" 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, June 12, 2004

JOHN SADLEIR and WILLIAM KEOGH - 19th Century Irish Turncoats .......


....... Ireland , 18th Century ; as a race , we had almost been ground down - 'Landlords' , over-crowding , poverty , hunger, depression ; a "wretched and destitute people" , as the philosopher Berkeley called us . The British 'ruling class' , too , put the boot in .......


" I hoped to be excused for representing to His Majesty the miserable situation of the lower ranks of His subjects in this kingdom , that from the rapaciousness of their unfeeling landlords and the restrictions on their trade , they are amongst the most wretched people on earth . "

- that was said in 1770 , by the then British Viceroy , who was apparently content to simply report to "His Majesty" on the poverty in this country and not do anything about it . Then , in 1776 , an English agricultural specialist , a Mr. (or should that be 'Master' ?) Arthur Young , wrote (re his visit to Ireland) -

- " Landlords of consequence have assured me that many of their cottiers (ie 'tenants') would think themselves honoured by having their wives or daughters sent for to the bed of their masters , a mark of slavery that proves the oppression under which such people live . The cottages of the Irish, which are called cabins, are the most miserable-looking hovels that can well be conceived .

The furniture of the cabins is as bad as the architecture ; in very many consisting only of a pot for boiling their potatoes , a bit of a table , and one or two broken stools . Beds are not found universally , the family lying on straw . "

So the only time an Irish female slept in a bed was when "her master" was in it - and Irishmen were "honoured" when that happened ! As Oscar Wilde said - " To know nothing about their great men is one of the necessary elements of English education . " Enough said ...

(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.

KNOCKSAHARING.......

"....... Ireland 1921 ; we were preparing to ambush a patrol of British Auxiliaries near the Macroom Road in Cork ....... "


" We could not get a clear view of the road from where we were , so we decided to send the two local IRA Volunteers across the road into Clohina Wood ; my uncle went with them . They crossed the river by the little plank bridge , and soon signalled to us from an excellent position in the Wood . We had not long to wait - one of our two riflemen returned with a suggestion that their position would be a good one for the Lewis-Gun . I had just told him that since we had little hope of stopping the British lorries , I was going to follow them down the road with a raking fire , and that I had command of all the four hundred yards to Aha Tiompain .

He agreed that I was in a better position , and had mounted the fence to leave when I dragged him down again - the first lorry was almost on the firing line . The chagrin of our riflemen was terrible - my comrade made a movement as if to dash down the steep slope to the road , as he had left his rifle on the other side . I tried to console him - " It will be all right , " I said , " Dan will take care of it . " As if in answer , a rifle spoke loudly from Clohina Wood ; I opened fire into a steel-plated lorry . The British Auxiliaries sat on the floor of that lorry , around the sides , their legs extended inwards . It passed from my sight for the time being , so I turned my attention to the next lorry , and favoured each with a burst of fire , then quickly changed the drum for a full one .

Six British lorries were now speeding down the road to Aha Tiompain - I enfiladed them generally , and the rifles near me were still firing at right-angles to the road . Soon the six lorries , three Tenders and three steel-plated Crossleys , passed from my sight just beyond the cross-roads . The seventh and last British Tender had stopped just underneath us ; it was quite close , too close to sight it even , for it had been 'ditched' under the lee of a high bank . We could not locate a single one of its occupants , but some of them appeared to be very active , for they maintained a heavy fire at us . Our two riflemen in Clohina Wood could not see them because of a thick hedge , on their side of the road . The Auxies could not cross the road to fire through the hedge because of us , but they tried another method .

Crouching under the bank on our side , the Auxies fired grenades over the hedge - but these fell in the Wood and exploded with a lot of noise but did no harm to us . We had brought no hand grenades with us , and now regretted it , for a few grenades dropped over the bank would have routed-out the Auxiliaries on to the road again . It would have been madness to cross the fence and run down the steep slope to fire down on them , so the only method left was to send a few men to have at them from the Renanirree side , if possible ......."

