" 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, September 17, 2014



Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government Chief Whip, presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (sic) on September 11, 1997. From 'Magill' magazine, October 1997.

Jim Higgins, Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and former government (Leinster House) Chief Whip presented the clearest exposition so far of the passports for investment scheme in his speech to the Dáil (Leinster House) on September 11th (1997). 'Iris Oifigiúil' of September 4th, 1992, lists 11 Saudi Arabian and Pakistani nationals who were granted certificates of naturalisation dated December 8th 1990 and all gave Glenmore House, Clonee, County Meath, as their Irish address. Local people in Clonee confirmed in 1994 that nobody had lived in the house since 1990.

In his speech, Jim Higgins stated - "The awarding of a passport is supposed to be directly linked in the case of investment to a specific job-creating scheme. The supposed project in the case of these 11 passports was, according to the IDA , linked to investment in the equestrian industry : what the IDA was doing meddling in the horse industry is a mystery to me. Yet, four years later, Meath County Council was in a position to confirm that no application had been made to it for such a development.

Each application must be accompanied by character references from three Irish citizens. The (State) Department of Justice , when asked to provide the names of those who proposed the 11 individuals or the group in question for naturalisation, either collectively or individually, refused to supply the information. The Department was also asked how much investment was made, and where and when it was made, but again refused to supply the information. The (State) Minister for Justice in 1990 was none other than Deputy Raphael P. Burke and , when asked about the scheme, he declined to give any details other than to say that 'there was a government scheme in place at the time...' .

Two of the 11 people to whom Irish citizenship was granted were involved in the biggest banking scandal in history....."


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

The SAS regiment's 'Standard Operational Procedures' instruct that soldiers employ a shooting technique known as 'double tapping' , which involves firing first into the head of the target person in order to destroy the brain's motor function, thus stopping all body movement. There was a double reason for firing at the head on this occasion, since the soldiers' own case is founded on the fact that they believed the IRA members were carrying a remote control device with a button, which presumably could as easily be triggered off by a bullet as by anything else.

It was reasonable to expect that any such device might be concealed in the torso area of the body but the fact that they also fired several times into the back of each victim indicates that it is most unlikely that they were thinking any such thing. Despite assertions by the SAS at the inquest that the regiment's track record shows a ratio of seventy-five arrests to twenty-five kills, nobody who has monitored the history of the SAS involvement in the North of Ireland in recent years can think of a single instance where prisoners were taken by them.

Father Raymond Murray, who is based in Armagh, is currently researching a book on the activities of the SAS in the North over the past twelve years. Since 1976, he says, there is evidence of SAS involvement in forty-seven killings in the North, and there may be many more in what he describes as the "murky" period before that. He has not come across any examples of arrests, and sees many similarities between the evidence which emerged at the Gibraltar inquest and that given to inquests in the North into deaths in which there had been an SAS involvement. (MORE LATER).


'Only one country in Europe, Kosovo, manages its household waste collection services in the manner we do (in this State). [Everywhere else] it is either organised on the basis of contracts awarded by the relevant local authority using competitive tendering or it is provided by directly employed public service workers. Our system is not sustainable....' - from a letter sent to union members in late July 2014, by SIPTU.

As well as treating their workers in what many of us consider to be an illegal manner, it now appears that other legal issues are beginning to surface in relation to the overall legality of its operations, including the apparent lack of a suitable company registration certificate, site drawings not being up to accepted standards, queries re planning permission, issues re emissions and noise from machinery and questions re ambient monitoring. In any other State or country in Europe (except Kosovo, apparently!) the owners of such an apparently dodgy operation would keep their heads down and hope to get away with operating a profitable business in such a hap-hazard and sloppy manner but here, in this morally bankrupt entity, they draw attention to themselves by attempting to increase their profits at the expense of their workers. All of us, whether working or unemployed, pay tax and, whatever about the financial/tax liabilities of the Greyhound bosses, their employees had their income taxes stopped at source, like the rest of us that are somehow still in employment. They, at least, have clean sheets in that regard and would soon be 'put out of business' by the powers that be were that not the case. But, it seems, wealthy businesspeople are allowed to continue to trade, in apparent dodgy circumstances, trouble free until, that is, they foolishly bring themselves to public attention? Is that a sign of arrogance or stupidity, I wonder....?


Martin McGuinness has not only succumbed to the 'VIP/career politician' lifestyle to the extent that he considered the religious bigot Ian Paisley to be his "friend", but he also bought into the 'Yes Minister' gobbledygook speak so much so that he allowed himself to believe that the description 'Chuckle Brothers', which was used to describe him and Paisley, was a positive one (!) - "I think it was done in a way that was to demean both of us but I think it backfired. I think people liked it...." It wasn't done so much as to "demean" them as much as to sum-up the way their carry-on actually embarrassed those of us who didn't buy the political bullshit they were trying to peddle. In the old days, back when he was a militant nationalist, Martin McGuinness would probably have at least thought twice before tearfully describing Paisley as his "friend" and, had he not been diverted (as had become clear in later years) from fighting for 'civil rights' from Westminster, this 'half-a-prime-minister' might even have said something nearer the truth re Paisleys passing. But probably not.

Anyway - to our EXCLUSIVE!! : this blog has it from solid sources that Paisley is to be reinterred to a grave in this State and we have obtained a copy of the speech to be delivered by the surviving chuckle brother on the occasion. Try and not hum along, please, as this is a sombre moment, especially the part where Martin reminisces about the physical attributes of his recently departed friend - "My man is six foot tall, six foot tall, six foot tall, my man is six foot tall, he likes his sugar candy...." Pull yourself together, readers, and read the rest of this historic reinterment speech here....


"Does the world even have heroes like Ireland's Thomas Francis Meagher anymore? After fighting for Irish independence ("I know of no country that has won its independence by accident"),then condemned to death, pardoned and exiled, Thomas Francis Meagher escaped to America,where he became a leader of the Irish community and commanded the Irish Brigade during the Civil War. General Meagher’s men fought valiantly at some of the most famous battles of the Civil War,including Antietam, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. After the war, Meagher served as Acting Governor of the Montana Territory. In 1867, Meagher disappeared on the Missouri River ;his body was never found..."(from the poster, pictured, left.)

