" 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 26, 2004

MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER .......

....... Martin McDermott's mentor , Patrick Byrne , had been 'out' with the United Irishmen as a young boy of 15 ; he went on to design and build some of Leinster's better-known landmarks . He died in 1864 , at 81 years of age .......

When Daniel O'Connell's 'Repeal Association' split , ostensibly due to O'Connell acquiescing to British demands that he cancel his planned 'Monster Meeting' for October 1843 , the militant 'Young Ireland' group stated that O'Connell's leadership had failed to address the threat " of the decay of Irish culture , language and custom " under British influence .

One of the many who left the 'Repeal Association' to lead the 'Young Ireland' Movement , John Mitchel , the son of a Northern Presbyterian Minister , called on the Irish people to strike back against the British -

- " England ! All England , operating through her government : through all her organised and effectual public opinion , press , platform , parliament has done , is doing , and means to do grievous wrongs to Ireland . She must be punished - that punishment will , as I believe , come upon her by and through Ireland ; and so Ireland will be avenged ! "

It was a sentiment with which Martin McDermott agreed .......


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.......

" I was armed and going cross-country to a British Army military camp to have a go at them ; I was walking beside a dried-up ditch when I heard voices and noise near me - I took cover in the ditch . Only yards in front of me , the group I was hiding from almost fell into the ditch ......."

"The fright they got naturally loosened their tongues and I knew by their accents that they were not of the enemy . Curiosity got the better of me - " Where the devil are ye going to ? " I asked them , thinking at the same time that perhaps the enemy was not far behind them . The voice immediately behind them caused the utmost confusion amongst them : they were not IRA Volunteers but said they would help as best they could . They had come from the Ballyvourney district to avoid being rounded up ; I asked them where they proposed going to avoid capture . " To Doiranaonaig " , they replied . " There is a British Army camp at Doiranaonaig " , I told them , and pointed out the great danger of travelling together in a group .

They had come down on the road talking loudly , and had the enemy been in my place they would have been greeted with a volley ; questions would be deferred until too late . There were many other reasons why they should not have left home at all . I had pity for them travelling thus , a target for the enemy - I asked them if they knew any friends to the south-east , and one of the group said he had relations a few miles away in that direction , so it was decided to go to that place . Before leaving , they told me the news of the day from Ballyvourney . A number of prisoners had been brought in by the Brits .

Among the prisoners there were a few members of my IRA Column ......."

(MORE LATER).


TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS.

" The British Government has twice entered into detailed negotiations with representatives of the IRA . Nollaig O Gadhra recalls the talks that took place exactly ten years ago between the Northern Ireland (sic) Office and the Provisional Republican Movement . "

By Nollaig O Gadhra .


(From 'The Sunday Press' newspaper , 10th February 1985).
Re-produced here in 12 parts .
1 of 12 .

When the British Government , through its spokespersons from Stormont Castle , met the Provos to negotiate a continuation of the 1974 Christmas Truce , on 19th January 1975 , they made four main points :

* We are prepared for (our) officials to discuss with members of Provisional Sinn Fein how a permanent cessation of violence might be agreed and what would be the practical problems to be solved .
* We are , as we have already said , prepared for (our) officials to engage in a discreet exchange of views with Provisional Sinn Fein on matters arising from their objectives . We would not exclude the raising of any relevant questions .
* Our representatives would remain , as at present , for both sets of talks . We would be content to engage in these consecutively or in parallel , but the urgency of the ceasefire question suggests that this should be taken first .
* The representation would have to be within the terms of the statement in parliament about not negotiating with the IRA though being ready to speak to Provisional Sinn Fein .

(MORE LATER).






Friday, June 25, 2004

MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER .......

.......When he finished his apprenticeship in architecture (under the tutelage of Patrick Byrne), Martin McDermott moved to Birkenhead in England to earn his living . However , the skill of architecture was not all that the young McDermott learned from his mentor , Patrick Byrne .......

Martin McDermott also developed an interest in the history and culture of his land and , in early 1845 , at 22 years young , he sent some of his writings to the then 3 year-young newspaper , 'The Nation' , which had been founded (in 1842) by Charles Gavan Duffy , Thomas Davis and John Dillon , after the three men had agreed the need for a Rebel newspaper whilst walking through Dublin's Phoenix Park and discussing the 'Hughes/Armagh Assizes' case (as mentioned in an earlier article on this 'blog').