(MORE LATER).


ETHIOPIA - A Brief History .......

(First published in 'HOT PRESS' Magazine , 6th May 1988 , Volume 12 , No. 8 , page 28).

Re-produced here in 10 parts .


(2 of 10).


The Tigreans have been fighting their own battle for independence since the mid-70's ; lately they've been making some progress militarily , the two guerilla groups having delivered a double blow to the Ethiopians around St. Patricks Day last (ie 17th March 1988). The Tigreans attacked the legendary 'royal' city of Axum , while the Eritreans won a critical tank battle in the North . The Ethiopian government's response was swift and dramatic - 'National Mobilisation' was ordered and the government signed an accord with Somalia which would let them re-deploy troops from the South-Eastern frontier for Northern duty . Meanwhile , they evacuated all foreign relief workers from the troubled regions .

In famine terms , the effect could be devastating - even before this latest crisis , Aregani Hajos , Regional Chief of the government's 'Relief and Rehabilitation' Commission estimated that at least two million of the combined 5.7 million population of Eritrea and Tigre were in peril . The famine itself , he believed , was worse than it was in 1984 - 1985 , with only improved logistics and organisation saving the people from equal or greater devastation .

With the escalation of war activities and the evacuation of relief workers , those buffers are no longer in operation . The prospect , indeed , is bleak .......

(MORE LATER).






Friday, June 11, 2004

JOHN SADLEIR and WILLIAM KEOGH - 19th Century Irish Turncoats .......


....... Six-and-a-half million people on the island of Ireland , supported mostly by the potato crop , which allowed for a 'better' standard of 'living' for the "Irish peasant farmer" . The British 'Landlords' , too , noticed this 'improvement' .......


... 'Rents' were increased at the same period that land was scarce (due to the population increase); the 'rent' for a 'holding' quadrupled between 1760 and 1815 , so the 'holding' (ie small farm) was sub-let , usually to the farmers sons , so that the 'rent owed' for that patch of soil could be shared by the family .

Pressure from the so-called 'Landlords' , over-crowding , poverty , hunger , depression , desperately bad 'living' conditions - such was the scene which a well-known philosopher of the day , Berkeley , witnessed in Ireland in 1750 , prompting him to ask " whether there be upon the earth any Christian or civilised people so beggardly wretched and destitute as the common Irish ? "

I wonder did Berkeley 'philosophise' as to why "the common Irish" were in that position in the first place ? And while we're on the subject of what 'our betters' thought of us , the British Viceroy at the time was also fond of kicking people while they were down.......

(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.

KNOCKSAHARING.......


".......We all agreed that the British Auxiliaries were most likely heading for Renanirree to break-up a Sinn Fein Court , which we knew to have been postponed - we were also in agreement that the Brits would most likely return to their base by the Knocksaharing route ......."


" The seven of us were rushing out the door , through the haggard gate-way , over a fence and making a bee-line for Knocksaharing . A few days before we had heard of the capture , by the enemy , of a bag containing some documents . It was said to belong to a Judge who was on a Circuit of Sinn Fein Courts . In the bag was a reference to the Court which was to have been held at Renanirree on that very day ; needless to say , it was not now being held . But now we had a reasonable clue to the movements of the Auxies . They had gone to see if the Sinn Fein Court was being held at the appointed time . They would not delay there , and since it was not a routine visit they would be of the opinion that there would be no danger in returning by the same road .

Our time was short - to intercept them at the nearest point we would have to travel two miles over hedges and ditches . Renanirree was but three miles from that point . My uncle's house was straight across our path and we found him , with two other local IRA Volunteers , at Carraig a' Radhairc ; they had with them two service rifles from an arms dump and the three of them accompanied us . My uncle's house stood a hundred yards south of the upper Renanirree Road ; we crossed this with some little caution , and went swiftly upwards to the ridge of Knocksaharing , passing by the Mass Rock of Carraig a' tSagairt . Then we quickly descended the northern slope , through small fields of every shape with their big stone fences , which generations had made at a terrible cost of murderous toll .

