On the 13th October, 1923 – 98 years ago on this date – a mass hunger-strike began by 424 Irish republican prisoners in Mountjoy Gaol in protest at their continued detention. The hunger-strike was soon joined by up to 8,000 republican prisoners in prisons and camps around the State.

There were about 12,000 Irish republicans interned by the Free Staters at that time and those men and women were being treated as convicts rather than political prisoners and a decision was made, by both the POW’s themselves and the leadership outside, to go on hunger strike.

On the 13th October 1923, Michael Kilroy (a respected republican, at the time, pictured), OC of the IRA POW’s in Mountjoy Jail, announced that 300 republicans in that prison/internment camp (including ten men who had been elected to a 32-County Dáil Éireann) had voted to go on hunger strike and those 300 men were soon joined by 162 more of their comrades in that institution.

Within days, thousands more imprisoned republicans joined the protest – 70 in Cork Jail, 350 in Kilkenny Jail, 200 in Dundalk Jail, 711 in Gormanstown Prison Camp, 1,700 in Newbridge, 123 in ‘Tintown’, 3,390 in the Curragh Camp, 100 in Harepark Camp and 50 women in the North Dublin Union prison (good condensed background piece here about that period in our history).

Among those hunger-strikers was a Cavan man, IRA Captain Andy O’Sullivan (aka Andrew Sullivan, pictured) ; this brave man was born in Denbawn, in County Cavan, in 1882, the oldest of eight children born to Michael Sorahan and Mary Smith.

While on hunger strike, he wrote to his brother, Michael, on the 7th November, 1923 – the 25th day of the protest –

“Dearest Br. Miceal,

Thanks ever so much. I really can’t find words to explain adequately my gratitude for your prompt response to my appeal for some cash. I have been very hard up for many things especially smokes and of course I would not ask anyone – besides, I could never bring myself to beg. I am much cheered by the news that Cork is now with us in the fight. I always expected that and should it be a fight to a finish I shall die happy in the thought that my bones will moulder in its confines.

I asked you for to arrange that I should be buried by my old chief’s side in Fermoy. My heart is so set on the freedom (of my people) that my spare moments are always devoted to devising ways and means to expedite that Glorious Dawn. With that object in view I have decided that if Mallow republicans provide a republican plot in the new cemetery near the railway, I shall order my interment there instead of at Fermoy, as the latter place has enough in L. Lynch’s and Fitz Gerald’s graves to keep a flame the burning torch of Freedom.

Matter wants something in its midst to counter the awful shoneenism that permeates its walls and I came to the conclusion that if I can no longer alive take the same active part in the battle I may at least in my mouldering grave do still some little to help those who come after me with that object in view.

I ordered that nothing should be inscribed besides my name etc by way of epitaph. Over my remains but the simple motto of my late life work. When the Republic so estated functioning and duly recognised then, but not till then, let men dare to eulogise my name in cold press over my grave. Then too will Lynch’s and Emmet’s blazon forth. This is rather gruesome but one so often thinks of the apparent inevitable in this struggle that it becomes quite secondary, thoughts of the spiritual world.

In the latter line I am quite at peace, prepared and content. There will be no swerving from the straight rugged path to the goal. I set the motto for the strike, ‘Freedom or Death’. I am Prison Adjutant now and by long ways the strongest man on the strike even though judging by the looseness of my clothes I must have dropped at least 3 stone weight. There are 124 of us on strike now.

A large number were shifted to the various camps and many of the leaders were taken from here to Kilmainham. It is all alike to us, we carry on. Of course some weak ones have given in. About 60 out of the total here have gone off and taken food on a promise of release. Immediately they were strong enough in hospital they were thrown back into C wing just as they were before the strike and told they could not be released until a big batch was ready.

Fr. James McCabe came up when they heard of my being on Hunger Strike and with his friend went to G.H.L and found they have me held on suspicion only but have no evidence and would release me if I went off strike and signed the usual form. Of course Fr. James asked me to do this and I sent him out the definite reply NEVER! At the same time my profuse thanks for his trouble in my behalf. Well, I must close this long winded letter. Remember the change, Mallow instead of Fermoy, in case I do.

Undying Love,

Your Aff Br. Andy.”

Finally – from ‘The Scotsman’ newspaper, 26th November 1923 (page 10) – ‘Death of Irish Hunger-Striker : At the inquest on Saturday on Andrew Sullivan, a hunger-striker, who after removal from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, died on Friday afternoon in a military hospital, a doctor stated that Sullivan went on hunger-strike on October 14, and about a week ago he lost his sight. The jury found that death was due to pneumonia..’ – we mention that because the Friday in question would have been the 23rd November, 1923 and, on researching the inconsistency, we found the following :

‘Many of the newspapers of the time reported Captain Andrew O’Sullivan died on November 22, 1923. That may have been the date he was removed from Mountjoy Prison and brought to St. Bricin’s Military Hospital where he was pronounced dead on November 23, 1923…he died on 23 November 1923 at St. Bricin Military Hospital, Dublin City, County Dublin, Ireland, at age 41.5…the information on the death record was provided by Louis A. Burns, coroner for the City of Dublin. Inquest held 24 November 1923…(and) at the inquest on Saturday on Andrew Sullivan, a hunger-striker, who after removal from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, died on Friday afternoon in a military hospital, a doctor stated that Sullivan went on hunger-strike on October 14, and about a week ago he lost his sight…’ (from this site).

However, the majority opinion is that the man died on the 22nd November 1923, and we, ourselves, believe that to be the correct date.

IRA Captain Andy O’Sullivan, from Cavan, died after 40 days on hunger-strike, on the 22nd November 1923, at 41 years of age, 98 years ago on this date.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.

“These IRA men are enemies of the people..”, wrote ‘The Belfast Telegraph’ newspaper, “..and vigilance against them and any who assist them, should be a common concern. As for the War Office, the circumstances of this raid are a telling reminder that Northern Ireland (sic) is in a special position which justifies special security precautions.”

The following appeared in the editorial column of the official Unionist ‘Belfast News Letter’ on Monday : “The account of the IRA raid on Gough Barracks in Armagh will give an unpleasant jolt to public opinion in Northern Ireland (sic) and elsewhere. For a long time now the IRA has not been taken too seriously, but clearly we must do some hard thinking about it and suitable action must follow.

The critical remarks of Dr. Nixon MP will be echoed by many, and we must hope that the lesson of this affair will mean the immediate institution of a sharper security system at Ulster (sic) military establishments. We have already had the warning of arms raids in England, and the Armagh episode suggests to us now that the piblic, and possibly the authorities, did not pay sufficient attention to them..” (MORE LATER.)


John Francis O’Suillivan was born in County Kerry in 1850 and, at twenty years young, he emigrated to America and enlisted in the US Army in New York, joining the First Company of the 4th Cavalry, which was dispatched to Texas and was involved in the blood-letting of the so-called ‘Texas-Indian Wars’ of the 1870’s.

On the 8th of December, 1874, he was part of a cavalry detachment that was pursuing about one dozen Natives through the Muchague Valley, in Texas, during which the Natives dismounted and took up positions to defend themselves.

Private O’Suillivan and Private Frederick Bergendahl are said to have “distinguished themselves” in that fight, killing nearly all of “the renegades”, but at least one of the defenders managed to make a break for it.

Private O’Sullivan gave chase and, even though he was unable to catch his quarry, both he and Bergendahl, and a Lieutenant, Lewis Warrington, were granted the ‘Medal of Honour For Heroism’ – on the 13th October 1875, 146 years ago on this date – for ‘gallantry’ there and at the Staked Plains, in eastern New Mexico and northwest Texas, near Lubbock.

After leaving the military, the ‘hero’ O’Sullivan returned to New York where he died on the 19th May, 1907, at the age of 57, and is buried in New York. A memorial marker was erected in his memory at Fort Concho National Historic Landmark in San Angelo, Texas.

His Citation reads : ‘The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Private John Francis O’Sullivan, United States Army, for gallantry in a long chase after Indians on 8 December 1874, while serving with Company I, 4th U.S. Cavalry, in action at Staked Plains, Texas.’

Soldier Blue, Soldier Blue, Soldier Blue

Can’t you see that there’s another way to love her

This is my country

And I sprang from her

And I’m learning how to count upon her

Tall trees and the corn is high country

I guess I love her

And I’m learning how to take care of her..’
(from here.)


The following article was solicited by ‘IRIS’ from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article – whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement – is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.

(‘1169’ comment – please note that ‘IRIS’ magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

The way forward for Sinn Féin in the South at the moment lies in continuing the long and sometimes painfully slow effort of involving itself in working-class and community struggles – and in building alliances with all the many organisations that have developed out of popular struggles.

