" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



This blog was listed as one of the 'Finalists' in the '2016 current affairs/politics' category of the Littlewoods Ireland blog awards - but we didn't win the award. But not to worry -thanks to everyone involved for getting us to the final stage of the competition and sure we'll try again the next time!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"THE IRA HUNGER-STRIKERS FELT IT WOULD BE EITHER A SPEEDY VICTORY OR A LONG BATTLE....."

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

All this time I could not but be aware of the growing strength of the IRA , for I was continuously a member of its controlling body. The system of control is a simple one : the army convention in session is the supreme authority of the organisation, the company is the unit of organisation for the election of delegates and in some cases outposts are grouped-up to company strength to elect a delegate. Brigade staffs and general headquarters have a small quota. The IRA convention elects twelve men (sic) , who may be of any rank, in open sessions , and they are known as the Executive, a misleading term, for they have no executive function. These twelve men (sic) meet and, under pledge of secrecy, elect seven men who will constitute the IRA Army Council and control the organisation : no one of the seven need be a member of the twelve and, in this way, the names of the IRA Army Council are protected.

By a provision in its constitution, the IRA is obliged to give its full allegiance to any democratically elected government attempting to function as the government of the Republic. The IRA Executive Committee must be summoned at regular intervals to meet the army council in a consultative way. The Executive has one real power - it can re-summon the general army convention if it considers there is need for it, and state a case against the IRA army council.

From the time of the break with the Second Dáil Éireann, I was always one of the twelve, and one of the seven. On one occasion when my position was extremely controversial, and I was just a little bit tired of it all, I did not attend the meeting of the IRA Executive so as to make it easy for the others to elect an army council that would not include me, maybe a little bit daring them to do so. Andy Cooney , the same Andy Cooney (page 5, here) of 'The Gates Flew Open', came direct to my place from the Executive meeting to make sure I would agree to serve on the new army council. He was laying down the law to me with his index finger, as way his way, when police cars pulled up with a screech of brakes. We made a dive for the secret room in my place and my wife put Andy's coat and hat away and delayed the raiders further by speaking to them through a window in the cool, easy scornful way she used so effectively at breathless moments. It was a long drawn-out raid , but our hiding place survived it. (MORE LATER).



THE ANATOMY OF AN AFTERNOON : THE STORY OF THE GIBRALTAR KILLINGS........

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

PC James Parody was not on duty that day and knew nothing of the operation. He has a flat overlooking the Shell petrol station and he looked out the window at the sound of a police siren. He saw a police car move out of Smith Dorrien Avenue and onto Winston Churchill Avenue. It passed by the Shell station with its siren and blue flashing light on and he noticed a man and a woman walking past the petrol station. When the car had passed he noticed two other men - he didn't know where they came from, they were in the middle of the road with their backs to him. He heard shouts of "police, police...". The woman had been looking back towards the car and when the shout came she turned in to her right and made a move with her left hand towards her bag, which was over her right shoulder, according to PC Parody.

Then he noticed that the two men on the road had guns pointed at the couple and he heard a few shots from each of the gunmen. The woman fell first with her head on the roadway and her body on the pavement , and the man fell over the wall of the petrol station forecourt with his legs across the woman's body. After that, said PC Parody, the two men put their guns away and took out black berets. The police car then pulled up at the traffic lights and a number of police officers got out.

Soldier 'C' saw Seán Savage heading left in the direction of the Landport Tunnel. Soldier 'D' had already crossed the road and 'C' had to run briefly to catch up and as he crossed the road he heard a police siren - he looked round and saw a police car with its blue light flashing coming from the left. Seán Savage was walking at a normal pace. Soldiers 'C' and 'D' got to within six or seven feet of him as he reached a big tree on the left hand side. There were a good few people coming towards them and Soldier 'C' drew his pistol. At the inquest he said that at this point he was about to issue a warning to Seán Savage, along the lines of "Stop, police, get down, hands above the head, stay down..." , when he heard the sound of gunfire from behind. He didn't get past the word "Stop". (MORE LATER).



