ON THIS DATE (9TH JANUARY) 97 YEARS AGO : RESIGNATIONS OVER THE TREATY OF SURRENDER.
'Treaty of Surrender', which had been accepted by Michael Collins and others (Arthur Griffith, Riobárd Bartún [Robert Barton], Eamonn S Ó Dugáin [Eamonn Duggan] and Seoirse Ghabháin Uí Dhubhthaigh [George Gavan Duffy] had also appended their names to that vile document) on the 6th December, 1921, in London - at ten minutes past two on that Tuesday morning (6th December 1921), those men accepted 'dominion status' and an oath which gave "allegiance" to the Irish Free State and "fidelity" to the British Crown - within six months a civil war was raging in Ireland, between the British-supported Free Staters and the Irish republicans who did not accept that 'Treaty'.
De Valera had already stated, on the 18th December 1921, that he was against that 'Treaty' - "We were elected by the Irish people and did the Irish people think that we were liars when we said that we meant to uphold the Republic. I am against this Treaty because it does not reconcile Irish national aspirations with association with the British Government. I am against this Treaty not because I am a man of war, but a man of peace. I am against this Treaty because it will not end the centuries of conflict between the two nations of Great Britain and Ireland. It gives away Irish independence ; it brings us into the British Empire.." ('1169' comment - yet the same man had no problem with working on behalf of that 'empire' in the years following that 'not acceptable' speech!)
He had offered to resign on the 6th January, 1922, but the offer was not accepted at the time - but, on the 9th, it was accepted by 60 votes to 58 votes, following which Arthur Griffith (another Free-Stater-in-waiting) stated - "Before another word is spoken I want to say : I want the Deputies here to know, and all Ireland to know, that this vote is not to be taken as against President de Valera. It is a vote to help the Treaty, and I want to say now that there is scarcely a man I have ever met in my life that I have more love and respect for than President de Valera. I am thoroughly sorry to see him placed in such a position. We want him with us."
Others objected to the 'deal', and among them were Austin Stack, who stated his intention to fight on "even if this rotten document be accepted", and Erskine Childers, who complained that the 'Treaty Ports' section of the document would prevent the Free State from pursuing an independent foreign policy. The seven women members of the Dáil opposed the Treaty on the grounds that lives had been lost in pursuit of an Irish Republic, which the document subverted. Many, such as Margaret Pearse, Mary MacSwiney and Kathleen Clarke had lost close relatives in the struggle for
independence and stated that such an outcome was not what they and others had fought for. And, one week later (on the 16th January), Michael Collins and his Free State comrades were given the seat of British injustice in Ireland - Dublin Castle - from which to continue the campaign against Irish republicans from.
Máire Nic Shuibhne [pictured] (Mary MacSwiney) stated her objection to the 'Treaty' - "I claim my right, before matters go any further, to register my protest, because I look upon this act worse than I look upon the Act of Castlereagh. I, for one, will have neither hand, act, nor part in helping the Irish Free State to carry this nation of ours, this glorious nation that has been betrayed here to-night, into the British Empire — either with or without your hands up. I maintain here now that this is the grossest act of betrayal that Ireland ever endured. I know some of you have done it from good motives ; soldiers have done it to get a gun, God help them! Others, because they thought it best in some other way. I do not want to say a word that would prevent them from coming back to their Mother Republic, but I register my protest, and not one bit of help that we can give will we give them.
The speech we have heard sounded very beautiful — as the late Minister of Finance can do it ; he has played up to the gallery in this thing, but I tell you it may sound very beautiful but it will not do. Ireland stands on her Republican Government and that Republican Government cannot touch the pitch of the Free State without being fouled ; and here and now I call on all true Republicans ; we all want to protect the public safety, it is our side that will do its best to protect the public safety. We want no such terrible troubles in the country as faction fights. We can never descend to the faction fights of former days. We have established a Government, and we will have to protect it.
Therefore, let there be no misunderstanding, no soft talk, no ráiméis at this last moment of the betrayal of our country, no soft talk about union. You cannot unite a spiritual Irish Republic and a betrayal worse than Castlereagh's, because it was done for the Irish nation. You may talk about the will of the Irish people, as Arthur Griffith did ; you know it is not the will of the Irish people, it is the fear of the Irish people, as the Lord Mayor of Cork says. And tomorrow or another day when they come to their senses, they will talk of those who betrayed them today as they talk of Castlereagh. Make no doubt about it. This is a betrayal, a gross betrayal, and the fact is that it is only a small majority, and that majority is not united. Half of them look for a gun and the other half are looking for the fleshpots of the Empire. I tell you here there can be no union between the representatives of the Irish Republic and the so-called Free State."
And today, on the 9th January 2019 - 97 years after the Westminster and Free State-enforced partition of Ireland - Irish republicans remain adamant that there can be no political union between "the representatives of the Irish Republic and the so-called Free State".
An edited version of this speech was published in 'The United Irishman' newspaper in October 1954. This is the speech in full ; on the 13th March, 1920, Terence MacSwiney (pictured) was unanimously elected as the 'Lord Mayor of Cork' by that city's Corporation. He donated his salary for the position to an outside organisation and received no salary for the other position he held at that time - Brigadier of the No. 1 Brigade, Cork IRA.
Lord Mayor was murdered an attempt to terrify us all. Our first duty is to answer that threat in the only fitting manner by showing ourselves unterrified, cool and inflexible for the fulfillment of our chief purpose - the establishment of the independence and integrity of our country — the peace and the happiness of our country. To that end I am here.
