Saturday, December 29, 2012


The Annual Dáithí Ó Conaill Commemoration will be held on Tuesday 1st January 2013 in Glasnevin Cemetery.

"Dáithí came from a strong Cork Republican family. His uncle Michael O’Sullivan (17), along with five of his comrades, was bayoneted to death by British Crown forces in March 1921. He joined Sinn Féin at the age of 17 during the local elections in 1955. By the end of the following year he was on active service as a Volunteer in the Irish Republican Army , serving as an organiser under GHQ staff in Co Fermanagh.

On January 1, 1957 he was second-in-command of the Pearse Column during the attack on Brookeborough RUC barracks which resulted in the deaths of two of his comrades, Fearghal Ó hAnluáin and Seán Sabhat. Four others were wounded including the column commander. At 18 years of age Dáithí took command and led a successful withdrawal back across the border – evading 400 RUC, B-Specials, two helicopters and the British army – where they were forced to retire. He was then imprisoned in Mountjoy and the Curragh Concentration camp from where he escaped with his friend and comrade Ruairí Ó Brádaigh in September 1958.

He returned to active service and for a period was Director of Operations. He was critically wounded in an ambush by the RUC and B-Specials in Arboe, Co Tyrone on the shores of Lough Neagh in November 1959. He made his escape but was forced to seek help because of loss of blood and his weakened condition. He was captured by Crown Forces and was sentenced to eight years which he served in Belfast’s Crumlin Road Jail. Following his release in 1963 he reported back to active service.

In 1969/70 he again made his talents available to the Republican Movement. Ruairí Ó Brádaigh said of him he possessed the 'ablest mind in the Republican Movement for over 20 years'. The sheer breadth of his ability and intellect was evidenced by his service to the All-Ireland Republic both militarily and politically. He had a central role in framing ÉIRE NUA and remained a tireless advocate of it right up to his death in 1991.

Dáithí Ó Conaill never equivocated on what was the cause of the war in Ireland or what was required to deliver a just and lasting peace for all of the Irish people. Speaking in Belfast at Easter 1973 he said: 'Today, the central issue in the war is one of conflict between Ireland’s right to freedom and England’s determination to keep us in subjection. All other issues are subordinate to this basic point. There can be no compromise on the fundamental issue as to who should rule Ireland: the British Parliament or the Irish people. We have had 800 years of British ineptitude in ruling Ireland; we have never known rule by the Irish, of the Irish, for the Irish. Until we do, we shall never enjoy peace and stability in our land.....' "
(From here)

Those attending the commemoration are requested to assemble at the gates of Glasnevin Cemetery at 12.45pm. The commemoration will be Chaired by Andy Connolly , Dublin, Fergal Moore , Monaghan, will deliver the oration , and refreshments will be available afterwards in a near-by venue.

All genuine Republicans Welcome!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


The CABHAIR swim banner , on display at the 3rd Lock at Inchicore, Dublin, on December 25th 2012.

About seventy people turned up to watch the annual CABHAIR Christmas Day Swim at the 3rd Lock of the Grand Canal in Inchicore , Dublin, yesterday , and they, in turn, were being watched by the occupants of two Special Branch cars, who endeavoured to record , at the canal entry point, the personal details of all present , including Santa Clause, who later lamented that he hadn't got a couple of wild reindeer with him to 'introduce' them to ! The weather , whilst dry, was cold , with a strong, constant breeze blowing down the wind-tunnel that the canal is, from the Bluebell direction, but that didn't deter the crowd or those that were 'booked in' to actually do the swim.

The CABHAIR organisation had, as usual, provided the usual 'goodies' for the crowd, including mince pies, endless cups of hot whiskey , beer, ale , lemonade , crisps , sweets, christmas crackers etc , all laid out on two tables , yards away from a roaring fire and all within earshot of a twin-speakered music system, which filled that part of the canal with Irish rebel music. Between the noise from the crowd, the music, the kids and the constant loud beeping and honking of support from the cars and vans etc which slowly drove past the site,the noise, at times,was over-powering but made for a fantastic atmosphere.

Over the three-and-a-half hours that the event lasted for, eight swimmers bravely took the plunge , not only 'earning' their own keep but also earning much-needed funds for the dependants of Irish Republican prisoners , and the speech delivered from the Lock (!) , in the usual rough-and-ready fashion, by John Horan, emphasised that important point , adding that CABHAIR had also organised sponsored swims this month in Armagh and Wexford, and that the first such CABHAIR fund-raiser of 2013 will be held at Coney Island , New York, on New Years Day. Altogether we rounded-up about twenty pics of the Dublin Swim , eight of which we publish with this post and the rest can be viewed at the links mentioned, below , plus a video of the proceedings can be seen via 'Facebook' , at the link supplied.

Seven of the eight CABHAIR swimmers....


One of the swimmers, searching for a mermaid....

...this fella thinks he's spotted her whilst....

....this swimmer thinks she's 'over there'.....

....but it's these two lads that have the best catch of the day....

....and all this swimmer gets is a big squishy hug from Santa !

More Swim pics can be viewed here and here (posts dated Wednesday 26th December 2012) and a four-minute long video of the event (via 'Facebook') can be seen here , and a full report (and more pics) will be published in the January 2013 issue of 'Saoirse'. Congrats and a cheerful 'Well Done !' to almost all of those who turned up yesterday at the 3rd Lock of the Grand Canal in Inchicore , Dublin, for their help in ensuring that our prisoners and their loved ones have a wee bit less of a burden to carry with them into the New Year.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


'THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DAY.....' By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

Paddy Hogan , the Free State Minister for Agriculture, seemed to consider that the IRA was lurking in the shadows and I did not know how to take this news. There was the danger that if he considered I was merely doing a chore for the IRA he might hit , hard and quick, before the movement got a basis. It took me a little while to realise that the attack on the land annuity agitation was to be a specialised one - that it was to become almost entirely an attack on me.

It was a wise choice of whoever it was that guided government propaganda in that particular field, for to accuse the IRA of responsibility for this new land war would be to gesture people to join it, whereas by denying it any right of succession from the land wars of the past, and isolating it from current Republican struggles by relating it to foreign influences, there would be all the greater hope of confining it.

So the land annuity agitation became a 'communist activity' with Peadar O' Donnell as its 'High Priest' : it was easier to charge communism against me than any other in the leadership of the IRA. Herein, I think , lies the explanation of the storm of abuse that followed me around during those days. It is rarely that anybody with so little public support comes under so much hostile notice as I experienced during the campaign against land annuities. It makes sense only on the ground that it was intended to make it difficult for me to work outside my own district. Paddy Hogan was not the 'minute hand' of that abuse but he was its 'Big Ben' . (MORE LATER).


The inside story of a personal feud that has left one man dead and tarnished the reputation of the PIRA's most fearsome brigade.

From 'Magill' magazine , April 2003.

By John Keane.

The gang smashed Raymond Kelly's windscreen , hit him over the head with a hammer and bound his hands ; they told him they were from the (P)IRA , he was dragged from his car and bundled into a van which was driven to a school. There, he was ordered to lie on the ground and then savagely beaten with iron bars, nail-studded bats and a sledgehammer. Hardly a bone in his legs, arms, feet and hands was left unbroken. The gang used such force that his left hand was almost severed and scraps of tissue , skin and bone mixed with blood were found at the crime scene.

