" 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 19, 2004

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

.......with support from the 'Independent Irish Party' in Westminster , British 'Lord' Aberdeen and the 'Whigs' took control of the Administration - and almost immediately offered less that had been agreed to the 'Independent Irish Party' in return for their support .......

This led to rows and bickering within the 'IIP' , a signal which 'Lord' Aberdeen picked-up on and used to his own advantage - in true Brit 'divide and conquer'-style , Aberdeen offered John Sadleir IIP MP the position of ' Lord of The Treasury' in the new British Administration , and also 'threw a bone' to the other dog , William Keogh IIP MP - that of the Office of British Solicitor-General for Ireland !

...And both men took the offer ; and the Catholic Church , subservient as ever to the Brits , supported them for doing so ! This tore not only the 'Independent Irish Party' asunder (although it did manage to 'hobble' on for another few years , disintegrating along the way ) until finally it disbanded in 1858 , but it also disappointed Charles Gavan Duffy IIP MP , (one of the more prominent members of the party) so much that , in October 1855 , he emigrated to Australia in despair .

So - despite success at the polls , and having the 'ear' of the political bosses , and the 'respect' of the 'Establishment' and good , favourable media coverage , being well-dressed , well-spoken and well-paid , if you lose your political principles , you're finished - draw your own conclusions....

(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.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.......

".......One of our lads , Corney , wanted to visit his family in West Cork but my uncle Dan advised against doing so by the mountain track as it would be swarming with British troops . But the men decided to go that route with Corney anyway , and asked me to go with them ......."


" Reluctantly , I agreed and the seven of us left together ; we had travelled over half-a-mile across country towards Renanirree when I stopped and asked the others again to consider staying where we were , or even to go in the opposite direction - I told them that they were going to be chased if not caught by the British on the bare mountains and that they would have a peaceful week anywhere to the south or east of us . It was no use ; I wished them luck and watched them go , for I felt lonely when they left me . I would have gone with them against my own judgement , but I had another reason for staying as well ...

I returned to Knocksaharing , and that night my uncle and I slept peacefully at Patsy Cooney's of Kilmacarogue , a quarter-mile from Dan's house . All the following afternoon and until late in the evening , I lay stretched in the heather on top of one of the foothills of Rahoona - it commanded an excellent view of the winding Ballyvourney Road at Pool na Bro , and stretches here and there as far east as Coolavokig . Equipped with a powerful pair of field glasses , little could pass unknown to me . One did not need the glasses to see the enemy , however ...

...at about two o'clock the procession started ; the massed columns of British infantry formed its principal feature - it was an imposing display , calculated to overawe as well as to destroy . The British infantry was made up most of the regular troops from Cork and Ballincollig Barracks . Their motor transport , with tents , field kitchens and other impedimenta added to the display ......."

(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 .


(9 of 10).


After their drubbing at Adowa , the Italians had retired to their Eritrean and Somalian enclaves but Mussolini , inflamed with his fevered dreams of a new Roman Empire , invaded Ethiopia in 1935 . Evelyn Waugh , an Italian supporter , wrote of "the eagles of Ancient Rome , as they came to our savage ancestors in France and Britain and Germany , bringing the inestimable gifts of fine workmanship and clear judgement ... " but , in truth , the Italian campaign , with a policy of using poison gas and killing ten Ethiopians for every Italian casualty , was a prelude to the genocidal brutalities of the Second World War .

The Italian rule did'nt stick , however , and in 1941 , an Allied Force liberated Ethiopia and restored Haile Selassie to his throne . Both Italian wars had immensely added to Ethiopian prestige .

The first African independence movements seized on Ethiopia as an example and inspiration for their anti-colonial struggle whilst , as a feudal monarch , Haile Selassie was obviously friendlier to the West than Moscow or Peking ...

(MORE LATER).






Friday, June 18, 2004

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

.......With about forty elected members in the British Parliament in Westminster , the 'Independent Irish Party' put its requests to 'Lord' Derby's Tory-led Government but were re-buffed - so the 'IIP' withdrew its support and that Administration collapsed .......

