ON THIS DATE (5TH JUNE) SIX YEARS AGO - DEATH OF A STAUNCH IRISH REPUBLICAN.
Six years ago on this date (5th June ) the Republican Movement lost one of its founding fathers, a gentleman who, during his lifetime (born in Longford 2nd October 1932, died 5th June 2013) joined the then Sinn Féin organisation at 18 years of age and, one year later, joined the IRA. At 23 years of age he was the Officer Commanding during the Arborfield arms raid and, at 24 years young, he was second-in-command of the Teeling Column, South Fermanagh, which was lead by Noel Kavanagh.
In 1957, at 25 years of age, Ruairi was elected in Longford-Westmeath as a Sinn Féin TD (to an All-Ireland Parliament) and, the following year, he escaped from the Curragh Internment Camp in Kildare with Dáithí Ó Conaill, with whom he served in the IRA as Chief of Staff (between 1958 and 1959, and again between 1960 and 1962) and, in 1966, at 34 years of age, he contested a seat for the Movement in Fermanagh-South Tyrone. He was Sinn Féin President from 1970 to 1983 and again from 1987 to 2009 (which was a year after the organisation re-constituted itself as 'Republican Sinn Féin') and was the Patron of the Movement from 2009 until his untimely death in 2013. He worked throughout his life for economic, political and social justice both in Ireland and internationally and has now joined the other Patrons of the Republican Movement - Comdt-General Tom Maguire, Michael Flannery, George Harrison and Dan Keating.
'Forego tears for the glorious dead and gone ; his tears if his, still flow for slaves and cowards living on...' RIP, Ruairi.
'GLASGOW SINN FÉIN'.
From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, December 1954.
The juvenile dancing competitions organised by the Cumann have been a tremendous success. The young competitors from all parts of the city maintained a high standard throughout the competitions and the thanks of the committee are extended to all those who participated in these competitions, also to all those who gave their services as adjudicators.
A successful concert was held in aid of the republican prisoners and the cumann are making a new drive for the 'Republican Prisoners Association', the results of which will be published in our next edition. An open meeting was held on the afternoon of November 28th and a 'Manchester Martyrs' commemoration was held in the hall at 8pm. We wish to extend a hand of welcome to the new cumann in Dundee - good luck to you in the East!
The cumann have increased their membership in the past few months but there is room for a lot more. So, exiles in Glasgow, give Sinn Féin your support!
Finally, we wish to thank all who gave their services to the sale of 'The United Irishman' newspaper, which the Glasgow Cumann sell 62 dozen copies off each issue!
(END of 'Glasgow Sinn Féin'. Next - 'Sinn Féin Candidates', from the same source.)
ON THIS DATE (5TH JUNE) 151 YEARS AGO - JAMES CONNOLLY BORN.
Anti-Irish feeling at the time was so bad that Irish people were forced to live in the slums of the Cowgate and the Grassmarket which became known as 'Little Ireland'. Overcrowding, poverty, disease, drunkenness and unemployment were rife - the only jobs available was selling second-hand clothes and working as a porter or a carter. James Connolly went to St Patricks School in the Cowgate, as did his two older brothers, Thomas and John. At ten years of age, James left school and got a job with Edinburgh's 'Evening News' newspaper, where he worked as a 'Devil', cleaning inky rollers and fetching beer and food for the adult workers. His brother Thomas also worked with the same newspaper. In 1882, aged 14, he joined the British Army in which he was to remain for nearly seven years, all of it in Ireland, where he witnessed first hand the terrible treatment of the Irish people at the hands of the British. The mistreatment of the Irish by the British and the landlords led to Connolly forming an intense hatred of the British Army.
