" 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.)

Monday, May 02, 2016

BRITISH GOVERNMENT MEMO RE IRA PRISONERS...

BRITISH GOVERNMENT MEMO RE IRA PRISONERS...

..marked 'Confidential' and released, internally, in the late 1970's, this memo confirms that a television camera crew can have permission to film inside Long Kesh prison to record the 'Dirty Protest' and to interview a named IRA prisoner, the result of which will be used by Westminster as "effective propaganda" against the struggle, but first that IRA prisoner will be cleaned up, by force, if need be...

Check back with us here on Wednesday, 4th May 2016. Thanks for the visit, Sharon.






Wednesday, April 27, 2016

IRISH 'REPUBLICAN' FAVOURS POLITICAL TEST OATH FOR ELECTIONS.

PROSE AND CONS.

By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS :

Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.

First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.

THE SOD.

The small plot of ground

on which you were born

cannot be expected to remain the same

earth changes

and home becomes different

places




You turned the sod

and took flesh

from the clay

but the day

did not come

from just one place




To feel alive

important and safe

know your own waters

and the roots of your soil

but know

more




You have stars in your bones

and oceans

in blood

you have opposing

terrain in each eye

you belong to the land

the sky of your first cry

you belong to infinity.


Dermot Griffin.







EXPLOSIVE QUESTIONS....

'Magill' magazine has unearthed new information which raises a grim but important question : were explosives from within this Republic used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings? It is a question which, bizarrely, also encompasses the controversial Dónal de Róiste case. By Don Mullan, author of the book 'The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings'.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 2003.

THE CLONAGH AFFAIR.

Garrett Fitzgerald, in an interview with 'Magill' magazine on 25th January 2003, confirmed that the factory he was referring to was the 'Irish Industrial Explosives' factory, Clonagh. Patrick Walshe was appalled when he read those comments and told 'Magill' - "I am by no means defending the British Army, whose intelligence services were, I believe, responsible for orchestrating the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, but it is not accurate to say that the entire cabinet did not know. I am shocked that Garrett Fitzgerald did not know information about which other ministers had been told."

Patrick Walshe has made available to 'Magill' his reports, contemporaneous notes and photographs which he passed to Army superiors, beginning on 5th April 1974. They detail what one former senior Army officer, Colonel James K Cogan, described in a 1984 affidavit as "...a scandalous and criminal lack of security.." at the factory and it was also Cogan, whom Walshe was related to by marriage, who described the Clonagh affair as "...the greatest scandal in the history of the Irish state.." He shared Walshe's concerns and says he personally spoke to a cabinet minister in mid-April 1974 at Leinster House. His affidavit details the content of a memorandum he claims he handed to that minister -

'Quantity (probably one bag, 50kg) of substance resembling ammonium nitrate deposited on roadway about 500 yards from main entrance to plant...cellophane sack marked 'ammonium nitrate' and containing a quantity of substance found secluded in weeds...quantity of substance on roadway and roadside about 100 yards from main entrance to plant...ammonium nitrate prills (four sacks, 40 kg) outside F5...the perimeter fence of the compound was only 25 yards from this (large and secluded) quantity of ammonium nitrate which was visible over an extensive area beyond the compound fence.." It should be noted that this situation pertained some 10 weeks after Colonel Cogan says he personally apprised a cabinet minister of the situation at the Clonagh factory and six weeks after the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. (MORE LATER.)







GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.
By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the 'Frank Cahill Resource Centre', one of the founders of 'Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh', the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A'Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.

His first publication last year by Glandore was 'And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh'. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!

"THANK YOU, BOYS, THANK YOU..." (PART ONE.)

The story actually starts months before the event : it began as a mix (joke) - it was nearly Christmas 1974 and Damien was getting released. The 'Fire of Long Kesh' had occurred some two months before and we had been relocated in temporary huts on the site of some of the burned out cages of Long Kesh.

Cage 10 at that time comprised the men of Cage 13, Cage 16 and Cage 17 - about 200 men altogether. It was cramped, basic and cold. This cage, designed to hold about 70 men, was over-subscribed, big time. Irish classes, political debate and 'Fat' (a card game) schools were happening everywhere.

Arder was just into the second year of a twelve-year stretch, and thought about the near-seven-years of a sentence he still had to do and cried himself to sleep. On waking up he resolved to put it behind him and get on with it. "Just think, Arder," said Damien, "this time two days from now I'll be sitting in our local having a pint." "No problem, comrade," answered Arder. "Bet you're raging", smirked Damien. Arder knew Damien was joking, but wanted to kill him anyway. "That's where you're wrong, comrade, lied Arder, "I couldn't be more happy for you." Damien kept it up : "Spare a thought for me waking up on Saturday morning with a bad hangover," Damien whinged. "Do you see if you don't give my head peace, I'm going to put your fucking head in your hands. Now fuck off from about me," said Arder, who had cracked under the strain.

But Damien increased the pressure... (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (27TH APRIL) 87 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF AN IRA MAN WHO DARED AND SUFFERED - AUSTIN STACK.

Austin Stack (pictured, left)was born on the 7th December, 1879, in Ballymullen, Tralee, County Kerry, and died in the Mater Hospital in Dublin, from complications after a stomach operation, on the 27th April 1929 - 87 years ago on this date - at only 49 years of age.

He was arrested with Con Collins on the 21st April 1916 while planning an attack on Tralee RIC Barracks in an attempt to rescue Roger Casement. He was court-martialed and sentenced to death, but this was commuted to twenty years penal servitude and he was released in the general amnesty of June 1917, and became active in the Irish Volunteers again. He was elected Secretary of Sinn Féin, a position he held until his death. His health was shattered due to the number of prison protests and hunger strikes for political status that he undertook. In the 1918 general election, while a prisoner in Crumlin Road Jail in Belfast, he was elected to represent West Kerry in the First (all-Ireland) Dáil, and the British sent him off to Strangeways Prison in Manchester, from where he escaped in October 1919. During the 'Black and Tan War', as Minister for Home Affairs, Austin Stack organised the republican courts which replaced the British 'legal' system in this country. He rejected the Treaty of Surrender in 1921 (stating, during the debate on same - "Has any man here the hardihood to stand up and say that it was for this our fathers suffered, that it was for this our comrades have died in the field and in the barrack yard..") and, following a short fund-raising/public relations tour of America, returned to Ireland to fight on the republican side in the Civil War.

In the general round-up of Irish republican leaders in April 1923 (during which Liam Lynch was shot dead by Free State troops) Stack, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the rebel forces, was arrested in a farmyard in the Knockmealdown Mountains in County Tipperary - this was four days after Lynch's death. Imprisoned in Kilmainham Jail in Dublin, he took part in the mass hunger-strike by republican prisoners in October 1923, which was his 5th hunger-strike in 6 years. Shortly after the end of that forty-one day hunger-strike, in November 1923, he was released with hundreds of other political prisoners, and he married his girlfriend, Una Gordon, in 1925. In April 1929, at forty-nine years of age, he entered the Mater Hospital in Dublin for a stomach operation. He never recovered and died two days later, on 27th April 1929. He is buried in the Republican Plot, Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin.

'Austin Stack was born in Ballymullen, Tralee and was educated at the local Christian Brothers School. At the age of fourteen he left school and became a clerk in a solicitor's office. A gifted Gaelic footballer, he captained the Kerry team to All-Ireland glory in 1904 and also served as President of the Kerry Gaelic Athletic Association County Board. He became politically active in 1908 when he joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and, in 1916, as commandant of the Kerry Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, he made preparations for the landing of arms by Roger Casement, on Banna Strand.

Although Austin Stack was made aware that Casement was arrested and was being held in Ballymullen Barracks in Tralee, he made no attempt to rescue him : RIC District Inspector Kearney treated Casement very well and made sure Stack was aware that Casement could so easily have been rescued, yet Stack refused to move (possibly sensing that a trap had been laid for him?) but he was arrested anyway and sentenced to death for his involvement, but this was later commuted to penal servitude for life. He was released under general amnesty in June 1917 after the death of fellow prisoner and Tralee man Thomas Patrick Ashe and was elected as an abstentionist Sinn Féin Member of Parliament for Kerry West in the 1918 Westminster election, becoming a member of the 1st Dail and was automatically elected as an abstentionist member of the 'House of Commons of Southern Ireland' and a member of the 2nd Dail as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Kerry-Limerick West in the Irish elections of 1921.

He opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and took part in the subsequent Irish Civil War. He was captured in 1923 and went on hunger strike for forty-one days before being released in July 1924...when Eamon de Valera founded Fianna Fail in 1926, Stack remained with Sinn Féin...his health never recovered after his hunger strike and he died in a Dublin hospital on April 27th 1929, aged 49.' (from here, slightly edited.)

