" 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.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015



Last month, 28 women who protested peacefully in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, against US President Ronald Reagan's visit to Ireland received £1000 each arising from their action for wrongful arrest. Gene Kerrigan recalls the weekend when another State determined Irish security requirements and details the garda action which could cost tens of thousands of pounds. From 'Magill' magazine, May 1987.

The march set the tone for the protests that would follow - peaceful, with the utmost cooperation given to, and sought from, the authorities. One of the ICARFP groups, 'Fast for Life' , intended staging a seven-day fast beside the Bank of Ireland's College Green building at the end of Westmoreland Street in Dublin, and they went to Pearse Street garda station and asked an Inspector for permission to erect a shanty-shack, symbolic of the poor in the third world. They were told they could put up the shack as long as they went around to the other side of the bank, into Foster Place, a little nook behind a taxi rank, out of sight of Reagan's route. And the group agreed.

'Women for Disarmament' , also associated with ICARFP, planned to set up a 'peace camp' in the Phoenix Park , and sought advice from the Board of Works about the rules governing behaviour in the Park. They went to a solictor several weeks before Reagan's arrival and again and again they discussed the legalities of their protest and, along with the solicitor, they examined and discussed the 'Phoenix Park Act 1925' and the 'Phoenix Park Bye-Laws 1926' - they were determined that their protest would be within the law.

With the most idealistic of intentions the protestors, and in particular the 'Women for Disarmament', were walking into a maelstrom of violence, wholesale suspension of civil liberties and a questionable use of the law which would end up costing taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds. The full legal bill for the court cases which have continued for three years has yet to be added up. (MORE LATER).



Although British Army sources claim that the IRA structure has now been penetrated in Belfast and East Tyrone, the successes the British security forces (sic) have had this year seem to be the result more of increased undercover surveillance and disruption of IRA communication and co-ordination than from information supplied by informers. Indeed, one 'security force' source complains that they haven't received one decent bit of inside information from the Northern IRA for more than a year.

A vital element in the new structures is recruitment. The old days when virtually anyone could join the IRA are seemingly over : one IRA leader says that vetting of potential recruits is now so thorough that only two out of every thirteen applicants are accepted and sent on for training and thence into the cell system. The IRA also says that the average age of new recruits is 18 or 19, an assertion that would seem to back IRA claims that the organisation has passed through the generation gap problem that has always spelled defeat for past campaigns.

However, it's clear from a number of recent arrests such as that of an M60 ambush team in Belfast this year that the IRA is still heavily dependant on what British General Glover called "the intelligent, astute and experienced terrorist". The IRA also claims that less than half of new recruits join up for the personal motive of seeking revenge for British Army violence and that most are politically committed to a socialist republic. Not even the IRA can know that for sure but if it is true then the policy of 'Ulsterisation', involving gradual withdrawal of troops from Catholic (sic) areas, will have less of an effect on the Provos than the architects of that policy hoped. (MORE LATER).



On this date (25th February) 43 years ago, Paul McCartney and Wings released as their debut single in England (followed a few days later by its release in America) a track entitled 'Give Ireland back to the Irish'. The single was immediately banned by the BBC, Radio Luxembourg , the ITA and all affiliated outlets, being referenced only as "a record by the group 'Wings'...". That action prompted Paul McCartney to declare - "From our point of view it was the first time people questioned what we were doing in Ireland. It was so shocking. I wrote 'Give Ireland Back to the Irish', we recorded it and I was promptly 'phoned by the Chairman of EMI, Sir Joseph Lockwood, explaining that they wouldn't release it. He thought it was too inflammatory. I told him that I felt strongly about it and they had to release it. He said, 'Well it'll be banned', and of course it was. I knew 'Give Ireland Back to the Irish' wasn't an easy route, but it just seemed to me to be the time. All of us in Wings felt the same about it. But Henry McCullough's brother who lived in Northern Ireland was beaten up because of it. The thugs found out that Henry was in Wings...."

In Ireland, the song took the 'Number One' slot, as it did in Spain, and peaked at number sixteen in the British singles chart and number twenty-one in the 'US Billboard Hot 100' listings, but it took attention away from the two 'Irish' songs that John Lennon released that same year (1972) , 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' and 'Luck of the Irish' ('...a thousand years of torture and hunger, Drove the people away from their land, A land full of beauty and wonder,Was raped by the British brigands! Goddamn! Goddamn...').

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today

Great Britian You Are Tremendous

And Nobody Knows Like Me

But Really What Are You Doin'

In The Land Across The Sea

Tell Me How Would You Like It

If On Your Way To Work

You Were Stopped By Irish Soliders

Would You Lie Down Do Nothing

Would You Give In, or Go Berserk

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today

Great Britian And All The People

Say That All People Must Be Free

Meanwhile Back In Ireland

There's A Man Who Looks Like Me

And He Dreams Of God And Country

And He's Feeling Really Bad

And He's Sitting In A Prison

Should He Lie Down Do Nothing

Should He Give In Or Go Mad

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Don't Make Them Have To Take It Away

Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Make Ireland Irish Today.

That song helped Paul McCartney to make an ever bigger name for himself back then, and maybe now is the time for him to re-release it....!


...(but) I campaign for human rights (and) try to raise the awareness of human rights around the world on behalf of the World Human Rights Foundation....."
- the words of ex-RUC/PSNI man, Richard Barklie (pictured, above) , now listed as a Director of the 'World Human Rights Forum' (WHRF) organisation, which he addressed, in conference, in 2013, during which he called for racial tolerance, quoting the words of Martin Luther King and Mohandas Karamchand ('Mahatma') Gandhi, and stating - "We must all keep working with a sense of compassion for each other in our hearts, with a sense of justice and equality we should banish from our hearts and minds prejudices of creed, colour, religion and gender. When we do this we will conceive a more harmonious and peaceful society..."

Yet this same ex-British 'policeman' and human rights advocate (!) , who shares the establishment viewpoint that the Irish are to blame for the political situation in Ireland, was recently caught on camera, accompanied by other football hooligans, as he racially abused a man on the Metro in Paris, France, obviously confused as to whether he was in uniform in Ireland, 'policing taigs' or off-duty in France, 'policing' the natives there. The sooner the better, for the sake of saving democracy, that Mr Barklie forgets about that 'human rights' nonsense and gets back in an RUC/PSNI uniform as his "sense of compassion" is badly missed here in Ireland. We miss him, and regret having to 'wave' him goodbye....


IRA funeral procession, 1940.

In late 1939, the Leinster House Free State political administration introduced an 'Offences Against the State Act' , incorporating a 'Special Criminal Court', which effectively re-classified republican prisoners as 'special criminals' rather than that which they were (and are), political prisoners. IRA prisoners in Mountjoy Jail vehemently objected to same and the following story of that particular period in our history, as recorded by Michael Traynor, was given to Republican Sinn Féin by Carmel McNeela, widow of Paddy McNeela and sister-in-law of Seán Mc Neela. Tony Darcy (a Galway IRA man and Officer Commanding of the IRA Western Command at the time, who began his hunger strike on 25th February 1940 and died on 16th April, in St Bricins (Free State) military hospital in Dublin, after 52 days on hunger strike) was sentenced to three months imprisonment for refusing to either account for his movements or give his name and address when arrested by Free Staters at an IRA meeting in Dublin. The POW's went on hunger strike after Meath IRA man, Nick Doherty, was imprisoned on the criminal wing in Mountjoy Jail and a request to transfer him to join his political comrades in Arbour Hill Jail was refused by the Staters. One week into the protest, the prison authorities made a move to take the IRA OC of the prisoners , Seán McNeela, for 'trial' before the 'Special Criminal Court' but he refused to go with them. Barricades were built and D-Wing was secured as best as possible by the IRA prisoners and they were soon attacked by armed Special Branch men, backed-up by the Dublin Metropolitan Police. Amongst the casualties were McNeela and Darcy, both of whom were beaten unconscious and suffered wounds that were never allowed to heal.

