You will see men (and women!) like those mentioned above, in Dublin, 'flying out the folds' on Saturday, 23rd April 2016, at the GPO in O'Connell Street, as Republican Sinn Féin holds its National Commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. Those attending are requested to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance at 1.45pm, and the parade will leave for the GPO at 2pm. All genuine republicans welcome!
PROSE AND CONS.
Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.
First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.
THE WIND SONG.
Lying in my cell
rain falls hard on my window
I hear the wind trashing
Against my window, the walls, the fence,
struggling for freedom
back and forth as it blows.
Within my four walls
I hear the wind, wild and calling
it cries out to me
sighing and blowing
swirling to and fro
a newspaper gets ripped
against the wall
the rain falls constant.
Gurgle, gurgle, down the drain
a can rolls and bobs
across the yard
and the wind cries out
it's angry song.
JUST ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL...
"..the names of those who died on the rebel side should not share a commemorative plaque or monument of any kind with those who on behalf of British rule summarily abused and executed them..." (from here.)
A travesty of a monument in Glasnevin Cemetery was officially 'opened' by Free State representatives last Sunday (3rd April 2016) and, as expected, those officiating at same could not realise that honouring the men and women of 1916 and those that fought against them (ie the forces of the Crown) on the same monument is indecent and should be viewed in the same light as, for instance, British citizens would view their politicians wanting to use their Cenotaph to commemorate German soldiers, or German politicians insisting that prison guards be honoured on the same plaque that lists their victims at the entrance to Auschwitz.
This 'memorial wall' scenario exposes how politically confused this State is in relation to acknowledging (the on-going) British political and military interference in this country but it also highlights the embarrassing position that pro-State 'revolutionary socialists' have placed themselves in : the Glasnevin wall was to be 'officially opened', as stated, on Sunday 3rd April last by the Dublin 'Lord Major', Provisional Sinn Féin Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh , an issue which apparently caused some unease within her party (more than likely because those who expressed unease didn't get an invite!) which prompted one of her party colleagues to voice his objection about the 'job' she was about to do at the Glasnevin wall which, it seems, ensured that the 'Lady Lord Mayor' suddenly found something else to do.
Poor Críona - it's obviously the case that only party elders are allowed mingle with all that 'proper' (British) society can offer!
Dónal de Róiste case. By Don Mullan, author of the book 'The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings'.
From 'Magill' magazine, February 2003.
THE McCRANN REPORT.
What particularly upset the retired commandant was Oonah McCrann's omitting to interview either himself or Dónal de Róiste as part of her review, despite their availability. He was also concerned by her failure to report that one officer had sole control over, and carried out, their individual interrogations. This officer also had sole editorial control over the reporting of their answers to the Irish Army's top brass. It was the Army's responsibility to interpret the interviewer's memos and reports for the Fianna Fail cabinet and President de Valera, who ultimately ended Dónal de Róiste's military career.
At the time, the interrogating officer, Commandant Gerry O'Sullivan, was a staff officer at Irish Army Intelligence Headquarters, and was later elevated to Army Chief of Staff. Recalling his interrogation, four months prior to the release of the McCrann Report, Patrick Walshe said : "In April 1969 I was ordered to Intelligence HQ in Parkgate, Dublin, where I then realised that Dónal de Róiste was in difficulty, but I was unclear why. Commandant Gerry O'Sullivan solely questioned me on three different occasions over a two-week period. I wasn't given a statement to review and sign."
Walshe is particularly appalled at the unfounded innuendo that Dónal de Róiste knowingly associated with subversives, and questions why de Róiste was 'retired' and he (Walshe) wasn't, given that both men frequented the same public establishments and associated with the same people. What makes former Commandant Patrick Walshe such a powerful and credible advocate for the cause of Dónal de Róiste is his handling of an unrelated matter. It concerns what one senior officer described as "the greatest scandal in the history of the Irish State..." (MORE LATER.)
GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...
Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the 'Frank Cahill Resource Centre', one of the founders of 'Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh', the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A'Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.
His first publication last year by Glandore was 'And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh'. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!
"MY FINGER CAME OFF...."
We were running out of time to save the finger.No one else standing there volunteered to retrieve the missing digit. "Listen, lads," I said, "if I can get Dede and his finger over to the hospital, they might be able to re-unite them.." But no one moved a muscle to help. No good Samaritans here. "Right, I yelled, "give Ivor a shout for me." When Ivor arrived he could see both the finger and the problem immediately, and he acted decisively : "Quick, one of you, he shouted, "get a brush and and shovel." "Ivor, Jesus Christ," I said, "do you want to contaminate the finger?" "Well I'm not lifting it!" he said.
At this point, a friend of mine from Lurgan called 'Jack the Giant' retrieved the ex-ringholder and squeezed it out to me through the wire. I wrapped the finger up in my handkerchief which I had only used five times, maybe six, tops and, with Dede in hand (!), albeit missing a finger, we ambuled * as quickly as our legs would carry us to the prison hospital. On running into the hospital in an effort to save time I shouted "Is there a doctor in the place?" "No!" , the medical orderly responded immediately. He was highly trained in giving out painkillers and sticking on plasters and, on seeing Dede's missing finger, or not seeing it as the case may be, he asked "What seems to be the problem?" "Well, this is only an educated guess, mind you," I said, "but we think that he's lost one of his fingers. What do you think?" I asked sarcastically, of the scundered orderly. "Jesus, never seen anything like that before," he said.