Soon we reached the spot we sought , a corner of one of these little fields ; it sloped steeply towards the lower Renanirree Road , and was a bad corner to get out of , if one had to . But it commanded a long stretch of the road to Macroom , and was back from it only thirty yards . We had not a long view of the on-coming enemy , and that was one of our fears : if some of the rear lorries stopped to the west of us , the British Auxiliaries could work up an easy gradient and come down on us in the pocket we were in ......."

(MORE LATER).



ETHIOPIA - A Brief History .

(First published in 'HOT PRESS' Magazine , 6th May 1988 , Volume 12 , No. 8 , page 28).

Re-produced here in 10 parts .


(1 of 10).



Ethiopia has been at war for 26 years . In the world's longest-running guerilla struggle , the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) have fought to regain the independence of the province since it was subsumed into the Ethiopian state by Haile Selassie in 1962 . The tragedy is that neither side appears capable of a conclusive military victory - or of gaining sufficient control of the territory to allow unhindered relief operations .

While the soldiers battle , famine victims come eyeball to eyeball with the grim reaper . The war grinds on , pitilessly . The EPLF shelter in impregnable highland strongholds , hiding elaborate underground tunnels to escape the strafing Ethiopian planes : the mountains offer ideal protection for guerrila fighters . Thus the rebels deny the government control of the countryside . The cities , however , remain in government hands .

The Eritreans are firm in their conviction that the war can be won , believing that government conscripts cannot match the passion and commitment of their volunteers indefinitely . But for the government , defeat cannot be contemplated - Eritrean commands Ethiopia's only coastline , making it strategically vital in terms of supply routes . And besides , the concession of independence could only encourage Sudan , Somalia and the Tigreans in the potential dismemberment of Ethiopia ...

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, June 10, 2004

JOHN SADLEIR and WILLIAM KEOGH - 19th Century Irish Turncoats .


Ireland , 1815 - approximately six-and-a-half million people 'lived' on the island of Ireland ; a rise in population of about three-and-a-quarter million since the introduction of the potato into the country in the middle of the 18th Century (ie 1760 - pop. of approximately three-and-a-quarter million ; 1815 - pop. of approximately six-and-a-half million).

With the potato being in itself highly nutritional and a good basis for an adequate diet , as well as being a prolific crop , the poor were able to get better use from what little land they had and use their land to support more people , which led to an increase in the population . Also , the potato needed less land than , for instance , grain , and allowed the farmer to grow other crop elsewhere which he could then sell .

Unfortunately for the Irish 'peasant' farmer (as the Brits described us) , his 'good fortune' was noticed by the British 'Landlords' .......

(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.

KNOCKSAHARING.......

".......We knew they were after us - seven lorry loads of British Auxiliaries in the area . Should we move-out , or stay put ...? "


" We could not block a large percentage of all the roads , since we would greatly harm our own people . Where roads had been trenched , a rough by-pass had been allowed for the use of horse-traffic . The year 1921 had an unusually fine , dry summer , and the motor transport of the enemy often got through the by-passes easily , or crossed trenches over specially made planks . So the game of 'hide-and-seek' went on , and we were now at our wits' end to forecast the Auxiliaries' movements on reaching Renanirree .

They could go on through the glen to Ballingeary , or turn north to Ballyvourney , or south over Doiranaonaig to Inchigeela , or go along the Toon Road a mile to the south of us , and so return to Macroom . Or they could come from the Toon Road past our gate , and go home by the Cross . Or they could come by the upper road from Renanirree to the Cross , and pass within half a mile of us at Bearnasalach . And having come to Bearnasalach they could even say -

- " There's the road to Patsy Dinneen's . He'll be terribly distressed if he hears we passed and never called ..." Three or four of us must have thought of the solution together ; there was a sudden upsurge of men , which nearly wrecked the table . For a moment a babel of short questions and shorter answers - " Sinn Fein Court ! " and "Bloody Judges !" , " Captured documents ! " , "The bag !" ; Renanirree - a Sinn Fein Court , which we knew had been postponed , was to be held there this day . The Auxiliaries would not know it was postponed ......."