This is the account of that period, by Michael Traynor : "When Seán McNeela became CS (Chief of Staff) of the IRA in 1938 he immediately appointed Jack McNeela OC (Officer Commanding) Great Britain with the particular task of putting the organisation there on a war footing and amassing explosives and preparing for the forthcoming bombing campaign. After a few months of tense activity Jack was arrested and sentenced to nine months imprisonment. He returned to Ireland in 1939 and was appointed Director of Publicity. Jack was very disappointed with this appointment. He said he knew nothing about publicity and would have preferred some task, no matter how humble which would have kept him in contact with the rank and file Volunteers. However Publicity had to be organised and Jack threw himself to the job with zeal and energy. After two months, out of nothing, Jack had his Publicity Department functioning perfectly. Writers were instructed and put to work, office staff organised, radio technicians got into harness.

Another big disappointment at this time for Jack was the instructions he received about the raid on the Magazine Fort. He nearly blew up when he was told that he could not take part in the operation, that HQ staff could not afford to lose more than the QMG and the AG if the operation failed. He was a man of action and wanted to be with his comrades in time of danger. He repeatedly requested the AG for permission to take part in the operation but without success. But Jack was there, orders or no orders, and he did about ten men’s work in the taking of the fort and the loading of the ammunition. He was a very pleased man that night, for he, like all the rest of the members of GHQ knew that this ammunition was necessary to the success of the Army’s attack on the Border, which was planned to take place in the following spring.

He was arrested about three weeks later with members of the Radio Broadcast Staff and lodged in Mountjoy jail. He was OC of the prisoners when I arrived in the middle of February 1940. Tomás Mac Curtáin was there, and Tony Darcy, who was a very great personal friend of Jack’s, so was Jack Plunkett and Tommy Grogan. I was about a week in jail, life was comparatively quiet, great speculation was going on as to what would happen to the men arrested in connection with the raid on the Magazine Fort. The crisis developed when Nicky Doherty, of Julianstown, Co Meath was sentenced to five years penal servitude. Instead of being transferred to Arbour Hill (where other Republican prisoners had political status), Nicky was lodged in the criminal section of Mountjoy Jail. Jack, being OC of Republican Prisoners, interviewed the governor of the jail and requested that Nicky be transferred to Arbour Hill on the grounds that he was a political prisoner and that it was unjust and unchristian to attempt to degrade and classify as criminal a Republican soldier. The request was ignored. Jack and his prison council met to consider the situation: it was decided that a demand was necessary and with the demand for justice went the ultimatum that if he refused a number of prisoners (who were still untried) would go on hunger strike until the demand was accepted. A short time limit was set, but the demand was also ignored.

Jack, I remember well, was very insistent that the issue should be kept clear and simple. The hunger strike was a protest against the attempted degradation of Republican soldiers. There was no other question or issue involved. A simple demand for justice and decency. Seven men volunteered to go on hunger strike and when the time limit [February 25, 1940] of the ultimatum expired they refused to eat any food, although tempting parcels of food kept arriving every day from their relatives and friends. It was felt by the men on hunger strike that the struggle would be either a speedy victory or a long, long battle, with victory or death at the end.It was victory and death for Jack McNeela and Tony Darcy.

Seven days after the commencement of the hunger strike Special Branch policemen came to take Jack to Collins Barracks for trial before the 'Special Criminal (or was it the Military) Court'. Jack refused to go with them. They told him they’d take him by force. They went away for reinforcements. A hasty meeting of the Prisoners’ Council was held. They felt it was unjust to take Jack for trial while he was on hunger strike, and that everything possible should be done to prevent the hunger strikers from being separated. Barricades were hastily erected in the D-Wing of the jail. Beds, tables and mattresses were piled on top of each other; all the food was collected and put into a common store and general preparations made to resist removal of Jack, their OC. A large contingent of the DMP arrived together with the Special Branch at full strength. The DMP men charged the barricades with batons; the Special Branch men kept to the rear and looked on while the DMP men were forced to retire by prisoners with legs of stairs.Several charges were made but without success. Some warders and a few policemen suffered minor injuries. The governor of the jail came down to the barricade and asked the prisoners to surrender. They greeted him with jeers and booing.

After some time the DMP men returned, armed with shovel shafts about six feet long, hoping with their superior weapons to subdue the prisoners. After several charges and some tough hand-to-hand fighting the policemen again retired. The most effective weapon possessed by the prisoners was a quantity of lime, liquefied by some Mayo men, and flung in the faces of the charging DMP men. It was reminiscent off the Land League days and the evictions. Finally the fire hydrants were brought into use and the force of the water from these hoses broke down everything before them. The barricade was toppled over and the prisoners, drenched to the skin, could not resist the powers of water at pressure; they were forced to take cover in the cells. I got into a cell with Tony Darcy and Jack McNeela. We closed the door. After a few minutes the door was burst open and in rushed about five huge DMP men swinging their batons in all directions. Tony, standing under the window facing the door, put up his hand but he was silenced by a blow of a baton across the face that felled him senseless. Jack was pummelled across the cell by blow after blow. Blood teemed from his face and head. These wounds on Jack and Tony never healed until they died.

It lasted only a few brief minutes, this orgy of sadistic vengeance and then we were carried and flung into solitary confinement. Jack was taken away that evening and tried and sentenced by the Special Court. The next time I say Tony and Jack was in the sick bay in Arbour Hill. Jack Plunkett was also there with them. We exchanged experiences after the row in the 'Joy'.

Day followed day, I cannot remember any particular incident, except that regularly three times a day an orderly arrived with our food, which we of course refused to take. We were by now nursing our strength realising that this was a grim struggle, a struggle to the death. We jokingly made forecasts of who would be the first to die. Jack was almost fanatic about speaking Gaelic. Most of our conversation while in the Hill was in Gaelic. Tony used to laugh at my funny accent. While he couldn’t speak Gaelic he understood perfectly well all that was said and sometimes threw in a remark to the conversation. When conversation was general English was the medium. Jack Plunkett didn’t know any Gaelic at all. We were in the best of spirits. Rumours filtered through to us, I don’t know how, because we were very strictly isolated from the rest of the Republican prisoners in the Hill. We heard that one of our comrades had broken the hunger strike at the Joy; we didn‘t hear the name for a few days. The report was confirmed, we were inclined to be annoyed, but we agreed that it was better for the break to come early than late. It had no demoralising effect.

After Jack was arrested all the books he had bought (mostly Gaelic) were sent into the Joy. He intended to make good use of his spell of imprisonment. He kept requesting the Governor of the Hill to have them sent to him. After about three weeks a few tattered and water-sodden books were brought to him, all that remained of his little library, the others had been trampled and destroyed by the police in Mountjoy. Jack was vexed. He hadn’t smoked, nor taken drink and every penny he had went to the purchase of these books that he loved. We were, during all this time, as happy as men could be. In spite of imprisonment and all that it means we were not all despondent nor feeling like martyrs. Everyday, we reviewed our position; what we had done, our present state of health, the prospect of success. The conclusion we came to was that de Valera, Boland and Co had decided to gamble with us – to wear us out in the hope that we would break and therefore demoralise all our comrades and if we didn’t break, to give political treatment to all IRA prisoners when we were in the jaws of death. The issue, as we saw it, was of vital importance to us, but of practically no consequence to the Fianna Fáil regime. We knew of course that de Valera and the Fianna Fáil party hated the IRA, because we were a reminder of their broken pledged to the people.

On the eve of St Patrick’s Day we were removed to St Bricin’s military hospital. A few days later Tomás Mac Curtáin and Tommy Grogan joined us. We were terribly disappointed with their report from the 'Joy'. The men who had been sentenced were accepting criminal status instead of refusing to work as they had been instructed to do; that is another story, although it led directly to the death of Seán McCaughey six years later in Portlaoise jail. We were in a small hospital ward. Three beds on each side, occupied by six hungry men and every day was a hungry day. Every evening each of us would give the description of the meal he would like most, or the meal he had enjoyed most. Salmon and boxty loomed large in Jack’s menu. About this time we began to count the days that we could possibly live. The doctors who examined us, sometimes three times a day, told us that we had used up all our reserves and were living on our nerves; they tried to frighten us, assuring us that if we didn’t come off the hunger strike our health would be ruined. We all agreed among ourselves that the doctors were actuated by purely humane motives, although their advice if acted on by us would have been very satisfactory to their employers. After 50 days on hunger strike we were unable to get out of bed, or rather the strain of getting up was too great an expenditure of energy, which we were determined to husband carefully.