Viewed singly, none of these is strong enough to hit back against the new brutalism of the right but, following the example of the right and taken all together, they have the strength to turn the tide. Electoral politics will be only one aspect
* of the coming struggle and change is much more likely to be won on the streets than in Leinster House.

But if a real coalition of the Left can be built its strength may be reflected at the ballot box as well. It is not necessary to dissolve the people***, only to win their confidence and work out with them the way forward.

( No mention there of the first objective for Irish republicans – to remove the unwanted British military and political claim of jurisdictional control over six of our counties. But, then again, there wouldn’t be – that particular objective is a ‘living-in-the-past’ side-issue for trendy ‘Left’ Trot types //

* Electoral politics has, since 1986 – for (P)SF – become the only ‘aspect of the struggle’ for them, and ‘the struggle’ has, again since 1986, become a ‘struggle’ to obtain seats in a partitionist political institution at any price ; for them, the ‘National Question’ has morphed into the ‘Seat Question’//

*** The “dissolve the people” parts of Mr Ward’s piece is a strawman argument – no one suggested doing that, but that’s how Trot’s operate ; argue against a position that no one has taken and, of course, there’s no one to argue back in favour of it, making you the ‘winner’ as far as gullible people are concerned!)

(END of ‘What Is To Be Done – The Struggle In The 26 Counties’ ; NEXT – ‘THE NOT SO IRISH NEWS’, from the same source.)


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.

(The writer of the following letter has requested that it be published in ‘The United Irishman’ ; it was sent to ‘The Irish Weekly Independent’ but was refused publication…)

‘To the Editor,


..it is because such is not the case that so many patriotic men and women believe that this carefully organised and woefully protocol ridden force, which Mr. MacEoin refers to, can never be expected to play any forward role in ridding the country of foreign occupation forces, however sincerely its individual members may desire such a result.

Is it really necessary to point out that the word ‘country’ means ‘Ireland’ and the word ‘Ireland’ means what it has always meant, no more and no less.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. A.F. Cooney,

112 West 72nd Street, New York,


Feb. 12th, 1955.’

(MORE ‘Letters From Our Readers’ LATER.)


..1922 : A Free State soldier (name unknown) is killed in an ambush of a State troop lorry at Ulverton Road, Dalkey, in County Dublin.

..Two Free State soldiers are killed in kerry, one in Rathmore, the other in Abbeydorney – it was on the 13th of October in 1922 that a Dublin-born officer in the State Army died as a result of wounds he received when he was shot in an ambush on the Killarney-Rathmore road in Kerry. He was Captain John Young of the Dublin Guard.

And, on that same date (Friday, 13th October 1922) a State trooper was shot dead by an Anti-Treaty sniper while on sentry duty at Abbeydorney, in County Kerry. He was Timothy Goggin, aged 22, from Abbeydorney in County Kerry.

Also, again on that same date, Free State Army Sergeant John Browne was shot dead while clearing a roadblock from the road at Duagh Village, County Kerry. John Browne was 28 years old and from Effin in County Limerick. In that same IRA attack, State Private James Byrne of the 2nd Battalion, Dublin Brigade, was shot dead. He was 20 years old and, before converting to Statism, he had been a member of Na Fianna Éireann and the IRA. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, where his remains were placed on the 21st of October 1922.

And, finally, on the same date* in 1922, State cop (‘Civic Guard’) Henry Phelan (Number 1347) who was stationed at Callan, County Kilkenny, was shot dead in Mollinahone in County Tipperary.

He had stopped off, with two other Free State ‘cops’, at Mollinahone, to buy a hurley ball and, afterwards, they went in to Miss Mulhall’s Public House for some ‘refreshments’.

They were there less than an hour when a group of armed IRA men entered the premises shouting “Hands Up!” ; a shot was fired and Phelan fell mortally wounded, the bullet having entered the lower part of his left jaw and exited through the back of his neck. His spinal cord had been severed. The State ‘cops’ were not aware that the pub they were in was a well know anti-treaty establishment, and the owners were Irish republicans. Phelan was a native of Mountrath, County Laois, and he is buried there.

(*’1169′ comment : two other dates have been given for the shooting of Henry Phelan – October 28th 1922 and November 14th 1922. What is not disputed is that he was the first State ‘cop’ to be shot by the IRA.)

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


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‘Glaine ‘nar gcroi – Purity in our hearts. Neart ‘nar ngeaga – Strength in our arms. Beart do reir ar mbriathar – Truth on our lips : Na Fianna Éireann, 1909 to date.

On the evening of Friday October 6th 1922 – 99 years ago on this date – a young Dublin lady, Jennie O’Toole – a member of Cumann na mBan – was pasting republican leaflets on lamp posts on the Clonliffe Road in Drumcondra, Dublin and, when she got near the Distillery Road junction, she was shouted at repeatedly and verbally abused by a local man when he saw the nature of the material involved ; the young lady had been similarly harassed while out leafleting on the previous two weekends.

That loudmouth was, according to information distributed in Irish republican circles at the time, Free State Army Captain Pat Moynihan, who lived on that same road. Moynihan, an Irish republican ‘poacher-turned-gamekeeper’, could very well have been watching that street as two of his nieces were expected home on that route from a date to a theatre which they had been on with two anti-republican State operatives, Nicholas Tobin and Charlie Dalton, who both worked for the Free State Army Intelligence Section at Wellington Barracks.

When Charlie Dalton was the same age as one of the NFE youths mentioned in this piece – Joseph Rogers (16) – he was recruited by Michael Collins and joined the squad that Collins was then assembling : this IRA unit was permanently housed in Abbey St, Dublin, in a ‘front’ premises in which a ‘legitimate’ business operated from – ‘George Moreland, Cabinet Maker’- and squad members were paid £4 10s a week to carry out assassinations on a full-time basis. Shortly after his 17th birthday, as a member of that Squad, Charlie Dalton took part in the executions of British Army Major C M Dowling and British Army Captain Leonard Price in their bedrooms in Baggot Street.

The distressed young lady, Jennie, encountered three young lads, members of Na Fianna Éireann, who offered to take over the work : Edwin Hughes (17), an engineering student, who lived at 107 Clonliffe Road, Drumcomdra, Brendan Holohan (17), a clerk in Arnott’s store, 49 St.Patrick’s Road, Drumcondra and Joseph Rogers (16), an apprentice car mechanic, 2 Upper St.Patrick’s Road, Drumcondra.

It appears to be the case that Free State Captain Moynihan met Nick Tobin and Charlie Dalton and told them that republicans were in the area, pasting leaflets, and that Tobin and Dalton contacted a near-by Free State Army barracks for a search party and arranged to meet them in the area. Dalton could very well have known who he was hunting, as young Brendan Holohan and Joseph Rogers were near-neighbours of his and the nature of his job would have dictated that he familarise himself with local Republican activists.

The three young boys were still pasting leaflets on poles on that route which took them in the vicinity of Free State Captain Pat Moynihan’s house when, shortly after 10.30pm on that Friday night, a Free State Army truck screeched to a halt beside them and they were violently thrown in to the back of it and taken to Wellington Barracks, where they were interrogated and released.

Their Free State captors included Charlie Dalton and Nick Tobin. The next day – Saturday 7th October 1922 – the three young lads were lifted again by the Free Staters and soon found themselves standing in waste ground just off the Naas Road in an area known then as ‘The Quarries’, in Clondalkin, Dublin (near to the Naas Road/Monastery Road junction) : each of them was riddled with bullets and had a coup de grâce delivered to ‘finish the job’ – a shot to the head. The youngest of the three lads, 16-years-old Joseph Rogers, was the son of well know Dublin Bookmaker Mr. Thomas Rodgers and had served two years of his apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer. The remains of Edwin Hughes (17) was identified by his older brother, Gerald, 17-year-old Brendan Holohan’s body was identified by his father Michael and Joseph Rogers (16) was identified by his older brother, Michael.

At the inquest, Dr Frederick Ryan, who performed the post mortem, described the wounds that killed them ; “Joseph Rogers’ overcoat was saturated with blood. He had 16 wounds altogether. There was an entrance wound in the back of the skull, about an inch and a half from the ear. There was no exit wound. It was possible for a man to inflict this wound while both were standing. There was no singeing. In the left upper jaw there was an entrance wound, but no corresponding exit wound. There were superficial wounds on the left side of the body corresponding to the nipple, on the left side of the abdomen, a punctured wound on the left side of the nose, an entrance and exit wound at the base of the left index finger, superficial wounds on the left arm, an entrance and exit wound in the middle of the left thigh, a large contused wound on the left shin bone, and an incised wound on the left knee, probably caused after death.