A commemorative pamphlet, entitled 'What Exactly is a Republican?' was issued in memory of the man - 'The name republican in Ireland, as used amongst republicans, bears no political meaning. It stands for the devout lover of his country, trying with might and main for his country's freedom. Such a man cannot be a slave. And if not a slave in heart or in act, he cannot be guilty of the slave vices. No coercion can breed these in the freeman. Fittingly, the question - 'What is a republican?' fails to be answered in our memorial number for Austin Stack, a man who bore and dared and suffered, remaining through it all and at the worst, the captain of his own soul. What then was Austin Stack, republican? A great lover of his country. A man without a crooked twist in him. One who thought straight, acted straight, walked the straight road unflinchingly and expected of others that they should walk it with him, as simply as he did himself. No man could say or write of him "He had to do it". That plea of the slave was not his. His duty, as conscience and love dictated, he did. The force of England, of the English Slave State, might try coercion, as they tried it many times : it made no difference. He went his way, suffered their will, and stood his ground doggedly, smiling now and again. His determination outstood theirs, because it had a deeper foundation and a higher aim. Compromise, submission, the slave marks, did not and could not exist for him as touching himself, or the Cause for which he worked and fought ,lived and died.'

On this date - 27th April - 87 years ago, Ireland lost one of its best soldiers.



AN UPRISING?! WHAT WOULD SHAKESPEARE SAY ABOUT IT...?

These days - because of the times that are in it - even a 'posh' newspaper like 'The Irish Times' wants to associate itself with the 1916 Rising. But, at the time, the 'Grand old Lady of D'Olier Street' couldn't distance itself quick enough from the actions of the men and women it now wants to 'remember'.

On April 27th, 1916 - 100 years ago on this date - three days after the Rising started, the so-called 'newspaper of record', the establishment newspaper,'The Irish Times', asked in an editorial - "How many citizens of Dublin have any real knowledge of the works of Shakespeare?" ! The newspaper suggested that its readers use the "enforced domesticity" caused by the Rising to renew themselves with the work of the bard! God forbid that those readers should be kept informed re how the Rising was progressing or, indeed, the reason why a respected minority considered it necessary to directly challenge the 'British Empire' regarding its military and political presence in Ireland. But at least one man, Seosamh de Brún, took the advice offered by that newspaper and recorded same in his diary : "Easy day. read portion of 'Julius Caesar' Shakespeare following the advice of Irish Times." The 'grand old Dame' would have shed ink and lost a cog had she realised that de Brún was an Irish republican Volunteer on active service in Jacobs Factory at the time!



A LESSON WELL LEARNED : ADAMS' CALL FOR AN 'ELECTION PLEDGE' IS ON PAR WITH A WESTMINSTER DIKTAT.

"I declare that, if elected, I will not by word or deed express support for or approval of -

(A) Any organisation that is for the time being a proscribed organisation specified in Schedule 2 to the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 : or

(B) Acts of terrorism (that is to say , violence for political ends) connected with the affairs of Northern Ireland."


The above 'Declaration', a British-imposed political test oath, was 'introduced' in the north-eastern six counties of Ireland in 1989 by Margaret Thatcher and her administration in London, in relation to elections being held in those occupied six counties. That British 'oath' called for the public disowning of the Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan, Fianna Éireann and a repudiation of the right of the Irish people to use force of arms to end British occupation in Ireland. That right has been asserted in every generation and at tremendous cost in terms of life, liberty and human suffering.

Such 'political test oaths' have been used before by the British in attempts to ensure that only 'loyal' citizens could contest an election and, indeed, there use can be traced back to 1696 - "...an Oath of allegiance, used to secure loyalty to the sovereign and to help identify potential opponents..for the better security of his Majesty's royal person and government.." (from here and here) and now we have a Leinster House politician proposing much the same in relation to election campaigns in the Six Counties - 'Gerry Adams has said all candidates in next week's assembly elections need to "make clear" their attitudes towards armed paramilitary groupings...' - "I want to call - given that we're in an assembly election - on every candidate, not just here in west Belfast but every candidate, to state where they stand..." (from here.)

Republicans have never allowed Ireland's on-going fight for freedom to be branded as over '800 years of crime' and we have never accepted British 'oaths' of allegiance : for fifty years republican candidates were debarred from public office because of their refusal to take such 'oaths' and many public bodies were abolished for refusing to take an 'oath' of allegiance to the British Crown - it required the great upheaval of the civil rights movement and the armed resistance of the people to smash the oath at local government level. Meekly accepting the taking of such an 'oath' demeans the whole cause of Irish republicanism and dishonour's all those who gave their lives for Irish freedom - particularly the twenty-two men that have died on hunger-strike between 1917 and 1981. Politicians in Leinster House should look to their own record (such as it is) in challenging or even highlighting the British military and political presence in the Six Counties rather than attempt to restrict others from doing so.



THE SHALLOW AND THE WATER.



'Water' is making the headlines here now, as at least two grubby political parties vie with each other over taxing same again - now, or later - as their price for sharing the financial spoils of power in Leinster House. But this is not the first occasion that this 'fluid' issue was used by state politicians in an attempt to 'put manners' on state citizens and further enrich their own coffers at the same time. We pulled the following article from our archive (the original source first published it on this date - 27th April - 27 years ago), as it makes for interesting (re-)reading in that it gives an insight into the mentality of the political 'Lords' that consider the 'Big House' in Kildare Street to be theirs by right :

ROD LICENCE CAMPAIGN DETERMINED TO RESIST.

By Richard Douthwaite.

(This article was first published in 'ALPHA' Magazine, 27th April 1989, page 7.)

The duck-fly is up on Lough Corrib and every 'Guest House' and 'Bed and Breakfast' in Oughterard, County Galway , ought to be filled with anglers. Instead, although there is an odd boat on the lake, the place has a depressed, deserted air, enlivened only by posters on every telephone pole, protesting against the rod licence. Pat Higgins, of Sweeney's Hotel, saw his takings drop nine per-cent last year because of the row. His profits were cut even more drastically, forcing him to borrow from the bank for annual repairs. Even so, he believes the anti-licence campaigners are right - "I explain the situation to foreign visitors this way," he says, "In Ireland, there are three types of fishing rights - private, State-owned and public-domain. This dispute arose because the State is trying to take over the public-domain fisheries surreptitiously."

The first skirmish in the Rod War was fought in the (State) High Court in November 1986. 'P.J. Carroll and Co. Ltd,' the tobacco manufacturers, were in the early stages of their diversification into fish farming and wanted to buy (!) Lough Inagh and Lough Derryclare as sites for a salmon hatchery. Jim Clancy, who owns fifty acres on the banks of Lough Inagh and has an outdoor pursuits centre there, had been using the lake to teach canoeing. If Carrolls and Company did not stop him using it before they 'bought' the lakes, he would have acquired the right to continue. Carrolls therefore got the vendors of the property to seek a court injunction requiring him to stop before they completed the purchase. The case went to court and was heard over five days. The upshot was that Mr.Clancy (the owner of fifty acres of land on the banks of Lough Inagh) was told that neither he, nor any other owner, had the right to take water from a river or lake whether for himself or for his farm animals. If he put a boat on the lake, swam in the lake, or even crossed over one of the streams that run down the mountainside to the lake, he would be breaking the law! Walking by the lake was forbidden, since he might disturb the fish!

Not only did Mr.Clancy lose the action, he had its £80,000 punt costs awarded against him (Euro 101,579) and will pay the last £10,000 punt installment (Euro 12,697) in June 1989. The court refrained from ruining him entirely, however - a £200,000 punt (Euro 253,947) claim for damage he was alleged to have done to the fishery was struck out. The decision of the court case against Mr. Jim Clancy had damaging implications for others as well. Whereas in the past the water and bed of a lake or river had been considered to be common property, the State High Court had now handed them over to whoever 'owned' the fishing 'rights'. No one else could do anything on, near, with or in the water, at all!

What the anti-rod licence campaigners think the State is trying to do through the licensing mechanism is to take over the fishing 'rights' on the major lakes in the West - including Corrib, Mask, Carra, Conn and Arrow - which are in the public domain. As a result of that decision, the people of the area, who have fished on the rivers and lakes, swum in them and drawn water from them for generations, will lose their rights to continue unless they have the consent of the State Minister. They are determined not to give those rights up.

And why do the people think that the politicians want the lakes? So that they can allow the fish farming companies to moor cages on them in which the salmon parr will grow until they turn into smolts. The statement by Liam Keilthy of the State-owned salmon hatchery 'Aquahatch', as reported in the last issue of 'ALPHA' magazine, that it will not be possible to avoid using some of the larger lakes for this if the industry is to expand as projected, has added fuel to the fire. So the Anti-Rod campaigners have taken it upon themselves to attack fish-farming in every way possible. They have taken RTE (State television and radio broadcaster) to film dead salmon on public tips. They asked the most pointed questions at last fortnight's 'An Taisce' conference on aquaculture and the environment and have greatly increased public awareness of the dangers of the fish-farming industry as a result of its use of chemicals and antibiotics and the threat to the survival of wild fish from farmed fish escapes.

