Wednesday, August 04, 2021



On the 4th of August, 1878, James and Margaret Pearse (nee Brady), then living in number 27 Great Brunswick Street in Dublin, celebrated the birth of a daughter, Margaret Mary, pictured (a sister for their future son, Padraig).

As a child, Margaret went to school at the Holy Faith Convent in Glasnevin, Dublin, and liked the experience so much that she wanted to train as a teacher, which she did, even though she didn't think too much of the education system that existed in the State at the time. And neither did her brothers, Padraig and William - so all three set about establishing their own school, in Cullenswood House, Rathmines, Dublin, in 1908.

In 1916, Padraig and William were executed by the British for their part in the Easter Rising that year, which left Margaret Mary in charge of the school, a position she maintained (with great assistance from Fergus De Búrca) until the early 1930's.

In the 1930s, the then relatively new 'Fianna Fáil' party was on the look-out for 'names' to help boost its political profile, and Margaret Mary was approached by two people she knew, a Doctor James McCann and her work colleague, Fergus De Búrca, and it was suggested to her that she join the new Party and contest a seat in a Leinster House election for it, in the then 'Dublin County' constituency.

She agreed, although one must wonder how and why she did so, as she must have known that Fianna Fáil's political policy, then and now, was counter to that which her brothers, and thousands of other political fighters, fought and died for.

In 1933, at 55 years of age, Margaret Mary, who was introduced as 'a spinster from St Enda's College', won a seat in Leinster House for Fianna Fáil but lost that position (on the seventh count) four years later but, as continues to happen now, that failed candidate was 'tucked away' in the Free State 'Senate' on the so-called 'Administrative Panel' for futher use by her Free State party.

Margaret Mary (pictured) stayed in that well-remunerated talking-shop until she died, at 90 years of age, in 1968, in Linden Convalescent Home in Dublin, on the 7th of November that year.

Sad to say that herself and, indeed, her mother, Margaret, 'lent themselves' to Fianna Fáil (and the State) as 'figureheads' ie the Fianna Fáil party and the State used their name as leverage when it was seeking votes and political legitimacy.


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

The present fortuitous opportunity for Ireland's holding the attention of a world awaked to her plight should not be thrown away.

The 'Break of Armagh' that so dramatically appraised the world of the rape of a nation needs following by further action to continue holding the world's attention - and I would humbly suggest a possible first step ; without loss of time, a detail of the most patriotic ones, regardless of party, in each of Ireland's Mayoral cities - and of course not omitting Belfast and Derry etc - should wait upon and request the man (sic) they have elevated to the Chair of 'Chief Magistrate', to form with his fellows a committee of Ireland's Mayors who, on an appointed day, at an appointed place, in the presence of a throng of people, come from Ireland's five ends, to decorate with medals, specially struck for the occasion, the breasts of fifteen boys (sic) who are worthy to shine hencefort in Irish song and story.

No harm, moreover, if the brave ones be rolled up to the grandstand in a lorry that has well-earned its share of immortality!
The arresting news that Ireland's Mayors lead such a remarkable demonstration will be flashed to the world's corners, and will, once again, arouse and impress that world... (MORE LATER.)


'Derrymore is a townland approximately four miles from Ennistymon and the same distance from Inagh. As a result of agrarian trouble some years before the war, a man named Kildare had been murdered, and consequently the R.I.C. (pictured) built a hut in the area. A sergeant, a constable and a number of other police went into occupation to try to identify the murderer. Their attempts, however, were unsuccessful and because of this they lost the confidence of the local people.

Sergeant O’Riordan and Constable Murphy did their rounds of duty on bicycles and their movements were carefully watched by the local I.R.A. members in the Lavareen Company area. It had been noted that the men got off their bicycles at the bottom of the hill near 'Curtin’s Gate' and it was here the ambush party, which consisted of Martin Devitt, John Joe Neylon, Jackie and Micko McGuane and Mickey and Tom Kelleher, lay in wait.

After getting off their bicycles, as the party had hoped, the sergeant took the lead and his comrade followed at a distance of about one hundred yards. When the sergeant reached Curtin’s Gate he was rushed on and overpowered. This had been the signal to attack the constable, whose rifle was slung over his shoulder in the usual way. Because of his surprise the constable fell across the bicycle and his shoulder strap became entangled in the handlebars and had to be cut by the I.R.A. in order to get the rifle.