The main opposition party in Westminster , the 'Whigs' , led by 'Lord' Aberdeen , apparently promised John Sadleir IIP MP and William Keogh IIP MP that the 'Whigs' would be sympathetic to the interests of the 'Independent Irish Party' and the two Irish MP's , in turn , passed this information on to the Ruling Body of their own Party ; it was agreed to support the 'Whigs' in their bid for power which , with 'IIP' support , they got .

...And no sooner had 'Lord' Aberdeen climbed into the Prime Ministerial Chair when his political promises to Sadleir and Keogh were cast aside ; he was , it seems , prepared to 'honour' part of the agreement he made with the 'Independent Irish Party' representatives and Party , but not enough to satisfy them , and certainly not enough when compared with what he said he would do . This led to rows and bickering within the 'IIP' , a signal which 'Lord' Aberdeen picked-up on and used to his own advantage , in true Brit 'divide-and-conquer'-style.......

(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.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.......

".......We knew the Brits were planning a round-up ; our IRA Column had been temporarly disbanded , although seven of us stayed together . We were discussing our immediate plans to lay low somewhere......"


" The weather was unusually fine and dry and the mountains along and across the Cork/Kerry border would be well searched by enemy infantry - it was easy enough to search the same mountains , as most of them were bare and devoid of even heather . Certainly , a column of men could not hope to escape attention from enemy columns scattered about on the neighbouring hills . Even one man could not move without being seen by any fairly vigilant and well-posted sentry .

All of us present well knew the disadvantages of the bare Kerry mountain in a round-up or in a clash with stronger enemy forces ; yet , six out of the seven voted to go to Kerry well beyond the western limit of the circle . To escape the net was not entirely their motive - Corney wanted to avail of the period of inactivity to pay a visit home to west Cork , and the others declared that they would accompany him some distance and then go further into Kerry to meet some of the Kerry IRA men we knew .

My uncle and I opposed the decision to go into any mountain country or to leave our own ground at all - " I think, " said Dan , " it is a great mistake to go near those mountains now , for they will be swarming with troops . I'd much prefer to keep the low , broken boggy ground , be damned! "

The man was wise and the next few days were to prove his wisdom ; however , the others decided to go and asked me to come with them ......."

(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 .


(8 of 10).


The traumas of war and revolution inevitably caused economic stagnation which hindered Ethiopia's own ability to counteract the 1984/'85 famine . Also , though the Russians did give economic help , it was starved of Western governmental development aid ; while Somalia received $70 per capita and Sudan got $29 , Ethiopia was permitted only $9 . It was inevitable , in time, that things would give ...

The next significant Emperor , after Emperor Theodorus (1855-1868) was Johannes IV (1887-1889) who extended the 'royal' power , but battle was only really joined during the reign of his successor , Menilek (1889-1913). Under-funded , under-manned and unaware of the strength and firepower of Menilek's forces , previously supplied by French gunrunners like the poet , Arthur Rimbaud , the Italians marched into the mountainous interiors to be overwhelmed at Adowa in 1896 in what was the only conclusive African victory over a European power in the Colonial period .

So Menilek became the founder of the Ethiopian state , extending its rule to the south , west and east ; building Addis Ababa ; and starting the slow , technical modernisation of the state . At his death , Haile Selassie attained power , first as Regent , in 1916 , finally ascending the imperial throne in 1930 to face the second Italian assault on Ethiopia .......

(MORE LATER).






Thursday, June 17, 2004

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

.......the newly-formed 'Independent Irish Party' (composed of 'The Irish Brigade' and 'The Tenant Right League') appeared adamant that the British would be challenged on their mis-rule in Ireland , with particular reference to the 1851 'Ecclesiastical Titles Bill' ; however , the Brits had seen it all before .......

The new 'Independent Irish Party' was flexing its muscle ; as William Keogh (a Barrister and MP for Athlone) put it - " I will not support any party which does not make it the first ingredient of their political existence to repeal the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill . So help me God ..... " By this stage , Charles Gavan Duffy had been elected as an 'Independent Irish Party' MP to Westminster , representing the New Ross area of Wexford .

The ' IIP ' , with forty members elected to Westminster , did actually hold the balance of power in 'Lord' Derby's Tory-led government in Westminster and so pressed their claims with that administration regarding the 'Titles Bill' and other matters pertaining to Ireland - but they got no satisfaction from 'Lord' Derby or any of his Ministers ...

...so the 'IIP' 'pulled the plug' and the British Government of the day collapsed .......

