Wednesday, March 06, 2013


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

I can recall a few such incidents : I was about to step into a boat for Arranmore Island when two guards from Burtonport nabbed me. I was really annoyed for I was expected on the island and had only my own carelessness to blame for this arrest and I reacted in a thoroughly bad-tempered way. I would not walk - if they wanted me at the barracks they would have to carry me there. They pleaded, I stormed ; one of the guards grabbed at his belt - "I didn't join this outfit to arrest men like you" , he said. I caught his hand. "For heaven's sake have a bit of wit, man, keep on your belt. I'll walk." His name was McDonald and he was stationed at Burtonport. I wish him well.

Once hurrying home for last minute work on 'An Phoblacht', after too long a stay in the West, I found a group of political police waiting for me at the corner of Marlborough Road, and we clashed - the outcome of it was that I found myself before District Justice Little on a charge of resisting arrest and doing two pounds' worth of damage to Sergeant Michael Gill's trousers. Mr Little knew a great deal of the background to the case and he took a lenient view of things - he let me off under the 'First Offenders Act' and even Michael Gill laughed.

My campaign in 'An Phoblacht' found considerable response in the countryside , where the first organised response was Galway , and Clare followed. The first activity touching on land annuities with which I was not directly associated was the decision by a number of County Councils to publish the names of defaulting annuitants and denounce them for making themselves a burden on the rates. I, in turn , denounced the County Councils for their desire to shame people into paying a tax to Britain : "Every decent minded man and woman will applaud those who refuse to pay and denounce the councillors as slaves." TD's were being forced to take notice.... (MORE LATER).


Roisin McConnell claims she was abused, called "a murdering bitch" , "Satan" and "the Devil". She claims gardai told her that her child would be taken away, that her husband was having an affair, that she would "do seven years in jail" and that she was "going to get stabbed". A named garda told her that when this happened, he would spit on her grave, she says.

By Sandra Mara.
From 'Magill' Annual 2002.

Over the years since the death of Richie Barron, the McConnells have been subjected to continued harrassment. Mark McConnell was accused by small-time Sligo criminal Bernard Conlon of calling to his home in Sligo , threatening him with a silver bullet and saying he would "get it" if he talked. This later proved to be a false accusation. Mark McConnell was at a meeting with his legal advisors in a hotel in Letterkenny at the time of the alleged incident.

Bernard Conlon also made statements and gave evidence on behalf of the gardai relating to alleged breaches of licensing regulations at the McBrearty's premises , 'Frankie's Niteclub' , in Raphoe. In another incident reported to gardai, Mark McConnell was seriously assaulted and suffered a broken leg, a dislocated ankle and ruptured ligaments of the left ankle as he went to buy potatoes in Raphoe ; he was accompanied by Roisin and their baby son when he was attacked by two Barron family members.

In February 1998 , Mark McConnell had an operation to fit a metal plate and seven bolts in his leg in an effort to repair the damage. Statements from the McConnells , together with eyewitness statements, were given to gardai with regard to the assault and a suspended sentence was later imposed on the attackers.(MORE LATER).

6TH MARCH 1923 - 6TH MARCH 2013.


"Of all the historic sites in Ireland Ballyseedy stands out in infamy, for it was to this lonely place that nine Republican soldiers were dragged to be murdered by the Free State army. But Ballyseedy is also a place of great heroism, for the bravery of those Volunteers is the bravery that will one day free our country.

Patrick Buckley, father of five children and a seasoned freedom fighter; John Daly, a fearless Republican and Volunteer for many years; young Michael Connell, only 22 years old but dauntless beyond his years; James Walsh, a natural leader and inspiration to the people of Kerry; George O’Shea, Tim Twomey , Pat Hartnett , John O’Connor and Stephen Fuller, who suffered unspeakable torture at the hand of the Free State terrorists, yet who refused to surrender their comrades and their cause. Only Stephen Fullar would survive the brutal massacre to tell the world of the atrocity.

In 1922 these brave men could have chosen the easy path of compromise and surrender by accepting the Treaty of Surrender. They could have enjoyed the comfort and wealth which the English rewarded their slaves in the Free State. But they refused....."
(from here.)


The prisoners’ backs were to the mine.

When it exploded, the sudden hole in the road

Said nothing of our loss

And instead of singing in the dawn

Birds pecked the flesh off the trees

At Ballyseedy Cross.

Yet one prisoner escaped. He said ‘Goodbye, lads’ as the mine

Exploded, then he was on his hands and knees

In the road. Finding he was a wholeman,

Free though burnt, he ran for the ditch, through trees,

Across the side of a hill, over a river, ran

Till he came to a sheltering house.

There was a girl. While he lay, she picked gravel

Out of his body.

He has gravel in him to this day.

For months then he stole from house to house

Sleeping in dugouts, hearing the midnight rain,

Waiting for bullets in the back and head.