Regarding Brendan Holohan there was a bullet hole through the peak of his cap, but no mark on his head. The coat was torn on the right elbow, and there was a wound through the flesh of the arm, corresponding with the perforation in the sleeve. There were two entrance wounds, four inches from each other, in the right chest…(but no exit wounds). They were clean cut, such as might be made by an instrument of the same diameter as a pencil. The clothing was perforated at the place corresponding with these wounds. There was a wound over the right shoulder blade, which was an old one. There was an entrance wound in the lower portion of the abdomen, and a bullet lodged in the surface over the left hip bone and the shin. There was a wound in the back of the skull in the occipital protuberance, which took a downward direction into the neck and severed the spinal cord. This was sufficient to cause death immediately. If a man was standing on top of a ditch he could have been shot in the head, otherwise he must have been lying down.”

In the case of Edwin Hughes (17), he said “The first wound, on the right-hand side corresponding to the second rib, took a horizontal direction and pierced the great vessels of the heart. There was no exit wound to it. There was no singeing. Another bullet pierced the overcoat on the right side, but there was no mark on the inner coat or vest. There were wounds in the abdomen and on the left thigh. On the right knee and right arm there were superficial wounds, such as might be caused by grazing bullets. The clothes were cut as if by barbed wire. The abdomen wound might possibly be caused by a prod of some instrument, but that was not probable.”

But this crime did not go unnoticed – Dermot MacGiolla Phadraig, a Na Fianna Éireann training officer, was passing by the area at the time on Saturday 7th October 1922 and witnessed the executions and a Charles Byrne, an undercover man for the IRA in Oriel House, was also passing by and actually spoke to one of the Free State gunmen, Charlie Dalton and, in November 1922, an inquest was held at which the prosecution demanded that a verdict of murder be brought against Charlie Dalton but, apparently, the jury were ‘reminded’ by the State that they were living in ‘exceptional times’ and, following that and possibly other ‘reminders’, the jury declined to entertain the prosecution.

In an effort to suggest that ‘justice will be done’, Dalton was then ‘arrested’ by his colleagues in the CID but was never charged with an offence related to the ‘Quarrie Killings’. Incidentally, Nick Tobin, one of the Free State ‘Quarrie Gunmen’, was in charge of a Free State raiding party later on that same month (October 1922) when they went to kill more republicans who, they were told, were operating an IRA bomb-making factory from house number 8 in Gardiner Place, in Dublin city centre: Nick never made it back to his Free State base that day, having been shot dead by ‘accident’ by his own colleagues.

The Na Fianna Éireann organisation is still active to this day and, as in 1922, continues to support the republican position : Na Fianna Éireann (literally ‘Warriors of Ireland’) has had several subtitles in its history ; Irish National Youth Movement, Irish Republican Youth Movement, Irish Republican Scouts etc but its central ethos has never changed.

It has always had the object of educating the youth of Ireland in national ideas and re-establishing the independence of the nation. The goal of the organisation on its foundation in 1909 was “…to re-establish the independence of Ireland by means of training the youth of Ireland to fight Ireland’s fight when they are older and the day comes…”. Members are trained in scouting skills and parade drill and receive education regarding republicanism and Irish history and heritage. In short, the NFÉ organisation instills a sense of pride, worth and value into those who join – worthy character traits which they carry with them into adulthood.

A video crew from the international ‘Vice News’ organisation, which has offices throughout Europe and America and “provides an unvarnished look at some of the most important events of our time (and) highlight under-reported stories from around the globe…” was in Dublin a few years ago and produced a twenty-minute video on Na Fianna Éireann.

Finally, if you would like to contribute, financially, to Na Fianna Éireann you can do so care of 223 Parnell Street, Dublin 1. Go raibh maith agat!


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.

“It can’t happen here”, wrote ‘The Belfast Telegraph’ newspaper, which is an attitude that has now no relevance…“..how did a posse of men take control of a British Army barracks for 20 minutes? Part of the answer would seem to be that they had inside information. The Éire authorities (sic)are just as concerned as their opposite numbers in Northern Ireland (sic)with the illegal (sic) possession of arms.

For that very reason we hope that the question of extradition will again be raised. As the law stands at present it is most unsatisfactory to those responsible for law and order (!) on both sides of the border. This sort of thing has happened elsewhere and the raiders have been brought to justice. The authorities (sic)can be relied on to do their utmost and are entitled to the active help of anyone who can sharpen their investigation.

Because no one is safe when wild men (!) are about bearing arms we trust that all sections of the community will co-operate in every measure that will restrain the evil-doer (!) and restore the public confidence…” (MORE LATER.)


‘Charles Stewart Parnell (pictured) was born on 27th June 1846 in County Wicklow into a family of Anglo-Irish Protestant landowners. He studied at Cambridge University and was elected to parliament in 1875 as a member of the Home Rule League (later re-named by Parnell the Irish Parliamentary Party). His abilities soon became evident. In 1878, Parnell became an active opponent of the Irish land laws, believing their reform should be the first step on the road to Home Rule…’ (from here.)

His home was one of the ‘Big Houses’ in Avondale, in County Wicklow and, although he was the son of a ‘landlord’ (and, indeed, later, a ‘landlord’ himself) he was politically-aware enough to realise that he was privileged, while his neighbours were struggling, financially, physically and socially, and he decided to see if he could change those circumstances.

He began his political ‘career’ at the age of 29, when he was elected as a ‘Member of Parliament’ for County Meath and, for the following 16 years, he operated within the Westminster political system as an ‘MP’ and as the leader of the ‘Home Rule League’ (from 1880 to 1882) and, from 1882 to 1891, as the leader of the ‘Irish Parliamentary Party’.

It was at a meeting in Ennis in County Clare, on the 19th September 1880, that Charles Stewart Parnell – of whom the British were to describe as “..combining in his person all the unlovable qualities of an Irish member with the absolute absence of their attractiveness…something really must be done about him…he is always at a white heat or rage and makes with savage earnestness fancifully ridiculous statements..” – that he was elected as the leader of the ‘Home Rule League’ and it became a more organised body. Two years later, Parnell renamed it the ‘Irish Parliamentary Party’.

He was looked at in a wary fashion by some of his own people as he was a (Protestant) ‘Landlord’ who ‘owned’ about 5,000 acres of land in County Wicklow and his parents were friends of and, indeed, in some cases, related to, the local Protestant ‘gentry’. At 45 years of age he married Katherine O’Shea (in June 1891) which created a scandal which he is, unfortunately, best remembered for.

He died from pneumonia in Brighton, England, only months after the wedding (on October 6th 1891 – 130 years ago on this date) and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin.


On the 6th October 1922 – 99 years ago on this date – Free State Army Brigadier General Tony Lawlor shot an Irish republican POW, Patrick Mulrenna/Mulrenan, during what the Staters claimed was “a riot” in Custume Barracks Prison in Athlone, County Westmeath. The prisoner died later from his wounds.

Lawlor was the State ‘Commanding Officer’ for their Claremorris Command and, in June that year (1922), as a State Army Colonel, he was one of those entrusted by Michael Collins to ensure that the Four Courts in Dublin was not a safe haven for the IRA ; he used British weaponry on his former comrades in that building.

Because of the circumstances surrounding that prison shooting, it remained a ‘live issue’ for years after, so much so that, in 1928, it was actually raised in the Leinster House institution by a Doctor O’Dowd –

“I desire to draw the attention of the Dáil (sic) to the circumstances surrounding the death of Patrick Mulrenan, of Lisacul, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon. I raise the question on the motion for the Adjournment because of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply to a question of mine by the (Free State) Minister for Defence. In reply to a question of mine on this day week the Minister said that a coroner’s inquest was held to investigate the circumstances of this man’s death. The inquest appears to have been adjourned on three occasions and no definite findings were arrived at. Perhaps the Minister in his reply now will tell us if it is usual for a coroner’s inquest to meet and adjourn after three sittings and arrive at no definite findings.

I challenge the Minister to set up an impartial inquiry to inquire into the circumstances of Patrick Mulrenan’s death. He should certainly agree to do so unless he is afraid of the findings of such Committee of Inquiry. The Minister admitted on this day week and also to-day that this young man died as the result of a wound received from a shot fired by an officer of the National Army (sic). That much is admitted. The Minister further said — “I understand that there was a state of active mutiny and that this man and others were warned that unless they behaved themselves they would be shot.”.

I expect that he will advance that as a reason why Colonel Lawler shot Patrick Mulrenan in Athlone on the Pump Square on 6th October, 1922. Everybody in this House may not be conversant with the facts of this young man’s death. This young man, practically the main support of his widowed mother, was taken prisoner and conveyed to Custume Barracks, Athlone. On 6th October two senior officers in the National Army (sic) in the Athlone Command entered the prisoners’ compound. One fired a revolver shot and was rebuked by his senior officer with the remark : “You are a damned bad shot, Tony.” Tony (Lawlor) used an expression which I would not like to repeat in this House and expressed his determination to do better next time. He fired again. Mulrenan fell wounded and died some days later at the Curragh.

