Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WESTMINSTER DEMANDS 'TRENCH-FILLERS' FROM IRELAND.

ON THIS DATE (18TH APRIL) 69 YEARS AGO - UP THE REPUBLIC..

..UP THE YARD, THAT IS!

Not that this (or this) couldn't happen in a proper 'Republic', just that instances like that happen here, in this failed 'Republic', as a matter of course, and make the headlines on the day but are quickly pushed aside by the next tragedy. And talking of tragedies, that's what's being 'celebrated' today, the 18th April : the tragedy, that is, that this failed State has been misconstrued as a 'Republic', and is being honoured, by some, as such, in the same manner that that same mistake was made on the day itself :

'At midnight last night the twenty-six counties officially left the British Commonwealth and cut the last constitutional link with Britain. The description of the state from that moment became the Republic of Ireland. The birth of the new Republic was welcomed throughout the country in celebrations centred on Dublin, where a 21-gun salute was fired from O'Connell Bridge..at 11.45pm, as blazing tar barrels on the Dublin hills could be seen in the city centre, O'Connell street became a blaze of light from searchlight batteries ringing the city. A few minutes after midnight the salute from the guns began, with ten-second intervals between the rounds...men, women and children shouted "Up the Republic," while groups of young people with accordions and other musical instruments joined in singing national airs...and dancing continued until early this morning.

At one minute past midnight Radio Éireann broadcast this statement: "These are the first moments of Easter Monday, April 18th, 1949. Since midnight, for the first time in history, international recognition has been accorded to the Republic of Ireland. Our listeners will join us in asking God's blessing on the Republic, and in praying that it will not be long until the sovereignty of the Republic extends over *the whole of our national territory" (from here : * possibly the last time that RTE publicly acknowledged, unashamedly, that "our national territory" includes the Occupied Six Counties!).

Seems straight-forward enough but, as with most things in this 'republic', that's not the case : what happened in 1949 was, according to those who profess to know better*, simply a legal exercise to tidy up loose ends by declaring that the word 'Éire' implied that the area known as such is the 'Republic of Ireland' even though that area ie 'Éire' was itself never recognised as a 'Republic'. So, it is being argued, the name change was a translation only and is not established as a fact in legal circles. Some 'experts' (but not all of them!) are of the opinion that this State 'became a republic' twelve years previous to the above (ie 1937) when 'Bunreacht na hÉireann' was enacted (29th December that year). If you think that's confusing, you should try living here.

Anyway - for our part, we're not so much interested in when exactly this gombeen Free State was 'born' as we are in regards to when it will be buried, and a proper country replaces it.





''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

CIVIL ADMINISTRATION.

When an All-Ireland Parliament is once more assembled and the framework of cvil administration set up, it is to be expected that all the force and energy of the British Empire will be unleashed against it, bounded only by whatever international political considerations are involved.

As Britain has the ear of the world, she will lose no time in calumniating and damning the Irish cause, as she does today in other territories under her control. For a while at any rate, things may go hard with us until we succeed in countering her false presentation of our case. That will be the testing time for us.

But surely there are none so naive as to imagine that Britain will easily relinquish her stranglehold on this country? (Next - 'THE RIGHT MEN', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (18TH APRIL) 100 YEARS AGO - CONSCRIPTION ; 'THE BLOOD VOTE'.

"Why is your face so white, Mother?

Why do you choke for breath?"


"O I have dreamt in the night, my son

That I doomed a man to death."


"Why do you hide your hand, Mother?

And crouch above it in dread?"


"It beareth a dreadful branch, my son

With the dead man's blood 'tis red..."
(from here.)

In 1916, as Westminster was 'putting down' the Irish for daring to challenge its misrule in Ireland, it found itself under 'attack' on another front - a shortage of military manpower with which to enforce the 'writ' of its 'empire' on a global scale, and the 'solution' it arrived at, in its arrogance, was to introduce conscription on what the 'empire' called its 'mainland' - Britain. But even that Act didn't supply enough 'cannon fodder' (overall, about 18 million soldiers died and more than 20 million were incapacitated during that conflict) and, two years later, the criteria of those to be conscripted was 'relaxed', meaning that those who 'failed to qualify' in round one now found themselves to be suitable material.

But that wasn't the only change made - there still wasn't enough 'trench filling' so the British announced that the Irish were to be paid a visit in regards to being given the opportunity (!) to 'serve their empire' and, on the 16th April 1918, conscription was extended to this country (the British 'Military Service Act' was amended to include this country). An unintended consequence of insisting that the Irish, too, must be allowed to die 'for their empire' was the common ground found between the 'Irish Volunteers', Sinn Féin, Cumann na mBan, the 'Irish Party', the trade union movement and the religious orders, all of whom were, among other groups, opposed to that 'offer' from Westminster and, on the 18th April 1918 - 100 years ago on this date - that opposition was shown to have a loud and popular voice by way of a packed meeting held in the Mansion House, in Dublin, organised by the newly-formed 'Irish Anti-Conscription Committee', which attracted about 1,500 people.

The then Westminster-appointed 'Chief Secretary for Ireland', Henry Edward Duke (aka 'the 1st Baron Merrivale') knew that the Irish were not going to go quietly into the trenches, if at all, and contacted his betters in Whitehall and told them that "...it will be impossible in the teeth of the opposition of bishops and politicians to enforce conscription..implementing the measure in the face of such opposition would require more men than would be conscripted.." - that was in early April 1918 ; he was removed from his job during the first week of May but, by the middle of June that same year, those that had removed him and, indeed, their political bosses in Westminster and Whitehall, realised that he was right and abandoned their intention to force conscription in Ireland.

Incidentally, membership of the IRA increased as a result of the Irish conscription order, but the downside of accepting 'new republicans' into the fold, simply because those new members were opposed to conscription, was recognised by some in the Movement, at the time, but not, unfortunately, by all : 'When the British Government introduced 'The Conscription Bill' on 16th April 1918, recruits flocked to the IRA - the people were scared. But people have short memories. It was merely a temporary hosting, like that of King Wire's donkey. King Wire was an expert manufacturer of wire goods - muzzles, strainers and the like, who attended every horse fair in the south of Ireland. While he walked through the throng of people and horses, he worked unceasingly with hands and pliers on the roll of wire slung over one shoulder.

When his feet stopped he bought donkeys. Thus while his eyes surveyed his prospective purchase, and his tongue got busy to bargain with a fine humour, his hands never rested. No donkey on the market went home unsold. All went into his carelessly-kept herd. One evening in Macroom I remarked to him : "You have a big stock today, King." "Most of those will have departed by morning," he replied..' (from this book.) Hopefully, it won't be too much longer until we're reading about another 'departure', or do some in this country still need to be conscripted by the British before they act to defend themselves?





"TO EVERY GENERATION ITS DEED..."

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

SINN FÉIN NOTES.

NEW CUMAINN.

Fifteen new Cumann have been formed in Cork, Galway, Laoghise, Tyrone, Monaghan, Waterford, Dublin and London since the Ard Fheis in November last.

ACTIVITIES.

Lectures, ceilidhes and concerts were held by many Cumainn throughout the country to commemorate the establishment of the First Dáil Éireann on Friday 21st January 1919.

The Austin Stack Cumann held a very successful film show and lecture in their rooms at 64 Mountjoy Square in Dublin, early in January. The lecture was given by Tomás Ó Dubhgaill, Vice President, and that Cumann holds a very successful ceilidhe in their rooms every Sunday night at 8pm.

Tomás Ó Dubhgaill also gave a lecture at the Seán Misteal Cumann concert which was held in the O'Connell Hall in Dublin on Friday 21st January last. Frank McCann of the Seán Doran Cumann in Camlough, Armagh, is now serving a month's imprisonment in Crumlin Jail, Belfast, for having collected at the chapel gate for the Sinn Féin National Collection. (Next - 'PUBLIC MEETINGS / NORTHERN ELECTION COMMITTEES', from the same source).






GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.

By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

DID WE WIN?

Sometime near the end of 1975, education lectures were about to take a radical change in the cages of Long Kesh. The canteen in Cage 11 was set up to accommodate the three teams who were going to have a debate in front of the entire inhabitants of the cage. The idea was initiated by the Cage OC and organised by the cage education officer primarily to create opportunities for the young republican activists and the not-so-young gathered there to open up their eyes and minds to the political struggle that put them there in the first place.

Education was taken very seriously in the cage and every effort was used to make the lectures and debates not only educational but also relevant and interesting ; the idea was that nine volunteers of Cage 11 would split up into teams of three and pretend to represent Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the Republican Clubs.

The teams were picked with the most politically aware pretending to be the Republican Clubs, as their argument was the weakest. The fairly politically aware were the SDLP, who were looked upon as sycophants, and anything they achieved was achieved on someone else's back. Finally, those comrades who lay on their backs most of the day feeling sorry for themselves were Sinn Féin , who at the time were thought to be mostly living in Dublin. (MORE LATER).


Thanks for reading, Sharon.





Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"THE LAUGHING STOCK OF EUROPE" - PAPER/INK.

20 YEARS 'CELEBRATION' OF A FALSE DAWN.

'20 years later and inevitable failure of GFA has come to pass.

02 April, 2018 13:57

With the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) certain questions have to be asked. What have Republicans gained from the unjustifiable compromise? Are we any closer to Éire Nua? What was the rationale for resurrecting an immoral failure from 1973-74 in 1998? Twenty years later and the inevitable failure has come to pass. In the two decades since it has not looked likely, nor does it look likely at the present, that the human rights bill in the GFA will ever be implemented. If the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea did not have a human rights bill, it does, by the way, the condemnation would be deafening especially if two decades had passed since it was meant to implement such a bill. Why isn’t the illegitimate six-county state and the GFA being subjected to a chorus of howls of condemnation?

Sinn Féin has made concession after concession without reciprocation from unionists. What was Sinn Féin able to do, within the confines of the GFA, about 4,597 stop and search of republicans in Ardoyne and Oldpark alone between January 2009 and January 2015? This shows that nature of British state policing in the six counties hasn’t changed in over two decades. Given the political and military occupation structures this is unlikely to change in the future. An indictment of Sinn Fein’s, and by extension the GFA’s, failure is that the top-five of the most economically deprived areas in the six counties are nationalist as are nine of the top 10 and 17 of the top 20. For this unforgivable sell-out, Sinn Féin could not even get the implementation of a Gaelic language statute agreed and promised at St Andrew’s in 2006.

Has Gaelic culture flourished since the GFA? Has it flourished in the absence of statutory protection? More people died in Ireland, in a shorter period of time, after the GFA than the entirety of all those who died in the Troubles.

What was the point in ending violence if more of our people were going to die in any case? Ending violence is not an end in itself especially considering a situation resulting in more premature and unnatural deaths. A University of Liverpool study by Professor Jonathan Tonge showed that economic and social conditions in the six-counties were worse in 2009 than they were in 1969. Where is parity of esteem when Remembrance Poppies are ‘commemorative symbols’ yet Easter Lilies are ‘conflict emblems’?

Have community relations improved? Why are there more segregation barriers now than during 1998? Neither Sinn Féin nor the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) have apologised for the damage done to working-class Irish people by their promotion of the Good Friday Agreement.

Right did not become wrong and wrong did not become right on the 10th of April 1998.

ÉAMONN MacGRIANNA,Belfast BT11.'


I don't know the author of the above 'letter to the editor', but it was a relief to come across it after scrolling through all the '20th anniversary celebratory'- type colour pieces that are out there, praising the 'deal' itself and those said to be responsible for it ie Bertie Ahern, Bill Clinton, Gerry Adams, Tony Blair, John Hume, John Major etc etc, some of whom must have recognised it for the 'false dawn' it was - and is - but were more interested in puffing-up/re-building their political 'careers' and would have attempted to sell any so-called 'settlement' to anyone foolish enough to listen to them. Indeed, such maneuvering was rife in the period leading up to, and after, the vote (it was signed-off on the 10th April 1998 by the politicians involved and put to a vote on the 22nd May that year) -

Bertie Ahern, quoted in the 'Sunday Business Post' on the 3rd May 1998, page 16, said it means that "Britain is out of the equation", AP/RN editorialised, on the 10th of September, 1998, on page 9, that the vote was "the will of the electorate in both partitioned states..", 'The Sunday Business Post', on the 13th February 2000, on page 18, said that the Stormont Treaty ('GFA') institutions were set up "as a direct result of a vote of all the people of this island..the will of the entire people of Ireland..", the 'Ireland on Sunday' newspaper, on the 28th March 1999, on page 14, said it was "the wish of almost every last man and woman in this country..".

AP/RN, on the 20th May 1999, on page 9, said it was "endorsed by a huge majority of this country's people..", Tim Pat Coogan, in his 'Ireland On Sunday' column on the 24th September 2000, on page 32, said that "more than 90 per cent of the people of this island voted for it..", Niall O Dowd, in his 'IOS' column on the 13th February 2000, on page 31, said that it was "the democratic wish of 95 per cent of the population in the Irish Republic and 72 per cent in the North..", Piet De Pauw, the Belgium lawyer and human-rights expert, said, in December 2000, that "the majority of the people on this island voted for it", AP/RN, on the 11th March 1999, on page 12, said it "was endorsed by 85 per cent of the people of Ireland.." and Tim Pat Coogan, again - this time in his 'IOS' column dated 7th May 2000 (page 34)- said that its institutions "were voted for by an overwhelming majority on this island..".

In the edition of 'The Sunday Business Post' newspaper that was published on the 12th April 1998 - just two days after the Stormont Treaty was signed - the editorial referred to the proposed amendments to Articles 2 and 3 of the Free State Constitution as "well meaning drivel", saying that the treaty would make us become "the laughing stock of Europe", and described that treaty as "a rescue operation for unionism". But, six weeks later - on Sunday, 24th May 1998 - the paper had changed its tune : the editorial in that edition declared that "clearly the vast majority of people on this island are prepared to invest their hope and trust for the future in what is, by any standards, a complex agreement." A 'laughing stock' indeed.

However, an examination of the actual outcome of that vote reveals the true figures, and confirms that the establishment and its supporters will still attempt to purposely distort the facts and mislead those who are foolish enough to simply take them at their word - in this State, the turnout was 56.3% and, of those, 1,442,583 (94.4%) voted 'YES' and 85,748 (5.6%) voted 'NO'. But 43.97% of those entitled to vote in the State did not do so!

In the Six Counties, the turnout was 81% and, of those, 676,966 (71.12%) voted 'YES' and 274,879 (28.88%) voted 'NO' . But 19% of those entitled to vote in the Six Counties did not do so!

The claims that 'the majority voted for it' and that it represents 'the democratic wish of 95% of the population' etc etc is a deliberate falsehood put about by those that would attempt to convince the Irish people that the struggle to achieve a just and permanent settlement has been achieved. That finality can only begin when the British give a date for their withdrawal from this country - it has not been a war of almost 850 years only to say to the British that which the Stormont Treaty leads them to believe - 'stay if you want, just treat us better..'. That was never the republican objective, regardless of how well dressed and presentable those are that travel the globe claiming, in effect, that so-called 'civil rights' was the objective all along.





''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

ELECTION MACHINE.

To do all this requires an extensive 'election machine', set up well in advance of the elections to be contested. Now the Cumann in the area is the natural unit to provide this machinery ; the build-up before polling day is just a gradual increase on the ordinary work of the Cumann, and the doctrines we teach from day to day will be the planks of our election platforms. A Sinn Féin propagandist once said -

"The principal merit in the Sinn Féin policy was that no political reverses could leave it, like a defeated political party, at a dead end. It's constructive programme gave its adherents something to work at through good fortune and ill, popularity or disdain." (Next - 'CIVIL ADMINISTRATION', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (11TH APRIL) 140 YEARS AGO : BORN INTO A FENIAN FAMILY, BUT TURNED FREE STATER.

On the 11th April 1878 - 140 years ago on this date - a daughter, Kathleen (pictured) was born, in Limerick, into a well-known and respected republican family, at the head of which sat Edward and Catherine Daly. 'The man of the house' worked in the timber business. Her uncle, John Daly, was as well known in republican circles as was her father, and was imprisoned with a man who, despite the fact that he was twenty years older than Kathleen Daly, was to marry her in later years. That man was Tom Clarke , who was born in a British military camp at Hurst Park in the Isle of Wight, on the 11th March 1858. His father was then a Corporal in the British Army but, like Tom's mother, was Irish born. A year later Corporal Clarke was drafted to South Africa where the family lived until 1865. Tom first saw Ireland about 1870, when his father was appointed a Sergeant of the Ulster Militia and was stationed at Dungannon in County Tyrone.

To cut a long story short, on the 14th of June, 1883, at the 'Old Bailey', Tom Clarke was, with three others, sentenced to penal servitude for life. For 15 years and nine months, in the prisons of Chatham and Portland, he endured imprisonment without flinching ; 15 years and nine months of an incessant attempt, by the British, to deprive him of his life or reason. This torture did not cease with daylight and recommence on the following day - it was maintained during the hours of darkness when even the lowest criminal was entitled to sleep and rest. But Tom Clarke and his comrades got neither sleep nor rest - cunning devices for producing continuous disturbing sounds were erected over their cells, and these are described in his book 'Glimpses of an Irish Felon's Prison Life'. He was released in 1898, aged 40, and spent a short time in Limerick with his friend John Daly before returning to America where, in 1901, he married Kathleen Daly, John Daly's daughter : she was 23 years of age, he was 43.