MICHEÁL MARTIN TAKES THE (WRONG) BOUNDARY COMMISSION TO TASK.

"Gerrymandering" , Mr. Martin called it : "It is the biggest attempt to manipulate election boundaries in the 35 years since Fianna Fail introduced independent Boundary Commissions...." (from here) , adding "....we saw that straight away when the terms of reference were published,that skewing was going on....".

However, a more important 'skewing' by a Boundary Commission has been ignored by Mr. Martin and his party and, indeed, by the administration and the so-called 'opposition' in Leinster House - the 'Boundary Commission' established under 'Article 12' of the 1921 'Treaty of Surrender', which was tasked with 'determining the boundaries between the newly-partitioned 6 and 26-county 'states' ' , the deliberations of which caused a mutiny within British forces in Ireland! (Part 4)

When this Boundary Commission was to be set-up , it was to be 'Chaired' by Justice Feetham , a South African Judge , and a good friend of the British 'Establishment' - it may well have been a ' toothless body ' , as Winston Churchill , the then British 'Colonial Secretary to Ireland' considered it to be , but sure it was no harm to have its Chairperson in your pocket , too !

During the first three years of the existance of the Irish Free State , those running same poured all their resources into simply 'staying alive' ; it was not until 1924 that the Staters in Leinster House requested that the Boundary Commission should come into being - this opened-up old wounds for the British. Westminster was well aware that this issue was an 'open sore' for all concerned - the Staters ( except Michael Collins and , probably , those close to him , who knew better) were expecting 'the earth' (!) while the Unionists had been promised 'no change'. On hearing of this request by the Free Staters to Westminster, the Stormont (ie the Six-County 'parliament' established by the British) 'Prime Minister', 'Sir' James Craig, let it be known that , as he was not one of the signatories to the 1921 Treaty , he did not feel bound by its stipulations re the Boundary Commission and would have nothing to do with the establishment of such a body. The Brits themselves weren't really in favour of setting-up the Boundary Commission either, and no attempt was made to persuade 'Sir' Craig to take part in it by nominating a representative to that proposed body, as had been agreed in the 1921 Treaty - instead , the Brits took it on themselves to nominate a person to sit on the Commission on Stormont's behalf.

Westminster turned to a friend of 'Sir' James Craig , a Mr. J.R. Fisher, and 'nominated' him as the Stormont representative to the Boundary Commission. Fisher was known by Westminster to be 'a safe pair of hands'. It should be noted that Chairperson Feetham was also the Westminster nominee to the Boundary Commission! The Free Staters in Leinster House choose Eoin MacNeill as their representative to that body ; MacNeill was the co-founder of the 'Gaelic League' in 1893 (with Douglas Hyde) , an organisation which grew within thirteen years to a huge size ; at least 100,000 members in 900 branches throughout the island. The same man was , in 1916 , the nominal head of the Rebels and was known as a good organiser - however , he was not known as a good , or aggressive, negotiator.

When Michael Collins and his supporters were attempting to 'sell' the December 1921 Treaty to their own side , they made a big deal of the Boundary Commission clause in that Treaty and in particular the part of it which stated that the 'border' could be adjusted "....in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants ..". Now , three years later (on 6th November 1924) , Eoin MacNeill was sitting at the table of the newly-established Boundary Commission at its first meeting , which was held in London. (MORE LATER).



ON THIS DATE (16TH APRIL) 74 YEARS AGO : GALWAY HUNGER-STRIKER DIES.

Galway IRA man and Officer Commanding of the IRA Western Command at the time, Tony Darcy, who began his hunger strike on 25th February 1940 and died on 16th April, in St Bricins (Free State) military hospital in Dublin, on 16th April, after 52 days on hunger strike.