These are the facts. I expect the Minister will tell us he was shot after being warned because there was a mutiny. There was no mutiny. I hold in my hand a statement sworn before Peace Commissioners by 94 prisoners who were in Athlone at the time declaring that there was no mutiny, and that they were engaged in their ordinary occupations of making rings and bags. Patrick Mulrenan was seated on a dustbin reading a book. Was that the mutiny for which he was shot and fell wounded? The Minister has decided to tell the House that there was a mutiny. If the Minister can prove there was a mutiny let him hold any inquiry he wishes, and I will prove by hundreds of witnesses on oath beyond aye or nay that there was no mutiny. The coroner’s inquest adjourned for the third time without finding a verdict. If there was any prospect of the coroner’s inquest finding a verdict favourable to the Minister and to his Department would he not be glad to give them the opportunity of adjourning a fourth or fifth time if necessary to arrive at their verdict? Instead, there was an indefinite adjournment without finding any verdict. I say deliberately the reason for the adjournment indefinitely was that the verdict would be unfavourable to the (Free State) Minister for Defence and his Party.

…those who take prisoners are responsible for their safe custody. In this case you have Patrick Mulrenan held a prisoner by the National Army (sic), standing helpless behind barbed wire, shot down like a dog. The State have the audacity to deny they have any responsibility for his death. The State are morally and legally responsible for the death of Mulrenan. One of their servants shot him, and he was not alone one of their servants but the second officer in command at Athlone, and in his company at the actual moment of the shooting was the senior officer of the Athlone Command.

Patrick Mulrenan was practically the main support of his widowed mother. She lost another son in the fight as well. This woman is now looking for outdoor relief. She is trying to exist on a mere pittance amounting to a few shillings per week. The State have legal and moral responsibility, as I have said, for the death of Patrick Mulrenan, and also a moral and legal responsibility for seeing that his widowed mother is not allowed to remain in want. I trust the Minister will give some hope that he will reconsider his decision about this poor old woman.

I hope he will give some kind of an assurance that if an inquiry is not instituted into the death of Patrick Mulrenan that he will at least consider those left behind to mourn his loss, and who were dependent on him. There is an old saying that you may fool all the people some of the time, you may fool some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. The Minister for Defence cannot even fool his own supporters on this. Let him go to Westmeath, Roscommon, Sligo, or elsewhere, and he will be told the true circumstances surrounding the death of Patrick Mulrenan. Even his own supporters, prominent members of Cumann na nGaedheal, can tell him the full circumstances. Let the Minister advance some plea for the shooting of Mulrenan other than the plea of mutiny, for there was no mutiny, as can be proved if an inquiry is held…”

(from Leinster House records, 29th February 1928 – more here.)

Incidentally, Lawlor’s actions in having shot dead Patrick Mulrenna/Mulrenan were defended by Seán MacEoin, a rabid Free Stater and Blueshirt, who once stood beside men like Patrick Mulrenna/Mulrenan. But that was before he took the soup.


The following article was solicited by ‘IRIS’ from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article – whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement – is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.

(‘1169’ comment – please note that ‘IRIS’ magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

On the other hand, all this means that to judge the level of support for revolutionary change in the 26 Counties just by the electoral performance of Sinn Féin is to be unduly pessimistic as well as politically sectarian.

The working-class in the South is still shell-shocked from the speed and savagery of the onslaught by the new right-wing alliance of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the PD’s. Workers have grown used to the security of even the half-baked form of welfare State that has developed in the 26 Counties and the social democratic consensus that means that no party tries to claw back the gains the working class made in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Now that is exactly what the new coalition under Haughey is trying to do and the fightback has not even begun yet. But the elements and organisations that can start to hit back are there – community organisations, women’s groups, militant trade unionists, even Third World and radical church groups, as well as Sinn Féin and the small left organisations, and even perhaps some of the Labour Party left-wing.

Sinn Féin cannot expect all these groups to flock under its umbrella, though it can perform a useful and essential function by helping to link their struggles on limited 26-County issues with the Northern struggle and with political repression in the South which most Southern organisations shy away from until it hits them in the face… (MORE LATER.)


..1921 ; in March, 1921, most of ‘K Company’ of the British paramilitary ‘Auxiliaries’ (pictured) were fired because of their part in the burning of Cork and the murder of Canon Magner, but some of those mercenaries were moved to ‘O Company’, which ‘kept the peace’ in Dunmanway, among other locations.

On the 6th October, 1921 – 100 years ago on this date – the local IRA, under the command of Peadar Kearney, opened fire on those British thugs, but more of them arrived to the scene of the battle and the IRA withdrew safely, with no fatalities.


..1922 : the IRA ambushed a Free State Army convoy at Tullycrine, in County Clare, during which IRA Lieutenant Michael J. Keane, from Gortglass, County Clare, was killed, as were a number of Free State troopers.


..1922 : The Dublin IRA carried out a gun and grenade attack on Free State soldiers at St Stephens Green, in Dublin city centre, resulting in the wounding of three of the combatants.


..1922 : an IRA soldier, Francis Power, was killed during a gun fight with Free Staters at White’s Cross in Cork. His name is inscribed on the Cork No. 1 IRA Brigade monument in Donoughmore Cemetery in Cork (pictured).


..1922 ; on this date (6th October – 99 years ago on this date) IRA Commandant Denis Barry, of Cork, was ‘arrested’ by Free State forces in Courtown Harbour in County Wexford and brought to Newbridge Internment Camp where he was detained without charge or trial.

He joined a mass hunger-strike on the 17th October the following year (1923) and died, after 34 days, on the 20th November 1923 : ‘..Commandant Denis Barry, Brigade Staff Cork 1st. Cork Brigade Irish Republican Army joined the Volunteers in 1914. He went to Kilkenny in 1915 and was arrested there on 2nd May 1916. He was detained there for 7 nights. Transferred to Richmond Barracks and shipped to Frongach, Wales. When released, he returned to Kilkenny…’ – more here, and –‘Having been denied the benefit of a Christian burial, Barry’s remains were taken to the headquarters of Sinn Fein, at 56 Grand Parade, in Cork City. The funeral the next morning to the Republican Plot, in St. Finbarr’s Cemetery, was one of the largest seen in Cork for some time…he was forty when he died…’ – from here.


..1972 ; the Leinster House administration, with Fianna Fáil’s Jack Lynch in charge, sent uniformed State cops and their ‘Special Branch’ colleagues (‘political police’) out of their lairs to close down the then Sinn Féin office in Kevin Street, in Dublin, which they did.

It inconvenienced the Movement for a few weeks, but had no lasting effect.



From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.

(The writer of the following letter has requested that it be published in ‘The United Irishman’ ; it was sent to ‘The Irish Weekly Independent’ but was refused publication.)

‘To the Editor,


In your issue of January 27th, 1955, which has just reached me, Mr MacEoin is quoted as saying that
“..any person who wished to serve the best interest of Ireland should join either the permanent army or the FCA which was organised throughout the country..”.

As one of the not-so-young men he referred to, may I appeal for a little more honesty in the selection and use of words. The infamous so-called ‘Treaty’ of 1921, with its Boundary Commission clause, was hailed as the ultimate solution of partition and Mr. MacEoin may, for all I know, have been honestly influenced to vote for it for that reason.

But what, now, is the excuse for his saying that ‘the permanent army and the FCA is organised throughout the country*’, when any pre-school child could probably inform him that such is far from being the case…’ (MORE LATER.)

(‘1169’ comment :*this is a major bugbear of ours, and should be, too, for any Irish republican – this country, all 32 counties of it, is ‘Ireland’. This State – all 26 counties of it – is not ‘Ireland’. What it is is a (Free) State within the country of Ireland.)

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


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‘The most dangerous enemy of this country that Ireland has produced since Wolfe Tone..’ – ‘The London Times’ newspaper, describing John Devoy (pictured), and it was a hard-won accolade by the man, but one which he later renaged on…

I was born in County Kildare, just southwest of Dublin

The third child and second son of Elizabeth and William

The year was 1842, just before the hunger

My dad broke stones and worked the rails to keep us from going under.

Gone, gone, gone are the days of old

Go on, go on, into the fold.

I grew up on tales of the failed and bloody Irish rebellions

So when I was old enough I joined up with the Fenians

And when the British Army arrested me and charged me with treason

I went away to Americay to escape my death in prison.

Gone, gone, gone are the days of old

Go on, go on, into the fold.

I refused to sing “God Save the Queen” when I was just a boy

By birth an Irish rebel, by name, John Devoy.

