" A wealth of information..."

"1169 And Counting is a wealth of information on our Republican past and present , and demonstrates how the Irish political landscape , like that of any nation, will never be a black and white issue..."

(From the ‘e-Thursday’ section of the ‘Business Week’ supplement of the ‘Irish Independent’ , 21st August 2008.)



IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2017 - we made it to the finalists page last year but never got to the stage :- ( 'cause not enough of ye feckers out there voted for us! So we're gonna give ya a second chance - the blog awards this year will be held on Thursday, October 5th (2017) in The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, in Dublin city centre, and we would appreciate if you could keep an eye here and give us a vote when ya can. Or else we'll get our 'Junior' to put up a pay wall and then ye will be sorry...!


Saturday, March 27, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......



.......in March 1802 , Arthur O'Connor and other United Irishmen were released from Fort George Prison in Scotland under the terms of the 'Peace of Amiens' Treaty ; the men immediately travelled to France .......



Incidentally , under the 'Peace of Amiens' Treaty , the Brits agreed to relinquish control over all the territories they had 'taken' , except for two - Trinidad and Ceylon ; in return , France agreed to evacuate Italy . Surely a missed opportunity ? - how history would have changed had the French insisted on Ireland being added to that list ...

Arthur O'Connor settled in France and enlisted in the French Army ; within two years (ie by 1804) he was appointed 'General-of-Division' by Napoleon . On 25th April , 1852 , at 92 years of age , Arthur O'Connor died ; he had given 65 years of service to the Cause of Irish Freedom , but is perhaps better known and remembered in France than he is in Ireland .


' There's not an Irishman today would ever wish to roam
unto a foreign land to live , if he could live at home .
So give us our liberty , let our banners be unfurled -
in Ireland then , her children, shall prove a credit to the world . '

(From 'Show Me the Man ' , as published in the book - Songs of Resistance , 1982).


[END of -' ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......'].




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


TUIRIN DUBH and CEIMANEIGH .......


".......on the evening of 27th July 1920 , two British Army trucks were going through Ballingeary on their way to Bantry ; in the village of Ceimaneigh , the soldiers on the lead truck noticed that the second truck was no-where in sight ......."


" The old bog road , or 'tochar' , was never made to carry such a heavy vehicle with its solid tyres . An Irishman would have avoided the soft treacherous sides and kept to the road surface . But the foreign driver did not realise this danger - it transpired that the driver of the second lorry had pulled in to the side at Tuirin Dubh even further than his colleague had done at Ceimaneigh .

Perhaps the solidity of the rocks around gave them a false idea of stability below their feet . In any case , both vehicles were now held firmly , with their inner wheels sunk to the axles . Their distance apart was roughly one mile . The leading lorry had stopped in the shadow of the national school of Ceimaneigh , which stood on a sharp height above the road . Nearby , and across the road , lived a local IRA Volunteer , Dan O'Sullivan . Dan got his bicycle and left for the village of Ballingeary , to acquaint the Volunteers there of the chance that had presented itself .

On his way he saw the position of the second lorry and noted the number of the escort . Between the two , the total personnel numbered thirteen - eleven of them , a British Corporal and ten men , were armed with rifles , while the two drivers were unarmed ..."

(MORE LATER).




A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(5 of 12).



" Brian Lenihan seemed taken aback at how well organised we were , " says Patrick Hurley , from the Irish Immigration Reform Movement - " He was friendly but aloof in the way that politicians can be . He seemed not at all well-briefed about the situation on the ground , as if his impressions of New York came from a cocktail party in the consulate . "

The meeting lasted for ninty minutes , at the end of which it was agreed that the 'IIRM' would present a 'shopping-list' of action , and that the two sides would meet again a month later . The 'IIRM' came away reasonably satisfied , confident that their next meeting would produce immediate results .....

(MORE LATER).


Friday, March 26, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......



....... Arthur O'Connor and others in the United Irishmen wanted an immediate attack on the Brits ; however , others in the leadership , led by Thomas Addis Emmet , wanted to wait a while , as the French had again agreed to help . A decision was made to send Arthur O'Connor to France to finalise arrangements - he was arrested while through England ....


But the Brits failed to 'stand-up' their 'case' against Arthur O'Connor - he was found not guilty and released ...only to be immediately re-arrested , transported to Kilmainham Jail in Dublin and charged , again , with "sedition" . He was held in the prison with other members of the United Irishmen , without a 'trial' of any type , for seven months (ie until January 1799) and then all the Irish political prisoners were moved to Fort George Prison in Scotland .

