Wednesday, September 01, 2021



On the 1st of September, 1803 - 218 years ago, on this date - two Irishmen were executed by the British for the part they played in supporting Robert Emmet in his quest to remove the British presence from this country.

It was not only college-educated men and women like Robert Emmet (ie those who might be perceived as being 'upper class') who decided to challenge Westminster's interference in Irish affairs in 1803 : so-called 'working class' men and women also paid the ultimate price for daring to challenge that unwanted presence.

On the 1st September, 1803, two such men were executed by the British ; Edward Kearney, a carpenter, was hanged in Thomas Street, in Dublin, as was Owen Kirwan, a tailor -

'Owen Kirwan afterwards to wit on the twenty-third day of July in the said forty-third year of the reign of our said lord the king with force and arms at Plunket-street aforesaid in the city and county of the city of Dublin aforesaid with a great multitude of persons whose names are to the said jurors unknown to a great number to wit to the number of one hundred persons and upwards armed and arrayed in a warlike manner to wit with swords guns and pikes being then and there unlawfully maliciously and traitorously assembled and gathered together against our said lord the now king most wickedly maliciously and traitorously did ordain prepare levy and make public war against our said lord the king his supreme and undoubted lord contrary to the duty of the allegiance of him the said Owen Kirwan against the peace of our said lord the king his crown and dignity and contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided...' (from here.)

'After he (Edward Kearney) was hanged, his head was cut off by the executioner, who held it up in his hand to the spectators, according to the law against his crime, saying, "Behold the head of a traitor." His remains were brought back in a cart to the prison, and afterwards interred in the yard of Newgate...' (from here.)

"A man in my situation, my lords, has not only to encounter the difficulties of fortune and the force of power over minds which it has corrupted or subjugated, but the difficulties of established prejudice : the man dies, but his memory lives..." - Robert Emmet.

And their memories will live on, even after the conflict in this country has been fully and finally settled. We may eventually forgive, but we'll never forget.


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

The brilliantly sucessful raid on Armagh military barracks has been a wonderful tonic to every Irishman (sic)with even the smallest spark of national feeling in him (sic).

When the news was flashed in great headlines across the newspapers, when it was repeated on the radio, Irish shoulders straightened, Irish heads lifted higher and there was a feeling of delight everywhere. In the public streets, in factories and workshops, in the theatres and dance halls, the mention of Armagh brought rounds of applause.

Men (sic) who were active republicans but who have since grown tired, those who have been Free State supporters since 1922, and those who "never took any part in politics" all echoed their praise of the courage and daring of those who carried it out.

For all are agreed on this one point - the British Army has no right in Ireland*. It is the army of the aggressor, of the robber Empire, and its only right in Ireland is the 'right' of conquest, of naked force...

('1169' comment* : Politically, as well as militarily, the British have no right in Ireland.) (MORE LATER.)


'Irish Volunteers split over Redmond’s recruitment plea. Founders of movement call for the establishment of a 'National Government' in Dublin.

Tensions within the Irish Volunteers have flared into open view with the announcement that all John Redmond’s nominees have been removed from the ruling committee. The announcement came in a statement by twenty members of the governing committee that is highly critical of John Redmond. Issued by the founder of the Irish Volunteers, Prof. Eoin MacNeill, the statement condemns Mr. Redmond for his call on Irish Volunteers to join the British army. It reads:

'Mr. Redmond, addressing a body of Irish Volunteers on last Sunday, has now announced for the Irish Volunteers a policy and programme fundamentally at variance with their own published and accepted aims and pledges. He has declared it to be the duty of the Irish Volunteers to take foreign service under a government which is not Irish. He has made this announcement without consulting the Provisional Committee, the Volunteers themselves, or the people of Ireland, to whose service alone they are devoted...'

(The statement was laced with bitterness at the manner in which Mr. Redmond had assumed control over the Volunteers three months ago when it was a proven success, having initially opposed its establishment and operations...) (from here.)

John Redmond (pictured) was born on the 1st September, 1856, in Dublin and, from a position of power within nationalism in Ireland, he encouraged Irish people to join the British Army to "..account yourselves as men not only in Ireland itself, but wherever the firing line extends.." by which he meant that Irish people should shoulder weapons for British objectives in the hope that Westminster would look favourably on the Irish for doing so!

At the time that Mr Redmond made his 'Join the British Army' call, the organisation that he was in the leadership of, the 'Irish Volunteers', was approximately 180,000 strong ; at least half of the 'IV' leadership were Redmond's people and, as he was also in the leadership of the 'Irish Parliamentary Party', his words carried weight within the political and media circles of the day.