Ahoooo, John Devoy, Oooooo.

From the slums of New York City, I started the Clan na Gael

All those years that we fought and bled, this time we couldn’t fail

So from Boston town to Frisco Bay, I crisscrossed this country

Raising funds to buy more guns to fight the foreign enemy

From these shores I will fight to my grave

John Devoy is my name and Ireland we’ll save

One day we’ll rise together, Erin go Bragh, Ireland forever.

Gone, gone, gone are the days of old

Go on, go on, into the fold.

I refused to sing “God Save the Queen” when I was just a boy

By birth an Irish rebel, by name, John Devoy.

Ahoooo, John Devoy, Oooooo.

Gone are the days we rest, go on into the west, go on, go on

Gone are the days we rest, go on into the west, go on, go on

Go on, go on, go on, go on

Go on, go on, go on, go on.

I was born in County Kildare, just southwest of Dublin

The third child and second son of Elizabeth and William

The year was 1842, just before the hunger…

(By James Moors and Kort McCumber.)

Truth be told, he may as well have gone ahead and sang ‘God Save the Queen’.

He died from natural causes, while visiting Atlantic City in New Jersey, USA, at the age of 86, on the 29th September, 1928 – 93 years ago on this date – having spent the last seven years of his life trying to sell the Treaty of Surrender to anyone he came into contact with. Thankfully, not everyone listened to him.

His body was brought back to Ireland and, in June 1929, Leinster House gave him a Free State funeral, following which he was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.

Frank admissions that the raid was brilliantly planned and executed, thus revealing the IRA as a well-trained and highly disciplined force, was the Unionist reaction. This was followed by typical Unionist panic, thereby indicating their own undisciplined and insecure position.

The following is an extract from the editorial of the Unionist ‘Belfast Telegraph’ newspaper –

‘The bold, well-planned raid by the Irish Republican Army on the Armagh depot of the Royal Irish Fusiliers is disturbing for a number of reasons. It reveals that the IRA is still active, and that, on the evidence so far available, its capacity should not be underestimated because it can probably count, North and South, on the collusion of people with divided loyalties.

It is easy to say that the importance of this affair should not be exaggerated, but when the armoury of this depot can be cleared of rifles, guns and ammunition on a Saturday afternoon, it is more important that the public should be told the full details of how it happened.

Then, and not till then, will it be possible to form a fair judgement. That the IRA has been more anxious to give information than the authorities (sic) has created an unfortunate impression…’

(‘1169’ comment
– “..collusion…divided loyalties..” – typical weighted-words from this mouthpiece for unionist supremacy which, while appearing to clap republicans on the back for the Armagh operation, is actually looking for a soft spot to stick the dagger in.) (MORE LATER.)


Tom Clarke (Tomás Séamus Ó Cléirigh) was born in a British military camp at Hurst Park in the Isle of Wight, on the 11th March 1858. His father was then a Corporal in the British Army but, like Tom’s mother, was Irish born.

A year later Corporal Clarke was drafted to South Africa where the family lived until 1865. Tom first saw Ireland about 1870, when his father was appointed a Sergeant of the Ulster Militia and was stationed at Dungannon, in County Tyrone.

It was here that Tom grew to early manhood, and his father wished him to follow in his own footsteps and join the British Army, but the ‘Old Woman’ (‘Ireland’) had already enlisted him in her own small but select Army, and at a time when prospects appeared most dreary, for the gloom of the so-called ‘Famine’ and the defeat of the Fenians still hung heavy over the land. Tom Clarke was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood by Michael Davitt and John Daly ; he could have had no more worthy sponsors.

In 1880, at twenty-two years young, he emigrated to the United States where he joined Clann na Gael and quickly volunteered for Active Service in Britain. The ship he travelled on struck an iceberg and sank, but he was rescued and landed in Newfoundland. Resuming his interrupted journey, he reached London where he was soon arrested – he had been followed from New York by ‘Henri Le Caron’, a British spy. On the 14th June, 1883, at the ‘Old Bailey’, he was, with three others, sentenced to penal servitude for life.

For 15 years and nine months, in the prisons of Chatham and Portland, Tom Clarke endured imprisonment without flinching ; 15 years and nine months of an incessant attempt, by the British, to deprive him of his life or reason. This torture did not cease with daylight and recommence on the following day ; it was maintained during the hours of darkness when even the vilest criminal was entitled to sleep and rest. But Tom Clarke and his comrades got neither sleep nor rest.

Cunning devices for producing continuous disturbing sounds were erected over their cells – these are described in his book ‘Glimpses of an Irish Felon’s Prison Life’. The relentless brutality at length drove two of his comrades, Whitehead and Gallagher, hopelessly insane. With John Daly, they were released in 1896 ; Daly had been arrested a year after Tom Clarke, and had hitherto shared the same prisons with him ; though kept apart , they had managed to communicate with each other now and again. The release of his friend was a sore loss to Tom Clarke who, for a further two years, had to endure alone an even more intensified form of torture.

Released on the 29th September 1898 – 123 years ago on this date – he spent a short time in Limerick with his friend John Daly before returning to America where, in 1901, he married Kathleen Daly, John Daly’s daughter. With Devoy, he founded the ‘Gaelic American’ newspaper (pictured) and, as its Assistant Editor, worked in New York until 1907. Then he returned to Ireland and opened a newspaper shop at Parnell Street, in Dublin, where Padraig Pearse and other republican figures were amongst those who were frequent visitors, so much so that the venue became a meeting place for Irish rebels.

Padraig Pearse and his comrades sought the help of the man who had for so long been tested in the crucible of suffering and had been found unbreakable, and he didn’t fail them. In 1916, they repaid him by insisting that his should be the first signature to the Proclamation of the Republic ; it was the greatest day of Tom Clarke’s life, though well he knew it meant for him the end.

He was shot dead by the British on the 3rd May 1916, at 58 years of age. Of those years, only eighteen had been spent in Ireland, and most of the remainder of those years were spent in hardship. But he was man enough to have followed the road indicated by ‘the Old Woman’, and we were fortunate that he did.

(The above is an edited version of a piece we first posted here in 2004.)


..1799 : Matthew Tone, a brother of Wolfe Tone, was executed “for treason” by the British following his capture at the Battle of Ballinamuck. He was a Captain in the French Army under General Humbert, and was hanged at Arbor Hill Prison in Dublin, and his body disposed of in ‘The Croppy Acre’.


..1920 : Two RIC ‘police officers’ were killed in an ambush of an enemy patrol outside Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary ; a four-person RIC patrol was ambushed at Killoskehan, near Borrisoleigh, and two RIC operatives, Terence Flood and Edward Noonan, were killed, and one of their colleagues, a ‘Constable’ Ferris, was wounded.


..1920 : Two RIC men were shot dead in John Ryan’s pub, in O’Brien’s Bridge, County Clare ; they were drinking in the pub when four IRA men entered and shot them dead. The two dead men were named as John Downey, aged 35, a native of Cork, who was killed instantly, and John Thomas Keeffe (/Keefe) aged 30, a native of County Clare, who died shortly after the attack from wounds received.


..1920 : Four (Catholic) civilians were killed by British soldiers firing from a military truck during disturbances on the Falls Road in Belfast ; street riots had broken out following the shootings of three Sinn Féin men on the 26th September. The four men who were shot dead were Robert Gordon (18), Thomas Barkley (32), James Shields (19) and William Teer (30). At the coroner’s inquest into their deaths, it was stated that the British Army had been “justified in firing on the crowd”. Those armed British thugs are still in Ireland, and still causing riots ; shooting’s like the above could happen again – the only way to ensure that they don’t is to remove the British armed presence.



The following article was solicited by ‘IRIS’ from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article – whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement – is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.

(‘1169’ comment – please note that ‘IRIS’ magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

Right from Arthur Griffith’s refusal to back the workers in 1913* and de Valera’s slogan that ‘Labour Must Wait’**, in 1918, militant workers have never seen Sinn Féin unequivocally take their side in the class struggle for any length of time. That militant working-class tradition needs to be brought back into the direct political arena, but Sinn Féin may not be the best vehicle for doing it.

In recent times, long-term unemployment has weakened the traditional trade-union-based working-class consciousness, but it has been replaced to some extent by the growth of community consciousness in working-class areas, and that has already begun to express itself in the electoral field with, for instance, Tony Gregory’s success in Dublin’s Inner City.

