Hoche . The Irish , one and all , were now paying the price for daring to involve the French in British 'internal' affairs . Now the British had a fleet of fighting ships anchored off the French Coast - William MacNeven's plea for assistance was described by the French as being "impractical" , and he returned to Ireland empty-handed .

Dr. William James MacNeven was one of the 15 members of the Leinster Provincial Directory of the United Irishmen that were 'arrested' by the British in March 1798 at the home of Oliver Bond in Dublin ; the informer Thomas Reynolds had led the Brits to them , and MacNeven was imprisoned in Kilmaimham Jail in Dublin .

With most of the United Irishmen leadership in prison , the Brits went on the rampage throughout the country , slaughtering the rank-and-file of the (now leaderless) Irish Rebel Army . The men in prison had to do something .......


By John Dean.
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , October 1980 , pages 30, 31, 35, and 37.
Re-published here in 20 parts .
(7 of 20).

Ronald Reagan's political 'package' is an attractive one ; the simple slogans , the irrevalent data , jokes , camera appeal and social grace - neatly wrapped and presented with the skill and timing of a professional actor . It has , in an age of confusion , brought the American Presidency within Reagan's grasp . It's a development that many find difficult to take seriously - the rumour goes that when Jack Warner , the head of Warner Brothers , first heard that Ronald Reagan was going to run for President he responded - " No , no , the casting is all wrong . Jimmy Stewart for President , Ronnie Reagan for best friend . "

Reagan's first political speech was as 'Class President' at Eureka College , a small Christian college in rural Illinois ; he entered the college in 1928 after a relatively poor childhood , with his family moving from one small Midwest town to another .

Ironically , that speech was in support of a student strike , a phenomena that Reagan would encounter again and again as Governor of California in the turbulent 1960's .......


DEATH LIST 1989 .......
Two RUC Officers and two British soldiers , one based in West Germany , were killed by the IRA since mid-May , while a Catholic barman was shot by the UFF bringing the total death toll to 39 this year .
No by-line.
From 'MAGILL' magazine , July 1989 , pages 22 and 23 .
Re-published here in 14 parts .
(3 of 14).

9th February : Tony Fusco (33) of Milford Row , Divis Flats was shot by the UVF as he walked to work in the Smithfield Market in Belfast city centre . His family denied a UVF claim that Mr. Fusco was a member of the IRA and said he was shot solely because he was a Catholic .

12th February : A solicitor Patrick Finucane was killed by a UFF squad in front of his wife and children at his home in Fortwilliam Drive in North Belfast . A UFF claim that he was a member of the IRA was denied by his family and by the Republican Movement . Mr. Finucane was solicitor for Bobby Sands during the 1981 hunger strike and was prominent in representing families of the victims of the shoot-to-kill policy later investigated by John Stalker .

14th February : John Davey , a Sinn Fein Councillor in his late fifties , from Magherafelt , County Derry , was shot dead as he returned to his home after a meeting of Magherafelt District Council . Exactly a year earlier he had survived a similar assassination attempt . Mr. Davey's car was found stationary with its headlights switched off and handbrake on - giving rise to speculation that he thought he had been stopped at a checkpoint at the end of a wooded laneway to his home .