However, thankfully, not everyone was smitten by the man ; the 'Irish Volunteers' split, with the majority unfortunately siding with Redmond, and calling themselves the'National Volunteers', but approximately 11,000 of the membership refused to join with him in his new organisation and, within a few short years, as the actual raison d'être of the new organisation became even more unclear, it's power waned as, indeed, did Redmond himself - in early March, 1918, he underwent an operation to remove an intestinal blockage.

The operation was, at first, considered successful but directly or indirectly caused the man to suffer a heart attack, from which he died on the 6th March, 1918. No doubt the British missed his input and support.


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.)

Sinn Féin in the 26 Counties became little more than a support group for the IRA in the North. In so far as it had any policies of its own, they were the *tired old ones of abstentionism, the Second Dáil, federalism, and a vague sort of liberal co-operativism that would not scare away small business people but would not do anything for the working class either.

For years that did not seem to matter. Emotional support for the Northern nationalists was at a peak and all Sinn Féin had to do was channel it. Other issues seemed secondary at the time. And even when that support began to wane in the mid-1970's and Southern governments stepped up their attacks on republicans with the 'Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act', seven-day detention, the 'Heavy Gang' etc, nobody paid too much attention to Sinn Féin's policies, or lack of them, on day-to-day issues.

The task of the Movement was to fight repression and it took up all the time and attention of the activists and supporters...**

('1169' comment* - the then Sinn Féin organisation had indeed got policies in regards to those issues, among many other issues, as those issues relate to republicanism and the republican position, politically, as should be expected from an Irish republican organisation! To attempt to dismiss those issues as 'tired old policies' is a strong indication that the person doing so does not understand the nexus or, indeed, the basics of Irish republicanism, and has little or no interest in same.)

('1169' comment** - in other words, if republican activists were not so determined to support and promote republican objectives and campaign and fight against State attacks on those objectives, those activists would have had more time to spend in support of [far-away] campaigns and fights against injustice in other countries!)



Pictured, left - Roger Casement's body being re-interred (on Monday, 1st March 1965) in the Republican Plot in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, having been released by the British from Pentonville Prison in Islington, North London.

Ruairí Dáithí Mac Easmainn (Roger Casement) was born on the 1st September, 1864 - 157 years ago, on this date - in Sandycove, County Dublin, the son of Captain Roger Casement of the 3rd Dragoon Guards of the British Army and Anne Jephson from Mallow, County Cork.

His mother had him secretly baptised in her own religion, Roman Catholic, but he was raised in the Protestant faith of his father. As both his parents died young, Roger was taken in by an uncle, near Ballycastle, County Antrim, and educated as a boarder at the diocesan school in Ballymena.

From 1895 onwards he held consular appointments at various locations in Africa, including Boma in the Congo (1904) where, for the British Foreign Office, he investigated Belgian human rights abuses of the indigenous people. Later, in Peru, he was commissioned to undertake a report on the reported abuse of workers in the rubber industry in the Putumayo basin, which earned him a knighthood after his findings were published as a parliamentary paper (1911).

He had been a member of the Gaelic League and became increasingly radicalised by the opposition of the Ulster unionists to Home Rule from 1912 onwards and wrote nationalist articles under the pseudonym 'Seán Bhean Bhocht'.

He rarely receives a mention when it comes to the writers and poets of 1916 ("Of unmatched skill to lead by pathways rife/With danger and dark doubt, where slander's knife/Gleamed ever bare to wound, yet over all/He pressed triumphant on-lo, thus to fall" - 'Parnell', by Roger Casement) yet his reports from the Putumayo and from the Congo show a writer of great talent.

His descriptions of the horrendous brutality inflicted on innocent and perfectly peaceful native inhabitants was enough to force a change of policy with regard to the treatment of workers and slaves on the rubber plantations. Casement wrote in 1911 that "..the robbery of Ireland since the Union has been so colossal, carried out on such a scale, that if the true account current between the two countries were ever submitted to any impartial tribunal, England would be clapped in jail..".

For his part in trying to stop that robbery he was convicted of treason by the British and sentenced to death after a three-day 'trial' (held at the Old Bailey in London between the 26th and the 29th of June 1916, where he was prosecuted by 'Sir' Edward Carson, the Orange Order bigot).

His speech from the dock is not as appreciated as it should be -

"With all respect I assert this Court is to me, an Irishman, not a jury of my peers to try me in this vital issue for it is patent to every man of conscience that I have a right, an indefeasible right, if tried at all, under this Statute of high treason, to be tried in Ireland, before an Irish Court and by an Irish jury.

This Court, this jury, the public opinion of this country, England, cannot but be prejudiced in varying degree against me, most of all in time of war. I did not land in England ; I landed in Ireland. It was to Ireland I came ; to Ireland I wanted to come ; and the last place I desired to land in was England. But for the Attorney General of England there is only 'England' — there is no Ireland, there is only the law of England — no right of Ireland ; the liberty of Ireland and of the Irish is to be judged by the power of England.

