Thursday, September 08, 2005

By Breasal O Caollai .
First published in ' New Hibernia ' Magazine , December 1986/January 1987 .

In 1969 , the IRA was experiencing its own 'transformation' - the Cathal Goulding leadership was moving the organisation in a definite left-wing direction . Instead of organising for another border campaign he was openly declaring for a revolution ; but what he meant by revolution was not necessarily a blood bath but a change in the ownership of the resources of the country .

His leadership wanted the working-class to be owners of the country's resources ; a policy document found on an IRA man in 1966 spelt out how this was to be done - infiltration of peoples' organisations - the trade unions , the tenant associations etc and the establishment of organisations where there was a possibility of movement in a left-wing direction .

This development by the post 1962 leadership caused a few 'splutters' among the 'old brigade' ; many became inactive in the Republican Movement while many more dropped out . In the late 1960's this policy of the IRA was directly responsible for the emergence of the ' Northern Ireland (sic) Civil Rights Association ' , the ' Housing Action' committees , the 'Fish-In' Campaign (where the nationalisation of 'privately' owned rivers and lakes was demanded ) , land agitations and a host of other agitations .

Cathal Goulding's idea was to organise the people in support of what he and the majority in his small organisation sought . Inevitably the gun was produced which saw the burning of foreign owned farms in Meath and other areas , in support of small farmers resisting spiralling land prices brought on by foreign bidders . A fishing boat was blown up in Rossaveal in Connemara again in the name of the locals . Buses owned by the Silverdale company which was involved in carrying strike-breakers to work at Shannon were burned and blown-up in several areas around the country .

It was all a far cry from the traditional Republican policy of non-action in the 26 Counties .......


As Sinn Fein has become more active , members of the government parties have sought to isolate the Provos politically .
The record shows , however , that some of those politicians have for years sought support from Sinn Fein - and some continue to do so in so far as it is politically expedient .
First published in ' MAGILL ' Magazine , September 1984.

Other examples of the embargo would be the refusal of Liam Kavanagh to see a delegation from Longford County Council to discuss road improvements ; the Sinn Fein member of the delegation , Michael Nevin , withdrew and the meeting then went ahead .

Minister Liam Kavanagh was accused of being anti-democratic ; he did not think he was - " I have accepted the democratic will of the people of Longford and saw the deputation . " He said that people who voted for Michael Nevin (SF) , who was Chairman of the County Council ... "...might not be aware of Sinn Fein policy .. "

Frank Glynn , who was elected by members of both the Fine Gael and Labour parties to the post of Chairman of Galway County Counci in 1979 and who has since voted for Fine Gael as well as Fianna Fail and Independent Chairmen , was turned away from Leinster House on March 15th . Minister of State at the Department of the Environment , Fergus O'Brien , said that he woud only meet a delegation from Galway County Council if Frank Glynn absented himself .

Eddie O'Doherty , a Sinn Fein member of Carrick-on-Suir Urban District Council , says that Minister of State , Eddie Collins , would not meet him on July 18th : O'Doherty says that he wanted to talk to the Minister about the closure of a local industry ........


The Gardai had in their possession a clue which could have led them to the O'Grady kidnappers and their captive some ten days earlier .
A card found in a rucksack after the Midleton shoot-out led them directly to the gang once they checked it out - but this was ten days later , by which time John O 'Grady had lost two of his fingers .
First published in 'MAGILL' Magazine , May 1988 .
By Michael O'Higgins .

1. The O'Hare Gang Comes Calling .
John O'Grady was standing at the top of his stairs when Dessie O'Hare , attired in a grey suit and black balaclava , came smashing through the wooden framed glass-panels of his front door with a sledgehammer . Up to that point it had been an unremarkable day ...

O'Grady had returned home from his dental surgery in Wellington Road at six o'clock , a little earlier than usual . He had dinner with his wife Marise and three children , Darragh , aged thirteen , Anthony , twelve , and Louise , six . After dinner he went up to visit his mother Kitty O'Grady , who was sick . He returned home just before nine o'clock .

The children were already in bed ; John and Marise O'Grady decided to have an early night . They were in bed watching television when at around half past nine they heard the sound of breaking glass . They thought it might have been Anthony and Darragh playacting ; John O'Grady got up in his pyjamas and went to investigate .

Confronted with a stranger breaking down the door with a sledge-hammer , John O'Grady instinctively descended a few steps of the stairs . Now , Dessie O'Hare was standing in front of him pointing a gun at his head , threatening to blow him away . There were three other armed men , also wearing balaclavas , along with O'Hare . O'Grady told O'Hare not to panic , that he (O'Grady) was not going to do anything .......