Unfortunately for Dede, re-uniting his finger to his hand was proving not only beyond the orderly's skills, but when I placed the finger in the orderly's hand he winced and dropped it on to the dirty floor of the 'operating theatre'. It took a real (we are told) doctor a full hour and a half to rush the three miles from Lisburn to Long Kesh. He agreed with my diagnosis of the situation - Dede was a finger short. As the doctor rummaged in his toolbox for a hacksaw to finish the job and cut off the exposed bone of the finger, I pleaded with him not to amputate without first exploring every avenue known to medical science in an attempt to save Dede's finger. I asked the doctor if he had any experience with micro-surgery and he told me that it was academic as it wasn't the little finger that was missing but the one next to it and I couldn't argue with his logic. But, after all, we had the dissected skin of the finger, which was virtually intact - even the ring was still there. I then glanced around the 'surgery' and noticed that a small white box about 12 inches square with a small red cross on it was hanging askew on a hilti-nail on the wall. Then I helped the doctor to look for his hacksaw...
SHOT DEAD FOR REFUSING TO SING 'GOD SAVE THE KING'.
different uniforms (and transportation!).
On the 6th of April, 1921 - 95 years ago on this date - two IRA men, Patrick Conroy and James Monds, who were friends and neighbours - were pulled out of their homes in Tarmon, County Roscommon, by an RIC/Black and Tan raiding party and executed - 'James Monds was a local Protestant farmer who fell victim to England's tyranny in April 1921. At that time in Roscommon, as across Ireland, the Black and Tans, the RIC and the Auxiliaries were running rampant. The most infamous deeds of the forces of the Crown are known to all. The sack of Balbriggan, the burning of Cork, the murder of MacCurtain in Cork and Father Griffin in Galway are but a few. The so called 'Castlerea Murder Gang' consisted of British soldiers, RIC and Black and Tans. They would act on information provided by informers and raid local houses late at night looking for their victims. The gang would arrive at the door with blackened faces and shine a light in the face of a suspect who would be identified by the informer. If the unfortunate person was wanted by the British he would be taken away and shot or beaten to death as was the case with Volunteer Pat Conroy who was murdered the same night as James Monds.
James was a Volunteer of the Irish Republican Army and had been involved in land agitation. It is known that he refused to sing 'God Save The King' in church which may have singled him out as a Republican or 'Shinner' to those loyal to the Crown. He was taken from his house on the night of the 6th of April 1921 and his bullet riddled body was found the next day. The 'Murder Gang' extracted no information from him regarding local Volunteers and they killed him despite him having 6 children...' (from here.)
It later transpired that the British troops raided the home of James Monds looking to remove his 17-year-old son, but the father pleaded with them to take him instead, and leave his son out of it. They did, which is about the only act of 'kindness' any republican could hope for, from a British mercenary. The next morning, the riddled body of James Monds was located at the end of the road. Incidentally, the man in charge of that particular British murder gang, RIC Sergeant James King (pictured here, at his funeral service) was infamous as a well-known thug in uniform in Ireland and then became famous as the last member of the RIC to be killed during the War of Independence -
"On the morning of the 11th of July (1921) Thomas Crawley was waiting. Sergeant King of the RIC was the principal man in the murder gang that was organised in the RIC in Castlereagh and was responsible for a number of killings around the area. He was badly wanted by us. On the morning of the Truce, the 11th July 1921, we made a final effort to get this man. Between 10a.m. and 11a.m. on that morning we proceeded into the town on this mission...we went into a shop to get a drink of lemonade and when only a few minutes there Sergeant King came out of his own house on the opposite side of the street and proceeded to get on his cycle as if to go to the barracks. We left the shop. Ned Campion and I let him have it. He died immediately. Although the truce took effect at 12 o' clock on that day, the enemy chased us until about 6pm that evening. We finally escaped them, however, by adopting the role of shepherds gathering up sheep..." (from here.)
King was struck in the chest by at least two of his attackers bullets and despite receiving prompt medical attention died at approximately 10.30am – less than two hours before the ceasefire was due to begin. Local IRA men later recounted how King and his gang burst into the Vaughan family home at Cloonsuck, County Roscommon, on the 22nd June 1921, catching three IRA men unaware : the three republicans made a run for it, but two of them - Ned Shanahan and John Vaughan - were shot dead. The third IRA man, Martin Ganly, was captured and, during the search of the house, King battered (the deceased) John Vaughan's mother unconscious with his rifle butt and stopped on his way out of the house and shot the family's dog dead. A nasty and vindictive piece of work by all accounts, 'relatives' of whom wear a similar uniform today, in this country.
ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK (WEDNESDAY 13TH APRIL 2016).....
...we won't be posting our usual contribution, and probably won't be in a position to post anything at all until the following Wednesday ; this coming weekend (Saturday/Sunday 9th/10th April 2016) is spoke for already with a 650-ticket raffle to be run for the Cabhair group in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border (work on which begins on the Tuesday before the actual raffle) and the 'autopsy' into same which will take place on Monday evening, 11th, in Dublin, meaning that we will not have the time to post here. But we'll be back, as stated above, on Wednesday 20th April 2016, providing Easter and raffles leave us alone!
Thanks for reading, Sharon.