Wednesday, August 05, 2020



"The only good Indian is a dead one" - 'Supreme Commander' of the U.S. Army, Major Philip Henry Sheridan (pictured) who, despite being only five feet and five inches tall, made a 'big' (and bad) impression on the native American population.

He was born in Albany, New York, on the 6th of March 1831, the son of Irish immigrants from the parish of Killinkere in County Cavan who had to leave Ireland because of the attempted genocide of the Irish people by Westminster and its political and military agents. He 'made his name' by his evil treatment of the native American population, and was responsible for the slaughter of the Lakota Indians at Wounded Knee in 1890, where one-hundred victims, under Chief Big Foot, were massacred by the U. S. 7th Cavalry ; about half of the dead were women and children.

The slain body of Chief Big Foot (his Lakota name was Si Tanka, 'Spotted Elk'), propped up in the snow at Wounded Knee.

The Wounded Knee massacre was the last of the Indian uprisings, and prompted Sheridan to state that "The only good Indian I ever saw was dead." He knew he was in the wrong in what he was doing, as he said so himself : in 1878, he made a report to his Army superiors in which he stated - "We took away their country and their means of support, broke up their mode of living, their habits of life, introduced disease and decay among them, and it was for this and against this they made war. Could anyone expect less?"

He wouldn't argue against the fact that he and other armed 'Bluecoats' were 'occupiers/invaders' in a land where they were not welcome yet he had no hesitation in planning the 'best practical' methods of removing the natives from their lands and, indeed, with that objective in mind, he once stated that he had "...never once taken a command into battle and had the slightest desire to come out alive unless I won.."

He died, after suffering a series of massive heart attacks, on this date (5th August), at 57 years of age, in 1888, in Nonquitt, Bristol County, in Massachusetts - one battle he didn't win, and didn't deserve to win. The Irish and the Native Americans have a common enemy - imperialism. Phillip Sheridan was on the wrong side.


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, June, 1955.

Recently, on looking through a short calendar of Irish Saints, we were amazed by the number who founded schools. And, of course, immediately ascribed it to the fact they were 'Saints'! It struck us then that if conditions were so primitive in those days it must not be really so hard to found a school at all, provided one knows exactly what is necessary remembering, too, that the best of schools are associated with sparse furnishings, and even hedges!

Sinn Féin has always been most aware of the crying need to change the educational system, but the job appears to be so great that few real attempts have been made. The main trouble is that we at once assume founding a large school is for the children or the very young alone but then, also, one asks how can a group of teachers give up their wages and live on thin air only, if finance is the main problem? When the 'Saints' founded their schools, did they found them for children or for the more mature? It is this question which provides a clue for Sinn Féin to make a start, and we propose to make the attempt now ; it is our idea to start with folk from adolescence upwards, not excluding ourselves, if necessary.

It must be emphasised that what we have in mind is not adult education classes of the usual school subjects on a higher level, but an education in the true values with respect to life... (MORE LATER.)


On Saturday 29th August 2020, the Bundoran/Ballyshannon H-Block Committee will be holding a rally in Bundoran, Donegal, to commemorate the 39th 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 2.30pm at the East End. All are welcome to attend!

UNSEEN SORROW. (By Bobby Sands)

Her tears fall in the darkness as the rain falls in the night,

Silvery tears like silvery rain, hidden out of sight,

The stars fall from her eyes like floating petals from the sky,

Is there no one in all this world who hears this woman cry?

A simple little floating dreamy thought has stirred this woman's heart,

The golden sleepy dream of yesterdays before they were apart,

What comfort can there be found for a petal so fair and slim

Alone in a forest dark of sorrow she weeps again for him?

Warm silver rolling tears blemish a once complexion fair,

That once shown in the fairest radiance midst a cloak of golden hair.

And the children whimper and cry for a father's care

and love they've never known,

Who sees their little tears of innocent years

as the winds of time are blown?

What sorrow will you know tonight when all the worlds asleep,

When through the darkness comes the wind

that cuts the heart so deep,

For there is no one there to dry your tears

or your childrens tears who cling around your frock,

When there has been another bloody slaughter

in the dungeons of H Block.

The 2019 Bundoran Commemoration can be viewed here. Hope to see you all there on the 29th August this year!


By Paul O'Brien.

From 'The Magill Annual', 2002.

('1169' comment - Interesting article, considering the recent changes to this particular piece of State legislation.)

Honest mistakes, no doubt, but they stemmed from the fact that the various departments chose to interpret the FOI Act differently which, of course, has implications for how the Act is administered. Without a coherent understanding of the Act, who's to say that sensitive information won't be released again in the future, or that legitimate public information will be blocked?