In a broader sense, the campaign against the licence and the fish farms is a reaction against the exploitation of the West of Ireland by outsiders - the purchase of huge acres of bog by those that control pension funds, intent on planting trees, the conversion of family homes into weekend cottages, and even the prospecting for gold. And so great is the gulf between the politicians and their Connacht grass-roots that no-one in Dublin seems to understand this at all. For Tommy Thornton, the 'Rod Licence' dispute has little to do with paying money in order to fish - "We have twice the 'licence' fee paid into the (angling) club at the moment." Rather, he discerns a more fundamental issue : "The point is, if you pay the 'licence' they (the politicians) will have control of the lake ; taking control of the water - that's the main thing." Tommy, a retired Fisheries Board game-keeper, is a native of Maam Cross in Galway, a small community stretched along the banks of Lough Corrib and his views about the proposed 'Rod Licence' scheme are fairly representative of the area. At the heart of local fears is the belief that the existence of a 'licence' will spell the end of the lakes and rivers as public amenities. One resident, who lives on the shores of Lough Corrib, expressed the fear that "..once they hand them (the lakes) over, they might have a 'licence' of £5 or £10 this year ; what will it be in ten years time? It could be £1000."

One resident who lives along the shores of Lough Corrib asked - "What's going to happen in a few years time (is) our children, or anyone who comes down here, will not be able to go down to that lake because you'll have 'Private' signs all along the shore." One local man who is normally involved in the hiring of boats to visiting anglers, says - "It is the only thing we have to sell that is free. Where would you get unpolluted waters, in all of Europe, like you'd get along the Corrib. The lakes should be left the way they are." Along with the anger at the (Free State) Government's apparent unwillingness to solve the problem there is a determination in the area not to back down. This is not pride, rather a belief that (FS) government plans for the lakes spell disaster.

End of article.

The political intention , fuelled by greed, to make extra profit from water - whether same lies in a natural 'pool' or flows from a household tap - is the same now as it was 27 years ago. It should be kept in mind that, in 1976, rates were abolished as "unconstitutional" in this State and, as a result, VAT was increased by two-and-a-half per cent, to compensate local Authorities [ie Councils, Corporations etc]. Everyone in the State has been paying the extra increase since 1976 and, for the last few years, have been told by Leinster House politicians that they must pay again - a second time - for the same service. If the local authorities have not being receiving that extra money then its the politicians in Leinster House that owe it, not the taxpayer.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Wednesday, April 20, 2016

IRISH 'STATESMAN' SLIGHTS BRITISH ARMY FOR POOR DRESS SENSE!

ON SATURDAY 23RD APRIL 2016 IN DUBLIN : REPUBLICANS TO MARCH FROM PARNELL SQUARE TO THE GPO.

MacDonagh and MacBride

And Connolly and Pearse

Now and in time to be,

Wherever green is worn,

Are changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.
(from here.)

Republican Sinn Féin will hold its National Commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. Those attending are requested to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance at 1.45pm, and the parade will leave for the GPO at 2pm.



RSF Head Office will distribute 2,000 items of printed material (sample of same, pictured, left) on the day, between the Ambassador exhibition hall/event centre and O'Connell Bridge. Those printed items have been assembled into 500 'packs' of four, and will be handed out, free of charge, on a 'first-up-best-dressed' basis and all genuine republicans are welcome to attend this 100th anniversary commemoration!









PROSE AND CONS.

By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS :

Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.

First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.

THE WINDOW PAIN.

My cell has a window, a small barred window

its form is rigid, confining, constant

it defines my being

its shards pierce my soul

each steel piece, a rod of fear

a bar of hate

I huddle in the gloom

and acknowledge the dark of my pain.




My cell has a window, a small barred window

through it I see freedom

I feel the sun's warmth, the soft summer breeze,

I hear birds sing,

the children's laughter and play

from the school yard

I hear the train, steel on steel,

pulsing and pulling

through the deep trees, the green fields

past the houses, over the bridge

down by the pathways.




Each spaced gap a ray of excitement

a moment of longings

a glimpse of beauty

and I know I can't be contained.


Dermot Griffin.







GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.

By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the 'Frank Cahill Resource Centre', one of the founders of 'Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh', the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A'Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.

His first publication last year by Glandore was 'And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh'. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!

"MY FINGER CAME OFF...."

I asked Dede what he would be doing with his Lev Yashin goalkeepers gloves and I agreed with the doctor's prognosis that Dede's answer of what I could do with his Lev Yashin goalkeeper's gloves would prove both a medical and surgical impossibility. Although, if Dede had got a grip on me, I dare say he would have had a go at it.

Looking back at it now - the whole tragic episode - I don't blame or hold any animosity towards Dede for costing me the 'Man of the Match' award. I have learned that life is too short to harbour any thoughts of revenge or retribution and, as I have already stated, I suppose Dede thought that it was important at the time. I forgive him.

(*Author's Note : I have consulted both the Oxford English Dictionary and the De Bhaldraithe Irish dictionary, as the word processor I am using does not recognise the verb 'ambuled' ('to be rushed to hospital'). Amazingly, when I searched the Oxford-English dictionary all I could find was the noun 'ambulance' (from the same root) but no reference to the verb 'ambuled'. The Oxford-English dictionary people and scrabblers, please note! More surprisingly, on looking through the Irish dictionary under the present tense of the free-verb, 'Otharcharrtar' ('is rushed to hospital') it wasn't there, either. Dochreidte!) (Next [from the same source] - "Thank You, Boys, Thank You". Part One.)







EXPLOSIVE QUESTIONS....

'Magill' magazine has unearthed new information which raises a grim but important question : were explosives from within this Republic used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings? It is a question which, bizarrely, also encompasses the controversial Dónal de Róiste case. By Don Mullan, author of the book 'The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings'.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 2003.

THE CLONAGH AFFAIR.

On 1st April 1974, Captain Patrick Walshe was assigned responsibility for guarding the 'Irish Industrial Explosives Factory' at Clonagh, County Meath and, from the moment he set foot in Clonagh, he was alarmed at the lack of security around the factory, which was handling hundreds of tons of high explosive material. He immediately feared the potential consequences of this, if the explosives were to be stolen by outsiders sympathetic to the IRA's bombing campaign in the North.

Walshe's concerns were such that he immediately began to document the security flaws at Clonagh and report them to his army superiors. During a 10-month duty assignment at the factory he prepared and submitted 32 detailed reports, including high quality photographs, highlighting the resultant easy access to Clonagh for anyone who might wish to avail of its deadly stockpile. He felt the need to deliver so many reports because of what he considered a carefree attitude being adopted by people in authority, including politicians of the day, who were made aware of the situation.

Walshe says he was particularly alarmed when the Dublin and Monaghan bombs exploded on the 17th May 1974, murdering 33 civilians, and feared it was an act of retaliation by the British for the lack of security at Clonagh. British military intelligence has long been suspected of colluding with the UVF to carry out the synchronised attack. Responding to a question about the attacks on Dublin and Monaghan in Peter Taylor's 1999 BBC documentary 'Loyalists' , David Ervine of the 'Progressive Unionist Party' chillingly described them as a way of "returning the serve".

In recent months information has surfaced which has lent weight to Patrick Walshe's fears and, indeed, his suspicions that Clonagh was a supply source for the IRA bombing campaign in the North was confirmed prior to Christmas 2002 by former Taoiseach Dr Garrett Fitzgerald in his new book, 'Reflections on the Irish State', in which he makes the following statement : "I particularly recall how furious I was in the mid-1970's at the discovery that the British Army in Northern Ireland (sic) had known for 18 months that explosives being used by the IRA were being stolen from a particular explosives factory in our state but had not told us about this, apparently because they preferred to use this leakage as a propaganda weapon against us than to save lives in Northern Ireland (sic) by stopping it." (MORE LATER.)[NOTE - see our 'EXCLUSIVE!' piece, below...]





ON THIS DATE (20TH APRIL) 106 YEARS AGO - IRISH REPUBLICAN DIES AFTER 63 YEARS OF SERVICE TO REPUBLICANISM.

Joseph Denieffe (pictured,left), was born in Kilkenny City in 1833 and died, 77 years later, in Chicago, America, after 63 years of service in the Cause of Irish republicanism.

Joseph Denieffe grew up to become a tailor by trade and, while in his early teens, witnessed Daniel O'Connell's campaign for the 'Repeal of the Act of Union' and would have been just ten years young when approximately one million people assembled at what was known in its day as a 'Monster Meeting' at the Royal Hill of Tara in County Meath on 15th August 1843. He would have heard, on that day, the speech delivered to that vast crowd by Daniel O'Connell, who stated - "We are at Tara of the Kings - the spot from which emanated the social power, the legal authority, the right to dominion over the furthest extremes of the land. The strength and majority of the national movement was never exhibited so imposingly as at this great meeting. The numbers exceed any that ever before congregated in Ireland in peace or war. It is a sight not grand alone but appalling - not exciting merely pride, but fear. Step by step we are approaching the great goal of Repeal of the Union, but it is at length with the strides of a giant..."