"Great God! Did I ever think I would live to see it, to see men who were the bravest, now fooled that this Treaty means a realisation of our highest ideals.." - Kathleen Clarke (Daly), speaking about the 'Treaty of Surrender' - but that was 'then', as they say, when she was anti-Treaty, to the point that she had been imprisoned in Dublin Castle, in late 1916, by the British administration for her republican activity, and was entrusted, by her husband, in early 1916, to hold on to £3,100 of IRB funds to relieve distressed republicans, as the man knew he might not survive the Easter Rising but wanted to leave some financial assistance for the families of those who might die with him - within days of his death, she had set up the 'Irish Volunteer Dependents' Fund'. She was a judge in the Sinn Féin courts, worked practically full-time on the production of the IRB newspaper, 'Irish Freedom', was president of the central branch of Cumann na mBan and was a confidant of the supreme council of the IRB before the Easter Rising, trusted with all available contact details, plans and timing for same, should the known leadership be rounded-up by Westminster.

However, it is known that, after the Treaty, she contacted Michael Collins and told him she would support that Treaty because, she opined, it offered "the machinery to work out to full freedom", probably the same reason she turned up at the Four Courts in June 1922, after it had been taken back by Liam Mellows and his men from the British-backed Free Staters, and stated to the republicans that what they were doing was "a challenge to Mick Collins and I know Mick well enough that he'll only accept that challenge until such time as he can get an army together and kick you out of here. Are you going to wait for that..?" but, two years after her plea to republicans not to challenge the Free Staters, she travelled to America on a fundraising tour for republican prisoners but (another 'but'!), two years after that fundraising tour, she assisted de Valera in establishing the 'Fianna Fáil' party and was ensconced in the Free State system either as a 'TD', a 'Senator' and a 'Lord Mayor' for Dublin during the years 1921 to 1927, 1928 to 1936 and 1939 to 1941. She is on record for stating that, in her opinion, Roger Casement "made a fool of himself" by seeking military assistance from the Germans and that he knew nothing about Ireland!

In 1965, she left this country and lived in Liverpool with her son, Emmet, where she died on the 29th September, 1972, aged 94. Leinster House gave her a State funeral, and buried her in Deansgrange Cemetery, in Dublin. As we have said here before - 'put not your trust in princes'.





"TO EVERY GENERATION ITS DEED..."

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

IS THIS THE YEAR?

Is this the year, oh Lord

When Thou shalt call, and slumbering Ireland wake,

When honour shall return

When night will fade and dawn, at last, will break?




We've sinned against Thee, Lord,

Our pitted souls have spurned Thy proferred Grace ;

Betrayed Thy trust in us,

Unworthy, yet we hope to see Thy face.




For we've loved Ireland, Lord.

Thus, though we've sinned, Thou'll take each pleading hand

And lead us to abide

Among the host of men who've loved our land.




If 'tis the year, Lord, grant

That should we die, we'll lie among the brave

Unmourned, unsung, perhaps ;

Who cares? But grant us, Lord, a patriot's grave.




Is this the year, Dear Lord?

The year 'to come' when Ireland will be free

Foreseen, when Norman steel

First sent our brave Ambassadors to Thee.




For nigh eight hundred years

They've gone to kneel and plead before Thy throne -

But Thou hast heard their pleas,

For Thou art just - We never stood alone.




Thou did but test our worth.

We stood the test - endured - we showed no fear.

Please! Grant now our request,

Say to our hearts "Arise, this is the year!"


(Next - 'SINN FÉIN NOTES', from the same source).






GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.

By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

Many a laugh we've had since recounting those 'football matches' and, I have to say, of all the cultural activities we engaged in (not counting the Language), it would be nearly impossible to pick between the inter-Cage Gaelic matches and the Irish dancing classes to find out which of them would constitute the more unacceptable face of Irish culture in Long Kesh.

Even though I can still see big Clint Loughran attempting his 'Sevens', I would still pick the 'football'. As the inter-Cage football matches take their place in contemporary republican folklore, one of the legacies of those Gaelic matches that has stayed with me all these years is - and I don't know whether it's an unconscious thing or not - but every time I walk pass Bloggs Long in the street, I instinctively duck!

Finally, I want to say that Ardoyne men are universally well known for their fantastic sense of humour and, by their nature, are very forgiving... (MORE LATER).
Thanks for reading, Sharon.





Tuesday, April 10, 2018

'GFA' / STORMONT TREATY 20TH ANNIVERSARY : FALSE FLAG, FAKE NEWS.

SPOOF, SPIN, IGNORANCE, MISDIRECTION, SMOKE AND MIRRORS.

There's an unprecedented amount of spin and misdirection in the last week or so in connection with the 20th anniversary of the signing of the 1998 Stormont Treaty ('Good Friday Agreement'), and more so today, the 10th April, the actual anniversary of the date that treaty was signed. It's depressing watching on TV, listening on the radio and reading on the web as professional political spoofers line up to tell all and sundry about how they practically 'saved Ireland', and use false assertions and incorrect 'facts and figures' to support their claims.

It could only happen in a partial ex-colony like this, in which the 'leaders' are smitten - mentally, morally, and emotionally - by their (old?) imperial bosses, whom they have an overwhelming desire to impress. It excites them to do so, and allows them to consider themselves to be 'every bit as good' as those that once spat down on them from the 'big house'. When the 'Stormont Treaty' ('GFA') was voted on here in May 1998, one of it's main 'selling-points', according to the State establishment that were promoting it - Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, Provisional Sinn Féin, the various Church's, media etc - was that the British Government would legislate for the creation of a united Ireland if a majority within the Six Counties desired same. This was said to be a major development and, on it's own, worth voting 'YES' for.

However, that 'commitment' from Westminster was contained in the 'Ireland Act' of 1949, the 'Northern Ireland (sic) Act' of 1973, Section Five of the 'Sunningdale Agreement' and the opening section of the 1985 Hillsborough Treaty! It was a deliberate mis-representation of the facts by the pro-treaty side, which repeatedly claimed that a peaceful end to the North-Eastern conflict depended on a majority 'YES' vote in the referendum, thereby insinuating that those who voted 'NO' were pro-war.

In 1922, Liam Mellows said of the 1921 'Treaty of Surrender' - "This is not the will of the people ; it is the fear of the people". The conflict continued after that Treaty, and continues today. In 1973, the political establishment here and its hangers-on were amongst those telling republicans that the 'Sunningdale Agreement' was the "solution" to the North. In 1985 they did the same with the 'Hillsborough Treaty'. In 1998 they did the same with the 'Stormont Treaty' ('GFA'). We'll be posting a piece here tomorrow (Wednesday 11th April 2018) in which we will highlight some of the outrageous claims made in connection with the 1998 Stormont Treaty and not only will we be naming those who made those claims, but we will state the source of same. See ya then!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.




Wednesday, March 28, 2018

"THE FRUIT WILL EXCEED THE COST".

ON THIS DATE (28TH MARCH) 139 YEARS AGO : AN IRISH REPUBLICAN HERO IS BORN.

Terence MacSwiney, pictured, left, his wife Muriel and their daughter, Máire, photographed in 1919.

' "If I die I know the fruit will exceed the cost a thousand fold. The thought of it makes me happy. I thank God for it. Ah, Cathal, the pain of Easter week is properly dead at last..." - Terence MacSwiney wrote these words in a letter to Cathal Brugha on September 30, 1920, the 39th day of his hunger strike. The pain he refers to is that caused by his failure to partake in the 1916 Easter Rising. Contradictory orders from Dublin and the failure of the arms ship, the Aud, to land arms in Tralee left the Volunteers in Cork unprepared for insurrection...' (from here.)

In his book 'History of the Irish Working Class', Peter Beresford Ellis wrote : "On October 25th, 1920, Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney - poet, dramatist and scholar - died on the 74th day of a hunger-strike while in Brixton Prison, London. A young Vietnamese dishwasher in the Carlton Hotel in London broke down and cried when he heard the news - "A Nation which has such citizens will never surrender". His name was Nguyen Ai Quoc who, in 1941, adopted the name Ho Chi Minh and took the lessons of the Irish anti-imperialist fight to his own country..."

Terence MacSwiney, born on the 28th March 1879 - 139 years ago on this date - was the Commandant of the 1st Cork Brigade of the IRA and was elected as the Lord Mayor of Cork. He died after 74 days on hunger strike (a botched effort to force feed him hastened his death) in Brixton Prison, England, on the 25th October, 1920, and his body lay in Southwark Cathedral in London where tens of thousands of people paid their respects. He summed-up the Irish feeling at that time (a feeling and determination which is still prominent to this day) - "The contest on our side is not one of rivalry or vengeance but of endurance. It is not those who can inflict the most but those who can suffer the most who will conquer. Those whose faith is strong will endure to the end in triumph." And our faith is strong.





''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

ECONOMICS TODAY.

As modern society is highly organised and people tend to crowd into cities to earn a living, industry has become of paramount importance. We are no longer just an agricultural race, with cottage industries to supply our needs. The medium of exchange is highly complicated and, in the hands of unscrupulous men and under foreign influences, large numbers of our people are exploited so that individuals may amass fortunes, and trade is depressed or expanded to suit the British economy.

