Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"FIVE SONS OF HIS FOUGHT IN 1798.."

ON THIS DATE (18TH SEPTEMBER) 168 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF AN IRISH HEROINE.

'Anne Devlin was born in County Wicklow around the end of the 1770s into a nationalist family. In 1800, Anne met Robert Emmet and moved into his house to assist him in his plans for an uprising in Dublin. On the evening of the 23rd July, 1803, the rising went ahead in Dublin, but despite taking the British authorities by surprise, the rebellion collapsed.

Anne and her eight year old sister were arrested. She was interrogated and tortured in order to get information about the whereabouts of Emmet. She refused to speak. On the 20th September 1803 Emmet was executed on Thomas Street, Dublin.

She was kept in solitary confinement in Kilmainham Gaol in squalid conditions and was subjected to brutal treatment, but consistently refused to cooperate despite the fact that her entire family were also being held. She was finally released in 1806. Anne Devlin died in September 1851 in the Liberties area of Dublin’s city centre ('1169' comment - she died from starvation on the 18th of that month ; 168 years ago on this date). She was buried in a paupers plot in Glasnevin Cemetery, but following the efforts of a Doctor Richard Madden she was exhumed and reinterred with a headstone..' (From here.)

On the 2nd March 1914, Patrick Henry Pearse, 37 years of age, delivered the following address to a packed venue in the 'Academy of Music' in Brooklyn, New York : "Wherever Emmet is commemorated let Anne Devlin not be forgotten. Bryan Devlin had a dairy farm in Butterfield Lane ; his fields are still green there. Five sons of his fought in '98. Anne was his daughter, and she went to keep house for Emmet when he moved into Butterfield House. You know how she kept vigil there on the night of the rising. When all was lost and Emmet came out in his hurried retreat through Rathfarnham to the mountains, her greeting was — according to tradition, it was spoken in Irish, and Emmet must have replied in Irish - "Musha, bad welcome to you! Is Ireland lost by you, cowards that you are, to lead the people to destruction and then to leave them ?" "Don’t blame me, Anne, the fault is not mine", said Emmet. And she was sorry for the pain her words had inflicted, spoken in the pain of her own disappointment. She would have tended him like a mother could he have tarried there, but his path lay to Kilmashogue, and hers was to be a harder duty.

When Major Sirr (pictured) came out with his soldiery she was still keeping her vigil. "Where is Emmet?", they demanded to know. "I have nothing to tell you," she replied, and to all their questions she had but one answer : "I have nothing to say ; I have nothing to tell you." They swung her up to a cart and half-hanged her several times ; after each half-hanging she was revived and questioned : still the same answer. They pricked her breast with their bayonets until the blood spurted out in their faces. They dragged her to prison and tortured her for days. Not one word did they extract from that steadfast woman. And when Emmet was sold, he was sold, not by a woman, but by a man — by the friend that he had trusted — by the counsel that, having sold him, was to go through the ghastly mockery of defending him at the bar. The fathers and mothers of Ireland should often tell their children that story of Robert Emmet and that story of Anne Devlin. To the Irish mothers who hear me I would say that when at night you kiss your children and in your hearts call down a benediction, you could wish for your boys no higher thing than that, should the need come they may be given the strength to make Emmet's sacrifice, and for your girls no greater gift from God than such fidelity as Anne Devlin's.."

Anne Devlin was an Irish republican famous for her involvement with the United Irishmen, and enduring terrible conditions, as well as torture, when imprisoned by British forces in Ireland. She died, aged 71, on the 18th September, 1851 - 168 years ago on this date.





ON THIS DATE (18TH SEPTEMBER) 173 YEARS AGO - BIRTH OF A 'FENIAN UNIONIST'.

James Standish O'Grady (Anéislis Séamus Ó Grádaigh, pictured) was born on the 18th September, in Cork, in 1846 - 173 years ago on this date.

He was a 'mixed bag' of a person, having been born into the 'landlord class' but, at the same time, possessing enough cop-on to realise that if a political/financial/social system lacked the (minor) benefits to the less well-off of a 'trickle down' effect, then trouble was guaranteed.

He was of the opinion that he had more in common with the Irish 'aristocracy' than he had with his own 'class' in the fine halls and castles of Westminster and, witnessing the suffering in Ireland, apparently felt that England had somehow betrayed its standing and reputation (!) in the world because of the way the Irish were been treated.

'The Pictorial Times', a popular newspaper of the day, described the then attempted genocide of the Irish people in the following report, dated the 10th October, 1846 - 'Around them is plenty ; rickyards, in full contempt, stand under their snug thatch, calculating the chances of advancing prices ; or, the thrashed grain safely stored awaits only the opportunity of conveyance to be taken far away to feed strangers...but a strong arm interposes to hold the maddened infuriates away. Property laws supersede those of Nature. Grain is of more value than blood. And if they attempt to take of the fatness of the land that belongs to their lords, death by musketry is a cheap government measure to provide for the wants of a starving and incensed people..'

Mr O'Grady realised that the unrest among the Irish could at least be lessened, if not smoothed-over completely, if only his own type on what he no doubt regarded as 'the main land' would be 'fair' towards those they were thieving from and, to that end, he wrote to those that had influence over those he called 'the landlords of Ireland' - "I say that even still you are the best class in the country, and for the last two centuries have been ; but, see, the event proves that you were not good enough, had not virtue enough. Therefore you perish out of the land, while innumerable eyes are dry. Christ save us all, you read nothing, know nothing. This great modern, democratic world rolls on with its thunderings, lightnings and voices, enough to make the bones of your heroic fathers turn in their graves, and you know nothing about it, care nothing about it.

Of you, as a class, as a body of men, I can entertain not the least hope ; indeed, who can? If you are quite satisfied to lose all that you have inherited, to be stripped naked, and in the slime to wrestle with dragons and gorillas hereafter for some morsel of official income which you will not get, then travel that way. If you are satisfied to see all the worth, virtue, personal refinement, truth and honour which you know to be inherent in your own order wiped, as with a sponge, out of Ireland - maybe a bloody sponge - then travel that way.

If you wish to see anarchy and civil war, brutal despotisms alternating with bloody lawlessness, or, on the other side, a shabby, sordid Irish Republic, ruled by knavish, corrupt politicians and the ignoble rich, you will travel the way of égalité."

His plea for 'fair play' for the Irish fell on deaf ears, but he was right in regards to this State ('the republic') 'being ruled by knavish, corrupt politicians and the ignoble rich..', and that remains the case, but that would probably be little comfort to him as he lay on his deathbed in Shanklin, Isle of Wight, in England, in 1928 - he was 81 years of age when he went to his grave, leaving behind a reputation, among some, of being a 'Fenian Unionist'.





'ISSUED BY THE ARMY COUNCIL, ÓGLAIGH NA hÉIREANN, NOVEMBER 1954...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



"The principle which republicans have held down through the years has been that England had no right to legislate for Ireland, that England had no right to set up these two States and, since they were founded on the 'Better Government of Ireland Act', no republican could give allegiance to either of them without a breach of principle, no matter what internal changes may have been brought about in either or both.