Incidentally , the architect Patrick Byrne , with whom Martin McDermott served his apprenticeship , was born in Dublin in 1783 , and took up arms with the United Irishmen when he was only 15 years young ! Among the better-known buildings he designed and built are the 'Church of the Holy Redeemer' , in Bray , County Wicklow , the bell-tower of St. Paul's on Dublin's Arran Quay and Merchants Quay Church , Dublin .

Patrick Byrne had a workshop and small office at 10 Mobbet Street (off Foley Street , Dublin) and was later elected as the Vice-President of 'The Institute of Architects in Ireland' . He died , aged 81 , in 1864 .......


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 Brits had set-up their main camp in ground I knew well ; it would be possible for me to sneak in and cause them damage - stir-up the big hornet's nest ......."

" Moreover , having spent a tough and unprofitable day in Kerry , the insult to the mighty war machine would be keenly felt by its patrons . I slept soundly at Kilmacarogue until late in the morning then , towards evening , I came to Knocksaharing and started to equip myself for the rough four miles across country . First , I got ready the light aeroplane Lewis-Gun ; next I put on a strong military haversack and one by one stowed into it the spare Lewis drums . I felt I could carry five , although my total load, including a Mauser pistol , was heavy . Having securely fastened all my gear , I shouldered my gun and set off in the gathering dusk .

I kept to the fields from the very start , intending to cross roads only in favourable places and at right angles ; the reason for this caution was that I had heard that two more British military camps had been established not far away to the south-west and west . I even avoided the road from my uncle's gate to the boreen leading to Gurtanedin . The spot where I choose to cross the road was a most lonely and unfrequented place - I stepped out from behind a rock , crossed the road and dropped on one knee in a shallow depression just on the roadside . There was no fence to the road and just in front of me I heard voices . Presently there was a stumbling of many feet down a steep slope ten yards away from me ; clumps of rushes grew on either side of me - in fact I was in the middle of a lochan , now dried up by the prolonged fine weather .

I had hoped that the oncoming group would make a detour of the lochan which had a fairly steep bank five or six feet in front of me . But no ; they did not see it at all and stepped off into space and , half falling, half rising , passed on either side , narrowly escaping a collision with me ......."

(MORE LATER).


EXTRADITING CITIZEN KANE .......

BY PHIL CONNOR.


(First published in 'DUBLIN DIARY' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 3 , May 1989 , page 11.)

Re-produced here in 5 parts .

[5 of 5].



The Kane extradition is taking place under the old '(1965) Extradition Act' , as the 1987 Act was not in operation when the warrants for Kane were gained by the gardai . Under Section 50(4) of the 1965 Act , Justice Minister Gerry Collins can intervene to stop the extradition and order Paul Kane's release .

It seems that justice and morality cry out for this to be done and also for Paul Kane to be compensated for the years that have been taken from him and his family . Unfortunately the Fianna Fail Government seem intent on extraditing this citizen ; should he be dragged across the border , then clearly no Irish citizen , no matter how innocent , will be safe from extradition ...

...or , indeed , safe from the fate as that currently being inflicted on the Birmingham Six , the Guildford Four , Judith Ward , the Wilshire Three , and other people whose only crime appears to be that they are Irish .

[END of 'EXTRADITING CITIZEN KANE .......'].
(Tomorrow - 'TALKING TO THE PROVISIONALS' : from 1985).






Thursday, June 24, 2004

MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER .......

....... Ireland , 1823 - the potato blight which struck in 1817 had left its mark ; but the population was on the increase , those that 'rented' land from the British 'Landlords' had been evicted to make way for cattle , the Irish 'secret societies' were fighting back as best they could . Turbulent times .......

The British Government in Westminster was worried enough to at least ask - " Looking ahead to fifteen years or more , what must this increase in population without employment end in ? I do not know ; I think it is terrible to reflect upon . " The Irish people would be doing well to live long enough to see the following day , never mind fifteen years down the road ...

A baby was born to a wealthy Dublin business couple in April that year (1823) and , after his schooling , that youth , Martin McDermott , studied as an architect - he began an apprenticeship in that trade with Patrick Byrne , an old Irish Rebel , who had been active with the United Irishmen in 1798 . When he became qualified at his trade , Martin McDermott moved to England to earn his living , and settled in Birkenhead .

However , the skill of architecture was not all that young McDermott learned from his mentor , Patrick Byrne .......

(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.......