The ambushing party then dispersed delighted with their success as this had been their first attempt to disarm R.I.C. in the area. The two policemen departed, shocked and swearing vengeance but glad to have escaped with their lives. A house search was carried out and locals, including some of the men who took part, were questioned, but no information was given.

Following the success of this ambush another one was planned for August 4th of the same year. However, this time the policemen put up a fight and both were shot dead. This ambush occurred at a place called “81 Cross” which is about three and a half miles from Ennistymon and only three quarters of a mile from the hut in Derrymore. The policemen were returning from Ennistymon to the hut at about eleven fifteen p.m. when they were fired on from behind a ditch.

They were not wounded by the first volley of shots and the Sergeant drew his revolver and fired on a man he saw in the ditch. The shooting continued and Constable Michael Murphy was shot dead. Sergeant John O’Riordan was wounded and died shortly afterwards...' (from here.)

One of the IRA Volunteers was wounded in that operation, but he lived to tell the tale. One of the RIC men, Michael 'James' Murphy (badge number 69587) was only 20 years young when he died, having been shot through the heart. The other British 'policeman', John O' Riordan, who was 44 years of age at the time, died from his wounds. But their colleagues in the British Army wanted revenge ; this is from the same source as above -

'...ten days later...a fifteen year old Sinn Féin Boy Scout was shot dead while reading a book by the fireside at his home in Glann, on August 14th, 1919.

At an inquest his father told of how the family had retired to bed on the night of the 14th at about 10.20 p.m. while Francis (pictured) remained in the kitchen reading a book. At about 12.30 a.m. he was awakened by the sound of shots and falling of mortar in his own room. Another shot was fired and then he saw a flash going through the partition.

As he went into the kitchen, he found his son lying in a pool of blood but he could see nobody about. After receiving evidence of some locals including Pete Connole, a night watchman for the West Clare Railway, the jury concluded that the murder was carried out by the (British) military as revenge for the shooting of the two policemen and passed the following verdict: 'Francis Murphy, of Glann, Ennistymon was unlawfully and wilfully a bullet unlawfully and wilfully fired by members of the (British) military..which caused immediate death'.'

15-years-young Francis Murphy had played no part in the IRA ambush of the two paramilitary 'policemen' but the young lad was associated with the Republican Movement, so the IRA leadership sent one of its operatives, Michael Knightly, from Dublin to County Clare, to investigate what had happened. He went, as ordered, and handed his report in to Arthur Griffith -

"On returning to Dublin I went to Sinn Féin headquarters and informed Mr. Arthur Griffith that in no doubt young Murphy had been shot by crown forces. Mr. Griffith attached considerable importance to the matter and appeared to think that it would be a serious blow to British rule in Ireland if it could be proved that their forces had resorted to such measures.

He engaged Mr. Patrick Lynch, Kings Counsel, to attend the inquest on behalf of the Murphy family. I attended the inquest as a reporter and gave what assistance I could to elucidate the facts. A verdict of murder against British crown forces was returned..."

The verdict obviously didn't bring young Francis back to his family, but hopefully it gave them some small comfort.


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.)

Fianna Fáil seemed to be living in the real world. As well as the 'national question' it talked about the everyday problems that faced the people, like land annuities, land redistribution, unemployment, slum clearance and public health.

And Fianna Fáil seemed to be prepared to use any weapon to hand - including entering Leinster House - to deal with these problems*. The people wanted a road forward and de Valera seemed to show them one. It turned out to be the wrong road, except for the Fianna Fáil fat cats who made money and careers out of it. But (P) Sinn Féin appeared to be against roads at all, regarding them as some sort of foreign invention. They wanted to stay barefoot in the boreens**.

Some of the IRA leadership saw the futility of all this and tried to adopt their own radical social and economic policies in 'Saor Éire' and then to ally with other left and radical elements in the 'Republican Congress', but apart from the specific reasons for the collapse of the 'Republican Congress', it was just not possible for a clandestine military organisation to carry on political campaigns...

('1169' comment * ; And how has that worked-out for them, do you think? Also, such innocent wishful-thinking comments remind me of Homer and alcohol in 'The Simpsons' - "Ah, beer. The cause of and solution to all of life's problems..". Leinster House is the cause of those problems and issues, not the solution to them. That is not the objective of that particular institution, never has been, and never will be, regardless of what type of so-called 'new beer' you pour into it.)