I was more closely associated than any other here with our late murdered friend and colleague, both before and since the events of Easter Week, in prison and out of it, in a common work of love for Ireland, down to the hour of his death. For that reason I take his place. It is, I think, though I say it, the only fitting answer to those who struck him down. Following from that there is a further matter of importance only less great — it touches the efficient continuance of our civic administration. If this recent unbearable aggravation of our persecution by our enemies should cause us to suspend voluntarily the normal discharge of our duties, it would help them very materially in their campaign to overthrow our cause. I feel the question of the future conduct of our affairs is in all our minds. And I think I am voicing the general view when I say that the normal functions of our corporate body must proceed, as far as in our power lies, uninterrupted, with that efficiency and integrity of which our late civic head gave such brilliant promise.
I don't wish to sound a personal note, but this much may be permitted under the circumstances — I made myself active in the selection of our late colleague for the office of Lord Mayor. He did not seek the honour and would not accept it as such, but when put to him as a duty he stepped to his place like a soldier. Before his election we discussed it together in the intimate way we discussed everything touching our common work since Easter Week. We debated together what ought to be done and what could be done, keeping in mind, as in duty bound, not only the ideal line of action but the practical line at the moment as well. That line he followed with an ability and success all his own..."
From 'Magill' magazine, February 1998.
Whoever is responsible, 'relativity' has certainly caught on in Ireland - some have done relatively well from it. Others not so well. There is no doubt it has been expensive for the Irish taxpayer (sic - he means 'State taxpayer'). Charlie McCreevy may prefer a chat with his caddy at the 'K Club', but there is no doubt that when it comes to 'relativity', the finance minister agrees with the Liberty Hall porter ; he warned in his budget-day speech that 'relativity is something up with which he will not put'. Well, the gardaí have news for Mr McCreevy - their 'relativity' claim is well advanced and coming down the tracks at a fierce pace. I support the gardaí.
It is important that members of the Garda Síochana are fairly remunerated for the impartial and effective discharge of their important duties. The manner in which they serve the citizenry to a considerable extent defines the character of our democracy. We are regularly reminded that for many gardaí their job is becoming increasingly dangerous and they are expected to risk life and limb so that the citizen can sleep safely in his or her bed.
Insofar as is reasonable - and it is not possible in absolute terms to reflect that nobility in pay terms - the gardaí in turn have a right to expect a fair day's pay for a fair day's work...
We won't be posting here on the 16th January next as we'll only be just about coming out of the aftermath (!) of the monthly 650-ticket fund-raising raffle, which will be held on Sunday, 13th January, in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border, but we couldn't let the 16th pass without mentioning a remarkable Irish republican woman who, to our shame, is practically forgotten about today. The following piece will hopefully encourage some of our readers to want to find out more about this dedicated Irish republican 'dissident' -
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.
She was educated in England and spent most of her early life there, was 'presented at the Court' and knew only the 'society life' of a 'Lady' in England. Yet this did not prevent her from seeing the ills which existed in Ireland under the system of the absentee landlord nor the injustices being perpetrated by the English conquerors of the native Ireland she loved.
And for her, love was shown by deeds, not words - she gave up the easier way of living and took up one decidedly less attractive in the Republican Movement. She became a member of Cumann na mBan and remained in that organisation while she could continue to take an active part. In her last years, when too old to be actively militant, she still continued to help in every way she could, particularly in raising funds. The dependents of the republican prisoners were always a special care of hers. Her life was an inspiration to all who knew her and the Republican Movement has great reason to regret her death.
(END OF 'DEATH OF PATRIOT IRISHWOMAN' : next post [23rd January 2019], from the same source - 'SAVINGS LAW SHOULD BE CHANGED', a letter sent to the 'Irish Times' by a Dr. Lucey).
Also, regarding the 16th January date (...this post dictated by the in-house requirement for gender balance!) we want to give a brief mention to a perhaps lesser-known figure from Irish republican history, who was born on the 16th January 1822 -
His mother was of a different religious persuasion from his father (a Tipperary-born Church of Ireland clergyman) and both parents were determined that their son, Thomas, should be 'successful' in life : he was educated at Trinity College, in Dublin, from where he graduated in 1840, then studied law at 'The Temple', in London. However, he became more interested in journalism than in practising law and, as a 'toff' with a solid social conscience, he joined the 'Repeal Association' but came to the opinion that that organisation was not prepared to go far enough in defending Irish society from the ravages inflicted on it by Westminster and joined a more radical organisation, the 'Young Irelanders' and was active in the 1848 Rising. When that rebellion was put down by the British, Luby and other 'dissidents' established a new revolutionary organisation, the 'Irish Democratic Association' ('IDA') and once again challenged British misrule in Ireland - but, once again, they failed in their endeavours.
Shortly after that failure, Luby went to France in the hope of improving his military tactics and then to Australia, where he stayed for about a year, before returning to Ireland. He made his living through journalism (mostly working for, and with, 'The Tribune' newspaper) and, in 1858, he helped establish the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood', known as the 'Fenians,' with the avowed and same purpose of that of his previous efforts - to overthrow British rule in Ireland and establish an Irish Republic. Such were the times he lived in - including the period in our history when the 'Irish National Invincibles' struck a blow for Irish freedom - and Thomas Clarke Luby supported and/or was involved in every such effort. He died in Jersey City, at 79 years of age, in 1901, from paralysis, on the 29th November, 1901, and is buried, with his wife, in Bay View Cemetery in that city, under a headstone which reads - 'Thomas Clarke Luby 1822–1901. He devoted his life to love of Ireland and quest of truth.'
His objective remains unfulfilled.
Thanks for reading ; we'll be back on Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019. Sharon.