The constitutional changes in the 26-County State have made no change in the principle involved and the declaration of a Republic which recognised the unnatural division of our country and expressed only a pious hope for future re-integration did nothing more than make confusion more confounded and the glib use of such terms as 'freedom in this part of Ireland' has served only to lull the youth of the country into a false sense of national well-being.

The stand republicans have always taken is that Ireland is a single entity and that it is as great an insult to the people of the 26 Counties to have the Tricolour and the National Anthem banned in Belfast as if the same ban were in force all over Ireland. As long as one square foot of Irish soil is occupied by a foreign army Ireland cannot be said to be free. The ideals of our patriot dead have not being realised and as long as that army of occupation holds a part of our country by naked force it is idle to express hopes for unification somewhere in the distant future and an illusion to think that Britain, who never gave anything to anybody except under duress, will suffer a change of heart and in a burst of magnanimity will hand back that portion of our country which she has annexed by force and holds with an army of occupation..." (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (18TH SEPTEMBER) 152 YEARS AGO : TWO IRISH FENIANS RELEASED FROM BRITISH PRISON VAN.

"These Irish are really shocking, abominable people. Not like any other civilised nation..." - the words of Britain's 'Queen' Victoria, on hearing about the 'Manchester Outrage', as she called it. Her comments were replied to by one of the 'uncivilised Irish' people she was speaking about : "I will die proudly and triumphantly in defence of republican principles and the liberty of an oppressed and enslaved people..." - the words of 18-years-young William Allen, from Bandon, County Cork. The "outrage", as far as the British are concerned, anyway , began on the 11th September that year (1867) (...although, in reality, it began for us Irish in 1169) when, in the early hours of the morning of Wednesday, 11th September 1867, two men were arrested by police in Shudehill, Manchester, on suspicion that they were about to commit a robbery.

The two men were charged under the 'Vagrancy Act' and were detained in police custody, and it was then they were recognised, by fellow Irishmen in British police uniforms, as Colonel Thomas J.Kelly and Captain Timothy Deasy (both pictured), two known Fenians. Their comrades in Manchester, which was the 'Bandit Country' of its day, vowed to free the two men and, on the 18th of September, 1867 - 152 years ago today - as a prison van carrying the two men (and a 12-years-young boy, plus three female prisoners) was travelling on the Manchester to Salford road, on its way to 'deposit the cargo' in Belle Vue Gaol on the Hyde Road in Gorton, Manchester, accompanied by a team of 12 horse-mounted policemen, it was attacked by about 50 Fenians. Kelly and Deasy were handcuffed and locked in two separate compartments inside the van, guarded by a police sergeant, a Charles Brett, and, as such, were unable to assist their comrades outside.

The mounted police escort fled the scene on seeing the number of attackers but Brett was obviously unable to do so : the Fenian rescuers were unable to force open the van and advised Sergeant Brett that it would be for his own good to open the doors and let the prisoners go. Brett refused the offer, and was looking through the keyhole to further assess his situation when one of the rescuers decided to shoot the lock apart - the bullet went through the keyhole and hit Brett in the head, killing him instantly. One of the female prisoners had the good sense to take the keys from his pocket and hand them out through an air vent to those outside, and Kelly and Deasy were taken to safety.

Twenty-six men were later arrested and tried for playing a part in the rescue, and five of them were detained to stand trial, on 1st November 1867, for their alleged part in what the British called the "Manchester Outrage" : all five were actually sentenced to be hanged, but one was granted clemency and another was 'pardoned' as the evidence against him was found to be perjured. The other three - William Allen, Michael O'Brien and Michael Larkin - the 'Manchester Martyrs', were hanged in front of thousands of baying spectators on Saturday, 23rd November 1867 - 149 years ago on this date - in Salford, Manchester, outside the New Bailey Jail. In an address to the court, William Philip Allen (pictured), 18, stated - "No man in this court regrets the death of Sergeant Brett more than I do, and I positively say, in the presence of the Almighty and ever-living God, that I am innocent ; aye, as innocent as any man in this court. I don't say this for the sake of mercy : I want no mercy — I'll have no mercy. I'll die, as many thousands have died, for the sake of their beloved land, and in defence of it."

"I will die proudly and triumphantly in defence of republican principles and the liberty of an oppressed and enslaved people. Is it possible we are asked why sentence should not be passed upon us, on the evidence of prostitutes off the streets of Manchester, fellows out of work, convicted felons — aye, an Irishman sentenced to be hanged when an English dog would have got off. I say positively and defiantly, justice has not been done me since I was arrested. If justice had been done me, I would not have been handcuffed at the preliminary investigation in Bridge Street ; and in this court justice has not been done me in any shape or form.

I was brought up here and all the prisoners by my side were allowed to wear overcoats, and I was told to take mine off. What is the principle of that? There was something in that principle, and I say positively that justice has not been done me. As for the other prisoners, they can speak for themselves with regard to that matter. And now, with regard to the way I have been identified. I have to say that my clothes were kept for four hours by the policemen in Fairfield station and shown to parties to identify me as being one of the perpetrators of this outrage on Hyde Road. Also in Albert station there was a handkerchief kept on my head the whole night, so that I could be identified the next morning in the corridor by the witnesses."

"I was ordered to leave on the handkerchief for the purpose that the witnesses could more plainly see I was one of the parties who committed the outrage. As for myself, I feel the righteousness of my every act with regard to what I have done in defence of my country. I fear not. I am fearless — fearless of the punishment that can be inflicted on me ; and with that, my lords, I have done." However, he then added the following - "I beg to be excused. One remark more. I return Mr. Seymour and Mr. Jones my sincere and heartfelt thanks for their able eloquence and advocacy on my part in this affray. I wish also to return to Mr. Roberts the very same. My name, sir, might be wished to be known. It is not William O'Meara Allen. My name is William Philip Allen. I was born and reared in Bandon, in the County of Cork, and from that place I take my name ; and I am proud of my country, and proud of my parentage. My lords, I have done."

Michael Larkin (pictured), 32, lived in the Banagher region of County Offaly and was a tailor by trade. He was not of good health and himself and his two comrades were captured as they carried him away from the scene of the rescue. He, too, addressed the court : "I have only got a word or two to say concerning Sergeant Brett. As my friend here said, no one could regret the man's death as much as I do. With regard to the charge of pistols and revolvers, and my using them, I call my God as witness that I neither used pistols, revolvers, nor any instrument on that day that would deprive the life of a child, let alone a man. Nor did I go there on purpose to take life away. Certainly, my lords, I do not want to deny that I did go to give aid and assistance to those two noble heroes that were confined in that van, Kelly and Deasy. I did go to do as much as lay in my power to extricate them out of their bondage ; but I did not go to take life, nor, my lord, did anyone else. It is a misfortune there was life taken ; but if it was taken it was not done intentionally, and the man who has taken life we have not got him. I was at the scene of action, when there were over, I dare say, 150 people standing by there when I was. I am very sorry I have to say, my lord, but I thought I had some respectable people to come up as witnesses against me ; but I am sorry to say as my friend said — I will make no more remarks concerning that. All I have to say, my lords and gentlemen, is that so far as my trial went, and the way it was conducted, I believe I have got a fair trial. What is decreed a man in the page of life he has to fulfil, either on the gallows, drowning, a fair death in bed, or on the battle-field. So I look to the mercy of God. May God forgive all who have sworn my life away. As I am a dying man, I forgive them from the bottom of my heart. God forgive them."