(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.

1921 - The Big Round-Up.

" The 'Big Round-Up' started on the evening of Sunday , 5th June 1921 , at Ballyvourney - we had been expecting it daily for at least a fortnight , and our IRA Column had been disbanded in the face of it . Seven of us had so far kept together ; Corney O'Sullivan , Jim and Miah Grey , Paddy Donncha Eoin , Patsy Lynch , my brother Pat and I : we had stayed in the neighbourhood of the village or Cross of Kilnamartyra , at Lios Bui , or kilmacarogue , or Doirin na Ceardchan , or Knocksaharing with our good friends and comrades .

Now , on Saturday morning , we had got definite news that the round-up was about to begin on the morrow . In the kitchen of the old house at Knocksaharing we discussed the matter ; my uncle was present with the seven of us . While nothing very definite was known about the impending enemy operation , we knew that it was going to be very thorough and widespread - to anticipate its boundaries was now the vital consideration . Hitherto , when hard pressed , we had always crossed the border into Kerry , and when things had quietened down again had returned .

Sure enough , there were large areas in Kerry that would escape encirclement in this round-up , but to select those areas was the crux - again , it was obvious that the nearest safe part of Kerry during this period would be many miles from the Cork border......."

(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 .


(7 of 10).


For a year from September 1976 , a 'red terror' was conducted against students and civilians linked with the regime's revolutionary competitors in the 'Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Party' , albeit that the 'EPRP' had also begun its own assassination campaign against Mengisty's supporters . Some claim over 1,000 of the 5,000 students at Addis Ababa University died ; Amnesty International calculates 30,000 were imprisoned and several thousand killed - but the West has tolerated many regimes with a bloody birth . What it could'nt accept was Mengisty's Russian alliance .

At the most traumatic and apparently vulnerable point of the Ethiopian revolution , Somalia invaded the south-eastern Ogaden Desert region . Previously Russia had backed Somalia ; initially it tried to mediate before eventually siding with the more strategically valuable Ethiopia - it was Cuban troops who helped to drive out the Somalis , who themselves had switched over to an American alliance ...

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, June 16, 2004

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

.......the pro-Catholic Church lobby-group , ' The Irish Brigade ' , and the 'Young Ireland Movement'-supported 'Tenant Right League' were against the British 'Ecclesiastical Titles Bill'.......

In 1852 , 'The Irish Brigade' and 'The Tenant Right League' joined forces to get the 'Ecclesiastical Titles Bill' revoked and , in July that year (1852) the new organisation came together as 'The Independent Irish Party' . This new Party declared that " legislative independence is the clear , eternal and inalienable right of this country , and that no settlement of the affairs of Ireland can be permanent until that right is recognised and established ....(we will) take the most prompt and effective measures for the protection of the lives and interests of the Irish people , and the attainment of their natural rights . "

John Sadleir and William Keogh , two of the more prominent MP's in 'The Independent Irish Party' (of which there were about forty , as the new 'IIP' was joined by Irish MP's in Westminster) , like all the other 'IIP' representatives , took a pledge not to accept any Office in a Westminster Administration or to co-operate with same until , amongst other things , the 'Ecclesiastical Titles Bill' was done away ; however , the British had seen developments like this in their other ' colony's ' and were preparing to manoeuvre things in their own favour .......


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 , early 20th Century ; Irishmen and women faced death each day , either from the enemy or from nature ; but the 'Poorhouse' was to be feared as well - families were split-up in these institutions : mothers pulled from their children , husbands from their wives , brothers from their sisters ......."

" And it happened in the 'Poorhouse' of Macroom , and Canon Peter O'Leary (An t-Ahair Peadar) has given the names of the family and the details of their sufferings in 'Mo Sgeal Fein' - he tells how Diarmaidin was separated from Sheila , his little sister , how he died and his body was thrown into the pit at Carraig a' Staire with other Famine victims ; how Sheila soon followed him there and how , a few days later , the father and mother struggled home to die .

He records how Padraig and Cait stopped at the Famine Pit at Carraig a' Staire : somewhere underneath were the bodies of their children , but their bright souls were in a better world "where tyrants 'taint not nature's bliss ." Having cried enough , the parents turned their faces towards their cabin in Doire Lia , six miles away to the north-west . Here they were found the following morning by a neighbour - both were dead . Cait's feet were clasped by Padraig to his breast inside his shirt ; it had been his last effort to somehow save her life...