The defining day of the The Battle of Antietam/Battle of Sharpsburg was September 17th, 1862, which was the bloodiest day of not only the American Civil War but the bloodiest single day in all of American history. The battle took place between the town of Sharpsburg in Maryland and Antietam Creek, and it ended General Robert E. Lee's first invasion of a northern state, and was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Union soil. The combined tally of dead, wounded, and missing stands at 22,717 soldiers of which the Irish Brigade, under the command of Brigadier General Thomas Francis Meagher, who recruited soldiers from among Irish immigrants for the Union side, lost over 60% of its men in an area that came to be known as 'Bloody Lane'. We have previously mentioned Meagher's involvement in the Irish struggle on this blog (here and here , for instance) and this piece is just by way of a short acknowledgement of his contribution to a struggle in a land he found himself exiled in.


Jan the Man :"At the pre-emptory request of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last nine years and ten months past of San Fransisco, California, declare and proclaim myself the Emperor of These United States.... ...and with those words a new 'royal family' came into being, although it took the man - Joshua Abraham Norton - ten years after his 'anointment' to abolish some of the 'opposition', which he did (!) in 1869 by declaring - "Being desirous of allaying the dissension's of party strife now existing within our realm, (I) do hereby dissolve and abolish the Democratic and Republican parties, and also do hereby degree the disfranchisement and imprisonment, for not more than ten, nor less than five years, to all persons leading to any violation of this our imperial decree...."

JAN was his own man, with his own currency!

Anyone of that 'character' is bound to have left a few choice words in his/her wake and the Emperor is no exception - "We, Norton I, do hereby decree that the offices of President, Vice President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives are, from and after this date, abolished......now, therefore, the Directors of the company are hereby ordered to see that precautions are taken to make travel on said railroad perfectly safe by using a screw with at least twenty-four inches diameter.....it is my desire that, in case Maximillian will surrender, he be sent here a prisoner of war, but that in the event of his continuing the war, or refusing to surrender, then he be shot.....we do hereby command the Leaders of the Hebrew, Catholic and Protestant Churches to sanctify and have us crowned Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.....we further decree that the Senate of the United States elect a prominent Democrat as their presiding officer, to act as President until the next election, and to reconstruct the Cabinet according to our wishes hereafter to be declared...."

This English-born 'royal' proclaimed himself as '(his) Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, Emperor of the United States of America and Protector of Mexico' on the 17th of September 1859 and has been variously described as being both (and between!) eccentric and barking mad. Nevertheless, when he died in 1880, at 61 years of age, about 30,000 people turned out for his funeral and the cortege was two miles long! More about Jan the Man can be had here. And it is hereby declared a violation should you not click on that link!


'A report showed that in 2004, a senior (British) royal aide had asked for a handout from a 60-million-pound energy-saving fund....(complaining)...that the 15-million-pound government grant to maintain the Queen’s palaces was inadequate....' (from here) - and those that wish they, too, were 'royal', are also bloodsuckers when it comes to taking money from the British working and unemployed classes : '...originally established with the intention of supporting small farmers and reducing Europe’s reliance on food imports, the CAP, which accounts for 43 per cent (€55bn) of the EU budget, has become a slush fund for assorted dukes, earls and princes...' (from here.)

Desiderius Erasmus had this to say about so-called 'royalty', which encapsulates my feelings on those human leeches and saves me from putting too much time into this post, as they're just not worth it : "Picture the prince, such as most of them are today: a man ignorant of the law, well-nigh an enemy to his people's advantage, while intent on his personal convenience, a dedicated voluptuary, a hater of learning, freedom and truth, without a thought for the interests of his country, and measuring everything in terms of his own profit and desires."

May they crumble, in public, and in a most humiliating fashion.


'Therefore go on brave Irish! and never fear,

Although your case may seem dark and drear,

Put your trust in Ireland, for she is strong;

And ye will gain your Freedom before very long....'




Well....so much for our Ladies Day at the raffle : we girls not only didn't have one winner, but we didn't even sell one of the winning tickets :-( !

The Sisterhood was out in force on Sunday last, 14th, as predicted, with the same excuse that has been used on us for decades - 'just popping out to watch the match. I'll be back for dinner.....' But it's usually supper time with they get back! Anyway - it was our time last Sunday to 'just pop out' and we did so in our dozens to the sports hotel to have the craic and a chit-chat....but the five of us were there to work, not to pretend to be watching football on the telly!

A local lad who we know as 'Tapper Owen' scored twice (....but only on the raffle!) when one of his customers, Frank, pocketed €200, having won the first prize on ticket 086 and one of his other customers, Johnny 'Mack S', won the last prize, €20, on ticket 106. The Tapper fella soon forgot that the lounge was full of women as himself, Frank and Johnny retired to the bar and got one of the barmen to 'pull' for them! On the other hand, Luke, from Meath - a much more cool-handed (!) chap - remained calm and collected as he strolled up to our table to collect the second prize - €100 - which he won on ticket 271, but he showed a wee bit of emotion when he came up the second time as the winner of the sixth prize (€20, stub 280) but that was probably due to the girls in the immediate vicinity telling him he looked like Paul Newman in his prime!

Two lads, Anto and Paul, had to share a ticket (....hope the raffle committee are reading this!) such was the shortage : our regular seller, Anto the bus man, had only got the one ticket left to sell so the two lads bought it between them - and won €40 , third prize, with stub 025. A chap named Denis Victory, from Bluebell in Dublin, claimed the fourth prize, €20 (148) having bought his ticket from our Andy, who also sold ticket number 347 to Tom Cull, who won the fifth prize, €20, on ticket 347. Prize number seven (ticket 248), worth €20, was sold by pub regular Martin Reilly to a chap called 'Sweeney' who shouldn't have been left on his tod(d) even if he hadn't won a prize as his resemblance to Johnny Depp was uncanny. We girls shouldn't be let out on our own.....!

We stayed on afterwards for a bite to eat and a few drinks, merrily encouraging each other to email some football association or other to request that they organise more ladies football matches , preferably for dates that coincide with our raffles. But only if Paul and Johnny are available.....!

Thanks for reading , Sharon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

The British struck back by the 'economic war', but the Fenian countryside saw this as an aspect of the anti-imperialists' struggle and bore its burden - they saw Fianna Fáil safely through it. It was the end of a long chapter.

Fenian Ireland, the Ireland of the poor, came to the very doorstep of a struggle for power twice in ten years - in 1922 and again in 1931. In each case it failed to achieve a leadership to correspond with its needs and was driven back in confusion. It has paid a heavy price in mass emigration for those failures but has gained sharp, political lessons. The lesson of 1922, even only half-learned, is apparent in the IRA search for a policy in 1931. Other men, in other days, will contemplate those mistakes, for of course the Ireland of the poor will be back.

There will be another day.

[END of 'There Will Be Another Day'.]