Michael O'Brien (pictured), 31, from Ballymacoda in Cork, was a lieutenant in the US Army and was better known in England by the name 'William Gould'. He delivered the following speech to the court : "I shall commence by saying that every witness who has sworn anything against me has sworn falsely. I have not had a stone in my possession since I was a boy. I had no pistol in my possession on the day when it is alleged this outrage was committed. You call it an outrage, I don't. I say further my name is Michael O'Brien. I was born in the county of Cork and have the honour to be a fellow-parishioner of Peter O'Neal Crowley, who was fighting against the British troops at Mitchelstown last March, and who fell fighting against British tyranny in Ireland. I am a citizen of the United States of America, and if Charles Francis Adams had done his duty towards me, as he ought to do in this country, I should not be in this dock answering your questions now. Mr. Adams did not come, though I wrote to him. He did not come to see if I could not find evidence to disprove the charge, which I positively could, if he had taken the trouble of sending or coming to see what I could do. I hope the American people will notice this part of the business." He then read a passage from a paper he was holding - "The right of man is freedom. The great God has endowed him with affections that he may use, not smother them, and a world that may be enjoyed. Once a man is satisfied he is doing right, and attempts to do anything with that conviction, he must be willing to face all the consequences. Ireland, with its beautiful scenery, its delightful climate, its rich and productive lands, is capable of supporting more than treble its population in ease and comfort.

Yet no man, except a paid official of the British Government, can say there is a shadow of liberty, that there is a spark of glad life amongst its plundered and persecuted inhabitants. It is to be hoped that its imbecile and tyrannical rulers will be for ever driven from her soil amidst the execrations of the world. How beautifully the aristocrats of England moralise on the despotism of the rulers of Italy and Dahomey — in the case of Naples with what indignation did they speak of the ruin of families by the detention of its head or some loved member in a prison. Who has not heard their condemnations of the tyranny that would compel honourable and good men to spend their useful lives in hopeless banishment?"

"They cannot find words to express their horror of the cruelties of the King of Dahomey because he sacrificed 2,000 human beings yearly, but why don't those persons who pretend such virtuous indignation at the misgovernment of other countries look at home, and see that greater crimes than those they charge against other governments are not committed by themselves or by their sanction? Let them look at London, and see the thousands that want bread there, while those aristocrats are rioting in luxuries and crimes. Look to Ireland; see the hundreds of thousands of its people in misery and want. See the virtuous, beautiful and industrious women who only a few years ago — aye, and yet — are obliged to look at their children dying for want of food. Look at what is called the majesty of the law on one side, and the long deep misery of a noble people on the other. Which are the young men of Ireland to respect — the law that murders or banishes their people or the means to resist relentless tyranny, and ending their miseries for ever under a home government? I need not answer that question here.

I trust the Irish people will answer it to their satisfaction soon. I am not astonished at my conviction. The Government of this country have the power of convicting any person. They appoint the judge ; they choose the jury ; and by means of what they call patronage (which is the means of corruption) they have the power of making the laws to suit their purposes. I am confident that my blood will rise a hundredfold against the tyrants who think proper to commit such an outrage. In the first place, I say I was identified improperly by having chains on my hands and feet at the time of identification, and thus the witnesses who have sworn to my throwing stones and firing a pistol have sworn to what is false, for I was, as those ladies said, at the jail gates. I thank my counsel for their able defence, and also Mr. Roberts, for his attention to my case."

All three men shouted the words "God Save Ireland!" at different times during the 'trial', perhaps realising that, then, as now, the British were going to get their 'pound of flesh' one way or the other. The three men were hanged by the British on the 23rd November, 1867, but are still remembered and commemorated today by Irish republicans ; they gave their lives that their comrades may live again.





ONE IN FOUR ON LOW PAY...

Colm Keena reports on a new survey on low pay and talks to workers caught in the trap.

By Colm Keena.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 1987.

Rita, who works for 'International Contract Cleaners' in Ringsend, Dublin, says - "You only work for a couple of hours in the evening, after 5pm. Usually you would be out of the place by 7pm or so. It's not very hard work, really." Most of the people working with her are women, and most are around her age. They are paid £2.75 per hour and, for about ten hours work, she receives about £20 or a little more.. "..after insurance and other stoppages. It's handy money."

British studies show that if it were not for the number of wives working in such jobs, contributing to the family budget, the number of families suffering from poverty in Britain would triple. In the weeks before the recent general election, the then Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald, said that more jobs could be created if young workers, starting in their first job, would accept lower rates of pay ('1169' comment - some neck on any of our well-to-do/millionaire politicians to suggest something like that!).

In response to that statement, the assistant secretary of the ICTU, Peter Cassells, said such a policy would "further increase the level of inequality in Irish society" and he argued that Ireland will never be able to compete against low wage, newly industrialising countries, where wages are far lower than those that exist here. He advocated the development of "a highly productive, export-oriented, high-wage economy." Policies to tackle the current jobs crisis "must include policies to tackle low pay and to improve living standards", he said... (MORE LATER.)





'STUDENTS HISTORIC DEMONSTRATION...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

In Dublin, on December 11th last (1954), 2,300 students marched through the principal streets pledging support for the republican prisoners in what was undoubtedly the most forceful student demonstration ever staged in this country. Chanting anti-British slogans and singing national songs, the demonstrators marched behind a coffin draped with the Union Jack and borne along on the shoulders of six six-foot, determined, young men, to a mass meeting in O'Connell Street.

Seosamh MacCriostail, UCD Law, addressed the meeting ; "I can ask for no better answer," he said, "except one - your pledge to fill the places left vacant by your fellow-student, Philip Clarke, and his comrades in the ranks of the Republican Movement. Tonight, I ask you to declare your allegiance for or against the teachings of Padraig Pearse. The republicans in Belfast and in English jails are waiting for your answer, for on it depends the extent to which each of you will influence the destinies of our Nation in the years ahead." He then dwelt on the teachings of Pearse and quoted from an essay by Phil Clarke to show how closely Clarke followed Pearse ; "To those who accept Pearse, there is only one road and that one has been pointed out to you by Clarke and his comrades. It leads you into the Republican Movement and ultimately into battle with the occupation forces."

We publish here an extract from the essay written for 'The United Irishman' twelve months ago by Philip Clarke (UCD), now a prisoner in Belfast - 'Maybe the peace which you are prepared to accept is what Pearse called a "a sinful peace" ; 'peace with the devil'. And, Pearse added, "We have known the Pax Britannica, let us bequeath to our children the 'Peace of the Gael' ". Remember that in the near future a stand must be made. If you are a genuine Irishman you will be a participant. The road to freedom is a tough, unchartered highway. It is a road strewn with setbacks, worries, cares, misfortunes and mistakes. The job ahead is tough and materially unrewarding but it is a glorious way, blazed by the deeds of the noblest-minded in each generation and paved with the sacrifices of the best that this country has produced. For God's sake, for Ireland's sake, for your own sake - make one resolution for the New Year : the resolution to be an Irishman in fact as in name."

