Thursday, March 09, 2006

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

Assuming the Presidency of Sinn Fein and the Irish Volunteers in 1917 , Eamon de Valera became head of the Dail Eireann government in 1919 ; his reputation was enhanced by his tour of the United States raising support for the struggle at home .

While in the United States , de Valera was widely described as 'President of the Irish Republic' : he was seen internationally as the public face of the Irish independence struggle . But his stand for the Republic of which he was supposed to be 'President' was less than firm ; in an interview with the 'Westminster Gazette' newspaper in 1920 he suggested that the Dail might accept less than complete independence from Britain and compared the possible relationship between Ireland and the British 'Empire' with that between the United States and the Cuban Republic .

To do so weakened the Republican case considerably at the height of the Black and Tan war - it gave 'ammunition' to those who went on to support the Treaty of Surrender 1921 , and it also exposed the fact that de Valera himself was never a convinced Republican . This was to become clear again when the Treaty was signed under threat of "...immediate and terrible war.. " in December 1921 .......

1913 : 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT .......
From 'Liberty News' , March/April 1988 .
(No 'By-Line' )

Under the calculating leadership of William Martin Murphy , owner of the 'Irish Independent' newspaper and controller of the Dublin Tramways Company , over 400 employers combined in the 'Dublin Employers' Federation' to deny the same right of combination to the city's underprivileged . The 'target' was the threat , in class terms , of the message of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union so marvellously articulated by Jim Larkin's street oratory .

The crunch came on August 15 , 1913 , when William Martin Murphy offered the 'Independent' newspaper's 'Despatch Department' the choice of union - or job : they chose the Union , and were fired ! Solidarity action saw the dispute escalate with further dismissals in Eason's and on the trams .

The now confident employers issued the infamous 'document' , locking out any worker that refused to sign a pledge to disown the ITGWU . By the end of September 1913 , over 20,000 workers were locked out . On 31 August 1913 , the police attacked an innocent crowd gathered to hear Jim Larkin address them in O' Connell Street , Dublin ; the meeting had been banned by the authorities , and the ITGWU had transferred their activities to their social premises in Croydon Park , Clontarf , Dublin .

Scores were injured in the baton charge and British public opinion was shocked at the scenes .......

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

Who could love them ? God above them ...
'Yet pity is akin to love' , the thirteenth corpse beside him said ,
smiling in its bloody head , 'and though there's reason for alarm
in dourness and a lack of charm
their cursed plight calls out for patience . '

They - even they - with other nations
have a place , if we can find it .
Love our changeling ! Guard and mind it -
doomed from birth , a cursed heir ,
theirs is the hardest lot to bear , yet not impossible , I swear ,
if England would but clear the air
and brood at home on her disgrace -
everything to its own place .

Face their walls of dole and fear
and be of reasonable cheer -
good men every day inherit
Father's foulness with the spirit :
purge the filth and do not stir it !