(NEXT - 'Passports For Investment' , from 'Magill' magazine, 1997.)


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

In his summing up, the coroner pointed out to the jury that if they were to find that any of the three IRA Volunteers had been shot on the ground after being effectively put out of action, "that would be murder if you come to the conclusion that the soldiers continued to shoot to finish him off". On the basis of this, together with the evidence of the Crown pathologist Dr. Watson and the evidence of Soldiers 'A' and 'B' themselves, the conclusion that this precise act of murder was carried in the case of Mairead Farrell seems inescapable.

The precise sequence of events leading up to this is disputed but there are, nevertheless, a number of eyewitness accounts which suggest that a more likely scenario was as follows : Mairead Farrell and Daniel McCann , walking past the Shell station, are approached from behind by Soldiers 'A' and 'B'. Soldier 'A' is directly behind, on the footpath, and Soldier 'B' is standing out on the road (Officer 'M' / Officer 'I' / Stephen Bullock/ Carmen and Maxie Proetta/ PC James Parody/). Farrell hears a police siren behind and looks around (Proettas/ PC James Parody) as Soldier 'A' or 'B' shouts a warning. Soldier 'B' opens fire from the road (Proettas/ PC Parody) - he fires first at Farrell's face (Proettas/ Professor Watson, the pathologist/ various witnesses who say that Farrell was the first to fall) and she raises hands to her face (Proettas) , having been only superficially wounded (Professor Watson) , and is hit again in the face, falling to the ground face down (various).

Daniel McCann , having moved to protect Mairead Farrell, is himself hit once or twice in the head (Professor Watson) and falls also. Soldier 'B' stops shooting, having fired seven rounds, two hitting each Farrell and McCann, the others ricocheting off petrol pumps number four and five. Soldier 'A' moves in and fires five shots from close range - three into the back of Mairead Farrell and two into the back of Daniel McCann as they lie on the ground (Officer 'I' / Proettas / Josie Celecia). Not only do many of the facts and eyewitness accounts support this version, but the known modus operandi of the SAS does also. (MORE LATER).


A scab 'Greyhound Recycling' driver attempting to bully his way through peaceful protesters.


- all workers, that is, not just those employed by that company. And this is why that will be the case, if it happens. It would be comforting to think that if/when such a scenario comes about - when other greedy employers think that they, too, should be entitled to ride roughshod over the working terms and conditions of their employees - that the 'tipping point' will have been breached and the workers will defend themselves as a unified body. But, unfortunately, I don't believe that that will happen - the workers are far too dependent on a trade union movement which is led by lambs and which is far too quick to compromise.

The Buckley Brothers, Greyhound, and Fine Gael's Brian Hayes, centre.

And, actually, truth be told, most workers themselves haven't got the balls (pardon the language) nowadays that they had in previous years, being so demoralised by wage cuts, USC tax, bin taxes, household tax, property tax, water tax etc etc that they take the hit in their pocket and, for a short time, will complain louder than they did the last time they were 'hit'. But this feeling of powerlessness will pass, in time, and those that are being punished now for the greed, crimes and misdeeds of others will eventually fight back, en masse. Shame that it seems they will have to be squeezed further, financially, before that day will dawn.


Tom Kettle was born in Artane, in Dublin, in 1880 into a nationalist family (his father, Andrew, was involved in the Land League and his brother-in-law was Francis Sheehy-Skeffington - Tom was one of twelve children) and was educated at North Richmond Street Christian Brothers' School, Clongowes Wood College and University College Dublin (UCD). He became a barrister at the age of 25 (the same year in which he edited 'The Nationalist' newspaper for a brief period) and worked in that field until, at 28, UCD appointed him as its (first ever) Professor of National Economics, in between which he was elected as the (nationalist) MP for East Tyrone (on the 25th August 1906 [winning his seat by 16 votes!] and again [with an increased vote] in 1910, the same year in which he resigned his seat) .

He was the first president of the Young Ireland Branch of the United Irish League (Home Rule) (mentioned here) and was on the board of management of the Theatre of Ireland with, amongst others, Edward Martyn, Thomas MacDonagh and Patrick Pearse. He established and chaired the 'Peace Committee' during the Lock-Out Strike of 1913, the same year in which he helped to establish the 'Irish Volunteers' and assisted in the purchasing of weapons for that group. The following year (1914) he joined the 'Royal Dublin Fusiliers' and, when he returned home from 'active service' later that year, he made it his business to attend, in his British Army uniform, as many anti-recruiting meetings as he could and argued in favour of the recruiting process! He was, apparently, of mixed emotion as, during his college years, he protested against the playing of the British national anthem and publicly attempted to persuade those interested in fighting in the Boer War not to join up, yet he himself joined the British Army 'to fight for the freedom of small nations'. He answered queries about his inconsistency re these issues by explaining his belief that "England could not fight for liberty in Europe and Junkerdom in Ireland..." and, I presume, intended to use his time 'in the belly of the beast' to give it indigestion (much like the confused souls today who consider such a thing possible) !

He worked for a spell as the war correspondent of the 'Daily News' newspaper and, in his 36 years on this earth, added 'journalist' to his CV, which included economist, barrister, writer, poet, soldier and politician. He died in the battle of the Somme on the 9th of September 1916, but his body was never recovered.


"The elected Parliament and Government of the Irish Republic pledged the active support of the Irish Nation in translating into deeds the principles enunciated by the President of the U.S. at Washington's tomb on July 4th, 1918, and whole-heartedly accepted by the people of America during the war. We are eager and ready to enter a World League of Nations based on equality of rights, in which the guarantees exchanged neither recognise nor imply a difference between big nations and small, between those that are powerful and those that are weak. We are willing to accept all the duties, responsibilities, and burdens which inclusion in such a League implies" (from here) - the words of Michael Collins, delivered to a meeting of (the 32-County) An Chéad Dáil (the First Dáil, 1919-1921) in April 1919, in relation to the then-probable formation of a 'League of Nations' organisation (which was formed in January 1920) .

The British forcibly partitioned Ireland in December 1922 and, on the 10th September 1923, the then three-years-old 'League of Nations' organisation accepted the Free State (a 26-county entity) as a member of the club - had that grouping been called the 'League of States' rather than the 'League of Nations' then I would not be writing this piece but for any so-called 'organisation of nations' to accept a request for membership from a landmass that contains a little more than three-quarters of its own land brings to mind the Groucho Marx quote - "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"! And, in a further twist of logic, 'Time' magazine stated - "Ireland was admitted into the sacred circle of the League of Nations by unanimous vote. On all sides there were spontaneous manifestations of good-will toward Ireland. In eloquent speeches, representatives of Britain, France, China, Persia and other countries extended felicitations to the Free State representative...." again confusing the Free State as being 'Ireland', rather than part thereof.

