" 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 - ooops! It seems that our entry application was "not completed in time to be considered.." (?) and, as such, we are not now in the running. But we wish all the best to the successful entrants and to the organisers, and we hope all goes well for them on the day!


Saturday, June 05, 2004

JOSEPH BRENAN ; 1828-1857 : 'Young Ireland' Leader .......


.......Although only in his early 20's , Joseph Brenan was in a leadership position in 'The Young Ireland' Movement ; he joined up with a group of Rebels , under the command of John O'Mahony , in the Waterford area .......


Joseph Brenan fought alongside O'Mahony's group against the British forces when 'The Young Irelanders' rose-up in July 1848 but , following the collapse of that Rising , Joseph Brenan was captured and imprisoned in Newgate Jail first , then, after a few months , was shifted to Carrickfergus Jail , then to Kilmainham Jail in Dublin .

Finally , after seven months detention , he was released (without trial) and became involved with Bernard Fulham in the production of a new Rebel newspaper , ' The Irishman ' ; he used 'The Irishman' to call for the population to take back in arms that which the Brits held by arms ; that was in March 1849 - in September that same year (1849) , after seven months writing articles and Editorials for 'The Irishman' newspaper , Joseph Brenan was told that James Fintan Lalor was planning an attack on the British .

J F Lalor was also in a leadership position in 'The Young Ireland' Movement and was well-known for his writings on the land issue .......

(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.

A DRIVE TO CORK CITY .......


".......The man who was following Jim Grey had been warned off ; the local IRA then picked him up and investigated him and his family - we all agreed to leave the matter at that , as there seemed to be no threat to us ......."


" We finished our shopping and returned to the milk-cart . The tyres we purchased had arrived and we stowed them under the seat and the milk churns . Sitting aboard , we started out the Douglas Road , but had not gone far when we found the street partly blocked and a group of RIC men searching every vehicle that passed either way . Driving up to the barricade we were motioned through without question . Evidently , they tired of questioning the milk-man who passed them by every day . In any case , since the advent of the Black-and-Tans the RIC had ceased to be enthusiastic about the 'law'.

Very soon we were clear of the city and saw with relief the open country . It was good to be safely back at Ballygarvan with our four comrades and to see the Buick , and the Lewis-Gun , and our rifles . That night , having said good-bye to our kindly hostess , Miss Walsh , we started on our journey home to Ballyvourney . This time we choose the southern route , through Ballinhassig where we slipped by the rear of the British Barracks .

The Brits heard our Buick climbing the hill , however , and sent out a message to warn all their posts that we had passed . Our road from the south led us to within a mile of the British Barracks at Ballincollig , and , since we could not use lights , we had to travel very slowly . By-passing trenched roads delayed us further ; finally , we crossed the River Lee at Rooves Bridge and came into Coachford as day was breaking . So far , so good ......."

(MORE LATER).


GETTING OUT .......

'Britain has the economic clout to impose peace in Northern Ireland (sic), argue BOB ROWTHORN and NAOMI WAYNE . Why does'nt it use it ? '

(First published in 'New Statesman and Society' Magazine , 9th September , 1988 , pages 12 and 13).


Re-produced here in 10 parts .

[Apologises beforehand for the use of the descriptions "Northern Ireland" and "Province" , and the constant use of the terms "Catholics" and "Protestants" in the following ten-part article ; they are not our descriptions or terms , but the Authors].


(7 of 10).



Contraception is now legal and available in the 'Republic' . Abortions are banned north and south of the border , and all Irish women , Protestant and Catholic , have to come to Britain for terminations . Divorce remains the main area of apparent difference , but even here the gulf should not be insurmountable . While divorce remains prohibited under the constitution of the 'Republic' (whereas the 'province's' divorce laws parallel Britain's) , new laws being introduced will soon give much the same entitlements as divorce , save the right to remarry .

