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.