"....... Murt Twomey was on his way to visit Sean Jer when the Brits grabbed him and put him to work erecting their field tents ; he was hammering tent-pegs into the ground when the head of the mallet he was using flew off and smacked a Brit Sergeant on the head - the man grabbed his rifle ......."

" Murt thought his end had come ; but the British Sergeant cooled off and he and others contented themselves with telling Murt and his fellow-'workers' of the fun they would have in the evening when the IRA Column was brought in . Murt listened patiently , but said nothing . Presently , when that party had finished with their tents , they allowed their 'workers' to go . As he left the field , Murt saw a clip of ammunition on the ground , which he surreptitiously transferred to his pocket , and went towards home .

A few hundred yards ahead of him at the village cross he saw a British sentry ; dropping the ammunition clip into a convenient hole in the stone fence , he carried on . At the cross he was halted by the sentry and all his pockets were carefully searched . Soon , however , they got to know him and did not further trouble him - indeed , some of the British Tommies were anxious to open trade relations with him . One of them offered a fine pair of British Officer's leggings for three shillings ; Murt said he had no money about him , but credit was forthcoming and the gaiters were handed over . An appointment was made for the transfer of the hard cash .

However , each kept the appointment at a different rendezvous ; soon after , the Brit Tommy shocked and astonished some of the villagers as he went about inquiring for ".... that ****** Murt who had kept my three shillings . " Later on , Murt found him and the matter was amicably settled . Later on Sunday evening , I located the main camp of the enemy - it was situated very favourably relative to the Curragh Hill , I thought , as I went home in the twilight . I knew the ground well ; it would be easy , in the semi-darkness of the June night , to come down the western slope of Rahoona , slip across the Dubh-Glaise River and the road at Cathair Cearnach and , moving cautiously upwards over the eastern scrubby shoulder of the Curragh , approach to within four hundred yards of the huge growth of bell tents .

I might not succeed in doing much material damage , I reflected , but at least I would stir up the big hornet's nest ....... "


EXTRADITING CITIZEN KANE .......

BY PHIL CONNOR.


(First published in 'DUBLIN DIARY' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 3 , May 1989 , page 11.)

Re-produced here in 5 parts .

(4 of 5).


The 'Black convictions' and Christopher Black's word had been completely discredited ; the original convictions were overturned and all those imprisoned were set free . In other words , Paul Kane and his co-defendants had been wrongfully convicted and should never have spent a single minute in prison !

For Paul Kane , the nightmare is far from over ; having spent two years in prison awaiting trial , and a further three years inside after the escape , he is now sitting in Portlaoise Prison facing extradition purely for escaping from a jail he should never have been put in , in the first place . He has now spent the bulk of the last eight years in prison - all for nothing .

For himself , his wife , and three young daughters (one of whom was born while Paul Kane was living a fugitive existence in the South) the past eight years have been a living hell . The power to put an end to this nightmare and see justice done for this Irish family lies with the Fianna Fail Government ...

(MORE LATER).






Wednesday, June 23, 2004

MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER .......

....... Ireland , 19th Century - Agriculture was in a flux - tillage (crop) farming would not bring in as much money for the British 'Landlords' as pasture (livestock) farming would . An increase in profits could be had by 'Landlords' by putting 'their' land to a different use : but the 'tenants' used the land for tillage , not for the pasture of animals .......

So the 'tenants' were evicted ; thousands of Irish 'peasant' families were moved-on , and took what little refuge they could find in the mountains - they attempted to cut into the stone and rock to make ridges where potatoes could be grown to feed themselves . These ' channel's ' became known as 'Lazy Beds' and there remains are still visible today , two centuries later , on mountain slopes .

The year 1823 also saw Daniel O'Connell and the 'Catholic Association' , with the help of the Catholic Church , moving amongst the dispossessed to get their support in pleading for better conditions to be bestowed by the British ; others , too, were organising , but had no time for gentle words of pleading - the secret societies of the Whiteboys , Oakboys , Moonlighters , the Steelboys and the Defenders , who were taking direct action in defence of their livelihood , such as it was , against the British .

The effects of the 1817 potato blight was still being felt ; there was a population increase , evictions , open battles between 'Landlords' and the secret societies : turbulent times.......

(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.......

"....... Murt Twomey , one of our lads , was a witness to the stranger in the field being shot at by the Brits - they missed him , but Sean Jer , walking with his cow nearby , fell to the ground . Murt ran to try and help him but had to seek refuge in the man's cottage as the Brits were now firing at him ......."