Imagine the scene as a ten-years-young child must have seen it : shoulder-to-shoulder with people packed together as far as a child could see ; one million people, defiantly cheering and clapping at a lone figure on a wooden platform as he shook his fist and shouted rebelliously in the direction of Westminster. It was a day that was to have a life-long effect on young Joseph Denieffe, and thousands of other young boys and girls, and men and women. When he was twelve years young, Joseph Denieffe would have witnessed the 'Great Hunger' ('An Gorta Mór', 1845-1852) when an estimated one million people died on the land and another one million people emigrated in 'coffin ships', and he would have noticed how Daniel O'Connell and the other career politicians did not suffer, how the Church leaders would bless the dead and pray for the dying before retiring to their big house for a meal, after which they would sleep contently in a warm bed as a million people died around them. Others, too, noticed that injustice - William Smith O'Brien, a follower of Daniel O'Connell's, was one of the many who had grown impatient ; he helped to establish the 'Young Ireland' group, with the intention of organising an armed rising against the British.

Joseph Denieffe joined the 'Young Ireland' group in 1847 (the year of its formation) - he was fourteen years young. He worked with William Smith O'Brien (who, as an 'English Gentleman', was an unusual Irish rebel - he had been educated at Harrow, had a fine English accent and actually sat in Westminster Parliament for a good few years!) and others for the following four years when, at eighteen years of age (in 1851) , the economics of the day dictated emigration. He ended up in New York, and contacted a number of Irish Fenians in that city - John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny and, at only twenty-two years of age (in 1855), he assisted in the establishment of an Irish republican group in America - the 'Emmet Monument Association' - which sought to raise an army to force England out of Ireland. That group decided to send Joseph Denieffe back to Ireland to organise a branch of the organisation there and, by 1856, a small but active branch of the Association was up and running in County Kilkenny. Its membership included such well-known Irish rebels as Thomas Clarke Luby, Peter Langan and Philip Gray. On hearing of the establishment of the 'Emmet Monument Association' in Ireland and America, another Irish rebel , James Stephens, returned to Ireland as he was interested in the objectives of the new group - Stephens himself had taken part in military action against the British in 1848, with William Smith O'Brien , in the town of Ballingarry in Tipperary, and had fled to Paris to escape an English jail sentence, or worse. By 1857, he had established a branch of the 'Emmet Monument Association' in Dublin.

The leadership of the Association in America - John O'Mahony and Michael Doheny - then sent one of their most trusted men, Owen Considine, to Ireland to assist in organising a fighting force in the country. In December 1857, Joseph Denieffe returned to America on a fundraising mission ; he stayed there until about March in 1858 and, having raised eighty pounds - a good sum of money in those days - he came back to Ireland. On St Patricks Day that year (17th March, 1858) , Joseph Denieffe made his next move - he met with Thomas Clark Luby and James Stephens, as arranged, on that St. Patricks Day in 1858 and the three men then founded the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood', a military organisation whose aim was to overthrow British mis-rule in Ireland. The following day, Joseph Denieffe returned to America to continue his fund-raising activities - but political trouble was brewing in America, too. Talk, and fear, of a civil war was everywhere. To make matters worse for his fund-raising efforts, James Stephens and John O'Mahony had fallen out over the direction that armed resistance to the British was going. America was now home to literally millions of Irish men and women who had been forced to leave Ireland because of British interference and the effect An Gorta Mór had on them yet, as far as James Stephens was concerned, John O'Mahony and the American leadership had failed to harness enough support amongst the Irish for an armed campaign against the British.

James Stephens accused John O'Mahony and his people in America of being "Irish tinsel patriots (who make) speeches of bayonets, gala days and jolly nights, banners and sashes, bunkum and filibustering, responding in glowing language to glowing toasts on Irish national independence over beakers of fizzling champagne..." and it was in the middle of the above turmoil that Joseph Denieffe found himself in America in the early 1860's. Fund-raising in those circumstances was not possible, but he stayed in that country, perhaps hoping that, when things settled down, he could carry-on with his task. He never 'lost the faith' - he was now living in Chicago and was in his early-thirties. He continued his work for Irish freedom and, even though the immediate momentum had been lost, he stayed in America, spreading the word and building contacts for the Irish republican cause. In 1904, at seventy-one years of age, he wrote a number of articles for the New York newspaper 'The Gael' ; those articles were later published as a book, entitled - 'A Personal Narrative of the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood', and is a fantastic read for those interested in the history of the on-going struggle for full Irish freedom.

At 77 years of age, Joseph Denieffe died in Chicago, on the 20th April, 1910 - 106 years ago on this date - having proudly given sixty-three years of his life to the Irish cause, working for the most part either in the background or underground, never seeking the limelight. He is not as well-known as he should be but, like all true Irish republicans, his objective was to promote and further the Irish cause, not himself.

This land of mine, the old man said,

will be alive when we are dead,

my fathers words still ring divine - "God Bless this lovely land of mine."






EXCLUSIVE! JOHN BRUTON ON BRITISH ARMY DRESS ETIQUETTE!

Yes, seriously - John Bruton has gone public on his knowledge of British Army dress etiquette and one must say he sounds pretty peeved about it! But first - my own claim to fame which, incidentally, happens to be in a 'shared space' with the aforementioned Mr. Bruton (shudder!).

On Sunday, 10th April last, the 'Sunday Times' newspaper published an article on page 4 entitled 'De Róiste dismissal case hits impasse as he rejects review' and, in a comment on same, I emailed them the following...

'Dear Sir/Madam,

A chara,

In connection with Justine McCarthy's article on 10th April last ('De Róiste dismissal case hits impasse as he rejects review', page 4) your readers may be interested to know that an article from 2003, by Don Mullan, entitled 'Explosive Questions' (published in 'Magill' magazine, February 2003) regarding that same issue, is currently being posted on the Irish history and politics blog '1169 And Counting'. The many finer details in the Mullan piece set the stage expertly for those interested in the de Róiste case and would be of interest to your readers.

Go raibh maith agat,

Sharon O Suillibhan, Clondalkin, Dublin 22.'


...and they published most of it on Sunday 17th April 2016, meaning that the price of my autographs just doubled!





In that same issue of the 'Sunday Times' (17th April 2016), in the 'You Say' column of their 'Culture' magazine, a John Bruton (!) had a letter published in which he 'tut-tutted' television programme makers for their carelessness in how they present British Army etiquette in their work -


- but that couldn't possibly be the 'John Bruton' we know who, as a proud Irishman, would never offer 'jolly hockeysticks' to the British 'royal family' or its military, surely. Could it...?



Thanks for reading, Sharon.






Tuesday, April 19, 2016

CLOTHES MAKETH THE MAN...

...JOHN BRUTON EXPRESSES DISAPPOINTMENT OVER SLOPPY BRITISH ARMY DRESS CODE!



Marching from the GOR to the GOP with 500 'packs' to spare....a barred window, but no containment....not quite finger-less gloves for this republican prisoner...an act of retaliation by the British?....this Irish republican died at 77 years of age having given 63 years of his life to Irish republicanism...and don't miss our EXCLUSIVE! regarding John Bruton and his expressed disappointment with those who do not observe British Army dress code!

Check back with us on Wednesday, 20th April 2016...

Thanks for dropping by!

Sharon.




Wednesday, April 06, 2016

SHOT DEAD FOR REFUSING TO SING 'GOD SAVE THE KING'.

SATURDAY 23RD APRIL 2016 IN DUBLIN :

Flying out the folds of Freedom's Flag - the orange, white and green. (From here.)

You will see men (and women!) like those mentioned above, in Dublin, 'flying out the folds' on Saturday, 23rd April 2016, at the GPO in O'Connell Street, as Republican Sinn Féin holds its National Commemoration to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. Those attending are requested to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance at 1.45pm, and the parade will leave for the GPO at 2pm. All genuine republicans welcome!







PROSE AND CONS.

By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS :

Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.

First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.

THE WIND SONG.

Lying in my cell

rain falls hard on my window

I hear the wind trashing

the yard.

Against my window, the walls, the fence,

struggling for freedom

back and forth as it blows.




Within my four walls

I hear the wind, wild and calling

it cries out to me

sighing and blowing

swirling to and fro

a newspaper gets ripped

against the wall

the rain falls constant.

Gurgle, gurgle, down the drain

a can rolls and bobs

across the yard

and the wind cries out

it's angry song.

Dermot Griffin.







JUST ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL...

..laid by well-practised 'brickies'!

"..the names of those who died on the rebel side should not share a commemorative plaque or monument of any kind with those who on behalf of British rule summarily abused and executed them..." (from here.)