To some, this may seem far-fetched but, with a little reflection, they will realise the advantage to Britain of holding Ireland's purse strings. To achieve a balanced economy in Ireland, and give effect to the clause of the 1916 Proclamation which states "equal rights and equal opportunities" for all her citizens - compare this with the empty cliches of the 1937 Free State Constitition - and above all to bring social and economic life into line with Christian teaching is, next to achieving independence, the most important object of Sinn Féin.

The means whereby this can be achieved will naturally lie in the hands of the elected representatives of an All-Ireland parliament, but to show that the Sinn Féin organisation is not lacking in ideas as to how it can be done, a general programme has been drawn up and is presented to the people of Ireland for their criticism, and is available in a pamphlet entitled 'Sinn Féin Social and Economic Programme', price 6d, from 3 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin, or from any Cumann.

As the achievement of the objects of Sinn Féin can only be by stages, the most important one is to win the battle of the polls, but to fight an election requires an enormous amount of personal energy and large sums of money. Many an election is won on catchcries and vituperation, but that is not the method of Sinn Féin - we want everyone who votes for a Sinn Féin candidate to know why he votes for him, and what Sinn Féin really stands for. It is not enough that public meetings be held and handbills be distributed - personal canvass on a large scale by well-informed and enthusiastic men and women will win more votes than any loud-voiced oratory or 'smart' handbill.

We must wean the people from the factional approach to elections, and make the issue for or against a Free United Ireland. (Next - 'ELECTION MACHINE', from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (28TH MARCH) 126 YEARS AGO - BIRTH OF AN INSPIRATIONAL REPUBLICAN.

Stood

By the Republic

By the oath of Fenians

By young Irelands dream

By the creed of Tone

For him no stepping stone

But the green branch blooming

For the northern shores of Derry

To the Kingdom of Kerry

Man-of Oak

Maguire.


Tom Maguire (pictured), who held the rank of commandant-general in the Western Command of the Irish Republican Army and led the South Mayo flying column, was born on this date (28th March) in 1892 - 126 years ago today. He died in his 101st year in 1993 : we wrote about the man in an earlier post this month, so we won't repeat ourselves. Except to say that he remains an inspiration for Irish republicans to this day.





"TO EVERY GENERATION ITS DEED..."

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

COMMENTS...

That was a very stirring account of the First Dáil in 'The Sunday Press' of January 23rd. It ended - 'It was a time of glorious courage in the hearts of the common people whose rewards have lasted into our own time." The glorious courage was born of the sacrifices of Easter Week, bouyed by the fighting and sacrifices of the men of the Irish Republican Army and cracked by the betrayal of the men who signed the Treaty.

The courage was further shaken when men who had voted against the Treaty, after a year or two, slipped into the 'Dáil' , and operated England's little 26-County establishment. Then, during what was known in the 26 Counties as 'the Emergency' and in the Six Counties as 'the war', nearly all the courageous had their courage protected in the Curragh Camp, or in the 'Joy', or in Derry and Belfast, and some of the very courageous died for it.

But the rewards have lasted, for there is courage still and it grows apace. (Next - 'IS THIS THE YEAR?', from the same source).






GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.

By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

I remember with horror Basher Burn's 'tackle' on a comrade from Limerick. It was a Second Team match against Cage 12, but Basher's fundamental understanding of football (any type of football) was that in most ball games, the ball was round. Armed with this knowledge, Basher put his name down for the Second Team of Cage Eleven and those poor fools picked him for the team. He had one basic tackle : the fellow from Limerick was running down towards our goal with the ball, when 'Hard and Low' McGlow shouted for Basher to stop him.

"NO DON'T BASH..." I shouted, but my plea was too late - his basic tackle, the uppercut, stopped and dropped the Limerick man dead in his tracks, but there was something beautiful in the way his limp body arched and spiralled in mid-air before it hit the ground in a crumpled heap, followed by a dull sickening thud. As we all stood looking at Basher with our mouths open in disbelief, he lifted the ball out of the Limerick man's unconscious grasp and, looking over at us, asked, without batting an eyelid, "What do I do now?"

We gathered speechless around the inert Limerick body lying on the ground, and watched as one of his eyes seemed to flicker and a groan came from somewhere deep within him. "He's still breathing," said a voice in the crowd, "quick - give the ball to Cheeser..." And Cheeser, with the ball, ran up the pitch and scored a goal! (MORE LATER).






ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK...

..that is, Wednesday 4th April 2018, we won't be posting our usual offering - we are booked up from now until Monday evening (Easter Monday, 2nd April) with Easter commemorations in Dublin and the behind-the-scenes work that goes with those events. But we'll be back on Wednesday 11th April 2018 with, among other bits and pieces, a few words about a woman from a Fenian family who was one of the very select group of people who knew about, in advance, the plans for the 1916 Easter Rising. See ya then!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, March 21, 2018

THE DUAL-PURPOSE ANIMAL AND (/IN) LEINSTER HOUSE.

RSF EASTER COMMEMORATIONS, DUBLIN, 2018.

The main RSF Easter Commemoration in Dublin will be held on Easter Monday, 2nd April 2018 : we will be assembling at the Garden of Remembrance at 1.45pm and marching from there to the GPO in O'Connell Street, arriving there at about 2pm. But, if you can't get to that one, then, on Easter Sunday in Dublin, a wreath will be laid and the 1916 Proclamation will be read at the Éamonn Ceannt monument in the public park named in his honour in Crumlin at 12 noon and a commemoration will be held in Deansgrange Cemetery (which was established in 1861 and had its first burial in 1865) that same day at the republican plot, at 1pm. Details of the other republican tributes, from Donegal to Cork to New York, can be found here. I'll be at one or more of the Dublin events over the Easter weekend, but I've had no luck in getting a sponsor for the New York one...!





ON THIS DATE (21ST MARCH) 21 YEARS AGO - AN 'IRISH' BOUNCING CZECH IS 'BORN'!

When she was Free State Minister for 'Justice', Nora Owen (Fine Gael) granted citizenship to a Ludka Kozeny, on the 21st March, 1997 - 21 years ago on this date. Ever generous, our Nora had done the same for Kozeny's husband, Viktor (pictured), in 1995.

This was not Viktor's first time to be mentioned in the media ; he was already famous (!) in the Czech Republic as a 'go-getter', a successful 'can-do' business-man, who had persuaded eight-and-a-half million people to 'invest' in his 'Harvard Group Investment Fund', promising them a ten-fold return on their money within a year and a day. But the 'Fund', such as it was, failed, and Viktor legged it! He later surfaced in London's Mayfair area, where he made the headlines again - by spending €16,506 on dinner ('Tasting menu with wine £275, Tasting menu without wine £175, Business lunch menu £70'...) for three people at 'Le Gavroche' restaurant!

Incidentally, when we here at '1169 Towers' (if only!) knew it, 'Le Gav' (which is what it's known as by us regulars) was owned by my old buddies, the Roux brothers. But we won't be dining there again. Unless Nora's paying...





''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

SPREAD THE PAPER.

Newspapers cost large sums to produce, and need widespread organisation to distribute. With such a large network, distribution would be easier and returns made much quicker, and essential funds would not be a heavy drain on any small group.

'An t-Eireannach Aontuighthe', though enjoying a large sale, does not, as yet, reach all the areas that we wish - the considerable advantage of small groups in every district pressing the sales cannot be overlooked, but the newspaper is not the only means of propaganda : the Sunday morning meeting, the debate and the lecture are others. Where enthusiasm and sincerity reign many new ideas will be forthcoming to instil into our people the age-old ideal.

Remember that Irish republicanism is not a cold and empty formula but a burning flame which, once kindled in the young and unspoilt heart, transforms the man and brings him into spiritual communion with all that was great and glorious in Gaelic Ireland since man first set foot upon her soil.

The story of our race, her heroes and her tragedies must be put before everybody, young and old, and urged upon him the necessity of making one last great effort to achieve her destiny. That is the propaganda of which we speak. (Next : 'ECONOMICS TODAY' , from the same source.)





PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN PRINCES...

'(Peadar) Kearney was born at 68 Lower Dorset Street, Dublin, in 1883 (and) often walked along Gardiner Street to the Custom House and along the Quays. His father was from Louth and his mother was originally from Meath. He was educated at the Model School, Schoolhouse Lane and St Joseph's Christian Brothers School in Fairview, Dublin. He left school at the age of 14, becoming an apprentice house painter...(he)joined the Gaelic League in 1901, and joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1903...he was a co-founder of the Irish Volunteers in 1913...', and this -

'A descendant of Amhran ha bhFiann composer Peadar Kearney has launched High Court proceedings against a fund-appointed receiver seeking the return of items including an original copy of the national anthem signed by the composer...' (from here and here.)