They were held in Scotland for a further three years and two months (ie until March 1802) when , as one of the conditions insisted on by the French under the 'Peace Of Amiens' (which was signed between the Brits and the French on 25th March , 1802 , to bring their war to an end) the Irish political prisoners in Fort George in Scotland were released - they left Scotland immediately and travelled to France .....

(MORE LATER).





WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


TUIRIN DUBH and CEIMANEIGH .


" Tuirin Dubh and Ceimaneigh ! It was not surprising that some event of note should happen in these places in our time . It merely repeated what had happened there before , for the spirit of Maire Bhui lives on in her native Uibh Laoghaire . Her's was no mere huckstering spirit that would recommend patience and politicians as a remote cure for Ireland's ills . The present was ever and always the time to deal with tyrants , she had declared . She did not want courts or other useless machinery for their trial , but a high gallows and a good rope !

She counselled the young men to be always ready with serviceable pike and gun to meet the enemy . She exhorted them , over a hundred years ago , boldly to retake possession of the lands and homes of their ancestors . We understood how right she was ...

On the evening of 27 July 1920 , two heavy British military lorries passed through the village of Ballingeary . Their destination appeared to be Bantry , the nearest military barracks on the road to the west . The British lorries were laden with material for the maintenance of buildings . A large quantity of paint in tins added considerably to the weight of each lorry . They travelled about two hundred yards apart . Near the school at Ceimaneigh , the British soldiers on the first lorry noticed that the second was not in sight - they told their driver to pull in to the left and stop ......."


(MORE LATER).




A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(4 of 12).



It was Brian Lenihan's misfortune that his remarks on emigration came at a time when the new 'Irish Immigration Reform Movement' was mounting a campaign of unprecedented quality aimed at getting the Irish(sic) and American governments to alleviate the situation of the Irish 'illegals' , and at a time when he himself was under very heavy pressure from the 'IIRM' . Brian Lenihan met representatives of the 'IIRM' for the first time in New York at the end of August 1987 .

The delegation was mostly young , first-generation Irish immigrants with their ears close to the ground of the growing and increasingly resentful 'illegal' community , untouched by sentimentality for the old sod or reverence for politicians in Leinster House ...

(MORE LATER).


Thursday, March 25, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......



....... The Brits openly used torture on the Irish to get them to inform on the Irish Rebels - 'pitch-capping' and the use of the 'Walking Gallows' . But the United Irishmen were still active.......


Arthur O'Connor and 'Lord' Edward Fitzgerald were calling for an immediate armed campaign against the Brits - the two men were prominent members of the Leinster Directory of the United Irishmen and had good 'pull' within the organisation . But so had those who were not in favour of an immediate campaign - their chief spokesperson was Thomas Addis Emmet ; the United Irishmen organisation agreed to postpone plans for an immediate attack on the British after Emmet told the leadership that the French were prepared , again , to help the Irish .

It was agreed that Arthur O'Connor would go to France to finalise the arrangements and , on his way there , whilst passing through Margate in England , he was arrested by the British police . O'Connor was 'tried' in May 1798 , in Maidstone , England , charged with "sedition" (ie "talk or action exciting discontent or rebellion" against the Westminster Parliament) - but the British had moved against him too quickly ; they knew what his intentions were but , with typical Brit arrogance , had not bothered to back-up their 'case' with proof .......

(MORE LATER).




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......





"....... Micheal O'Briain , the school-master , was trying to get through to the children that the 'gentlemen' throwing pennies on the ground for them to scramble for , were the same people that had brought a curse of blood and hardship to the land ......."



" He expected the children to show those 'gentlemen' and , indeed , to show to their own people , that their young spirits were not subdued and that as soon as possible they would rise again . He did not blame them for their action of the morning , but he expected them , now that they understood , to recover their lost prestige . The way to do that was to fling the pennies back to the English 'gentlemen' bodachs.

The seeds the good man sowed that day fell on fertile ground ; that evening , as the children were on their way home , they met the same shooting party . Again , the pennies were thrown amongst the children from the cars . And again , the children scrambled for them eagerly , much to the amusement of the rich 'gentlemen' .

But , to the consternation of the bodachs , the pennies were returned to them with a high velocity imparted by youthful arms ! "


[END of - 'GEATA BAN' : - tomorrow...'Tuirin Dubh and Ceimaneigh'.......].