The injured man's father , alerted by a neighbour, was one of the first at the scene. Covered in the blood gushing from Raymond's wounds, he tended his injured son until the ambulance arrived. The ambulance crew who rushed the injured man to hospital had to halt en route to give him blood and, at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital, doctors worked for 11 hours in the operating theatre to reconstruct Raymond Kelly's arms and legs. They told the injured man's family it was the worst beating they had ever encountered.

Raymond Kelly's parents are well respected locally - his father , Peter, is a building-control officer with Newry and Mourne Council and his mother, Jane , is a teacher at St Patrick's primary school in Crossmaglen. When young men are beaten in such a fashion a statement is rarely issued ; the perpetrators prefer a few carefully placed rumours alleging criminal or anti-social behaviour and, usually , such rumours are not challenged but, in this case , one month after the attack, and with his son on the road to at least partial recovery, Peter Kelly went public.......(MORE LATER).

The 'Ulster Defence Regiment' , a pro-British loyalist paramilitary gang, was established by Westminster on 18th December 1970 and continued to uphold the British writ , as the UDR, until 1992, when they were amalgamated with the 'Royal Irish Rangers' to form the 'Royal Irish Regiment'.

In every country it occupied (....and in every country it continues to either occupy or take an 'interest' in) Britain , like other imperialist forces, recruits a native 'workforce' which it uses to serve its interests : in the mid-to-late 19th Century in Ireland, for instance , Westminster decreed that the then Irish police force be re-named the 'Royal Irish Constabulary' , a move which the then British 'queen' , Victoria, was strongly in favour of , as a 'reward' to them in payment for the cruel manner in which they dealt with the Fenian rising : in the early 1920's , after Britain had partitioned Ireland, the paramilitary RIC groupings in the Six Counties were re-classified as the 'RUC' , 'U' for 'Ulster' ('1169...' comment : sic - Ulster has nine counties , not six) and a new pro-British death squad was also established - the 'USC' (or the 'B Specials' , as they were better known) , comprised of native loyalist/unionist supporters , sharing a common hatred of all things Irish.

'The Specials' were left with more or less a free rein by Westminster to 'maintain (English) law and order' in that part of Ireland but they shit on their own doorstep so often that Westminster , long embarrassed by having to clean up after them so often, produced a report which, basically (much to the disgust of the local 'powers-that-be') , called for their reign to be brought to an end but, by coincidence (!) , a new pro-British murder gang was formed : the UDR. This latest reincarnation of the RIC/RUC/USC/B Specials (which also 'traded' as the 'UVF') had, by 1992, ran out of doorsteps to dirty and, in that age-old British 'tradition' , was 're-launched/re-named' as the 'Royal Irish Regiment' (RIR), on 1st July 1992.

But regardless of what name or uniform Westminster dresses them up as (or in) they will remain what they have always been - mercenary boot-boys in military garb , whether in Ireland or abroad. And they will continue to meet the same response that their ilk so readily dish out to those that dare challenge the 'might of the British Empire'.


An armed sectarian paramilitary force in Ireland seeks to indoctrinate school children into accepting it as part of a 'normal security service'.

Whilst the eyes of the world are (rightly) concentrated on this tragedy, the potential for similar incidents has gone almost unnoticed in this country : the armed outfit involved (1) are known beyond doubt to be sponsored by a rogue State (2) which has left a trial of bloodied corpses in its wake throughout its long history of warfare and is unashamed in its support for terrorism , for which it has been condemned by a 'Human Rights' body (3) .

We recognise that it takes courage to speak out against such State-sponsored terrorism especially when , as has happened in this country, those that have done so in the past have been brutality dealt with (4) (5) by that same armed militia or its surrogates (6) and we commend and fully support those that have courageously raised their heads above the parapet on this occasion (7) : the armed administration-backed grouping involved has proved itself untrustworthy and should be disbanded immediately, before it causes any more unnecessary deaths. It is nothing more than an armed rogue gang directed by an imperialistic rogue State and, as such, it has no place in a civilised society.



John Whale , born on this day (19th December) in 1931 , died in 2008, aged 77.

Perhaps not a name that is too well known outside of journalistic circles and probably better known in religious ones , John , in a varied career, worked as a reporter for ITN and was the political correspondent for that station before becoming its 'Man in America' for a number of years. He was on the political staff of 'The Sunday Times' in a 'hot' period in Ireland, 1969 to 1979, then took over as religious affairs correspondent and assistant editor before joining the BBC religious affairs department , a position which led to him working as the editor of the 'Church Times' newspaper. He also found time to serve as a councillor for the British Labour Party in Barnes in south-west London.

When the 'hot' period mentioned above (1969-1979) literally exploded under the nose of the various media agencies that were trawling the Six Counties looking for 'colourful' stories that highlighted how 'normal' life was in that occupied area , John Whale was the political reporter for 'The Sunday Times', which was then an investigative newspaper , compared to the run-of-the-mill broadsheet-sized tabloid it is today. The media were 'encouraged' by powerful people in the British House of Commons to 'spin' the conflict as 'religious strife between the Irish/drunken escapades/stupid Paddy'-type of thing, and to steer clear of any mention of there being a political reason for the upheaval - historical perspective regarding 'The Troubles' was not up for discussion. Failure to comply would lead to the journalist(s) concerned being branded a 'PIRA patsy' or, indeed, a 'PIRA supporter' , and whispering campaigns would spring up from nowhere (!) suggesting that he/she/they 'couldn't be trusted...'

Like other journalists 'on the ground' in the Six Counties, John Whale was aware of the atrocities being committed almost on a daily basis by the British government and its armed representatives in that part of Ireland but, unlike those other journalists, he refused to ignore those atrocities : he highlighted , in 'The Sunday Times', the case of the 'Hooded Men' and, practically alone amongst his peers, wouldn't let go of it until it became a 'mainstream' issue , which it eventually did. He won a 'Journalist of the Year' award for his work in relation to that particular case of British-encouraged torture and stayed with that newspaper until 1984.

It's a sad state of affairs when anyone can win an award for simply doing their job and, as such, the award won by John highlighted not so much his professionalism but the lack of same in the conduct of his media colleagues. All of whom, by the way, should now be awarded a prize for their consistency.



It began - properly structured and organised - in 1976 ,as a 'fundraiser with a difference' , combined with the need to gain extra publicity for a situation which was then - as now - making world headlines . Those that sat down together in early September 1976 to tighten-up the then 'hit-and-miss' affair were a dedicated team who fully understood that to fail in their business would not only bring derision on them and the issue they sought to highlight , but would give their enemy a publicity coup which they would exploit to the fullest extent . With that in mind , the team persevered - favours were called-in , guarantees were secured , provisions obtained and word dispatched to like-minded individuals in the near-locale . At the appointed time on the agreed day - 12 Noon , Christmas Day 1976 - a soon-to-be 36-years-young event was ‘born’……. The CABHAIR Christmas Day Swim is , thankfully , still going strong and will be , as mentioned , 36-years-young on December 25th next!

Sponsored Swim * Christmas Day * 12 Noon * Grand Canal * 3rd Lock* Inchicore* Dublin*

But don't despair if you are unable to get to the Dublin Swim on Christmas Day - you can now also show your support for Irish Republican prisoners by attending a similar event in Craigavon in County Armagh , Rosslare Strand in Wexford and, on New Years Day, on Coney Island in New York. And, re the latter, please give me a call if you are travelling to that event as I'm a dab hand at carrying luggage (....but be warned that we might be coming back with a wee bit more than we went with..) !