We did not see any change on each other. The change came so imperceptibly day after day. Jack, lying in the next bed to me, seemed to be the same big robust man that I had known before we were arrested, yet, we each were failing away. The doctors and nurses were very kind. We were rubbed with spirit and olive oil to prevent bedsores; all our joints and bony places were padded with cotton wool, for by now the rubbing of one finger against another was painful. None of us could read anymore, our sight had lost focus and concentration on material objects had become difficult. We were face to face with death; but no one flinched or if he did he prayed to God for strength and courage. On the 54th night of the strike, about midnight, Tony cried out (we were all awake): ‘Jack, I’m dying.’ We all knew that it was so. Jack replied, ‘I’m coming. Tony’. I felt, and I’m sure Jack and the others felt also that getting out of bed and walking across the room to Tony would mean death to Jack also. As well as I remember Mac Curtáin, Plunkett, Grogan and myself appealed to Jack not to get out of bed. But Tony’s cry pierced Jack’s heart deeper than ours so he got up and staggered across the room to his friend and comrade. Later that night Tony was taken out to a private ward. We never saw him again. He died the following night. A great and staunch and unflinching soldier and comrade; oh that Ireland had twenty thousand as honourable and fearless as he.

The day following Tony’s removal from the ward, Jack’s uncle, Mick Kilroy, late Fianna Fáil TD, came to see Jack. Alas, he didn’t come to give a kinsman’s help, but attacked Jack for "daring to embarrass de Valera" the "heaven-sent leader" by such action and demanded that Jack give up his hunger strike at once. Jack’s temper rose and had he been capable of rising would have thrown him out. He ordered him out of the room, so did we all. It was the first time in 56 days that we felt enraged at anything. The brutal treatment of the police after seven days’ hunger strike was trivial in comparison to this outrage. The next day Jack was taken out of the ward. We never saw him again. A few hours after his removal we received a communication from the Chief of Staff IRA. The following is an extract:

'April 19, 1940. To the men on hunger strike in St Bricin’s Hospital: The Army Council and the Nation impressed with the magnitude of your self-sacrifice wish to convey to you the desire that if at all consistent with your honour as soldiers of the Republic you would be spared to resume your great work in another form. We are given to understand that the cause you went on strike has been won and that your jailers are now willing to concede treatment becoming soldiers of the Republic. In these circumstances if you are satisfied with the assurances given you – you will earn still more fully the gratitude of the people – relinquishing the weapon which has already caused so much suffering and has resulted in the death of a gallant comrade.'

Jack had requested confirmation from HQ of the assurances given to us by Fr O’Hare, a Carmelite Father from Whitefriars Street, Dublin. Fr O’Hare had interviewed Mr Boland, the Minister for Justice in the Free State government and received his assurances that all republican prisoners would get political treatment. Naturally we did not want to die, but we could not accept any verbal assurance so we felt that written confirmation by our Chief of Staff was necessary. When the confirmation arrived Jack was out in the private ward. I was acting OC. We were reluctant, the four of who remained, to come off the hunger strike, with Tony dead and Jack at death’s door. Yet we had the instruction from HQ that our demands were satisfied. The doctors assured us that if the strike ended Jack had a 50-50 chance of living so I gave the order that ended the strike. I believe the doctors worked feverishly to save Jack’s life, but in vain. Jack McNeela, our OC and comrades, died that night and joined the host of the elected who died that Ireland and all her sons and daughters would be free from the chains of British Imperialism and happy in the working out of their own destiny."

NOTES: Nicky Doherty was found in possession of a quantity of ammunition seized in the raid on the Magazine Fort. He remained an active Volunteer until his death at an early age in the mid-1950s.Criminal section of Mountjoy: This was A-Wing. The Republicans on remand were housed in D-Wing. On sentence they were usually sent to Arbour Hill. Governor of the jail, Seán Kavanagh, a former Republican prisoner himself during the Tan War. DMP: Dublin Metropolitan Police, originally a separate force from the RIC. They were kept on after the Treaty and amalgamated with the Gardaí in 1925. They made a deal with the IRA in 1919 not to engage in 'military activities' and were removed from the list of legitimate targets. "G" Division, or Special Branch were not excluded. In 1940 they supplied the Riot Squad for Mountjoy. Tony Darcy, Headford, Co Galway, died April 16th 1940. He was OC Western Command, IRA at the time of his arrest. Seán McNeela, Ballycroy, Co Mayo, died April 19th 1940.

From 1940 to 1947, sixteen Republican prisoners were sent to Portlaoise prison where they were denied political status. For all seven years they were naked, except for the prison blanket. For three years of this they were also in solitary confinement. Finally - writing about the funerals of Tony Darcy and Seán McNeela , Brian Ó hÚiginn stated : "Hundreds of uniformed and plain-clothes police were sent into the two graveyards, while soldiers in full war-kit were posted behind walls and trees in surrounding fields, and armoured cars patrolled the roads...the lowest depths of vindictive pettiness was reached when mourners on their way to Seán MacNeela’s funeral were stopped by armed police and their cars and persons searched....even when they reached the cemetery many were locked out - the gates were locked - and those attempting to enter were attacked....." That was 1940, this is only two years ago, 2013, when another solid republican was buried. The 'establishment' harasses those it fears, even in death, and wines and dines those it has purchased, even though they, too, are 'dead' : morally and spiritually, anyway.


William O'Brien (2nd October 1852 – 25th February 1928, pictured, left) was an Irish nationalist, journalist, agrarian agitator, social revolutionary, politician, party leader, newspaper publisher, author and Member of Parliament (MP) in the 'House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland'.

While still little more than a boy he had helped in smuggling in the Fenian guns for the purchase of which Michael Davitt had gone to prison. This was rather surprising in one who had been reared an ardent admirer of O'Connell but the pitiable inadequacy of the Fenian effort caused William to base all his efforts on Conference, Conciliation, Consent using just one weapon - violent language. He started to earn his living as a journalist in Cork but very soon his obvious talent caused him promotion to 'The Freemans Journal' in Dublin. A series of articles "Christmas on the Galtees" brought the plight of Irish tenant farmers very vividly before the public and established William O'Brien as the unflinching champion of the tenants, which he remained to the end. He soon resigned his £600 a year job on 'The Freemans Journal' to become editor of the 'United Ireland' newspaper at £400 a year on the invitation of Charles S. Parnell. He quickly became 'The Chiefs' confidante and at the split, he was the only member of the Party to whom Parnell was willing to hand over the leadership which O'Brien declined....(...more here.)

He was a journalist, land agitator, and MP, but above all he was a nationalist. He was born the second son of James O’Brien and his wife Kate (née Nagle) in Mallow Co. Cork. His early education was at Cloyne Diocesan College where he developed the strong religious tolerance that would serve him well in his political life. He studied law at Queen’s College (later University College Cork), but never took a degree. Financial issues caused the family to move to Cork City in 1868. When his father died a year later, O’Brien became the breadwinner of the family. Always a prolific writer, he became a journalist with the 'Cork Daily Herald'. He would continue as a journalist for most of his life...(...more here.)

That William O'Brien was politically far-sighted and ahead of his time can be verified by his comments in regards to those that attempted to annihilate the Irish people - "When the framers of the penal laws denied us books, and drew their thick black veil over Irish history, they forgot that the ruins they had themselves made were the most eloquent schoolmasters, the most stupendous memorials of a history and a race that were destined not to die. They might give our flesh to the sword and our fields to the spoiler, but before they could blot out the traces of their crimes, or deface the title deeds of our heritage, they would have had to uproot to their last scrap of cultured filgree the majestic shrines in which the old race worshipped; they would have had to demolish to their last stone the castles which lay like wounded giants through the land to mark where the fight had raged most fiercest; they would have had to level the pillar towers, and to seem up the source of the holy wells....to look over the fence of the famine-stricken village and see the rich green solitudes, which might yield full and plenty, spread out at the very doorsteps of the ragged and hungry peasants, was to fill a stranger with a sacred rage and make it an unshirkable duty to strive towards undoing the unnatural divorce between the people and the land..."