They never came. He kept moving though,

Stayed clear of his own place for a long time.

He went home in the end. They took him in.

(By Brendan Kennelly.)

The 90th Anniversary of this warcrime will be marked on Sunday 10th March 2013 : those attending are asked to assemble at the Gates of Ballyseedy Castle Hotel at 2pm, and RSF Vice President , Cáit Trainor , will deliver the main oration. All genuine republicans are welcome!


These three links give a good indication of why it is that this feckless State is in the sorry condition it is in and explain why it is that it will never recover : because the attitude indicative in those three stories is the prevailing attitude of all those who preside in Leinster House and/or those who aspire to make a career for themselves in that institution.

And, in two years time or less, when the current incumbents are voted out of Office by that section of the electorate that believe that voting them out and voting a 'new' mixture in is the solution, the whole scenario will carry on, with both 'old' and 'new' party players (and probably a few 'independents' to flavour the pot) involved. But those that will be (temporarily) voted out will not suffer , financially, as they will have insulated themselves from the financial chaos they have inflicted on the rest of us. It's not just those that operate the political system that need to be changed - it's the system itself, as it lends itself too readily to the corrupt wide-boys that know , once in, they have about four years to sell themselves to the highest bidder , thus adding themselves to that "insulated" list. Meanwhile, those of us who care about principles, values and decency will carry-on , as best we can, to try and effect real change. Your help would be appreciated.


A good man, who ran a good administration. May he Rest in Peace , and may his ideals and objectives be realised by those who follow in his political footsteps. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.


Well - not before the 'job' , anyway : although my three daughters will be with me (the four of us reached a compromise on that one!) there is an event to be taken care of first : Sunday 10th March 2013 may indeed be 'Mother's Day' but it's also the day on which the March raffle takes place and, I have been told, it's also the day on which Roscommon play Meath , Liverpool take on Hotspurs and Man United challenge Chelsea, amongst other matches to be played that day. And our usual 'team' will be on the 'pitch' as well , in the usual hotel venue, to work the monthly raffle but this time, giving the day that's in it, myself and the other girls will be staying on, with each other and our family members, after we hand over €440 in prize money to a few lucky people, for a wee bit of a treat which , I'm told, includes a meal (with all the trimmings!) and the use of the hotel spa for as long as we want!

So don't expect a brief report or a winners list here on Sunday - could be closer to Wednesday by the time they drag me, kicking and screaming, out of that lovely room....!


I have mentioned this blog before because, like others, I find it addictive and not only for the 'right' reason (ie hoping that the scuzzbuckets responsible get their just desserts) but also because it shows the depths that some people will go in order to ensure their own comfort and the fact that this is being 'played out' on my own doorstep, so to speak, as the perpetrators and those they have affected live in the same town as I do. SHUDDER!

When the means to ensure those comforts are removed - too late, unfortunately, in this particular case, as the financial damage had by then been done - desperation caused by one of the other side-effects (the moral damage) soon surfaces and manifests itself in a not unexpected manner : the driven desire for more 'hits' regardless of how same are obtained. Simply 'moving on' and being 'grateful' for what you got (and that you are not going to have to repay the money you stole or answer for same in court) is not enough and, even though you no longer have access to the means with which to access the funds (the ATM card and the credit union account, in this case) you still have access to the owner of those funds and, as such, you believe the good times can roll again if you play your cards right.

But 'the cat' that could very well again be your key to those good times now has a 'guardian angel' and that 'angel' is proving to be impossible to circumvent because he, too, is as driven and as motivated as you are , but for the right reasons, and is as determined to stop you as you are to succeed. A post on that blog published a few days ago highlights the 'moral damage' trait that at least one of the perpetrators is now displaying but, in my opinion - and I'm not a psychiatrist, just a mother-of-three who works outside the home as well as in it - the danger that seems to be looming now or in the near future is one where the unsuccessful money-grabber who is already a disturbed person (she must be, to do what she has done?) will come to see her 'quest' (for free money) as being at least equal to the 'need' to get revenge on the 'guardian angel' for preventing her from fulfilling her (first) objective. I would think she is likely to become as obsessive , if not more so, about removing the 'obstacle' as she so obviously is about getting back to the 'good times' but I hope the 'obstacle' proves to be immovable. And I hope he stays safe.

I wrote here recently about contact we had had from a London-based publication , in which a request was made for myself to write a 400-word piece , for publication, re the political situation in the north-east of this country. That piece has now been published and can be viewed here (and should you , too, have a need for a 'Star Writer' (!) then get your people to contact my people!) and I must say I enjoyed the experience : a 'brief' was given to me and we discussed it, 'tweaked' it a wee bit on both 'sides' and the above is the result. So thank you , Frances, for the opportunity and for giving me my big break - promise I won't forget you when I'm in Hollywood with Brad Pitt discussing the film rights ;-) !

Thanks for reading, Sharon.