Incidentally, this very issue caused a rift between U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and the then leader of the Clann na nGael organisation in America, Judge Daniel Cohalan - the Judge was known to be of the opinion that the 'League of Nations' was a ploy by the British to integrate themselves into American society. It was he and the Clann organisation that financed the opposition to Wilson's 'League of Nations' proposal - indeed, of the estimated $900,000 dollar 'war fund' that the Clann had, only $115,000 dollars was spent in Ireland ; the other $785,000 dollars was spent in attacking the 'League of Nations ' or "Britains League" , as Judge Daniel Cohalan and John Devoy called it. But that's a story for another date!


"The destruction of German cities, the killing of German workers, and the disruption of civilized community life throughout Germany [is the goal]....it should be emphasized that the destruction of houses, public utilities, transport and lives; the creation of a refugee problem on an unprecedented scale; and the breakdown of morale both at home and at the battle fronts by fear of extended and intensified bombing are accepted and intended aims of our bombing policy. They are not by-products of attempts to hit factories...." - Air Marshal Arthur Harris, Commander in Chief, Bomber Commander, British Royal Air Force (from here).

On the 10th of September 1942, 100,000 incendiary bombs were dropped on Dusseldorf, Germany, by 476 British Royal Air Force bombers - the objective was as stated above by one of Britain's more infamous 'mad bombers', a psychopathic mass murderer who, along with the man who issued him his instructions (and agreed that the first wave of RAF bombers should drop explosives thereby opening up the infrastructure for the second wave, incendiary bombs) , Churchill, should have been tried for war crimes, along with Goebbels and Himmler, amongst others. Yet the British continue to propagate the myth that they are 'peace keepers' and here, in Ireland, they have found a gaggle of willing fools to assist them in spreading that myth.


"The British wanted to understand the harm that atomic explosions caused, and it was decided to use Australians, without their full knowledge and consent, as human guinea pigs. Australians were there simply to provide the labour, the bodies needed to get the tests done, the land to explode the bombs on, and, as it was later revealed, to function as lab rats for the British scientists......" (from here.)

On the 10th September 1956,the British, not content with the carnage they inflicted in Dusseldorf 14 years earlier, wanted to see if they could blow things up quicker and kill even more people with less effort, and hundreds of British nuclear 'trials' took place in South Australia, about 800 kilometres north-west of Adelaide, between 1956 and 1963, at the Maralinga site, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area. A total of seven major nuclear tests were performed,along with hundreds of minor trials, with approximate yields ranging from 1 to 27 kilotonnes of TNT (4.2 to 113.0 TJ).

Frank Walker, the author of the above-pictured book, came across the minutes of a meeting held on the 24th May 1957 between members of the 'UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment', chaired by Professor Ernest Titterton, during which the group agreed to continue its testing programme to determine the long-term effects of nuclear explosions on Australian citizens and also agreed to continue secretly testing the bodies of dead babies, infants, children, teenagers and young adults (of which the known total examined was given as 21,830!) for radiation contamination. This violation of the dead apparently started innocently enough , with testing carried out on soil samples, graduating from that to tests on dead animals and then to its final phase - tests on dead humans, to discover "...if Strontium-90 is entering the food chain and getting into humans..."

'The site was contaminated with radioactive materials and an initial cleanup was attempted in 1967. The McClelland Royal Commission, an examination of the effects of the tests, delivered its report in 1985 and found that significant radiation hazards still existed at many of the Maralinga test areas. It recommended another cleanup, which was completed in 2000 at a cost of $108 million. Debate continued over the safety of the site and the long-term health effects on the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land and former personnel. In 1994, the Australian Government paid compensation amounting to $13.5 million to the local Maralinga Tjarutja people...' (from here.)

A 'small price' to pay, I'm sure, for such invaluable knowledge - how to kill people quicker than you had done before. 'Progress' indeed.


- on Saturday next (13th September) Irish republicans in Belfast will be holding a picket in support of Irish republican prisoners, and their comrades in Dublin will be holding a picket of their own. If you are able to attend one or the other, please do so as the public will not be made aware of this situation by the mainstream media and the more people there are on the picket line the more this message will be spread.


"One of the largest public rallies seen in Dublin for years was held by Sinn Féin at the GPO on the eve of the All-Ireland Football Final. Headed by a Colour Party and a pipe band, a parade of more than 2,000 people marched from Parnell Square through the main city thoroughfare as a protest against the continued unjust imprisonment of Irishmen without charge or trial. Contingents from all over the country took part and many carried banners and placards including groups from England and Scotland. In the Ulster section was a strong representation of the Derry supporters who thronged the capital city for the Final. One placard they carried asked - 'Why are Six-County Nationalists interned in the Curragh?' ....." (From 'An tÉireannach Aontaithe/The United Irishman' newspaper, November 1958.)

On Saturday 20th September next,the Annual Eve of All-Ireland Rally will be held in Dublin, at 2pm at the GPO in O'Connell Street. Those attending are asked to assemble at the Garden of Remembrance from where, at 1.45pm, a parade will leave to make its way to the GPO. All genuine republicans welcome!


...if experience is anything to go by : this Sunday, 14th September 2014, will see the Ladies football club from Durham take on the Ladies from London (the 'Bees'), the girls from Sunderland will be up against Watford, the Doncaster Rovers Belles will hope to 'ring' (!) a victory from the Ladies football team from Yeovil and Lionesses from Millwall hope they won't be roaring 'FOUL!' at the Ladies from Aston Villa. And there's more 'girl-on-girl' action (!) on that same Sunday - Blackburn Ladies team will be on the pitch against the girls from Derby, Stoke girls will be doing battle with the not-so-quiet female team from Coventry and Lewes Ladies will be dealing with the girls from Charlton - and, so we have been told, about another six or seven female teams will be taking to the pitch on a day which always guarantees the girls here a day out - all over Ireland, himself at home will be juggling with the kids, the dinner, the last of the homework, the cleaning etc etc and herself and her friends will take a day off. And head to the pub, for a chit-chat, a meal and a few drinks and a bit of craic - and maybe even win a few Euro on a raffle, which is worth twice as much when himself and the kids don't know about it!

