FIANNA FAIL - THE MASK OF DE VALERA .......
From 'AP/RN' , August 10th , 1989 .
De Valera's own history and reputation and his verbalising about partition ('1169...' Comment - sounds familiar !) deceived the working class and small farmers ; Fianna Fail sought to reflect their republican aspirations in words while the deeds of its leaders belied all the rhetoric ( '1169...' Comment - ...definitely sounds familiar .. ! ) .
Thus Fianna Fail governments could be anti-British without ever really threatening British interests in Ireland ; ('1169....' Comment - Did the then Fianna Fail organisation ever call on Westminster to [re-]establish a Six County parliament and beseech the British PM to implement British policy in the Six Counties , as some 'republicans' are now doing ... ?) while the republican-sounding rhetoric flowed , de Valera was jailing and executing Republicans and suppressing the IRA with a ruthlessness that matched the regime he opposed during the Civil War .
Under the decades of Fianna Fail rule partition was actually entrenched ; the farm labourers and smallholders who formed the bedrock of Fianna Fail support were decimated as a class and the urban workers faced unrelenting poverty and hardship - economic underdevelopment and mismanagement caused widespread unemployment and emigration which , by the time de Valera finally retired from active politics in 1959 , had reached epidemic proportions . The second era in the history of Fianna Fail was begun with a brief period of economic growth and deceptive prosperity under the government of Sean Lemass , de Valera's successor : for most of the 1960's the 'honeymoon' continued .
Then Fianna Fail entered what was to become a period of prolonged crisis : the war in the North of Ireland exploded and exposed both its republican lip-service and its bitter internal rivalries .......
1913 : 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT .
From 'Liberty News' , March/April 1988 .
(No 'By-Line' )
1913 is regarded as the foundation stone of the modern Dublin labour movement ; it was an epic , heroic struggle that lends itself to dramatic memory and interpretation as evidenced by James Plunkett's play 'The Risen People' and the subsequent novel 'Strumpet City' .
It is also , increasingly perhaps , regarded as historic in the sense that its immediate relevance is diminishing as contemporary society changes and loses its direct links with the slums , general labourers , pawn shops and grinding poverty of the old Dublin : this is mistaken , for we in the labour movement of today * should continue to recall 1913 both for the sacrifices made on our behalf but also for the political victories that the struggle secured and which are being slyly but surely eroded by a rampant 'New Right' in its attempt to de-unionise and de-politicise Irish society .......
(* - '1169...' Comment : definitely NOT this crowd of political self-servers .)
BUTCHERS DOZEN .......
A poem by Thomas Kinsella , written after Bloody Sunday .
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983 .
The game runs out of room at last - A people rises from its past ,
the going gets unduly tough , and you have (surely...?) had enough .
The time has come to yield your place
with condescending show of grace :
an Empire-builder handing on .
We reap the ruin when you've gone ,
all your errors heaped behind you :
promises that do not bind you - hopes in conflict ,
cramped commissions - faiths exploited , and traditions .