(END of 'Students Historic Demonstration'. Next - 'Pattern Unchanged', from the same source.)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, September 04, 2019

A 'FAILED TURN' LED TO A 'SUCCESSFUL (RE)MOVE...'

ON THIS DATE (4TH SEPTEMBER) 49 YEARS AGO : AMERICA, ARROGANCE AND ALLENDE.

"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people..." - the chilling words of Henry Kissinger, in relation to Chile, but directed at Salvador Allende (pictured), in particular.



In 1964, four million dollars was a huge amount of money ; that was the year, and that was the amount, that the CIA spent in securing the election of the 'Christian Democrats' in Chile. However, six years later, it looked like a change of leadership was on the way - the socialist, Salvador Allende, was ahead in the polls, prompting the above-mentioned quote from Henry Kissinger.

American interests in Chile were worried, as was the CIA ; two US multi-national firms, I.T.T. and Anaconda Copper, offered the CIA $1,500,000 to stop Allende - the CIA told them to start an 'anti-Allende' campaign themselves with that money, as the Agency had its own 'war-chest' for just such a purpose. However, US money and propaganda against him or not, on the 4th September 1970 - 49 years ago on this date - Salvador Allende won the election ('..he won the 1970 Chilean presidential election as leader of the Unidad Popular ('Popular Unity') coalition..on 4 September 1970, he obtained a narrow plurality of 36.2% to 34.9% over Jorge Alessandri, a former president, with 27.8% going to a third candidate (Radomiro Tomic) of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC)..' - from here.) His victory was to be verified by the Chilean Congress on the 24th October 1970, prompting the CIA to increase their anti-democracy efforts. They tried to bribe the Chilean Congress with $250,000, but failed ; they knew that the head of the Chilean Armed Forces, a General Rene Schneider, would not support unconstitutional means to remove Salvador Allende from 'play', but the CIA shipped guns into the country anyway, in a diplomatic bag - and Schneider himself was removed from the scene!

Three years later, and after spending $8 million dollars, the CIA were successful - Allende and thousands of his supporters were tortured and killed and a (U.S. friendly) military junta was installed in Chile. Salvador Allende is gone, but American political arrogance is alive and well. It's too late now to properly repair the damage that Donald Trump has done, but perhaps future Office holders will take heed of the words of American poet, Maya Angelou ;

'History, despite its wrenching pain,

cannot be unlived,

but, if faced with courage,

need not be lived again'.






'ISSUED BY THE ARMY COUNCIL, ÓGLAIGH NA hÉIREANN, NOVEMBER 1954'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



"The Irish people have been given in the last few weeks statements from the leaders of all the political parties in Ireland, North and South, on their attitude and policy in regard to the British occupation of a portion of our country which they euphemistically call 'partition'. Now that all have spoken it appears to those whose task it is to guide the Irish Republican Army that the Irish people are entitled to a statement from them on their principles and policy and on the view they take on the continued presence on Irish soil of a British army of occupation.

'The Better Government of Ireland Act', passed in Westminster in 1920, divided our country in two and left Britain in direct control, and in military possession of, our six north-eastern counties.

No Irishman of any shade of political view voted for that Act. The military powers of defence of the Six Counties were reserved to Britain so that the continued occupation of that territory was assured no matter what type of government might evolve in the area, as Mr Lloyd George made quite clear in a letter to Lord Craigavon - "Ulster, whether she wills or not, must not be allowed to merge with the rest of Ireland." The Act, which divided Ireland into two States, set up the Free State of 26 counties and 'the State of Northern Ireland', composed of the six north-eastern counties..." (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (4TH SEPTEMBER) 168 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF A LAND LEAGUE FOUNDER.

"It will be our duty, and we will set about it without delay, to disorganise and break up the Irish Constabulary that for the past 30 years have stood at the back of the Irish landlords - bayonet in hand. The pay of these men, which is taken out of the pockets of the Irish tenants, is voted yearly in the English Parliament, and not an Irish member could be found to protest against it. Let us now see that, instead of the twelve hundred thousand pounds a year which is devoted to pay the Irish Constabulary, that not one hundred thousand will go for that purpose : then I would like to see the landlord who would face the Irish tenant. I tell you that the hour we take away the bayonet of the Irish policeman that hour the landlords will come to ask us for a settlement of the land question..." - John Dillon (pictured), 1880.

John Dillon was born on the 4th September 1851 - 168 years ago on this date - and was educated at Trinity College Dublin and the Catholic University of Louvain, before studying medicine and eventually qualifying as a surgeon. He was active in the Land League and was among those who organised a campaign whereby tenants paid their rents to the League instead of their landlords and, if the tenants doing so were evicted, they would receive financial assistance from a general fund established for that purpose. As a result of his involvement in this campaign, he spent a number of months in jail.

In 1880, he was elected as an M.P. for Tipperary but resigned from that seat in 1883 for health reasons ; he was elected again in 1885 for the East Mayo area, an area which he spoke up for, politically, until 1918, when he lost his seat in the election held in December that year ; Éamon de Valera outpolled him by 4,461 votes.

He was torn between his heart and his head in regards to the 1916 Rising ; he couldn't bring himself to support the 'dissidents' but neither could he fully condemn them - "I say I am proud of their courage and, if you were not so dense and so stupid, as some of you English people are, you would have had these men fighting for you, and they are men worth having...ours is a fighting race...the fact of the matter is that what is poisoning the mind of Ireland, and rapidly poisoning it, is the secrecy of these trials and the continuance of these executions. I do not think Abraham Lincoln executed one single man, and by that one act of clemency, he did an enormous work of good for the whole country. Why cannot you treat Ireland as Botha treated South Africa - victims of misdirected enthusiasm and leadership? (The rebels showed..) conduct beyond reproach as fighting men. I admit they were wrong ; I know they were wrong ; but they fought a clean fight, and they fought with superb bravery and skill, and no act of savagery or act against the usual customs of war that I know of has been brought home to any leader or any organised body of insurgents.."

He died, aged 76, on the 4th of August, 1927, and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin.





ONE IN FOUR ON LOW PAY...

Colm Keena reports on a new survey on low pay and talks to workers caught in the trap.

By Colm Keena.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 1987.

John and Maire have been married for four years and live in a privately rented flat in the centre of Dublin. The flat is small, and a fireplace in the sitting room is the only source of heating. Recently, the health authorities deemed their flat to be unsuitable for families, being damp, cold, dark and crowded. John and Maire's two-year-old child is often sick, and has twice been to hospital. They pay £15 per week for the flat.

John works in a furniture warehouse ; it's a small business, with a total workforce of seven. After tax, he has only a little over £100 to support himself and his family and, because he's working, he's not eligible for a medical card. Marie has developed a skin rash from the damp accommodation, and the medical bills for her and their baby make a serious dent in the family purse. John has no prospect of improving his earnings, there is no contributory pension and no opportunity for saving.

Rita also lives with her husband in privately rented accommodation in Dublin's city centre. Her husband works in the coal business and his income varies considerably. Rita, who is in her late forties, works for a number of hours each evening in a contract cleaning firm, 'International Contract Cleaners' of Ringsend, cleaning offices in the Pearse Street area... (MORE LATER.)





