Wednesday, February 19, 2014


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

On the way down to Clare, Sonny Breen told stories of Father John, working himself up into such enthusiasm in the telling that the whole bus became his audience. I never asked Moss Twomey how he got to know my wife's part in this business, for it was just in the nature of things that he should know - he listened in on the organisation breathing.

It was into Father John's country then that the first Fianna Fáil speakers to adventure on to a land annuity platform in a district where the agitation was in full activity, came. And the 'No Rent' poster they all but shied from was no innocent mistake but a step taken by the local group to safeguard the agitation from sheering towards legalism. I let the other speakers drive off by themselves to the local hotel while I did battle with the local committee and in the end we sorted things out. Father John insisted that I must be the last speaker, and I had to promise him I would not let the others get away with anything. Colonel Moore remained over for a day in Galway.

There was great uneasiness in Fianna Fáil over the 'No Rent' aspect of our work together. He was afraid Fianna Fáil might feel called on to make a statement. We consulted together how best to go about getting de Valera on to our platform under our banner 'Call Off The Bailiffs' and it seemed to us that this was a job of work that could be done only in Clare, so Colonel Moore made a survey of the state of things in that county. There were around 2,000 tenants in default and court proceedings disclosed that many of them made no payments since 1919. Seán Hayes, a member of the County Council , lived in a mountainy townland where default, dating back to 1919, was common. (MORE LATER).


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

Inspector Luis Revagliatte was in the front passenger seat of the police car stopped at the zebra crossing at Smith Dorrien Avenue , and had been on duty since 1.50pm , out on routine patrol. He had not attended the midnight briefing and knew nothing of the pursuit of the three IRA members through Gibraltar and was in uniform, as were the three other occupants of the car. While they were in the car, sitting at the zebra crossing, a message came through from PC Goodman at Central Police Station , telling them to return immediately, Inspector Revagliatte was told. He enquired if the call was urgent and was told that it was.

He instructed the driver to pull out of the line of traffic and make haste back to the station. They would have to drive out of Smith Dorrien Avenue on their wrong side, down past the Shell station on the right and around the sundial roundabout, 150 or so yards down the road, coming back up Winston Churchill Avenue on the way to the station. At some point in this journey, Inspector Revagliatte instructed the driver, PC Clive Borrell, to turn on the police siren. The Inspector himself said that the siren was activated just as they were pulling out of the traffic, moving towards Winston Churchill Avenue on the wrong side of the road. It would be argued later that it was the siren that caused Daniel McCann to turn around, and look back over his left shoulder. He had been smiling and chatting to Mairead Farrell, but now the smile faded from his face.

He looked straight into the eyes of Soldier 'A' , who claimed later that it was as if McCann knew immediately who he was. He claimed that at this point he was about to begin the standard army warning - "Stop! Armed police! Hands up!" - or some slight variation of it and, at the same time, he was drawing his pistol from the rear waistband of his trousers. He couldn't say afterwards if the word 'Stop!' quite came out as events, he said, overtook the warning. McCann, he said, went totally alert at that moment and, turning his face to the front again, made a movement which Soldier 'A' would later claim indicated to him that McCann was going to detonate the bomb in the square. He fired one round into the centre of McCann's back from about three metres away, maybe less..... (MORE LATER).


....and we have pictures to prove it!

The 'Long Service and Good Conduct' of these two Irish 'rebels' has at last been recognised!

"Two people in Derry have secretly accepted honours from the British Queen in the last five years. Recipients of honours, such as knighthoods, OBEs and MBEs, are announced in the Honours List, published twice a year, but individuals may request that their name be kept off the list.Information released to the ‘Journal’ under the Freedom of Information Act shows that two people in the Foyle constituency area have received honours in the past five years and have asked that their name is not made public.

A total of 26 people across the North received honours over the same period and also requested that the award remained secret. That covers ten honours rounds - New Year and Birthday honours. The identities of the recipients is not known, nor is the classification of honour they received. The information was released by civil service authorities at Stormont Castle. In the past police and military personnel serving in the North who received civilian awards have had their names kept off the lists for security reasons. The honours list consists of knights and dames, appointments to the Order of the British Empire and gallantry awards to members of the armed forces, and civilians. The official list of honours recipients is published twice a year in the official organ of the Crown, the London Gazette, at New Year and in mid-June, the date of the Queen’s official* birthday"
(from here).

One of the 'mystery recipients' was born in Belfast but, we believe, collected his British 'award' in Derry in order to confuse the situation as he himself is a confused individual (a self-proclaimed Irish 'rebel' who presently leads a 'revolutionary republican' political party which endorses an anti-republican position!) and the second 'mystery man' , a native of Derry, has, t'is said , no confusion about where his loyalties lie, but thought it best to keep his award-winning activity (and activities!) hidden, for now, anyway, as there is, believe it or not, still some within his party, and elsewhere, who consider him to be an 'Irish rebel'!

The first 'mystery recipient', receiving his 'award' from his mentor .....

....and his equally-awarded colleague -

-and the same two medalists,wondering who (or what!) to metamorphose into next! (* "Official" birthday as opposed to her genuine birthday - she has two birthdays each year!)


Nothing wrong in sending 'egreetings' to a friend , work colleague etc , depending on the circumstances involved, of course, but nothing says this like a 'hard copy' version of your message as opposed to an electronic delivery. And even better when you can get a good quality, attractive and keenly priced 'hard copy' on which to send your message and, at the same time, remind the recipient of just what a good quality, (politically) attractive and keenly aware person you are!

A 'hard copy' version signals that you not only put some time and effort into keeping in touch but that you considered it worthwhile to put a bit of effort into doing so, despite it being easier to get much the same message to the person by electronic means. And it's an extra bonus when, in going the 'hard copy' route, you assist in a good cause and help spread the message espoused by that good cause - and now you can....

....via postcards: a set of six postcards has been produced by the Republican Movement , priced €1 each or the set of six for a fiver. These are literally flying off the shelves, with over one dozen memorabilia collectors alone, that I myself have dealt with elsewhere in Europe, America and Canada, so far, having received an average of six sets of each. The contact details are on the link, above, or you could write (!) in with your inquiry and/or order to RSF, 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1. And don't forget to put a stamp on your postcard/letter!


The third weekend in April this year is Easter weekend and, as usual, Republican Sinn Féin has organised commemorations and wreath-laying ceremonies in Ireland, England and further afield and we will post the details of same on this blog, nearer the time. Indeed, the Movement is way ahead of itself and has already announced a date and some detail in relation to its planned main commemoration for the 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising....

....which will be held in Dublin on April 23rd, 2016. And, while we're on the subject of RSF initiatives, an opportunity to vote in favour of Leinster House, Stormont (or both institutions) or vote, instead, for the republican alternative ("....the establishment of a Constituent Assembly for the 32-Counties elected by the people of All-Ireland to draft a constitution within a six-month period. The agreed constitution would then be submitted to the people of Ireland in a referendum....") is offered here, with no requirement for you to register or submit any personal details. Supporting the republican alternative by voting for it at the supplied link is a small step in the right direction but could lead to a giant stride for republicanism.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.