More info on these CABHAIR SWIMS here.


Better off on the dole...?

This job advertisement was published in Dublin in the last week - "......willing to start off at a low-level salary and work their way upwards....(who)look forward to undergoing a rigorous and challenging probationary period either as an intern or not have any other commitments (personal or professional) that will interfere with their work (family obligations, writing, involvement with other organizations, degrees to be finished, holidays to be taken, weddings to attend in Rio, etc)....any of the following will be grounds for immediate dismissal during the probationary period: coming in late or leaving early without prior permission; being unavailable at night or on the weekends; failing to meet any goals; giving unsolicited advice about how to run things; taking personal phone calls during work hours; gossiping; misusing company property, including surfing the internet while at work; submission of poorly written materials; creating an atmosphere of complaint or argument; failing to respond to emails in a timely way; not showing an interest in other aspects of publishing beyond editorial; making repeated mistakes; violating company policies. DO NOT APPLY if you have a work history containing any of the above. DO NOT APPLY IF ALL OF THE ABOVE DOES NOT DESCRIBE YOU......"

This is the employer in question and this is their response when queried about the ad and, on reading the job advertisement, I had come to the conclusion before finishing same that it was worded to attract publicity for the company involved more so than attracting applications from those seeking employment.

The self-inflicted economic and social mess in this backward little State is such that advertisements for jobs - genuine advertisements for jobs - could very well soon be worded in that fashion by employers and, even though it is not acceptable for a job-seeker to be "tongue-in-cheek" when applying for a position (....apart from an exception now and then..) , the employer , should they 'exaggerate' as per the above, will face no such consequence. Indeed, the company which places such a 'spoof' ad will be practically guaranteed extra (favourable) publicity for doing so whilst the applicant who furnishes spoof info in the hope of obtaining a job and is caught doing so will have blacklisted themselves (courtesy of a 'Google' search) and rendered themselves almost unemployable. Unless, of course, during the term of your employment you have done favours for those who can secure you an 'all-expenses' paid position on a State Board and also obtained for yourself , from your brief time in such employment, a pension for life. And then you won't be worried at all about what a 'Google' search throws up about you.....

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Monday, December 17, 2012



Just another small State politician on a big salary.

In his recently delivered 'Christmas Address to The Irish Nation' (sic - not all the voters in this Nation were allowed a vote ie those in our six north-eastern counties) , the latest Free State 'President' delivered an insipid speech that either of 'The Two Marys' could have deposited on us at any time during their career-making stay in the big house at the taxpayers expense.

"As our economy has contracted in recent times, many people are feeling the consequences, in terms of employment or income...." ....and your right there , Michael , and your right - but best not to mention that the recent State budget, supported and implemented by your own Party , 'Labour' , is just as responsible for those "consequences" as much as any other State party.

" However, our economic condition does not, on its own, define who we are. We are, for example, a country with a network of communities, that are increasingly active in responding to their own, and their societies, difficulties....." ...those "communities" are broke , busted and disillusioned from having to try and cope with "difficulties" forced on them by those at the top, who pay themselves up to €5208 a week and are not broke or suffering difficulties. But it's hard to see all that when your view from a big house is blocked by State-funded rose gardens.

"We also have the resource of our scattered people around the world, who support each other, and who value their connection with their homeland...."...leaving aside, of course , the fact that it is those , like yourself , Mr Higgins, that, due to your incompetence, forced those people to 'scatter' in the first place.

"At this time especially, those of us who are fortunate enough to have a joyous Christmas should be mindful of the need to reach out to others who – due to loss, emigration, illness or financial circumstances are going through a difficult time..."......again - the 'difficult times' are a direct result of State mis-management by those Office holders who, like the Speaker, see no shame in giving an 'austerity?-take-it-on-the-chin'-type speech whilst paying themselves up to five grand a week for doing so.

Not boasting here, but we did say it would turn out like this !

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


'THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DAY.....' By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

I spoke like I had a gale of wind in my back, and he just could not make up his mind what stand to take against me. And then all of a sudden my bad temper exhausted itself and I sat down : "Let us stop all this nonsense. You know damn well you're ashamed of yourself." I pointed to his little boy who stood by the door - "Do you think he'll be proud of it before other boys some day? " He replied " If I didn't buy them somebody else would." I picked up 'Ireland's Own' and flicked the pages and I told him there used to be an advertisement in it that began 'Monkey Brand Won't Wash Clothes...' and told him that his excuses would not go far to wash his name - "I was drunk and they talked me into it....I did it out of spite..." .

He grinned at me and there was no further quarrel between us. I left him a note he could use if ever the need arose to clear his name. I like to recall that two of the great lessons I got in agitation came from my father and 'Black James' Duirin. Their secret? They both liked people. Somebody close to Paddy Hogan , Free State Minister for Agriculture, sent me, every now and then, a letter or a memorandum or a scrap from one written by him or to him on some issue in which I might be considered to have interest - it goes with my picture of him, a careless, open man. The first of these came to me at the height of the crisis on the findings of the Boundary Commission in 1925 and it was so sensational I just did not believe it , but I did take notice when I got a bit of a letter that showed that this country-wise man took a serious view of the noises made in a few townlands around Dungloe. I could have wished they had not drawn his notice on themselves until they won a few mild skirmishes with the bailiff to give them confidence. (MORE LATER).


The inside story of a personal feud that has left one man dead and tarnished the reputation of the PIRA's most fearsome brigade.

From 'Magill' magazine , April 2003.

By John Keane.

Unionists have denounced Patrick O' Callaghan's statement as further evidence of IRA intimidation even of "their own kind". However , it could also be the product of a conciliation attempt by the republican (ie PSF) leadership to halt the South Armagh brigade's slide towards the type of mafia-like bloodletting that recently brought about the demise of Johnny Adair's equally notorious and efficient killing machine in the Lower Shankill. The fallout, including the labelling of the staunch O' Callaghan clan as "vermin" by PIRA hardman Brian Keenan at the funeral of PIRA member Keith Rodgers , leaves the South Armagh PIRA's reputation severely tarnished. Even their bitter adversaries in the British Army have conceded grudging admiration for the discipline and military capability of the two South Armagh battalions in the past but now, with the (PIRA) war over and names being named with tacit approval in coffee-table history books, the PIRA in South Armagh looks like ending its struggle not with a bang but with a whimper. The public condemnations had already begun before the South Armagh Provos began turning on their own : Raymond Kelly , a 20-year-old University of Ulster student from Ballsmill in South Armagh, was savagely beaten six months ago and that attack followed exactly the same pattern , was carried out with the same military precision and is thought to have been executed by the same people as the attack on Kevin O' Callaghan. The third-year civil engineering student was on the first week of a work placement job with a firm in the 26 Counties when an eight-man gang in three vehicles forced him off the road shortly after he left his home at 7am.......(MORE LATER).


'Four Martyrs' Mass Card , December 1922 (and a BIG 'GRMA' to Anthony for this pic!)

The commemorative event held on Saturday 8th December 2012 in Wynn's Hotel for the 'Four Martyrs' was a great success , with a full room and the full programme adhered to. Unfortunately, a rep from this blog was unable to get to same as we had a full programme of events ourselves, preparing for the 650-ticket monthly raffle ,which was held on Sunday 9th , but most of the stubs have to be collected on the Friday and Saturday before the raffle, as the amount of paperwork attached to each individual stub is unreal!