While serving in Ireland, he met his future wife, a Protestant named Lillie Reynolds. They were engaged in 1888 and in the following years Connolly discharged himself from the British Army and went back to Scotland. In 1890, he and Lillie Reynolds were wed in Perth. In the Spring of 1890, James and Lillie moved to Edinburgh and lived at 22 West Port, and joined his father and brother working as labourers and then as a manure carter with Edinburgh Corporation, on a strictly temporary and casual basis. He became active in Socialist and trade union circles and became secretary of the Scottish Socialist Federation, almost by mistake. At the time his brother John was secretary ; however, after John spoke at a rally in favour of the eight-hour day he was fired from his job with the corporation, so while he looked for work, James took over as secretary. During this time, Connolly became involved with the Independent Labour Party which Kerr Hardie formed in 1893.
In late 1894, Connolly lost his job with the corporation. He opened a cobblers shop in February 1895 at number 73 Bucclevch Street, a business venture which was not successful. At the invitation of the Scottish Socialist, John Leslie, he came to Dublin in May 1896 as paid organiser of the Dublin Socialist Society for £1 a week. James and Lillie Connolly and their three daughters, Nora, Mona and Aideen set sail for Dublin in 1896, where he founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party in May of 1896. In 1898, Connolly had to return to Scotland on a lecture and fund-raising tour. Before he left Ireland, he had founded 'The Workers' Republic' newspaper, the first Irish socialist paper, from his house at number 54 Pimlico, where he lived with his wife and three daughters. Six other families, a total of 30 people, also lived in number 54 Pimlico, at the same time!
In 1902, he went on a five month lecture tour of the USA and, on returning to Dublin he found the ISRP existed in name only. He returned to Edinburgh where he worked for the Scottish District of the Social Democratic federation. He then chaired the inaugural meeting of the Socialist Labour Party in 1903 but, when his party failed to make any headway, Connolly became disillusioned and in September 1903, he emigrated to the US and did not return until July 1910. In the US, he founded the Irish Socialist Federation in New York, and another newspaper, 'The Harp'. In 1910, he returned to Ireland and in June of the following year he became Belfast organiser for James Larkin's Irish Transport and General Workers Union. In 1913 he co-founded the Labour Party and in 1914 he organised, with James Larkin, opposition to the Employers Federation in the Great Lock-Out of workers that August. Larkin travelled to the USA for a lecture tour in late 1914 and James Connolly became the key figure in the Irish Labour movement.
However, in February 1915, 'The Workers' Republic' newspaper was suppressed by the Dublin Castle authorities. Even still, Connolly grew more militant. In January 1916, the Irish Republican Brotherhood had become alarmed by Connolly's ICA manoeuvres in Dublin and at Connolly's impatience at the apparent lack of preparations for a rising, and the IRB decided to take James Connolly into their confidence. During the following months, he took part in the preparation for a rising and was appointed Military Commander of the Republican Forces in Dublin, including his own Irish Citizen Army. He was in command of the Republican HQ at the GPO during Easter Week, and was severely wounded. He was arrested and court-martialled following the surrender. On May 9th, 1916, James Connolly was propped up in bed before a court-martial and sentenced to die by firing squad - he was at that time being held in the military hospital in Dublin Castle. In a leading article in the Irish Independent on May 10th, William Martin Murphy, who had led the employers in the Great Lock-out of workers in 1913, urged the British Government to execute Connolly.
At dawn on May 12th, 1916, James Connolly was taken by ambulance from Dublin Castle to Kilmainham Jail, carried on a stretcher into the prison yard, strapped into a chair in a corner of the yard and executed by firing- squad. Connolly's body, like that of the other 14 executed leaders, was taken to the British military cemetery adjoining Arbour Hill Prison and buried, without coffin in a mass quicklime grave. The fact that he was one of the seven signatories of the 1916 Proclamation bears evidence of his influence.
"The odds are a thousand to one against us, but in the event of victory, hold onto your rifles, as those with whom we are fighting may stop before our goal is reached." - James Connolly's words to the Irish Citizen Army on the 16th April, 1916, and those words hold the same value today.
By David Thorpe.
From 'Magill' Magazine, May 2002.