A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(3 of 12).



But the 'rosiness' from Brian Lenihan re emigration continued , culminating in his now famous remark that - " After all , we can't all live on a small island . " Journalist Paul Keating is convinced that the remarks were not inadvertent -

- " In the context , it was not a throwaway line. He knew he had to look for the 'silver lining' to a cloud that had hovered over him all during his visit . He was trying to be the 'pitch-man' for a 'things-that-are'nt-that-bad' line . "

Brian Lenihan , in other words , was doing what he has always done - putting a brave face on things , stepping into the gap . For once , his burbling optimism rebounded on him ....

(MORE LATER).


Wednesday, March 24, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......



....... The Brits wanted information on the Irish Rebels ; those not 'triangled' in public were either 'pitch-capped' or put on British Sergeant Heppenstall's list .......


The British 'pitch-capping' torture was when a paper cap was filled with wet tar and jammed onto the victim's head ; when the tar was just about set (ie hard) it was put on fire and the victims hands were untied , once the fire had caught . Hands , hair , scalp , forehead and most of the face suffered horrific burns as the victim tried to remove the flaming cap .

The list which British Sergeant Heppenstall kept contained names of possible or suspected 'dissidents' , or those thought to know of same - Heppenstall was known as ' The Walking Gallows ' because his height and strength made it possible for him to hang a man or woman over his shoulder - he had refined his 'technique' so that the victim was half-hung , revived and , if he/she did'nt give information (or simply did'nt have any) he/she was half-hung again .

In most cases , if the victim did have information and gave it to the Brits after a 'session' with Sergeant Heppenstall , he/she was usually 'finished-off' by him as a lesson to others to 'speak-up' before they were introduced to Heppenstall . Many a person died on that man's shoulder because they genuinely had no information to pass-on .

While the 'pitch-capping' and 'half-hanging' was going on around the country , the United Irishmen were organising to hit back .......

(MORE LATER).




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......




"....... The Brits were angry ; their Captain was dead and their comrades in the truck were wounded . Just then , the local school-master , Micheal O'Briain , was passing the scene on foot . The British soldiers surrounded him and , for a while , it looked like he was in trouble . But they let him go ......."


" Many years before , when The Great Hunger flourished in Ballyvourney , and when Irish nationality seemed dead everywhere , Micheal O'Briain was at work in his school on a certain morning . Presently he noticed an undercurrent of disturbance in his classes . Investigating , he found that some of the children had pennies which they were proudly displaying to their less opulent neighbours . A little further research and he had the complete story of the fount of prosperity .

As the children coming to school approached the 'Big House' they were met by a shooting party , travelling in open brakes or two-horse cars . These had thrown handfuls of pennies on to the roadway to see the children scramble for them . Micheal O'Briain was shocked and grieved . There and then he delivered a lecture , and explained to the children that they belonged to a conquered race . They had been beaten by the sword , the torch , the rope , the pitch-cap and other devilish methods of torture , and every effort by famine and deportation had been made to secure their final extinction .

Yet , by the grace of God , they had managed to survive in the mountains and other waste places . Their forefathers had once lived on the good land in the middle of Ireland . That land was now held by the English 'bodachs' who had dispossessed them . It was some of these 'bodachs' who that day had thrown the pennies to them . It was no shame to be conquered , but it was a shame to become a subject race......."

(MORE LATER).




A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(2 of 12).


Paul Keating (Associate Editor of 'Newsweek' Magazine) had forty minutes of tape which was already too much for the short , highly edited piece he was going to print . The interview (with Brian Lenihan , Free State Minister for Foreign Affairs) was winding down , and both men relaxed . Keating began to ask philosophical questions , quoting John F. Kennedy on asking what you can do for your country and wondering what Brian Lenihan thought Irishmen could do for theirs .

Things began to get "a little looser" , the answers a little less pat , a bit more speculative . " But was'nt emigration a defeat for the Irish Republic(sic)?" , Keating asked . Brian Lenihan began to give a rosy picture of emigration , of skills being learned and a work ethic being developed which would be useful when the emigrants returned home . Keating was , he says , "very surprised".

"It was the first time I had heard this kind of optimism about the issue , and what he was saying seemed extraordinarily positive , given the scale of the problem . It struck me as a trifle unrealistic , given the real concerns of the Irish aliens here . When he first started to get rosy , I felt I had to press him on it . I did'nt want to give a Polly Anna-ish response if it was'nt fully considered ...."

(MORE LATER).