And that's where myself and the other girls come in ; we'll be on hand that Sunday in the sports hotel venue,on behalf of RSF, with about 50 raffle tickets to share the day with the sisterhood and hopefully give one or more of the girls a secret stash to take home with them. But, win or lose on the raffle, a day out like that is a 'prize' in itself and is something that we girls could get to like - and not only on Sundays! And, if I feel like it afterwards, I'll write a few words about our adventure and post them here. Or not! ;-)

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

We saw the limitations in those others clearly enough, but we were even more aware of our own limitations, and we had not learned to trust to the dynamics of struggle involved in our policies to compensate for our shortcomings, and open the way for the people to build themselves a new Ireland. National leadership was not the challenge facing us - in any case we had let the chance of that slip by. Our task was to give coherence to the Fenian radicalism that characterised the crisis. The way to do that would be to put forward a short list of candidates to serve as a rallying point for second tier leadership to impose this militancy on the Fianna Fáil executive.

De Valera would have been eager to have an understanding with the IRA. He had no hope to win the election without our help and, if the government party won, he would find himself looking out, as through glass, at a great national storm in which he could play no effective part, and in which his party must be torn apart. But the bend to 'politics' was too sharp for us, and indeed had we agreed on it, the IRA Army Convention would be unlikely to let us have our way - 'politics corrupt' *. It is much easier for men to condition themselves for martyrdom than for leadership. In the end we set up separate election offices throughout the country ** so that we might gesture people to vote out the Cosgrave government, and demonstrate, at the same time, our attitude towards Fianna Fáil.

The Cosgrave government lost the election and de Valera took over - he had no elbow room for manoeuvre on land annuities , but tried to shadow box with Britain on a tribunal to examine the legality of the British claim. He refused to make this conscience money, and his difficulty was sharpened by a rapidly developing trend to default, among middle and even big farmers. To arrest this trend he reduced the annuity by half, without extending the period of payment. He funded arrears of three years, and forgave arrears with deeper roots. No wonder Paddy Hogan jeered at him for 'buying off the communists who carried him to office'.... (*'Politics corrupt' - how right some republicans were at that time [and since] not to assist Fianna Fáil [for instance], politically, as republicanism should not be bastardised or tainted by prolonged contact [voluntary or otherwise] with and/or by working to achieve victory for Leinster House-orientated career politicians.// ** Fianna Fáil speak there - that election was held in the State, not "the country".) (MORE LATER).


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988. Even allowing for all of the various eye-witness accounts which suggest that Soldier 'B' had moved onto the road at the time of the shooting, and that Mairead Farrell was looking over her left shoulder at the police car when fire was opened, Soldier 'B' would have needed to fire the two shots at her face from the road, and then move back onto the path before firing into her back. This is because all three wounds in her back were fired from her rear right-hand side - entering around the midline and exiting in the region of her left breast.

Even this scenario is allowing for details in three completely different accounts of both the position of Soldier 'B' and the movements made by Mairead Farrell. On Soldier 'B's own account alone there is no possible way that it could have happened in the way he described but, in any event, as we have seen, Professor Watson testified that all three wounds to Mairead Farrell's back were of such a pattern that they must have been inflicted by the same weapon. Since the bullets all passed through the body, this is impossible to verify. But it appears that Soldier 'B' fired at least two - and possibly all three - of the shots into Mairead Farrell's back while she lay on the ground, stunned or at least immobilised by the shots which she had already received to her face.

Another detail of the forensic evidence which tended to get overlooked at the inquest was the fact that one of the scene-of-crime officers testified to noticing what he described as a "ricochet mark" in the pool of blood in the water table where Mairead Farrell fell. In fact, 'Magill' has confirmed that there are two such marks within inches of each other in the concrete close to the edge of the path. (MORE LATER).


Denis Donaldson (centre), a top man in the Provisional organisation and a top man for his handlers in British Intelligence.

Donaldson joined the then Republican Movement in about 1965 and in 1988 he was sent to America to be the 'eyes and ears' of the Adams/McGuinness leadership,assisted by another Adams man , Brian McDonald but, whereas Donaldson thrived in his new role as PSF rep in America, McDonald couldn't 'mix it' and was soon back in Ireland. Donaldson made trips back to Ireland now and then, but was the 'main man' in America for Adams and McGuinness until the mid-1990's. Which, by coincidence (!), was the same timeframe (mid-to-late 1980's to mid-1990's) that the leadership which took over the then Sinn Féin organisation in 1983 began, slowly at first, to morph it into that which it is today - a constitutional nationalist political party, rather than the revolutionary Irish republican movement it had been up to the time they got their hands on it.

Indeed, in February 1993, as Adams and McGuinness were plotting here (and in England) on how best to 'sell' that which wasn't theirs (ie Irish freedom) and their colleague Denis Donaldson was in America reporting everything to his handlers in British Intelligence, a British politician close to those handlers, Patrick Mayhew, disclosed that he had received a request from a person he knew to be acting for McGuinness. The request read - 'The conflict is over but we need your advice on how to bring it to a close. We wish to have an unannounced cease-fire in order to hold dialogue leading to peace. We cannot announce such a move as it will lead to confusion for the volunteers because press will misinterpret it as a surrender. We cannot meet Secretary of State's public renunciation of violence, but it would be given privately as long as we were sure that we were not being tricked.' Adams accused Mayhew of having "....breach[ed] the confidentiality which we had at all times respected and ... misrepresent[ed] the content of our exchanges. The bad faith and double dealing involved clearly presented us with serious difficulties in assessing the sincerity of the British government..." , not an actual denial that McGuinness was of that frame of mind (as was Adams) and, although both of them were later to deny that either one had actually sent such a request to the British, both of them acted in accordance with the views expressed in that request.

Donaldson , by his own admission in 2005 ("My name is Denis Donaldson. Since the 1980s...I have worked for British intelligence...") was a British agent, a tout, placed in America by other anti-republican elements to 'sell' a constitutional path to the Irish republican base in Washington, New York etc, as this was seen as a vital area where 'the new direction' would be 'made best' or 'laid to rest' , and this fact has recently been acknowledged by Adams - "Irish America was key to this...the peace process was also now on the agenda of the Clinton administration...events were now moving quickly..." (from here) all of which translates to this - a new, soft nationalist-minded leadership (1983) wanted 'out' of republicanism and 'in' to 'respectable constitutionalism' and were assisted in that endeavour by at least one British agent (and driven to meetings etc to facilitate that agenda by another tout!) who, by definition, wanted to harm Irish republicanism. In my opinion, those who, today, refuse to recognise the above as the truth do so for one of three reasons : they are ignorant of the difference between constitutional nationalism and Irish republicanism, are aware of that difference but were never republican-minded enough to start with that it would upset them or are of the opinion that the best way to destroy Irish republicanism and build a political career for themselves is from being within a constitutional political party that still has a whiff of sulphur about it.