" A British Army Officer and some troops stormed the cottage - eventually , Murt Twomey persuaded them to help him bring Sean Jer indoors , and lay him in a comfortable position , as he was suffering terrible pain . Then , after further parley , they allowed Murt to go in search of a priest and a doctor . He returned to the village after a fruitless quest , and was challenged by some British Auxiliaries who were present in great strength : " What are you doing to and fro here for some time ? " they demanded . " I am looking for a priest and doctor for a man who was shot over there , " Murt replied . " Who shot him ? " they said . " It must have been some of your men, " came the answer . " Can you prove that ? " they said threateningly , as they gathered around him ; Murt wisely compromised by saying that he could not .

He told the Auxies that he had been sent by a British Military Officer on his mission , and he was let go . He then met another Brit Officer who again questioned him , and Murt asked him for the service of a Military doctor ; the Brit directed him to the Red Cross station where he found a doctor who agreed to attend to Sean Jer . On the following morning , Murt went to see Sean but was taken by a party of British soldiers and , with a few other local men , ordered to help at the erection of 'bell tents' on the inch near the bridge . Murt made a bad start - a mallet was handed to him and he was directed to drive some pegs into the ground . Aiming a vicious blow at one of the pegs , the head of the mallet flew off and struck a British Sergeant on the head ...

...mad with rage and pain , the Brit snatched up a rifle ......."

(MORE LATER).


EXTRADITING CITIZEN KANE .......

BY PHIL CONNOR.


(First published in 'DUBLIN DIARY' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 3 , May 1989 , page 11.)

Re-produced here in 5 parts .

(3 of 5).


As a victim of this system , and knowing himself wrongfully imprisoned , Paul Kane took part in the September 1983 Mass escape from the H-Blocks . He was recaptured shortly afterwards and returned to prison until October 1986 when he was released on bail over the escape charges .

Having little confidence in British justice , and having his life threatened a number of times , Paul Kane decided to flee South ; he was arrested in Cavan in November 1987 , following actions by the Gardai which were later the subject of Court proceedings and raised serious questions about garda behaviour .

Since then he has been held in Portlaoise Prison on British extradition warrants ; in the meantime the 'Black' convictions and Christopher Black's word have been completely discredited . The original convictions were overturned and all those imprisoned were set free ...

(MORE LATER).






Tuesday, June 22, 2004

MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER .

Ireland , 1823 ; eight years after the end of the Napoleonic Wars and eight years , also , after the agricultural 'boom' in Ireland had begun a downwards trend ; the all-important wheat crop was not now the saviour it had been .

The price per hundredweight of wheat fell by 34 per-cent , from 17 shillings 6 pence to 11 shillings 6 pence ; the 'peasant' farmer and his family , the 'labourers of the land' , went from bad to worse - but the 'rent' still had to be paid to the British 'Landlord' , who noticed that the demand for cattle had increased ...

...but his 'tenants' were geared-up for tillage , not pasture ; the 'Landlord' was losing money.......

(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.......

".......During the search for IRA Volunteers by the British Army , one of our lads , Murt Twomey , decided to pass them on the road - he was not known to them , but if he fled they would shoot him for running ....... "

" Murt called out his two dogs to take with him and walked away to the south as far as the bridge over the River Sullane ; here he waited until he saw the advance Column of British troops enter the village . The road from the village turns eastwards after crossing the river on its southern side , and about a hundred yards from the bridge , stood Sean Jer's cottage - Sean was the father of one of our best Volunteers .

Sean Jer himself was at home , but none of his sons were with him ; as the British soldiers entered the village , about four hundred yards away , a few people were on the road near his cottage - one of them was a visitor to the district and knew no better : he should have walked away to the east along the road , which was sheltered by a good fence , but instead he leaped over the southern fence and ran straight up the high fields of the Curragh Hill in view of the Brits ...

...a heavy rifle-fire was immediately directed at him - he escaped , but Sean Jer , coming out to drive his cow to safety was himself mortally wounded . Murt Twomey , under cover of the road fence , managed to reach the cottage and dash in under fire from the Brits - the shooting was maintained and a stream of bullets passed through the open door . Presently , a British Army Officer with a party of troops arrived ......."

(MORE LATER).


EXTRADITING CITIZEN KANE .......

BY PHIL CONNOR.