Tuesday, March 23, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......


....... December 1796 ; the Brits realised that it was only the weather which stopped thousands of French soldiers from landing in Bantry Bay in Cork . The British were now in a hurry to find out if any more attacks against them were planned .......


The British wanted information , and quickly ; torture was used openly and in public . During 1797 and early 1798 , thousands of Irish people were 'questioned' by the Brits re their knowledge of the Irish Rebels : in Athy , County Kildare (the Headquarters of the British 'Ninth Dragoons') for instance , a 'wooden triangle'-type structure was used , in public , with the victim tied to it , spreadeagled , facing the rough timber .

He was whipped untill he gave the Brits something they thought they could use , or until he passed-out , or died . Reports from that time mention " flesh torn in lumps from the body and the baring of bones and internal organs " due to the whippings . An eye-witness account of one of the 'triangle' whippings stated - " There was no ceremony used in choosing victims - the first to hand done well enough . They were stripped naked , tied to the 'Triangle' and their flesh cut through without mercy . And though some stood the torture to their last gasp sooner than become informers , others did not and one single informer in the town was enough to destroy all the United Irishmen in it . "

Those not 'triangled' were either 'pitch-capped' or put on British Sergeant Heppenstall's list .......

(MORE LATER).




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......




".......Our prepared plan of action was now useless ; we fired heavily on the Brit truck , wounding its driver and killing a British Army Captain . But the driver kept control and drove off , with us still firing : its petrol-tank was leaking , but it spluttered on its way . We ran after the truck , but it was too late ......."


" A party of British soldiers from Ballyvourney found the truck before we did - they had sent out a scouting-party to try and find those that had attacked their truck . We approached as near as we possibly could without being seen . Having only two rifles , we could do no better than watch their movements , and reflect with sorrow on our lack of proper arms . Had each of our men had a rifle , we could again have encircled the lot and driven them back on to the road .

As we watched , we saw a tall figure come slowly along the road from Ballyvourney . We knew him by his erect and dignified carriage . He was Master O'Brien , or Micheal O'Briain as he preferred to be called , on his way home from school . The British soldiers gathered around him , evidently questioning him , and gesticulating with their weapons . They were in an angry mood , and we all knew that his life hung on a slender thread . Their Captain had been killed and nearly every man in the lorry wounded . But they could not frighten Micheal O'Briain ....

He was a gentle , saintly man , who would not harm any creature . He was also shy and retiring . But the heart within him was stout , and, while we trembled for his safety , I have no doubt Micheal did not worry . Some of us asked my brother to allow the riflemen to open fire on the British soldiers and scatter them to cover . He told them to be ready to fire , but to wait for his word . He watched through the glasses for a long time , and , once , when Micheal was evidently ordered back from the road to the southern fence , he again said - " Be ready " .

Then Micheal sat down on the fence in a leisurely manner , and our tension eased a little . Finally , they must have given him the all clear to go home for , unhurriedly , he arose , and unconquered , he walked away down the rough boreen .

(MORE LATER).



A CAREFULLY CONSIDERED GAFFE .......
Fianna Fail , Brian Lenihan , Charles Haughey , George Schultz and Saint Patrick ;
....a story from 'Magill Magazine' , 12th November 1987 , pages 19 and 20 . A 'snap-shot' of Ireland in the 1980's , in 12 parts ...

(1 of 12).



Paul Keating was'nt enjoying himself much . As an Associate Editor of Newsweek Magazine with an Irish background , both of his parents coming from Clare , he keeps an eye on Irish stories and on Irish politicians coming through New York . On September 22nd last (ie September 1987) , Paul was involved in a story which the magazine was working on about illegal aliens in America , and he had been thinking in particular about the influx of "undocumented" Irish .

He went to a breakfast for journalists at the Irish(Free State) consulate in New York that morning and arranged to interview Brian Lenihan , (the then) State Minister for Foreign Affairs , the following day . Now he was sitting in the consulate with Brian Lenihan , the Irish(Free State) ambassador and the press attache of the New York consulate , listening to a very unexciting recitation of Lenihan's up-beat optimism about everything from the 26-County economy to the 'Anglo-Irish Agreement'(ie the Hillsborough Treaty).

It was pretty standard stuff , a useful panel to be boxed off the main story , but nothing to make the headlines .......

(MORE LATER).


Monday, March 22, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......


