Thursday, March 27, 2008



'ORGANISERS of a rally for better healthcare being held in Dublin this weekend will be disappointed if at least 70,000 people do not turn up to demand better health services across the state. Patients, hospital workers and trade unions will march to Leinster House on Saturday expressing anger in the Health Service Executive over restrictions in hiring staff and mismanagement of services....'
(...with apologises to the author for the changes to the text.)

Susie Long RIP.

Republican Sinn Fein members and supporters that are taking part in this protest march are asked to meet-up at Head Office , 223 Parnell Street , Dublin 1 , between 2pm and 2.30pm on the afternoon of Saturday 29 March.



The organisers tell me that they have kept back fifty tickets, to be sold from the door at a fiver each on the night , for this ballad session . The doors open at 9pm and it looks like all the tickets will be gone before ten.....
See you there....!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ernie O'Malley, pictured during his arrest in Dublin Castle in 1921 . He was using the alias 'Bernard Stewart' .

Following the recent publication of O'Malley's third book 'Raids And Rallies', on the Tan War years 1920-1921 , Frances-Mary Blake , who edited the book and his earlier works , writes an appreciation of the man who wrote 'On Another Man's Wound' and 'The Singing Flame'.
From 'IRIS' magazine , July 1983.

During his 1928 working trip to America , Ernie O' Malley made his own way through that country , and Mexico , living hard in the depression years , but always bearing the historical image of Ireland , the desire for freedom and the inspiration of a heritage .

Titles of the poems he wrote at that time indicate his old and new concerns for the victims of oppression - 'From Two Islands' , 'Deirdre' , 'We Have Not Sought For Beauty' , 'Navajo Country' and 'Mountjoy Hanged 1921' . It was during semi-exile in the artists' colony of Taos, New Mexico, that he first set down his memories of what may well be the most spectacular IRA career of the period . " As thrilling as a cinema drama..." , reported a Dublin newspaper on his gun battle and capture by Free State soldiers in the exclusive Ailesbury Road suburb of Ballsbridge , Dublin , in November 1922 .

Any outline of his later life may well seem anti-climax , but somehow more individualistic and interesting than the government , business or professional careers of Civil War companions . He was not a conformist . His back scarred by a hail of bullets , wounded and injured about a score of times , he was also at home in the quiet world of books , welcomed in the spheres of artistic endeavours , remembered as a stimulating friend by a wide circle . He loved the wild Mayo coast and the islands of his childhood , and had a reserved humour , a delicate irony . As a man of action and a man of letters , his abiding influence was hard years of war in a national resistance campaign.......

AN OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE RUC . RUC brutality , torture , murder and lies were brushed aside as the unionist establishment congratulated itself for the continuing existence of a paramilitary force which had maintained and safe-guarded its rule in the Occupied Six Counties of Ireland.
From 'IRIS' magazine , July/August 1982.

In June of this year (1982) , the 60th anniversary of the formation of the RUC was marked by a series of commemorative events ; articles filled newspapers , editorials and letters from loyal correspondents heaped praise and glory on that force , church services , some attended by well-known Catholic clergy , prayed for its members , and local councils passed motions of support and congratulations in their 'honour' . In short , 'respectable unionist society' paid its tribute to its 'police force' , formed in its image .

60 years of brutality , torture , murder and lies were brushed aside as the unionist establishment congratulated itself for the continuing existence of a para-military force which had maintained and safe-guarded its rule over the turbulence of those years .

There were of course no prayers for young Michael McCartan, gunned down in cold blood in July 1980 by a plainclothes RUC man while painting 'Up The Provos' on a gable wall near his south Belfast home . Nor , doubtless , did any clergyman pause a moment in memory of 9-year-old Danny Rooney , shot dead by RUC men in August 1969 in his Divis Flats home ; or in memory of 42-year-old Samuel Devenney, beaten to death in his own home by those same 'guardians of peace' in April 1969.......

British Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Dewar of the Royal Green Jackets has served in Cyprus , Borneo and Malaya , as well as in the Occupied Six Irish Counties . He has written three previous books - 'Internal Security Weapons And Equipment Of The World' and 'Brushfire Wars' . The extracts reproduced here are from 'The British Army In Northern Ireland' , which was published by 'Arms and Armour Press' in 1985 . The underlined comments in this article are ours . This article reflects the operational thinking of a British military commander , more so than his political or ideological outlook.
From 'IRIS' magazine , October 1987.

The British Army lance-corporal had held the gunmen in his sights for only a few minutes , but for what must have seemed an age to him : fearing that his Sergeant would not return with the patrol in time and thinking that the gunmen were going to disappear he fired at about 9.55pm , fifteen minutes after they had got out of the car . He missed . The Volunteers took cover in the bunker area and returned fire .

