I was out of my depth for a short period after the arrest of Black James Duirnin , James Doran , Biddy Doherty and others : jail can be a frightening experience , especially for mountainy men with their free-striding ways, and their habit of standing on high ground to look around them under a great blast of day. Then, too , imprisonment in this case must affect elderly people , used to the comfort of their warm corners and often not too robust in health.
One courageous man who took many risks both in the Tan War and in the later period , told me he all but smothered when he was put into a cell in Sligo Jail - the walls seemed to press in against him and he just had to get out. All I could do for a time was look on and watch the casualties pile up.
The townlands got a whiff of encouragement when Biddy Doherty and James Duirnin were released , having served out their sentence to the last day - there is no remission of sentence for good conduct for people imprisoned for debt. Duirnin came out quiet and firm , Biddy Doherty happy and militant. At a gathering of neighbours to welcome Duirnin home, a good-natured busybody of the parish with a weakness for elbowing himself into view at any cheering gathering, and as likely as not genuinely concerned for Duirnin , collected a sum of £25 among his friends and before any of us knew what was afoot he was presenting it , making a speech that was water-logged with martyrdom, defeat and cheap advice. (MORE LATER).
THE BETRAYAL OF 1916 -
- REVISIONISM EXPOSED.....
From 'IRIS' magazine, Easter 1991.
By Martin Spain.
The outbreak of the current phase of the struggle for national self-determination in the Six Counties in 1969 brought the whole question of partition to the fore again - the situation of Six-County nationalists was emblazoned across front pages and television screens the world over as the Civil Rights protestors were beaten off the streets and thousands were burnt out of their homes in a renewed attempt by the loyalist power block to beat the croppies down. But this time the croppies would not lie down *.
The re-emergence of the IRA , firstly to defend its communities from attack and then moving to the offensive to push the British forces of occupation out of Ireland once and for all , left southerners in a quandary. There was a genuine feeling throughout the 26 Counties that something should be done in those early years but successive 26-County governments prevaricated and blustered as the world looked on with shock at Stormont's excesses against its minority community.
Jack Lynch vacillated in 1969 when he could have sent the troops in, preferring the embarrassing indignity of the arms trials. (*Some did , some won't!) (MORE LATER).
A SIGN OF THE TIMES.
From 'The Clondalkin Echo' newspaper , 25th April 2013.
Here's a handy tip if you are struggling to pay your property tax and/or your water tax etc : stop buying food and, if you must eat and attempt to feed your family, then do so by rooting in skips for food.
The above newspaper article tells of what happened after a local supermarket experienced a power failure and had to dispose of huge amounts of foodstuff - the affected meat , milk , yogurt etc was placed in three large rubbish skips for removal and, when word about the incident spread in the area , dozens of people descended on the skips to salvage what they could and a mini-traffic jam ensued, so much so that a security guard had to be placed in the immediate vicinity to ensure that some semblance of order was maintained. A reader of this blog was in that queue and reported that not one local politician was seen searching for edible throwouts in any of the skips , a fact that will not warrant a headline , article or picture in next week's newspaper as it's not news.
Meanwhile, a rumour is circulating in the area that Leinster House and the local County Council have joined forces to hire a temporary 'Food Police Patrol' which will be granted the authority to enter houses in that neighbourhood to examine the kitchen fridge in order that an educated guess can be made as to the value of the 'skip food' you managed to get , thereby facilitating the calculation of the amount saved , which the householder will be expected to hand over towards what they 'owe' for either or both of the above-mentioned taxes. Actually , that last part is not true , as far as we know, but it's all they are short of doing as they continue to make the 'little people' pay for the greed of the 'establishment'. Not quite what the political Class would consider 'eating out' , but it sums-up where they think we belong.
BALLAD SESSION AFTERWARDS !
A good night will be had after an even better day !
This ballad session will be held , this coming Saturday night, as stated on the poster (doors open at 8.30pm) but it's not the main republican event that will be held on that day : the annual Hunger-Strikers Commemoration will be held on the traffic isle facing the GPO in Dublin's O'Connell Street at 2pm , at which the 22 Irish hunger strikers will be remembered. The commemoration will be Chaired by Cork woman Líta Ní Chathmhaoil , Ard-Rúnaí , Sinn Féin Poblachtach, who tells me that admission tickets for the function that evening are all but gone, but a few of them have been held back for sale at the O'Connell Street commemoration , on a first-come-best-dressed (!) basis !
ACCOUNTABILITY ? BUT OF COURSE. TO MYSELF , THAT IS.....
Ivor 'I-sense-dead-companies' Callely : he's either still on the old '088 network' (using one of these) or the phone companies he deals with are making so much out of him that they no longer have a need to trade publicly....
His line may be busy at the moment , but he has previously got a better type of 'engaged' signal. However , he's not getting any younger and should perhaps consider a change of career , just like his fellow 'senatorial' Fianna Fail colleague has. The two of them could set-up shop under the name 'PHONES R' ELSE' , offering contracts and deals ya don't wanna say no to....
High-rollers with friends in high places...