(First published in 'DUBLIN DIARY' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 3 , May 1989 , page 11.)

Re-produced here in 5 parts .

(2 of 5).



In November 1981 , Paul Kane was arrested and charged , along with 37 others, with a number of incidents , on the word of 'supergrass' Christopher Black . After the longest trial in British and Irish legal history , all 38 defendants were convicted solely on Black's uncorroborated testimony . Paul Kane was sentenced to 18 years in August 1983 and sent to the H-Blocks .

The 'supergrass' system was condemned by all the parties in the South and by both Nationalist and Unionist leaders in the North ; one of the most forceful denunciations of the administration of justice in the North came from none other than Charles J. Haughey - in November 1985 , he described it as "...an appalling system of supergrass , paid informers , mass trials , discredited court procedures , imprisonment without trial (and) police techniques which are more appropriate to a totalitarian regime than to a parliamentary democracy . "

(MORE LATER).






Monday, June 21, 2004

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

....... John Sadleir , ex-'Independent Irish Party' MP and now 'Lord of The Treasury' in a British 'Whig' Administration in Westminster and owner of a Bank in Tipperary , lived the 'good life' - but could'nt afford to 'keep up' with his new friends ; so he borrowed over a million pounds from his Tipperary Bank , was found out , and topped himself in 1856 .......

However , Sadleir's old buddy , the British Solicitor-General for Ireland , William Keogh (ex-'Independent Irish Party' MP) , somehow managed to 'soldier-on' ; he became a Judge for his British pay-masters during the infamous Fenian Trials of 1865-1867 , where he verbally cracked many an Irish Rebel skull , saving his employers from getting their hands even more bloodier . His conscience must have eventually got the better of him because , in 1878 , he , too, killed himself . It could only make you wonder that , had he a Bank to embezzle , would he have lived longer ?

Perhaps Oscar Wilde summed-up people like John Sadleir and William Keogh (and their 21st Century equivalents) when he wrote - " I know how people chatter in England . The middle classes air their moral prejudices over their gross dinner-tables , and whisper about what they call the profligacies of their betters in order to try and pretend that they are in smart society , and on intimate terms with the people they slander ! "

[END of ' JOHN SADLEIR and WILLIAM KEOGH - 19th Century Irish Turncoats .......'].
(Tomorrow : 'MARTIN McDERMOTT , 1823-1905 : YOUNG IRELANDER').


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.......

......." 10,000 armed British troops and Auxiliaries out 'hunting' for the IRA in our area ; they were using young and old men as 'target practice' , and then arguing between themselves as to who was the better shot ......."

" It was said at the time that the enemy forces , ten-thousand in number , had converged on the Claodach Valley to encircle and destroy an IRA Army of one thousand men ; now there was no such thing , even scattered over the whole of Munster . The odds against a thousand men would have been ten to one , had such an IRA Army existed . The British force , moving from every point of the compass on Claodach , interviewed every person they met , and had the same story for everyone - 'One thousand IRA men ' were waiting for them in Claodach .

Had the Brits been really certain of this they would not have advanced with such confidence ; fifty men was about the number they expected to take in - that would provide them with ample 'sport' for the day . But twenty times fifty ? What a pity such a force could not have been waiting for them ! But , could it have been mustered , it would not have been waiting in Claodach for them to call ; it would have been down on them before then to meet the Brits on the Ballyvourney Road . As I watched them march past on that evening I looked in vain for some flanking protection for the massed battalions , but there was none . They just marched stolidly through Coolnacahera and Poul na Bro .

Had they dreamt that a thousand IRA men were assembled within six miles of them , their disposition would have been entirely different . On Sunday afternoon , a local IRA Volunteer, Murt Twomey , left the village in good time before the influx of foreign troops to Ballyvourney ; while walking uphill to the north , he decided that to keep on in that direction , or perhaps to the west or south , would end only in his capture a long way from home . He decided to return and , since there was little chance of his being identified as an IRA Volunteer , to pass off as a peaceful citizen ......."

(MORE LATER).


EXTRADITING CITIZEN KANE .

BY PHIL CONNOR.


(First published in 'DUBLIN DIARY' magazine , Volume 1 , No. 3 , May 1989 , page 11.)

Re-produced here in 5 parts .

(1 of 5).


Four men presently sit in Portlaoise Prison awaiting extradition to the north ; one of them - Belfastman Paul Kane - could be handed , or dragged , across the border any time from the first week in April .