Peadar Kearney joined the IRB when he was 20 years young (in 1903) and, four years later, along with his friend Paddy Heeney, wrote the words and tune for 'Amhrán na bhFiann' ('The Soldiers Song'). He took part in the 1916 Rising, fighting alongside Thomas MacDonagh at Jacobs Factory, and managed to escape the round-up by the 'authorities' that followed, literally 'living to fight another day'. And he did - he was active again during the 'Black and Tan War', during which he was imprisoned for about a year. Following the 'Treaty of Surrender' - and this is perhaps not as well known as his republican involvement - he took the Free State side and was actually in the 'Collins Convoy' at Béal na mBláth when, in August 1922, those Free Staters were ambushed by the IRA, and Michael Collins was killed.

It's also not as well known as it should be that he worked for the Free State in Portlaoise Prison as a 'Censor' ie removing what the State regarded as 'sensitive content' from letters that republican prisoners were trying to send out to family and friends : his conscience must have troubled him, as he only stuck that job for a week and, in the late 1930's, made public his (new-found) opposition to partition. He died in Inchicore, Dublin, in 1942, at 59 years of age, and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery. As we said - 'Put not your trust..'





"TO EVERY GENERATION ITS DEED..."

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

COMMENTS...

A man cannot justify his break-away from the separatist ideal simply by quoting the isolated dictum of another, especially when the other is a splendid man who died by his guns - 'the effective leader of the insurrection' - James Connolly. He was a soldier, a militant to the last, a member of the Irish Republican Army, unpopular then as now with all but the truly sincere.

The effort of the members of the Republican Movement is not to bring the Six North-Eastern Counties into a set-up which would grant our Northern friends far less compensation when sick or out of work. Our aim is to break the connection with England, so that the people of Ireland can govern themselves and make the best use of the wealth in their own country, and live in a decent and Christian way. We think that there must be Irishmen alive and yet to come with the ability to govern Ireland without foreign intervention, and whose purpose is to the good of Ireland.

The dual-purpose politician who tries to serve two masters - Ireland and England - is like that phenomenon of animals, the dual-purpose cow, which we breed here to trot over to England hoofs, hide and all. (MORE LATER).






ON THIS DATE (21ST MARCH) 75 YEARS AGO : 21 FOR BREAKFAST ON THE 21ST!

Early on Saturday morning, 21st March 1943 - 75 years ago on this date - as the Logue family of Harding Street, Derry, were about to sit down for their breakfast, they noticed a part of their small garden rising up and being pushed back - their garden wall formed part of the perimeter of a neighbouring premises, Derry Jail : a figure pulled himself up from the hole in the ground and began assisting others that were trying to scramble to their feet. Within minutes there were 21 men assembled in the small garden, all of whom rushed into the Logue house and let themselves out through the front door. They ran to near-by Abercorn Place and jumped into a waiting lorry, a furniture removal van, which was driven by an on-the-run IRA man, Jimmy Steele, who had recently liberated himself from Crumlin Road Prison!

Among the escapees were well-known IRA activists Patrick Donnelly, Ned Maguire, Hugh McAteer, Liam Graham and Brendan O'Boyle who, incidentally, was the last man to be helped from the tunnel. Jimmy Drumm was earmarked as the last man and was in the tunnel, yards behind Brendan O'Boyle, when he heard a warning being shouted that the British Army had discovered the exit and were picking-up the men as they emerged - so he turned back, only to discover later that it was a false alarm.

The tunnel had been started in November 1942, in Liam Graham's cell and, out of the 200 or so IRA prisoners in the jail, 22 had been picked by the prisoners themselves as it was felt that that group could more readily 'rally the troops' on the outside as each of them had a high profile in the Movement and were respected by all concerned (except, obviously, by the British and the Staters!). An estimated five tons of clay was removed (although other sources estimated that about 15 tons of clay was shifted) over a five month period and most of it was scattered in the prison grounds, although repeated attempts were made to dispose of some of it via the toilets, which blocked the pipes. A plumbing company was called in on a regular basis over that five month period but, whether they knew what was happening or not, they said nothing and the warders and their bosses knew nothing of the excavation that was then on-going - indeed, during the last few weeks of the dig, the IRA prisoners had held a 'mini-fleadh cheoil' to cover the noise and the constant comings-and-goings from cell to cell and from cell to prison yard.

Jimmy Steele and Harry White had each organised to have about 12 men on stand-by on each side of Britain's border in Ireland to assist with the dispersal of the escapees, the majority of whom were taken to Donegal but, within a day, eleven of their number had been captured by Free State forces and interned in the Curragh. Others were also captured in that county, in a place called Glentown, and they were then held in a FS barracks in Letterkenny and, within a week, only three of the 21 were still at liberty.

That successful escape effort not only helped to refocus world attention on to the then(-as-now) on-going struggle for national liberation in Ireland, but proved to be a massive morale boost for the Republican Movement. it helped to insure that the flame stayed lit, and brought in new recruits who, in turn, passed the mantle to those who hold the same values today.





ON THIS DATE (21ST MARCH) 97 YEARS AGO : 'LAST STOP' FOR SOME BRITISH ARMY SQUADDIES.

'On 21st March 1921, the Kerry IRA attacked a train at the Headford junction near Killarney. Twenty British soldiers were killed or injured. The 'Headford Ambush' was organised by the Kerry No. 2 Brigade Flying Column IRA who, while billeted in the vicinity of Headford on the 21st March 1921, learned that a detachment of British troops were due to return by train from Kenmare to Tralee later that day, and decided to ambush them. The attack was led by Dan Allman (pictured,who was killed in the engagement) and Tom McEllistrim (a future Fianna Fáil TD); perhaps as many as 30 members of the IRA were involved...' (from here.)

'On 21st March 1921, the Kerry IRA attacked a train at the Headford junction near Killarney. Twenty British soldiers were killed or injured...(they)were members of the Royal London Fusiliers, who were obliged to change trains at Headford Junction as they made their way back to Tralee ; consequently, the station was chosen as the natural venue for the ambush. The train in question, however, arrived earlier then expected, before the preparations for the ambush had been completed. Dan Allman and two others who had been on the platform as the train pulled in were forced to take refuge in a lavatory. The soldiers alighted leisurely, and as one of them entered the lavatory and discovered Allman, a scuffle broke out. Allman shot the soldier, and the ambush began.

The IRA fired on the train from both sides of the station. The British attempted to use a machine gun fastened to the front of the train, but this was specifically targeted by the IRA and played no major role in the ambush, which lasted for perhaps 50 minutes. The civilian passengers had disembarked from the carriages before the soldiers, but some were still in the station when the gunfire began : three cattle dealers were killed, and a three year old girl was badly wounded in both legs when a bullet passed through her fathers leg as he sought to shelter her. Two members of the IRA (including Allman) were killed, and the British recorded that they lost seven soldiers on the spot, though members of the IRA claimed that as many as 24 soldiers had been killed.

The ambush ended when the Mallow-Tralee train arrived ; it had inadvertently brought British reinforcements, and the IRA withdrew from the vicinity of the station. They were then fired upon by British troops as they escaped across a cut away bog (and) some members of the column returned fire before splitting into two groups to slip away. The Flying Column was left desperately short of ammunition for days afterwards due to the duration and severity of the gunfire at the train station...' (from here.)

Tom McEllistrim, who was born in County Kerry in 1894, joined the Irish Volunteers when he was 20 years young (in 1914) and fought in the War of Independence. He took the republican side in the Civil War and, for three years, was an elected republican politician, but then joined Fianna Fáil in 1926, when that grouping was established. He died in 1973. He was the joint commander of the IRA column which carried out the ambush at Headford Junction at which 28 people were killed and, years later, stated - "When the battle was over, there were 28 bodies lined up dead inside in that platform.."

Many members of the 'Farmers' Bridge' unit of the IRA took part in the Headford Ambush, a unit which Dan Keating was later to join. That Active Service Unit included men of the calibre of Johnny Duggan, Johnny O'Connor, Timmy Galvin, Moss Galvin, Jack Corkery, Jim Ryle, Mick Hogan and Jamesy Whiston, and those men and their comrades were suitably spread out in vantage points in the immediate vicinity - Tom McEllistrim, John Flynn (who was an ex-British Army man) and Paddy Lynch took control of the Station Master's House, Moss Carmody was at the Signal Box, Dan Allman, Dan Healy, Jack Cronin and Jim Coffey (another ex-British Army man) were in control of the toilet in the middle of the platform, Peter Browne and nine of his comrades guarded the South Embankment and John O'Connor was one of six men who had the North Embankment under their control. The remaining vantage point, the Mallow end of the Platform, was controlled by Jack Brosnan, Tom O'Connor and four other men.

Westminster would only admit to eight casualties - Adams, Brundish, Chandler, George, West, Woods, Young and Greenwood. The battle lasted for about one hour, but will be remembered - and recounted - forever!





GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.

By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

The huts of the cages surrounding the football pitches were empty as the inmates took advantage of the high vantage points afforded by standing on top of the shower huts or the study huts that overlooked the football pitch. The banter and abuse, when being shouted at the same time, became just pure abuse, but hilarious.

