Thursday, February 09, 2006

This article is based on a lecture delivered by Sean O Bradaigh in Dublin on January 21 , 1989 , marking the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the First (All-Ireland) Dail Eireann in the Mansion House on January 21 , 1919 , and the links between Irish and French Republicans - 'Partners in Revolution' 200 years ago .
Published in 1989 by Sean Lynch , Cleenrath , Aughnacliffe , County Longford , on behalf of the County Longford Branch of the National Graves Association .
By Sean O Bradaigh .
Liberte ! Egalite ! Fraternite ! Ou La Mort ! ( (Freedom ! Equality ! Brotherhood ! or Death!).
Unite Indivisibilite De La Republique !

Come! Rise in your might , O best of men ,
And muster your pikes in yonder glen ;
Your enemies smite , with sword and lance ,
And no laws you will own , but those of France!

The French Hill monument outside Castlebar , County Mayo , bears the inscription :
' In grateful remembrance of the gallant French soldiers who died fighting for the freedom of Ireland on the 27th August , 1798 . They shall be remembered forever . '

' O The French are on the sea
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht
The French are on the sea
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht.

O ! The French are in the Bay
They'll be here by break of day ...

And will Ireland then be free ?
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht
Will Ireland then be free ?
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht

Yes! Ireland shall be free
From the centre to the sea
Then hurray ! for Liberty !
Says the Seanbhean Bhocht .


On 30 January 1972 , 14 civilians were shot dead by the British Army . They had been taking part in a civil rights march in Derry , protesting against internment without trial .
British 'Lord' Widgery was highly selective in the 'evidence' he used in his 'official' report on the matter - and some of the accounts he chose to include were highly suspect. The victims' families have campaigned for justice ever since . Their case is too strong to ignore any longer .
First published in 'MAGILL' magazine , February 1998 .
By Eamonn McCann .

British 'Lord' Widgery heard evidence from two civilians who had carried the wounded Gerald Donaghey into the Glenfada Park home of Raymond Rogan , chairman of the local tenants' association - the two men described Donaghey's tight-fitting jeans and denim jacket , and said they saw no nail-bombs . Leo Young described searching Donaghy's jacket pockets for identification after they had laid him down in the Rogan home .

There had been no nail-bombs ; Donaghey was examined in the house by Dr. Kevin Swords of Lincoln Hospital , who had been in Derry visiting relatives : he gave evidence of loosening Gerald Donaghey's clothes to examine a gunshot wound in his abdomen and then "...going over his whole body .. " for other wounds . He noticed no nail-bombs .

Charlie Hazlett , a reporter with the 'Belfast Telegraph' newspaper for more than 20 years , sheltering in the Rogan home , said he watched closely as Dr. Swords examined Donaghey . He noted no nail-bombs . Raymond Rogan carried the dying Donaghey in his arms to his car and eased him into the rear seat . No nail-bombs . Leo Young sat into the rear seat and cradled Donaghey as they set off . Still no nail-bombs . At Barrack Street , the car was stopped by a British military patrol and Rogan and Young ordered out ; a British soldier drove the car to a first-aid post on Craigavon Bridge . Here , Donaghey was examined by a medical officer from the First Anglian Regiment , who gave evidence of examining the body before pronouncing Donaghey dead .

He noticed no nail-bombs .......


INFORMERS : The RUC's Psychological War .......
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983.
By Sean Delaney.

The James Kennedy informer trial - also known as the M60 Trial because of the involvement of some of the accused Republicans in earlier successful machine-gun ambushes - took place in June 1981 , some ten months after James Kennedy had agreed to testify . But some of the verdicts were forestalled by the timely escape at gunpoint from Crumlin Road Prison of the seven main defendants , and another man from Ardboe in County Tyrone ('the Crumlin Road Eight') .

Six of the eight men were subsequently arrested in the Free State and sentenced under the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act to ten-year sentences . Two men are still uncaptured . Those of the remaining defendants in the Kennedy case who had not signed statements incriminating themselves were later acquitted , making the whole affair a grave embarrassment to the RUC .

Nevertheless , the precedent which had been initiated in the McWilliams case and followed up by James Kennedy's testimony , had firmly set the stage for future attempts to gain convictions against Republicans and supporters on the uncorroborated 'evidence' of paid informers .......