(MORE LATER).


A PAINFUL CASE .......
(First published in 'In Dublin' Magazine , 'Under The Bridge' column , 12th November 1987 , Page 4).

Reproduced here in 2 parts .
[2 of 2].

Paul Travers afterwards pleaded guilty . Last month (ie October 1987) the State declined to proceed against Tony Brown on certain charges which had been preferred against him . However , last March (1987) , Garda Martin Caffrey was convicted of using excessive force in order to restrain Tony Brown , who is five foot in height , forty-six years old and suffers from spina bifida .

During his arrest by Garda Martin Caffrey , Brown sustained cuts to his head - one of these cuts required five stitches ; he also had broken bones in both hands , and there was a cut on his left knee . Garda Caffrey said in evidence that that when he tried to handcuff Brown in order to search him for possible weapons , Brown had struggled , and this had necessitated the use of force . Neither man (Travers or Brown) had any weapons .

Paul Travers got eight months in jail for the theft of £130 (Euro 165) . Garda Martin Caffrey was fined £150 (Euro 190) for breaking both hands of a suspect .......

[END of 'A PAINFUL CASE .......'].
(Tomorrow - 'ETHIOPIA : A BRIEF HISTORY..' - from 1988...).






Wednesday, June 09, 2004

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


....... Irish Rebel Joseph Brenan was 'on-the-run' from the British in New Orleans in America - the year was 1851 .......


In August that year (1851) , at 23 years young , Joseph Brenan married Mary Savage , his friends sister , and the couple stayed and settled in New Orleans . In 1857 , at 29 years of age , Joseph Brenan died in New Orleans and was buried in that City , in the old French Cemetery . He had dedicated the final ten years of his short life to not only writing about British mis-rule in Ireland but challenging it militarily as well .

Again , as is so often the case with the subjects of this 'weblog' , we found it difficult to find information on Joseph Brenan ; out of the six reference books we usually compile material from , only two made reference to him . He was apparently not as well-known as others of his time who were also involved in the 'Young Ireland' Movement , journalism and military matters . Joseph Brenan deserves recognition nonetheless , and we have attempted to do that here ...

[END of ' JOSEPH BRENAN ; 1828-1857 : 'Young Ireland' Leader...'].
(Tomorrow - the story behind two 19th Century Irish 'Turncoats' , who mixed with the 'best' of British society ...).


WHERE MOUNTAINY MEN HAVE SOWN :

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

By Micheal O'Suilleabhain : published 1965.

KNOCKSAHARING.......


".......a system of beacons on hill-tops had been established to notify those in the surrounding area of when the Brits had left their base ; once the beacon was set alight , we knew the enemy was out on a raid ......."


" I remember Saint Johns night when the British were signalled by our beacons . At the same time , fires were lighted in honour of Saint John , causing dire confusion and some slight strain in relations between the patrons of Saint John and the disciples of Baal ! The latter decreed , like King Laoghaire , that in future " 'till Baal's enkindled fire shall rise , no fire shall flame instead . " Perhaps our enemy thought to avail of the confusion , but in any case he had not come very far when he changed his mind and returned again .

It was the morning of the Feast of Corpus Christi ; we were sound asleep when we got the news - it was Mrs. Dinneen herself who urgently called us : " The Black-and-Tans , lads , the Black-and-Tans ! " she cried . I ran to an upstairs window and looked out - they were not yet in sight at any rate . Just then Jer Dinneen appeared and shouted - " No hurry , no hurry ." He had come from Mass ; while we got dressed , he told us the news . " The Tans crossed Carrigaphooca Bridge and we waited to see if they would go straight on for Ballyvourney . But no , they came on for The Cross (our Village) , and crossing Con Lynch's Bridge went on by the lower road to Renanirree . So there ye are . "

