Wednesday, April 07, 2021



Liberte! Egalite! Fraternite! Ou La Mort! ( (Freedom! Equality! Brotherhood! Or Death!). Unite Indivisibilite De La Republique!

'(On the) 7th April 1801, the trial of United Irishman, James Napper Tandy (pictured), began. He stood trial for treason. He had been a member of the United Irishmen and was one of the leaders of the failed Irish Rebellion of 1798. Tandy actively encouraged young Irish people to follow the example of the French peasants, and uprise against their rulers with force. He was in the process of building an army when his actions came to the attention of the British government.

He was forced to flee Ireland and spent time in France, where he met with Theobald Wolfe Tone and other United Irishmen. They gathered support from the French military and returned to Ireland intent on leading a rebellion. However, they struggled to gain support. In their absence, the British had quashed the Irish ambition that an independent republic could be achieved using military force. Tandy again had to leave Ireland, through fear of arrest, and sailed all the way around the north of Scotland to avoid landing on English land.

British forces intercepted him in Hamburg, Germany, and Tandy was returned to Ireland to stand trial for the treasonable landing on Rutland Island, off the coast of Donegal. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death, but his life was spared after a personal plea from French leader Napoleon, and Tandy was allowed to leave to live out the remainder of his life in France. Tandy was given a huge funeral in Bordeaux (and) is mentioned in the old folk song, 'The Wearing of the Green', which tells the story of the struggle faced by the Irish people under British rule in the early 19th century...' (from here.)

On the day Castlebar was liberated - August 27th, 1798 - James Napper Tandy, a Dublin man, born in 1739, sailed from Dunkerque with 270 French Grenadiers and a large quantity of weapons, powder and artillery, on board the corvette 'Anacreon', reputed to be the fastest vessel in the French Navy.

They landed near Burtonport, County Donegal, on September 16th, 1798 but, on hearing of General Humbert's defeat at Ballinamuck, they withdrew. On September 21st, 1798, the ships captain landed Napper Tandy at Bergen in Norway, from where, en route to France by land, he arrived in Hamburg, then a neutral state, on November 22nd, 1798.

It was there that Napper Tandy was arrested and protracted extradition proceedings followed ; the British arrogantly demanded that he be handed over for 'trial' - eventually, he was extradited (on October 1st, 1799) but French retribution was swift ; they re-called their 'charge d'affaires' and Consul in Hamburg immediately. Hamburg's representatives in France were given 24 hours to quit their residences and eight days to leave the country. This all coincided with the return of Napoleon Bonaparte from Egypt and his assumption of power as First Consul of France.

A letter from the Senate of Hamburg to the French, which set out their (Germany) reasons for extraditing James Napper Tandy was returned unopened. The German administration then communicated personally with Napoleon Bonaparte (pictured), whose reply was devastating, and which he published for the edification of the public - "You have violated hospitality, a thing that would not happen among the barbarous hordes of the desert.." He then promptly ordered trade sanctions (which were not lifted until April 1801) on payment of a fine of 4,500,000 Francs.

Napper Tandy was sentenced to death at Lifford Court, in Donegal, and May 4th, 1801, was fixed as the day of execution. A reprieve was granted until May 28th, and, on May 12th that year, his execution was postponed indefinitely. By 1802 the long war between France and England was coming to an end, and negotiations for peace were under way : 'Lord' Cornwallis, the 'Lord Lieutenant' who had taken personal command against General Humbert's army in 1798, was the Chief British negotiator and Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, was the Chief French negotiator.

The signing of the Peace Treaty of Amiens (signed on March 25th, 1802) was delayed when the First Consul instructed his brother to demand that the British comply with one further condition - "General James Napper Tandy must be released from prison and restored 'au sein de la France' - to the bosom of France.." and, on the night of Sunday, March 7th, 1802, James Napper Tandy was quietly released from prison and put on board a ship for France ; on March 14th of that year he landed in Bordeaux to military and civic receptions. He died there, from dysentery, at 63 years of age, as an Irish patriot, on the 24th August, 1803.

'O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that's goin' round?

The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!

No more Saint Patrick's Day we'll keep, his color can't be seen

For there's a cruel law ag'in the Wearin' o' the Green.

I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand

And he said, "How's poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?"

"She's the most distressful country that ever yet was seen

For they're hanging men and women there for the Wearin' o' the Green..." '


By Matt Furlong.

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

But there's a shadow of a cross in every dell,

burning life-like pictures in our hearts.

A silent shadow weaving its own spell ;

of tyranny displayed in all its arts.

Oh say! and shall we weep,

is the courage of our hearts asleep?

Can the manner of our pain

be lulled apace to keep

like smouldering fires, dampened with the rain?