A spokesperson for the FOI Central Policy Unit (based at the Department of Finance), which can issue shared advice to the departments through a system known as the 'Civil Service Users' Network', admitted that any FOI request is a matter for the individual department, and the officials within that department, to decide upon. But he stressed that there is an effort made to ensure constituency in approach when possible.

"Where a common request goes in, the 'Users' Network' would be used to exchange information to try and arrange a common approach", he said, "we do try to ensure consistency, and try to ensure openness." As part of that, the Central Policy Unit might get advice from the Attorney-General if deemed necessary, and then pass it on to the Network... (MORE LATER.)


From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1954.

SINN FÉIN ; With the prospect of the Westminster election coming ever nearer and the constant rumours that it may take place before the end of this year or in the early part of next year, Sinn Féin has decided to select their candidates to contest the twelve seats in the Six County area.

It was decided that constituency conventions would be held before the 30th November next at which the candidates would be selected and, at a meeting of the Northern Election Committee, the dates for these conventions have been arranged ; the first being that for the 'Mid-Ulster' constituency, held on Sunday, 24th October, at which Tom Mitchell *, one of the men arrested in connection with the Omagh Raid, has been the unanimous choice as candidate.

* '1169' comment : Tom Mitchell, who was born on the 29th July, 1931, died on Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, in his 89th year ; the big news of that 1955 election was Sinn Fein’s two seats and its 23.6% of the vote. Sinn Fein’s two successful candidates in Mid-Ulster and Fermanagh & South Tyrone had been imprisoned for their part in the raid on Omagh. Philip Clarke and Thomas Mitchell were the successful Sinn Fein candidates for Fermanagh & South Tyrone and Mid Ulster respectively.

Both men stood for election to re-establish the All-Ireland Dáil and were elected, in 1955, on that basis, as T.D's but, as they were both "convicted prisoners", their election was overturned by Westminster and they were 'officially unseated'. Tom Mitchell contested for the seat in the second election and won again, with an increased vote, only to be unseated a second time, for the same 'reason'. Philip (Christopher) Clarke was released from prison in 1958 and died, at 62 years of age, in 1995.

Statement on the death of Thomas Mitchell from the Republican Movement -

"Sinn Féin Poblachtach regret to hear of the death of Tom Mitchell. Tom was a faithful Irish Republican. As a member of the Irish Republican Army he was imprisoned for his part in the raid on Omagh British Army barracks in 1954, he was elected as Sinn Féin TD for Mid-Ulster in 1955.

The British government used the archaic Westminster Forfeiture Act of 1870 to subvert the democratic vote of the people of Mid-Ulster. On 18 July 1955 a resolution of the British House of Commons, passed by 197 votes to 63, formally declared that Tom Mitchell was covered by this provision, vacated his seat, and ordered that a by-election be held. In the subsequent by-election Tom won with an increased majority.

Following this, unionist Charles Beattie, whom Tom defeated in both elections lodged an election petition stating that the votes of those who voted for Tom Mitchell were invalid. Tom was not allowed to attend the election court. The court overturned the result of the election and declared Beattie the winner in defiance of the democratically expressed wishes of the people of Mid-Ulster. The Westminster Forfeiture Act used to unseat Tom Mitchell in 1955 had also been used to unseat John Mitchell in 1875.

Tom later served as Ard Runaí of Sinn Fêin. He remained a faithful Irish Republican and regularly attended the Sinn Féin Poblachtach Ard Fheis. Deepest sympathy to his family.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam." (From here.)

NATIONAL COLLECTION ; In South Armagh, some members of Sinn Féin had their names taken by the RUC for making the National Collection. One man, Frank McCann, has been served with a summons for collecting at Carrickcuppin Chapel ; the summons was signed by a 'Justice of the Peace' named King, a former 'B Special', who now carries on business as a traveller for a seed merchant in South Armagh and South Down.

(END of 'Sinn Féin' and 'National Collection' : NEXT - 'The Slave Mind', from the same source.)

Thanks for reading - Sharon and the '1169' team. Regarding our recent 'staycation' : can't say too much, as legal proceedings are still pending (!)...we got escorted by State militia in a six-vehicle convoy that stopped traffic, broke traffic lights, drove on footpaths in the wrong direction on one-way systems and, eventually, got thrown out of our still-moving armoured vehicle at a roundabout on a busy road. And that was only on our way there!

But, seriously, we 'vacated' (as posh people do!) our 'staycation' abode which was located in the sunny South-East (and very plush it was, too. Well...then, it was, but we soon fixed that..!) on fairly good terms (!) with the owners, their neighbours and the village who, for some reason, all lined the streets on the morning of our departure, waving something they held in their fists at us. Ah sure, we had the craic, and as soon as it's legal to publish our pics, we'll be doing that. Unanimously. On the 'Dark Web'...