'STUDENTS HISTORIC DEMONSTRATION...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

In Dublin, on December 11th last (1954), 2,300 students marched through the principal streets pledging support for the republican prisoners in what was undoubtedly the most forceful student demonstration ever staged in this country. Chanting anti-British slogans and singing national songs, the demonstrators marched behind a coffin draped with the Union Jack and borne along on the shoulders of six six-foot, determined, young men, to a mass meeting in O'Connell Street.

The Meeting : Seamus Soraghan BL, Chairman, opening the meeting, referred to the rally as the biggest he had ever seen and congratulated the students on their magnificent demonstration in support of a cause worthy of the highest praise. Referring to the heroism of the prisoners, he said that their bravery in battle and noble dignity in the dock had won the respect of their most bitter enemies.

Billy Flynn, medical student, UCD, asked the meeting to reflect soberly on the ideals which the prisoners held - "No government is entitled to deny to any man the right of fighting for his country. Those men were the disciples of Padraig Pearse and the cream of this generation. The ideal of Ireland free had so consumed their minds that these men were prepared to sacrifice life if necessary in its attainment. Let their bravery and their principles be our guide in the struggle ahead."

Brendan O' Dubhghaill, UCD Arts, read the 1916 Proclamation after which he led the huge meeting in singing 'A Nation Once Again' and then Seosamh Mac Criostail, UCD Law, said what a pity it was that Earnest Blythe, Lionel Booth and other political leaders were not on the platform to see and hear the answer that young Ireland was giving to the insults and the denunciations which those men had levelled at the IRA... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK (WEDNESDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2019).....



...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 (18th September) ; this coming weekend (Saturday/Sunday 7th/8th September) is spoke for already with a 650-ticket raffle to be run for the Dublin Executive of RSF 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, 9th September, in Dublin, meaning that we will not have the time to post here on Wednesday 11th. But we'll be back, as stated above, on Wednesday 18th September with, among other pieces...well..we don't know, yet, 'cause we're too busy trying to explain to wannabe punters why they can't actually have a ticket for Sunday 8th because there ain't any LEFT!!



Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, August 28, 2019

89-YEAR-OLD 'DISSIDENT' HELPED BY "COOLING DOWN THE GUNS..".

ON THIS DATE (28TH AUGUST) 154 YEARS AGO : EVE OF THE BIRTH OF AN IRISH REVOLUTIONARY.

"If the Germans landed in Ireland, taking it by force of arms, they would have just as much right to it as England...fight for Ireland and be buried in consecrated ground, not dying like those in France, to be thrown into a *bode.." - Tomás Ceannt, speaking at a public meeting in Ballynoe, County Cork, on the 2nd January 1916 (* borehole/hole in the ground).

Tomás Ceannt (Thomas Kent) was born on the 29th August, 1865 - 154 years ago, tomorrow - in Bawnard House, Castlelyons, in Cork, the fourth of seven sons and two daughters, for David and Mary Kent. The Kent family had a long tradition of fighting against social and political injustices : 'His family were squeezed off their land by the British Crown's incremental rate increases. Thomas Kent left for Boston in the United States, but returned to Ireland several years later, owing to illness. Himself and his three brothers became radicalised, and were often jailed for their political activities, chiefly their support for the Land League and their membership of the Irish Volunteers. When the Easter Rising kicked off in April 1916, Tomás Ceannt, then 50 years of age, and his brothers, obeyed Eoin MacNeill's countermanding order and stayed home, Kent having planned to head to Dublin to fight. In a swoop for known republican sympathisers, however, the RIC made a dawn raid on the Kent family home in Castlelyons.

The Ceannts resisted arrest and had a shoot-out with the RIC, which lasted four hours. The RIC's head constable was killed, his face blown off, before the Ceannts surrendered. When they arrested Tomás Ceannt..he was paraded through the town of Fermoy a bit like Jesus Christ. His hands were tied and he had no shoes — he wasn't allowed wear any boots. He was humiliated...his mother was 89 and she was cooling down the guns and supplying her sons with ammunition during the raid. (The RIC) humiliated her as well. She was too old to walk so they put her on a cart with her dying son, the youngest son, Richard. He suffered from his nerves, as they said in those days. He had mental issues...he was terrified when he was arrested and he ran away and was shot in the back. He was dying. He died about a day later from his wounds...' (from here).

Thomas and his brother, William, were charged by the British with 'armed rebellion' - the brother was acquitted, but Thomas was found guilty and sentenced to death. Another brother, David, was 'found guilty' of the same charge and received a death sentence, but this was commuted to five years penal servitude. On the 9th May 1916, Tomás Ceannt was put to death by firing squad and his body was placed in a hole in the ground of Cork Prison, where he lay for 99 years : in 2015, the Free State administration, still attempting to associate themselves with those who fought against British rule, shamefully re-buried that Irish republican in a televised display of pomp and ceremony and it and the 'establishment' it spawned practically crawled over themselves to be seen to be associated with such a man. After their taxpayer-funded meal and drinks, they reverted to condemning those who continue to fight for the freedom of this country. Disgusting behaviour from a disgusting political 'elite'.







'A PLACE WITH THE HEROES...'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



Grant me a place with the heroes, Lord,

Who nourished freedom's glow,

When every slave had mourned his chain

and harkened to the foe.

I'd guard it well, had I the soul,

of Lynch or Cathal Brugha ;

No foeman's wiles could dim their zeal,

their guide was Róisín Dubh.




Grant me a place with the heroes, Lord,

Who fell since Thirty-Nine,

Though o'er their graves the slave and foe

to black their names, did join.

Perchance that end will be my lot,

Yet grant it, Lord, to me ;

I'll care not for the foe or slave,

but serve my land and Thee.




Grant me a place with the heroes, Lord,

Who blessed the bygone years,

That I might serve with pulsing blood,

Above youth's hopes and fears.

I'll dance no reels, or drink no toasts,

But strive for liberty,

I'll have no fun, but sword and gun,

'till Erin's soil is free.
(By Tomas De Staic)

(END of 'A Place With The Heroes' ; next -'Issued By The Army Council, Óglaigh na hÉireann, November 1954', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (28TH AUGUST) 159 YEARS AGO : BRITISH LAND-GRAB IN IRELAND AGAIN DEEMED 'LAWFUL'.

'LANDLORD AND TENANT LAW AMENDMENT ACT, IRELAND 1860.

