Wednesday, April 18, 2012


By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

How does one account for the failure of the Irish Labour Movement to demand its quota of candidates in the General Election of 1918 , so as to reflect the pattern of the Rising ? The simplest explanation is , like as not, the true one - Labour leaders could not make up their minds what road to take. They were a bothered lot of men who gave themselves one task above every other * , to hold the branches of the trade unions together in a period of high controversy. (* ...whereas today , their objective is to stay in power as long as it takes for their pension entitlements to kick-in...)
I was a teachers' representative on the Derry Trades and Labour Council before I joined the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union as an organiser , and I had a good view of their problem. I was there when the council chose it's side on conscription for army service , probably the only delegate who was not a representative of a cross-channel union.
Billy Logue , who was, I think , Chairman - he certainly was the greatest , single influence in the council - worked his way carefully into the anti-conscription corner by making the case that labour conscription would be round the corner should this other succeed , and he insisted he was not influenced by politics. It was a transparent enough piece of make-believe , but it got by, for it suited the 'loyalists' on the council....... (MORE LATER).

THE PETER BERRY PAPERS....... The Top Secret Memoirs of Ireland's Most Powerful Civil Servant : Dirty Tricks, Election '69/ Spying on a Unionist Politician/ Keeping the (State) Taoiseach informed/ The Garda Fallon Murder/ Advice to Jack Lynch- 'Fire the pair of them...'/ Vivion De Valera's advice to O'Malley/ Rumours of a Coup D'Etat/ The Internment Plot, November 1970/ Secret Meeting with William Craig. From 'MAGILL' magazine , June 1980.
" I reported the 'traffic light' conversation immediately to the Minister who was closetted with Assistant Secretary Mr. Ward , of the Department of Finance , to ask the AIB authorities to put a stop order on this account ; I told him that criminal charges were in contemplation and that once preferred the police would be in a position to apply to the High Court for an Order under the Banks 'Book Evidence Act' and that , meanwhile, we wanted to ensure that documents would not be released from the account , but Murray refused to act and I could not stir him.
I then asked if he would ring Niall Ebrill , the General Manager, to introduce me - I said that I would ring Ebrill and make an appointment for myself once he had introduced my name. I wanted this introduction so that Ebrill would be in no doubt that the Department of Finance were aware of my purpose. Murray said yes , he would do that. "

MAY 22ND 1970 :
" Next morning , accompanied by Mr. Ward , I went to AIB Headquarters where I met Niall Ebrill , General Manager, and the Group Law Agent , Rory O' Connor. I gave them a guarded outline of the situation and said that as the account 'Belfast Fund for the Relief of Distress' had been opened through the instrumentality of Mr. Tony Fagan of the Department of Finance and as the moneys received into the account through the medium of the 'Irish Red Cross Society' were , in sizeable bulk , State money , the Minister for Justice was anxious that documents were not released from the account pending police enquiries which might result in an application in Court for discovery of documents. Mr. Ebrill said that the matter would be considered and referred , in a detatched manner , to the Bank's obligation to maintain , and to be seen to maintain , confidentiality with customers......" (MORE LATER).


Those attending this annual Republican Sinn Féin-organised Commemoration are requested to fall-in behind the Republican Colour Party at the Garden of Remembrance and march from there , at 1.45pm , to the GPO in O' Connell Street where , on the traffic isle facing same, a small stage , a speakers lectern , music system and amplification system will be set-up , under the direction of a young man from the Ballyfermot area of Dublin , who will Chair the proceedings. More details to follow , including details of the function which will be held that same night in Dublin. Also , those interested in the above will be interested in attending the 'Who Fears To Speak Of Easter Week' seminar which will be held on Saturday 21st April 2012 in the 'Ireland Institute' in Pearse Street , Dublin City Centre : details here.
Thanks for reading,