There we were , as Jer said , trying hard to anticipate their further movements . We asked each other what they were likely to do next and , while hurriedly drinking a cup of tea , we pondered on it . They were a strong party , seven lorries of British Auxiliaries , and they might do anything . They were not at all shy of travelling over by-roads ; in fact , it had become popular with them , as it contributed towards their safety . The main roads had become dangerous for them , so when they chose a quiet route the chances were much in their favour . Returning by a different and circuitous way was another favourite manoeuvre of theirs , and had often saved them from unwelcome attention . It was impossible to watch for them on more than one road at the same time , since we had not the armed numbers to do so .

Should we move out , or stay put .......? "

(MORE LATER).


A PAINFUL CASE .
(First published in 'In Dublin' Magazine , 'Under The Bridge' column , 12th November 1987 , Page 4).

Reproduced here in 2 parts .
(1 of 2).


The on-going saga regarding Garda Martin Caffrey of Coolock Garda Station in Dublin reached a conclusion of sorts in the High Court on Friday last . The Court upheld a conviction against Garda Caffrey - he had been fined , with £82 expenses (Euro 104) , in the District Court last March (ie March 1987).

On 4th August 1986 , £130 (Euro 165) was taken from a petrol station owned by Desmond McLoughlin . Tony Brown and Paul Travers were followed by the Gardai , and were suspected of having stolen the money . Evidence tendered by the petrol-pump attendant suggested that Paul Travers had taken the money when he was attending to Tony Brown's car .

Evidence was also tendered in the case that Paul Travers had told Brown he had robbed the station , but only after a Garda car approached the men at Lusk , in County Dublin . Both men fled the car , and two Gardai , one of whom was Garda Caffrey , pursued them ...

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, June 08, 2004

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


.......Once again , Joseph Brenan was 'on-the-run' from the British ; he ended up in New Orleans , in America , and got a job as a reporter with 'The New Orleans Times' newspaper - he was to witness a 'war' of a different kind .......


.....a newspaper circulation war ! This was best exemplified by an incident in 1856 ; the founder of the 'The San Francisco Sunday Times' , a Mr. James P. Casey , was at 'war' with a rival newspaper , the 'The San Francisco Bulletin' , and disliked the ' Bulletin's ' Editor , a Mr. James King . The feeling was mutual...

...one day , the 'Bulletin' published an article highlighting the fact that James P. Casey , from the 'Times' newspaper , had served a prison sentence in 'Sing-Sing' Prison for larceny . Casey was raging and , following a 'war of words' between himself and James King , he pulled out a gun and shot King dead !

Then a gang of what were described as " vigilantes " ('Bulletin' employees ?) got hold of James P. Casey and hung him ; it was reported at the time (probably not by the 'San Francisco Bulletin' !) that James P. Casey " ... was given a tremendous funeral by his Irish followers ..." !

However - back to Joseph Brenan : at 23 years young , he got married .......

(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.

KNOCKSAHARING.......

"....... Ireland , 1921 ; our IRA Column had temporarly been disbanded , as we knew the Brits were coming in force for us ......."


" The 'Disband' order was a wise move - soon after , a wider area than was anticipated was literally trampled by ten-thousand British troops ; seven of us kept together - Corney O'Sullivan , Jim and Miah Grey , Paddy Donncha Eoin , Patsy Lynch , my brother Pat and I . Six were armed with rifles and revolvers , while I carried the light aeroplane Lewis-Gun . We had come at night-fall to the house of our good friend Patsy Dinneen at Lios-Bui-Beag , a mile south-west of Kilnamartyra Cross . We never went early to bed in Patsy's farmhouse - he himself , his wife and family were all active comrades of ours , from the start to the finish of our campaign .