An Act to consolidate and amend the Law of Landlord and Tenant in Ireland, 28th August 1860. Interpretation of terms :

1. In the construction of this Act the following words and expressions shall have the force and meaning hereby assigned to them, unless there be something in the subject or context repugnant thereto : The word 'person' or 'party' shall extend to and include any body politic, corporate, or collegiate, whether aggregate or sole, and any public company :

The word 'lease' shall mean any instrument in writing, whether under seal or not, containing a contract of tenancy in respect of any lands, in consideration of a rent or return :

The word 'lands' shall include houses, messuages, and tenements of every tenure, whether corporeal or incorporeal :

The word 'acre' shall mean statute acre :


The word 'landlord' shall include the person for the time being entitled in possession to the estate or interest of the original landlord, under any lease or other contract of tenancy, whether the interest of such landlord shall have been acquired by lawful assignment, devise, bequest, or act and operation of law, and whether he has a reversion or not :

The word 'tenant' shall mean the person entitled to any lands under any lease or other contract of tenancy, whether the interest of such tenant shall have been acquired by original contract, lawful assignment, devise, bequest, or act and operation of law :

The expression 'perpetual interest' shall comprehend, in addition to any greater interest, any lease or grant for one or more than one life, with or without a term of years, or for years, whether absolute, or determinable on one or more than one life, with a covenant or agreement by a party competent thereto, in any of such cases, whether contained in the instrument by which such lease or contract is made or in any separate instrument, for the perpetual renewal of such lease or grant :

The word 'rent' shall include any sum or return in the nature of rent, payable or given by way of compensation for the holding of any lands :

The word 'agreement' shall include every covenant, contract, or condition expressed or implied in any lease :

The word 'county' shall extend to and include a city and county, and a riding of a county :

The expression 'chairman' shall mean the chairman of the quarter sessions of the county, and shall extend to and include the recorder of Dublin and of Cork, and the recorder of any borough or town in Ireland under the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act, 1840, and their deputies lawfully appointed :

The expression 'clerk of the peace' shall extend to and include the registrar of civil bills for the City of Dublin, and also the acting or deputy clerk of the peace, or registrar or other officer discharging the duties of such clerk of the peace or registrar.

2. In citing this Act it shall be sufficient to use the expression 'The Landlord and Tenant Law Amendment Act, Ireland, 1860...'
(from here.)

Twenty million acres of land in Ireland ; 661,931 'tenants' (ie native Irish) in Ireland and 19,284 'landlords' (ie British Planter) in Ireland. If the 'landlord' could get rid of the 'tenants' they could increase the size of 'their' ranches. In the late 1850's, an unscrupulous businessman named John George Adair arrived in the Derryveagh area of County Donegal and, by guile, hook and crook, within one year of being in the area, 'owned' more than ninty square miles of the surrounding countryside. Adair imported black-faced sheep from Scotland and allowed them to wander on 'his' land, as livestock was a more valuable 'commodity' than the natives were.

The British 'landlords' were not alone in thinking that they could do as they wished with 'their' holdings in Ireland ; their bigotry was shared by the political establishment in Westminster and its Vichy-styled political leadership in Ireland. In 1860, the British-appointed Attorney General in Ireland, Richard (Rickard) Deasy, had his 'Act' passed into 'law' in this country - it was known as 'The Landlord and Tenant Law Amendment (Ireland) Act of 1860', but was better known as 'Deasy's Act' and, in short, it removed whatever insignificant amount of protection that the 'tenant' had in relation to their rights and those of the 'landlord' ; it allowed the British 'landlords' a 'free-hand' to do as they choose with 'their' Irish 'tenants'.

This new 'law' allowed the British to set, amend, introduce and/or change any terms which the 'tenant' had with the 'landlord' and defined the contract between both parties as "..deemed to be founded on the express or implied contract of the parties and not upon tenure or service". 'Landlords' were already aware that it was more profitable for them to have livestock on 'their' land rather than the poor 'tenants' who leased the land and were encouraged to shift the Irish off the land, 'legally', knowing that any 'rights' that the evicted family may have had prior to the enactment of the new 'law' no longer existed. The Derryveagh 'landlord', John George Adair, and many others, lost no time in moving against the families living on 'their' estates ; within a few months, evictions were taking place at a recorded level of twenty a week ; Adair had already attempted to have the families on 'his' estate evicted for 'stealing' his Scottish (black-faced) sheep - if the sheep, while wandering free, should end up near a persons cabin, that 'tenant' was accused of stealing the animal!

Adair changed the 'terms and conditions' of the manner in which he 'leased' the land to his existing 'tenants' and did not bother to notify them. Those families were served with eviction notices, and Adair then notified the 'police-force' and requested the British military to accompany the eviction party while it carried-out its 'mandate'. In two days, in April 1861, in Derryveagh, Donegal, Adair and his party of licenced bandits physically removed forty-seven families from their miserable dwellings, burnt the roofs of same and, before the fire was extinguished, levelled the walls. Whole families lived in ditches ; no food, no income, no shelter, no hope.

Adair left such destruction and destitution in his wake that foreign newspapers sent over reporters to follow him , and their words and sketches were sent out world-wide. Irish exiles were furious, and did what they could to help their fellow-countrymen and women back home. In Australia, for instance, a 'Donegal Relief Fund' was established, and paid for most of Adair's victims to re-settle in Australia.

That same British mentality exists to this day, and no amount of 'Treaties' or 'border polls' will solve the problem. A British political and military withdrawal will.





ONE IN FOUR ON LOW PAY...

Colm Keena reports on a new survey on low pay and talks to workers caught in the trap.

By Colm Keena.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 1987.

The number of regular part-time employees rose from 22,600 to 37,600 between 1977 and 1984, and many of these workers are also considered to be low paid. John Blackwell (UCD) defines some 44,000 (46%) of women workers as low paid ; in industry, well over half of all female employees are low paid, and the same is true for women in retail distribution and only slightly less so for women in wholesale distribution.

In any industry where there is a relatively large number of women workers, wage levels are kept down and the 'age-earnings' profile for women - the rate at which earnings increase as the worker passes through their working lives - is slower for women than for men. He also reports that one out of every two school-leavers entering employment works for less than £55 per week. Seven out of every ten workers below the age of 20 are low paid. In supermarkets, take-away restaurants and shops, there is a particularly high concentration of young female workers on low pay - those businesses were the focus of a recent report by RTE's 'Today Tonight' on low pay.

In the restaurants on Dublin's O'Connell Street, 'Magill' magazine has established, the large number of young, part-time workers earn the following rates : McDonalds £1.84 per hour, Burger King £1.55, Pizzaland £1.80 and, in Flanagan's, some workers were getting £10 for a nine-hour shift... (MORE LATER.)





'STUDENTS HISTORIC DEMONSTRATION'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

In Dublin, on December 11th last (1954), 2,300 students marched through the principal streets pledging support for the republican prisoners in what was undoubtedly the most forceful student demonstration ever staged in this country. Chanting anti-British slogans and singing national songs, the demonstrators marched behind a coffin draped with the Union Jack and borne along on the shoulders of six six-foot, determined, young men, to a mass meeting in O'Connell Street.

As the parade passed the GPO, a youth emerged from the coffin, threw out the British flag on to the roadway and, waving the Tricolour aloft as he stood high in the coffin - still standing tall on the six shoulders - led the mass of students in a mighty cheer for the prisoners. The rally was indeed an inspiring sight and an historic occasion, for it marked the first ever rally of students in support of the republican soldiers.

The most remarkable thing about the demonstration was that it attracted a united front of students, was the most orderly and enthusiastic rally seen in the city for many years and earned the suspicion of press and radio. The latter imposed a virtual publicity curtain and if anything did their best to discredit the students and the demonstration, thus revealing their latent fear of any intrusion by students on national issues. It is understood that subsequent to the meeting, a big number of students enrolled in the republican movement thereby showing their readiness to prove the sincerity of their demonstration in a more positive manner... (MORE LATER.)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, August 21, 2019

LOYALIST PARAMILITARY LEADER CHEATED, FINANCIALLY, BY HIS OWN GOVERNMENT.