However - whatever about the motives of the above-mentioned 'players' (misguided loyalty to 'the Crown', sexual/financial blackmail by Westminster or just plain financial greed on their behalf) they only succeeded in damaging and slowing down the Movement, rather than destroying it. They, of all people, must know that republicanism, throughout the centuries, has overcome bigger obstacles than that which they are armed with!

Finally, if the 'thousand words' above re the '20th anniversary of the peace process' doesn't 'do it' for you, here's two visual aids to help you -

Ireland, 1994 , before the 'peace process'.

Ireland now, 20 years after the 'peace process'.


Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, 2nd October 1932 – 5th June 2013.

"In the early 1940s, as part of De Valera's policy of maintaining Irish neutrality, the imperatives of 'the Emergency' played out in relations between state and IRA. A number of local men were amongst two thousand IRA volunteers interned in the Curragh over the course of the 1940s, following a bombing campaign in Britain and the consequent execution of two volunteers, Barnes and McCormick..... de Valera, intent on preserving the military neutrality of the state, set out to destroy the IRA, an organisation that he had deproscribed as recently as the election victory in 1932 (although reproscribing it in 1936). In 1940, Longford commanding officer Barney Casey was shot in the Curragh. In 1941, Richard Goss, 'the IRA's North Leinster-South Ulster Divisional Commanding Officer' was executed in Port Laoise prison. It is notable that these men came from what might loosely be termed the 'north midlands', an area that would include Roscommon. A number of other deaths during these years at the hands of the state, whether through hunger strike or execution, made the 1940s a tense time in republican areas....(it can be) argued that the IRA [in the 1940s], as now, was primarily composed of people with working-class and small-farmer backgrounds. Relatively few were university educated.

While the ostensible aim of republicans was to secure a 32-county republic, he argues further that 'a fundamental element of Irish Republicanism is a commitment to social change in favour of people who have been underprivileged, oppressed and victimised by the powers that be, whether they be landlords, employers, or Irish or British politicians'....Matt Brady, father of Rúadhirí Ó Brádaigh and an independent socialist republican councillor in Longford during the 1930s and 1940s, would have typified such a sensibility, working with tenants under threat of eviction in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford at this time. Though diminished in numbers and in strength when internment ended in Autumn 1950, ongoing IRA activity in the following decade saw a professionalisation of the organisation ahead of the Border Campaign between 1956 and 1962, when imprisonment without trial was re-introduced. With the intention of securing an all-Ireland Republic, this campaign sought to destabilise conditions in the six counties north of the border by attacks on police and military installations. Rúaidhrí Ó Brádaigh was teaching in Roscommon town at this time and was interned in the late 1950's....."
(from here, pages 115 and 116.)

In 1963, Roscommon veterans of the Black and Tan and Free State Wars erected a memorial monument (of which the plinth alone is 20 feet high) dedicated to the memory of their comrades who fell on active service between the years 1920 and 1923. The unveiling ceremony was performed by Comdt-General Tom Maguire (pictured here, with Ruairí) , who was the IRA General Officer Commanding of the Second Western Division in the 1920's. A more recent memorial stone to the left of the main monument lists the names of 41 men comprising the Co. Roscommon IRA Roll of Honour (including some Volunteers from other counties) who gave their lives for the 32-County Republic which has yet to be re-established. Another memorial to the right commemorates Pádraig Pearse, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising.

In August 2014 the County Roscommon IRA Commemoration Committee, of which Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was chairperson for many years, established the 'Ruairí Ó Brádaigh Memorial Fund'. The objective of this fund is to erect a statue in memory of Ruairí as a lasting tribute. The date for the unveiling is Easter 2016 and this new memorial will stand next to the Shankill Monument in Elphin, County Roscommon. Your help and assistance is needed, and would be deeply appreciated - more here.


The '4th Annual International POW Day' event will witness events being held in, at the time of writing, Ireland, England, Scotland, Continental Europe, Canada, USA and Australia, over the weekend of Friday 24th , Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th October 2014. Support for this initiative last year saw street protests and other solidarity events held in nine countries on three continents and those helped to organise same included the International Bureau of RSF, the James Connolly Association of Australia, Cumann na Saoirse Náisiúnta in America and Liberation Irlande in France. If you can attend any of the events please do so and/or contribute financially or in helping to publicise the activities. This Irish republican political prisoner secured worldwide recognition for the Cause he fought for and we can, hopefully, do the same for his imprisoned comrades on the last weekend in October 2014.


On the 29th April, 1599, a baby boy , Oliver Cromwell, who had been born on the 25th, was christened in Saint John the Baptish church in Huntingdon, England. Decades later, when someone was trawling through the birth records for that period, they came across an unofficial addendum to that particular entry : it read - "England's plague for five years".

Cromwell should need no introduction to readers of this blog (....however, just in case..!) but some readers may not be aware of the significance of today's date (3rd September) in Cromwell's life : on that date in 1649, Cromwell began his nine-day siege of Drogheda after which thousands of its inhabitants were butchered , the infamous 'Death March' he forced on his enemy after the battle of Dunbar on the 3rd September 1650 and, one year later on that same date (3rd September) he wallowed in more blood and guts , this time in his own country, at the battle of Worcester. The 3rd September also loomed large for other British warmongers, with this British Prime Minister claiming that the main event of that date in 1939 "....was not an ideological battle for freedom in the Western World; it was a determination to maintain the independence and freedom of our own country. In so doing, we would help other countries in Europe to the same end...." Indeed! 'Helping others to obtain/maintain freedom' while occupying part of the country of your nearest neighbour. Where's Cromwell when you need him.....


....is to consider the fad as a nonsense, a distraction but, having said that, I do at least hope that most of the money raised doesn't go here and can only wish that this other water issue will be judged by as many people to be as deserving as action, if not more so. If not, then those with empty buckets on their heads may as well leave them there as it will no doubt afford them some small comfort in not being able to see the politicians as they 'dip', once again, into their pockets, purses and wallets. And, on the plus side, I suppose, the buckets will prove useful when you're reduced to begging to put food on your table but would be a giveaway to the State as to your new 'profession'. Still , at least if you end up here , you'll have something to piss in.