Finally, he had this to say to those who would only support 'polite' opposition to Westminster interference in Irish affairs : "'Constitutionalism' in a country whose grievance is that it possess no constitution is an historical humbug. Parnell built up his movement, not by railing at Fenianism in the spirit of a professor of constitutional history, but by incorporating its tremendous forces in his ranks and acknowledging no criterium* of the rectitude of his political action, be it 'constitutional' or 'unconstitutional' except whether it was, in the circumstances, the best thing to be done for Ireland...." (*'competition between...')

And "the best thing to be done for Ireland" would be the removal of the British military and political presence - by whatever means necessary.


...Edward Daly (pictured, left) , one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, was born in Limerick. His father (also named Edward), a staunch Irish republican, died at only 41 years of age, five months before Edward (junior) was born, but his father's brother, John - who was imprisoned for twelve years for his republican activities during the 1867 rebellion against British rule - helped to raise the young child.

As a youth, Edward was considered somewhat lazy and easily distracted, more concerned with his appearance and a 'party lifestyle' than he was with the day-to-day poverty and related injustices that surrounded him, but he developed a social conscience to the extent that, at only 25 years of age, he was asked to take command of the First Battalion of the Irish Volunteers, leading raids on the Bridewell and Linenhall British barracks and seizing control of the Four Courts, before which he addressed the men under his command - "Men of the First Battalion, I want you to listen to me for a few minutes, and no applause must follow my statement. Today at noon, an Irish Republic will be declared, and the Flag of the Republic hoisted. I look to every man to do his duty, with courage and discipline. The Irish Volunteers are now the Irish Republican Army. Communication with our other posts in the city may be precarious, and in less than an hour we may be in action.....". On the 4th of May, 1916, 25-years-young Commandant Edward Daly was executed by firing squad by the British in Kilmainham Jail in Dublin and was buried in near-by Arbour Hill Cemetery. He was the youngest commander of the rebels and the youngest 1916 leader to be executed by the British.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015



Last month, 28 women who protested peacefully in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, against US President Ronald Reagan's visit to Ireland received £1000 each arising from their action for wrongful arrest. Gene Kerrigan recalls the weekend when another State determined Irish security requirements and details the garda action which could cost tens of thousands of pounds. From 'Magill' magazine, May 1987.


Ronald Reagan was due to visit Ireland on June 1st 1984, but the protests began a week earlier, on Saturday May 26th, with a march through central Dublin, from the Garden of Remembrance to the Department of Foreign Affairs in St. Stephen's Green. A large number of protests were scheduled for the following ten days - marches, rallies , fasts, a Penal Mass on the hills outside Ballyporeen and a 'Climb for Peace' up the Galtymore mountains.

There were two central organising bodies for the protests ; the 'Reagan Reception Committee' was made up of the hard left and the 'Irish Campaign Against Reagan's Foreign Policy' (ICARFP) was made up of about thirty organisations, including anti-nuclear groups, those opposed to American involvement in the Phillipines, Chile, El Salvador and Nicaragua, religious groups, the Committee for Travellers' Rights and the Irish Mennonite Movement. All of the demonstrations planned were discussed openly and were widely advertised, and all of the plans were for peaceful protests.

Many of the groups associated with ICARFP were non-violent not only in the negative sense of believing that violence would not achieve their aims but in the sense that they believed that a strategy of passive resistance in itself is one which will in the long run achieve world peace. Groups intending to take part in the May 26th 1984 march received notes from ICARFP - 'The gardai have extended their fullest cooperation this afternoon, many giving up a weekend. Please make their work and the work of stewards, who are all volunteers, as easy as possible.....(so that we can) express through this non-violent and peaceful protest a message of hope and confidence in humanity.' (MORE LATER).



The vehicle for these tactics is the new re-organised IRA. The process of re-organisation started, by some accounts, in the Spring of 1977 and according to one leading IRA source, is still going on. Belfast, where the successes of the RUC were most evident, was the first to be re-organised, largely under the direction of a former Belfast Commander and a former Brigade Adjutant. Most of the old companies were gradually dissolved and their least known members re-trained and passed into the new four man cells and were joined by new recruits. The old Battalion staffs were also dissolved and the Belfast Brigade assigned the task of coordinating the new cells. The Belfast Brigade still has three Battalions but they are composed of known IRA men who passed into the new civil and military Administration wing of the movement.

The other seven areas of IRA activity in the North - Fermanagh, East Tyrone, South Derry, South Down, North Armagh, Derry City and South Armagh - were with varying success re-organised during the latter part of 1977 and most of 1978. South Armagh, where the IRA had always operated what amounted to a form of cellular structure, was the last to be re-organised in the Spring of 1979. In fact little was changed in South Armagh, except the area's relationship to the new Northern Command. The captured British Army intelligence assessment of the IRA, which fell in to the hands of the IRA in January 1979 (it was studied for several months before release to the Press Association in May) demonstrated the dearth of information about the new structures in intelligence circles.

In 'a tentative order of battle', the document's author, General Sir James Glover, supposed that all the new cells were directly coordinated by the Northern Command. In fact it seems that there are a number of structures interposed between the Northern Command and the cells. Some areas, like Belfast, are coordinated by a Brigade staff. Other areas are coordinated by local Commands, a watered down version of a Brigade Staff. Some areas are so weak that they can only support one or two cells and they are directly coordinated by the Northern Command. One area still retains the Battalion structure, and the three Battalions in that area report to, and are co-ordinated directly by, the Northern Command.

It's a confused and mixed structure whose features seem to be determined entirely by area strength. The effect though is to make British Army and RUC penetration extremely difficult. Its principal advantage seems to be increased security and secrecy for the cells, but its Achilles heel is that it is highly dependent on good co-ordination at local Brigade and Command level, as well as at Northern Command level, what the British Army terms 'middle management'. The arrest and imprisonment of a small number of leaders would seriously impair the organisation - hence demands from senior British Army officers after Warrenpoint for the introduction of selective internment. (MORE LATER).


....is the date and time when a protest by anti-water tax campaigners will be held, in opposition to the arrests of , to date, 23 people who have protested against this double tax. The State and its 'Irish Water Police' believe they can intimidate protesters into compliance regarding this unjust tax and, on Saturday next , the 21st February 2015, we will have one of many opportunities to show them that that is not the case. See you there on Saturday !


'...PSNI chief reveals allegations against reinstated officers....in a written answer, Mr Hamilton said the allegations against the eight reinstated officers include: misconduct in public office....perverting the course of justice....driving with excess alcohol....death in custody.... sale of counterfeit goods....theft....disorderly behaviour....tampering with a motor vehicle (and) a further 18 PSNI officers remain suspended from all duties during the disciplinary process. "In light of the extraordinary budget cuts and pressing staff losses, the decision was taken to review all suspensions with a view to return any of the suspended officers to duty in a restricted capacity," Mr Hamilton added....' (from here.)

The 'chief' would no doubt share the position of those others that work within the British system in occupied Ireland that the above "officers" represent only a mere 'blip' - a stain rather than a spill, if you know what I mean - in regards to the conduct of his overall 'police force' in this country. But, "dark side" , as some would have you believe, or representative of British 'policing' and, indeed, the British presence itself in this country, as Irish republicans believe, the fact is that the British presence and those that enforce it here - regardless of whether they do so with a heavy hand ("the Dark Side") or with a softer touch (the 'reformed RUC') - are not wanted in Ireland and will never be acceptable to Irish republicans.


If, in order to be digestible and catch your attention, Irish history has to be presented to you accompanied by flashing 3D lights and images, a 33-week-long exhibition in a hired theatre in O'Connell Street and various re-enactments of events linked to that history, then you leave yourself open to the charge that you are perhaps more interested in the presentation than in that which is being presented.