Canon O'Leary almost lived to see the 'Poorhouse' laid low ; how the man who wrote 'Mo Sgeal Fein' would rejoice with us at its passing !

[END of 'KNOCKSAHARING.......'].
(Tomorrow - '1921-The Big Round-Up.)


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 .


(6 of 10).


Only when British journalist Jonathan Dimbleby inflitrated the famine zone and smuggled his film of the horrific scenes back to London did Haile Selassie's government concede the immensity of the suffering ; it was the last throw of a corrupt and senile regime . The small young educated 'elite' in the universities and among the junior officers had already recognised the chasm between Haile Selassie and his showy international pretensions , and Ethiopia's true backwardness - the discontent erupted and the students struck and then marched on the Palace , bizarrely , after gathering at the only meeting the nervous authorities could'nt forbid - an American Peace Corps Fashion Show !

The Junior Officers took the leadership as 'the creeping coup' of 1974 displaced the Emperor . Finally , Haile Miriam-Mengisty emerged as leader of the revolutionary regime - a government which itself attracted much Western criticism during the 1984/'85 famine . This partially derived from the bloody events of the immediate post-revolutionary period ; many 'aristocrats' and Imperial Officials were executed . Within the military revolutionary 'elite' , opponents of Mengisty and his alies were also shot .......

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, June 15, 2004

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

....... At 36 years of age , in 1851 , and a prominent member of the Catholic Church-led lobby group 'The Irish Brigade' , John Sadleir witnessed the introduction by the British of the 'Ecclesiastical Titles Bill ' , which aimed to curb the activities of the Catholic Church .......

It was now 'illegal' to be described as a 'Parish Priest' , 'Bishop' etc - at least it was so in writing ; but this 'law' was not followed-up (ie enforced) on the ground (what we in Ireland would call "an Irish solution to an Irish problem " !). However , enforced or not , the 'Titles Bill' was vehemently opposed by John Sadleir and William Keogh and 'The Irish Brigade' (who were by now known by the nick-name of 'The Popes Brass Band' , such was their support for the Catholic Hierarchy !) ; others , too , were opposed to the 'Bill' ...

... a group known as the 'Tenant Right League' , which had been founded in 1850 by 'Young Ireland' Movement leaders Charles Gavan Duffy and Frederick Lucas (to secure better conditions for those that worked the land) also campaigned against 'The Ecclesiastical Titles Bill' .

The 'Tenant Right League' was formed in City Assembly House in William Street , Dublin , in August 1850 , after a four-day conference , attended by a right mix of people - magistrates , 'landlords' , tenants themselves , priests (of both Catholic and Presbyterian persuasion) and newspaper journalists and editors .......

(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.......

".......According to the Brits , they suffered no casualties due to our ambush -their usual claim ! However , they got far more than they bargained for that day when they met us , instead of the unarmed civilians they were after ......."

" We rejoiced , also, to hear of the destruction of the 'Union of Macroom ' , or the 'Workhouse' , or 'Poorhouse' , as it was variously called ; that cursed institution , and all the others of its kind throughout the country , had been for long the nightmare of the people . For too long they had obtruded their obscene presence between them and the light of God . What untold suffering of mind and body did their vile and ugly walls and gates encompass , not so long ago ! But suffering and despair were not confined to their compass or environs ...

...their influence went abroad like a virulent miasma , like Cromwell's corpse "to poison half mankind." Built , ostensibly , as 'charitable institutions' , the devil quickly became their patron - charity , the most formidable of virtures , was soon deleted from his programme . As an instrument of oppression , the Poorhouse far surpassed the gaol (jail) or the hangman's rope . For it struck at the whole family : first it haunted the parents for , if the 'landlord' wanted their land or they failed to pay the rent , what were their prospects ?

If they had the money they could emigrate - that would be bad enough but , failing that , there was the other 'option' ; the 'Poorhouse' . The prospect of death would not appal an Irish man or woman unduly , but the 'Poorhouse' , where the father would be separated from the mother , and the brother from the sister ...what torture could be more diabolically devised ...?

(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 .


(5 of 10).