Tony Darcy was sentenced to three months imprisonment for refusing to either account for his movements or give his name and address when arrested by Free Staters at an IRA meeting in Dublin. The POW's went on hunger strike after Meath IRA man, Nick Doherty, was imprisoned on the criminal wing in Mountjoy Jail and a request to transfer him to join his political comrades in Arbour Hill Jail was refused by the Staters. One week into the protest, the prison authorities made a move to take the IRA OC of the prisoners , Seán McNeela, for 'trial' before the 'Special Criminal Court' but he refused to go with them. Barricades were built and D-Wing was secured as best as possible by the IRA prisoners and they were soon attacked by armed Special Branch men, backed-up by the Dublin Metropolitan Police. Amongst the casualties were McNeela and Darcy, both of whom were beaten unconscious and suffered wounds that were never allowed to heal.

This account of that period, by Michael Traynor, was submitted to the Republican Sinn Féin organisation by Carmel McNeela, widow of Paddy McNeela and sister-in-law of Seán McNeela : (Michael Traynor, Adjutant-General, IRA at the time of his arrest in February 1940, endured hunger strike with Seán McNeela, Tony Darcy, Tomás Mac Curtáin, Jack Plunkett and Tommy Grogan) : "When Seán McNeela became CS (Chief of Staff) of the IRA in 1938 he immediately appointed Jack McNeela OC (Officer Commanding) Great Britain with the particular task of putting the organisation there on a war footing and amassing explosives and preparing for the forthcoming bombing campaign. After a few months of tense activity Jack was arrested and sentenced to nine months imprisonment. He returned to Ireland in 1939 and was appointed Director of Publicity. Jack was very disappointed with this appointment. He said he knew nothing about publicity and would have preferred some task, no matter how humble which would have kept him in contact with the rank and file Volunteers. However Publicity had to be organised and Jack threw himself to the job with zeal and energy. After two months, out of nothing, Jack had his Publicity Department functioning perfectly. Writers were instructed and put to work, office staff organised, radio technicians got into harness.

Another big disappointment at this time for Jack was the instructions he received about the raid on the Magazine Fort. He nearly blew up when he was told that he could not take part in the operation, that HQ staff could not afford to lose more than the QMG and the AG if the operation failed. He was a man of action and wanted to be with his comrades in time of danger. He repeatedly requested the AG for permission to take part in the operation but without success. But Jack was there, orders or no orders, and he did about ten men’s work in the taking of the fort and the loading of the ammunition. He was a very pleased man that night, for he, like all the rest of the members of GHQ knew that this ammunition was necessary to the success of the Army’s attack on the Border, which was planned to take place in the following spring.

He was arrested about three weeks later with members of the Radio Broadcast Staff and lodged in Mountjoy jail. He was OC of the prisoners when I arrived in the middle of February 1940. Tomás Mac Curtáin was there, and Tony Darcy, who was a very great personal friend of Jack’s, so was Jack Plunkett and Tommy Grogan. I was about a week in jail, life was comparatively quiet, great speculation was going on as to what would happen to the men arrested in connection with the raid on the Magazine Fort. The crisis developed when Nicky Doherty, of Julianstown, Co Meath was sentenced to five years penal servitude. Instead of being transferred to Arbour Hill (where other Republican prisoners had political status), Nicky was lodged in the criminal section of Mountjoy Jail. Jack, being OC of Republican Prisoners, interviewed the governor of the jail and requested that Nicky be transferred to Arbour Hill on the grounds that he was a political prisoner and that it was unjust and unchristian to attempt to degrade and classify as criminal a Republican soldier. The request was ignored. Jack and his prison council met to consider the situation: it was decided that a demand was necessary and with the demand for justice went the ultimatum that if he refused a number of prisoners (who were still untried) would go on hunger strike until the demand was accepted. A short time limit was set, but the demand was also ignored.