38TH ANNUAL HUNGER STRIKE COMMEMORATION FOR PEACE WITH JUSTICE : SATURDAY 31ST AUGUST 2019, 3PM, EAST END, BUNDORAN.

On Saturday 31st August 2019, the Bundoran/Ballyshannon H-Block Committee will be holding a rally in Bundoran, Donegal, to commemorate the 38th Anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strike and in memory of the 22 Irish Republicans that have died on hunger strike between 1917 and 1981 ; those participating have been asked to form-up at 3pm at the East End.

Hunger Strikers.

By Pádraig Ó Tuama.

And there was banging on the bins that night

and many frightened people woke

and noted down the hour.




The clock of hunger-strikers dead is not ignored with ease

and 'please, God, please keep loved ones safe' was then

repeated round and round and round

like rosaries told upon a bead,

or shoes upon the ground of orange walking.




The five demands, the five-year plan

that saw a blanket round a man,

the dirty protest, Thatcher stance,

that gave a new and startling glance

at just how deep a people’s fury goes.




And God knows each single mother’s son

was sick of hunger,

all those younger faces became stripped and old

eyes shrunk back and foreheads cold & bold

with skin that’s limp and paper thin,

barely separating blood and bone from stone.




And some did say 'enough is now enough'

and others said that 'never, never, never will a martyr die,

he’ll smile upon us long from mural’s wall.'




And others said 'what nation’s this?

we’re abandoned on our own —

all this for clothes to warm some dying bones.'

And some said 'that’s a traitor’s talk'

and others bowed their heads and thought that they

would hate to go that way.




Then Bobby Sands was dead

and there was banging on the bin lids on the Falls

echoed through to Shankill gospel halls.

And there was trouble on the street that night

and black flags started hanging while

people started ganging up,

black flags marking out the borders of belonging

the thin black barricade

that’s been around for thirty years

and stayed a fragile point up till today and cries

of how ten mothers' sons all starved and died

when all they ate was hope and pride.


'Hunger Strikers' ; originally published in 'Sorry for your Troubles' (Canterbury Press, 2013).





'A PLACE WITH THE HEROES'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.



Grant me a place with the heroes, lord,

Who have gone through strife to Thee,

For Erin's cause, in Erin's name,

To guard or make her free.

I'd take that place, whate'er my lot,

Betwixt the earth and You ;

All pain would be as bliss to me,

Could I, like those, be true.




Grant me a place with the heroes, Lord,

Who fell in Easter fray,

'Mid bayonets flash and firing squad,

At dawn of year and day.

I'd gladly share the battle pangs,

And die as brave Malone ;

Or face the ranks by rising sun,

For hopes of Pearse or Tone.




Grant me a place with the heroes, Lord,

Who kept the flame ablaze,

With august blood, and their sacrifice,

In their strong unbending ways.

I'd cherish death like Treacy's share,

And bless the hand that dealt

the blow, that wrote with Ashe's name,

Mine own, for God and Celt...


(MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (21ST AUGUST) 158 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF A BRITISH PARAMILITARY 'GODFATHER'.

Colonel Frederick Hugh Crawford CBE (pictured), was born on the 21st August, 1861, in Belfast - 158 years ago on this date.

The UVF (pictured, in the early 1900's) was a politically-minded organisation when it was first formed, on the 31st January 1913 by the 'Ulster Unionist Council', with support from the 'Ulster Reform Club', but transformed itself into a drug-fuelled mini-mafia in later years. One of the (original) UVF's better-known leadership figures (apart from 'Sir' George Richardson, a retired British Army general) was Colonel Frederick Hugh Crawford CBE, who viewed himself as a breed apart from others who shared the planet with him - "From these settlers sprang a people, the Ulster-Scot, who have made themselves felt in the history of the British Empire and, in no small measure, in that of the United States of America. I am ashamed to call myself an Irishman. Thank God I am not one. I am an Ulsterman, a very different breed.." (from here).

'His official title read Director of Ordnance of the HQ Staff of the UVF...he had first rate Protestant credentials for he had been one of those who signed the Ulster Covenant in his own blood. He had travelled the world, fought for a time in South Africa and returned to throw himself tirelessly into the fight against Home Rule for Ireland...' (from here). Colonel Frederick was born in Belfast on the 21st August 1861, and died in his 92nd year on the 5th November 1952. His father, James, was a factory owner in Belfast (manufacturing starch, which is said to be good for a stiff upper lip..) but Frederick struck out on his own, becoming an engineer with a shipping firm before taking to a military life, which brought him into the Boer War.

On the night of the 24th April, 1914, Frederick Crawford, the 'Director of Ordnance HQ Staff UVF' (who was cooperating re acquiring arms with, and for, the 'Ulster Unionist Council') and the main instigator in an operation in which over 25,000 guns were successfully smuggled into Ireland, witnessed his plans come to fruition - for at least the previous four years, he and some other members of the 'Ulster Reform Club' had been making serious inquiries about obtaining arms and ammunition to be used, as they saw it, for 'the protection of fellow Ulstermen'. Advertisements had been placed in France, Belgium, Germany and Austrian newspapers seeking to purchase '10,000 second-hand rifles and two million rounds of ammunition..' and, indeed, between August 1913 and September 1914, it is known that Crawford and his colleagues in the UVF/URC/UUC obtained at least three million rounds of .303 ammunition and 500 rifles, including Martini Enfield carbines, Lee Metford rifles, Vetterlis and BSA .22 miniature rifles, all accompanied by their respective bayonets, and six Maxim machine guns, from the Vickers Company in London, for £300 each.

The ads were placed and paid for by a 'H. Matthews, Ulster Reform Club' ; Crawford's middle name was Hugh and his mother's maiden name was Matthews, an action which some members of the Ulster Reform Club objected to, leading to Crawford resigning from that group and describing the objectors as "a hindrance" : he described that period in his life as being "so crowded with excitement and incidents that I can only remember some of them, and not always in the order in which they happened..". Crawford and his UVF/URC/UUC colleagues had ordered some munitions from a company in Hamburg, in Germany, and had paid a hefty deposit up front but, months later, as they had not heard from the company, Crawford was sent there to see what the delay was and discovered that the German boss, who was in Austria while Crawford was in Germany, had informed Westminster about the order and was asked by that institution not to proceed with same - the deposit would not be returned and the deal was off, as far as the company was concerned.