A travesty of a monument in Glasnevin Cemetery was officially 'opened' by Free State representatives last Sunday (3rd April 2016) and, as expected, those officiating at same could not realise that honouring the men and women of 1916 and those that fought against them (ie the forces of the Crown) on the same monument is indecent and should be viewed in the same light as, for instance, British citizens would view their politicians wanting to use their Cenotaph to commemorate German soldiers, or German politicians insisting that prison guards be honoured on the same plaque that lists their victims at the entrance to Auschwitz.

This 'memorial wall' scenario exposes how politically confused this State is in relation to acknowledging (the on-going) British political and military interference in this country but it also highlights the embarrassing position that pro-State 'revolutionary socialists' have placed themselves in : the Glasnevin wall was to be 'officially opened', as stated, on Sunday 3rd April last by the Dublin 'Lord Major', Provisional Sinn Féin Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh , an issue which apparently caused some unease within her party (more than likely because those who expressed unease didn't get an invite!) which prompted one of her party colleagues to voice his objection about the 'job' she was about to do at the Glasnevin wall which, it seems, ensured that the 'Lady Lord Mayor' suddenly found something else to do.

Poor Críona - it's obviously the case that only party elders are allowed mingle with all that 'proper' (British) society can offer!







EXPLOSIVE QUESTIONS....

'Magill' magazine has unearthed new information which raises a grim but important question : were explosives from within this Republic used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings? It is a question which, bizarrely, also encompasses the controversial Dónal de Róiste case. By Don Mullan, author of the book 'The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings'.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 2003.

THE McCRANN REPORT.

What particularly upset the retired commandant was Oonah McCrann's omitting to interview either himself or Dónal de Róiste as part of her review, despite their availability. He was also concerned by her failure to report that one officer had sole control over, and carried out, their individual interrogations. This officer also had sole editorial control over the reporting of their answers to the Irish Army's top brass. It was the Army's responsibility to interpret the interviewer's memos and reports for the Fianna Fail cabinet and President de Valera, who ultimately ended Dónal de Róiste's military career.

At the time, the interrogating officer, Commandant Gerry O'Sullivan, was a staff officer at Irish Army Intelligence Headquarters, and was later elevated to Army Chief of Staff. Recalling his interrogation, four months prior to the release of the McCrann Report, Patrick Walshe said : "In April 1969 I was ordered to Intelligence HQ in Parkgate, Dublin, where I then realised that Dónal de Róiste was in difficulty, but I was unclear why. Commandant Gerry O'Sullivan solely questioned me on three different occasions over a two-week period. I wasn't given a statement to review and sign."

Walshe is particularly appalled at the unfounded innuendo that Dónal de Róiste knowingly associated with subversives, and questions why de Róiste was 'retired' and he (Walshe) wasn't, given that both men frequented the same public establishments and associated with the same people. What makes former Commandant Patrick Walshe such a powerful and credible advocate for the cause of Dónal de Róiste is his handling of an unrelated matter. It concerns what one senior officer described as "the greatest scandal in the history of the Irish State..." (MORE LATER.)







GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.
By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the 'Frank Cahill Resource Centre', one of the founders of 'Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh', the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A'Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.

His first publication last year by Glandore was 'And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh'. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!

"MY FINGER CAME OFF...."

We were running out of time to save the finger.No one else standing there volunteered to retrieve the missing digit. "Listen, lads," I said, "if I can get Dede and his finger over to the hospital, they might be able to re-unite them.." But no one moved a muscle to help. No good Samaritans here. "Right, I yelled, "give Ivor a shout for me." When Ivor arrived he could see both the finger and the problem immediately, and he acted decisively : "Quick, one of you, he shouted, "get a brush and and shovel." "Ivor, Jesus Christ," I said, "do you want to contaminate the finger?" "Well I'm not lifting it!" he said.

At this point, a friend of mine from Lurgan called 'Jack the Giant' retrieved the ex-ringholder and squeezed it out to me through the wire. I wrapped the finger up in my handkerchief which I had only used five times, maybe six, tops and, with Dede in hand (!), albeit missing a finger, we ambuled * as quickly as our legs would carry us to the prison hospital. On running into the hospital in an effort to save time I shouted "Is there a doctor in the place?" "No!" , the medical orderly responded immediately. He was highly trained in giving out painkillers and sticking on plasters and, on seeing Dede's missing finger, or not seeing it as the case may be, he asked "What seems to be the problem?" "Well, this is only an educated guess, mind you," I said, "but we think that he's lost one of his fingers. What do you think?" I asked sarcastically, of the scundered orderly. "Jesus, never seen anything like that before," he said.

Unfortunately for Dede, re-uniting his finger to his hand was proving not only beyond the orderly's skills, but when I placed the finger in the orderly's hand he winced and dropped it on to the dirty floor of the 'operating theatre'. It took a real (we are told) doctor a full hour and a half to rush the three miles from Lisburn to Long Kesh. He agreed with my diagnosis of the situation - Dede was a finger short. As the doctor rummaged in his toolbox for a hacksaw to finish the job and cut off the exposed bone of the finger, I pleaded with him not to amputate without first exploring every avenue known to medical science in an attempt to save Dede's finger. I asked the doctor if he had any experience with micro-surgery and he told me that it was academic as it wasn't the little finger that was missing but the one next to it and I couldn't argue with his logic. But, after all, we had the dissected skin of the finger, which was virtually intact - even the ring was still there. I then glanced around the 'surgery' and noticed that a small white box about 12 inches square with a small red cross on it was hanging askew on a hilti-nail on the wall. Then I helped the doctor to look for his hacksaw...
(MORE LATER.)







SHOT DEAD FOR REFUSING TO SING 'GOD SAVE THE KING'.

The RIC and the Black and Tans (pictured, left), representatives of 'British justice' in Ireland in the 1920's who, incidentally, are still here, albeit with different uniforms (and transportation!).

On the 6th of April, 1921 - 95 years ago on this date - two IRA men, Patrick Conroy and James Monds, who were friends and neighbours - were pulled out of their homes in Tarmon, County Roscommon, by an RIC/Black and Tan raiding party and executed - 'James Monds was a local Protestant farmer who fell victim to England's tyranny in April 1921. At that time in Roscommon, as across Ireland, the Black and Tans, the RIC and the Auxiliaries were running rampant. The most infamous deeds of the forces of the Crown are known to all. The sack of Balbriggan, the burning of Cork, the murder of MacCurtain in Cork and Father Griffin in Galway are but a few. The so called 'Castlerea Murder Gang' consisted of British soldiers, RIC and Black and Tans. They would act on information provided by informers and raid local houses late at night looking for their victims. The gang would arrive at the door with blackened faces and shine a light in the face of a suspect who would be identified by the informer. If the unfortunate person was wanted by the British he would be taken away and shot or beaten to death as was the case with Volunteer Pat Conroy who was murdered the same night as James Monds.

James was a Volunteer of the Irish Republican Army and had been involved in land agitation. It is known that he refused to sing 'God Save The King' in church which may have singled him out as a Republican or 'Shinner' to those loyal to the Crown. He was taken from his house on the night of the 6th of April 1921 and his bullet riddled body was found the next day. The 'Murder Gang' extracted no information from him regarding local Volunteers and they killed him despite him having 6 children...' (from here.)

It later transpired that the British troops raided the home of James Monds looking to remove his 17-year-old son, but the father pleaded with them to take him instead, and leave his son out of it. They did, which is about the only act of 'kindness' any republican could hope for, from a British mercenary. The next morning, the riddled body of James Monds was located at the end of the road. Incidentally, the man in charge of that particular British murder gang, RIC Sergeant James King (pictured here, at his funeral service) was infamous as a well-known thug in uniform in Ireland and then became famous as the last member of the RIC to be killed during the War of Independence -

"On the morning of the 11th of July (1921) Thomas Crawley was waiting. Sergeant King of the RIC was the principal man in the murder gang that was organised in the RIC in Castlereagh and was responsible for a number of killings around the area. He was badly wanted by us. On the morning of the Truce, the 11th July 1921, we made a final effort to get this man. Between 10a.m. and 11a.m. on that morning we proceeded into the town on this mission...we went into a shop to get a drink of lemonade and when only a few minutes there Sergeant King came out of his own house on the opposite side of the street and proceeded to get on his cycle as if to go to the barracks. We left the shop. Ned Campion and I let him have it. He died immediately. Although the truce took effect at 12 o' clock on that day, the enemy chased us until about 6pm that evening. We finally escaped them, however, by adopting the role of shepherds gathering up sheep..." (from here.)

King was struck in the chest by at least two of his attackers bullets and despite receiving prompt medical attention died at approximately 10.30am – less than two hours before the ceasefire was due to begin. Local IRA men later recounted how King and his gang burst into the Vaughan family home at Cloonsuck, County Roscommon, on the 22nd June 1921, catching three IRA men unaware : the three republicans made a run for it, but two of them - Ned Shanahan and John Vaughan - were shot dead. The third IRA man, Martin Ganly, was captured and, during the search of the house, King battered (the deceased) John Vaughan's mother unconscious with his rifle butt and stopped on his way out of the house and shot the family's dog dead. A nasty and vindictive piece of work by all accounts, 'relatives' of whom wear a similar uniform today, in this country.