We were promised a brief report and a few pics re the commemorative event but so far nothing has been sent to us and the party responsible is doing more ducking and diving than a State Labour politician trying to justify the recent savage State budget - but when (if?!) we do eventually get some material we will post it here although at this rate our colleagues in 'SAOIRSE' will get their stuff first and publish it in the January 2013 edition of the 'paper (....which, BTW, goes to print on Wednesday 9th of that month!). However , we do know that Des Dalton , President of RSF, delivered an in-depth oration on the Free State executions of Liam Mellows, Rory O'Connor, Joe McKelvey and Dick Barrett , during which Peadar O'Donnell's book 'And The Gates Flew Open' was referenced , following which a busy discussion regarding the comparisons of the 1922 political situation and that pertaining today was held. Street-songs and ballads from the 1920's in Ireland were recited and the event was brought to a close with a rousing rendition of our National Anthem.

ANYWAY : re the monthly raffle.....
....we have the results....

....but first - a big 'THANKS , FOLKS!' to the dozens of soccer fans who helped CABHAIR to score (!) on the day : we actually had to hand money back to most of them , as dozens of tickets were paid for 'on spec' that we would get enough returns to look after at least most of the soccer lads but, alas, that wasn't the case: we got 17 unsold tickets back but they were sold before they even landed on the admin table (which was good, and expected) but that meant that we had to hand back €80 to disappointed punters (which was bad, and 'near kilt' us having to do it !). Although I didn't know it at the time , the City of Manchester, in England, was United in the desire to play with itself (!) , live on television, on that same Sunday and even though I haven't got a notion who came first or second (!) , I do know that CABHAIR were the real winners !

A very nice (and surprised and embarrassed !) American Lady , Robin, who had bought ticket number 581 from one of our lads from Blanch, PE, won the first prize of €200 and, after she came to (!) , she agreed (eventually!) to pull out the second prize (€100) , thus giving 'Tapper' Owen the first of his three wins - a J. Molloy won that 2nd prize (ticket sold by the 'Tapper' fella) and 'J' then pulled out the third ticket , number 219, which was owned by Connor, who had bought it from the Tapmeister . Connor pulled out the 4th prize (€20) and ticket number 559, belonging to Vinny , won it - the seller of that ticket was our Anto B, who was at the raffle with his daughter. Prize number 5 (€20) was won by a Carlow man , Peter , on ticket number 417 , Luke from Meath won sixth prize (€20) on ticket 300 and the second-last prize was won by ticket number 382, owned by Niall , from Wicklow, who then pulled out our last prize (€20) - won by David C , who had bought the ticket from the 'Tapper' fella, giving him (...if not City or United..) a hat trick !

As usual , we had a ball (!) , made new friends , and raised a nice few bob for CABHAIR : and we will be back in action for that organisation on Christmas Day when , no doubt, they will busy us with something in the freezing cold on the Grand Canal in Inchicore. If you're near the area , do drop by and say 'Hello' !


IRA Volunteers , pictured around the time of the Border Campaign.

At the time of this IRA campaign , Eamon de Valera's Fianna Fail State Administration were of the opinion that it actually began in 1954 , with the raid on Gough Barracks , in Armagh, on Saturday 12th June that year (1954) , in which some 300 weapons were liberated from the British Army. Fianna Fail considered that proof enough that the IRA "...had renewed its activities, was rearming, recruiting young men and engaging in drilling and other manoeuvres...." and indeed they were. On 11th December 1956 , communication was sent to the IRA Volunteers involved - over 150 men - that the operation would begin at midnight on 12th December and , at the appointed time, three IRA flying columns crossed the Free State border to attack British Army depots and administration centres , air fields , radar installations , BA barracks , courthouses , bridges , roads and custom posts : the 'Resistance Campaign/Operation Harvest', had begun proper , being co-ordinated from County Monaghan.

In a letter from the then leadership of the Sinn Féin organisation , which was signed by Maire Ni Gabhan and Miceal Treinfir (see 'Sinn Féin Rally In Dublin', here) (and which was sent from the Sinn Féin Office, 3 Lr. Abbey Street, Dublin) the Secretary of each Cumann was instructed to read out a statement after every Mass in their area , on Sunday 16th December (1956), announcing the start of 'the Border Campaign' , an announcement which , later, prompted the then Free State 'Taoiseach' , Fianna Fail's Seán Lemass , to describe the IRA as being "similar to fascists" re its decision to mount such a campaign.

Although it did not achieve its objectives, the Border Campaign kept 'the National Question' in the political forefront , enabled the Republican Movement to make new connections and ensured that valuable operational lessons were learned and documented for the next generation. On 26th February 1962 the IRA, through the Irish Republican Publicity Bureau, in a communication signed by J. McGarrity, sent out the following message: " The leadership of the resistance Movement has ordered the termination of the Campaign of Resistance to British Occupation launched on December, 1956. Instructions issued to Volunteers of the Active Service Units and of local Units in the occupied area have now been carried out. All arms and materials have been dumped and all full-time active volunteers have been withdrawn. Foremost among the factors motivating this course of action has been the attitude of the general public whose minds have been deliberately distracted from the supreme issue facing the Irish people – the unity and freedom of Ireland.

The Irish resistance movement renews its pledge of eternal hostility to the British Forces of Occupation in Ireland. It calls on the Irish people for increased support and looks forward with confidence – in co-operation with the other branches of the Republican Movement – to a period of consolidation, expansion and preparation for the final and victorious phase of the struggle for the full freedom of Ireland."

Although that Campaign was called off as, indeed, were others like it over the centuries of resistance , opposition to British military and political interference in Irish affairs remains in place and has been bolstered by those 'failed campaigns'. Even when we 'lose' , we win !


A newspaper advertisement placed by the State Labour Party in February 2011 whilst they were seeking votes in the State-wide general election of that same month. The aim of the ad was to convince voters that Fine Gael needed a 'watchdog' in Leinster House to ensure that such cutbacks didn't take place ; it worked, and Labour received enough votes to form a coalition administration with Fine Gael. Once they had their well-shod feet under the oak table, Labour morphed from a 'watchdog' into a 'mudguard' and have now supported Fine Gael in forcing financial cutbacks on those they asked to vote for them !

As if the above wasn't bad enough (at least for those shocked voters that fell for the ploy) it now seems that the same halfwits that voted for either Fine Gael or the State Labour Party now think that the Fianna Fail Party has their best interests at heart !

As Irish Republicans have consistently said since this backward State was forced on this country at the point of a British gun, it is not (only) those that operate or seek to operate the political system here that are at fault, it is the system itself that is faulty. It needs changing , and fast.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


'THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DAY.....' By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

I recognise at least one of my nervous habits - in the interval , when nothing is to be gained by thinking before something unpleasant happens, I want something to read, and anything will do. Under her knitting in the window I found the current copy of 'Ireland's Own' magazine - a very old friend. It surprises me that I do not remember something of what I read, for it is a way of mine to make lighted candles of trivia at such times. (When I think of Liam Mellows I see him with his shoulder to the cell door, the lid of his clay pipe dangling from the thin chain on its stem - that was how I saw him at 'lights out' on the night before his execution.) I do know I was reading when a man's angry step struck the gravel , and she was on his heels, in the door, and there was anger in her, too.