The roofs of the huts were being wrecked by everyone not only standing on them but jumping up and down, screaming at the matches. It was absolutely nuts, and the worse perpetrators of this abuse were the men of Cage Eleven. They abused everyone about everything - but abuse about immediate family was taboo. Anything else, such as weight, size, girlfriends, boyfriends (some of the abuse could be very malicious!) was fair game.

Nicknames ranged from 'The Goldfish' to 'Sleepy Sickness', 'The Brush', 'The Poison Dwarf', 'Platehead', 'Plastic Hands' and 'More Rope', to 'Aldergrove Airport', which was a reference to a comrade running down the wing with the ball, and who found himself confronted by this mountain of a Belfast man who was on the opposite team - "Run around him, Davy", someone shouted, "Run around him.." "You must be joking", yelled Davy, "You'd be quicker running around the runway at Aldergrove Airport.." And the name stuck. (MORE LATER).


Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, March 07, 2018

THE ALLEGIANCE OF IRISH SOLDIERS AND CITIZENS...

ON THIS DATE (7TH MARCH) 97 YEARS AGO : BRITISH ARMY PATROL SURRENDER TO IRA FLYING COLUMN.

'On March 7th 1921, the IRA's South Mayo Flying Column (pictured), under the command of Tom Maguire, surrounded a British army patrol at Kilfall between Ballinrobe and Castlebar forcing it to surrender and give up their arms. The patrol were then released unharmed. Tom Maguire’s personal account of the engagement is given in the book 'Survivors' by Uinsean MacEoin...

On May 3rd of 1921, Tom Maguire led an ambush party on an RIC patrol in Tournakeady, Co. Mayo during which four RIC men were killed. Following the engagement, Maguire’s flying column made their escape to the Partry Mountains which lie to the west of Lough Mask. They were pursued by a large force of British soldiers and policemen who used an aeroplane to monitor the progress of the column. A number of skirmishes ensued during which Maguire was wounded and his adjutant killed. There is some dispute about the number of British casualties but fokelore has it that they were substantial. The column managed to escape with no further casualties...

Tom Maguire was elected to the Dáil elections of 1921, 1822 and 1923. He took the anti-treaty side in the Civil War and was a member of the anti-treaty IRA executive which commanded the anti-treaty army. He was captured by the National Army and though he was told he was to be executed, his life was spared. However, his younger brother Seán aged 17 was executed in Tuam on 11th April 1923 along with six others. These men are known today as the 'Tuam Martyrs'..' (from here.)

In June 1923 General Maguire escaped from Athlone Barracks and was never re-captured. Along with other surviving faithful members of the Second Dáil - the last All-Ireland parliament - he delegated Executive Authority to the Army Council of the IRA in 1938. In December 1969, he recognised the Provisional Army Council as the legitimate successor to the 1938 body -

"The majority of the delegates at the December 1969 IRA Convention, having passed the resolution referred to above, proceeded to elect an Executive which in turn appointed a new Army Council, committed to implement the resolution. That Convention had neither the right nor the authority to pass such a resolution. Accordingly, I, as the sole surviving member of the Executive of Dáil Éireann and the sole surviving signatory of the 1938 Proclamation, hereby declare that the resolution is illegal and that the alleged Executive and Army Council are illegal, and have no right to claim the allegiance of either soldiers or citizens of the Irish Republic.

The delegates who opposed the resolution, together with delegates from units which were not represented at the Convention, met subsequently in Convention and repudiated the resolution. They re-affirmed their allegiance to the Irish Republic and elected a Provisional Executive which, in turn, appointed a Provisional Army Council. I hereby further declare that the Provisional Executive and the Provisional Army Council are the lawful Executive and Army Council respectively of the IRA* and that the governmental authority delegated in the Proclamation of 1938 now resides in the Provisional Army Council and its lawful successors. I fully endorse their call for support from Irish people everywhere towards the realisation of the full freedom of Ireland.."

Dated the 31st day of December, 1969. Signed : THOMAS MAGUIRE, (Tomas Mac Uidhir) Comdt. General."

NOTE - *Following the 1986 division, Comdt. General Thomas Maguire nominated the Continuity IRA as the legitimate IRA. Tom Maguire is one of the many Irish republican men and women that the Republican Movement was, is and always will be guided by : When the majority of (P)IRA and (P)Sinn Féin decided to abandon abstentionism in the 1969/70 split, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and Dáithí Ó Conaill sought and secured Maguire's recognition of the Provisional IRA as the legitimate successor to the 1938 Army Council. Of the seven 1938 signatories, Maguire was the only one still alive. Likewise in the aftermath of the 1986 split in the Republican Movement, Maguire signed a statement in 1986 which was issued posthumously, in 1996 : he conferred this legitimacy on the Army Council of the Continuity IRA (who provided a firing party at Maguire's funeral in 1993 - he was 101 years of age when he died). And he remains an inspiration for Irish republicans to this day.





ON THIS DATE (7TH MARCH) 95 YEARS AGO - IRA MAN 'ARRESTED' BY THE STATERS. HIS BODY WAS FOUND LATER IN A FIELD.

Robert Bonfield (pictured, left) was born in Youghalarra, Nenagh, County Tipperary in 1903 and was educated by the Christian Brothers at Synge Street, Dublin and, at the age of 17, entered University College, Dublin, to study dentistry, and joined the IRA through contacts in that College. A number of weeks before his death (he was shot dead by Free Staters on the 29th of March 1923) he was arrested at his home by the Staters, but he escaped from their custody (in Portobello Barracks) and went on the run, and remained a free man until his recapture and subsequent 'disappearance'. He was visiting the Seven Churches on Holy Thursday when he was picked up by the Staters (visiting the Seven Churches was a custom in Dublin during that period, when its citizens would visit all seven churches during Holy Week).

After being captured he was dragged towards the Baggot Street corner of Stephen's Green, near the Shelbourne Hotel, and in the direction of both Oriel House and the new CID Headquarters which was just a few hundred yards away on Merrion Square. He was assaulted on several occasions by his escort in full public view and this was the last time he was seen alive ; his body was discovered the following day, Good Friday, by a shepherd at Clondalkin, Dublin - the previous day (Thursday, 29th of March 1923, between 6.30pm and 7pm), a young girl named Bella Brown, who lived near the Red Cow in Clondalkin, heard six shots as she was bringing milk to a neighbour's house. The following day, Friday 30th March 1923, the body of Robert Bonfield was discovered in a field close by - he had been shot several times in the head.

According to testimony given by several witnesses at the inquest there is no doubt that IRA Commandant Bonfield was arrested by members of (Free State) President Cosgrave's personal body guard and later murdered, either by them, or their associate detectives operating out of Oriel House. He was discovered lying on his side at the bottom of a ditch at Dowling's Farm, Newlands Cross - he had been shot a number of times. He was only 20 years of age. His remains were refused admission to his local Parish church in Ranelagh and he was buried in the family plot, St. Paul's section, Glasnevin Cemetery :

'Bonfield was arrested on 07th March 1923 (95 years ago on this date) by a Lieut. Bolger after his house at 103 Moyne Road, Ranelagh was raided and a veritable arsenal (including a Lewis Gun and three revolvers) were seized. He was taken to Portobello Barracks from where he subsequently escaped a couple of nights later. He went to the house of schoolmates of his, Brendan and Kevin Mangan, at Albany Terrace, Ranelagh and had a wash and some food before going on the run. A 'servant girl' who had helped give him the meal probably reported him to the authorities. The following night the Mangan's house was raided by "a group of men in plain clothes accompanied by a man in the uniform of an Army Lieutenant" who were looking for Bonfield. Brendan Mangan was taken to the back garden and interrogated. His parents attempted to intervene and when his mother asked why he was not arrested and charged in the 'proper way', the chilling reply was "We are out to execute, not make arrests".

Mangan's excuses were believed and the group left, which was rather lucky as Bonfield had hidden arms under the floor of the Mangans henhouse and Brendan was aware of this. The Mangans kept the guns hidden for many years and later when the family moved house Brendan transferred the guns to the hen house at their new address. It was only years later when there was an amnesty that his brother Kevin handed in the guns. On the 29th of March 1923, about 2 weeks later, Bonfield was lifted by Cosgraves bodyguard which included Joe McGrath, John O'Reilly (who was either a Colonel, a Commandant or a Superintendent) and an unnamed guard. Two of these men took Commandant Robert 'Bobbie' Bonfield to Clondalkin and shot him...' (from here.)

However, in her book 'Four roads to Dublin: the history of Rathmines, Ranelagh and Leeson Street', Deirdre Kelly came across sources who suggested that the then State 'authorities' believed that a different IRA man had executed Seamus Dwyer - '(IRA man) Frank Lawlor was aware that CID agents were looking for him. He was tracked down to a friends house in Ranelagh and taken from there by the CID. His body was recovered at Milltown Golf Club. Nothing was heard of Lawlor until the 1st of January 1923 when his body was found on Orwell Road...if Frank Lawlor was killed (he was killed by Staters on the 29th December 1922) in revenge for Dwyers death, it appears..that they got the wrong man, as according to IRA officer Séan Dowling it was another man, Bobby Bonfield who shot Dwyer, for which Bonfield was himself assassinated by pro-Treaty forces in March 1923..', and yet another IRA man, Thomas O'Leary, had his name linked by Staters to the Dwyer execution ; both IRA men were shot dead by Leinster House operatives, either because of the whispered 'Dwyer link' or simply due to the fact that they continued to be Irish republicans, unlike those that shot them.