ON THIS DAY NEXT WEEK (WEDNESDAY 13TH APRIL 2016).....



...we won't be posting our usual contribution, and probably won't be in a position to post anything at all until the following Wednesday ; this coming weekend (Saturday/Sunday 9th/10th April 2016) is spoke for already with a 650-ticket raffle to be run for the Cabhair group in a venue on the Dublin/Kildare border (work on which begins on the Tuesday before the actual raffle) and the 'autopsy' into same which will take place on Monday evening, 11th, in Dublin, meaning that we will not have the time to post here. But we'll be back, as stated above, on Wednesday 20th April 2016, providing Easter and raffles leave us alone!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.




Monday, April 04, 2016

AN ACT OF 'KINDNESS' FROM A BRITISH MERCENARY IN IRELAND.

THIS 'KING' WAS SHOT IN THE CHEST TWICE BY THE IRA...

Flying out the folds of Freedom's Flag...four walls in Portlaoise Prison...Glasnevin - another brick in the wall...knowingly associating with subversives but not questioned re same...this 'doctor' couldn't find his hacksaw...justice enacted on the morning of the Truce, 11th July 1921...

Thanks for the visit - check back with us on Wednesday 6th April 2016 for the above!

Sharon.




Wednesday, March 23, 2016

"IRELAND IS OUR DISGRACE" - BRITISH 'LORD'.

EASTER MONDAY (28TH MARCH) 2016 IN DUBLIN.

'Here's to the men who, Easter Week, in the glorious year '16,

flying out the folds of Freedom's Flag - the orange, white and green.

Here's to the men who, fighting, fell, and here's to the men who died,

at dawnlight pale, in Kilmainham Jail, with the martyrs smile of pride.'
(From here.)

You will see men (and women!) like those mentioned above, in Dublin, on Easter Monday, 28th March 2016, at the Easter commemoration at the GPO in O'Connell Street. Those attending are requested to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance at 2pm for the parade to the GPO. Also, a brief mention for the following Easter commemorations, which are being held in areas that are not too far from Dublin city centre -

EASTER SATURDAY, MARCH 26TH, 2016:

KILDARE - Assemble at Republican Plot, St Corban's Cemetery, Naas, Co Kildare at 12 noon. CARLOW - Assemble at Republican Plot, Carlow Cemetery at 2pm.


EASTER SUNDAY, MARCH 27TH, 2016:

CRUMLIN, DUBLIN - Laying of wreath and the reading of the Proclamation at the Eamon Ceannt Monument, Sundrive Park, Crumlin at 12 noon. DEANSGRANGE, DUBLIN - Assemble at gates of Deansgrange Cemetery, Dun Laoghaire at 1pm for parade to the Republican Plot.








BEING REMEMBERED ON A MEMORIAL WITH YOUR MURDERER.

"..the names of those who died on the rebel side should not share a commemorative plaque or monument of any kind with those who on behalf of British rule summarily abused and executed them..." (from here.)

Words fail me. Almost. The political establishment in this State should really do now that which they should have done in 1916 - apologise to Westminster and offer financial repatriation to those whose teat they have never left since 'birth'. They are so divested of moral reference points in relation to what was being sought here in 1916 that they feel more empathy towards the British forces than they do to the men and women of the Rising that they falsely claim lineage from. Not so much 'take it down from the mast' as don't even handle it in the first place, as you will surely infect it with the burden you carry - a strain of self-loathing which, if you had a conscience, would leave you too ashamed to get up in the morning. But you haven't, and it doesn't.







PROSE AND CONS.

By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS :

Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.

First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O'Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.

JOURNEY.

Sometimes I think we're on a journey

searching for some meaning to it all

always reaching out to find that something

some kind of answer or a call

But I've seen that deep curiosity

come out and sparkle up your mind

and I've seen those eyes fill with wonder

as you were taken by surprise.




So we take this tide of life

and fight the rocks and shallows of this world

as we're swept along thru' the sands of time

the stars will always burn

for our journey.




And you were filled with compassion

for what those years have brought to you

and you did open like a butterfly

as you emerged from your cocoon

and there was a voice now inside you

which you recognised as your own

as you strolled deeper into this world

you knew you were not alone.




So we take this tide of life

and fight the rocks and shallows of this world

as we're swept along thru' the sands of time

the stars will always burn

for our journey.




Now we're oceans in this mystery

and its truth is closer too

'cause you got a glow deep inside me

and I got a glow inside of you

and in this beauty of simplicity

deep in our hearts we beat as one

and I'm touched by the wonder of each moment

to know our lives have just begun.




So we take this tide of life

and fight the rocks and shallows of this world

as we're swept along thru' the sands of time

the stars will always burn

for our journey.


Dermot Griffin.







EXPLOSIVE QUESTIONS....

'Magill' magazine has unearthed new information which raises a grim but important question : were explosives from within this Republic used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings? It is a question which, bizarrely, also encompasses the controversial Dónal de Róiste case. By Don Mullan, author of the book 'The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings'.

From 'Magill' magazine, February 2003.

THE McCRANN REPORT.

At the time of Dónal de Róiste's undoing, Patrick Walsh held the rank of captain. Both men were questioned by a superior officer during the period and, in an interview with this journalist on 7th May 2002, Patrick Walshe said - "I have always believed that information taken from me at the interrogations was misconstrued and resulted in injustice being done to Dónal." When the Judge Advocate General, Oonah McCrann, completed her review of army files related to de Róiste's 'retirement' on 17th September 2002, Walshe's suspicions seemed to be confirmed. He says he felt physically sick when he saw the extent to which his interrogation had been interpreted in a way which helped to destroy the promising military career of his best friend.

On page 10 of the McCrann Report the Judge Advocate General refers to a document on de Róiste's files concerning his relationship with an alleged subversive whom she chose to refer to as 'Mr X', despite the fact that his name was already in the public domain - Padraig Dwyer. She writes - "The document notes that Captain Walshe was interviewed and while he could not recollect ever having met Mr X with ex-Lieutenant Roche he did remember ex-Lieutenant Roche discuss with another friend Mr X's involvement with the Gardai in Ballyfermot in October 1968. Captain Walshe also recollected ex-Lieutenant Donal Roche telling him that Mr X had been at the car auction in Clancy Barracks and that he was sure that he was seen with Mr X by 'S branch man.' "

In a sworn affidavit, dated 17th December 2002, Patrick Walshe states - "I did not make any such statement during my interrogation. My recollection of this matter is definite." (MORE LATER.)







GROWING UP IN LONG KESH...

SIN SCÉAL EILE.
By Jim McCann (Jean's son). For Alex Crowe, RIP - "No Probablum". Glandore Publishing, 1999.

Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the 'Frank Cahill Resource Centre', one of the founders of 'Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh', the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A'Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.

His first publication last year by Glandore was 'And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh'. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!

"MY FINGER CAME OFF...."

I caught a glimpse of his hand as I sped past him and, right enough, his finger was missing. "Right, Dede," I said, "give me a minute..." This might seem a bit cruel, but I reasoned in that split second that Dede had at least nine fingers left and the 'Man of the Match' award was still very much to be decided upon and was now between Barnes and myself, as usual. But Dede's interruption was enough to put me off my run. "Christ sake, Dede, could you not have waited a minute? You could see I was on a run there..." By this time Dede had actually fainted and couldn't sense my sense of frustration with him. I put my disappointment behind me and rushed to his aid.

When we eventually revived him, we found out that his finger really was missing, so I suppose his interruption seemed important enough to him. "Where is it?" I enquired. "It fell into Cage 9", he muttered. "How did that happen", I asked. "I was getting a leg-up at the wire to put an ounce of tobacco into the cage when I lost my balance and as I fell back the ring on my finger caught on the razor wire and whipped the finger off."

I ran down down to Cage 9 and a crowd of fellows were standing around the errant finger as it lay on the ground in the cage. "Hand me that up," I said to Sess, a big guy from Ballymurphy, who looked the most sensible of the throng of rubber neckers. "Fuck off", said Sess. "I'm not touching that thing, it's all gooey." Sess was the image of Paul McCartney and had his hair done the same way as McCartney and wore the same clothes as McCartney and played the lead guitar like McCartney played the bass guitar - badly. He once had an audition to join a group called 'The Donnelly Trio', who were the resident band in the Nail Bomb Sports and Leisure Shebeen (a quaint rustic drinking den) in Lady Street in Belfast but, unfortunately, while they had all the equipment - amps, loudspeakers etc, all of it second hand - their electricity had been turned off some weeks previous to his audition, thereby ruining any chance Sess had of impressing all six members of the group assembled there. (MORE LATER.)





