Wednesday, April 15, 2009


....see the paragraph at the end of this post...

THE IRA : the new IRA is younger , more radical and has seen little of life other than violence.......
By Ed Moloney.
From 'Magill' magazine, September 1980.

ED MALONEY : " What is the present attitude of the IRA Army Council to Eire Nua and Federalism ? "

IRA : " The position of the IRA on Federalism is that for a long time we promoted it as the best way of solving the problem by marrying the Unionist tradition to the Irish tradition in a transitional situation.

However , within these last number of years and especially since the loyalists started to promote Six-County independence - which they had anyway for 50 years - we began to examine Federalism again and the dangers involved . It wouldn't break the back of loyalism in Ireland and get rid of the bar to solving the national question and opening the possibilities of establishing a democratic socialist republic *.

What we now advocate is a single national government but with as much decentralisation as possible . On the question of Eire Nua we totally support the way Sinn Fein is progressing and the way it has handled these problems because certain people do cherish certain ideas and even though there are only minor differences between us , on the majority of points we are agreed. "

('1169...' Comment * - the 'Eire Nua' policy was later called a "sop to Unionists" by the Adams leadership and their supporters , who now assist in administering British mis-rule in the Six Counties . And they call those of us who continue to struggle against the British presence "traitors..."!)


For some Northern nationalists the Anglo-Irish Agreement ('Hillsborough Treaty',1985) only makes their lives more dangerous , for others it offers hope on a road to nowhere. Fionnuala O'Connor visited a (Provisional) Sinn Fein advice centre in the Ardoyne and Seamus Mallon's office in Newry.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, December 1986.

The Provos' advice centre half-way up the street is a terrace house with plyboard partitions inside and a security grille outside . All day young people tramp up and down the stairs - occasionally they lean in through a door that's never properly closed against the cold to ask if Gerry Adams is around but they don't stop to chat.

(P) Sinn Fein councillor Gerry McGuigan is at home with the 'flu and local republican Tom Fleming takes his messages and minds the shop alone in the chilly front room , chain-smoking beside the phone . A notebook , a biro , a small heater , a plywood counter between him and the draughty door . A frail man in his sixties with a smoker's cough , Tom used to be an electricity worker and a school caretaker but "the movement" became his life in the early days of 'the Troubles' .

This is a routine Monday morning ; several women brought in unsold copies of 'An Phoblacht' and counted over the takings , a neighbour used the phone to complain about the state of the sewers his building work had turned up , a thin woman in an inadequate coat asked Tom to get her an instalments book from the electricity people . He phoned immediately , efficiently - " I'm phoning for Mrs --- of --- Street , that's in the Ardoyne . Could she have a budget book , she's a separated woman and she can't manage without one..." No mention of (P) Sinn Fein , more like the call of a kindly neighbour . The woman was told that she'd have to come down to the electricity office , and Tom made the appointment for her .

Anne and Eileen Gillespie were arrested in April 1974 following an explosion in a Manchester house where IRA Volunteers were preparing incendiaries , and were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for earlier bombing attacks in which they had no part , serving the bulk of their sentence in the maximum security wing of Durham Jail. Released at the end of last August , they talked to 'IRIS' about their experience , at their home in Gweedore , County Donegal .
From 'IRIS' magazine, August 1984.

'H' Wing is in the centre of Durham Jail, so that you never see anything other than prison walls . The men are kept all around the area where the women are housed , but what we saw mainly were guard dogs , which kept us awake at night with their howling . This jail is used as a 'cooling off' prison where prisoners from other jails would be brought for 28-day stretches .

It was also used for Irish male POW's - the administration had these awful cages where we used to watch the male POW's exercising . The cages were just like you would find in a zoo , and there was very little communication possible between the men and us , but occasionally we would be able to write to one another . Whenever we managed to speak to each other , we always spoke in Irish ; the prison screws didn't like that at all , and tried to stop us , saying that foreign languages weren't allowed , but we continued anyway , telling them that for us , English was a foreign language .

Lots of the other prisoners picked up odd words , and we would always say the Rosary , so a lot of girls learned how to say their prayers in Irish.......

