Friday, February 17, 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 !

Bad weather separated General Lazare Hoche's vessel from the fleet ; an easterly gale continued for several days and by December 22 , 1796 , only half the fleet had entered Bantry Bay . French Marshal Emmanuel Grouchy , the second-in-command , decided not to disembark as he had only 6,400 men and the storm would have made a landing hazardous . " England , " said Wolfe Tone , " has not had such an escape since the Armada . "

W.B. Yeats wrote many years later that " John Bull and the sea are friends ... " . Ireland lost a good friend and skilled soldier when Lazare Hoche died of fever in 1797 : more fleets were organised , notwithstanding the strain on military resources , as the new Republic came under attack from Monarchs and Emperors throughout Europe , including the British , and despite the fact that the French navy was not at all well organised or equipped .

Three expeditions were authorised by the French Directory in July of 1798 and command of the first and smallest of these was given to General Jean-Joseph Humbert . His small fleet of three frigates , loaded almost to danger point with munitions and other supplies and carrying 1,090 seasoned troops , of whom 80 were Officers , broke the English naval blockade . The fleet's Commander , Chef de Division Savary a competent mariner , outwitted the British Royal Navy and landed his men at Cill Chuimin on August 22 , 1798 .......

By Martin Calligan.
(No year of publication.)

Britain suppressed the lawful elected Government of Ireland by sending in her Black and Tans : when brute force failed Britain called a cease fire ; the negotiation was then between the two sides of the conflict (now it is only between her allies) .

Michael Collins insisted that he would be one of the negotiators , the great and noble Cathal Brugha objected in case the negotiations broke down : that delegation to London had very definite instructions from their Government that the independence of the Irish nation was not negotiable and nothing was to be signed in the absence of their Government . The delegates broke their trust by signing what was in fact only the British Government of Ireland Act 1920 , put over as a treaty in 1921 .

Erskine Childers , who was Secretary of the Treaty delegation , said that Michael Collins was blackmailed into signing , that he did have an affair with one of the 'establishment' people and who was 'in the family way' : Lady Lavery threatened to expose Collins if he did not sign ; that would ruin Collins and put him in the same position as Charles Stewart Parnell . Later the First Free State Government demoted Collins by 'promoting' him to Chief of the Free State Army and making him answerable to the Free State Cabinet .......

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

After the chaotic ending of the Clifford McKeown and Sean Mallon (no link) preliminary enquiries , and desperately anxious to prevent the premature collapse of their informer tactic , the RUC acted swiftly in collusion with the six-county Director of Public Prosecutions and the Orange judiciary to resurrect the almost obsolete 'Bill of Indictment' : this legal ploy , against all precedent , disposed with the preliminary hearing altogether , preventing defence counsels properly enquiring into the evidence against the defendants they represented until the commencement of the trial itself , and enabled the RUC to maintain the isolation of their informers , where necessary , for significantly longer periods than would otherwise have been the case .

To date , the 'Bill of Indictment' has been used on two occasions : on September 21 in the case of nine Dungannon men incriminated on the 'evidence' of informer Patrick McGurk , and subsequently in the Christopher Black case : Black , in fact , although his trial commenced on December 6th , 1982 , was only obliged to be in court for the 13-day period in January during which he actually gave 'evidence' , and then was whisked back to his hide-out in 'protective custody' in England . After the use of the 'Bill of Indictment' in the informer Patrick McGurk case a number of solicitors and barristers protested briefly and ineffectually against the 'Bill' , but there is at present little evidence other than that most members of the legal profession in the North of Ireland are so compromised by their acceptance of the Diplock Court system that they are incapable and unwilling to mount any effective protest .

There is no doubt that if , as must be thought likely , the Orange judiciary shows a willingness to further reduce the minimum safeguards remaining in the legal system in the North of Ireland and accept the uncorroborated 'evidence' of paid informers and alleged accomplices , the RUC will enthusiastically try to use the informer tactic as part of a long-term strategy against Nationalist resistance .......