These positive measures should do much to minimise the risk and extent of inter-community violence . But Britain would also have to act immediately to take all practicable measures to disarm Protestants . There are around 6,000 members of the Ulster Defence Regiment and a further 13,000 in the RUC . Most of them carry personal arms for self-defence and also have access to 'official' arsenals containing more destructive weapons (high-velocity rifles , sub-machine guns ,etc) . The UDR should be disbanded , thus greatly reducing Protestant access to 'official' arsenals .

It may also be necessary to disband the RUC , but much would depend on whether the RUC's loyalty and discipline held .......

(MORE LATER).






Friday, June 04, 2004

JOSEPH BRENAN ; 1828-1857 : 'Young Ireland' Leader .......


....... Joseph Brenan was living in Dublin when the British 'Authorities' closed-down 'The United Irishman' newspaper in May 1848 ; the Brits had been keeping an eye on Joseph Brenan , who was writing articles for various publications calling on people to rise up in arms against them .......


After they closed down 'The United Irishman' newspaper , the Brits watched as Joseph Brenan began writing for the 'The Irish Tribune' newspaper , edited by Richard Dalton Williams and Kevin Izod O'Doherty , and another short-lived Rebel newspaper , 'The Irish Felon' , edited by John Martin .

Joseph Brenan , now in his early 20's , and in a leadership position in 'The Young Irelanders' Movement , was quite openly calling for an immediate Rising against the British , to begin in Dublin , and which , he opined , would spread to the rest of the country ; but Dublin was the then stronghold of the British presence (mid-1848) and it was suggested that a military campaign against the Brits would have a better chance of success were it to start in the rural areas .

A group of Irish Rebels , under the Command of John O'Mahony (who was later to be elected leader of the American Fenian Organisation , 'Clann na Gael' , and was to be described by the Fenian author John O'Leary as - " ...an advanced democrat of socialist opinions " ) was operating in the County Waterford area and Joseph Brenan caught up with O'Mahony and his group near the Comeragh Mountains .......


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

A DRIVE TO CORK CITY .......


"....... Jim Grey and I split-up , with myself about twenty-yards behind him , as we walked to 'Johnson and Perrots' garage for tyres ; Jim did'nt know it yet , but he had 'picked-up' a 'tail' , and I kept a close eye on both Jim and this other man . When this stranger was satisfied that Jim was in the Office of the garage , he turned to go ......."


" My left hand fell on the strangers neck ; he struggled to complete his exit but failed - I pushed him in the doorway , and into the corner formed by the sliding door and its pillar . He demanded an explanation but I told him to wait for a little while . Presently Jim returned from the garage Office . " We will go , Mick ," he said , then he caught sight of the prisoner . " Who is he ? " he asked . " I don't know , " I answered , and told him the story .

The man admitted that I had told the truth , that he had followed Jim , but said that he had done so through idle curiosity . " You were going to Union Quay ," (the British Barracks) Jim said gently , " and now my poor man , " he added , " you may carry on , but you'll never reach the place . " The tout made further protests against the idea that he meant to do us any harm , and so we left him . We reported the matter to 'Flurrie' , one of our men in the area , and the tout was picked-up , tried and acquitted ; his plea was still that of idle curiosity .

It seemed an extraordinary plea , but all his people were found to be honest and in no way hostile towards us - we were glad to hear that he got the benefit of the doubt . To hear of a young Irishman convicted of spying on his own people would be the most melancholy news of all ......."

(MORE LATER).


GETTING OUT .......

'Britain has the economic clout to impose peace in Northern Ireland (sic), argue BOB ROWTHORN and NAOMI WAYNE . Why does'nt it use it ? '

(First published in 'New Statesman and Society' Magazine , 9th September , 1988 , pages 12 and 13).


Re-produced here in 10 parts .

[Apologises beforehand for the use of the descriptions "Northern Ireland" and "Province" , and the constant use of the terms "Catholics" and "Protestants" in the following ten-part article ; they are not our descriptions or terms , but the Authors].


(6 of 10).



Many Protestants fear that they would be oppressed by the Catholic majority in a united Ireland ; this fear is greatly exaggerated . Leading nationalist politicians of all kinds have frequently made it clear that they would guarantee Protestant religious and political freedoms in a united Ireland . But Britain and the 'Republic' should at once take positive measures to reassure Protestants about the kind of future they could expect .