Seamus Dwyer, a member of the Free State political establishment - whether or not he was a member/supporter or leader of the anti-republican CDF organisation, he was a poacher-turned-gamekeeper - was shot dead by the IRA on the 20th December 1922 : on that date, Robert 'Bobby' Bonfield went to James Dwyer's shop at 5 Rathmines Terrace, Dublin, and shot him dead. James (Seamus) Dwyer was once a Sinn Féin and IRA activist but, at the time he was shot, was a pro-Treaty politician. Three months later Bobby Bonfield, 20 years of age, Quarter Master and Acting O/C of the 4th Battalion, 1st Dublin Brigade of the IRA - a known 'anti-Treaty guerrilla'- was killed by Free State forces in revenge for the shooting of Dwyer.





''SINN FÉIN IS EVERYTHING ITS NAME IMPLIES - GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE....!'

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, October 1954.

NEED FOR PROPAGANDA.

Now the first task for Sinn Féin is propaganda. Recent usage of this word has given people the idea that it means only the use of careful mis-statements and clever falsehoods to deceive people and lead them astray : but it has the other meaning, which is the dissemination of truth to prevent them from going astray.

Thus we see that the Catholic Church has its College of Propaganda, whose duty it is to see that Catholic teachings and ideas are broadcast and false doctrines refuted. In these days of fast communications, radio and television, and mass-produced literature, it is essential that we in Ireland see to it that our people are protected against the wholesale influx of harmful foreign ideas and influences, and that they are constantly reminded of their national duties and obligations.

If we are to resume the struggle with England we must be mindful of how thorough and widespread press censorship can be, and how ruthlessly it can be used against us. Measures must be taken now to counter such a move, and the lessons learned in the past borne in mind.

Propaganda has become one of the major weapons of war and we must use it to the full, being weak in other respects. A well organised network of Sinn Féin Cumainn throughout the 32 counties is the first step.

(Next : 'SPREAD THE PAPER' , from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (7TH MARCH) 95 YEARS AGO : TIED TO A LANDMINE, FINISHED OFF BY GRENADES AND MACHINE GUNS.

- an image depicting the Free State army detonating a landmine after they had placed nine republican prisoners near it, on the 7th March 1923 - 95 years ago on this date.

On March 6th, 1923, five Free State soldiers, including Captains Michael Dunne and Joseph Stapleton of Dublin Brigade, were killed in Knocknagoshel, Co Kerry, by a booby trap mine. The target of the trap was a local man by the name of Paddy 'Pats' O'Connor who, according to the IRA, was a notorious torturer of prisoners. O'Connor joined the Free State army because of the treatment of his father by the local IRA, involving a dispute over farmland in the Glansaroon, Castleisland area, and a fine issued because of same by the IRA.

The IRA's local commander, Humphrey Murphy, organised for a 'tip off' letter to be sent to the Free Staters, informing them that a stash of republican weapons were hidden in a specific location at Barranarig Wood near the small town of Knocknagoshel, in North Kerry - in her novel, '1921', Morgan Llywelyn gives this account of what occurred : 'A letter in the handwriting of a known local informer had been delivered (to Free State forces) the evening before..the letter gave the location of a major IRA weapons dump at Barranarig Wood, Knocknagoshel (but) the letter was a forgery. A mine casing packed with shrapnel and an explosive charge was waiting, buried in a lonely field at the supposed dump site. At 2am on March 6th, 1923, five members of the Free State Army – three officers of the 'Dublin Guards' and two enlisted men – were blown apart.' Five men, including Paddy O'Connor, were killed immediately and a sixth man lost both legs. In a press statement after the explosion, the Kerry command of the Irish Free State Army announced that IRA prisoners would clear road obstacles in future.

The 'Dublin Guards', who had been in Kerry since the previous August, were commanded by Major General Paddy O'Daly (pictured, left), a 'poacher turned gamekeeper' ie an ex-IRA man. He was furious over the booby trap and it subsequently became clear that he was responsible for what took place following the Barranarig Wood incident. At around 2am on the 7th March, 1923 - 95 years ago on this date - nine IRA prisoners, many of whom had been tortured, were brought to Ballyseedy Wood where they were told that they were to remove an "irregular (ie IRA) road block" (which had been put in place by the Staters themselves). However, it was clear to the men what was in store for them when they had been shown 9 coffins in the barracks. Each were offered a cigarette and told it would be "the last you'll have".

They were then tied together to the mined 'roadblock' and blown up. Some of the men were still alive and were finished off by grenade and machine gun - Dorothy Macardle described what had happened : "The soldiers had strong ropes and electric cord. Each prisoner's hands were tied behind him, then his arms were tied above the elbow to those of the men on either side of him. Their feet were bound together above the ankles* and their legs were bound together above the knees. Then a strong rope was passed round the nine men and the soldiers moved away..." (*their shoelaces were also tied together). The 'barricade/road block' was a large log, against which was placed a mine.

But the Free State troops weren't aware that one man had been blown clear and managed to escape - his name was Stephen Fuller (who become a FF 'TD' in 1937, and died at Edenburn nursing home in February 1984.). Because the bodies were so badly mangled all nine coffins were filled with the remains of the eight who perished. This was to lead to a near riot in Tralee when the coffins were handed over to the families at the gates of Ballymullen Barracks- the families broke open the coffins to try and identify the remains and 'disturbances' erupted when the crowds realised what had happened. Later on the same day a very similar incident took place at Countess Bridge in Killarney where five IRA prisoners where asked to remove a mined road block which was also blown up. Three of the men who lay wounded were finished off by grenades. Again, amazingly, a fifth man, Tadhg Coffey, survived and escaped.

Five days later 5 more IRA prisoners were killed in a similar explosion - those murders took place at Bahaghs, near Cahirciveen on the 12th March, 1923. The victims were republican soldiers from the Kerry No. 3 Brigade of the IRA : Michael Courtney jnr, Eugene Dwyer, Daniel Shea, John Sugrue and William Riordan, all from the Waterville area. Each of them was first shot in the legs to prevent them escaping, should they survive the explosion, and were then put over a mine and blown up. When the details slowly emerged about what really happened the Free State administration was forced to call an inquiry into the 'incident' and they appointed none other than Major General Paddy O'Daly to oversee the 'court of inquiry' in April, 1923 - it was never going to be anything other than a whitewash. One Free State soldier, Lt W McCarthy, resigned his commission after the incident and called his colleagues "a murder gang". Captain Niall Harrington (Author of 'Kerry Landings') of the Free State 'Dublin Brigade' reported that "the mines used in the slaughter of the prisoners were constructed in Tralee under the supervision of two senior Dublin Guards officers". But neither he nor Lt W McCarthy was ever called to testify, thus, obviously, limiting the amount of 'whitewash' the Staters needed to cover up the truth.





"TO EVERY GENERATION ITS DEED..."

From 'The United Irishman' newspaper, February 1955.

COMMENTS...

"Back to Wolfe Tone", says 'The Times' correspondent, who "desires a united Ireland as much as anyone." It is very heartening to read such splendid sentiments, and we wish that all who express such sentiment could see the way to that united Ireland as we do. We do not believe that James Connolly measured anything more than his conception of economic freedom "by the living standards enjoyed by the lowest economic class in society".

We do not believe that James Connolly would have been content with the most benevolent of conquerors even if they gave the lowest economic class conditions that would satisfy the most critical, nor would the people of Ireland ever accept foreign government, however well-meaning, as a substitute for self-government.

Yes. I'm afraid this "brand of green patriotism rising its head again" is the continuation of seven centuries of struggle - and Tone's, and Fintan Lalor's and O'Donovan Rossa's and Pearse's was the same brand, and the brand is pure certainly, but not sentimental. And the fact that it is raising its head again makes it fairly obvious that the Irish people of 1955 are just as determined to have complete separation as those of 1798, 1803, 1848 and 1916. (MORE LATER).






ON THIS DATE (7TH MARCH) 97 YEARS AGO - LIMERICK CITY CURFEW MURDERS.

'The Limerick City curfew murders of March 1921.

Assassination of Mayor Clancy, ex-Mayor O'Callaghan and Volunteer O'Donoghue.


Contributed by Mrs O'Callaghan, Mrs Clancy, and comrades of the murdered patriots.

On the morning of March the seventh, 1921, Seoirse ('George') Clancy, Mayor of Limerick, and Michael O'Callaghan, his predecessor in office, were foully murdered by British police in their homes, and in the presence of their wives. The Mayoress, Mrs Clancy, was wounded during the assassination of her husband. The murder of Michael O'Callaghan took place about 1.10am, and that of Seoirse Clancy about 2.30am. Some hours previously, Joseph O'Donoghue of the IRA was murdered and his bullet-ridden body was found in the street in the morning...' (from here.)

