Wednesday, May 22, 2013


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

"Too bad" , he said , "too bad." He turned his back on me to look out the window. I told him the people were lifting sand and that they would raise the stones and bring them to the site and that all he would have to find were the timber and the slates. We sat down then and chatted over the problem together and not one word did he say of our talk of a few days before. Is it any wonder I should hate to be forced into a quarrel with such a man ?

Since the agitation began, I took care not to cross his path ; the way to keep priests out of politics is to leave them out when they are out. I was startled, therefore , to learn at the opening of a committee meeting that Black James Duirnin had been to see Father Scanlan on some aspect of our agitation. I was dumbfounded and more than a little uneasy and since what came of the interview might very well have some bearing on the matters before us, I asked Black James about it.

"I did, " Black James said , " I went to see Father Scanlan. Let me do right, let me do wrong, I went to see him. I went to him to complain about the bishop. The bishop had no right , no right at all, to come in here and talk as he talked , knowing as little as his talk showed he knew. What put it into my head to go to Father Scanlan was, thinking back in my bed one night on a thing that happened the time the Redemptorist Fathers gave the long mission. One of them had the people near out of their minds , the way he preached. Then, on a Sunday , with that Father Langley, the missioner, kneeling at the side of the alter waiting his turn to preach, and he a man without the Gaelic, our own priest looked down at him, in a way that was plain to see, and he leaned towards the people and he said under the shelter of our own tongue : " Ná tabhair barraidheacht áird air (Don't give too much heed to him)". I put Father Scanlan in mind of that and I said he should find some way to say a word now that would take the sting out of what the bishop said." (MORE LATER).



From 'IRIS' magazine, Easter 1991.

By Martin Spain.

The republican analysis is isolated and censored precisely because it points to the promises of the Proclamation of 1916 , to the far-sighted idealism of the men and women who fought for an Ireland not just free of English domination, but where "all the children of the nation would be cherished equally". The moral bankruptcy of the leaders of the 26-County State cannot but be exposed by a proper examination of what 1916 meant and its relevance to today.

Is there not something fundamentally unhealthy about a State which is reluctant to celebrate its own liberation struggle, only 75 years afterwards ? The 26-County State has its roots in the violence of 1916 and the Tan War - this is an indisputable fact , but what the revisionists argue is that the resort to armed struggle as a tactic was wrong then and by corollary is wrong now *. This means that Irish people must now feel somehow ashamed of their roots. Nineteen-sixteen and the Tan War are given less and less prominence in history textbooks in schools while the achievements of 'constitutional nationalists' like John Redmond are overemphasised.

Padraig Pearse commented on O'Connell , perhaps the greatest such leader, that he "...was a more effective political leader than either Lalor or Mitchel, but no one gives O'Connell a place in the history of political thought. He did not propound , he did not even attempt to propound , any body of political truths. He was a political strategist of extraordinary ability, a rhetorician of almost superhuman power. But we owe no political doctrine to O'Connell except the obviously untrue doctrine that liberty is too dearly purchased at the price of a single drop of blood. The political position of O'Connell....was not the statement of any national principle, the embodiment of any political truth - it was an able, though as it happened unsuccessful, strategic move." (* PSF have long since fell off that fence - and landed on the same side as those they once highlighted as hypocrites!) (MORE LATER).

WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES. Martin Corey Committee fund-raiser.

There will be a sponsored walk taking place in Dublin from Sandyford to Howth on Sunday 7th July 2013, leaving at 1pm, to raise much needed funds for the campaign. Martin Corey has been interned for over 3 years now without charge and needs as much support as we can give him. If you are presented with a sponsorship card please donate generously. More information on this injustice can be accessed here and, for 'Facebookers' , here.


Isabella Augusta Persse Gregory (Lady Gregory), 15th March 1852 – 22nd May 1932.

This fine woman was born in Roxborough House , near Loughrea in County Galway and was schooled at home by a Nanny , Mary Sheridan, who obviously passed-on her interest in Irish history to her pupil. At 28 years young, Isabella married 'Sir' William Henry Gregory , who 'owned' a large estate at Coole Park , near Gort, in County Galway , thus conveying on her the title 'Lady' : as a 'Lady of Leisure' who now found herself in the 'Big House' she availed of the large library and, when not reading, accompanied her husband on business trips throughout the world. Her education , the library and her foreign travels sparked within her a love of the written word , and she quickly became a published author.

Her husband died when she was 41 years of age but she continued to live in 'the Big House' , where her interest in all things Irish was nurtured , to the point that she practically converted the house into a 'retreat' for those who, like her, were smitten by Ireland and its troubled history - Edmund John Millington Synge , William Butler Yeats (and his brother , Jack, a well-known painter) , George Bernard Shaw (who described her as "the greatest living Irishwoman") and Sean O'Casey were amongst those who visited regularly and, indeed, she was believed to have had romantic connections with the poet Wilfrid Blunt and a New York lawyer , John Quinn. Despite her privileged lifestyle (or, indeed, perhaps due to it, as it afforded her the time to 'look within her soul') , Isabella Augusta Persse Gregory, who had a regular 'audience' with the 'Upper Class' of the day, loudly declared to all and sundry that it was "....impossible to study Irish history without getting a dislike and distrust of England..".