Their bullets were striking the ground around the lance-corporal with a fair degree of accuracy as the rest of the British Army patrol took up fire positions beside him . The concentrated fire-power of the whole patrol , two LMG's and five rifles , soon forced the gunmen to seek cover or retreat . One was pinned down in the area of the bunkers where eventually he was lost to view , whilst the other three withdrew eastwards , two of them slowly and using all available cover towards House 'C' , which they reached some twenty minutes later .

The other man ran fast across an open field , but one of the LMG gunners chased him across the field with tracer , elevating the gun until he hit him . The gunman was seen to stagger and drop to his knees , managing only to crawl through a hedge near House 'A' . But he managed to escape while the gunner was changing his magazine . British Army helicopters were soon on the scene.......

Monday, March 24, 2008


Before the Republican Sinn Fein Easter Monday Commemoration at the GPO in Dublin got underway today , RSF members present , and about 150 other people, were treated to a very fine and dignified tribute " the women who played a vital role in the Uprising , the War of Independence and the Civil War.." , which had been organised by the 'North Inner City Folklore Project' , Dublin . This post contains a few photographs from that event . But first...

The main Dublin Easter Commemoration was held today at the GPO in Dublin . A crowd of approximately 300 people stood their ground outside the GPO despite constant harassment from uniformed gardai and their colleagues in the Special Branch . The parade proper left the Garden of Remembrance at 2pm and marched down O'Connell Street , where the Colour Party , consisting of members of Na Fianna Eireann , Cumann na mBan and Dublin RSF , formed-up on the street , facing the middle two pillars of the GPO . Hundreds of people stood either side and behind the Colour Party , with dozens more standing on the footpath , behind the small stage and speakers lectern . The event was Chaired by Andy Connolly , Dublin, and Liam Cotter , Kerry , delivered a stirring oration which met with roars of approval from the crowd . When the Commemoration finished - it was on for just over an hour - the RSF Chairperson thanked those who attended and asked that they not be intimidated by the rough tactics employed by the forces of the State , and reminded the crowd that it was in their best interest to attend the trade-union organised 'Health Protest March' next Saturday (March 29th) , which commences from the Garden of Remembrance at 3pm . A proper report will be published in the April 2008 issue of 'Saoirse' , which will be available from the 9th of that month .

Now for the 'Picture Gallery'! First , scenes from the RSF Commemoration.....

Liam Cotter , Kerry , at the GPO in Dublin , Easter Monday 2008.

One of the attempts by State Garda to interfere with the Easter Monday RSF Commemoration in Dublin . It failed.

The view from the traffic isle on O'Connell Street .

Roisin Hayden , Dublin , prepares to do the business at the GPO today!

Wrapping-up after the Commemoration.

...and a few photographs from the tribute held today , also at the GPO in Dublin , which was organised by the Dublin 'North Inner City Folklore Project' group -

Finally - we would like to thank Malachy ,Terry and Cathleen (NICFP) and Peter , Liam , Matt and Mags , Dan , Bernard and Séan (with apologises to anyone I have not mentioned!) for helping to make such a busy day the success it was ! And 'Thank You' , too , to the hundreds of proud people that stood with us today outside the GPO . Go raibh maith agat !

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The card on the RSF Wreath which was laid at the Republican Plot at Arbor Hill Cemetery in Dublin today , Easter Sunday , March 23 , 2008 .

Before travelling to Deansgrange Cemetery for the republican commemoration, a few republicans stopped-off at Arbor Hill Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Republican Plot there :

Republican Plot , Arbor Hill Cemetery .

The Republican wreath laid today by RSF at Arbor Hill Cemetery .

At Deansgrange Cemetery, which was established in 1861 and had its first burial in 1865 , there is an area marked as the 'Republican Plot' and it commemorates prisoners who died in Wandsworth Prison in 1922. James Connolly's daughter Fiona is also buried here . It was at that Plot that approximately thirty Irish Republicans gathered today , in a ceremony chaired by ex-POW Seán Ó Sé , to listen as two republican speakers , Seán Ó Bradaigh and Peig Galligan delivered resounding speeches of the history of the cemetery they were speaking in , which they linked to the history of the on-going struggle itself .

Republican Plot , Deansgrange Cemetery .

A section of those in attendance in Deansgrange Cemetery today , Easter Sunday , March 23 , 2008 .

A proper report of todays proceedings in both Arbor Hill and Deansgrange cemetery will be carried in the April issue of 'Saoirse' , which will be available from the 9th of that month.