.......After one week in Bantry Bay , the 35-strong fleet of French warships had been reduced to a force of 15 ships - by the weather ! The lead ship (with French General Hoche on board) had been caught in a storm on its way to Ireland and other ships were pushed out of the Bay by gale-force winds . 400 British troops were by now on the beach , shouting 'bravely' at the French soldiers on the ships.......



The Brits had apparently been 'tipped-off' about the French fleet by the 'landlord' who lived in the 'big house' at the head of Bantry Bay - this man was later 'awarded' the 'title' of 'Lord Bantry' , by the Brits , for his "service to The Crown" . The French ships were being pulled and pushed by the continuing storm and were forced , one by one , to cut their anchor cables and allow themselves to be pushed out of the Bay and forced back to sea again .

They made sail for France , with a dejected Wolfe Tone on board . That happened during December , 1796 ; the Brits realised that it was only the weather that saved them and , in early 1797 , they set-about vigorously investigating the two main Irish Rebel organisations - the United Irishmen and The Defenders , a loose group (although large in number) which concentrated its efforts on the land question rather than the National issue of British interference in Irish affairs .

However , as far as the Brits were concerned , they were all "terrorists" and "dissidents" ; the French fleet had startled the Brits - they wanted information , and quickly .......

(MORE LATER).




WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......




".......The arrival of a Ford car at the ambush site at the same time as the British Crossley truck complicated matters for us ; the car passed the site unchallenged but , in allowing it to do so , our ambush plan was no longer an option . One of our men , 'Mick the Soldier', decided to have a go at the Brits anyway ......."


" He stood on the rock , feet apart , pouring rapid magazine fire downwards at the Brit lorry . Dannie Harrington stood a few yards from him to the west firing more slowly . Across the road , Con Sean Jer fired six shots from a double-barrelled shotgun while ,near him , Jamie Moynihan rapidly worked another . A British Army Captain , named Airey , was killed beside the driver , who was himself hit twice , in the arm and the neck . The British Army lorry was by now out of control and it hit the northern rock-face a glancing blow , which tore off a spare wheel mounted on that side .

Swerving across the road , it mounted a low wall which dropped inside to a depth of about fifteen feet - it was 'touch-and-go' for a good distance ; if it toppled in , the survivors would have little fight left in them . But the driver tore it off the wall and straightened it for the road . He was a very worthy man , and when we failed to stop him we wished him well . He drove off at high speed . Dannie had a few cartridges left in his magazine - he aimed carefully and fired ; the bullet pierced the rear petrol tank . This gave us renewed hope , and we set off in pursuit of the faltering truck , running roughly parallel to the road . We had hoped to overtake it before it left the rocky country around Poul na Bro , where we could close with it again . We were doomed to disappointment .

It had cleared the ground that would favour our approach and was stopped in the only patch of open country for miles around . Moreover , a party of British soldiers from the Ballyvourney Garrison had come out to meet it and had sent out sentries ......."

(MORE LATER).




SEAN MacBRIDE : 1904 - 1988 .......

The following information was sent to '1169....' in mid-February last by a 'J.D. , Isle Of Man ' ; we reproduce it here , in 15 parts . 'J.D.' assures us that he/she got the article from an American newspaper , in the late 1980's/early 1990's .

(15 of 15).


In a comment about the death of Sean MacBride , 'The Times' newspaper of London , stated - " Many Irish politicians and voters are still in thrall to the romantic appeal of violence - provided it is directed at British victims and occurs outside the Republic(sic) itself . MacBride was a cosmopolitan high priest of this cult . " There was no mention of the violence of the forces Sean MacBride fought against in Ireland or elsewhere . Britain is untainted by it , according to the London 'Times' newspaper --

-- " Britain is that exceptional society which has not faced this problem , at least not in the agonising form in which it was posed in the Republic(sic) which Sean MacBride helped to found ." The 'Times' editorial - in common with many of the constitutional politicians who attended his funeral and with the revisionist historians - welcomes what it sees as the decline of 'that ruthless and irreconcilable Irish Republicanism '. The punchline in effect says - "good riddance" .

Perhaps , however, that "terrible beauty" will eventually be laid to rest . The absence of Sean MacBride will only help .


[END OF - 'SEAN MacBRIDE : 1904 - 1988 '- our thanks to 'J.D. Isle of Man' for that correspondence].


Sunday, March 21, 2004

ARTHUR O'CONNOR ; United Irishman and General-of-Division in Napoleon's Army : 1760 - 1852 .......


