Wednesday, July 28, 2021



From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, July, 1954.

Dear Sir,

The major portion of the multitude who were elated by the brilliant coup of fifteen Irish boys in Armagh - the most courageous and dramatic feat of this generation - do not realise its richest result ; namely, that it has awaked the world to the fact, long cloaked from them, that Britain - loudly bawling for Russia to free her oppressed satellites - has all along been maintaining by her side her own satellite in disrupted North-Eastern Ireland.

Since the brilliant 'Break of Armagh' there isn't now on the world's round a single civilised or semi-civilised country possessed of even one news-sheet but has been startlingly informed of Britain's own private satellite, complete with its governing stooges , its prowling, terrorising Gestapo, and paralysing army of occupation.

Between the world's ends there isn't a territory but has got a startling glimpse behind Britain's own Iron Curtain - got a glimpse of, and through, the 'Curtain' which a handful of gallant boys pierced.

They pierced and entered the den of Britain's alleged 'Lion', and they plucked his supposed 'Majesty's' beard, they pulled his nose, slapped his face and casually walked away with his most prized possession, revealing to the astonished world that which some had long suspected ; that the far-and-long 'British Lion' was, after all, only just a jackass who had camouflaged himself in a thieved lion's skin, to frighten the world's children with his endless horrendous braying.

But now, alas, no more! The fellow's fiercest braying now provoke more laughter-shouts than shivers...



The following article was solicited by 'IRIS' from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article - whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement - is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From 'IRIS' magazine, October 1987.

('1169' comment - please note that 'IRIS' magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

Getting more votes is not the be all and end all of the exercise, but is a rough guide to how people view (P) Sinn Féin.

History, 17 years and maybe even 60 years of it, sits like a monkey on Sinn Féin's back. A lot of republican history is full of emotional rhetoric*, not cold logic. To go back 61 years, those who went with Fianna Fáil in 1926 are always described as traitors and renegades, and those who stayed with Sinn Féin as pure-souled patriots. Maybe that was true, but the people, the republican-minded people, backed Fianna Fáil**, not Sinn Féin. Of course, maybe the people should have been dissolved!

To the working-class and small farmers of the late 1920's and 1930's, Sinn Féin, with its talk of the Second Dáil as the only legitimate authority in Ireland, was living in cloud cuckoo land***. At least Fianna Fáil seemed to be living in the real world because, as well as the national question, they talked about the everyday problems that faced the people...

(* '1169' comment - not so. If anything, '..a lot of republican history is full of emotional happenings, not "emotional rhetoric". Those who describe our history as "emotional rhetoric" do so for one reason - they are new to Irish republicanism [visiting from an Irish 'nationalist' background] and are attempting to change republicanism into a Trot-like type of what they perceive Irish republicanism to be. And that's the "cold logic" of that particular situation.)

(** '1169' comment - again, not so, but an understandable mistake, coming from such a 'nationalist' source : the author of that claim doesn't understand the difference between 'republicanism' and 'nationalism', and is so politically ignorant, in that regard, that they believe that an Irish republican would actually vote for Fianna Fáil in the first place! A 'nationalist' would, an Irish republican wouldn't, but try explaining that to a Trot...!)

(***'1169' comment - it was actually, for the most part, the republican-minded within the working-class and the small-farming population that sustained such republican institutions in Ireland, and were derided for doing so by 'trendy lefties' who had [and have] no respect for Irish history or culture. Those 'trendy' types are capitalists with a small 'c' who's idea of socialism is to give you marginally more crumbs from the table than a bigger 'bossman' would!)


ON THIS DATE (28TH JULY)... 1769 -


Born in Galway on the 28th of July in 1769, ('Sir') Hudson Lowe further enhanced his military name when, at 46 years of age, he was appointed as the 'custodian' (jailer) of Napoleon Bonaparte on the prison island of St Helena, a remote island - a 'British possession' - in the South Atlantic Ocean (nearest landmass would be Africa).

'Sir' Lowe was known as a 'stickler' in regards to military matters, as was Bonaparte, and both men were the same age ; they clashed regularly, and each refused to fully recognise the military standing and/or authority of the other, guaranteeing a testy (albeit enforced) relationship between the two men. There was no love lost between the pair of them!

The Jailer Lowe was the son of a British Army surgeon and, although he moved among British so-called 'aristocracy' and was impressed by that sort, they were always a bit wary of him, as he really wasn't 'one of their own'.

He was 'gazetted an ensign' (began his career in the British Army) in 1781, when he was only 12 years of age (!) and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant ten years later and then, four years after that, received his stripes as a Captain.

He was 'Knighted' in 1814, at 45 years of age, and promoted to the rank of Major-General that same year and, shortly afterwards, received his stripes as a 'Quartermaster General', and was then placed as a British Army 'Commander' in Genoa within months of his 'QMG' promotion.

He lived to be 75 years of age, and died, in Chelsea, England, from paralysis, in 1844, and is buried in the graveyard in St Mark's Church, near Hyde Park Corner, in London.

"Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them..." (Napoleon Bonaparte.)

...IN 1846 -

'Impatience among some Young Irelanders with O’Connell’s views had been evident for some time before the split occurred in 1846. Thomas Davis, The Nation’s editor, clashed with O’Connell in 1845, leaving the relationship between O’Connell and the Young Irelanders tenuous. The following year many Young Irelanders decided there were too many differences between the views of the Repeal Association and the Young Irelanders.

Consequently, on 28 July 1846 the Young Irelanders seceded from the Repeal Association (and) formed the Irish Confederation...' (from here.)