Jack, I remember well, was very insistent that the issue should be kept clear and simple. The hunger strike was a protest against the attempted degradation of Republican soldiers. There was no other question or issue involved. A simple demand for justice and decency. Seven men volunteered to go on hunger strike and when the time limit [February 25, 1940] of the ultimatum expired they refused to eat any food, although tempting parcels of food kept arriving every day from their relatives and friends. It was felt by the men on hunger strike that the struggle would be either a speedy victory or a long, long battle, with victory or death at the end.It was victory and death for Jack McNeela and Tony Darcy.

Seven days after the commencement of the hunger strike Special Branch policemen came to take Jack to Collins Barracks for trial before the 'Special Criminal (or was it the Military) Court'. Jack refused to go with them. They told him they’d take him by force. They went away for reinforcements. A hasty meeting of the Prisoners’ Council was held. They felt it was unjust to take Jack for trial while he was on hunger strike, and that everything possible should be done to prevent the hunger strikers from being separated. Barricades were hastily erected in the D-Wing of the jail. Beds, tables and mattresses were piled on top of each other; all the food was collected and put into a common store and general preparations made to resist removal of Jack, their OC. A large contingent of the DMP arrived together with the Special Branch at full strength. The DMP men charged the barricades with batons; the Special Branch men kept to the rear and looked on while the DMP men were forced to retire by prisoners with legs of stairs.Several charges were made but without success. Some warders and a few policemen suffered minor injuries. The governor of the jail came down to the barricade and asked the prisoners to surrender. They greeted him with jeers and booing.

After some time the DMP men returned, armed with shovel shafts about six feet long, hoping with their superior weapons to subdue the prisoners. After several charges and some tough hand-to-hand fighting the policemen again retired. The most effective weapon possessed by the prisoners was a quantity of lime, liquefied by some Mayo men, and flung in the faces of the charging DMP men. It was reminiscent off the Land League days and the evictions. Finally the fire hydrants were brought into use and the force of the water from these hoses broke down everything before them. The barricade was toppled over and the prisoners, drenched to the skin, could not resist the powers of water at pressure; they were forced to take cover in the cells. I got into a cell with Tony Darcy and Jack McNeela. We closed the door. After a few minutes the door was burst open and in rushed about five huge DMP men swinging their batons in all directions. Tony, standing under the window facing the door, put up his hand but he was silenced by a blow of a baton across the face that felled him senseless. Jack was pummelled across the cell by blow after blow. Blood teemed from his face and head. These wounds on Jack and Tony never healed until they died.

It lasted only a few brief minutes, this orgy of sadistic vengeance and then we were carried and flung into solitary confinement. Jack was taken away that evening and tried and sentenced by the Special Court. The next time I say Tony and Jack was in the sick bay in Arbour Hill. Jack Plunkett was also there with them. We exchanged experiences after the row in the 'Joy'.

Day followed day, I cannot remember any particular incident, except that regularly three times a day an orderly arrived with our food, which we of course refused to take. We were by now nursing our strength realising that this was a grim struggle, a struggle to the death. We jokingly made forecasts of who would be the first to die. Jack was almost fanatic about speaking Gaelic. Most of our conversation while in the Hill was in Gaelic. Tony used to laugh at my funny accent. While he couldn’t speak Gaelic he understood perfectly well all that was said and sometimes threw in a remark to the conversation. When conversation was general English was the medium. Jack Plunkett didn’t know any Gaelic at all. We were in the best of spirits. Rumours filtered through to us, I don’t know how, because we were very strictly isolated from the rest of the Republican prisoners in the Hill. We heard that one of our comrades had broken the hunger strike at the Joy; we didn‘t hear the name for a few days. The report was confirmed, we were inclined to be annoyed, but we agreed that it was better for the break to come early than late. It had no demoralising effect.