At the very least, it will be the show/presentation itself which will be critiqued, at the expense of the events being commemorated and, on the particular occasion of the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the subject matter will be further confused by the fact that those planning the 'flyovers and fireworks' either assist in administering British rule in Ireland or 'just' politically support same from a distance. Those who prefer substance over 'style' - quality over quantity, that is - and who would much rather leave the flashy stuff to those who mistakenly equate 'style' with substance, will be given the opportunity to do so by keeping the date outlined here in mind. In the context of the centenary of the 1916 Rising as planned by those 'flyover and firework' merchants, 'style' equals 'spin' and, speaking of which, here's a few verses from 'Dadga' re same, courtesy of 'Facebook' :


It visits seeking approval

calling us by name,

Then blinds us from the chamber

and plays it's master's game.

It commemorates our fallen

but condemns those still engaged,

It visits our brave prisoners,

and pretends to be enraged.

It colours green the city hall and speaks our native tongue,

It proudly parades at Easter, but gave away our guns.

It lashes down on volunteers, attacking their reputations,

and in the night it travels, to local PSNI stations.

In years gone by it stood at our side, now viciously looks down,

It works tirelessly to tame us, but shakes hands with the crown.

The new breed renews the fight, to struggle on again,

As it walks, itself alone, along the road to fame.


"...when I became an Irish republican, I didn't become an Irish republican to retire at retirement age. I became an Irish republican to go to my grave as an Irish republican**....the British Queen is much much older than I am...I regard her, even though she is at an elderly stage of her life, as someone who sets a very powerful example to many backwards people who refuse to become involved in the conciliation process...." (from here :**the 'missed deadline' we mentioned in our headline, above.)

No surprise there, really, in that this is not by any means the first time that McGuinness has voiced objection to any suggestion that Irish republicanism has a part to play regarding the on-going military and political occupation of this country by Westminster and,in doing so, by extension, voiced his support for the 'kinder' , more media friendly and 'acceptable' face of that occupation. It's obvious from his words and mannerisms that he and his party, Provisional Sinn Féin, have achieved their objection - a vichy-type arrangement with the occupiers - and see it as their duty to 'persuade' others to join them at that particular trough. Yet, every Easter (and on other occasions) and, indeed, at Easter 2016, this man, and his Party, who consider Irish republicans to be "backwards", are (and will be) loud in their praise for those that politically and militarily challenged the 'right' of Westminster to govern any part of Ireland. As stated in the preceding piece - ' It colours green the city hall and speaks our native tongue,it proudly parades at Easter, but gave away our guns....' Martin McGuinness and his Party are not only physically unable to oppose the British political and military presence in Ireland, they are mentally and morally unfit to do so, as well.



- the words of Patrick Moran (pictured, left) , Adjutant of D Company Irish Volunteers, 2nd Battalion (Dublin), to his comrades Ernie O'Malley (who had passed himself off to the British as 'Bernard Stewart') and Frank Teeling as they were about to walk to freedom through a gate in Kilmainham Jail in Dublin, which they had forced open, on the 14th of February 1921. Patrick Moran believed he would be found innocent at his 'trial' and saw no reason why he should take the opportunity to escape. He was a 'dangerous man', as far as Westminster was concerned, and had been imprisoned in Dublin Castle on the 7th of January 1921 and charged with the 'murder' of two British Army/paramilitary gang members, Ames and Bennett, after been mistakenly identified as having been involved in the shooting dead of both men - Lieutenant Peter Ashmun Ames and British Army Lieutenant George Bennett (both of whom were in command of 'The Cairo Gang') on the 21st of November 1920 at 38 Upper Mount Street in Dublin. He stayed behind on the night of the prison break ,refusing to take part in same, having encouraged Simon Donnelly to go in his place, a decision which was was to cost Patrick Moran his life.

On the 15th of February 1921, he was put on 'trial' (during which sixteen people and an RIC man verified he was elsewhere!) but was, as expected, found 'guilty' and, three days later - on the 18th of February 1921, 94 years ago today - was transferred to Mountjoy Jail, Dublin. On Wednesday, 9th of March 1921, Patrick Moran was sentenced to death and he was executed by hanging five days later, on Monday, the 14th of March. He had defended the integrity of his country in Jacob's Factory Garrison during Easter week in 1916, where he served under Thomas MacDonagh, and had been imprisoned at Knutsford and Woorwood Scrubs in England, and in Frongoch Internment Camp in Wales. He was one of 'The Forgotten Ten' in that he, and his nine comrades, were 'forgotten' by the State but have always been remembered by the Republican Movement.

Finally, the planning and execution of the escape itself is worthy of a few paragraphs : On the 11th February 1921, Frank Teeling and Ernie O'Malley were joined in Kilmainham Jail by Simon Donnelly , who was taken into their confidence and told of the up-coming plan of escape. The peep-holes in the cell doors were three inches in diameter and, if one of the men could get his arm through it, it would be possible to open the door from the outside ; the plan then was to make their way to the yard ,as the men had noticed that the door leading from the prison to the yard was usually left closed-over, but not locked, and then cross the yard to a large iron gate on the west side of the jail, cut the bolt on same and escape. A 'Plan B' had been made in case the bolt cutter should fail - IRA Volunteers from 'F' Company, Fourth Battalion, Dublin Brigade, would take up positions outside the prison wall with a rope ladder and, awaiting an agreed signal, throw in the rope attached to the ladder, so that the prisoners could haul the ladder over to their side of the wall.

Oscar Traynor, IRA Dublin Brigade O/C, had secured a bolt cutter and that, along with two revolvers, were packaged and smuggled into the prison by a friendly British soldier. The prisoners were not sure that the bolt cutter would be up to the job but were determined to carry out the escape plan, as Frank Teeling was in line for execution ; on the night of February 13th, 1921, the three men made their way to the outer prison gate but, as the handles of the bolt cutter were incorrectly fitted, they were unable to cut the bolt. They went to 'Plan B', and gave the signal for their comrades on the other side of the prison wall to throw in the rope attached to the ladder - the rope jammed on top of the wall and snapped when the men outside attempted to pull it back to them. The three prisoners had no alternative but to return to their cells. The following day, the British soldier who was in on the plan repaired/adjusted the handles on the bolt cutter and, that night, at 6.30pm, the three prisoners decided to make another escape attempt.

The three Irish republican prisoners again made their way down to the gate and, this time, the bolt cutter worked. They used butter and grease, which they saved from their meals, to help ease the remaining portion of the corroded bolt out from its latch and two of the men got their revolvers at the ready as the third man pulled on the heavy door which creaked open sluggishly on its rusty hinges and the three men walked out! Simon Donnelly had tried to persuade Patrick Moran to join them, but Moran - who was not involved in shooting Ames or Bennett, and had what he considered the perfect alibi for that night - refused to leave the prison except by the front gate as a free man. Patrick Moran paid with his life for relying on British justice : not the first innocent man to be put to death by the British, and not the last Irish person to be punished by them in revenge.


"On my way to Knocksedan a little before mid-day I called at the Post Office in Lusk for stamps. The postmistress, whom I knew very well, asked me to accompany her to her sitting room. There she told me that she had just delivered a wire in code from Dublin Castle to the Lusk police sergeant. She was familiar with the code from frequent messages. This particular one to the police sergeant was to the effect that he was to make immediate arrangements for the arrest of Ashe and myself! I mention this incident because I think that similar messages were sent to various Volunteer centres in the country, and because it tends to show that the Rising leaders were right in their view that there was to be a general swoop by Dublin Castle on that day....

....the police attack was being directed by a District Inspector Smyth, an exArmy officer. At the other (southern or Cross Roads) end a County Inspector Gray was directing operations. Gray was severely wounded early in the fighting, leaving Smyth in sole command. Soon after Frank Lawless's arrival an intermittent duel began between his and Smyth's squad. Smyth was eventually mortally wounded by a shot from Lawless. This left the police without a leader with the result that they lost morale. Very soon after Smyth being knocked out, Lawless and his Volunteer squad came out on the roadway and, firing intermittently, moved at the double towards the motor cars. On seeing them some of the police peared from under cover of the cars with their hands up..."
(from here.)