And there has been another major development in recent years that challenges the whole establishment set-up, and which threatens to shake up all the parties of the left as well, and that is the growth of feminism ; neither of these currents are going to dissolve themselves overnight into Sinn Féin, and women republicans in particular are only too well aware that Sinn Féin, like most long-established political groups, has a fair distance to go before it can win the full confidence of **militant feminists…

(‘1169’ comment
: Arthur Griffith refused to help because his movement was “national not sectional”, and he went on to describe the food ships sent by British trade unionists as an “insult”. He was wrong on both counts.// ** de Valera was of the opinion that obtaining a socialist Ireland was not as important as obtaining a British military and political withdrawal. Like Mr Griffith, he, too, was wrong. In our opinion, both choices compliment each other.// ***It is not necessary, nor has it even been, for a woman to be a “militant feminist” before she can support republicanism. The real agenda at play here, by the author of the article, is an attempt by him to pave the way for republicanism to be distracted from its core objective into one of putting more time and energy into other issues rather than republicanism. A typical trot ploy.) (MORE LATER.)


Liberte! Egalite! Fraternite! Ou La Mort! ( (Freedom! Equality! Brotherhood! Or Death!). Unite Indivisibilite De La Republique!

‘(On the) 7th April 1801, the trial of United Irishman, James Napper Tandy (pictured), began. He stood trial for treason. He had been a member of the United Irishmen and was one of the leaders of the failed Irish Rebellion of 1798. Tandy actively encouraged young Irish people to follow the example of the French peasants, and uprise against their rulers with force. He was in the process of building an army when his actions came to the attention of the British government.

He was forced to flee Ireland and spent time in France, where he met with Theobald Wolfe Tone and other United Irishmen. They gathered support from the French military and returned to Ireland intent on leading a rebellion. However, they struggled to gain support. In their absence, the British had quashed the Irish ambition that an independent republic could be achieved using military force. Tandy again had to leave Ireland, through fear of arrest, and sailed all the way around the north of Scotland to avoid landing on English land.

British forces intercepted him in Hamburg, Germany, and Tandy was returned to Ireland to stand trial for the treasonable landing on Rutland Island, off the coast of Donegal. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death, but his life was spared after a personal plea from French leader Napoleon, and Tandy was allowed to leave to live out the remainder of his life in France. Tandy was given a huge funeral in Bordeaux (and) is mentioned in the old folk song, ‘The Wearing of the Green’, which tells the story of the struggle faced by the Irish people under British rule in the early 19th century…’ (from here.)

On the day Castlebar was liberated – August 27th, 1798 – James Napper Tandy, a Dublin man, born in 1739, sailed from Dunkerque with 270 French Grenadiers and a large quantity of weapons, powder and artillery, on board the corvette ‘Anacreon’, reputed to be the fastest vessel in the French Navy.

They landed near Burtonport, County Donegal, on September 16th, 1798 but, on hearing of General Humbert’s defeat at Ballinamuck, they withdrew. On September 21st, 1798, the ships captain landed Napper Tandy at Bergen in Norway, from where, en route to France by land, he arrived in Hamburg, then a neutral state, on November 22nd, 1798.

It was there that Napper Tandy was arrested and protracted extradition proceedings followed ; the British arrogantly demanded that he be handed over for ‘trial’ – eventually, after many legal delays – and on strength of the ‘evidence’ of a tout, Samuel Turner – James Napper Tandy was handed over to the British Minister in Hamburg, ‘Sir’ James Craufurd, on the 29th September 1799 – 222 years ago on this date.

But French retribution was swift ; they re-called their ‘charge d’affaires’ and Consul in Hamburg immediately. Hamburg’s representatives in France were given 24 hours to quit their residences and eight days to leave the country. This all coincided with the return of Napoleon Bonaparte from Egypt and his assumption of power as First Consul of France.

A letter from the Senate of Hamburg to the French, which set out their (Germany) reasons for extraditing James Napper Tandy was returned unopened. The German administration then communicated personally with Napoleon Bonaparte (pictured), whose reply was devastating, and which he published for the edification of the public – “You have violated hospitality, a thing that would not happen among the barbarous hordes of the desert..” He then promptly ordered trade sanctions (which were not lifted until April 1801) on payment of a fine of 4,500,000 Francs.

Napper Tandy was sentenced to death at Lifford Court, in Donegal, and May 4th, 1801, was fixed as the day of execution. A reprieve was granted until May 28th, and, on May 12th that year, his execution was postponed indefinitely. By 1802 the long war between France and England was coming to an end, and negotiations for peace were under way : ‘Lord’ Cornwallis, the ‘Lord Lieutenant’ who had taken personal command against General Humbert’s army in 1798, was the Chief British negotiator and Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, was the Chief French negotiator.

The signing of the Peace Treaty of Amiens (signed on March 25th, 1802) was delayed when the First Consul instructed his brother to demand that the British comply with one further condition – “General James Napper Tandy must be released from prison and restored ‘au sein de la France’ – to the bosom of France..” and, on the night of Sunday, March 7th, 1802, James Napper Tandy was quietly released from prison and put on board a ship for France ; on March 14th of that year he landed in Bordeaux to military and civic receptions. He died there, from dysentery, at 63 years of age, as an Irish patriot, on the 24th August, 1803.

‘O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?

The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!

No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his color can’t be seen

For there’s a cruel law ag’in the Wearin’ o’ the Green.

I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand

And he said, “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”

“She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen

For they’re hanging men and women there for the Wearin’ o’ the Green…” ‘


On the 11th April 1878, a daughter, Kathleen (pictured) was born in Limerick into a well-known and respected republican family, at the head of which sat Edward and Catherine Daly.

‘The man of the house’ worked in the timber business. Her uncle, John Daly, was as well known in republican circles as was her father, and was imprisoned with a man who, despite the fact that he was twenty years older than Kathleen Daly, was to marry her in later years.

That man was Tom Clarke, who was born in a British military camp at Hurst Park in the Isle of Wight, on the 11th March 1858. His father was then a Corporal in the British Army but, like Tom’s mother, was Irish born. A year later Corporal Clarke was drafted to South Africa where the family lived until 1865. Tom first saw Ireland about 1870, when his father was appointed a Sergeant of the Ulster Militia and was stationed at Dungannon in County Tyrone.

To cut a long story short, on the 14th of June, 1883, at the ‘Old Bailey’, Tom Clarke was, with three others, sentenced to penal servitude for life. For 15 years and nine months, in the prisons of Chatham and Portland, he endured imprisonment without flinching ; 15 years and nine months of an incessant attempt, by the British, to deprive him of his life or reason.

This torture did not cease with daylight and recommence on the following day – it was maintained during the hours of darkness when even the lowest criminal was entitled to sleep and rest. But Tom Clarke and his comrades got neither sleep nor rest – cunning devices for producing continuous disturbing sounds were erected over their cells, and these are described in his book ‘Glimpses of an Irish Felon’s Prison Life’. He was released in 1898, aged 40, and spent a short time in Limerick with his friend John Daly before returning to America where, in 1901, he married Kathleen Daly, John Daly’s daughter : she was 23 years of age, he was 43.

“Great God! Did I ever think I would live to see it, to see men who were the bravest, now fooled that this Treaty means a realisation of our highest ideals..” – Kathleen Clarke (Daly), speaking about the ‘Treaty of Surrender’ – but that was ‘then’, as they say, when she was anti-Treaty, to the point that she had been imprisoned in Dublin Castle, in late 1916, by the British administration for her republican activity, and was entrusted, by her husband, in early 1916, to hold on to £3,100 of IRB funds to relieve distressed republicans, as the man knew he might not survive the Easter Rising but wanted to leave some financial assistance for the families of those who might die with him – within days of his death, she had set up the ‘Irish Volunteer Dependents’ Fund’.

She was a judge in the Sinn Féin courts, worked practically full-time on the production of the IRB newspaper, ‘Irish Freedom’, was president of the central branch of Cumann na mBan and was a confidant of the supreme council of the IRB before the Easter Rising, trusted with all available contact details, plans and timing for same, should the known leadership be rounded-up by Westminster.

However, it is known that, after the Treaty, she contacted Michael Collins and told him she would support that Treaty because, she opined, it offered “the machinery to work out to full freedom”, probably the same reason she turned up at the Four Courts in June 1922, after it had been taken back by Liam Mellows and his men from the British-backed Free Staters, and stated to the republicans that what they were doing was “a challenge to Mick Collins and I know Mick well enough that he’ll only accept that challenge until such time as he can get an army together and kick you out of here. Are you going to wait for that..?”.

But, two years after her plea to republicans not to challenge the Free Staters, she travelled to America on a fundraising tour for republican prisoners but (another ‘but’!), two years after that fundraising tour, she assisted de Valera in establishing the ‘Fianna Fáil’ party and was ensconced in the Free State system either as a ‘TD’, a ‘Senator’ and a ‘Lord Mayor’ for Dublin during the years 1921 to 1927, 1928 to 1936 and 1939 to 1941.

