Wednesday, February 22, 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 !

" We present ourselves as sincere friends to all who will embrace the cause of liberty and we thirst after nothing but breaking your fetters and chastising your tyrants " - General Lazare Hoche .

A forced march by night across the mountains in torrents of rain ; a surprise attack at dawn ; and a masterly assault by General Sarrazin on the British 'defenders' ' left flank gave warning of what was to come : brave Mayo men faced pounding artillery with nothing but pikes hammered out by skilled blacksmiths who had worked night and day for five days .

To confuse the enemy further , General Humbert suddenly changed tactics - he launched his full reserve , and changed from closed formation to open files . Rising up in his saddle , and brandishing his sword , he gave the order , in Irish - " Eirinn go Brach ! " The drums sounded the 'pas de charge' and a blue line , now within a few paces of the enemy , regrouped back into closed lines and moved swiftly forward , their bayonets gleaming in the morning sun , a fierce and threatening determination in their countenances .

The famed army of the French Revolution was here in the fields of Mayo : veterans of many victorious campaigns on the continent , men who had endured much and who believed passionately in their cause . They had measured their enemy and marked them down as ' the defenders and upholders of tyranny and injustice' . The Sasanaigh and their Irish militias and Yeomen hesitated , and then turned their backs and fled in terror .......

By Martin Calligan.
(No year of publication.)

We know that when Cromwell came to Ireland he slaughtered men , women and children ; that he uprooted the natives and gave their lands and property to his soldiers - later called 'the Gentry' .

Under the Government Act 1920 , Britain drew a border around six counties , so that a minority of Cromwells descendants would always have a parliamentary 'majority' in a contrived puppet State , now they have a veto . The Twenty-Six County State operates within the structures of the British system ; their policies are based on foreign investments . You can never have prosperity here , multi-nationals will only come if assured a good profit and are under no obligation to pay a decent wage out of their huge profit .

You read in the capitalist press that unemployment is down and again that such a factory has closed making hundreds redundant ; since joining the Brussels block this State's prosperity has depended on handouts - other peoples money . There is no such thing as free money - someone must pay , but not the rancher farmer and his like ; their pressure groups saw to that . The small farmers only got the crumbs , and now those crumbs are getting scarce - the rich refusing to pay . This States' Agricultural Policy is dictated by Brussels - potato's and vegetables are imported from abroad , while those depending on 'free money' have'nt even got a hen !

Such a policy leaves no future for your children .......

A poem by Thomas Kinsella , written after Bloody Sunday .
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983 .

' I went with anger at my heel
through Bogside of the bitter zeal
- Jesus pity! - on a day
of cold and drizzle and decay .

A month had passed . Yet there remained
a murder smell that stung and stained ,
on flats and alleys - over all -
it hung . On battered roof and wall ,
on wreck and rubbish scattered thick ,
on sullen steps and pitted brick .

And when I came where thirteen died
it shrivelled up my heart . I sighed ,
and looked about that brutal place
of rage and terror and disgrace :
then my moistened lips grew dry -
I had heard an answering sigh .......