A SHORT POST...
- for this event. But we couldn't let this anniversary pass without mention :
ON THIS DATE (13TH SEPTEMBER) 81 YEARS AGO : TWENTY-FOUR YEAR OLD IRISH REPUBLICAN KILLS HIMSELF OVER MENTAL TORTURE BY FREE STATERS.
In 1936, the Free State government had banned the Wolfe Tone Commemoration at Bodenstown and ordered contingents of its police and troops to block all approaches to Bodenstown. In Limerick, approximately 30 republicans, including Seán Glynn, commandeered a Limerick County Council lorry and headed for Bodenstown. They were apprehended at Dunkerrin, County Offaly and subsequently sentenced to prison terms ranging from 6 to 18 months (Seán was sentenced to nine months imprisonment). The prisoners were committed to Arbour Hill Military Prison, where the Free State Army ran an exceptionally harsh regime, including a policy of strict silence (the screws actually wore rubber-soled shoes, to ensure that they could 'appear as if from nowhere' in an attempt to frighten the prisoners), which was brutally enforced. The Fianna Fail administration had warned that Arbour Hill "was no longer (sic) going to be a holiday camp or hotel for republican prisoners".
Conditions in the prison were grim - Free State military guards kept the republican prisoners in solitary confinement and they were punished for trying to speak or otherwise communicate with each other ; the prison was said to be like a tomb, and the system was intended to drive men insane and in some cases succeeded. Several men never recovered from their months of solitude even if they did manage to preserve their sanity. These were the conditions that drove Seán Glynn, serving nine months for IRA membership - who had been in perfect mental health prior to his arrest - first insane and then, on Sunday, September 13th 1936 - 81 years ago, on this date - to take his own life (another IRA prisoner, Christy Aherne, had attempted to kill himself a few months earlier, for the same reason).
At 24 years of age, he was driven to take his own life on September 13th, 1936, by a Fianna Fail administration : driven to suicide by concocted prison conditions, Arbour Hill Barracks, Dublin. Rest In Peace.
Thanks for reading - hope to see some of ye at Croke Park this Sunday, 17th : I'll be one of those on 'leaflet duty'!