They would have to be welcomed into the new state and given specific guarantees over employment rights , civil and religious liberties , and so on . Britain's continued aid would underpin these assurances and Britain could make it clear that its continuing economic power in Ireland would be used , if need be , further to protect their rights and liberties .

In any event , the gap between Catholic and Protestant moral values is nowhere near as large as is often assumed . It should by no means be unbridgeable in a united Ireland .......

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, June 03, 2004

JOSEPH BRENAN ; 1828-1857 : 'Young Ireland' Leader .......


....... At 19 years young (in January 1848) , Joseph Brenan met John Mitchel , one of the leaders of the 'Young Ireland' Movement , in Cork .......


The two men apparently knew of each other , and Joseph Brenan began writing articles for the 'Young Irelanders' newspaper , 'The United Irishman' . It was in this newspaper that John Mitchel first suggested that England should be attacked by Irish Rebels while that country was preoccupied with war elsewhere (an example which Sean Russell was to refer to 91 years later , in 1939 , during the IRA Bombing Campaign in England . However , for what its worth , we should also mention the fact that the Irish Rebel leader John Mitchel fought in the American Civil War on the side of the South and slavery ... !).

However , I digress (again !) ; Joseph Brenan was told by John Mitchel that plans were at an advanced stage in Dublin regarding a Rising against the British , and Joseph Brenan wanted to play his part - so he moved from Cork , to Dublin , and was living in the capital when 'The United Irishman' newspaper was suppressed by the British , in May 1848 . Due to his constant "call-to-arms" in his various writings , Joseph Brenan was being monitored by the British 'Authorities in Dublin Castle .......

(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.

A DRIVE TO CORK CITY .......


".......We were calm and pleasant to the Black and Tan who had stopped and 'searched' us , with his comrades looking on . He was happy with our claim to be on his side , just from a different Barracks . We had been only seconds away from a shoot-out , had the Tan behaved differently ......."


" Well over 40 years have passed since that incident and it is still fresh in my memory - indeed , while I have Jim Grey to revive it , there is no fear that I shall forget it . For when we meet and there is a quorum , Jim does not fail to turn the laugh against me - " Wisha , Mick , " he says , " do you remember the day you picked up the cap for the Black-and-Tan in the Grand Parade ? "

We left the Grand Parade after our encounter with the Tan and soon stood at the counter of Wallaces Shop in St. Augustine Street . Scarcely had we done so , when Sheila and Nora came in with the news that the whole block of buildings around us was cordoned off and a search was proceeding ; we looked out - both ends of the narrow street were held by British troops . We slipped unnoticed across to St. Augustine's Church , and went through the church to the Washington Street door . Here , too , it was cordoned off at the Parade and Main Street . We would have to wait and see what happened .

We knelt down and prayed while we waited . When we looked out , they had gone , so we returned to Wallaces Shop and got any news that was going from Sheila and Nora . Then I insisted on Jim going into a barber's shop at the corner for a shave . He did so and we started for Johnson and Perrots Garage to get the tyres for the Buick . Jim was to go first , with me following twenty yards behind . We had just started out when I noticed a man in civilian clothes fall in behind Jim and follow him at a distance of ten yards or so ; I fell in behind the tout at about the same distance . Jim turned many a corner and crossed many roads before we reached the open space in front of the garage .

Then he crossed the open space and entered the garage through the big door ; the 'shadow' followed to the big door but stopped at the doorway on the right hand side - hidden from view from inside , he craned his neck around the sliding door to watch Jim cross diagonally a space of floor to the office . I had been an interested spectator from across the street . Satisfied , now , that he had located Jim in the office of the garage , the tout took a pace backwards and had started to execute a left turn when my left hand fell on his neck ....... "

(MORE LATER).



GETTING OUT .......

'Britain has the economic clout to impose peace in Northern Ireland (sic), argue BOB ROWTHORN and NAOMI WAYNE . Why does'nt it use it ? '

(First published in 'New Statesman and Society' Magazine , 9th September , 1988 , pages 12 and 13).