After Jack was arrested all the books he had bought (mostly Gaelic) were sent into the Joy. He intended to make good use of his spell of imprisonment. He kept requesting the Governor of the Hill to have them sent to him. After about three weeks a few tattered and water-sodden books were brought to him, all that remained of his little library, the others had been trampled and destroyed by the police in Mountjoy. Jack was vexed. He hadn’t smoked, nor taken drink and every penny he had went to the purchase of these books that he loved. We were, during all this time, as happy as men could be. In spite of imprisonment and all that it means we were not all despondent nor feeling like martyrs. Everyday, we reviewed our position; what we had done, our present state of health, the prospect of success. The conclusion we came to was that de Valera, Boland and Co had decided to gamble with us – to wear us out in the hope that we would break and therefore demoralise all our comrades and if we didn’t break, to give political treatment to all IRA prisoners when we were in the jaws of death. The issue, as we saw it, was of vital importance to us, but of practically no consequence to the Fianna Fáil regime. We knew of course that de Valera and the Fianna Fáil party hated the IRA, because we were a reminder of their broken pledged to the people.

On the eve of St Patrick’s Day we were removed to St Bricin’s military hospital. A few days later Tomás Mac Curtáin and Tommy Grogan joined us. We were terribly disappointed with their report from the 'Joy'. The men who had been sentenced were accepting criminal status instead of refusing to work as they had been instructed to do; that is another story, although it led directly to the death of Seán McCaughey six years later in Portlaoise jail. We were in a small hospital ward. Three beds on each side, occupied by six hungry men and every day was a hungry day. Every evening each of us would give the description of the meal he would like most, or the meal he had enjoyed most. Salmon and boxty loomed large in Jack’s menu. About this time we began to count the days that we could possibly live. The doctors who examined us, sometimes three times a day, told us that we had used up all our reserves and were living on our nerves; they tried to frighten us, assuring us that if we didn’t come off the hunger strike our health would be ruined. We all agreed among ourselves that the doctors were actuated by purely humane motives, although their advice if acted on by us would have been very satisfactory to their employers. After 50 days on hunger strike we were unable to get out of bed, or rather the strain of getting up was too great an expenditure of energy, which we were determined to husband carefully.

We did not see any change on each other. The change came so imperceptibly day after day. Jack, lying in the next bed to me, seemed to be the same big robust man that I had known before we were arrested, yet, we each were failing away. The doctors and nurses were very kind. We were rubbed with spirit and olive oil to prevent bedsores; all our joints and bony places were padded with cotton wool, for by now the rubbing of one finger against another was painful. None of us could read anymore, our sight had lost focus and concentration on material objects had become difficult. We were face to face with death; but no one flinched or if he did he prayed to God for strength and courage. On the 54th night of the strike, about midnight, Tony cried out (we were all awake): ‘Jack, I’m dying.’ We all knew that it was so. Jack replied, ‘I’m coming. Tony’. I felt, and I’m sure Jack and the others felt also that getting out of bed and walking across the room to Tony would mean death to Jack also. As well as I remember Mac Curtáin, Plunkett, Grogan and myself appealed to Jack not to get out of bed. But Tony’s cry pierced Jack’s heart deeper than ours so he got up and staggered across the room to his friend and comrade. Later that night Tony was taken out to a private ward. We never saw him again. He died the following night. A great and staunch and unflinching soldier and comrade; oh that Ireland had twenty thousand as honourable and fearless as he.

The day following Tony’s removal from the ward, Jack’s uncle, Mick Kilroy, late Fianna Fáil TD, came to see Jack. Alas, he didn’t come to give a kinsman’s help, but attacked Jack for "daring to embarrass de Valera" the "heaven-sent leader" by such action and demanded that Jack give up his hunger strike at once. Jack’s temper rose and had he been capable of rising would have thrown him out. He ordered him out of the room, so did we all. It was the first time in 56 days that we felt enraged at anything. The brutal treatment of the police after seven days’ hunger strike was trivial in comparison to this outrage. The next day Jack was taken out of the ward. We never saw him again. A few hours after his removal we received a communication from the Chief of Staff IRA. The following is an extract:


‘April 19, 1940. To the men on hunger strike in St Bricin’s Hospital: The Army Council and the Nation impressed with the magnitude of your self-sacrifice wish to convey to you the desire that if at all consistent with your honour as soldiers of the Republic you would be spared to resume your great work in another form. We are given to understand that the cause you went on strike has been won and that your jailers are now willing to concede treatment becoming soldiers of the Republic. In these circumstances if you are satisfied with the assurances given you – you will earn still more fully the gratitude of the people – relinquishing the weapon which has already caused so much suffering and has resulted in the death of a gallant comrade.’

Jack had requested confirmation from HQ of the assurances given to us by Fr O’Hare, a Carmelite Father from Whitefriars Street, Dublin. Fr O’Hare had interviewed Mr Boland, the Minister for Justice in the Free State government and received his assurances that all Republican prisoners would get political treatment. Naturally we did not want to die, but we could not accept any verbal assurance so we felt that written confirmation by our Chief of Staff was necessary. When the confirmation arrived Jack was out in the private ward. I was acting OC. We were reluctant, the four of who remained, to come off the hunger strike, with Tony dead and Jack at death’s door. Yet we had the instruction from HQ that our demands were satisfied. The doctors assured us that if the strike ended Jack had a 50-50 chance of living so I gave the order that ended the strike. I believe the doctors worked feverishly to save Jack’s life, but in vain. Jack McNeela, our OC and comrades, died that night and joined the host of the elected who died that Ireland and all her sons and daughters would be free from the chains of British Imperialism and happy in the working out of their own destiny."

NOTES: Nicky Doherty was found in possession of a quantity of ammunition seized in the raid on the Magazine Fort. He remained an active Volunteer until his death at an early age in the mid-1950s.

Criminal section of Mountjoy: This was A-Wing. The Republicans on remand were housed in D-Wing. On sentence they were usually sent to Arbour Hill.

Governor of the jail: Seán Kavanagh, a former Republican prisoner himself during the Tan War.

DMP: Dublin Metropolitan Police, originally a separate force from the RIC. They were kept on after the Treaty and amalgamated with the Gardaí in 1925. They made a deal with the IRA in 1919 not to engage in 'military activities' and were removed from the list of legitimate targets. "G" Division, or Special Branch were not excluded. In 1940 they supplied the Riot Squad for Mountjoy.

Tony Darcy, Headford, Co Galway, died April 16th 1940. He was OC Western Command, IRA at the time of his arrest.

Seán McNeela, Ballycroy, Co Mayo, died April 19th 1940.

From 1940 to 1947, sixteen Republican prisoners were sent to Portlaoise prison where they were denied political status. For all seven years they were naked, except for the prison blanket. For three years of this they were also in solitary confinement.


Finally - writing about the funerals of Tony Darcy and Seán McNeela , Brian Ó hÚiginn stated : "Hundreds of uniformed and plain-clothes police were sent into the two graveyards, while soldiers in full war-kit were posted behind walls and trees in surrounding fields, and armoured cars patrolled the roads...the lowest depths of vindictive pettiness was reached when mourners on their way to Seán MacNeela’s funeral were stopped by armed police and their cars and persons searched....even when they reached the cemetery many were locked out - the gates were locked - and those attempting to enter were attacked....." That was 1940, this was 2013 - the 'establishment' harasses those it fears, even in death, and wines and dines those it has purchased , even though they, too, are 'dead' : morally and spiritually.



"PRESIDENT OF IRELAND......MY PRESIDENT.."