She is on record for stating that, in her opinion, Roger Casement “made a fool of himself” by seeking military assistance from the Germans and that he knew nothing about Ireland!

In 1965, she left this country and lived in Liverpool with her son, Emmet, where she died on the 29th September, 1972, aged 94 – 49 years ago on this date. Leinster House gave her a State funeral, and buried her in Deansgrange Cemetery, in Dublin.

As we have said here before – ‘put not your trust in princes’.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.

‘The Editor,

United Irishman.

Dear Editor,

I have been interested in the problem of Ireland, so I am writing this letter which I hope you will print.

The occupation of Northern Ireland
(sic) by the British invaders has effected the whole of Ireland.

And for the last 400 years the British invaders have ruled a peace-loving country like Ireland ; those invaders have persecuted, murdered and robbed the Irish people. What misery the Irish people have been through very few people outside Ireland know or understand.

People today outside Ireland take Britain’s word for it that the people of Northern Ireland
(sic) want British rule. This is just how the British Government fools the world.

But sometime the world will know about Ireland’s fight for independence, and brave Irishmen
(sic) will not have died in vain for their beloved Ireland. St Patrick rid Ireland of snakes. Ireland needs another St Patrick to rid her of British snakes. The IRA are doing a fine job in the cause for a united Ireland and I don’t think that the IRA can ever be repaid as they will deliver the whole of Ireland from the British invader.

This is God’s cause and Ireland’s cause. I end now with ‘Erin go Bragh’!

Yours sincerely,

Kenneth Theodore Telly,

CRE 183 Britts Road,

Cincinnatus Town,

Karachi 5,



Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


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On Wednesday, 22nd September in 1920 – 101 years ago on this date – a British ‘law maker/enforcer’ in Ireland, British Army Captain Alan Cane Lendrum MC (‘Magistrates Court’) (pictured), a 35-year-old County Tyrone man who, before he involved himself in British ‘legal matters’ in Ireland, was an overseer in a rubber plantation in Malaya and had been active with the ‘Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers’ in World War One, was driving his small two-seater Ford car towards Caherfeenick, near Doonbeg, in County Clare. He was on his way to ‘officiate’ at the so-called ‘Petty Sessions’ at Ennistymon Courthouse.

Captain Lendrum was an avid practitioner of British ‘justice’ in Ireland, as he also ‘held court’ in Kilkee, Kilrush and Miltown Malbay, and would have been aware that he had placed himself in ‘competition’ with the Republican Courts, which were operational at that time and were availed of by many people to settle disputes. He no doubt felt somewhat uneasy that his house had previously been searched by the IRA and he knew they were watching his movements, and he was looking to change address from Kilkee to Kilrush.

On that date, the 22nd September in 1920, four members of the West Clare Brigade of the IRA stopped him in his car at a level crossing near Doonbeg, in County Clare, to requisition the vehicle, and an incident ensued – the man went for his gun – and he was shot twice in the head.

George Noblett, an RIC District Inspector and personal friend of Captain Lendrum, later stated : “I am sure he resisted. Alan Lendrum was a man who would never put his hands up and he always carried a small German automatic in those days. His resistance may well have cost him his life but any other action on his part would have been completely out of character…”

His body was concealed in a near-by lake and was not found by the Crown Force search party which was searching the area, due to the man not having arrived at Ennistymon Courthouse but, on a request from his family, his body was later returned to them ; the dead man was put in a roughly constructed coffin which was left on the railway tracks at Craggaknock railway station for the family or the British forces to collect.

British forces in the area were enraged over the killing of Captain Lendrum and the separate Rineen ambush and they moved, en masse, into local towns, killing six civilians in Milltown Malbay, Lahinch and Ennistymon, and burning twenty-six buildings, including the town halls in Lahinch and Ennistymon.

Then the propaganda side of it kicked-in : the British PR machine spread the lie that their man had been buried alive, up to his shoulders, on the shore of a lake, in the knowledge that the flow of the tide would eventually drown him. Those PR people embellished the fable by claiming that IRA men came back to the ‘buried alive’ site the next day to check on their handywork and found that the man was still alive – so they dug him up and re-buried him closer to the shore line. And not only that, but, during the re-burial, he was placed facing the incoming tide, so as he could actually bear witness to his own drowning!

And some people and media outlets in this State ran with it, from the 1920’s up to fairly recently – in 1989, Kevin Myers claimed that the incident had happened but retracted his claim later, and blamed Basil Clarke and his propaganda machine for his ‘mistake’.

In 1951, Sir Christopher Lynch Robinson, in ‘The last of the Irish RMs’, referred to a magistrate being ‘buried alive in the sands’ in Galway.

And there was more –‘The first account of the drowning atrocity appeared in the highly regarded Edinburgh-based ‘Blackwood’s Magazine’ in May 1921 and was loosely based on the ambush and death of Captain Lendrum. Later the same year, the story was reissued by Blackwood’s in ‘Tales of the RIC’, a book of anonymous short stories. This was an ideal propaganda vehicle, enjoying wide circulation at home and abroad.

An ad in ‘The Fortnightly’ (Vol. 110) declared : ‘Read Tales of the RIC and you will there find THE FACTS and no longer be bored’. The ‘facts’ in question made for gruesome reading : ‘And the next flood tide put an end to a torture the like of which Lenin and Trotsky could hardly exceed for sheer malignant devilry’.

Because it presented a macabre vignette of the callous cruelty of the IRA, this story was retold as fact by successive commentators of varying backgrounds. In The Black and Tans (1959) Richard Bennett repeated the story, listing Tales of the RIC as his source in his bibliography. Rex Taylor’s version in Assassination: the death of Sir Henry Wilson and the tragedy of Ireland (1961) baldly stated that Lendrum was buried alive on the beach: ‘In all the history of Irish sadistic violence, there is nothing to equal this atrocity committed against a gallant and decent man’.

The story was recycled through the years in several publications, including ‘Life World Library : Ireland’, by Joe McCarthy (1964), ‘The Irish Constabularies 1822–1922’ by Donal J. O’Sullivan (1999) and ‘A History Of Ireland’ by Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry (1991).

Tim Pat Coogan in ‘Ireland Since The Rising’ (1966) gave it the full treatment, including the reburial facing the tide. A fictional interlude was provided by best-selling novelist Eilis Dillon, who reintroduced the story in The interloper (1967). “I was staying in a house in County Clare..the men I was with were rejoicing — that’s the only word I can use — in the lingering death inflicted on a resident magistrate, buried in the sand and left to drown in the rising tide on a desolate shore..” ‘ (From here.)

However ; on the 5th of October, 1920, in Kilrush, in County Clare, a court of inquiry was held into the death of British Army Captain Alan Cane Lendrum MC, and the death certificate clearly stated that death resulted from ‘..murder (sic) by shooting by persons unknown..’ – no mention or finding of the man having been buried alive or drowned.

But that court finding did not receive the publicity it should have, as it had not got the weight of a British/Free State PR machine behind it. No drowning, no burial alive, no tidal atrocity. Just British and Free State propaganda.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.

Well Done, Lads!

“I would boldly preach the antique faith that fighting is the only noble thing, and that he only is at peace with God who is at war with the powers of evil.” – Padraig Pearse.

Armagh Action Shows The Way ; British troops occupy our country and there are men and women in the Republican Movement preparing to drive them out. Is it possible that they will fail, because you failed to join them?

Think Well On It –

The political parties of Leinster House are hoping at some future time to buy the allegiance of the Orangemen. Meanwhile, the loss to the 32 Counties each year by emigration is far greater than any war. In fighting World War Two, the English lost approximately 500,000 out of 50,000,000.

In the last 25 years, we have lost 675,000 out of little more than 4,000,000. Is the price we are paying in blood worth the remote possibility of buying the Orangemen with money?

You can serve the Nation in the republican ranks : to join the Movement, contact any known branch in your area or write direct to –

Rossa O’Broin, c/o United Irishman, Seán Treacy House, 94 Talbot Street, Dublin.

Sinn Féin, 3 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin.

Clan Na Gael Club, 112 West 72nd Street, New York 23, USA.

Cumann na mBan, 9 North Frederick Street, Dublin.

Na Fianna Éireann, 32 Blessington Street, Dublin.

Clan Na Gael Girl Scouts, 9 North Frederick Street, Dublin.

(END of ‘Get England OUT!’ ; NEXT – ‘Unionist Reaction’, from the same source.)


..IN 1922 :

A Free State soldier, Private James Kennedy, 69 Merchants Cottages, East Road, Dublin, was killed, and several others were injured, as were three civilians, in a gun and grenade attack by republicans on Free State troops at noon on Eden Quay, central Dublin.