ON THIS DATE (23RD MARCH) 170 YEARS AGO : BRITISH HOUSE OF 'LORDS' MEMBER ACKNOWLEDGES THEIR 'DISGRACEFUL CONDUCT IN IRELAND'.

On the 23rd March, 1846 - 170 years ago on this date - a member of the British House of 'Lords', Henry George Grey, the 3rd Earl Grey (pictured, left) stood up in that institution and delivered his 'Ireland is our Disgrace' speech : "The evils of that unhappy country are not accidental, not temporary, but chronic and habitual. The state of Ireland is one which is notorious. We know the ordinary condition of that country to be one both of lawlessness and wretchedness. It is so described by every competent authority. There is not an intelligent foreigner coming to our shores, who turns his attention to the state of Ireland, but who bears back with him such a description.

Ireland is the one weak place in the solid fabric of British power—Ireland is the one deep (I had almost said ineffaceable) blot upon the brightness of British honour. Ireland is our disgrace. It is the reproach, the standing disgrace, of this country, that Ireland remains in the condition she is. It is so regarded throughout the whole civilized world. To ourselves we may palliate it if we will, and disguise the truth; but we cannot conceal it from others. There is not, as I have said, a foreigner — no matter whence he comes, be it from France, Russia, Germany, or America — there is no native of any foreign country different as their forms of government may be, who visits Ireland, and who on his return does not congratulate himself that he sees nothing comparable with the condition of that country at home.

If such be the state of things, how then does it arise, and what is its cause? My Lords, it is only by misgovernment that such evils could have been produced: the mere fact that Ireland is in so deplorable and wretched a condition saves whole volumes of argument, and is of itself a complete and irrefutable proof of the misgovernment to which she has been subjected."

The words of what must be, to date - and in relation to Ireland, anyway, whatever about his other dealings - the last honest politician in Westminster, and a man who wasn't just 'an ordinary backbencher' and, as such, was listened to more so than a 'seat-filler' would be : he came up through the 'ranks' as 'Viscount Howick' before obtaining his title as a 'Lord' and was under-secretary for the British 'colonies' for three years following which he was under-secretary in the British Home Office. He was the British 'secretary of war' for five years and, as a 'Lord', he became the effective leader of the Whig Party and was given the top job in the British 'Colonial Office'.

Perhaps the fact that he was one of fifteen children opened his mind to 'thinking outside the box' in relation to the (on-going) crimes committed by his fellow politicians in Ireland! An honest politician, in that regard, anyway, none of whom are now to be found in Westminster, or Stormont, or Leinster House, for that matter, as those institutions are now packed to the rafters with self-serving political misfits who consider, verbally and/or by deed, that what they call 'the Irish question' was finally solved in 1998 when the Stormont Treaty was implemented. Hopefully it won't take all concerned another 847 years before they realise that that isn't the case.





ON THIS DATE (23RD MARCH) 169 YEARS AGO : THE DISPOSSESSED ASSIST THE DISPOSSESSED.

Alex Pentek's 'Kindred Spirits' structure (pictured, left) , located in Bailic Park in Midleton, County Cork, consists of nine 20-foot stainless steel eagle feathers and represents "...the Choctaw's help to Ireland.." during An Gorta Mór : "By creating an empty bowl symbolic of the Great Irish Famine (sic) formed from the seemingly fragile and rounded shaped eagle feathers used in Choctaw ceremonial dress, it is my aim to communicate the tenderness and warmth of the Choctaw Nation who provided food to the hungry when they themselves were still recovering from their own tragic recent past", stated the artist.

On the 23rd March, 1847 - 169 years ago on this date - the Choctaw Indians assembled in Scullyville, Oklahoma and, despite being politically dispossessed victims themselves, they collected about $170 (equivalent to about $70,000 today) which they forwarded to Ireland. Their donation was remarkable because they had suffered terrible hardships themselves in the years before An Gorta Mór as they were evicted from their native lands of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi just 16 years earlier and were forced to walk 500 miles to their new 'home' of Oklahoma, which the American government had chosen for them. The walk became known as the 'Trail of Tears' due to the suffering endured by the tribes during the enforced exodus. Many perished before completing the journey - indeed, of the 21,000 Choctaws who started the journey, more than half perished from exposure, malnutrition and disease before they reached their new 'home'.

Ironically, one of those in charge of the eviction was Andrew Jackson, the son of Irish immigrants who, on the 4th March 1829, in an attempt to 'sell' the idea that the native Indians would be getting a good deal in 'moving'off their land, stated - "It will be my sincere and constant desire to observe toward the Indian tribes within our limits a just and liberal policy, and to give that humane and considerate attention to their rights and their wants which is consistent with the habits of our Government and the feelings of our people..." but the same man showed his true colours two years later when he stated - "It is pleasing to reflect that results so beneficial, not only to the States immediately concerned, but to the harmony of the Union, will have been accomplished by measures equally advantageous to the Indians. What the native savages become when surrounded by a dense population and by mixing with the whites may be seen in the miserable remnants of a few Eastern tribes, deprived of political and civil rights, forbidden to make contracts, and subjected to guardians, dragging out a wretched existence, without excitement, without hope, and almost without thought..." He dismissed them as the so-called 'bed blockers' of their day, or worse.

To the Andrew Jackson's of this world we say 'shame on you', and to the brave and decent Choctaw's and those like them we say 'Yokoke' !







ON THIS DATE (23RD MARCH) 90 YEARS AGO : A TERRIBLE GLUTEI IS BORN.

It was on this date - 23rd March - in 1926 that political opportunists attempted to hoodwink an Irish revolutionary movement into supporting constitutional politics and, when they failed in their attempt, they abandoned republicanism and established a 'catch-all' political party populated, then and now, by 'wide boys' who figured they were entitled to a cushy career in politics : 'In response to the signing of the Boundary Agreement (see 'Micheál Martin/Gerrymandering' piece, here) between Great Britain and Ireland in December 1925, an extraordinary meeting of Sinn Féin was held in March 1926 to discuss the future of the party. Failing to get an agreement*, Eamon de Valera resigned as leader of Sinn Féin and took rapid steps to establish a new national movement.." (*"an agreement", that is, to [as stated above] abandon republicanism and 'become politically respectable', as some would have it) (from here) and this - 'Fianna Fáil was founded on 23 March 1926 when a group of Dail deputies led by Eamonn De Valera split from Sinn Féin. This happened because De Valera's motion calling for elected members be allowed to take their seats in the Dáil, if and when the controversial Oath of Allegiance was removed, failed to pass at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis..' (from here.)

Incidentally, the same issue (re becoming a constitutional political party) was pushed to the surface once more in 1986 by, again, those who desired to be (bought and) paid politicians which, among other happenings, prompted IRA Commandant General Tom Maguire (who, incidentally, was born on what is Easter Monday this year - the 28th March - in 1892, and died in his 101st year, in 1993) to issue the following statement :



The above is in answer to that age-old question - 'What's the difference between Fianna Fáil and Provisional Sinn Féin?' Answer : 60 years!







ON THIS DATE (23RD MARCH) 82 YEARS AGO : THREE IRISH REPUBLICANS, THREE MONTHS IN JAIL, THREE WORDS - "ENTER INTO RECOGNISANCES".

(Picture [left] from here.) On the 23rd March 1934 - 82 years ago on this date - Richie Goss and two others, James Finnigan and Matt McCrystal, were sentenced to three months in jail because they refused to "enter into recognisances" ie 'explain their whereabouts' on the night of 'the McGrory incident...'

Ireland 1915 ; The 'Irish Volunteer' Movement had split ; approximately 170,000 men stayed with John Redmond and fought with England in the belief that to do so would guarantee a form of 'Home Rule' for Ireland - but about 10,000 men broke away as they had no faith in Redmond's plan. Months earlier, British 'Sir' George Richardson had taken command of the Ulster Volunteer Force (a pro-British militia) and had landed about 25,000 rifles and two-and-a-half million rounds of ammunition at Larne in County Antrim - when the British Government in Westminster attempted to move against the UVF (as they had no control over them them), British Army Officers mutinied in objection. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Ireland, other forces were recruiting : Irish republicans were re-grouping ; the 'Irish Citizen Army' was recruiting for Volunteers, as was Sinn Féin, the 'Irish Republican Brotherhood' and John Redmond's 'United Irish League'. There was turmoil in the country.