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


By Peadar O'Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

The position of the Free State government had worsened steadily from the introduction of the 'terrorist legislation' of 1931 : within themselves they had not resolved the tensions created by the British betrayal of Collins and Griffith and had reason to fear pockets of unrest within the Free State army. They had cause to suspect police officers of guilty contact with IRA intelligence , and thereby hangs a story - they got evidence of IRA intentions, as secrecy was less important, at that stage, than an inspired leakage. The government weakened, and announced a general election. Without waiting for an IRA Council directive, 'An Phoblacht' met this announcement with an editorial slogan, "Put Cosgrave Out".

The government had one good electioneering gimmick - the 'Red Scare'. It just might work for them, and victory won to that war-cry would permit the measures it had in mind for dealing with the IRA. It was now the hour for IRA leaders to be found unequal to their task. We moved close to Mellows in our confused statement of policy in 'Saor Éire', and Bodenstown demonstrated that we enjoyed a strong, aggressive and popular backing. We then marked time.

Facing a general election, we believed we could add enough push to de Valera's campaign to over-run the government party, but we had problems : de Valera and those around him wore no halos for us. They were a version of the leadership that made it easy for Arthur Griffith to break out of the independence movement at the head of the Home Rulers. These men would be incapable of the comprehensive state-sponsored schemes, which alone could reach out to the small-farm countryside, expand industry, and give Irish life the resilience and vitality it needed to reform the independence movement. Private enterprise in our retarded economy was a policy of make-believe. (MORE LATER).


By Michael O'Higgins and John Waters. From 'Magill Magazine' , October 1988.

In any event, there were no other wounds on Seán McCann's body to account for the shots which Soldier 'B' said that he fired at McCann. His evidence was that he fired first either one of two rounds at Mairead Farrell , then turned fire on Seán McCann, then back on Farrell. He said that he did not miss with any of his seven shots, though he could not be specific as to how many he had fired at each of the two.

According to this analysis of his own and Soldier 'A's evidence, therefore, Soldier 'B' did not hit Seán McCann at all, except perhaps directly or indirectly with the mysterious bullet to McCann's jaw. Similarly on this analysis, Soldier 'A' fired at most one shot into Mairead Farrell - and this into her back. Therefore, four of the five wounds received by Mairead Farrell had to be fired by Soldier 'B' , and these wounds were fired from two different directions- two directly into her face as she was facing the shooter and two into her back.

Soldier 'B' said that he was directly behind Mairead Farrell all the time he was shooting at her. He fired first at the centre of her back and, having momentarily switched his fire to Seán McCann , turned back to Mairead Farrell and continued to fire at her as she fell to the ground. But, as she fell forward, there is no possible explanation within this scenario for the wounds which she received to the face. To do what he says he did, Soldier 'B' would have needed to fire two bursts of shots, firing from two completely different positions, within the space of a couple of seconds. (MORE LATER).


Two Berts and a right Charlie - Reynolds and Ahern, both are well looked after, financially, by the State which, like Haughey, they 'done some service for'.

*.....AND NO, NO QUESTION MARK. None needed, in the opinion of this blog. For a start, how can there be '(political) peace in Ireland' when our six north-eastern counties remain under the political and military jurisdictional control of a foreign government? Those who confuse the absence of a sustained campaign against the British political and military presence with 'peace' have either allowed themselves to fall victim to both State propaganda and the watery nationalist verbal diarrhea emanating from those who were always prepared to accept crumbs or they are politically ignorant of the true nature of the issue at hand. The so-called 'peace in the North' that has been obtained was actually available to Irish republicans at any time over the last eight centuries but only if those with the 'muscle' on the republican/nationalist side were prepared to accept much less than what the struggle is about ie if they would only accept 'civil rights' from the British rather than to continue to seek a full British military and political withdrawal from Ireland and could persuade the majority of their members to accept same as 'a stepping stone to freedom'. And, in that respect, the political dominoes fell just right for Albert Reynolds, in that he found himself dealing with, amongst others of similar ilk, Adams and McGuinness who, despite constant assurances from them to the contrary, have obtained their objective - to be treated 'fair' by Westminster.

However - having gratefully seized the opportunity to do business with half-hearted 'republicans', Reynolds allowed the outrageous claims re 'peace at last' to percolate and basked in the glow of others in his establishment and in the mainstream media (who knew better) who lauded the man as a political 'messiah'. Indeed, to their credit, some Fianna Fáil members recognised that Albert Reynolds was not all that he professed to be (even if Adams and McGuinness and their supporters , to their shame, didn't cop it or chose to ignore it) - the 'youth wing' of his party wanted him dismissed for "conduct unbecoming" due to revelations disclosed about the man at a State-established tribunal of inquiry : "...the Tribunal’s final report said Reynolds had abused his political power as Taoiseach by soliciting a donation from developer Owen O'Callaghan in exchange for government support in his proposed national stadium at Neilstown in Dublin......he was also criticised for failing to act when he learned of the IR£50,000 donation made by Tom Gilmartin to Padraig Flynn in 1989, which had been intended by Gilmartin as a donation to Fianna Fáil but which Flynn is accused of personally retaining....." and, speaking of money, let's not forget that Reynolds was in receipt of a State pension to the value of €3119.58 a week!

It's true that money can't buy you love, but it can, apparently, buy you the 'respect' of various toadies and wannabe toadies who will laud the fallen as the risen if the price is right. Coat-tail jumpers, the lot of them, regardless of where the 'coat' has been.


'Free State Keeps Ireland Down...' : a poster used and distributed by Sinn Féin in the 1923 Free State general election.

'Justice and Brotherhood-not Flogging and Tortures....Sinn Féin will abolish the murder gangs and secure the life, liberty and property of the people...' : a leaflet used and distributed by Sinn Féin in the 1923 Free State general election.

'A Self-Reliant Nation.....Ireland Free and Therefore Strong, Prosperous and Peaceful...' : a 1923 Sinn Féin election poster.

Besides this State election, 1923 was an eventful year for Irish republicans : on the 2nd January, Cathal Goulding was born in East Arran Street in Dublin, and on the 13th of that month Free State President W.T. Cosgrave had to find somewhere else to live. On the 10th of April, Liam Lynch was shot dead by Free State forces, on the 14th of that month Austin Stack was captured by the Staters and on the 23rd of that month, Sinn Féin politician Seán Etchingham died. Three of our twenty-two republican hunger-strikers died in that year - Joe Witty, from Wexford, on the 2nd September, Dennis Barry, Cork, on the 20th November and Andy O'Sullivan, also from Cork, on the 22nd November. The 27th August 1923 election results, in which Sinn Féin polled 286,000 votes (29% of those that voted), winning 44 seats, can be accessed here. At the time, there were over 11,000 Irish republicans in jail in the State, for refusing to accept any British political or military presence in Ireland and, for the same reason, the elected Sinn Féin representatives refused to take their seats in Leinster House as those sitting in that assembly had to take an oath of allegiance to the English 'King' , George V , whereas nowadays they just utter same to themselves, mentally (and morally).