They made a fine pair - he opened at once, truculent and threatening : "You were on the other side of the barbed wire when I saw you last," he said. I told him the reason why the bailiff was back was because his side won , and he replied "Let you be on your way. I bought and paid for those cattle." I unbalanced him then , by telling him I had no interest in the cattle , that I was a newspaper man after a story for 'An Phoblacht' , and that I would make a great story out of this, and that I would like a photo. The trouble always was that the man who bought in seized cattle always denied doing it. He had the courage to own he did the like and to boast of it. I had to make such a story as would frighten men without his courage , so I told him I would be fair to him and give him full credit for courage, even though I would abuse him for going back on his own kind of people. He would be a famous man , when I was through with him, even though it might not be the kind of fame many men would like. I would put out posters with his name on them and would get IRA men to sell 'An Phoblacht' at chapel gates in that parish but nobody would interfere with him. I told him that that , mostly, was what brought me , that I wanted to tell him he need have no fear , no need of police protection.....(MORE LATER).


The inside story of a personal feud that has left one man dead and tarnished the reputation of the PIRA's most fearsome brigade.

From 'Magill' magazine , April 2003.

By John Keane.

They rammed Kevin O'Callaghan's old Nissan Bluebird and tried to drag him out of the car , and what happened next is the subject of conjecture because oddly, despite the fact that the forecourt and shop had plenty of customers, nobody saw or heard anything. O'Callaghan's family claimed, despite the police warning, that he was unarmed when he drove into Cullaville. The PIRA , in a statement, claimed that Keith Rodgers was unarmed. But the outcome was one dead and two injured in a hail of bullets. Only in Sicily is the law of omerta , or silence, as rigidly adhered to by protagonists. Then , in a dramatic u-turn two weeks later, Patrick O'Callaghan issued a statement to local media withdrawing his allegations that the Cullaville incident had been a row over land.

In remarks which could be seen as tantamount to calling his brother Kevin an armed criminal, he said he accepted that the Cullaville incident was the result of criminal activity and that neither Keith Rodgers nor his wounded comrade had been shot with their own weapons : " I am satisfied the version of events given to me was quite untrue. I fully accept that the incident was not connected with the purchase of land." The u-turn raised as many questions as it answered.....(MORE LATER).


The Water Tower on the Monastery Road , in Clondalkin, near the old Quarry.

When previewing this RTE production, we wrote - "Although Irish republicans have good reason to shudder anytime the establishment main-stream media attempts to address any issue to do with republicanism (this, for instance , in which republicans blend-in seamlessly with drug pushing scumbags) , it would be hard (if not near impossible) even for RTE to attempt to put an anti-republican 'spin' on the events covered by this documentary as the actual facts of what happened, and how and by whom, are too widely known. Still , don't take my word for that , as it is RTE we're talking about.... "

We were nearer the mark than we were hoping to be : It was alleged in the programme that one of the young lads that was out pasting up republican posters was carrying a gun when they were kidnapped by Free State forces which, in the research we done for a blog post we wrote on this issue, was a claim that we never encountered , and would consider to be a story put around by the Staters at the time to try and 'justify' their actions and now, 90 years later, regurgitated by them (and their supporters) for the same reason. Had we heard about this allegation before, we would have asked why a weapon would be carried in the first place by a postering crew in such times, when the known Free State penalty for doing so was execution ? And what happened this weapon ? Should it not have been introduced as 'evidence' in the Free State 'inquest' re Dalton's involvement etc (even though Dalton himself never bothered to turn up for that particular Free State show trial) ?

And the claim made during the programme that there was no witnesses to that crime in the quarry doesn't ring true, either - (see above link) "But this crime did not go unnoticed - Dermot MacGiolla Phadraig, a Na Fianna Éireann training officer, was passing by the area at the time on Saturday 7th October 1922 and witnessed the executions and a Charles Byrne, an undercover man for the IRA in Oriel House, was also passing by and actually spoke to one of the Free State gunmen, Charlie Dalton...." Amazing how RTE , with the resources it has at its disposal , and politically well-connected Eddie Hobbs never once referred to the witnesses , even if only to dismiss the possibility of same as 'republican propaganda' or somesuch.

Finally , the format/presentation of the programme was confusing : one hour to highlight three different events, but instead of attempting to do each event justice by allocating a twenty-minute segment to it, after approximately between five and ten minutes on one of the subject matters, one of the other subject matters would then be given the same coverage and then the third one would be given the same. And then focus would revert to the first subject and so on....

It would be too charitable to suggest that it was the confused format which threw the programme makers and Mr Hobbs off-balance re the finished article : more likely that they produced an off-balance finished article because that was what they set-out to do. And they achieved that objective.

8TH DECEMBER 1922 - 8TH DECEMBER 2012....

A reminder - this event takes place this coming Saturday , 8th December 2012.

We have already mentioned this commemorative event ("The 8th December 2012 will be the 90th Anniversary of the executions , by the then Leinster House Administration, of four imprisoned Irish Republicans - Richard Barrett, Rory O'Connor, Liam Mellows and Joe McKelvey. It was an act of revenge by the Free Staters for the death of Leinster House member Sean Hales , killed by the IRA. The four Irish Republicans were in prison at the time that Hales was killed and as such it was known by all concerned that none of them were involved in that particular act....") but it's worth mentioning again - that particular Saturday is known to us Dubs as 'Culchie Day' (pardon my un-pc-ness !) as thousands of our country cousins travel up to Dublin to start their Christmas shopping , so to our many country readers we suggest the following - tell himself/herself that you will take him/her to Dublin on Saturday 8th for the usual Christmas shopping spree and if s/he is more 'into' the whole shopping craic than you yourself are, then tell your better half that you will meet him/her at the GPO at about 5pm , which means you can attend the event and still have an hour for a pint or two in the hotel bar afterwards! And I betcha that your partner will enjoy themselves all the more, not having to listen to you moan and whinge about having to visit "..another Bloody shop..." !


We won't be able to attend the above-mentioned commemorative event in Wynn's Hotel on Saturday 8th (although we do hope to poke our heads in the door for an hour or so at some stage during the day) as we will be 'gearing-up' for the usual monthly visit to an hotel a fair distance away - on the Dublin/Kildare border, to assist in the holding of a different Irish Republican event : the monthly 650-ticket raffle , which is being held on Sunday 9th. This being 'Prisoners Month' , the raffle is being held for the CABHAIR organisation , a charitable group, solely dependant on public subscriptions, which was established in early 1987 for "...the relief of cases of distress arising out of republican activity..." , following the revolutionary / reformist split in the Republican Movement.

And no doubt we'll have our own culchies to do battle with in that hotel as well, as it is an ideal spot for a family get-together on a Sunday afternoon and it draws (!) a great crowd for that reason. Some of whom , hopefully, will be leaving the premises with a few quid more than they had when they entered it!


If family can treat you like this, what would strangers do to you....

Regular readers will know that I have mentioned this blog a few times already and I'm doing so again now and will more than likely give it another plug in future posts - I find it fascinating (and a wee bit disturbing) to observe the lengths that what I can only describe as morally-crippled people will go to in order to secure their own comforts regardless of the boundaries of human nature they have to trample over in order to do so. And all the more fascinating and disturbing when it's not strangers that they are morally and mentally 'elbowing' out of their way , but their own parents. I am genuinely at a loss in trying to figure out how people like that can live with themselves, and how others can stomach to be in their company, knowing what degenerates they are.