Yet for me, the Irish outlaw, there is a land of Ireland, a right of Ireland, and a charter for all Irishmen to appeal to, in the last resort, a charter that even the very statutes of England itself cannot deprive us of — nay, more, a charter that Englishmen themselves assert as the fundamental bond of law that connects the two kingdoms.." (..more here).

I say that Roger Casement

did what he had to do.

He died upon the gallows,

but that is nothing new.

Afraid they might be beaten

before the bench of Time,

they turned a trick by forgery

and blackened his good name.

A perjurer stood ready

to prove their forgery true ;

they gave it out to all the world,

and that is something new.

For Spring Rice had to whisper it,

being their Ambassador,

and then the speakers got it

and writers by the score.

Come Tom and Dick, come all the troop

that cried it far and wide,

come from the forger and his desk,

desert the perjurer's side.

Come speak your bit in public

that some amends be made

to this most gallant gentleman

that is in quicklime laid.
(From here.)

Roger Casement was sentenced to "death by rope" on the 29th June 1916 and was executed by the British on the 3rd of August that year in London, England.

God's curse on you, England...


.. 1920 -

On Wednesday, 1st September 1920, the IRA ambushed an RIC cycle patrol at Ratra Crossroads, County Roscommon ; five RIC men on bicycles were attacked at Rathmacross (or Ratra Crossroads) in County Roscommon (located between Ballaghdereen and Frenchpark) resulting in the deaths of two RIC operatives ( Edward Murphy and Martin McCarthy) and one IRA man, Captain Tom McDonagh from the South Sligo Brigade.

The IRA ambush party of about 25 men were under the command of Jim Hunt and Michael Marren from the East Mayo Brigade. Captain McDonagh's body was dragged by British Crown Forces through the streets of Ballaghdereen and put on public display, and a number of buildings and businesses were burnt or blown up in Ballaghdereen that night, by the RIC, in reprisal.

Thomas J McDonagh was a leading member of C Company, 4th Battalion, Sligo Brigade, IRA. He was 20 years old and was born in the USA, moved to Ireland after his parents died when he was five years old and grew up with his grandmother and uncle on their small farm. He trained as a stereotyper in the offices of the Herald Works but, due to illness in the family, he returned to working on the family farm.

Also, on that same date (1st September 1920) the following actions took place :

The 6th Battalion of Cork Number 1 Brigade, IRA, ambushed British forces at Inniscarra, in the barony of Muskerry East, County Cork ; the enemy forces escaped, and there was no casualties reported by either side.

IRA Volunteer Patrick McKenna, 24, from Church Street in Castleblaney, in County Monaghan, a member of the Castleblayney Company, 4th Battalion, 2nd Monaghan Brigade IRA, was shot dead during an IRA-authorised arms raid in his home town.

The perpetrators, William and Robert Fleming, a father and son team who were, apparently, members/supporters and/or involved with the 'Ulster Special Constabulary', a paramilitary reserve pro-British 'special constable police force' in the Occupied Six Counties, were later executed by the IRA (our photograph shows the British trappings on display at their funeral).

Lieutenant Bernard Marron IRA died as a result of gunshot wounds received while raiding for arms at Corcreagh, County Monaghan. He was a carpenter by trade and was from Monaghan, and was about 29 years old. He was found in a field at Corcreagh about one mile from Shercock (on the morning of Wednesday, 1st of September 1920), badly wounded to the head with a gunshot wound and was taken into the house of Mr. Thomas McKenna. He survived for several hours before his wound got the better of him.

Volunteer John ('Jack') O'Brien, 1st Battalion, 3rd Northern Division, IRA, was killed at Carrick Hill, Belfast while engaged in picket duty. He was shot at the corner of Park Street and Kildare Street, on the 1st September, 1920, and was taken to the Royal Hospital, where he died, two days later. His funeral service was held in St Patrick's chapel in Donegal. He was 49 years of age, and left behind his wife, Sarah, and children Sarah, Margaret and John.


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

The great majority of men and women who are products of the secondary schools and colleges bow to the conqueror and the spirit of slavery prevails.

Britain is well aided and abetted by 'the government of the Republic of Ireland', and here is one instance - if a teacher who was trained in a Belfast training college is appointed to a job in the 26-counties, the State Department of Education will not sanction the appointment - however great the need for the teacher or however anxious the manager is to have him or her. And it is not a question of language, as the rule would apply to a native speaker.

The teacher is an 'alien', educated in Belfast. So that is that!

(END of 'An Empty Formula' ; NEXT - 'Students On The March', from the same source.)

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,