Encounters with youths exposed him to IRA.


First published in 'NOW' magazine, Volume 1, No.4, October 1989, page 37.

British 'Lord' Louis Mountbatten was killed because of his homosexuality, according to Irish Republican sources ; 'Lord' Mountbatten died in August 1979 when his boat was blown up at Mullaghamore, County Sligo, by the Provisional IRA. A book to be published in Britain next month (ie meaning October 1989) by a former British Intelligence Officer will give details of 'Lord' Mountbatten's gay life and claim that he was a risk to British State security ; but, ironically, 'Lord' Mountbatten proved to be a bigger threat to his own security. It was his liaisons with three young Irish boys which led to his assassination - it was information obtained indirectly from one of the boys which drew the attention of the IRA to 'Lord' Mountbatten's presence in Ireland. The same source provided details about his movements.

'Lord' Mountbatten regularly slipped away from his Irish Special Branch guards for homosexual encounters. The IRA had expected his cabin cruiser to be used for such a meeting with a teenage boy on the day he died. They planted a radio-controlled bomb in the engine compartment on the boat, killing Mountbatten and three others, including a 15-year-old Enniskillen boy ; the bombing brought widespread condemnation and an immediate crack-down on the IRA on both sides of the Border. It came on the same day as 18 British Paratroopers were killed at Narrow Water, near Warrenpoint, County Down, in an IRA double ambush. The new book , 'The Greatest Treason' by Richard Deacon, claims that Mountbatten passed secret information to the Russians ; Deacon, whose real name is Donal McCormick, is an ex-intelligence Officer who was a close friend of the former head of the British Secret Service, 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield. Author 'Richard Deacon'(/Donal McCormick) quotes an unnamed former CIA Officer as saying - "What we could never understand was how Mountbatten, a known homosexual and therefore a security risk, managed to achieve the kind of promotion and jobs he got...." 'Deacon' says - "It was known inside the (British) Navy long before World War Two that he was a homosexual, sometimes even risking such conduct in his cabin when at sea...." The author describes 'Lord' Mountbatten as "... devious and egotistical.."

The IRA bomb was detonated from a car parked on the shore as 'Lord' Mountbatten sailed past a couple of hundred feet away : a pulse-coded transmitter of a type not used before was brought in from South Armagh because the IRA believed that British security officers may have fitted ECM (Electronic Counter-Measure) equipment in Classiebawn Castle which would have prematurely detonated any radio-bomb they attempted to plant. The IRA spent nearly two months setting-up the assassination, relying on information from 'Lord' Mountbatten's homosexual contacts to track his movements. Mountbatten was an uncle of both (British) 'Queen' Elizabeth and her husband, 'Prince' Phillip, and was interested in what homosexuals call 'the rough trade' and liked to have 'contacts' with 'working-class' youths. He was particularly attracted to boys in their early teens and it was this characteristic which made him especially vulnerable to the IRA, because he needed to slip away from his personal bodyguards to keep dates with such boys, some of whom came in contact with IRA men. His vice habit was similar to that of the former British Secret Service Chief, 'Sir' Maurice Oldfield, who was appointed 'Ulster (sic) Security Co-Ordinator' by Margaret Thatcher in the wake of the Mountbatten assassination. 'Sir' Maurice also slipped away from his 'personal protection detail' - a team of handpicked, plain-clothes British 'Royal' Military Policemen - on various occasions while he was living in Stormont House, beside Stormont Castle in Belfast. But a plan by the IRA to kill him during one such expedition into County Down failed when he was unexpectedly moved back to London.

(Posted here originally in 2005 and again on 23rd July last and re-posted again, today [27th August 2014], to mark the occasion!)


"Playing the very Devil with the country...."

'On they rode, hearing a menace in every whisper of the wind, a cannonade in every rustling of the leaves. Beside this, John Gilpin's famous pace sinks to the level of a peddler's jog, nor did Tam O'Shanter's Mag e'er display such mettle as their panting, sweating beasts, spurred on until the blood dripped from their flanks. So great was their fright, indeed, that they never stopped for breath until they had reached the town of Tuam, forty miles away; and even here they paused scarce long enough to eat, and then made on to Athlone. At this place an officer of carabineers, with sixty of his men, arrived on the afternoon of the 29th of September. These heroes had covered a distance of over seventy English miles in twenty-seven hours! No wonder the battle has been jocularly styled "the Races of Castlebar"!' (from here.)

Ten weeks after the United Irishmen had been crushed at Ballynahinch, Co. Down, and two months after the fall of the rebel camp at Vinegar Hill, near Enniscorthy in Co. Wexford, Humbert landed at Kilcummin strand, on Killala bay, with about 1,100 officers and men of the army of the French Republic. Four days later, on Sunday, 26 August, having taken Killala and Ballina, Humbert led about 700 of his men, and about the same number of untrained Irish recruits, in an amazing all-night march down the almost trackless west shore of Lough Conn, arriving next morning in front of the startled British garrison of Castlebar. The force opposing Humbert numbered about 1,700......

As you can read via the links, above, this was a short-lived victory, physically, that is, but , morally and spiritually, it , and other 'failures' like it, gave future generations added incentive to continue the struggle. Which, if nothing else, is one aspect of this campaign that we will always have until we no longer need it ie when we, or a future generation, can bring this campaign to a just conclusion!


* "We need non-violent total civil disobedience. We have scaffolded and supported and continue to support a terrorist State which has never given a toss about children or women......we can't blame anyone but ourselves for this. We are cowards. Grateful for crumbs on tables and think we deserve nothing more. We are pathetic. An inexcusable disgrace to the courage of those who fought and died in 1916....ailing animals can have a compassionate death. People can't. What the fuck more evidence do you need? We are less than animals to the state and to the church who still run it....."

Fighting talk, certainly, but totally neutered, in my opinion, by previous comments from the same author : ** "I understand entirely why people would want to fight back. But I don’t think it actually achieves anything. It doesn’t bring back your lost people.I kind of like a peaceful life nowadays. I’d rather not get in trouble..."

A cynic would be forgiven for thinking that she has something new to try and sell.....!

Thanks for reading, Sharon.