'George Clancy, the Mayor of Limerick, and his immediate predecessor, Michael O'Callaghan were shot dead in their homes. Known as 'the Curfew Murders', as their houses were raided during the hours of curfew, their deaths shocked the whole City and Country and became International News. Mrs Clancy was wounded in a vain attempt to shield her husband from assassination and Mrs O'Callaghan also witnessed the murder of her spouse. Both victims were distinguished members of the Community and had been involved in the struggle for Independence. Clancy was an ex University Professor and a friend of James Joyce. He is believed to have provided the background for a character in Joyce’s Classic 'Portrait of an artist as a young man'. O'Callaghan’s grandfather, Eugene O'Callaghan, was Mayor of Limerick in 1843.

The third leading Citizen, Joseph O'Donoghue, was taken from his house that night and found shot dead in a field some hours later... their assailants were in Mufti, wore goggles and had their coat collars turned up but it quickly became obvious that the gang in question were serving members of the Crown Forces. Mrs O'Callaghan gathered what evidence she could collect and demanded an inquest but no inquiry other than a military one was ever carried out. Even the ex British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith stated that members of the RIC (Auxiliaries) were the culprits. However the particular individuals who carried out these attacks were never formally identified with the crimes. Many years later in the 1950's a deceased British Officer was named as one of the murderers but no conclusive proof was ever established as to his involvement.


A further twist to the story of the Murdered Mayors was added when, in February 1982, the Limerick Leader published a picture of 'Black and Tans', taken at William Street Police Station (now demolished). A side note to the photograph by Willie ‘Whack’ Gleeson, alleged that two of the Tans in the photograph, Sergeant Leech and Sergeant Horan, were also involved in the killings. While Leech was implicated in the murder of Joseph O'Donoghue, we don't know what part, if any, Horan played on the night in question. In the summer of 1922 Leech was shot dead at Harcourt Street Station, Dublin...' (from here.)

The two republican politicians were democratically elected by their own people in their own city yet were coldly assassinated by representatives of a foreign occupying force. Joseph O'Donoghue was an Irishman, in his own country, who bravely decided to defend his country from that foreign occupying force. Incidentally, Herbert Asquith was obviously made aware that two members of 'G Coy ADRIC' ('Auxiliary Division Royal Irish Constabulary') played a part in the assassinations, and he was no doubt given the same names as those mentioned in this country at the time - George Nathan and Les Ibbotson. But British 'justice' covered-up for its lackeys in this country, as it had done for centuries before then and as it continues to do to this day.





GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.

By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

At the same time as you were grabbing his face you had to shout "C'mere here, where do you think you're going?" This innovation was introduced by Honky Wilson and, on the face of it, it changed the face of 'face collecting' forever.

Strangely enough, I have never seen any reference to 'face collecting' in any GAA handbook or manual - it's not even in 'The Imbeciles Guide to WWF'. Yet. Some people would try and grab their opponents by the nose, but this was frowned upon as mundane. If you think about it, where is the skill in grabbing someone, say, with a big enormous nose or chin, for example? God knows, there was plenty of them about Long Kesh.

I well remember the inter-cage results being put up on the notice board in the study hut of Cage Eleven. This was always waited on with great expectation within the cage, as it was the only true record of the injuries we inflicted upon one another during the course of the season. Oh! And anyone who was remotely interested could find out the scores of the matches, as well... (MORE LATER).






ON THIS DATE (7TH MARCH) 170 YEARS AGO - NEW IRISH FLAG UNVEILED BY 'MEAGHER OF THE SWORD'.

"Abhor the sword - stigmatize the sword? No, for in the passes of the Tyrol it cut to pieces the banner of the Bavarian, and, through those cragged passes, struck a path to fame for the peasant insurrections of Innsbruck! Abhor the sword - stigmatize the sword? No, for at its blow a giant nation started from the waters of the Atlantic, and by its redeeming magic, and in the quiverings of its crimsoned light, the crippled colony sprang into the attitude of a proud Republic - prosperous, limitless, and invincible! Abhor the sword - stigmatize the sword? No, for it swept the Dutch marauders out of the fine old towns of Belgium - scourged them back to their own phlegmatic swamps - and knocked their flag and sceptre, their laws and bayonets, into the sluggish water of the Scheldt.." - Thomas Francis Meagher, pictured.

Born on the 3rd August 1823, died (in mysterious circumstances) on the 1st July, 1867 :'Does the world even have heroes like Ireland's Thomas Francis Meagher anymore? After fighting for Irish independence ("I know of no country that has won its independence by accident") ,then condemned to death, pardoned and exiled, Thomas Francis Meagher escaped to America,where he became a leader of the Irish community and commanded the Irish Brigade during the Civil War. General Meagher's men fought valiantly at some of the most famous battles of the Civil War, including Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. After the war, Meagher served as Acting Governor of the Montana Territory. In 1867, Meagher disappeared on the Missouri River ; his body was never found..' (from here.)

Thomas Francis Meagher was born in Waterford City (near the Commins/Granville Hotel) on August 3rd, 1823, into a financially-comfortable family ; his father was a wealthy merchant who, having made his money, entered politics, a route which the young Thomas was to follow. At 20 years young, he decided to challenge British misrule in Ireland and, at 23 years of age (in 1846), he became one of the leaders of the 'Young Ireland' Movement. He was only 25 years of age when he sat down with the Government of the Second French Republic to seek support for an uprising in Ireland. At 29 years of age, he wrote what is perhaps his best known work - 'Speeches on the Legislative Independence of Ireland', of which six editions were published.

He unveiled an Irish flag, which was based on the French Tricolour, in his native city, Waterford, on the 7th March 1848 - 170 years ago on this date - outside the Wolfe Tone Confederate Club. The French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alphonse de Lamartine, and a group of French women who supported the Irish cause, gave Meagher the new 'Flag of Ireland', a tricolour of green, white and orange - the difference between the 1848 flag and the present flag is that the orange was placed next to the staff and the red hand of Ulster adorned the white field on the original. On the 15th April that same year, on Abbey Street, in Dublin, he presented the flag to Irish citizens on behalf of himself and the 'Young Ireland' movement, with the following words : "I trust that the old country will not refuse this symbol of a new life from one of her youngest children. I need not explain its meaning. The quick and passionate intellect of the generation now springing into arms will catch it at a glance. The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the 'orange' and the 'green' and I trust that beneath its folds, the hands of the Irish protestant and the Irish catholic may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood.."

He was arrested by the British for his part in the 1848 Rising, accused of 'high treason' and sentenced to death ("to be hanged, drawn and disemboweled..") but, while he was awaiting execution in Richmond Jail, this was changed by 'Royal Command' to transportation for life. Before he was deported, he spoke in Slievenamon, Tipperary, to a crowd estimated at 50,000 strong, about the country and the flag he was leaving behind - "Daniel O'Connell preached a cause that we are bound to see out. He used to say 'I may not see what I have laboured for, I am an old man ,my arm is withered, no epitaph of victory may mark my grave, but I see a young generation with redder blood in their veins, and they will do the work.' Therefore it is that I ambition to decorate these hills with the flag of my country.."

In July 1849, at only 26 years of age, he was transported from Dun Laoghaire on the S.S.Swift to Tasmania, where he was considered, and rightly so, to be a political prisoner (a 'Ticket of Leave' inmate) which meant he could build his own 'cell' on a designated piece of land that he could farm provided he donated an agreed number of hours each week for State use. In early 1852, Thomas Francis Meagher escaped and made his way to New Haven, in Connecticut, America, and travelled from there to a hero's welcome in New York. This fine orator, newspaper writer, lawyer, revolutionary, Irish POW, soldier in the American civil war and acting Governor of Montana died (in mysterious circumstances - he drowned after 'falling off' a Missouri River steamboat) on the 1st of July 1867 at 44 years of age. Once, when asked about his 'crimes', he replied - "Judged by the law of England, I know this 'crime' entails upon me the penalty of death ; but the history of Ireland explains that 'crime' and justifies it."

This brave man dedicated twenty-four of his forty-four years on this earth to challenging British misrule in Ireland and, while it can be said without doubt that Thomas Francis Meagher did his best, a 'crime' does remain to be resolved.





ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK...

..we won't be in a position to post our usual offerings and we may not be able to post until the following Wednesday, 21st March, as the Dublin Executive of RSF are holding a 650-ticket raffle in a hotel on the Dublin/Kildare border on Sunday, 11th March, meaning that we'll be busy with that from Tuesday 6th until Monday 12th. We might, hopefully, slip-in a few words between now and then, but it looks like our next post might not be until Wednesday 21st next. And, I'm told, that next post will include a piece on a Free State Minister for 'Justice' who arranged State citizenship for a certain foreign gentleman (and his then wife, as well!) who was infamous, to put it mildly, in the world of high finance...see ya then!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.