Here was always the genuine and generous welcome ; the possible consequences of our coming were not thought of . They never counted what might be the cost of harbouring us , nor did they look forward to the chances of our being trapped in their home by the enemy . If we succeeded in breaking through and getting away , they would still have had to suffer heavily - their entire property would be destroyed and possibly their menfolk shot or at least thrown into prison . But the Dinneen family never thought of that and when we reminded them of it they gave it scant consideration . Patsy Dinneen used to say : "It would be no harm to stir up things around here , the place is very quiet anyway !" Nevertheless , we always felt we were doing wrong when we rested at such a homestead , without posting at least one sentry .

At that time , there were area signal stations by night and day ; beacons on hilltops were lighted at night when the enemy was observed leaving his base . These beacons were relayed forward and proved of great value on several occasions when the enemy ventured out on a raid ......."

(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].


[10 of 10].



Britain is upholding a state which represents the victory of one community over another . Equally , the usual argument put against the course we advocate - that its undemocratic to force re-unification upon the majority (sic) against their wishes- ignores the artificial nature of that majority . Prior to partition , the Protestants themselves were very much the minority .

For 20 years (sic) Britain has fought an unwinnable war in 'Northern Ireland' to save a state which cannot be saved ; only a resolute and well-planned withdrawal can bring peace to the troubled 'province' . For once in its long and unhappy relationship with Ireland , Britain should do the right thing at the right time . And that time is now .

(This ten-part article was adopted from the book 'Northern Ireland : The Political Economy Of Conflict' , which was published by 'Polity Press' in October 1988 . The Authors are BOB ROWTHORN [who , at the time , was a Reader in Economics at Cambridge] and NAOMI WAYNE [who , at the time , was a Trade Union Official]).

[END of ' GETTING OUT .......'].
(Tomorrow - 'A PAINFUL CASE' : Free State police use excessive force - a two-parter from 1987 ...).






Monday, June 07, 2004

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


....... James Fintan Lalor hit back at the British in September 1849 , with Joseph Brenan by his side ; the armed action took place in Cappoquin , Waterford .......


The Rising of 1849 started in September that year - but it was over by the following month ; its objective was not achieved : parts of the south-east of the island took a stand against the British , but to no avail . Joseph Brenan was forced to go 'on-the-run' and made it to New Orleans in America , where he got a job as a reporter with 'The New Orleans Times' newspaper - he was still only a young man of 21 years of age .

He became friendly with the sister of John Savage , a comrade of his , who was a young Dublin art student who was himself 'on-the-run' from the British ; John Savage had fled to New York and got a job as a proof-reader with 'The New York Tribune' newspaper (incidentally - that newspapers 'European Correspondent' was Karl Marx !).

A small tangent here concerning a 'war' of a different kind which was taking place in American journalism at the time .......

(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.

KNOCKSAHARING.


" Knocksaharing , literally translated into English , means 'Saturday Hill .' But it is probably the hill dedicated to Saturn . On top of this hill is a big rock known as Carraig a' tSagairt , where Mass was said in the Penal Days , but which in Druidical times was possibly a pagan altar . The northern slope of Knocksaharing comes down to meet the southern slope of Clohina . In the depression so formed flows the little river , the Sullane Beag , and parallel to it runs the Macroom-Renanirree Road .

It was a lovely glen at the time I write about , with its clumps of holly everywhere , surrounding the little green fields and mingling with the stunted oak to form Clohina Wood , as quiet a spot as one who longed for peace could wish to meet . The cascading of the little river , down the slope to the bridge at Aha Tiompain , was a sound which spoke everlastingly of rest . The little bridge was but half a mile north of the place where I was born . To me it was once the bridge of romance , a goal I longed to reach . I pictured it a mighty structure , spanning a wide and deep current . When I managed to walk to it and was held on its parapets , to gaze on the rippling water underneath .

I was quite pleased with it and I never wearied of that pleasure , even when later I discovered that it was but a very small bridge after all . The road it carried was the nearest way to Ballyvourney , from the village of Kilnamartyra . It was much used by us at the time ; it was quiet and the enemy made little use of it , deterred perhaps by the frowning Rahoona and its foothills , where IRA marksmen might lie close to the road in safety . It was the eve of the Feast of Corpus Christi , 1921 ; our IRA Column had been disbanded for the time being , as a 'round-up' by the British was on the way and it was thought wiser to disperse the men .