- the above is taken from 'Document W.S.97' , a statement made on the 18th February 1948 by Dr. Richard Hayes, a medical officer and Commandant of the 5th Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Irish Volunteers, as part of a questionnaire into Volunteer activities in north county Dublin during Easter Week , 1916. Hayes and his men were active in Donabate, Swords, Garristown and Ashbourne and, following the Rising, he was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment but was released in June 1917. He was imprisoned again for republican activities between May 1918 and March 1919 and from November 1920 to July 1921.

However, he ruined his credentials by supporting the Treaty of Surrender and entered the Westminster-imposed Leinster House institution in 1922 and soon after joined the Free State 'Cumann na nGaedheal' party. He resigned from Leinster House in 1924 and turned his back completely on political life, perhaps because he realised that that which he fought for as a republican was not obtainable through the politics of the Free State and its 'parliament', Leinster House? He died on the 16th of June, 1958, in his 80th year.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Sunday, February 15, 2015



Ireland, 1921 - an IRA man that the British 'authorities' already had their eye on was rounded-up and charged with an incident which one of their own , an RIC man, stated that he could not possibly have been involved in. As, indeed, did sixteen other witnesses. He had an opportunity to escape but declined as he believed the British 'court' would declare him to be innocent of the charge. He was wrong, and paid for his mistake with his life at the end of a British rope....

(MORE LATER....on Wednesday 18th February 2015.)

Saturday, February 14, 2015



We'll be back here on Wednesday 18th February 2015 with an EXCLUSIVE!!! post concerning the amazing knickerless fur coat-wearing bearded leader : be flabbergasted as we highlight the reason for the flyovers and fireworks by those who hope to convince their audience that 'style' should count for more than substance , quantity should be considered a better yardstick than quality and that a link to past events can be secured if you have the finances. ROLL UP! ROLL UP! Comin' Atcha on this blog on Wednesday 18th February 2015....

Wednesday, February 04, 2015



"We will not disband." Although on a permanent cease-fire, the RIRA say they will not be disbanding and would dump rather than surrender any weapons. By Liz Walsh. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1998.

According to security sources, some of those questioned are suspected of involvement in a stolen car ring that supplied vehicles to the RIRA which were then used to transport explosives. Some of those arrested, however, are described as RIRA activists , including a former PIRA member suspected of being involved in several PIRA bombings who was arrested in Monaghan in mid-September. Security sources say a number of files are being prepared for the DPP.

The permanent ceasefire declared by the RIRA means that all the main paramilitary groups except one - the Continuity IRA - have called off their respective military campaigns. On September 8th, the CIRA said it was refusing to go on ceasefire : this group is thought to be numerically small, and is strongest around Fermanagh. Its last known attack was the bombing of the River Club in Enniskillen in January last. One of its most devastating attacks was in Markethill in 1997, where a CIRA explosion caused £2 million worth of damage to property.

Although details of the CIRA weapons arsenal are scarce, security sources believe the organisation has established a weapons supply from the US, which yielded a number of MAC 10 rifles and a small number of Uzi sub-machine guns. Although the security forces do not believe it has the capacity to mount a sustained campaign, they fear the CIRA will launch sporadic paramilitary attacks, similar to Markethill. Some gardai believe that RIRA members will join the CIRA following the collapse of the RIRA, but republican sources say this is unlikely as the two organisations are at one on the issue of sovereignty, but differ on the question of the Irish State, which the CIRA refused to recognise.

[END of 'THE REAL IRA' : next - 'THE PRICE OF PEACE' (Ronald Reagan in Ireland) - from 'Magill' magazine, May 1987]




With the depressing prospect of a 'long war' in front of them, what then keeps the IRA going? Prime among the motives for continuing the campaign is the hope that in the harsh economic climate of the 1980's the cost of the North to the British will get so high that they will be forced into looking for a way out. There's no doubt that the cost of shoring up a degenerating economy in the North combined with the damage caused by the Provisional's campaign and the cost of the security and prison services has become increasingly burdensome for the British. Last year's subvention to the North from Westminster - which is the money the British have to find to make up the difference between income from taxes and public spending in the North - was equivalent to the five year refund demanded from the EEC budget by Margaret Thatcher.

The true cost of the Provisional's campaign can never be established, but the available figures show a depressingly upward trend for the British. Another factor prominent in IRA thinking is the belief that the longer the war goes on the more of an embarrassment Northern Ireland will become internationally. This is especially so in the United States but also in Europe, where left wing leaders of the IRA believe it will cause increased pressure on the British to arrange a long term solution capable of providing stability and security, for profitable foreign investments in Ireland.

IRA leaders also believe that the longer the war continues, the greater the chances of another Loyalist reaction. Although the IRA could start a terrible and bloody civil war in the North with a dozen or so well placed bombs, it hasn't done so and will not do so. It would certainly be the loser anyway. But the IRA has applied steady pressure on the Loyalist community mainly through the shooting of part-time and ex-UDR soldiers. In this respect the possible reaction of Loyalist leaders like Ian Paisley, is particularly important. One independent observer and confidant of IRA leaders put it this way: "They hope that by shooting Protestants in the security forces they'll cause Ian Paisley to have another brainstorm and start another Loyalist strike. The hope then is that Thatcher, The Iron Lady, wouldn't do a Harold Wilson, but give the Loyalists an ultimatum. In which case it's all up for grabs!" Paisley, by that reckoning, is one enemy the Provos would prefer to keep alive..... (MORE LATER).


(* "The founding meeting of my party was chaired by Constance Markievicz...." - Micheál Martin, current leader of Fianna Fáil : from here.)

'Return of IRA prisoners, June 1917 : Countess Markievicz arrives at Liberty Hall, Dublin.'

Constance Georgina Gore-Booth was born in Buckingham Gate, London (the first of five children), on the 4th of February 1868, in what was then considered to be a 'high class' family - her father, Henry (the 'Fifth Baronet of Sligo') was a landowner and businessman, and her mother, Georgina (who died in January 1927, the same year as her daughter, Constance) , had her own connections to British 'high society', as she was the granddaughter of the 'Earl of Scarborough'. Constance was raised on the family estate at Lissadell, in Sligo and, at 19 years of age, was 'presented' to Britain's 'Queen' Victoria , as was the custom in those days within her social group.

It was when she was in Paris to further her education (at the Julian School) in the late 1890's that she met a Polish 'Count', Casimir Dunin-Markievicz - he was already married at the time, but his wife died in 1899, and he and Constance got married in 1900. They had one child together, Maeve Allys (who was raised by her grandmother, as her own mother, Constance, was heavily involved in politics) , who was born in Lissadell in 1901 and, two years later, the family moved to Dublin (prompting George Russell (AE) to comment "...the Gore-Booth girl who married the Polish Count with the unspellable name is going to settle near Dublin...we might get the materials for revolt..")

Her interest in social issues brought her into contact with Irish republicans and others who were agitating for change in society and, to her credit, she remained steadfast to her republican beliefs ("...the old idea that a woman can only serve her nation through her home is gone....now is the time, on you the responsibility rests. It may be as a leader, it may be as a humble follower, perhaps in a political party, perhaps in a party of your own, but it is there...so many of you, the young women of Ireland, are distinguishing yourselves every day and coming more and more to the front...we [older people] look to you with great hopes and a great confidence that in your gradual emancipation you are bringing fresh ideas, fresh energies...women, from having until very recently stood so far removed from all politics, should be able to formulate a much clearer and more incisive view of the political situation than men...you will go out into the world and get elected on to as many public bodies as possible..." - Constance Markievicz, in a speech she gave to the Irish Women's Franchise League in 1915) and was one of only two female officers that bore arms during the 1916 rising, for which she was sentenced to death, a sentence later commuted to life imprisonment, but was released in June 1917.

In 1918 she was the first woman to be elected to the English 'House of Commons', but she never took her seat - instead, with other elected republicans, she helped to establish the First Dáil and served as 'Labour Minister' in that proud institution. She opposed the Treaty of Surrender and played an active part in the struggle against the British-imposed 'parliament' that followed. However, she joined de Valera and others and assisted with the formation of the 'Fianna Fáil' party, which was founded on the 23rd of March , 1926 and, the following year, she was elected as a Fianna Fáil candidate to the then-new Leinster House Free State parliament - but never took her seat, this time due to illness : she suffered from peritonitis , and the treatment she received for same was administered too late - she died, at 59 years of age, as a member of Fianna Fáil, in a Dublin hospital at 1.25am on the 15th of July, 1927.