Regardless of any arguments for or against extradition in general , Paul Kane's case seems unanswerable ; when , for instance , leading anti-extradition campaigner and long-time Fianna Fail member Nora Comiskey publicly challenged Progressive Democrat spokesperson Anne Colley , through the pages of the Irish Times newspaper to justify extradition , Colley (who had previously argued in favour of it) , was unable to reply .

Kane's argument against extradition hinges on the fact that he is wanted for escaping from a jail where he was wrongfully imprisoned in the first place .......

(MORE LATER).






Sunday, June 20, 2004

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

.......Two of the top 'Independent Irish Party' MP's , John Sadleir and William Keogh , 'jumped ship' from the 'IIP' to the British 'Whigs' , for personal gain : a 'top job' each in a British Administration - history repeats ...

As 'Lord of The (British) Treasury ' , John Sadleir (ex- 'IIP' MP) aspired to a lifestyle which he no doubt considered to be his of right - he was , after all , a British Minister and he also owned , by now , ( No - not a holiday-home in Donegal !) a community-type Bank/Financial House , in Ireland - the 'Tipperary Joint-Stock Bank' : however , such was his taste for the fine life and his desire to 'keep in' with his new 'friends' , when his Bank was found to be shy by over one million pounds the shame was too much for him - he killed himself in 1856 .

However , his old buddy , the British Solicitor-General for Ireland , William Keogh (ex-'IIP' MP) , somehow managed to 'soldier-on' and was asked to perform another task for his British pay-masters .......

(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.......

".......I was 'dug-in' on the Rahoona Mountains , covered by heather ; then the procession of enemy forces came into view below me - at least ten-thousand strong , all armed , and complete with field equipment . An impressive display ......."

" Beside the regular British Army troops and their gear , the Auxiliaries with their Crossleys gave me the impression that , apart from the cat , very few had been left to mind the house ... Having seen this methodical and massive movement of British military force , from east to west , I was left in no doubt about its objective - it would be some point beyond the village of Ballyvourney to the west or north of it . In fact , it proved to be the valley of Claodach at the foot of the Paps Mountain .

The valley of Claodach is a deep pocket between the hills , four miles to the north-west of Ballyvourney ; from a military point of view it was a veritable cul-de-sac , with only one long winding road leading into it from the west at that time . This would , in the ordinary way , have been an advantage , since enemy lorries could not converge on the glen . But the incursion of infantry from all sides was made feasible by the unusually fine weather . So , early on a Monday morning , a ring of steel was closed around Claodach ; ten-thousand armed men made up that circle which , as the day wore on , gradually contracted .

It was a real 'day out' for the British , a day on the moors ; every man , young or old , was shot at on sight ; an old man at the county border , near the Killarney Road , was gazing upwards at an aeroplane when a volley was fired at him . A bullet grazed his throat , but missed the vital arteries ; the poor harmless old man never dreamt that the 'sportsmen' were out for Irish blood that day . From early morning until late afternoon the firing went on - two young men were killed early in the day on a hilltop north of the Claodach Valley ; evidently they had moved away from the northern contracting arc of the 'ring of steel' , expecting to find safety somewhere to the south .

Like grouse or other game , however , they were 'flushed out' of their native heather to provide targets for the British warriors ; they killed them , and then disputed among themselves as to who were the successful marksmen . Their shooting would , no doubt , have been far less accurate had the poor young lads had any kind of a firearm with which to return even an occasional shot ..."

(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 .


[10 of 10].


Lauded as Africa's statesman , Haile Selassie witnessed the location of the Organisation of African Unity at Addis Ababa in 1963 as a further tribute to Ethiopia's endurance during the colonial era . But his rule became increasingly devoted to its own self-perpetuation ; abroad , he posed as a sage and gradual moderniser but , in fact , imperial Ethiopia was archaic .

Between 1963 and 1973 , only 4.2 per cent of state expenditure went to agriculture in this overwhelmingly rural country ; in 1974 , 91 per cent of the population was illiterate - the 'peasantry' were subject to a grinding feudal system whereby 75 per cent of their meagre incomes went in taxes to the Emperor and his aristocratic associates , who monopolised land ownership .

With 'peasant' initiative punished , there was no incentive to improve agricultural production .

[END of 'ETHIOPIA - A Brief History .......'].
(Tomorrow - EXTRADITING CITIZEN KANE ; from 1989 .)