"....I'm overjoyed for the president. He is my president and I'm delighted he's been accorded such a great welcome...." - the words spoken by Martin McGuinness when a journalist asked him how it felt to stand at a banquet table in Windsor Castle, England,and toast an English 'queen' : it was a poor attempt on his part to deflect attention away from the fact that he was toasting an English 'queen' ie 'I was toasting my president...' and ignores the ridiculous and enforced situation that, as a resident of Derry (in our occupied Six Counties), the man has no vote in the election of any candidate running for the position of, as he put it, "the president of Ireland."

And all the more ridiculous when you take into account that it is Martin McGuinness and his party that are prolonging that partitionist folly by administering the British writ in those six occupied counties! But such is the way of the gombeen -

Behind a web of bottles, bales,

Tobacco, sugar, coffin nails

The gombeen like a spider sits,

Surfeited; and, for all his wits,

As meagre as the tally-board

On which his usuries are scored.


(Joseph Campbell.)




JOHN PAUL NOT AS RICH AS THE POPE, BUT HAS A BETTER DRIVER !

Pictured, left, our 'John Paul' approaching the raffle committee to claim first prize (€200).....!

Liverpool and Manchester City , Swansea and Chelsea and Wexford and the Dubs were all in action on Sunday 13th April last on a pitch, but it was Cabhair that was 'on the ball'! The hotel we were in had, as expected, a full house and we quickly ran out of raffle tickets (all 650 were sold and returned) , which enabled us to start the raffle an hour earlier than planned. One of the floor staff, Shirley, kindly pulled the first ticket stub from the raffle drum and a man from Dublin, John Paul, who had travelled to the venue with our regular bus driver, Anto, won €200 on his ticket, number 53 and, before the two of those loudly-delighted punters disappeared to the diesel pump (!) to fill-up , we managed to get JP to do the honours with our second prize (€100), which was won by Declan, ticket 193, a local GAA supporter who scored a 'point' and declared that his goal was to get to the bar asap and convert it !

The GAA man pulled prize number three for us, €40, and it was one of two tickets that supporters in Clondalkin, Dublin, had sold in one of their local pubs - it went to Ciaran F , ticket 533, and was sold by Damien : the other Clondalkin winner was Thomas, 5th prize (€20), 125, sold by Darren, who also sold ticket 115 to a D. Brophy, who won 4th prize of €20.

Local lady, Tara, was the winner of our 6th prize, €20, on ticket 466, a very nice man from Wicklow (and a crazy Manchester City fan!) , M. Byrne, won 7th prize, €20, on ticket 218 and our last prize (€20) was claimed by a lovely young lady from Tallaght, Josephine, who had bought her ticket, 630, on the premises. The hotel, which seems to be one of the few in the Leinster area which attracts a full house every weekend, was as busy as expected and, as well as the football events on the big screens and looking after the Cabhair contingent, they hosted a darts match that same day - all of it done flawlessly! GRMA to all the staff - see ye next month!



'CHEATING ON THE NEIGHBOURS'?

Those of us who are refusing to pay the 'property tax' because we deem it to be not only unfair but 'a tax too far', were today accused by the State revenue commissioners of 'cheating on our neighbours' by , I can only presume, 'not paying our way'. My neighbours are well aware that I live in one of the households in a housing estate which has not been bullied into paying this new tax and, far from considering me a "cheat" for not paying it, they repeatedly tell me that they only wish they had the courage to do the same. And they had that courage, in the weeks and months following the introduction of this tax, but a scare-tactic-employing State-compliant media and the use of 'the tax man' eventually whittled the resolve of almost all of them.

The State revenue commissioners (and other 'enforcers') and those wealthy career politicians that introduced this new tax are the real "cheats" in this affair, not those of us who refuse to pay it on a point of principle. In my opinion, they are the representatives of a corrupt and warped society and I'll be damned if I'm going to voluntarily help them to fill their pension coffers. Come and get me if you can, you bastards, but I'll not make it easy for you.



AC IN HOT SEAT 20 AND 21, SÓS SUNDAY , FM MONDAY.....



More information here. I'll be at both, hope to see you at one or the other. Or both!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.