Edward Carson, born in Dublin in 1854, died in Kent, England, in 1935, age 81.

Edward Carson was born in Dublin in 1854,and was educated at Portarlington School, Trinity College, and King's Inns. He died at 8am on the 22nd October 1935 on the Isle of Thanet in Kent, England. His beloved empire had conveyed the title of 'Right Honourable The Lord Carson KC PC' on him , a prefix he was delighted to take with him to his grave. He was virulently anti-(Irish) republican, and never hesitated to encourage others to despise those he considered to be of a 'lower class' - "We must proclaim today clearly that, come what will and be the consequences what they may, we in Ulster will tolerate no Sinn Féin - no Sinn Féin organisation, no Sinn Féin methods. But we tell you (the British Government) this : that if, having offered you our help, you are yourselves unable to protect us from the machinations of Sinn Féin, and you won't take our help ; well then, we tell you that we will take the matter into our own hands. We will reorganise, as we feel bound to do in our own defence, throughout the province, the Ulster Volunteers. And those are not mere words. I hate words without action..." - the 'not mere words' of then soon-to-be paramilitary leader Edward Carson ('Lord Carson of Duncairn') at an 'Orange' rally in Finaghy, Belfast, County Antrim.

Carson was a staunch supporter of the Irish (pro-British) Unionists and, at 38 years young, was elected as a Unionist MP (to Westminster) for Dublin University and, again at that same age, was appointed (British) 'Solicitor General for Ireland'. He served as the 'Solicitor General for England' from 1900 to 1905. He was also an Irish barrister, a judge and politician, and the leader Of 'The Irish Unionist Alliance' and 'Ulster Unionist Party'. At 57 years of age (in 1911*) he was elected leader of the 'Ulster Unionist Council' (UUC) and helped to establish the 'Ulster Volunteer Force' (UVF), a pro-British militia (*he wrote to his friend James Craig re his UUC leadership that he intended "....to satisfy himself that the people really mean to resist. I am not for a game of bluff and, unless men are prepared to make great sacrifices which they clearly understand, the talk of resistance is useless...") . On the 3rd of September 1914, in an address he delivered in Belfast to the 'UUC', he stated - "England's difficulty is not Ulster's opportunity. However we are treated, and however others act, let us act rightly. We do not seek to purchase terms by selling our patriotism...." (A lesson there, without doubt, for all the gombeens that inhabit the Leinster House institution!)

From 1915 to 1916 he served as the British Attorney General, and was appointed as the 'First Lord of the Admiralty' in 1916 (until 1917) and was a member of Lloyd George's War Cabinet from 1917 to 1918. Westminster thought so highly of him that they offered him an even bigger 'prize' - that of the 'Premiership' of the new Six County 'State' - but he refused, and retired from public life and resigned as *leader of the Ulster Unionist Party on the 4th February 1921, at 67 years of age (* he was replaced by James Craig) . Carson had held that position since 1910 , when he was elected to lead the 'Irish Unionist Party' - he was then appointed a 'Lord of Appeal in Ordinary' [law lord], entering the 'House of Lords' on the 24th May that year. In June 1935, at 81 years of age, Carson contracted bronchial pneumonia but, even though he recovered some good health within weeks, a few months later his strength weakened again and he died on the 22nd of October, 1935.


On a freezing but dry early Saturday afternoon, the 31st January last, three different groups converged in Balgaddy Park (pictured, left, and below) in Clondalkin , Dublin, to hold a protest against the forced imposition of a second, more direct level of taxation on household water. Two of the three groups had left their meeting point, at opposite ends of Clondalkin, at about 11.30am as had the third group, from near-by Lucan, and the couple of hundred people present assembled in the park for a brief rally, before heading into Dublin city center for the main protest.

The rally was addressed by members of political organisations (including Republican Sinn Féin) and by those with no particular political affiliation, all with one issue in mind - their outright objection to been told by Leinster House that they must pay twice for the one service. As we said on this blog last week , in 1997 the political administration in Leinster House added 2% to VAT on goods for sale and 5% to road tax and VRT to fund a water supply throughout the State, a point made by both placards on display in Balgaddy Park and by those speaking at the microphone, all of whom reiterated the point that they would object to paying twice for any one service/utility. The hundreds of people that made it their business to make a stand against this unjust and unwanted double-tax on that Saturday in Balgaddy Park are to be commended for the position they hold and for challenging the pro-double-water-tax politicians and their friends in the media who are attempting to brand those brave people as 'trouble-making dissidents'. We are 'dissidents' in that we dissent from their attempts to practically criminalise us for objecting to paying twice for any one service and we will continue to do so!


At this point in time it's not likely that we will be posting our usual blog post next Wednesday (11th February) as the coming weekend is already 'spoke' for with preparation for, and the actual raffle itself, on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th, followed by the usual 'inquisition' on Monday night in Dublin city centre. The preparation work for this Cabhair raffle , a 650-ticket affair, actually began yesterday (Tuesday 3rd February) when reminder notifications were texted and/or emailed to all sellers and arrangements made, where required, to assist with the return/collection of the ticket stubs belonging to the sellers involved. Each ticket is individually accounted for and its number recorded before the raffle and again after same, regardless of whether it is a winning ticket or not. Also, arrangements have to be made with the hotel and followed up on and other arrangements have to be put in place to collect the raffle team and to get them home afterwards - meaning, for me, anyway, any 'blog time' I might have had has already been spoken for. So it's looking like it will be Wednesday 18th February next before we put 'pen to paper' here again. But our absence is for a good cause...!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015



"We will not disband." Although on a permanent cease-fire, the RIRA say they will not be disbanding and would dump rather than surrender any weapons. By Liz Walsh. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1998.

The 32-County Sovereignty Committee , whose views coincide with that of the RIRA, plan to go ahead with its challenge through the United Nations later this year to Britain's right to sovereignty in Ireland. They are also planning to publish the second edition of its paper, 'The Sovereign Nation', and is still attempting to raise funds in the United States. Gardai expect the new anti-terrorist laws to effectively remove whatever vestiges of support that still exist for the RIRA. Immediately after the Omagh bombing, a number of middleranking activists withdrew support from the organisation, although the hard core was more or less intact. Below the middle ranks, there existed a layer of supporters who supplied logistical back up, such as the provision of lands for storing or making weapons, providing vehicles, safe houses and so on.

Under the new legislation, lands or property used for paramilitary activities can be confiscated - a security source stated that he would "......envisage that very few supporters will risk having their lands or property taken from them, or face long periods in jail." At the time of going to press, more than 20 people have been arrested on both sides of the border in the Omagh investigation and in the south, the investigation appears to be similar to the Veronica Guerin murder inquiry, whereby detectives on peripheral suspects initially and slowly built up a case against the main suspects.

On September 22nd, 12 people , including four brothers, were arrested in co-ordinated arrests in South Armagh and Castleblayney in Monaghan - some of those in the south were detained for an extended period under the terms of the new legislation. It is the third time that the amended 'Offences Against the State Act' has been used since it became law. A cache of weapons, including AK47 rifles , were also discovered by gardai in a wall at Magoney Bridge in Monaghan, but it is not yet known if the arms belonged to the RIRA or the Provisionals.... (MORE LATER).



Although the re-organisation has undoubtedly revitalised the Provos, the most significant aspect of that development is that it demonstrated for the first time since the start of the IRA's bloody campaign that the initiative in security matters was now with the British.

In 1970, 1971 and 1973, the Provisionals had toyed with the concept of cells, or active service units ; in 1973 they actually formed a number of such units with 40 men in Andersonstown in West Belfast. But those changes, if they had come about, would have been voluntary. The latest re-organisation was a matter of survival to them. The re-organisation has also made the IRA a more 'efficient' killing organisation, but it has necessitated a drastic reduction in the numbers of active service volunteers in their ranks. A joint RUC/British Army assessment last winter put the IRA's strength throughout the North at around the 300 mark, with perhaps as many as 3 ,000 active sympathisers providing safe houses, refuges, transport, etc.