'In Conciliation Hall in Dublin, on July 28th, 1846, Meagher gave a speech to the assembled throngs of Daniel O'Connell's supporters, defending the position of the Young Irelanders. O'Connell had called on all his supporters to renounce violent revolution as a means of freeing Ireland; the twenty-two year old Meagher had been chosen to give Young Irelands answer. Imagine yourself for a moment, at the age of twenty-two, standing in front of a crowded hall, filled with the supporters of a man called the "Uncrowned King of Ireland," and in front of that great man himself, about to give a speech rejecting that man's position...' (from here.)

A section of Daniel O'Connell's 'Loyal National Repeal Association' walked-out of a meeting which was being held in the Conciliation Hall in Dublin on the 28th of July in 1846 - 175 years ago on this date - and broke with the O’Connell-led 'Repeal Association' for good.

The so-called 'Uncrowned King of Ireland' objected to 'fighting fire with fire' ; even when Irish 'violence' was to be employed in self-defence, Daniel O'Connell's 'Loyal National Repeal Association' was against it.

This led to tension within that organisation, and a 'split' developed - those that left included William Smith O'Brien (a Member of the British Parliament, Harrow-educated, with an accent to match!), Thomas Francis Meagher and John Mitchel.

A new group was established - 'The Young Irelanders'.

That new group's political position was outlined in their newspaper 'The United Irishman' : a call for immediate armed revolt against the British, and a 'War Council' was appointed, comprising William Smith O'Brien, Thomas Francis Meagher and John Blake Dillon -

'..the rising petered out ingloriously. After a week's peregrination within Tipperary, accompanied by fluctuating bands of ill-fed and ill-armed peasants, whom he forbade to commandeer supplies, O'Brien's failure to capture a party of police barricaded in widow McCormack's house (pictured) near Ballingarry marked the effective end of the revolt. Though sporadic resistance continued till late 1849, O'Brien and three leading colleagues were quickly arrested.

Their death sentences were commuted to transportation to Van Diemen's Land, where they were joined by Mitchel and two other Young Ireland editors. The four later escaped to America. O'Brien, a better martyr than an insurgent leader, and his two remaining colleagues, were released in 1854 and returned to Ireland in 1856. Refusing to return to parliament, O'Brien lived quietly till his death in 1864...' (from here.)

That particular Uprising is derided by most historians and, while the character and the moral standing of the leadership of same is admired by those same detractors, they tend, in the main, to dismiss the 'foot soldiers' involved as 'a wild rabble', or somesuch.

But any man or woman who voluntarily steps into that breach, knowing full well the penalty they will face if unsuccessful, is, in our opinion, to be admired. That attempt to remove the British political and military presence from this country can be said to have led directly to the foundation of Fenianism, which in turn led directly to the Land League revolution and indeed the 1916 Rising.

And that's one thing that the British or the Staters can't take from us - our history, and our links to previous generations that sought to remove the British political and military presence from this country.


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

The girl said to me - "You know, I used to hate being asked to sing at gatherings because I never knew any songs except the ones I learned at school, and I felt an awful fool, in the middle of all the latest songs, getting up to sing 'Silent Oh Moyle' or 'An Chuilfhiann' ".

No wonder she felt a fool, for 'Bimbo' and the 'Chuilfhiann' somehow just don't mix!

But so it goes : long ago we rejected our language because 'gentlemen' spoke the English and no clod-hopper of an Irish-speaking savage would be employed by the government of the conqueror. Now, in deference to the imported slush of the music hall and nightclub, we turn our backs on our own songs and dances and wholesome Irish fun.

But, Girls of Ireland! We have it in our power to shed the slough of weakness and apathy. We can band ourselves together in Sinn Féin and help drive out not only the actual army of occupation of a foreign power, but the even more destructive force of its pagan and immoral influence. For Ireland cries - Mise Éire ; Sine mé ioná an Chailleach Béarra.

Mór Mo Ghlóir ; Mé do rug Cú Chulainn cródha.

Mór mó Náir ; Mo chlann féin do dhíol a máthair.

Mise Éire ; Uaignighe mé ioná an Chailliach Béarra!

(END of 'Mór Mó Náir'. NEXT - 'An Empty Formula', from the same source.)


And it is a proper one, this time ; no (adult) children with us, no grandchildren, no squabblin', no taking turns to babysit etc etc!

Just the five of us - the NYC Girl Gang, properly constituted - and, even though we won't be in our usual destination, we will be footloose and fancy-free in this State, and maybe a trip or two across Britain's border in Ireland to visit our friends, colleagues and comrades in the O6C.

We are looking forward to it but, at the same time, we are disappointed not to be taking-up the many offers we have received over the past few months from our buddies in NYC, our second home. Try as we did, combinations of Covid restrictions and our own timelines plus family commitments etc ganged-up on the five of us to ensure that we were unable to get our acts together to try and sleep(ish!) in the city that never does - not this year, anyway - but we intend to enjoy our staycation here as best we can anyway.

We are heading off on our great two-week (mis-)adventure (!) on Saturday, 7th August next and, if we successfully avoid being banned, jailed and/or held hostage somewhere, we should arrive home to Dublin on Saturday, 21st August 2021. Well...some of us should, anyway!

We'll be posting as usual next Wednesday, the 4th of August, but probably won't be in a fit position to string two words together until Wednesday, 25th August. Or maybe sooner, depending on when bail is posted what state we're gonna be in after our escape in this State...!

Check us out, if ya can, between this and then - we're almost on our one-millionth hit and, vain and all as we are, we value your contribution to our efforts in achieving world domination. Or somethin' like that...!

(Oh and sorry for the fuzzy out-of-focus pic, but I had to do something to protect the innocent. Ah no, wait...that doesn't make sense...!)

Thanks for the visit, and for reading : see y'all next Wednesday, 4th August!