It proved to be a wise decision ......."

(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].


(9 of 10).



The risk of widespread bloodshed could thus be reduced to almost negligible proportions . There's no question of conventional warfare , given the quality of the arms at the disposal of militant Protestants , but however intensively 'Northern Ireland' were policed , there would almost certainly be a burst of sectarian killings during the process of transition .

But this risk has to be weighed against the absolute certainty that thousands will die if Britain remains in 'Northern Ireland' , and countless more will suffer in other ways . Finally , there is the moral dimension - Britain presents itself as an honest broker in Ireland , desperately trying to establish peace between two hostile communities . But its involvement is partisan simply because the 'Northern Ireland' state (sic) is itself a partisan creation .

Discrimination against Catholics is built into its very being .......

(MORE LATER).






Sunday, June 06, 2004

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


....... Ireland , 1849 ; Joseph Brenan was writing for 'The Irishman' newspaper when he heard that James Fintan Lalor , one of 'The Young Ireland' Movement leaders , was planning an attack on the British.......


A date for the J F Lalor-inspired Rising had been set - 16th September (1849) , and a venue had been chosen ; Cappoquin , in Waterford . Joseph Brenan left 'The Irishman' newspaper and set-out to meet up with James Fintan Lalor .

James Fintan Lalor took the position that the issue of land was at the core of the British/Irish conflict , and that it was necessary to organise the "peasantry" [as Westminster called them] into a fighting force , militarily and politically , to challenge British mis-rule in Ireland - as he himself said :

: " The entire ownership of Ireland is vested of right in the people of Ireland : that they , and none but they , are the land owners and law makers of this island . That all ties to land are invalid if not conferred or confirmed by them , and that this full right of ownership may and ought to be asserted and enforced by any and all means which God has put into the power of men . "

The armed action started in September 1849 .......

(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 Brits in Ballinhassig Barracks heard our car pass them by , but they did'nt come out to us ; instead , they notified all their posts in the district to be on alert for us ......."


" From Coachford we went north to Peake , then north-west to Ballinagree . Here we rested during the day as we got word that the British Auxiliaries were out across our road home . When night fell we returned by our old route to Carraig an Ime and reached our camp at Cumuiclumhain before midnight .

Approaching , with full lights on , a narrow part of the road shaded by trees , a horse-cart was suddenly run in front of us , bringing us to a stop . Around us we could see muzzles of rifles and shotguns , but nothing else ...

... " All right lads , " shouted Jim Grey into the darkness . It was the IRA guard for the night . They welcomed us home . "

[END of ' A DRIVE TO CORK CITY .......'].
(Tomorrow - 'Knocksaharing ...').



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].


(8 of 10).



Would the British armed forces in the North stay loyal and hold their discipline ? This would be far more likely if the British and Irish governments guaranteed the future employment and pension rights of those who obeyed orders . Apart from the UDR and RUC , the Protestants own most of the 100,000 or so guns - mostly shotguns- which are 'legally' held in the 'province' . There are also an unknown quantity of revolvers , rifles and machine-guns held 'illegally' by Protestants in self-defence and , of course , by the paramilitaries . There is no way Britain can do anything about these weapons .

But regardless of how well-armed the Protestants are , would they actually fight ? Most Protestants are opposed to British withdrawal , and they know that the threat of massive bloodshed is a formidable deterrent . But to threaten is one thing , to deliver is another . More relevant here than their armed strength are two quite different factors : war-weariness and economic self-interest . The majority of Protestants are heartily sick of the violence . If they were genuinely convinced that Britain was going and would crush resistance by strong economic sanctions , and were at the same time fully reassured about their future , most Protestants would accept re-unification as a fait accompli .

Some Protestants would emigrate , and the few who wanted to take up arms would be likely to find only minimal support .......

(MORE LATER).