Re-produced here in 10 parts .

[Apologises beforehand for the use of the descriptions "Northern Ireland" and "Province" , and the constant use of the terms "Catholics" and "Protestants" in the following ten-part article ; they are not our descriptions or terms , but the Authors].


(5 of 10).



Perhaps the most common objection to British withdrawal is the fear that the Protestant community would take to arms to preserve an independent 'state' , thus precipitating a bloodbath in which large numbers of Catholics and Protestants would be killed . This danger is taken so much for granted , even among people who would otherwise advocate re-unifying Ireland , that it is rarely subjected to any scrutiny . But how well-founded is it in reality ?

If Britain simply pulled-out , this sort of scenario is quite possible ; but a planned and responsible withdrawal , founded upon a firm and unequivocal decision to leave and buttressed by the economic strategy we have outlined , would have entirely different results . The decision would have to be clearly irreversible and the timetable for withdrawal would have to be fairly short to minimise the time available for resistance to be mobilised .

The certain knowledge of British withdrawal would produce confusion and disunity within the Protestant community , which already knows that to destroy a rebellion would require no military campaign by Britain , but merely a few weeks' economic sanctions ...

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, June 02, 2004

JOSEPH BRENAN ; 1828-1857 : 'Young Ireland' Leader .......


.......When Joseph Brenan was 14 years young (1842) , a man named Hughes was hung in Armagh by the British Administration ; the then Editor of 'The Belfast Vindicator' newspaper , Charles Gavan Duffy , described Hughes' execution as "legal assassination" and was prosecuted by the British Attorney-General for doing so . That was in the summer of 1842 .......


One day that summer , Charles Gavan Duffy (who , incidentally , went on to become Premier of Australia !) , Thomas Davis and John Dillon were walking through Dublin's Phoenix Park , discussing the Hughes case and the feeble newspaper reportage of same , when all three decided to do something about it ; ' The Nation ' newspaper was born . It published an issue every week for 58 years (1842 - 1900) , sold for sixpence a copy (which was a days wages at the time !) and , at its most popular , was shifting 10,000 copies a week ! Indeed , so popular was 'The Nation' newspaper (and , in those days , so expensive) that some of its readers 'hired' the 'paper from newsvendors at one-penny an hour !

....... digressive tangents - I'm full of them !


Joseph Brenan was 19 years young (in January 1848) when he first met John Mitchel , one of the leaders of the 'Young Ireland' Movement , while both were in the city of Cork on separate business .......

(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.

A DRIVE TO CORK CITY .......


"....... Jim Grey and myself were in Cork City , and in a tight spot ; Black and Tans in front and a British Army patrol in a car following us . We walked past the Tans and kept going . Then a shout - "HALT !" We walked on ......."


" The demand to 'halt' was repeated , and we heard footsteps running behind us . We stopped and looked back ; a Black and Tan was running towards us , so we walked slowly back to meet him . Jim was the nearer to him and I lagged behind . Now he stood in front of Jim with his hands out-stretched and raised slightly , in the attitude of one preparing to search : " What is your name ?" he asked Jim , who replied " Grey . " "Grey ! From where ?" " Cork Barracks ," came the answer .

Jim took a chance ; his name was 'mud' at Cork Barracks for some time , but the Black and Tans at Tuckey Street did not know that . The answer seemed to impress the Tan . Now there was another diversion - a sudden gust of wind blew off his peaked cap , and it rolled along the ground towards me . Stooping , I caught it , straightened myself up and , walking towards him with a pleasant smile , gave it to him . He was delighted ! It was not often that a Black and Tan received such courtesy . "Thank you very much indeed ," he said to me , with a smile , "I suppose you have not a gun on you ? ," he added , as raising his hands high he brought them down in a slow sweeping motion , the motion of searching or feeling for a hidden weapon .

