FIANNA FAIL - THE MASK OF DE VALERA .......
From 'AP/RN' , August 10th , 1989 .
Instead of leading the opposition to the 1921 Treaty of Surrender on a principled basis and defending the Republic , Eamon de Valera instead put forward another proposal for compromise with Britain , an alternative treaty which ever afterwards was known as 'Document Number Two' .
This served to weaken the Republican case once more and as a result the forces who supported the new Free State regime faced a divided opposition : throughout the Civil War there was no strong single Republican leadership .
De Valera's position at this time was vitally important as it pointed to the direction in which he would lead in the years ahead : he remained committed to his 'Document Number Two' 'solution' which entailed revision of the Treaty - he did not play an active part in the Civil War but was seen as 'the leader of the Republicans' , and was vilified by the Free State government , press and Catholic hierarchy .......
1913 : 75 YEARS AFTER THE LOCK-OUT .......
From 'Liberty News' , March/April 1988 .
(No 'By-Line' )
Questions were raised in the British House of Commons over the 31 August 1913 baton-charge by the police on the streets of Dublin and the matter was debated at the British Trade Union Conference . Violence was not new for the beleaguered workers , however , as scabs were protected and pickets frequently attacked : James Nolan , James (John) Byrne and Alice Brady paid for their loyalty to the workers' cause with their lives .
Support soon came on foot of the distress but Jim Larkin's 'Fiery Cross' crusade in Britain , where he preached the 'Divine Mission of Discontent' , generated rank and file rather than official reaction and assistance was limited to food and material support rather than sympathetic industrial action . James Connolly , now co-ordinating industrial matters , drew the port of Dublin shut as 'tight as a drum' and both sides settled for a long attritional war through the winter with the bosses relying on starvation and the workers on the simple message of ' Each for all and all for each ! '
The Trade Union Council 'Dublin Food Fund' and other support marshalled by the Dublin Trades Council sustained the workers and there can have been few occasions as emotive as the landing of the food ships on the quays .......
BUTCHERS DOZEN .......
A poem by Thomas Kinsella , written after Bloody Sunday .
From 'IRIS' magazine , March 1983 .
Let them Out ! At least let in
a breath or two of oxygen ,
so they may settle down for good
and mix themselves in the common blood .
We all are what we are , and that
is mongrel pure . What nation's not ,
where any stranger hung his hat
and seized a lover where she sat ?
He ceased and faded . Zephyr blew ,
and all the others faded too .
I stood like a ghost - my fingers strayed
along the fatal barricade .
The gentle rainfall drifting down
over Colmcille's town
could not refresh , only distil ,
in silent grief from hill to hill .
[END of 'BUTCHERS DOZEN' .]
(MONDAY , 13 March : 'Plus Ca Change - Haughey and Parnell' , from 1998 .)