(END of 'Reflection' ; NEXT - 'The Irish Votes', from the same source.)


On April 7th, 1865, Brigadier-General Tom Smyth (pictured) was mortally wounded at the battle of Farmville, Virginia.

Tom Smyth was born in County Cork on Christmas Day, 1832, and came to the United States in 1854. He was part of a group of fighters that joined the 'Irish 24th Pennsylvania Volunteer' but that Unit was disbanded within months, and its members incorporated elsewhere, with Tom Smyth being appointed as a Major in the '1st Delaware Volunteer Infantry'. The Unit was active and Smyth's bravery was noticed, so much so that he was put in command of the 'Irish Brigade' for a while.

On the 7th of April , 1865 - 156 years ago, on this date - at the battle of Farmville, Smyth was shot through the mouth by a Confederate sniper. He died two days later, on the same day that Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered, virtually bringing the war to a close. Thomas Alfred Smyth was the last Union general killed in the war.

'Thomas Alfred Smyth was a hero in the eyes of his men in the 1st Delaware Volunteers. His story begins in Ballyhooly in County of Cork, Ireland, on December 25, 1832. Raised on his father’s farm, he later immigrated to the United States. Upon settling in his new homeland, Smyth joined William Walker’s 1855 expedition to Nicaragua, and apparently became a skilled woodworker. In 1858, he moved to Wilmington, Delaware, where he remained until the start of the Civil War.

Eager to help his new homeland, Thomas Smyth raised a three-month company to assist in the war. When that service was finished, he enlisted as a major in the 1st Delaware the end of 1862, Smyth had earned the respect of his fellow men and commanding officers. On December 18, 1862, Smyth was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He was wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg but was able to return to service. After his performance at Gettysburg, General Hancock recommended Smyth for promotion to brigadier general, although the promotion took a year to become official. Those in combat with him were disgusted by the slowness of his promotion, and Surgeon Reynolds of the Irish Brigade wrote a song with each stanza ending: 'There’s not a star for you Tom Smyth, there’s not a star for you...' (...more here.)

Tom Smyth was previously involved in a different campaign - with the 'Irish Fenian Brotherhood', an organisation which he joined in his late 20's/early 30's. He was 32 years of age when he was put in charge of the Fenian group within the Army of the Potomac, but had to put his Fenian duties 'on hold' while he attended to his other army duties. He died, at 32 years of age, two days after being shot, and is buried (alongside his wife) at Wilmington and Brandywine Cemetery, Wilmington, Delaware, in Pennsylvania.


Why the media consensus on a broad range of issues is increasingly disturbing.

By John Drennan.

From 'Magill' Annual, 2002.

The liberal elite did not have to wait too long for their second victim ; for all their talk about equality, the soul of the liberal journalist is essentially that of the petit bourgeois, since the liberties he (sic) fights so passionately for are those which apply only to himself (sic). When it comes to others, particularly the vocational professions, piffling little considerations such as the right to proper training and fair pay can be swept aside.

Only an attitude like this could explain the enthusiasm with which 'The Irish Times' fell over itself to support Bertie Ahern's characterisation of ASTI as the modern-day equivalent of a dangerous set of Bolshevik revolutionaries ; though its 'Education Correspondent', Seán Flynn, more than did his bit, Fintan O'Toole turned out to be the best man for the job. O'Toole's attack on the rights of teachers to go on strike for a decent living was almost Dickensian as he wailed about the blighted fate of the determined young woman hoping to escape from her windswept housing estate.

It may come as a surprise to Fintan that some of the most intelligent people in Ireland live in housing estates, and many of them are quite happy to reside there, but caveats such as this don't fit the programme... (MORE LATER.)


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

£14,000 PER YEAR...

Ireland prospers or is impoverished according as it suits English economy. During the last two years, when England needed ships, planes and all the materials of war, there was more work than workers to cope with it. The wars being over, Irish workmen are no longer necessary.

A national economy based on the home market would not permit such fluctuations. Fishing trawlers and cargo boats for Irish imports and exports may not look as spectacular in the slips and finishing wharves as sleek luxury liners or grim battleships, but they would certainly provide more permanent supplies of the necessities of life, not only for the workers of Belfast, but for the whole people of Ireland.

In a free united Ireland the opportunities for industrial expansion in the North would tax the enterprise and industry of Northern workers to the utmost. The need of all men in the world today is security ; security means permanent employment and the ownership of property. Few Irishmen own anything in Ireland today- the purpose of the republican economic programme is to restore the private ownership of property to every Irish citizen and to base our industrial and agricultural development on the requirements of the Irish people. (MORE LATER.)

Thanks for reading,