Patrick Cosgrave was a dedicated Zionist, and several of his books concerned Israeli foreign policy and those works, among others, highlighted his habit of writing to suit his own opinions and this, along with his volatile temperament, prevented him from ever achieving the political status or newspaper editorship that seemed the destiny for a man of his talents*.
He was married three times, first to the journalist and author Ruth Dudley Edwards, and second to Norma Alicia Green, who ended up finding him "impossible". His persistent ill-health eventually got the better of him and he died in October 2001, survived by his third wife, Shirley Ward, and a beloved daughter, Rebecca, from the marriage to Norma Green.
There were many warm tributes paid, of course, but the one most appropriate had come 36 years earlier, when his term of office as auditor of the 'L&H Society' at UCD came to an end : one fellow member recalled how he got a very particular ovation from his fellow students - a rousing rendition of 'God Save the Queen'.>br>
('1169' comment * "A man of his talents"? He was, politically, a right-winger who attempted to integrate himself with wealthier right-wingers in the hope that he, too, would be placed in a financially secure position from which he could propagate their shared 'values'. That's not "talent", it's the actions of a servile parasite.)
(END of 'PATRICK COSGRAVE' : Next - 'ONE IN FOUR ON LOW PAY', from 'Magill' magazine, May 1987.)
"I'M NOT A STUPID, COLONIAL IMPERIALIST IDIOT..."
And you should be "ashamed" of your country, Reg - not only for what your country has done in the past, but for what it is continuing to do, in that regard - 'tearing people apart' - here in Ireland, among other countries ye 'have kept the peace in'. And while you and yours are 'educating' the natives in your colonies and ex-colonies, don't forget to look after your own people, even if they haven't got oil and other resources to be plundered.
Incidentally, we noticed how, rightly, in our opinion, you previously described Donald Trump as "a barbarian" and couldn't help notice that you done so at a concert you were performing in. That particular gig was a fund-raising rally for Hillary Clinton, who is ever-so righteous about her support for American colonialism and imperialism! Pot, kettle, Elton - sure you'd wanna be a 'stupid idiot' not to see the hypocrisy involved!
'POLAND AND OURSELVES'.
It is interesting to note in a recent newspaper report that the Polish Underground is being re-organised to fight the Russian armies of occupation. Calling themselves the 'White Army', they are carrying out a programme of sabotage against industrial centres and communications. Unfortunately a cloak of silence has covered the affairs of Poland since the end of the war mainly, we must suppose, because Poland was betrayed by her erstwhile allies when their own aims were achieved.
When one considers that the invasion of Poland was the immediate cause of the Second World War, one is rather perplexed that her sufferings under foreign oppression now causes no stir ; the history of Poland is in some respects somewhat like our own ; many times her borders have been crossed by hostile neighbours and her freedom lost for long periods, but fidelity to her culture and traditions, and a burning faith in final liberation, has always brought her safely through the dark years. The sufferings of Poland today are much akin to those endured by the Irish people during the Penal Days - her people are being persecuted both for their nationality and their faith.
As we know, during the war, Poland was invaded from the West by the Germans and from the East by the Russians. Between the devil and the deep blue sea scarcely expresses her position... (MORE LATER.)
ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK (12TH JUNE 2019)…
the Cabhair organisation, which we're actually working on now and which will keep us busy until at least Monday evening, 10th June 2019. The event will, as usual, be held in a fancy hotel on the Dublin/Kildare border on Sunday, 9th June 2019 and, such is the size of the gig and the logistics involved behind the scenes, we're not gonna have the time to put a post together for Wednesday the 12th. And we're not only behind the scenes, either - we'll be out front, at our usual table, selling the last few tickets (...and lamenting the fact that we haven't got enough tickets to satisfy demand..) and booking all 650 tickets 'in and out', preparing the result sheets and notification texts and emails etc - phew! But we're well used to it by now, and we enjoy the craic and the way the staff look after us and most of all we enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that it's for a good cause!
We'll be back here on Wednesday, 19th June 2019 with, among other pieces, a few words about the 'royals' in Dublin and their connection with the art of husbandry..!
Thanks for reading, Sharon.