Thank God that Fine Gael re-engaged with its natural instincts before any long-term damage was done to those of us who are genuinely in favour of a fairer society , and not just at election time : after listening to this Fine Gael politician ("People were paying themselves obscene salaries and how anybody could claim they were qualified for the salaries some people were justifying is quite outrageous....") sure I was only a heartbeat away from canvassing for them (!) when , as stated , their natural instincts rose back again to the surface thus saving me from eating humble pie.
I should of course have remembered that Fine Gael , like every political party in Leinster House , are 'good politicians' in the sense that , once bought, they stay bought , despite making noise now and again to the opposite effect. My faith in the Free State political system has been restored.
€17,000 NOT LEFT UNTOUCHED : €13,000 AND COUNTING (DOWN).....
"Just doing what we said we would , Your Honour...."
At the time we wrote this (see 'SHOCK ! HORROR !') , we honestly didn't think that anyone would be stupid enough to return for a second bite of the cherry , but we really should have known better : out of the original €26,000 in cash , which was safely (!) under lock and key in Balbriggan Garda Barracks in Dublin , only €13,000 now remains (emphasis on 'now' !) , as €4,000 has recently gone out in sympathy with its bigger brother , €9,000 , which obtained its freedom earlier on this year.
The Garda authorities themselves practically forecast developments such as the above , a fact, which , we hope , will not be considered by their boss in Leinster House as 'aiding and abetting in the commission of a crime'. Or , if such charges are brought against those verbal perpetrators , we hope they are held for questioning in Balbriggan Garda Barracks where , apparently, they will be able to leave the premises once in the company of a uniformed member. And, whilst they are waiting to be walked out, the lads there can do a collection for them....
FINE GAEL ALMOST GET TOUGH WITH THE BANKSTERS !
Banksters Beware! Fine Gael have you in their sights/ Banksters Rejoice! Fine Gael have your best interests in their sights....
It made for a good and popular soundbite , secured column inches for the man involved and gave the impression that he and his Party were just as disgusted with the behaviour of the banking elite as we ordinary mortals are : "The capping of bankers' bonuses is well overdue. People were paying themselves obscene salaries and how anybody could claim they were qualified for the salaries some people were justifying is quite outrageous...." (from here) but, just to be sure that they didn't really upset their credit rating (!) with their business buddies , the Boss of the FG 'rebel' quoted above clarified the issue.
It's a classic example of what passes for politics in this State ie 'do-as-I-say-and-not as-I-do' and will have impressed some of those that heard it , whether or not they realise that it has since been 'corrected' by one of the Party bosses. Fine Gael will no doubt use those 'rebel' words on a brochure/leaflet in working/unemployed-class areas and will, at the same time, promote the 'We Abstained!' statement in the more affluent areas. It's having your cake and eating it, and it's getting them as financially fat as their banker pals. The bigger sin, however, is that it works for them.
FREE STATE ESTABLISHMENT'S FAVOURITE 'CELEBRITY JOURNALIST' PRESSURED A COURT WITNESS INTO STATING AN UNTRUTH - TRIAL COLLAPSES.
Paul 'CNN' Williams : in this instance , 'CNN' stands for 'Cool Nick Names'.
He has 'introduced' his readers to , amongst other made-up Irish mafia-sounding characters, those he named 'the General' , 'the Viper' and 'the Don' , all in an effort to project himself as an 'investigative journalist with the inside track'. He is the first port of call when the 'security services' in this State want to muddy the waters in regards to an individual or an organisation and is never found wanting in that regard. In return , he is 'fed' 'EXCLUSIVES!!!' by his friends in those 'security services' and is treated as being 'in the know' by radio and tv journalists and programmes.
Sometimes , it appears, in order to get a 'good' (ie 'SENSATIONAL!!') story it helps if you can guide or encourage developments along a certain path , a maneuver which can occasionally backfire on the tabloid journalist involved - and now and again , although not often enough , in my opinion, such an attempted maneuver backfires in public on the tabloid writer involved : "....explaining his change of evidence, Simpson told how he made the false allegations after crime journalist Paul Williams warned him that he was going to be shot. He claimed Williams convinced him that, if he didn’t "go further" with the matter, his life would be in danger and he would have to leave the country for good. Mr Simpson said: "I felt I had to lie in the statement. I know it was wrong but that’s the reason....." (From here.)
It will be interesting to observe the 'spin' put on this issue by the State 'Establishment' as it rallies to the defence of one of its own - to wash their hands off him at this point , over such a small transgression (as his guardians would no doubt see it) is perhaps not feasible as doing so could open a can of worms in relation to previous articles published by Mr Williams in that maybe , after all, 'the Gofer' didn't actually 'go' do it or , God forbid, 'the Comedian' was only 'joking' when he pointed his finger at 'the Handler' ?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAY YOU NOT SEE MANY MORE....
A Stately pile with an already-soiled flag.
We couldn't let this date pass without mentioning our chief 'mentor' , who is 306 years old today (1st May) , a fact that no doubt will be remembered by those affected by its "long and colourful history". 'Great Britain' was spawned on this date in the year 1707 and, try as we might, we were unable to find any equal catastrophe which took place anywhere else in the world on that date. And that would be because no such other foul happening took place. So enjoy your day in the sun, but remember that you no longer have an empire on which it never sets.
Thanks for reading, Sharon.