This movement of the hands was merely a show for his comrades at the corner - he never touched my body , neither did he touch Jim . I must say he was a decent-looking man for a Black and Tan : his face showed no signs of the brutality that stamped most of them as a type . I would have been sorry for him had he rubbed us the wrong way , for we had guns on us . Our lives were forfeit anyway this long time and while , with our hands in the dog's mouth , we were willing to try out diplomacy to its fullest extent , no enemy , however strong numerically , was going to deprive us of loaded guns , and then torture and kill us at their leisure ......."

(MORE LATER).



GETTING OUT .......

'Britain has the economic clout to impose peace in Northern Ireland (sic), argue BOB ROWTHORN and NAOMI WAYNE . Why does'nt it use it ? '

(First published in 'New Statesman and Society' Magazine , 9th September , 1988 , pages 12 and 13).


Re-produced here in 10 parts .

[Apologises beforehand for the use of the descriptions "Northern Ireland" and "Province" , and the constant use of the terms "Catholics" and "Protestants" in the following ten-part article ; they are not our descriptions or terms , but the Authors].


(4 of 10).



The economy of the North is in severe crisis . In the 1950's and 1960's , the 'province' was transformed as local industry was run down and multinationals moved in to dominate its economy . But in the last 20 years this process has gone into reverse , with multinationals reducing their activities or pulling out altogether .

Only huge subsidies from the British Government keep the 'province' afloat : in 1985 , some £1,700 million Sterling in all , now (ie 1988) something approaching £2,700 million Sterling . Despite its numerous problems and high unemployment - around 18 per cent - the 'Republic' (ie-the Free State) has a much stronger economy than 'Northern Ireland' and its long-term prospects are much better (though they are by no means rosy) . Protestants fear that re-unification would bring impoverishment ; but if they co-operated in that re-unification , then peace would come rapidly , and with it the benefits of economic recovery .

If they were to fight a rearguard action , the benefits of peace would take longer to materialise . Even so , it could take some 15 to 20 years for the economy of the North to be strong enough to stand on its own feet . Continuing aid would therefore involve a significant commitment from Britain , even counting the savings from military withdrawal . In the longer run , the cost would be of course much less than that of continued involvement and would eventually come to an end ...

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, June 01, 2004

JOSEPH BRENAN ; 1828-1857 : 'Young Ireland' Leader .......


.......'Living' in mud hovels , evictions , jobless , hungry , homeless ; that was Ireland in the 19th Century . A baby , Joseph Brenan , was born into that poverty in Cork , in November 1828.......


When he was in his early teens , Joseph Brenan helped to establish the 'Cork Historical Society' and , within a few years , was helping-out at Editorial level on the local 'Cork Magazine', which was published on a regular basis between the end of 1847 and late 1848 - those working on the 'Cork Magazine' were forced to go 'on-the-run' by the British or had been imprisoned already by them ; J D Frazer , Martin MacDermott and 'Mary of The Nation' newspaper - Ellen Mary Patrick Downing ...

... a tangent re 'The Nation' newspaper - A man called Hughes was sentenced to death at Armagh Assizes , even though it had been assumed by all who knew the details that the 'evidence' against Hughes (which itself had been invalidated by witnesses to the mans alleged 'crime') was such that a short prison sentence might be handed down ; instead , Hughes was hung .

The then Editor of 'The Belfast Vindicator' newspaper (1839-1848) , Charles Gavan Duffy , a Monaghan man (who had left 'The Northern Standard' newspaper [founded in March 1839] to work on 'The Belfast Vindicator') described Hughes' death as "legal assassination" and was prosecuted by the British Attorney-General for doing so - that was in the summer of 1842 .......

(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.


A DRIVE TO CORK CITY .......


"....... Jim Grey and myself were in Cork City to purchase supplies ; we were on East Parade - and so were the Brits , in their armoured Rolls-Royce Whippet . Jim reacted immediately ......."


" " 'Monkey Mac' the spotter is in that car , " Jim said , " and he knows me as well as a bad halfpenny . We'll cross the road . " We crossed the first half of the wide Parade ; the British car was cruising along slowly , a sign that there was a 'spotter' (ie - a tout) aboard . We had to chance Tuckey Street or the Brits - we chose Tuckey Street , but there were about twenty Black and Tans at the corner ; out of the frying pan and into the fire ...