A child was born into the above circumstances in Dundalk, in County Louth. He was child number three in the family, and one more was to be born after him. This third child in the Goss family, Richard, went to a local school and, like others in the Goss neighborhood, tried to get work locally when he was finished his schooling - he was successful, and got a job in Rasson's Shoe Factory in Dundalk. The troubled times he lived in got his attention and, at 18 years young (in 1933), Richie Goss joined the North Louth Battalion of the IRA , and trained in the use of explosives. At that time in the then 12-years-partitioned Ireland, the anti-Catholic bigots of the then two-year-old 'Ulster Protestant League' were in full swing ; nationalists all over the Six Counties were being hammered. British political leaders were voicing support for the Unionists - indeed , 'Sir' Basil Brooke actually boasted that he "had not a Roman Catholic about my own place" and the then British Stormont Minister for Labour, a Mr. J. M. Andrews, spoke out about what he termed "a foul smear" - that of "another allegation made against the (British) government, which is untrue : that, out of 31 porters at Stormont, 28 are Roman Catholic. I have investigated the matter and I have found that there are 30 Protestants and only one Roman Catholic, there only temporarily." The British Loyalists, too, in the form of the Orange Order, were putting pressure on the Nationalists in the Six Counties - the then 'Grand Master' of the anti-Nationalist 'Orange Order', a (British Senator) 'Sir' Joseph Davison, stated - "When will the Protestant employers of Northern Ireland (sic) recognise their duty to their Protestant brothers and sisters and employ them to the exclusion of Roman Catholics? It is time Protestant employers realised that whenever a Roman Catholic is brought into their employment it means one Protestant vote less. It is our duty to pass the word along - Protestants employ Protestants."

That was the sentiment of those times - the blatant sectarianism that existed, and which Richie Goss, amongst others, hoped to bring to an end. He was 18 years young, an IRA member and learning to use explosives - in early 1934, at 19 years of age, he was picked-up by the Free State Special Branch (political police) and asked to account for his movements ; he refused, and was brought before a Free State Military Tribunal and sentenced to three months in prison. The prison sentence was related, according to the 'Court', to what became known as 'The McGrory Incident' : in Dundalk, County Louth, on 9th January 1934, a debt-collector (who was also said to be a member of the right-wing 'Blueshirt'[Fine Gael] party) was held-up by armed men and his bag of cash was taken. In making inquiries in the area about the robbery, the Free State Gardaí (police) were assisted by a local man, a Mr. Joseph McGrory, from Chapel Street, Dundalk and two IRA men were jailed as a result of the evidence given by McGrory. On the night of 11th February 1934, a bomb was thrown through the front window of the McGrory house ; the explosion killed Joseph McGrory's wife.

On the 23rd March 1934 - 82 years ago on this date - Richie Goss and two others, James Finnigan and Matt McCrystal, were sentenced to three months in jail because they refused to "enter into recognisances" ie 'explain their whereabouts' on the night of the McGrory incident. Then, in early July 1935, four IRA men were arrested and charged with the death of Mrs McGrory - Richie Goss, Eamon Coffey, Thomas Walsh and Bernard Murphy, all from Dundalk. The Free Staters had received information from an informer that five men were responsible for 'the McGrory Incident' - the four men named above, and one other - James Finnigan. However, Finnigan was already in jail again, this time serving fifteen months for possession of weapons. The informer was Matt McCrystal, an IRA man and, on his evidence, the first-ever 'murder trial' before a Free State Military Tribunal went ahead. But it was not successful : on the 20th July 1935, after a five-day hearing, all the accused were acquitted. Richie Goss was ordered to go to Dublin by Sean Russell, the then IRA Chief of Staff, in early 1938, as his expertise in explosives was needed to prepare for the up-coming bombing campaign in England and, within months, he was in England, helping to organise IRA Units, safe-houses etc for the campaign ; he was arrested in Liverpool in May 1939 for refusing to account for £20 in his possession(!) and was sentenced to seven-days in Walton Jail and, when released, he reported back to the IRA in London. About two months later he returned to Ireland but was unlucky enough to be grabbed by the Free Staters in their round-up of known and suspected IRA members and supporters.

On the 2nd September 1939, the Leinster House Administration had issued a statement saying that, because of "the armed conflict now taking place in Europe, a national (sic) emergency exists affecting the vital interests of the State" and, the following day (3rd September 1939), the 'Emergency Powers Bill' was enacted (ie to all intent and purpose - 'martial law'). Days later (on the 8th September 1939) a new Free State Minister for 'Justice' was appointed - the ferociously anti-republican Gerald Boland. All known or suspected Irish Republicans were rounded-up, but a republican-minded lawyer, Sean MacBride (whose parents had fought alongside the IRA) supported the republican prisoners and, on the 1st December 1939, due to a 'habeas corpus' application, Richie Goss and fifty-two other Republican prisoners were released from Mountjoy Jail and all reported back to their IRA Unit's and continued the fight - Richie Goss was promoted to the position of Divisional Officer Commanding of the North-Leinster/South Ulster IRA. In July 1941, Richie Goss was staying in the house of a family named Casey in Longford when it was surrounded by Free State troops and Gardai ; a shoot-out ended in the capture of the then twenty-six years young Richie Goss and the wounding of a Free State Army Lieutenant, resulting in a charge of attempted murder against Goss. A Free State Military Tribunal returned a 'guilty' verdict on Richie Goss and he was sentenced to death. That was in July 1941 ; on the 8th August 1941, Richie Goss was taken, under armed guard, from Mountjoy Jail in Dublin and was put in the back of a truck, in which he was forced to sit on his own coffin on the journey from Dublin to Portlaoise Jail. On the 9th August 1941, Richie Goss, 26 years young, was shot dead by a Free State firing squad and buried in Portlaoise Prison yard. In September 1948 - seven years after his execution - his remains were released and re-interred in Dowdallshill Cemetery in Dundalk, County Louth. A well-known Irish republican of the time (and still remembered by the Movement to this day) Brian O'Higgins, wrote in the 1950 edition of 'The Wolfe Tone Annual' -

"On September 18th 1948, the bodies of Patrick McGrath, Thomas Harte, George Plant, Richard Goss, Maurice O'Neill and Charles Kerins were disinterred in prison yards and given to their comrades and relatives for re-burial among their own. These men were condemned to death and put to death as criminals, as outlaws, as enemies of Ireland. Today, that judgement and verdict is reversed, even by those who were and are their opponents, and they are acknowledged to be what we have always claimed them to have been - true comrades of Tone, of Emmet, of Mitchel, of the Fenians, and of all the heroic dead of our own day and generation. There was no bitterness in their hearts towards any man or group of men, no meanness in their minds, no pettiness or brutality in their actions. They were, and are, worthy to rank with the greatest and noblest of our dead, and the younger men we salute and pray for and do homage to today are worthy to be their comrades. The only shame to be thought of in connection with those republicans is that Irishmen slew them and slandered them, as Irishmen had slain and slandered the men of 1922, for the 'crime' of being faithful soldiers of the Republic of Ireland. Let us remember that shame only as an incentive to action and conduct that will make recurrence of it impossible ever again. Wolfe Tone built his plan for true independence on the resistance tradition of all the centuries from the beginning of the conquest to his own day, and these men who were his faithful followers, knew no plan but his would ever end English domination in Ireland.

Those who would make all Ireland free must follow in his and their footsteps or fail. Men talk foolishly today, as they and others have talked for many futile years, of 'declaring' the Republic of Ireland. There is no need to declare it. Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet founded it and made it known to the world. Daniel O'Connell reviled and repudiated it, but John Mitchel and Fintan Lalor stood beneath its banner and gave it their allegiance. The Fenians made it articulate and preserved it through two generations until the men and women of 1916 proclaimed it in arms. The whole people of Ireland accepted it a few years later, giving it the most unanimous vote that has ever been cast in this country, and it was established and declared on January 21st, 1919. It has never been dis-established since, but it has been suppressed by falsehood and by force, and it is suppressed at this moment. Against that force and falsehood, against that unjust and unlawful suppression, the men we honour today - Patrick McGrath, Thomas Harte, George Plant, Richard Goss, Maurice O'Neill and Charles Kerins - did battle unto death. Their blood cries out for only one vengenance - the restoration of the suppressed Republic of Ireland." - Brian O'Higgins, as quoted in 'The Wolfe Tone Annual', 1950, speaking about the remains of the six Irish rebels which were handed-over to their comrades and relatives on the 18th September 1948, an event in which today's date - the 23rd March - had an unfortunate part to play.





BETWEEN NOW AND EASTER MONDAY 28TH MARCH 2016, WE WON'T BE GATHERING MOSS, TIME IS ON OUR BACK AND WON'T BE ON OUR SIDE!

Between now and Easter weekend, we are helping to prepare and distribute leaflet packs in relation to Easter commemorations being held in the Leinster area and, on Easter Saturday (26th March) we will be in Kildare and then Carlow helping to distribute same and then, on Sunday (27th), we'll be back in Dublin to do much the same job in the Crumlin and Deansgrange areas before, finally, repeating the exercise in Dublin city centre on Easter Monday, 28th March. Then we'll go for a meal and a few drinks!

Our workload won't allow us time to put a blog post together for Wednesday, 30th March 2016, and it will be Wednesday, 6th April 2016, before we can do so, and one of the occurences we will be mentioning then is in connection with an IRA man who lost his life to British forces partly because he wouldn't sing the British national anthem...

Check back with us then - Wednesday, 6th April 2016.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.