Instead a second strategic factor came into play - if Ethiopia's highlands made her impregnable , her coast was a more attractive prospect : now it guards the oil-tanker routes but , in the 19th Century , Britain's most crucial interest was to protect the Suez Canal - Red Sea passage to its Indian empire .

The British did'nt want the rival French interfering so they tolerated and sponsored the Italians as 'junior imperial partners' to gain a foothold on the Eritrean coast . Against this bleak background came the '72/3 famine and the consequent revolution ; this drought , which afflicated all the Sahel countries , was accounted the most devastating in the region since 1913 but the Ethiopian people suffered the greatest ravages through the inexcusable apathy of their government .

Traditional Ethiopian attitudes to famine were fatalistic , indeed almost medieval , in a belief that famine was God's punishment for man's sins that could only be countered by prayer . But Haile Selassie's government denied even the existence of the famine , acting as if the tragedy was merely a seasonal culling of the peasantry .......

(MORE LATER).






Monday, June 14, 2004

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

.......The Irish were 'down' but not 'out' - various secret societies were striking-back as best they could against the ruthlessness of the British 'ruling-class' and their 'Landlords' and agents .......

It was into this era that a child was born in 1815 , in County Tipperary ; John Sadleir . At the time that John Sadleir was growing-up , a man named George Henry Moore (who was connected to , and supported by , the Catholic Church Hierarchy) was organising a 'pressure-group' which was to be called the 'Irish Brigade' to lobby Westminster on behalf of the Catholic Church , its members , and its 'flock' - John Sadleir joined the 'Irish Brigade' lobby-group and became a prominent member of it , as did about twenty liberal-minded British MP's , including William Keogh (who , in later years , was to be appointed a Judge by the British , to act against the Fenians).

When John Sadleir was 36 years of age (in 1851) the British Administration introduced the 'Ecclesiastical Titles Bill' (on 6th February 1851) making it 'illegal' for any Catholic prelate (ie Priest , Arch-Bishop , Bishop etc) to be that which the Vatican claimed him to be - that is , under the 'Ecclesiastical Titles Bill' it was deemed to be 'a crime' to be described as the 'Parish Priest of XXX' , 'Arch-Bishop of XXX' , 'Bishop of XXX' ! In short , the assumption of titles by Roman Catholic Priests was outlawed by Westminster .......

(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 had scattered the British Auxiliaries during our ambush , but now they had re-grouped and were coming back on foot ; it was time for us to withdraw ......."

" Leaving my uncle's house , we went southwards to Lios Bui where an aeroplane hovered over us in an azure sky ; it circled about as if looking for a movement of troops - that was one decided advantage we had over the British forces - we could , without aeroplanes , easily discover British troop movements , while it was quite impossible for them to detect ours, for the simple reason that the 'troops' did not exist ! It would require keen eyes to see the seven of us reclining against a rock in the middle of the Lios Bui Bog ...

The day being still young , and we feeling hungry , we crossed the Toon River to the Claonrath houses where we had tea - then , as the sun started to decline , we retraced our steps to Patsy Dineen's where we heard the news of the day . The Auxiliaries had retrieved their comrades and the lorry and started for Macroom but , at Carrigaphooca , three miles from the town , they found the road blocked by trees . In a panic , fearful of another ambush , they tore them away and broke through ; reaching Macroom , they found that the Workhouse had been burned in their absence ! It had not been , for them , a very profitable day - they had , in fact , received what the Irish would call "more kicks than ha'pence !"

We were unable to find out anything about the enemy's losses on that day ; the Auxies reported that they had no casualties , as they would do in any case , but we could not claim that we had inflicted any , even if we had killed numbers of them in the lorries . We had not even the opportunity of seeing what happened to the lorry that was ditched . The one thing certain was that they had got a bad fright - they had come out to Renanirree expecting to find a number of people , unarmed , gathered together in the school or dance hall . Had they found them , they would , like the brutal yeoman Hempenstall , have constituted themselves as judge , jury , hangman , gallows , rope and all......."

(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 .


(4 of 10).