One of the latest blog posts on that troubled site highlights the fact that the poor old woman in question was only left with 57 cents in her old-age pension account after two of her daughters continued to empty it for themselves and details how one of her sons had to step in and remove all ATM access to their mother's account from his two sisters and, in the process, was threatened with legal action by one of those two women for having done so. It is a depressing scenario that's painted by the author and one which will puzzle those of us who would never be capable of such underhanded actions. I hope those that are trying to do good for the old woman are stronger than those that evidently couldn't care less about her and are only interested in her money. And I also hope that there is a special corner reserved in Hell for charlatans like the two featured in that blog.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


'THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DAY.....' By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.
I was in luck on transport - a young man , a commercial traveller, whose road led to Ballybofey, made no bones about going out of his way to enable me to do my errand en route and in a vague way he understood it was some sort of IRA business. We made stops here and there and it was well into the afternoon when we got to my place of call. A man in a postman's jacket chanced to cycle by , just as we needed guidance, and he pointed out the house I sought , then made a useful remark to me - 'You'll be somebody he knew in the army?' , he said. So there was that gap between us, too - 'the army' meant the Free State army. I proceeded on my way and was taken back when the boreen I walked down opened on to a nicely gravelled street, in front of a trig , white-washed three-windowed thatched cottage. The young woman who came to the door wore her hapiness like a halo. This home , this woman, should not be involved in so drab a business ; no, her husband was not at home, but he was nearby, in a quarry, raising metal for the County Council. She would call him , as it was his tea-time anyway. We were in the kitchen now. "It would be in the army you met him ? At Finner, was it...?" , she asked. I spent some dreary months there, a prisoner in solitary confinement. Let me take a seat : she would not be a minute in going for him, but I could not let things go at that : "Maybe you better tell him who is waiting for him. I'm Peadar O'Donnell." Light and welcome went out of her, like it was blown out from within. "It's about the cows...?" , she said. I nodded. And then she did a wonderful thing - she lifted the kettle off the crook , set it on the hearth and she went out. (MORE LATER).


The inside story of a personal feud that has left one man dead and tarnished the reputation of the PIRA's most fearsome brigade.

From 'Magill' magazine , April 2003.

By John Keane.
What happened next was unprecedented within the tight-knit republican community of South Armagh. At the beginning of March, a gang of 12 men in three cars ambushed one of the O'Callaghan brothers, 37-year-old Danny. After ramming his car on the Monog Road near Crossmaglen, they dragged him from the vehicle , leaving his son Danny (12) with a broken arm and another son, Joseph (10) with an eye injury caused by a glass splinter. The gang took their victim to the near-by Creggan housing estate and shot him in both ankles and elbows and he was then dumped, bleeding heavily, in a playground. Following the shooting, the O'Callaghan family made representations to the leadership of the republican movement ( '1169' Comment - sic : those representations were made to the leadership of the Provisional movement) in Belfast but the response, in the words of one PIRA veteran, was "a deafening silence". Worse was to come. On 10th March 2003, Patrick O'Callaghan and his brother Kevin, who both have homes on the southern side of the border, were warned by gardai of a plot to shoot them and similar warnings were delivered by the PSNI to two other brothers living near Crossmaglen, Anthony and Seán - the latter a gaunt, former H-Block prisoner known as 'Boney'. The possibility of the O'Callaghans defying the 'No Building' law on Larkin's Road was clearly not going to be tolerated. On the morning of Wednesday 12th March 2003, Kevin O'Callaghan and his son Seán (21) drove from their home in Inniskeen , County Monaghan, across the border to Waters Filling Station and shop in Cullaville - their intention was to get two five-gallon drums of home heating oil, which is cheaper in the North than in the South. PIRA Volunteer Keith Rodgers , who played football with the younger O'Callaghans, was among a group of eight PIRA men in two cars waiting to ambush him.......(MORE LATER).


The 'balance' is loaded in favour of a State minority.

Two recent events here in this bent State epitomise the prevailing characteristics that unfortunately exist in abundance amongst our 'Ruling Class', and which have a detrimental effect on the society in which the perpetrators have a say over. On the one hand we have a wealthy politician and a wealthy judge , both of whom were not satisfied with their already-secured place in the 'pecking order' and decided that they should have even more and, on the other hand, we can see the affect such greed has on the society they 'rule' over.

There are thousands either like that politician and that judge or who desire to be like them and, God help us, they are in a position in this poxy State to either help frame State law or help implement and enforce it , once framed. But there are millions more that are directly effected by the actions - sometimes 'suspect' , to put it mildly, and other times as blatantly corrupt as any so-called 'democratic' tyranny can sustain - as evident by that school in Bluebell , Dublin. The system here is so unbalanced that it is beyond 'tweaking' and can only truly be conquered by being dismantled and disposed of. I favour these two policies as foundation stones for a new beginning as, amongst other attributes, they have a 'check and balance' system built-in which would allow the people themselves the opportunity to ensure that fair play is obtained, and not leave it up to an overpaid , greedy and out-of-touch political and judicial Class to decide when - or by how much or how often - the rest of us are to be screwed by them. Until that change comes , we had all best get a second layer of clothes ready , 'cause that shower of time-serving gangsters are only warming up. Pardon the pun.

28TH NOVEMBER 1905 :
Part of a pamphlet issued following the ?rst annual convention of the 'National Council' held in the Rotunda, Dublin on 28 November 1905, the policy of which was proposed by Arthur Griffith (click on pic for clearer image) .

"National self-development secured through the recognition of the duties and rights of citizenship on the part of the individual, and with the aid and support of all movements originating from within Ireland, which, instinct with national tradition, do not look outside Ireland for the accomplishment of their aims" - this was the policy outlined at the First National Council Convention, held at the Rotunda, in Dublin, on Tuesday, November 28, 1905, under the presidency of Edward Martyn, at which the programme of the men who later became known as the 'Sinn Feiners' was promulgated by Arthur Griffith.

Sinn Féin was founded on November 28, 1905 ,compromised of an amalgamation of Cumann na nGaedheal, the National Council (which was founded in the main to organise protests at the visit of the British King, Edward VII, and included in its ranks Edward Martyn, Séamus McManus and Maud Gonne) and the Dungannon Clubs, a largely IRB-dominated Republican campaign group. Contrary to the perception which has been advanced by some that Sinn Féin in its first years was not Republican in character but rather sought a limited form of Home Rule on the dual monarchist model, Brian O'Higgins, a founding member of Sinn Féin, who took part in the 1916 Rising, and was a member of the First and Second Dáil, remaining a steadfast Republican up to his death in 1962, had this to say in his Wolfe Tone Annual of 1949: "It is often sought to be shown that the organisation set up in 1905 was not Republican in form or spirit, that it only became so in 1917; but this is an erroneous idea, and is not borne out by the truths of history. Anyone who goes to the trouble of reading its brief constitution will see that its object was 'the re-establishment of the independence of Ireland.' The Constitution of Sinn Féin in 1905, and certainly the spirit of it, was at least as clearly separatist as was the constitution of Sinn Féin in and after 1917, no matter what private opinion regarding the British Crown may have been held by Arthur Griffith." (More here.)

And today - 28th November 2012 - that same organisation , with the same objectives, lives on in the Republican Movement and continues to hold that same steely determination that its Founding Fathers had, a desire for justice for the Irish people and for full political freedom : 'freedom' , not just from the British, but from the 'Free State' mentality that has all but crushed the Spirit of our people. And our day will come.....


Ireland , 1922 - executed by Free State forces for political postering.

