Saturday, April 17, 2010


The hunger strike is part of a very ancient Irish tradition, although it seems that James Connolly was the first to use it in 1913 as tool of political protest in 20th century Ireland.
From 20 September 1917, Irish internees used the hunger strike as a means of trying to secure their rights from an implacable enemy.
Thomas Ashe, former principal of Corduff National School,was the first to die after an attempted force-feeding.
Fasting as a means of asserting one's rights when faced with no other means of obtaining redress is something that has been embedded in Irish culture from ancient times. Even when the ancient Irish law system,
the Laws of the Fénechus, which we popularly called the Brehon Laws from the word breitheamh, a judge, were first codified in AD 438, the law relating to the troscad, or hunger strike, was ancient.

The hunger striker gave notice of their intent and, according to the law tract
Di Chetharslicht Athgabhála, if the person who is being fasted against does not come to arbitration, and actually allows the protester to die, then the moral judgement went against them and they endured shame and contempt until they made recompense to the family of the dead person. If they failed to make such amends, they were not only damned by society but damned in the next world. They were held to be without honour and without morality.
The ancient Irish texts are full of examples of people fasting to assert their rights and shame powerful enemies into accepting their moral obligations. St Patrick is recorded to have done so according to
the Tripartite Life of St Patrick. And, in the Life of St Ailbe, we found St Lugid and St Salchin, carrying out ritual fasts to protest.
King Conall Dearg of Connacht fasted when he found his rights infringed. And the entire population of Leinster fasted against St Colmcille when he rode roughshod over their rights. The poet Mairgen mac Amalgado mac Mael Ruain of the Deisi fasted against another poet Finguine over an act of perceived injustice.
The troscad continued in Irish law throughout the centuries until the English conquests proscribed the native law system and foisted English law on Ireland through a series of Acts between 1587 and 1613.
Nevertheless, individual fasts against the cruelties of the English colonial administration are recorded several times over the subsequent years....

On Saturday , 8th May 2010 , a ballad session featuring The Beermats , Pato Cullen and Paddy Sweeney will be held in the 79'r pub in Ballyfermot ,Dublin, to remember the 22 Irish men who have died on hunger-strike since 1917. Doors open at 8.30pm , admission per person is Five Euro and a raffle for POW craft and other prizes will be held on the night.
All Welcome!

- a picket in support of political status for Irish Republican prisoners will be held on Saturday 24th April 2010 outside the British Embassy , 29 Merrion Road,
Ballsbridge , Dublin , from 1pm to 3pm. If you support Republican prisoners , and that which they are incaracted for , please be there , if you can make it....

- a fund-raiser for Cumann na mBan , featuring 'The Druids', will be held on Friday 18th June 2010 , in the 79'r Pub in Ballyfermot , Dublin. Doors open at 8.30pm , admission is five euro per person , and a Republican raffle will be held on the night. Hope to see you there....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Aitheasc an Uachtaráin Ruairí Ó Brádaigh don 85ú Ard-Fheis de Shinn Féin in Óstlann an Spa , Leamhcán , Co. Atha Cliath , 21ú agus 22ú Deireadh Fómhair , 1989 /
Presidential Address of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh to the 85th Ard-Fheis of Sinn Féin in the Spa Hotel , Lucan , County Dublin , 21st and 22nd October 1989.....

" And while recognising publicly the assistance and moral support given first by the Soviet Union to the Irish Republic on its declaration in 1919, we have to continue to champion the rights of those nations who were originally dominated by the Czarist empire and whose lot was no better, perhaps even worse in some cases, under Stalin and what followed.

We wish the economic reforms well , particularly if, as seems to be the case , some effort is being made to end the harsh state centralism without a return to the false economic gloss of modern capitalism. But when one notes the strong backing of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher for the Gorbachev experiment , one must be suspicious and ask whether the latest global rapprochement between the superpowers is nothing more than a coming together of the 'advanced' colonial forces in the white Northern hemisphere so that former revolutionaries , former colonialists and well-heeled privileged economic minorities, who gobble-up the vast majority of the world resources, can share out the spoils in an essentially conservative division of power and privilege.

This would see the overwhelming majority of humanity in the poor Southern hemisphere and throughout the Third World in general still deprived of any real share of the wealth of even their own continents....... "


The (State) Gardaí used John Corcoran (pictured) as a (P)IRA informer. They allowed him to be killed by another (P)IRA informer, and have since refused to investigate his murder*.
From 'MAGILL' magazine, Christmas Annual 1997.
By Ursula Halligan and Vincent Browne.
(* '1169...' Comment - their word, not ours.)

Eileen Corcoran said : " People out there were saying John was a informer , and I wanted to protect my children. It wasn't a nice thing to be branded . I felt we were victims of circumstance. It was very, very tough . You were always thinking what do people think of you..."

Eileen Corcoran says her husband was a quiet , inoffensive type of man , but frustratingly secretive. The cloud of the IRA always hung over them : " He would never tell me anything. He used to say to me, 'What you don't know, Eileen , nothing can happen to you.' It was his way of protecting us, if anything did happen." When he first told her that "he was involved" , she made it clear to him that she was not happy about it.

" I really thought I could work on John. It's like if you're married to an alcoholic. I thought my love would change him and make him see that his wife and family came first , before his country." Gradually , she came to accept that he could do nothing about it. Ironically , two weeks before he died he turned to her in their kitchen one night and told her that he had good news for her. " I'm now semi-retired," he declared. She knew immediately what he meant , but walked away saying nothing.......

From 'IRIS' magazine, November 1981.

International labour and trade union support has been enormous with over 100 union organisations in North and Central America , Europe , Africa , Australasis and Polynesia , expressing solidarity with the hunger-strikers . Major forces such as the Prague-based World Federation of Trade Unions, the Longshoremen in the USA and the CFDT and CGT in France , are some of the best-known supporters.

Industrial solidarity action has been a significant aspect of the hunger-strike campaign. The continuous and intense nature of this action surpasses in extent and degree any industrial action on national question-related matters since the Tan War of 1919-1921. Major days of industrial action have taken place in both phases of the hunger-strike; on December 10th last (1980) , thousands of workers responded to a strike call issued by the National H-Block/Armagh Committee and each death of the hunger-strikers has also been marked by a day of vigils across the country coinciding with token industrial action.

The days of mourning , after the deaths of Volunteer Bobby Sands MP and Volunteer Francis Hughes brought out the greatest number of workers - approximately 250,000 workers downed tools on the day of each of the funerals of Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes with every major industrial centre registering a total shut-down for some part of the day in protest at Britain's death policy in the H-Blocks.......