('1169' comment ** ; the author of that sentiment either has no idea, genuinely, of the history of Irish republicanism and electoral intervention and/or non-intervention and the reasons for such action or else he's hoping that you don't know of same and will take him at his word. Please don't, for fear you end up becoming him!)



'In July 1918 the British government declared the GAA a 'dangerous organisation' and Gaelic games were banned.

The British authorities informed the GAA that no hurling or football games would be allowed unless a permit was obtained from Dublin Castle.

On 20 July 1918, the GAA held a meeting in the Sackville Street rooms in response to the Dublin Castle edict. Those at the meeting unanimously agreed that no such permit should be applied for, under any conditions, and instead defiantly organised a series of matches throughout the country. After a short discussion, it was decided that no permits would be asked for under any conditions and provisional councils, county committees, leagues and clubs were to be notified accordingly, and also that no member was to participate in any competition if any permit had already been obtained.

It was further decided to arrange for Sunday, 4 August, at 3 pm, a series of matches throughout each county to be localised as much as possible. The GAA organised a game in every parish, and on 4 August 1918 around 1,500 hurling or football matches were held throughout the country on what became known as 'Gaelic Sunday'.

In Dublin, matches were played at Croke Park, Phoenix Park, Ringsend, Clondalkin, Sandymount, Baldoyle, Fox and Geese, Crumlin, Balneary, Clonsilla, Terenure, Church Road and Bray. In all, there were 22 football and two hurley matches throughout each county to be localised as much as possible..' (from here.)

That was back when the GAA had balls to spare (excuse the language and the pun) and they actually knew where they stood as an organisation, in relation to the British military and political presence in this country.

Even before the 'Top Table' in the GAA agreed to campaign for dropping Rule 21 and roll out the welcome mat for armed British and pro-British terrorists in this country, a sea-change had taken place around that 'Top Table', prompted by 'political considerations'.

If such an edict was issued today by the British in relation to GAA clubs in the Occupied Six Counties, the Ulster GAA leadership's first reaction would more than likely be to seek financial compensation for 'loss of earnings', and the GAA 'Top Table' would be ok with that, provided it got a share of the spoils.

A ball-less own goal, if you like.


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

In this country, political acrobatics has become a fine art, and there is certainly no question of 'conscience making cowards of us all'. It would seem, rather, that cowards make consciences for us all.

A few weeks ago, Mr de Valera, at a debate in UCD, was asked by a few students there about the 32-county republic, and he said he had done his share, an answer which prompted these young men (sic) to ask for an explanation of the execution of Irishmen for which he was responsible in the 1940's.

In the course of his reply, Mr. de Valera stated - "Pearse and Connolly would have done it, too." This outrageous statement passed, apparently, as gospel. There was no rush of 'Letters to The Editor' in the 'Times' or 'Mail' newspapers in defence of the men (sic) of Easter Week 1916. Would the men who signed the Proclamation knowing that it was their own death warrant, realising that they would pay for this deliberate repudiation of British 'law' in Ireland with their lives, have signed an 'Oath of Allegiance' to the same British 'law' and make the paltry and un-Christian excuse that it was "an empty formula"?

And, having by way of the "empty formula" got into a position of political power, would the Easter Week fighters have kept 'law and order' among the republican Irishmen and women by jailing and executions, because England was too taken-up with the rights of other small nations to keep them in proper subjection...? (MORE LATER.)


(Sorry about the fuzzy pic, but if we posted a clear image it would probably be distributed by the State Admin as a 'WANTED!' poster..!)

...that this will be our last post until around the end of this month. The '1169' Crew are taking a break, which means that meself and the Girl Gang are going off on the rampage!

Not to New York, unfortunately, but a two-week staycation, in this country - with no menfolk [none that we're bringing with us, anyway!] and no little folk - is better than nothing.

I'll more than likely post a few comments during the holliers on Facebook and/or Twitter, depending on the internet/wi-fi availability and on my sobriety (!)...but, now that I've mentioned it, sure with a few drinks on me I'm liable to post stuff I normally wouldn't post, maybe even including a few decent pics of the Girl Gang in action!

Or maybe not. But who knows...?!

Anyway - the '1169' blog will be open for business again at the end(ish) of this month, lookin' down on ye all from our new perch located one-million-plus hits above the blogosphere. And thanks for that, readers - we do appreciate it ; heartening to know that our lil' aul corner of this vast platform can get such attention.


Thanks for the visit, and for reading,