We have written before about this atrocity and we got good feedback from other parties that are interested in the subject matter - we have received notification that on Monday 3rd December 2012 , at 9.35pm , RTE One TV will be broadcasting a documentary on the issue : 'Eddie Hobbs meets people as they learn about their relatives' roles in the Civil War, including a Dublin special needs assistant who discovers the story of how his great grand-uncle was killed in one of the conflict's most disturbing events aged just 16.....' (From here.)

Although Irish republicans have good reason to shudder anytime the establishment main-stream media attempts to address any issue to do with republicanism (this, for instance , in which republicans blend-in seamlessly with drug pushing scumbags) , it would be hard (if not near impossible) even for RTE to attempt to put an anti-republican 'spin' on the events covered by this documentary as the actual facts of what happened, and how and by whom, are too widely known. Still , don't take my word for that , as it is RTE we're talking about....

Appropo of nothing in particular, other than it caught my eye at the time....

Susan Boyle - bulging back pockets !

......and, although her voice and choice of songs do nothing for me, they strike a chord (!) with enough people to make it worth her while. I'd give her a 'standing ovation' (!) if she spent some of her fortune and hired a new publicist or manager : a recent promotional 'tweet' from her camp , in connection with her latest album, 'back'(!)fired on her and it was for that sceneario , rather than the quality or otherwise of her voice, that she briefly 'trended' in cyberspace. Still, not such a bummer , maybe, when you're trying to shift a few extra copies of a new album.....

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012



One of the placards carried by RSF on the Dublin 'Austerity Protest' , Saturday 24th November 2012.

I was proud to be one of the RSF "fascist" demonstrators on the 'Austerity Protest' in Dublin yesterday who, along with thousands of other protestors, called loudly and repeatedly on the organisers, the trade union leadership, to end their financial and moral support for the State Labour Party and to begin preparations for a general strike : the man at the 'Top Table' of that TU leadership, Jack O'Connor , responded by calling us "fascists". That man , and others of his ilk that sit around that 'Table' doing deals with professional politicians has lost his bearings and for a long time now has come to consider himself to be 'one of them'. His objective is to 'manage' the cutbacks on those that still have jobs and the unemployed, rather than to stop same. And he calls us "fascists" for highlighting the fact that his snout is in the same trough as those who seek to continue forcing a lower standard of living on workers and the unemployed! With a moral compass of that nature, 'Jack The Lad' is on course for a 'job' in Leinster House , or perhaps a less 'taxing' position in the useless State Senate.

And, again, I was proud to be there, with other supporters and members of RSF, as part of the 20,000 protestors that took to the streets of Dublin in opposition not only to the 'Troika' but in opposition, too, to the present Fine Gael/State Labour party Free State Administration - the real fascists in this gombeen State. Well done to all of us for taking a stand !

Incidentally , the RSF placard (pictured above), re 'The Gathering' , that was carried on the 'Austerity Protest' (more pics of that demo here and here) is in reference to an attempt by the State authorities to present a picture of 'normalisation' here, even though we (ie the 'ordinary Joe Soaps') are actually tethering on the brink of full economic collapse. We wrote about that subject already but an interesting thing happened yesterday on the protest when a gentleman approached us , pointing at that placard, and brought to our attention the fact that the State-appointed person in charge of 'The Gathering' is non other than ex-Fine Gael General Secretary Jim Miley , and that he is paid a salary of €3500 a week.

.....and you can call me "a fascist" for pointing that out, if you want !

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


'THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DAY.....' By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

If I wanted proof of the miracle in a small victory, I got it at the committee meeting the next evening when I reported on the seized cattle ; I had already reported on the other matter privately to Phil and Black James. This good work was put down to Seán McCool and that was a useful rumour to get abroad. The problem of getting the cattle back became more complicated as we talked. We would set up a watch on that man's place and we would drive the cattle away in daylight or we would go to his place at night-time , a whole lorry load of us, and we would take the cattle out of his byre and nail the couple of pounds he gave for them on the door or we would get somebody of his district to pick him out for us at a fair in Glenties and Big Neil Houston and Jimmy Getins would corner him and make him pay. A couple of times Black James Duirnin tried to get a word in but the pace was too fast for him and it was not until he was asked if he had any suggestion that he got his chance - "What about this man of ours going to see him, and advising him to give the cattle back?" I was "this man". (MORE LATER).


The inside story of a personal feud that has left one man dead and tarnished the reputation of the PIRA's most fearsome brigade.

From 'Magill' magazine , April 2003.

By John Keane.

In 1990, the British government introduced legislation specifically targeting Thomas 'Slab' Murphy's oil company , 'West Star' , a name derived from the popular TV series 'Dallas'. Under the Newry and Mourne Regulation Hydrocarbon Traffic Order , oil tankers were banned from a stretch of Larkin's Road at Ballybinaby - the specific target was Tom Murphy's private free-trade zone , the sheds where tankers owned by his oil company , and others nominally owned by his family members, could evade the prying eyes of customs officers , to facilitate his smuggling operations. During the conflict ('1169...' Comment : sic - past tense?) it was an unwritten law in South Armagh that nobody could buy or sell land or build houses nearby without PIRA approval : premises could be sold but not advertised for sale. The logic was that strangers might move into the area and jeopardise the security of PIRA operations , but it was never foreseen that the same 'property rules' might be applied to a senior republican.

However, Patrick O' Callaghan's initial account suggests that is exactly what led to the death of PIRA Volunteer Keith Rodgers at Waters Service Station in Cullaville. Patrick O' Callaghan claimed that he and his brothers had bought four acres of land on Larkin's Road for development - that land is about a quarter of a mile from the Murphy farm , on a rise overlooking a derelict house , and the roadway in front of the house has been widened to allow parking and turning space for large vehicles. The O' Callaghan brothers had already obtained outline planning permission for one house several years ago but around the beginning of February they applied for full planning permission for two houses at the site. With one brother just leaving hospital and another on his way by ambulance, Patrick O' Callaghan claimed his family had been targeted because they had stepped-up their plan to build four house on their Larkin's Road site and had been seeking financial backing. He claimed the attacks on the family began after he had been seen visiting the site with an architect. Signs went up on the road saying 'NO BUILDING HERE'. (MORE LATER).


14 British military operatives, 14 Irish civilians and 3 Irish Republican prisoners ( 'whilst attempting to escape' ) : Peadar Clancy , Richard McKee and Conor Clune. The 14 British military operatives comprised an undercover BA Intelligence unit known as the 'Special Gang' (referred to more often than not as 'The Cairo Gang') , one RIC man and an informer : there is a fascinating account of one of Collins' 'Squad' here , which details how (and why) his new 'own (Free State) side' wanted to get rid of him , and were further prompted to do so after he took (deadly) offence to a man who was carrying a bag of tomatoes ! The 14 civilians were shot dead by frenzied British forces in Croke Park whilst watching a match.

Peadar Clancy (left) who, whilst defending the Irish Republic in 1916 with other armed Irish soldiers, came under sniper fire from a house on Bridge Street, Dublin , from the British Army, and instructed his comrades to open fire on the house. As the gunfire intensified, Clancy made his way across the street and broke a number of downstairs windows and set the house on fire. Clancy and his men then proceeded on their way. In 1967 , republican-minded people in New York raised enough funds for a bronze statue of Peadar Clancy to be erected in Kildysart , County Clare. He was a native of Carrowreagh East, Cranny, West Clare, and was a partner , with another IRA man named Tom Hunter, in a drapery business called 'The Republican Outfitters', located at Number 94 Talbot Street in the centre of Dublin.