.......Under the Command of General Hoche , the French fleet of 35 ships arrived in Bantry Bay , Cork , on 21st December 1796 - they carried thousands of fully-armed and experienced French fighters . But a storm at sea had separated the lead ship from the rest of the convoy .......


In Bantry Bay itself , a strong head-wind prevented the ships from landing their troops . The Bay was wide open , with no British troops to offer resistance ....but the wind was growing in strength , and soon became a gale-force , which forced 20 of the great French ships out of the Bay and pushed them out to sea ; the other 15 ships attempted to move up the Bay , and it was later reported that they could only manage to move about 50 yards every 8 hours .

The gale-force winds were now mixed with squalls of sleet and snow ; but still no notable British presence to face them had materialised in the area . But the French were unable to land .... General Hoche's men were in Bantry Bay for a week ; by now , a small force of 400 British troops from the Bantry area were on the beach , throwing shapes at the French , safe in the knowledge that the French troops could not get at them .....

(MORE LATER).



WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

war and peace in rebel Cork ,
in the turbulent years 1916-21.

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.


GEATA BAN .......




".......A young lady from the neighbourhood had brought us a bucket of tea and a basket of sandwiches . After a few days of waiting , we seen one of our signallers step down from the rock he was using as a 'look-out' post ......."


" The signaller held his flag low and shook it out - then , raising it , he shot it forward ... but the flag flew off the staff and travelled a long way downhill ! We burst out laughing . Now our signaller was in a fix . With commendable presence of mind he threw down the staff and raised both arms , his palms facing towards us . We readily understood - there were two lorries ; the second signaller confirmed that on a nearer stretch of the road . It was a long time before the lorries appeared to us - they were coming very slowly . It was evident that they were heavy haulage lorries in a low gear for the incline . My brother studied them through powerful Zeiss field glasses.

" Pass the word ," my brother said , "let them through . They are laden with petrol and have only an escort of two on each lorry . We want rifles , not petrol ! " So they passed by , unconscious of the eyes that watched them . At about 3pm , one lorry was signalled . It was a Crossley , covered with canvas and well laden with British troops . It came rapidly up the incline and on to the stage set for its reception . Had the fates decreed that the matter be left solely between the two contending parties , I think both would have been better satisfied . We would have got the arms we wanted , and the casualties amongst the occupants of the lorry would have been certainly fewer or probably nil . Now a car on the road , other than a military one , was, at that time , as rare as a four-leaved shamrock .

However , there was one in Kerry , and as the military Crossley came speeding uphill from the east to cross a certain line drawn by us across its path , the Kilgarvan Ford came from the west to straddle the same line at exactly the same time ! The unexpected arrival of the Ford from the west gave pause to the throwing of the road block to allow it to pass . It passed , and the pause was maintained until it was too late . Meanwhile , the Ford met the British Crossley truck and , although going in the opposite direction , became its escort for more than halfway across the deadline to safety . Scarcely had the tails of both vehicles passed each other than a desperate effort was made by some of our men to retrieve ill fortune --

-- a furious round of bullets was opened on the British Army driver or in his direction ; it was 'Mick the Soldier' , standing , his feet apart on the rock , while he poured rapid magazine fire downwards ....... "

(MORE LATER).



SEAN MacBRIDE : 1904 - 1988 .......

The following information was sent to '1169....' in mid-February last by a 'J.D. , Isle Of Man ' ; we reproduce it here , in 15 parts . 'J.D.' assures us that he/she got the article from an American newspaper , in the late 1980's/early 1990's .

(14 of 15).


The British 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper said Sean MacBride was "the former IRA Chief of Staff whose later career saw him transformed - as if by a puff of Irish magic - into a respected figure at the United Nations ." Though less blatant than the Sunday paper's obituary , the racism from 'The Daily Telegraph' was still in evidence - " His war against 'oppression' nurtured on his strong anti-British line , however, made him a firm favourite at the United Nations , where new 'Third World' leaders were reassured with a representative of an older , white nation who could spout platitudes with great beauty at the highest level ."

A more subtle form of anti-Irishness was seen in the editorial of the British 'Times' newspaper , London - this was by far the most interesting of the obituaries as it could have been written by any one of a number of Irish politicians , academics or journalists : the theme was violence in Sean MacBride's career and in the development of the 26-County State . The analysis was that of proponents of , and apologists for, British 'rule'.

Its basic message was that the Irish are a violent race , the authors of their own misfortune . It is as if the British never set foot in Ireland !

(MORE LATER).