Monday, March 06, 2006

From 'AP/RN' , August 10th , 1989 .
(No 'By-Line')

For most of the life of the 26-County State one party has completely dominated politics there : it has held office for a total of over 40 years and has never lost two elections in a row and , on two occasions , it ruled for a 16 year stretch . For most of its existence the party and the State were dominated , and even formed , by the ideas of one man : the man was Eamon de Valera and the party was Fianna Fail .

The history of Fianna Fail is divided into two distinct eras : the first saw its emergence as the political creation of de Valera and its rise to power with the overwhelming support of workers and small farmers on a Republican platform - through consummate political skill de Valera used the populism of his party to create a machine built for winning elections and guaranteeing that Fianna Fail would remain the only party capable of forming a government on its own ; like all such groups and political leaders which use populism to rise to power Fianna Fail , once power was achieved and consolidated , betrayed those who had given it birth ('1169.....' Comment - sounds familiar) .

The conservatism of de Valera himself , and the big business and big farmer interests who backed Fianna Fail as soon as they felt it safe to do so , combined to make the party a right-wing force which ultimately held back progress towards both national and social freedom : the great advantage on its side was that it managed to retain broad popular support at election after election ('1169 ....' Comment - again : sounds familiar) - central to that success was Fianna Fail's attitude to the national question .......

ByMartin Calligan.
(No year of publication.)

There's a sacred spot in Dublin
It's a place called Arbour Hill ,
Where sleeps our noble Martyrs ,
Their message rings out still .

To you their message calling ,
As called that Easter day ,
When they flew the flag of Freedom
And proclaimed the IRA .

They march , these men , in Dublin -
And for Ireland struck a blow ,
They raised the flag of Freedom
O'er Dublin's G.P.O.

Traitors tried to sell that Cause ;
Traitors they may be ,
But Connolly had one in mind ,
Old Ireland's Liberty -
They followed Tone and Emmet
And faced a Martyr's grave ,
That you may take their message
If our Nation we must save .

Six counties subjected
Are held by England still -
Wake up and show devotion
For the men of Arbour Hill !
(Tomorrow : '1913 - 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT' . From 1988)

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

Your democracy insists you must'nt talk with terrorists !
White and yellow , black and blue ,
have learnt their history from you :
divide and ruin , muddle through - not principled , but politic .

In strength , perfidious ; weak , a trick
to make good men a trifle sick -
we speak in wounds : behold , this mess ;
my curse upon your politesse .

Another ghost stood forth , and wet
dead lips that had not spoken yet :
" My curse on the cunning and the bland ,
on gentlemen who loot a land -
they do not care to understand -who keep the natives on their paws
with ready lash and rotten laws .

Then if the beasts erupt in rage
give them a slightly larger cage -
and , in scorn and fear combined ,
turn them against their own kind .