Thursday, March 31, 2005

By Emer Woodful .
The murder of LVF leader BILLY WRIGHT has ignited the most violent spell in the North's recent history and threatened the peace process . He may well have considered it an appropriate legacy .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 , pages 30,31,34 and 35 .
Re-published here in 17 parts .
(9 of 17).

Two of Billy Wright's sisters were married to Catholics ; he had no problem with Catholics per se , he said - " I lived among nationalist people , I grew up with them . I'd no difficulty with them . If only the IRA and Sinn Fein would recognise our right to exist , to be British , then I believe the two communities could come together , and a new form of life within a British context could evolve . " ( '1169...' Comment - " within a British context... " in the Six Counties is not an 'offer' ; it is that which is the cause of the conflict , and always has been in Ireland).

Indeed , Wright had grown up mixing with Catholics in South Armagh . Although he was born in England , he had returned to the North of Ireland at the age of four and settled in the mainly Protestant village of Mountnorris . He played Gaelic football with Catholics in nearby Whitecross and , unusually , also learned Irish history .

He moved to Portadown and , when he was 15 , was jailed for six years for possession of a firearm and hijacking .......


By the late Cork Republican , Gearoid MacCarthaigh .

" It had always been the practice that only flags and banners of Republican organisations be allowed to be carried in the Parade at Bodenstown ; in 1968 , it had been widely rumoured beforehand that the Communist Party of Ireland proposed to march behind their flag in Bodenstown . Officers of Cumann na mBan met Cathal Goulding in the Assembly Field and got a guarantee from him that only flags of Republican organisations would be carried in the parade .

The women did not trust Goulding and made arrangements to be enforced along the road if the flag of the Communist Party of Ireland was being carried in the parade behind their backs . On being informed about a mile out the road that that flag was being carried , they at once fell out of the parade . The following week Cathal Goulding declared that Cumann na mBan were no longer members of the Republican Movement ; he had bitten off more than he could chew .

The women continued as always ; in Cork City they were forcibly evicted from their meeting place in the Thomas Ashe Hall and warned not to come back again . A guard was placed on the main door to prevent them from entering and , for a few weeks , they held their meetings down 'The Boggey Road' until one day , while on her way to a meeting , the Cumann na mBan Officer Commanding spotted that the guard was missing from the main door .

She quickly collected all her members and they entered the Hall and barricaded themselves into their regular meeting room ....... "


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper , Aibrean [April] 1957 , page 3.
(IML. IX. UIMHIR 4 - price Tri Pingin [Three Pennies].
Thanks to my late friends Christy and Theresa L. for giving me this 48-year-old newspaper ; this thread published in memory of those two old Fenians ! - John.

' " This gathering is an effective answer to the people who denied publicity to Sinn Fein in this election " - so said Tomas O'Dubhghaill , addressing one of the biggest Sinn Fein rallies in recent years , at Dublin's GPO , on Saturday night , March 2 , 1957 . 15,000 people filled Ireland's main thoroughfare and they were indeed an answer to those who imposed the ban on Republican news and activities during the past months .

From the very beginning the enthusiasm of the crowd was marked ; three parades arrived simultaneously - one from each of the Dublin constituencies which was being contested by Sinn Fein . Banners and slogans carried by the marchers were greeted with cheers as they drew near the platform . Fianna Eireann scouts and the Emerald Girl Pipers Band headed the parade .

Saoirse Dearle opened the meeting by reading the 1916 Proclamation , following which a recording of the Last Post was played and two minutes silence observed . Tomas O'Dubhghaill , the candidate for Dublin South Central , was the first speaker to be introduced by Sean O'Suilleabhain , Director of Elections for Tom Misteil .

Tomas appealed to the electorate to vote for the Sinn Fein candidates and endorse the stand made by our 152,000 fellow-countrymen in the North ....... '