By then , Ethiopia's isolation had led to the romantic European myth of 'Prester John' , a benevolent Christian King encircled by the hordes of pagan Africa ; the reality was less glamorous - by the 19th Century , the 'King of Kings' had only a titular role , with the real powers held by the Provincial 'Lords' . As the European powers began the colonisation of Africa , the Ethiopian monarchy revived ; Emperor Theodorus (1855-1868) was the first to seek to re-establish its powers but when (British) Queen Victoria's minions (through insensitive bureaucratic omission , it must be said) refused to answer a diplomatic letter and he imprisoned the British representatives at his court , a punitive expedition led to his defeat and suicide .

But this colonial foray was'nt a prelude to British conquest . Their campaign had been much aided by the other Ethiopian Lords' refusal to support the unpopular and over-ambitious Theodorus . Besides , the British would soon be embroiled fighting the Mahdi in the neighbouring Sudan .......

(MORE LATER).






Sunday, June 13, 2004

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

....... ' The only time an Irish female slept in a bed was when her master was in it , and Irishmen were honoured when that happened ' - such was the attitude of the British 'ruling class' in 18th Century Ireland .......

However , the Irish spirit was strong ; the British 'Landlords' and their agents did not have it all their own way . The so-called " lower-ranks " , the " wretched people " , those who wore " the mark of slavery " , had organised themselves as best they could - secret , underground oath-bound societies fought back -

- the Whiteboys , Oakboys , Moonlighters , the Defenders and the Steelboys ; fences belonging to British 'Landlords' were ripped-up , the 'masters' cattle were taken , his haystacks and crop removed , his 'Big House' attacked and , when possible, levelled and burnt and he himself , and his minions , put to death when the opportunity presented itself to do so .

It was into this 'melting-pot of madness' that a child was born in County Tipperary in 1815 - John Sadleir .......

(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.......

".......Six of the seven British lorries had left the scene - the troops from the seventh one were in hiding , pinned-down by us but still firing back at us . We were about to send a few men to out-flank them ......."

" A shout from Caherdaha Hill drew our attention to the east . A man stood on a fence and pointed downwards to Aha Tiompain . After the first outburst of firing , and as we had watched the British lorries disappear down the road to Macroom , we had heard a wild cheer from the same point . A group that watched there had given vent to their feelings in a 'Gair Caha' . The group was still there but now they had sounded a warning - the Brits had stopped in their lorries just out of our sight , and now they were coming back in skirmishing order along the high ground on both sides of the road . There was no hurry but yet any delay might endanger us .

We had a wholesome respect for the activity and physical fitness of the Auxies , if they found out that only a small group was opposed to them here . Woe to the man or men who allowed them to get the impression that they were weak in any way , for then they followed up relentlessly . In our case they had not yet caught sight of us , and so they would move cautiously . They already had experience of our heavy fire , and I have no doubt , were it not for the ditching of their lorry , they would not have returned at all . But they could not return to Macroom and admit that they had left their comrades to fight it out alone . So they must return to find them , and since we had not a few more men to keep in touch with their flanks , we must withdraw .

Sending the unarmed IRA Volunteer , by a detour to the west , to withdraw my uncle and his comrade , we also moved westwards to meet them , and again crossed the ridge of Knocksaharing and the upper Renanirree Road....... "

(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 .


(3 of 10).


We consider Egypt the premier African civilisation but it was Ethiopia that reincarnated the Nile and its pantheon of Gods . Annually , the rich silt of the Ethiopian highlands passed down the Blue Nile to fertilise Lower Egypt and create the surplus that built the Pyramids and later made those lands the bread-baskets of the Roman Empire , the strategic prize for which Mark Antony courted Cleopatra .

Even then , the highland people had a mysterious , mythic repute , christened the " Ethiopians " , the people with " burnt faces " by the ancient Greeks . Beyond the grasp of the Roman Empire , its Axumite Kings traded myrrh , gold , resins and ivory with Egypt , India and Arabia , finally converting to Coptic Christianity in the 4th Century .

Islam affected but did'nt overpower Ethiopia ; members of Mohammed's inner circle sheltered in Ethiopia before his triumph as the Prophet . Remembering that hospitality and possibly wisely recognising the difficulty of the terrain for any holy war , Mohammed advised his followers " to leave the Ethiopians alone ." Instead Islam gradually infiltrated the Eastern coastlands , threatening only in the 16th Century when the Portuguese helped the Christian rulers ward off a Muslim assault .......

(MORE LATER).