...there was a middle course at first but it ran out on us - people were walking in the middle of the street towards the Fountain , and we went with them . The Brits in the car screened us for a time , as did the gang of Black and Tans on the corner . Then both groups got the same notion , like geese - the Black and Tans moved towards us and the Brits in the car behind came closer . These fellows had nothing else in life to do now but to watch us ; without speaking , we both veered towards the Black and Tans , approaching them slant-wise , as if heading for Tuckey Street - it was the best policy , and we could hope to get away with it were it not for our appearance .

We passed in front of them and about ten yards away from them ; they said not a word until we were ten yards past them - every man of them was engaged in assessing us during our march past them . We heard them say - " That's the IRA uniform ! But why the devil should they march so brazenly towards us , and parade in front of us ? Better see all the same ..." They talked between themselves for a minute , allowing us to gain a further ten yards . Then a shout - " HALT ! " We did not stop ; The " HALT ! " warning was repeated , and we heard footsteps running behind us ....... "

(MORE LATER).



GETTING OUT .......

'Britain has the economic clout to impose peace in Northern Ireland (sic), argue BOB ROWTHORN and NAOMI WAYNE . Why does'nt it use it ? '

(First published in 'New Statesman and Society' Magazine , 9th September , 1988 , pages 12 and 13).


Re-produced here in 10 parts .

[Apologises beforehand for the use of the descriptions "Northern Ireland" and "Province" , and the constant use of the terms "Catholics" and "Protestants" in the following ten-part article ; they are not our descriptions or terms , but the Authors].


(3 of 10).



But Britain could put its economic power over 'Northern Ireland' to use in a constructive two-pronged strategy : actively using this power to undermine and divide resistance to re-unification among the Protestant community , while simultaneously offering to deploy its economic resources to shore up the new re-unified state . Britain would have to make absolutely clear its willingness to use economic sanctions against a large-scale Protestant state or any group resisting re-unification .

Such a firm approach would be enough to deter resistance from all but a handful of Protestants . At the same time , Britain would promise to continue external aid , following re-unification , until the North's economy had been rebuilt . Britain should insist that the money was spent on the North and demand satisfactory arragements for the future employment of Protestants in the new state .

This would allow living standards in the North , including those of most Protestants , to be broadly maintained , without imposing an unacceptable burden on the Southern population .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, May 31, 2004

JOSEPH BRENAN ; 1828-1857 : 'Young Ireland' Leader .......


....... Ireland , 19th Century - evictions were common-place : the hovel where the family of Matthais McGrath 'lived' , in County Clare , was under siege by the British Sheriff , but the McGrath's were fighting back .......


The British Sheriff and his men had used the battering-ram to get into the McGrath hovel , and a fight started between those in the hovel and those wanting to evict them ...

' The poor fellow , McGrath , had a severe wound on the crown of his head , and was kicked twice in the chest . The wrecking of the 'house' was then proceeded with and complete ; Colonel Turner stopped the work of the battering-ram , smiling pleasantly , and had the emergency ruffians to stand at ease for the accommodation of an amateur photographer to take a sketch of the ruined cottage .


Continuing operations , the 'house' was left a complete ruin before the villains ceased their work . A 'Coercion Court' was improvised formally to try Pat McGrath , with 'Removable Roche' taking the Justice Seat on a stone wall . The formality being gone through , McGrath was removed in custody . ' That report of an eviction was published in 'The United Ireland' newspaper , on 4th August , 1888 . Again - all of us have to answer to our God one day ...

Jobless , hungry , homeless- not given the chance to provide for yourself or your family ; and no means to achieve the opportunity to improve your situation , or even stop it from getting worse - hopeless times . It was in this era that Joseph Brenan was born , in Cork , in November 1828.......

(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.


A DRIVE TO CORK CITY .......