The above two photographs show three of the prizes that will be won in the raffle on the night of Saturday 18th April next , at a fund-raising Irish Republican ballad session which will be held in the 79'r pub in Ballyfermot , Dublin. There are six raffle prizes in total - the above-pictured two T-Shirts and the framed 1916 Proclamation ,two bodhrons and a bottle of vodka! Doors open at 9pm , admission is just €5 per person and the ballad group on stage are the well-known rebel-rousers 'The Sons Of Erin'. Fine Gael and other self-serving Free Staters can't bear to hear this group singing Irish historical songs , but we Irish Republicans can't get enough of them ! Please come along on the night if you can - thanks for reading!

Monday, April 13, 2009


On Easter Sunday , 12th April 2009 , approximately 30 members and supporters of Republican Sinn Féin held a Commemoration in Deansgrange Cemetery,Dublin, under the intrusive eyes of at least 15 members of the State 'Special Branch' political police force. The event was Chaired by Andy Connolly,Dublin, and the main oration was delivered by Seán O Bradaigh. We publish with this post two pictures of the event , and a proper write-up and more pictures will be published in the May 2009 edition of 'Saoirse' , which will be available on April 29th next.

Entering Deansgrange Cemetery , Easter Sunday 12th April 2009.

Seán O Bradaigh delivering the main oration.

Today , Easter Monday 13th April 2009 , approximately 300 people gathered at and around the GPO in Dublin to mark the 93rd Anniversary of the 1916 Rising. The Commemoration was organised by Republican Sinn Féin , who marched from the Garden Of Remembrance in Parnell Square to the General Post Office in O'Connell Street. The Main oration was delivered by Newry-man Ruairí White, Andy from Dublin Chaired the event , Róisín Hayden from Dublin read the 1916 Proclamation, Declan from Dublin laid the RSF Wreath and for a full list of who else took part you'll want to read the May edition of 'Saoirse' !
Suffice to say the day and, indeed , the weekend of Republican Sinn Féin events in Dublin , went like clockwork , with the small stage , lectern , amps etc and all the various Crews doing their stuff as planned. We publish a few pics here - with a link under the last one to more pics of the Easter Monday Commemoration :

RSF Speakers Lectern , GPO Easter Monday 2009.

Cumann na mBan and RSF Colour Party.

Declan , laying the RSF Wreath at the GPO.

RSF Colour Party and Cumann na mBan member.

Pat , from Cork , testing out the amps!

Roisin Hayden , reading the 1916 Proclamation at the GPO.

RSF 'Political Status' banner at the GPO, Easter Monday 2009.

Séan the Piper plays as the Flags dip...

Wreath inscription , Easter Monday 2009.
(A few more pics can be viewed on our sister blog, here.)

North Inner City Folklore Project, Easter 1916 Pageant : held on Easter Monday 2009-

"At Liberty Hall, 12 noon, a pageant will take place which will include the unfurling of the flag which the Citizen Army hoisted a week before the Rising. On that occasion a young inner city girl, Molly O Reilly was given the honour by James Connolly. A young woman, Susan Brennan Healy a niece of Molly O Reilly, will receive the flag from James Connolly-Herron a great grandson of James Connolly and re-enact the hoisting of the flag. They will be accompanied by a colour party dressed in the uniforms of Cumann na mBan and the Citizen Army...."

As before , we met the good men and women from the above-named Folklore Project at the GPO today, and listened to , and enjoyed , their Pageant, beautifully scripted and enacted as usual. It was a hard act for us to follow (they had better costumes!) but we tried our best - once Terry and his Team had left the GPO for Moore Street we doubled our efforts in order to keep our crowd from following them!
And Terry - our John says to tell ya that ye will have to slow down a wee bit next year or we will have to speed things up if we're to resolve those 'hard-of-hearing' issues ;-) ! A few pics from the Pageant -

'Folklore' rep addressing the GPO crowd , Easter Monday 2009.

'Starry Plough' at the GPO.

Pageant crowd scene.

Finally - well done to the RSF members and supporters in Dublin without whom it would not have been possible to organise and hold three Easter events - and one of these - over the one weekend. It took a lot of effort , time and organising , but ye done it , and done it perfectly!
I'm going to recommend that all of ye get at least a free ticket for the next raffle. Between ye , that is... ;-) !
Thanks for reading !