Crawford tracked him down, in Austria, and called him and his company swindlers and was then told of a similar 'deal' involving that arms company regarding Mexican purchasers who also got swindled but, on that occasion, words and bullets were exchanged, the latter from gun barrels! At 60 years of age (in 1921) he was named in the British 'Royal Honours List' as a 'CBE' ('Commander of the Order of the British Empire') and he wrote his memoirs in 1934 at 73 years of age. He died, in his 92nd year, in 1952, and is buried in the City Cemetery in the Falls Road in Belfast. The then British PM, 'Sir' Basil Brooke, described him as "..a fearless fighter in the historic fight to keep Ulster British.." but, whatever about his 'successes on the battlefield', he was apparently less successful in his family life -

"What sort of man was my Father? As a boy and as a man he was never very intelligent. He was an unconscious bully and for that reason unloved by his children. Each in turn left the home as soon as we became adults and were able to do so. The U.V.F rifles - I think about 15,000 - were stored and kept in good condition in a shed in the grounds of Harland and Wolff where I once saw them. For legal reasons they were in my father's name. After the retreat from Dunkirk, Britain was desperately short of arms and wanted to purchase the U.V.F rifles. As you are now aware my father was not a very intelligent person and was a hopeless business man. My father's chartered accountant sent word to him to say that Sir Dawson Bates wanted to meet him about something important. Accordingly, my father went to the accountant's office where his old friend Sir Dawson Bates was waiting for him - "Ah Fred, so glad you've come". The three, my Father, the accountant and Sir Dawson Bates sat down at a table.

There Sir Dawson carefully explained the desperate need Britain had for arms and asked my father, for patriotic reasons, to release the rifles – it would only be a simple matter of signing a prepared document. My father, in the presence of the accountant and Sir Dawson Bates, for patriotic reasons, signed the document without reading it. It conveyed ownership of the rifles from my father to Sir Dawson Bates who sold them to the British Government for, I believe, £2 a barrel. But there was something equally disgusting to discover ; during the Second World War because of a failed eye operation my father became blind whereupon I was appointed his Attorney and in that capacity I had to take over his financial affairs. I was horrified that his bank was about to foreclose which would have meant that he would have been declared a bankrupt. An unholy trio had been cheating him for years ; his estate agent who collected all revenues due to my father was keeping most of it, his chartered accountant was presenting false figures for income tax purposes and all this skulduggery was made legal by the co-operation of his trusted friend, his solicitor.." (from here).

Colonel Frederick Crawford CBE proudly worked for, and aided and abetted, British imperialism, only to be used, abused and cheated by that same system. A lesson (which will no doubt continue to go unheeded) to be learned, even at this late stage, by those who, today, work that imperialist system in this country, north and south.

The 'modern day' UVF, meanwhile, are a self-sustaining criminal outfit, using politics as a disguise for their continued existence - 'Loads of youngsters were recruited...but the only thing these kids are good for is blocking the street. They wouldn't know the difference between Edward Carson and Frank Carson..drug dealers and housebreakers have also been recruited. They are given the option of having their arms broken for anti-social behaviour or joining up...nearly everyone joins up. I know of a few fellas who have been out of work and deliberately allowed to run up tabs in UVF pubs. The UVF comes to them at the end of the month and says "pay up lads". When they cannot they are given the option of a beating or signing up...' (from here.)

Colonel Frederick Hugh Crawford CBE was born on this date - 21st August - in 1861, 158 years ago and, although he's gone, the organisation he helped to establish is still with us but, as stated, it does not now operate to a political agenda.





ONE IN FOUR ON LOW PAY...

Colm Keena reports on a new survey on low pay and talks to workers caught in the trap.

By Colm Keena.

From 'Magill' Magazine, May 1987.

A job in the civil service has for long been considered something desirable, yet a large number of those jobs too are actually low paid. John Blackwell (UCD) found 11,000 workers working in such grades as of May 1986 - that is, slightly under one-fifth of all workers in the central civil service. The union representing clerical workers in the civil service, the CPSSU, is currently seeking a 10 per cent or £15 increase ; a survey carried out for the 'Postal and Telecommunications Workers Union' last year found that two-fifths of the union's members , formerly direct employees of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs, had take-home pay of less than £120 per week.

The survey made detailed enquiries into the workers' household circumstances and found that many had difficulty making ends meet, and that over half could not afford to take holidays. The An Post workers are now looking for 'substantial' increases, involving flat rate increases, percentages and 'floors', methods designed specifically for the low paid. These negotiations are now at a 'delicate stage', according to PTWU General Secretary, David Begg.

The indications are that the number of low paid workers in the economy is on the increase ; since 1979, the total number of people working in Ireland has been falling but the number of women working has actually risen. The main areas showing significant increases in the number of women at work are insurance, finance, professional services, public administration and commerce. The proportion of the total workforce receiving low pay has grown in parallel... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE - 21ST AUGUST - 108 YEARS AGO : WOMEN GET UPPITY!

In Ireland, a few years before the Easter Rising of 1916, it would not be far-fetched at all to state that women were 'doubly oppressed' : by 'the State' (a British institution, at the time [now just a pro-British one!] ) and by, in the main, male society, although not all women accepted that that was the way it should be.

A number of social and cultural organisations had been established by women and for women, including the 'Conservative and Unionist Women's Franchise League', the 'Munster Women's Franchise League', the 'North of Ireland Women's Suffrage Committee', the 'Irish Women's Suffrage Society' and the 'Irishwomen's Suffrage and Local Government Association', most of which worked independently of each other.

Two 'troublesome' Irish women, Louie Bennett and Helen Chenevix, thought it would be to the benefit of the overall objective if those separate organisations were to be coordinated into a more effective campaigning body and, on 21st August 1911 - 108 years ago on this date - the 'Irish Women's Suffrage Federation' was formed "..to link together the scattered suffrage societies in Ireland in the effort to obtain the vote as it is, or may be, granted to men (and) to carry on more propaganda and education work throughout Ireland than has hitherto been possible...to form the basis of an association which will continue to exist after enfranchisement, and whose purpose will be to work, through the power of the vote, for the welfare of the country.." .

In that same year, (1911), the 'Munster Women's Franchise League' was formed in Cork and the 'Irishwomen's Reform League' was established in Dublin. It appears that women, then, were not only more aware of the injustices foisted on them by an unequal and oppressive society, but were more prepared than we are now to do something about it. Time for more drastic action, perhaps...





'IN JAIL FOR IRELAND'.

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, January 1955.

Cathal Goulding (Dublin) Stafford Prison, 8 years penal servitude (ps),

Seán Stephenson (London) Wormwood Scrubs Prison, 8 years ps,

Manus Canning (Derry) Wormwood Scrubs, 8 years ps,

Joseph Campbell (Newry) Crumlin Road Jail, 5 years ps,

Leo McCormack (Dublin) Crumlin Road, 4 years ps,

J.P. McCallum (Liverpool) Stafford, 6 years ps,

Kevin O'Rourke (Banbridge) Crumlin Road, 5 years ps,

Eamon Boyce (Dublin) Crumlin Road, 12 years ps,

Philip Clarke (Dublin) Crumlin Road, 10 years ps,

Paddy Kearney (Dublin) Crumlin Road, 10 years ps,

Tom Mitchell (Dublin) Crumlin Road, 10 years ps,

John McCabe (Dublin) Crumlin Road, 10 years ps,

Seán O'Callaghan (Cork) Crumlin Road, 10 years ps,

Seán Hegarty (Cork) Crumlin Road, 10 years ps,

Liam Mulcahy (Cork) Crumlin Road, 10 years ps,

Hugh Brady (Lurgan) Crumlin Road, 3 years ps.


(END of 'In Jail For Ireland' ; Next - 'Students Historic Demonstration', from the same source.)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.