".......The Strickland job was off ; myself and Jim Grey got a lift in a milk-cart into Cork City for shopping supplies . We should have changed our clothes ......."


" " You might have shaved yourself at least , " I remonstrated with Jim . " Even if you had shaved a week ago , " I added . " You're wrong , " said Jim - " I will pass as a benevolent old toff . It is YOU whom they will be after . Let me quote the 'Hue and Cry' (a Brit propaganda 'newspaper') for you : 'WANTED - Clean-shaven youth, blue eyes , fair hair , tall , fanatical appearance . Dangerous young criminal . '

" Wait a bit , " I said . " Here's your description : 'WANTED - Young man , hardened appearance , blue eyes , fair hair , tall , desperate character , unshaven - forgot razor at scene of last murder . " So we joked until we parted with our milk-cart not far from Cork City Hall . We walked over Parnell Bridge and turned left along the South Mall ; as we crossed the street from the Mall to the South Gate Bridge I thought of yesterday morning , when we passed over the same ground with our four comrades in the Buick , with the Lewis-Gun , our rifles and grenades .

Now we were reduced in numbers , our good car and armaments lacking . Besides , our position was further weakened by our attire - it cried out for attention from the enemy . We had not met them yet , but had not long to wait : we crossed from the southern side of the Mall to the eastern side of the Parade - this we did to avoid Tuckey Street corner . In any case it was a short-cut . No sooner were we on the foot-path than we saw a Rolls-Royce Whippet armoured car - the Brits ! They were bearing-down on us on our side ; Jim reacted immediately ......."

(MORE LATER).


GETTING OUT .......

'Britain has the economic clout to impose peace in Northern Ireland (sic), argue BOB ROWTHORN and NAOMI WAYNE . Why does'nt it use it ? '

(First published in 'New Statesman and Society' Magazine , 9th September , 1988 , pages 12 and 13).


Re-produced here in 10 parts .

[Apologises beforehand for the use of the descriptions "Northern Ireland" and "Province" , and the constant use of the terms "Catholics" and "Protestants" in the following ten-part article ; they are not our descriptions or terms , but the Authors].


(2 of 10).



Given that nothing else will work , it is surely time to re-examine the traditional solution to the Northern Ireland (sic) conflict . Should not Britain withdraw from the province (sic), re-unite Ireland and reverse the historic mistake of partition ? Nowadays (ie 1988) , this course receives no serious consideration at all from the political establishment , even though opinion polls show that it commands consistent majority support among the British electorate .

If it is raised at all , it is usually to be dismissed out of hand as utterly impractical , morally irresponsible and politically unacceptable . In fact , the outcome of withdrawal is'nt predetermined , but would depend crucially on the way the decision was carried through . The key is not military , but economic ; Northern Ireland's (sic) economy is overwhelmingly dependent on Britain - without its economic support , the 'province' could not survive on its own for more than a few weeks .

So if Britain were , in Pontius Pilate fashion , simply to wash its hands and abandon 'Northern Ireland' altogether , the result would be catastrophic . Its already bankrupt economy would finally disintegrate and civil war would be a real possibility ...

(MORE LATER).






Sunday, May 30, 2004

JOSEPH BRENAN ; 1828-1857 : 'Young Ireland' Leader .......


.......The Irish were living in mud hovels , 3 generations of family in one room ; the English had their fine gala-balls and sporting-days.......


'Living' in a mud-walled hovel was better than nothing , but even then the English would'nt leave us alone - if you could not pay the 'rent' to the British 'Landlord' he would rather see you and yours 'living' in a hedge and the hovel destroyed ; in that 19th Century Ireland , a British 'Landlord' by the name of Vandeleur organised the eviction of one of his 'tenants' from 'his' estate near Kilrush , in the County Clare : a newspaper of the day , the 'United Ireland' , reported on the scene -

- ' On Thursday the evictions were resumed . The eviction proceedings were carried out with the usual brutality by the sheriff , and opposed with determination and pluck by the tenants . The house of Matthais McGrath was defended with determination , the place was barricaded . The battering-ram was drawn up in front and shouts of defiance came from the tenant inside . 'Thud , Thud' , went the lever against the wall and , after a while , it yielded , but an immense barricade of stonework was inside it . Breach enough was effected to afford a view of the tenant's son bravely standing inside and determined , calling them to come on !