A 'poacher-turned-gamekeeper' but , unusual in our history, one who 'turned' the right way. She died in that 'Big House' on the 22nd May 1932 , at 80 years of age, and is fondly remembered by those of us who share her convictions and agree with her "impossible to study..." declaration. Incidentally , the 'Big House' scenario still exists in Ireland today , and continues to be a topic of heated conversation.


Fianna Fail's Micheál Martin and PSF's Gerry Adams : both trying to score points over an issue which both have long since washed their hands of.

Having long since sold-out on what they now both describe as 'the national question' , Fianna Fail and Provisional Sinn Féin , like all political poachers-turned-gamekeepers before them , in relation to the same issue, are not beyond 'playing the Green Card' when it suits them to do so. This exchange between the leaders of those two constitutional parties is an example of how that type of political snake oil salesman will attempt to use the on-going British occupation of six of our counties to present themselves as being concerned about the situation , even though both parties are on record as supporting the pro-British paramilitary gang they were discussing in their little showcase.

Indeed, Micheál Martin and Gerry Adams are aware that they are chasing the same type of voters and will take their 'showcase' out in public now and again (example here and here) , as neither of them have any shame when it comes to attempting to use such a serious issue to present themselves, and their parties, as 'republican orientated'. Voters of that particular type (ie watery nationalists) are extremely fickle and constantly shift their 'values' according to the latest photo-op and/or showcase speech and Messrs Martin and Adams are aware of this and will change course as often as necessary to keep them aboard. And to keep themselves in their present overpaid political careers.



Although long overdue , and not frequent enough (and it has not received coverage in the mainstream media) it can't do any harm to have the plight of Irish republican political prisoners raised in the Leinster House arena , as happened this month (May 2013) during a discussion on the 15-years-dead Stormont Treaty ('GFA').

The Irish republican position in relation to 'Agreements' with Westminster remains as it always has , and rightly so : for any such 'Agreement' to have value it must contain a date for full British military and political withdrawal from Ireland. The 'Agreements' entered into by Leinster House since that institution was formed (with British weaponry and financial support) in 1922 - all of which were described, in one way or another, by their supporters, as 'stepping stones to freedom'- were soon discovered to be more akin to giant lily pads which , of course, are not 'foundation-building' material. And neither is the present Leinster House institution (or those institutionalised in it) but nice to know that it, and they, at least recognise that there are Irish republican political prisoners today and that the conflict didn't end in 1922 or 1998, as those well-suited 'gentlemen' (and women) would have you believe.

AUSTERITY ? WE'RE ALL IN IT* TOGETHER. SORT OF. (* by which we don't just mean potholes!)

Do your neighbourhood a favour : dispose of your domestic rubbish in a pothole!

While politicians boldly seek out 'new' ways to feather their own nests (Six Counties , Scotland , England) , the rest of us have been told that , in spite of the taxes that are stopped by them at source to 'maintain' , amongst other public services, the road infrastructure in this comical State, we will now have to have a 'whip round' on a door-to-door basis and supply the person-power and/or materials if we want a job like that done on our street !

The next such 'initiative' from that crowd will probably involve those in the neighbourhood doing a collection and organising the necessary equipment and labour etc to build a Berlin-type security wall around the taxpayer-stroked second house of one of those mentioned above after they 'fix' the wee problem they seem to be experiencing now in relation to that financial issue. And that's one 'fix' they will be able to manage, as it's in their own benefit to do so. And I wouldn't be surprised if people in the neighbourhood would do it, such is the amazing ability of what seems to be a majority to accept any amount of crap from those in the local 'Big House'. The spirit here is , for the most part , bruised but not yet broken.


'Our boys' up for a bit of 'routing' :Irish Union Jackeens are proud to be 'closer than you think' to British imperialist forces. Talk about sucking-up to the local bully....

"It’s been a pleasure.We are closer than people think" - the words of Free State Army Sergeant Gerry Setright , delighted to be of service to the Crown in Mali. And by the way , Gerry , your 'closeness' to British soldiers does not surprise Irish republicans, who have always been aware of just how 'close' you and your ilk are to Westminster. Sure didn't that kip give birth to ya and, like any good offspring, you will be forever grateful. Blood is thicker than water , after all.


We are 'One' , according to a 'Eurovision' Committee!

Even though this State finished last (!) , it would have been nice to do so as not being associated with the Butchers Apron. Although, come to think of it , it's such an embarrassing , unimportant and out-dated 'competition' that it's probably no harm that it's the Union Jack that is being associated with one of the losers instead of the Irish Tricolour. God knows we have more than enough genuine losers here , without adding some wannabe singer to the mix!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.