Richard McKee (left) , highly regarded by, amongst others , Éamon de Valera, Austin Stack and Michael Collins. This Finglas , Dublin, man joined the Volunteers in 1913 and three years later found himself under British fire in Jacob's Factory. He was later to be appointed Brigadier of the IRA's Dublin Brigade and was also Director of Training on its General HeadQuarters staff. On 17th November 1920 he received a communication from Michael Collins saying - 'Dick . . . have established addresses of the particular ones. Arrangements should now be made about the matter. Lt. G. is aware of things. He suggested the 21st. A most suitable date and day I think. "M" '. On 21st November 1920, McKee was bayoneted in the liver, suffered broken ribs, abrasions to the face and received many bullet wounds 'whilst attempting to escape'.

Peadar Clancy and Richard McKee were informed on by an ex-British Army soldier , James 'Shankers' Ryan , and were arrested on the eve of 'Bloody Sunday' by a combined force of the RIC and the Tans at Sean Fitzpatrick’s house at 36 Lower Gloucester Street (renamed Sean McDermott Street). The informer Ryan was a brother of Becky Cooper one of the Madams of the famous red-light district known as 'The Monto'. On the 5th of February , 1921, William Stapleton and other IRA men were notified that 'Shankers' was drinking in Hynes Pub , on the corner of Lower Gloucester Street and Railway Street in Dublin, and they went there and shot him dead. A short video of the funerals of Peadar Clancy and Richard McKee can be seen here.

Conor Clune (left) the nephew of Archbishop Clune and a member of the 'Gaelic League' (but, according to most accounts, not a member of the Republican Movement) was arrested by the British in Vaughn's Hotel in Parnell Square, Dublin, on the 20th November 1920 (the day before 'Bloody Sunday') - his family connection to Archbishop Patrick Joseph Clune could very well have been 'reason' enough for the British to detain him. Incidentally , on the 7th of December 1920 , at the request of David Lloyd George, the then British Prime Minister , Archbishop Clune held a 'state-of-play' discussion with Michael Collins to discuss how things stood between the rebels ('dissidents') and the British. The meeting was held in Number Five Merrion Square , home of Dr Robert Farnan, a prominent gynecologist. To 'stop Conor Clune escaping from their custody' , the British shot him 13 times in the chest.

When asked about the executions of the 'Special/Cairo Gang' , Michael Collins replied - "My one intention was the destruction of the undesirables who continued to make miserable the lives of ordinary decent citizens. I have proof enough to assure myself of the atrocities which this gang of spies and informers have committed. If I had a second motive it was no more than a feeling such as I would have for a dangerous reptile. By their destruction the very air is made sweeter. For myself, my conscience is clear. There is no crime in detecting in wartime the spy and the informer. They have destroyed without trial. I have paid them back in their own coin."

Those "reptiles" are still active to this day , even though they are housed in more salubrious surroundings and are , as ever, motivated in their actions by 'the coin'. There are no such encouragements here but true Irish Republicans , unlike 'Shankers' and his 21st-Century equivalent never required any , except for the righteousness of their Cause.


PSF Mayor of Dungannon Phelim Gildernew (left).

Provisional Sinn Féin elected representatives in the British-occupied county of Tyrone (and elsewhere!) have no bother at all in working side-by-side with British Establishment and other (local) anti-republican elements to the point where they will not only call on their constituents to report activities by Irish republicans 'to the proper authorities' but will wholeheartedly beseech their supporters to assist them in implementing the British writ as delivered to them in Stormont by their parent body in Westminster.

Hypocritical then, of them to object to a book of condolences being opened on the death of one of their fellow-government employees. A UUP council member proposed that such a book be opened but this was objected to by Mayor Phelim Gildernew and other ex-republicans on the council , but those objectors quickly backed-down after their position was made public and their 'leader' , the good Mayor, was actually the first to the table to sign the book !

Mayor Gildernew's hypocrisy has been exposed before , when he sought to honour those from Tyrone who had challenged the British, militarily whilst, at practically the same time and in the same breath, calling those who continue that struggle 'unrepresentative and misled criminals', and asking his supporters to betray them to the paramilitary RUC/PSNI. The brother of an assassinated PIRA member pointed this fact out to him recently : "His most recent charade rubs salt in the wounds of those of us who daily mourn the loss of family members who gave their lives for the promised objective of a 32 county democratic republic and not a regurgitated partitionist Stormont." (From here.)

Incidentally , Phelim's daughter , Michelle (a Seán Quinn supporter) is not happy with just taking wages from the British , but now wants a pay-out from the Free Staters as well ! Between their family businesses , their Stormont and Westminster wages and stipends and the 'fall-down-the-stairs' claim , this family might yet end up with a booty which their queen would envy !


Protests of this nature should be held during the working week for maximum effect , not at the weekend when traffic etc has wound-down for a day or two, and all firms and employers etc should be left in no doubt that there will be trade union repercussions for them should they attempt to prevent their employees from attending.

I'll be taking part in this protest on Saturday and my three daughters will be there as well - their school/college friends and some of the teachers are going , but no doubt we'll meet up somewhere along the route. I'll be marching with other RSF supporters and members and, from talking to them over the past few days it is clear that we share the opinion that, whilst the objectives of the protest are legitimate, the same cannot be said in relation to the 'parent body' of the organising committee ie the trade union leadership.

That overpaid leadership are as divorced from the economic reality which daily , if not hourly, faces the workers they claim to be 'at one' with - indeed, Jack and the Boys (and girls) have , in my opinion, more in common with the business elite and political bigwigs that are punishing the working class and the unemployed in this State for an economic crime they are not responsible for. But, as stated , I'll be there , on the street, on Saturday 24th - in solidarity with the hundreds-of-thousands of other hard-pressed ordinary 'joe soap' people more so than in answer to a call for support from trade union-members of the 'Establishment'. One over-paid 'suit' is as bad as another as far as I'm concerned , regardless of which side of the fence s/he purports to sit on.


Praveen Halappanavar , who lost his wife, Savita, in this State due to which the Authorities here have all but described as an 'unfortunate accident'.

'Mr Halappanavar said he has no confidence in the HSE to lead the investigation, saying he fears there could be some bias if it is carried out by people paid by the executive....' (From here.)

It's not Mr Halappanavar's refusal to co-operate with the proposed 'inquiry' into the dreadful situation in a Galway hospital that cost him his wife that should raise our hackles but rather the fact that the 'powers-that-be' in this morally bankrupt State could see nothing wrong with appointing three consultants from the same hospital onto the inquiry team : simply because we Irish have , for the most part, surrendered our 'Fightin' Irish' spirit and will (again, for the most part) accept any old verbal shite that those bastards in Leinster House feed us, doesn't mean that everyone will.

It will be extremely poor 'compensation' , if any, when the poor man successfully sues the medical authorities in this State and wins , hopefully , millions of Euro (which , of course, will have to be paid by us taxpayers which, in this instance, I don't have an issue with) but this State operates in such a haphazard , sloppy and disjointed fashion that, after the settlement is handed over, absolutely no lessons from this case will be learned and/or taken on board and whilst a few medical operatives may be moved 'sidewards' no political heads will roll because the State 'Elite' here protects its own.

We wish Mr Halappanavar the best of luck in his quest for justice and, not to take from the magnitude of his suffering and that of the families concerned, we are grateful to him for the part he has played in helping to publicise the complete lack of moral values that exist in this wasteland of a State : what a shame that that exposé had to come at such a high human cost to him and the families mentioned.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.