To put that into proper context, the strength of the 1st Battalion of the Belfast Brigade in 1972 was 300, with the same in reserve ; the total strength of the IRA in that year was between 1,500 and 2,000. Instead of growing as guerrilla armies have to if ultimate victory is to be realised, the Provisionals are actually declining in strength. Another principal, if rarely admitted reason for switching to a long war of attrition strategy is that support for widescale IRA activity has declined significantly in recent years. The war-weariness and pessimism evident in the Nationalist areas of the North is also reflected in the attitudes of many in the movement itself, who see little to be gained by continuing the fight. But that sort of thinking is less true of the new IRA. They are the younger, more radical types who have seen little of life other than violence, dawn raids, interrogations, rioting, shooting and bombing. They have taken over the mantle of militant Republicanism from the men of the 'forties', 'fifties' and 'sixties' and are increasingly impatient with what many of them see as conservative political and military elements in the old Dublin leadership. And the IRA they have created is much more ruthless and doesn't need mass popular support..... (MORE LATER).


Derry massacre to be remembered at the GPO in Dublin on Saturday 31st January 2015.

After a peaceful Civil Rights march on January 30, 1972 - from Creggan to Free Derry Corner - units of the British army Parachute Regiment opened fire with automatic rifles and shot dead 13 unarmed civilians, injuring many more. It was later revealed that some days prior to the massacre, the British soldiers involved had been briefed to "...shoot to kill.." at the march.

"This Sunday became known as 'Bloody Sunday' and bloody it was. It was quite unnecessary. It strikes me that the (British) army ran amok that day and shot without thinking of what they were doing.They were shooting innocent people. They may have been taking part in a parade which was banned, but that did not justify the troops coming in and firing live rounds indiscriminately. I would say without reservations that it was sheer unadulterated murder. It was murder, gentlemen...." -the words of British Major Hubert O'Neill, Derry City Coroner, at the conclusion of the inquests on the 13 people killed by the British Army on that day.

On Saturday, 31st January 2015, RSF will hold its annual 'Bloody Sunday' picket on the traffic isle facing the GPO in Dublin, at 12 Noon, to mark the 43rd anniversary of this massacre. All genuine republicans welcome!


The death on Thursday 22nd January last of 'king' Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud ('The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques') witnessed the Irish Tricolour being flown at half mast, "as a mark of respect", on buildings controlled by the political administration in this State : that a so-called 'republic' should seek to 'officially' honour any so-called 'royal' is in itself wrong and exposes that 'republic' as the sham we Irish republicans know it to be, but to seek to honour a person with such a track record only compounds the mistake. The 'king' apparently 'done the State some service' (as another wannabe 'royal' put it) but his good deeds were masked, in my opinion, by decadent deeds which outweighed them : public beheadings, the sentencing of Raif Badawi to a thousand lashes and ten years in prison for being critical of the state, and other 'critics' finding themselves imprisoned or otherwise silenced, not forgetting the many legal injunctions served on those who inquired about building non-Islamic places of worship.

Obviously, if you're a multi-billionaire with control over/connections to oil fields and have friends in high places as a result of your good fortune then issues of morality need not apply to you. And corrupt politicians, having recognised themselves in you, will proudly fly a flag at half mast in your honour.


On Saturday, 31st January 2015, an anti double-water tax protest will be held in the area of Dublin where I live (Clondalkin) and this, as with previous such protests, will be supported by Clondalkin-based members and supporters of RSF. The sheer size of this area (estimated 50,000 population) would mean that it would practically be a day's outing for those living at one end of it to get to the other end and with this in mind, it was decided to have two assembly points for the protest - St. Bernadette's School in Quarryvale (north end of the constituency : leaving from there at 11.45am and marching to Balgaddy Park) and the County Council offices near the Village (south end of the constituency : leaving from there at 11.30am and marching to Balgaddy Park).

The Clondalkin protest has been timed to allow participants to travel into Dublin city centre where a major anti double-water tax protest will be held that afternoon - those attending same from the south side of Dublin (ie Clondalkin, Tallaght, Lucan, Ballyfermot etc) are asked to assemble at Heuston Station and those from the north side of Dublin will assemble at Connolly Station. Both groups will leave their assembly points at 2pm , with one group heading for the north quays and the other group heading for the south quays , thus effectively shutting down Dublin city centre. It should be noted, even at this late stage in the campaign, that we are not looking for 'free water' or indeed 'free' anything - we are prepared to pay our way but we will not pay twice for any one service : in 1997 , the political administration in Leinster House added 2% to VAT on goods for sale and 5% to road tax and VRT to fund a water supply throughout the State. If one or other Department in or associated with Leinster House wants us to pay twice for a service, then let them campaign first for us to be paid twice for our work and double-up on the welfare allowances given to those who can't get a job. Then , I'm sure, their demand that we pay twice can be properly discussed. Until then - see you on the protests!


On the 28th January, 1939 - his 74th year on Earth - William Butler Yeats, born in Sandymount in Dublin, died in a boarding house on the French Riviera. He is buried in Drumcliff, in Sligo. Although he was 'very close' to Maud Gonne (and she to him) they never married, despite repeated requests from Yeats for them to do so, and probably just as well - Yeats was somewhat of a ladies man and, indeed, his eyes strayed on more than one occasion to Iseut Gonne, Maud's daughter.

He attempted to express support for rebellion in Ireland but his feelings towards same weren't heartfelt , as he was more at ease in so-called 'aristocratic' circles, a point he expressed in one of his poems, 'Man and the Echo' -

'I lie awake night after night

And never get the answers right.

Did that play of mine send out

Certain men the English shot?

Did words of mine put too great strain

On that woman’s reeling brain?

Could my spoken words have checked

That whereby a house was wrecked?

And all seems evil until I

Sleepless would lay down and die.'

This gifted man of many contradictions , who loved and loathed not only the Easter Rising itself, but the men and women behind it and, indeed, the objective of the fight, is forever linked to same in our history, as it should be.


Martin McGuinness (pictured, left) leaving the PSF 'Special Ard Fheis' on the 28th January 2007 at which he and his colleagues agreed to endorse, support and work alongside a British paramilitary 'police force' in Ireland.

Martin and his colleagues had more-or-less announced their intention to integrate with Leinster House and Westminster twenty-one years previous to the year in which they held their 'Special Ard Fheis' but knew then that they had to thread softly and encourage some within their party and affiliated organisations to stay on board by drip-feeding the bitter medicine of State recognition and cooperation to them. The 'peace project' was of no use to the British and the Staters unless a majority of those ex-republicans agreed to convert to constitutional nationalism and Gerry and Martin and the PSF Ard Chomhairle were aware of that fact. Plus, that time gap allowed them to 'flush out' those from within their ranks who showed any genuine reluctance to accept the 'stepping stones' path (...or, as Michael Collins tried to sell the same half-way house notion - "In my opinion it gives us freedom, not the ultimate freedom that all nations desire, but the freedom to achieve it...") and transformed what was a revolutionary republican movement into a Fianna Fáil/SDLP-type 'light' so-called 'republican' political party, with the appearance of having more 'political teeth' than the other aforementioned parties it now shared common ground with.

This new nationalist-minded political party attracted disaffected members and supporters of Fianna Fáil , the SDLP and the Workers Party and other anti-republican elements who saw the opportunity to build a political career and at the same time project an image of themselves as having 'a whiff of sulphur' about them, as they sang rebel songs and winked and nudged their way from table to table at party conferences. It is a cause of wry amusement to Irish republicans today to note that any indication of a 'whiff of sulphur/wink-nudge' activity from members/supporters of the Provisional Sinn Féin party now would not only secure their dismissal from that party but could very well give rise to an arrest warrant being issued for them on foot of said information about them having been handed over to the RUC/PSNI by their own (ex-)party leadership. Oh what a tangled web we weave.....!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.