Inspector Dunning called on him now to come out , but young McGrath answered sternly : " I am here within , and in with you ." The battering-ram was again used and the wall came down - a violent rush was made through the breach . District-Inspector Hill led on but his charge was abruptly stopped by his coming into contact with the battering-ram and he was pitched helplessly into the kitchen , and pounced on by McGrath who pommelled him soundly , but was himself attacked by Dunning and a Constable named Atkinson from Kilrush . They assaulted McGrath together , and were soon aided by a party of 'bludgeonmen' , batoned and treated in a most savage and brutal manner .


McGrath was felled ; numbers overpowered him , and struck and kicked with savage violence .......'


(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.

A DRIVE TO CORK CITY .......


".......We were temporarly lost in Cork City , but had trouble getting anyone to assist us - they thought we were armed Brits ! We had to grab a young man , whom Corney O'Sullivan spoke with ......."

" "Would you not like to do something for Ireland ?" , Corney asked the young man ; his eyes travelled over us all before he answered . We were amused at his confusion and our smiles reassured him - " I would, " he said boldly . He stood on the running-board and , having piloted us around a few corners , brought us out on the road we wanted . " God bless ye boys ," he exclaimed fervently as we parted .


In a short time we reached Miss Walsh's of Ballygarvan , where we were most hospitably entertained . We rested until the time for our appointment with Mick Murphy . We met him and Tadhg Sullivan at Kaper Daly's ; Tadhg was introduced to us by Mick as " the Republican Jewman ! " A splendid looking man , with laughing eyes - he had certainly a 'Semitic' expression . They had no good news for us - British Army man Strickland was to attend the funeral of General Cummins who had been killed at Clonbanin , and we were destined , therefore , not to meet him . Mick and Tadhg returned to the city - we were to meet Mick again , but it was our last meeting with Tadhg Sullivan ; within a few days we heard with the greatest sorrow of his death in an encounter with a British Army raiding-party .

Jim Grey , our driver , wanted tyres for the Buick . It was settled that he and I should go to the city in the morning to get the tyres , some 'three-in-one' oil , and a few other messages . We met a reliable man that night , who agreed to take us in his milk cart . We started early , seated facing forward and surrounded by milk-churns . We wore our trench coats and gaiters , a very foolish thing to do , since it invited attention . In the milk cart it looked the part well enough , but when we went shopping... "

(MORE LATER).


GETTING OUT .

'Britain has the economic clout to impose peace in Northern Ireland (sic), argue BOB ROWTHORN and NAOMI WAYNE . Why does'nt it use it ? '

(First published in 'New Statesman and Society' Magazine , 9th September , 1988 , pages 12 and 13).


Re-produced here in 10 parts .

[Apologises beforehand for the use of the descriptions "Northern Ireland" and "Province" , and the constant use of the terms "Catholics" and "Protestants" in the following ten-part article ; they are not our descriptions or terms , but the Authors].


(1 of 10).



The conflict in Northern Ireland (sic) won't be resolved by military means ; after nearly 20 years , the IRA has not been defeated nor , in spite of fluctuations in its level of support and occasional SAS coups , is it going to be . Hostility to British rule remains widespread in the Catholic community and will continue to provide support for the armed struggle .

Reform within the present framework is also played out . The Anglo-Irish Agreement (ie- the 1985 Hillsborough Treaty) has posed a bigger challenge to the Protestant and Catholic communities than any previous initiative , but to win the long-term commitment of the Catholic community , the Agreement must deliver substantial material benefits - most notably , the creation of more and better jobs .

But realistically that depends on an economic recovery which cannot itself be achieved as long as the present conflict continues . Moreover , questions of national identity and political control cannot have been high on the political agenda for Catholics for two decades . This is too long for them to go away ; they now have a life of their own...

(MORE LATER).