An IRA volunteer, Michael Neville, from Lisdoonvarna in County Clare (who worked in Mooney’s pub on Eden Quay) was ‘arrested’ by the Staters and taken to Killester on the north side of Dublin. He was then shot four times –

‘On the 22nd of September 1922, the body of Anti-Treaty Volunteer Michael Neville, a native of Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, was found in a disused graveyard in Killester, County Dublin.

He was a member of the Dublin City Brigade and had been killed while in the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department (C.I.D.) of the Civic Guard in Oriel House. The C.I.D. were better known as the Oriel House Gang. Three men entered Mooney’s Public House, Eden Quay, Dublin, and abducted the barman Michael Nevill, aged 23.

Mooney’s body was found the next day in a disused graveyard in Killester. Witnesses told the inquest that three men had entered the public house and ‘arrested’ Nevill. Witnesses for the Civic Guard told the inquest that no one connected with the Civic Guard had anything to do with the shooting and Nevill was not arrested by them.

Doctor G. Meldon told the inquest he found a number of bullet wounds on the victim including lacerations to the lungs, liver and brain and the victim also had a fractured skull, death was due to shock and haemorrhage…’ (from here.)


Free State Army Colonel Michael Hogan was driving an army medic, John Lyden (Lydon), and two civilians, to Blennerville, Co. Kerry when they encountered some anti-Treaty men. In the ensuing shoot-out, Lyden/Lydon was killed. He was a member of the ‘Dublin Guards’, and was attached to the State Army Medical Corps, and was intending to travel to Dublin, by boat, with the two civilian patients.


A (Protestant) man, James Spratt (50), was shot dead by the British ‘police force’ in Westmoreland Street, in Belfast, because he was breaking curfew trying to go to feed his donkey.


On Friday, the 22nd of September 1922, Free State Army Private William Warren, from Fairview, in Dublin (service number 11151), who was attached to the 2nd Company, 4th Battalion of that organisation, was accidently shot dead by a sentry at Howth Tower, in Dublin. Private Warren was a member of the British Army (seven years service with the ‘Royal Irish Fusiliers’), which he left to join the IRA which, in turn, he left to join the Free State militia. He had failed to answer the challenges of a FS soldier, T. Devine, the sentry, who was exonerated by the inquiry held after the incident.


On the 22nd of September 1922, Private Joseph Guinane, 3rd Southern Division of the Free State Army, was accidentally shot and killed at Bushfield, Nenagh, County Tipperary by Private O’Brien. He was 20 years old and had worked as a farm labourer before joining the Staters and was from Kilmacuddy, Cademstown, County Offaly.



The following article was solicited by ‘IRIS’ from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article – whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement – is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.

(‘1169’ comment – please note that ‘IRIS’ magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

“But that’s all past..”, the new Sinn Féin activist will say,“..we are involved now. In fact, we are in the forefront of the people’s struggles nowadays..”

Maybe that’s true and the activists and militants in those struggles are starting to recognise it, but the consciousness of the mass of the people changes slowly. Didn’t they vote for Charlie Haughey last February? Winning their confidence, convincing them that Sinn Féin is different now*, takes time. Of course, if you don’t like that, you can always try to dissolve them.

There are other factors as well ; however spineless and treacherous the leadership of the Labour Party and trade unions may be, there is a strong working-class consciousness in the cities in the South dating back to the days of Connolly and Larkin. As the Labour leaders have sold out time and again, that consciousness has expressed itself more in union militancy and unofficial strikes than in voting for the Labour Party.

But it is there and, while it is not antagonistic to republicanism, it is suspicious of it…

(‘1169’ comment * – straight out of the nationalist/trot handbook ; ‘we must change our political positions to suit the people’! Irish republicans, on the other hand – recognising that our political position, our objective and the means to obtain it do not need to be changed to suit the prevailing political weather – are in it for the long haul, not for short political gain ie we seek to change the political views held by people rather than change our political views to suit the people.)



Over the last few days, Facebook Admin staff have removed Irish republican pages from their platform : no notification was given, no warnings were issued, no ‘red flags’ raised by them : just immediate and total bans imposed.

In the area where I live (Clondalkin, Dublin) a very active RSF/SFP Facebook page, which had been active over a good few years and had built up a great following, was wiped out on Monday last, 20th September 2021, as were FB Pages belonging to other republican socialist organisations in Ireland.

RSF/SFP in Clondalkin tried three times to contact FB in the hope of resolving the issue but on each occasion they received this standard response – ‘We have removed this Page, Group or Event for being similar to one that we’ve previously removed for violating our Community Standards. You can learn more about our Recidivism Policy. You can disagree with the decision, and we’ll use your feedback to make improvements on future decisions.’

The decision was disagreed with, and FB stated that the Clondalkin Page had been removed because of ‘..graphic violence/hate speech/harassment/ bullying/nudity/sexual activity/sexual exploitation’, an ‘explanation’ which was, of course, immediately rejected and challenged, and an appeal lodged. This was FB’s response to that appeal –

‘We usually offer the chance to request a review, and follow up if we got decisions wrong. We have fewer reviewers available right now because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’re trying hard to prioritize reviewing content with the most potential for harm. This means we may not be able to follow up with you, though your feedback helps us do better in the future. Thank you for understanding.’

Contact is on-going with Facebook, through various channels, but the replies to same – when they bother to reply, that is – contain a mixture of the above-quoted paragraphs.

The FB platform doesn’t ‘play fair’ (surprise, surprise!) and does not lend itself to allowing opinions to be expressed which challenge a ‘bosses agenda’. But, with or without FB, Irish republican socialists will continue to challenge that agenda. We have done that for long before you came on the scene, Mr Zuckerberg, and we’ll carry-on without your platform, when we have to. You may delist and delete us, but you’ll never defeat us!


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.

Billy Flynn, a medical student, asked the young men and women in the crowd to take note of the manliness and nobility of the Omagh prisoners, both in battle and in Court, and.. “..although they are captives within the walls of Belfast Jail, they shall continue to inspire us from the penal cells and their idealism and courage shall be our guide.”

Brendan O Dubhghaill, UCD arts student, read the 1916 Proclamation, and Mr P McGovern also spoke. The meeting concluded with the National Anthem, after which many young men and women enrolled in the Republican Movement.

(END of ‘Students On The March’ ; NEXT – ‘Letters From Our Readers’, from the same source.)

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


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Ireland 1920 : a British ‘law enforcement agent’ approached a group of Irish republicans who were better armed than he was.

Words and actions followed, the culmination of which didn’t work out at all well for the British agent ; he was shot twice in the head and died at the scene.

The British PR machine swung into action (as did that agents armed and uniformed colleagues) and the dead agent turned – literally (almost!) – into a Jesus-like figure who sort of walked on water and who had, so they said, met a horrible and macabre death at the hands of those Irish republicans that he had encountered that day.

The man did die – the British had lost an operative in Ireland – but the manner of his death, as promoted by Whitehall, Westminster and their Free State propagandists, was a complete fabrication but, as Winston Churchill (!) said – “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

And that’s what happened here – to the extent that well-known Irish broadcast and media figures fell for it hook, line and sinker and, indeed – as stated above – kept the lie alive until at least 1989.

We’ll be adding the missing details to this piece in our next blog post…

Thanks for the visit, and for reading ; hope to see you back here on Wednesday, 22nd September 2021.


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The Fenian Brotherhood was founded in Dublin on Saint Patrick’s Day in 1858 and, by 1863, had grown to such an extent that its leadership were in agreement that it was in a position to publish its own newspaper on a weekly basis.

On Saturday, 28th November 1863, the first edition of ‘The Irish People’ newspaper appeared on newsstands throughout Ireland, with copies of it having being dispatched to supporters overseas.

At first, the British and their despicable minions in this country were of the opinion that the newspaper wouldn’t be a success and would not be a threat to their misrule ; indeed, their ‘Number One’ man in Dublin, Daniel Ryan (who was actually in charge of the raiding party on the 15th September 1865), who was the Superintendent of ‘G Division’ of the ‘Dublin Metropolitan Police’, reported back to his Westminster-based paymasters in December 1863 that the newspaper was doomed and would not attain good circulation in this country.

Mr. Ryan had managed to have one of his informers, Pierce Nagle, placed in the newspaper office but the tout misread the true situation.

Those involved with the newspaper were known to the British as being ‘Irish dissidents’ and included Charles Kickham, Thomas Clarke Luby, Denis Dowling Mulcahy, Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, James O’Connor, John Haltigan and John O’Leary (Editor), all of whom were on a British ‘Watch List’.

The newspaper, operating from within the shadows of Dublin Castle – at 12 Parliament Street – prospered and, as expected, was considered to be a ‘seditious publication’ by the British ‘authorities’ so much so that, on the 15th September, 1865 – 156 years ago on this date – they raided the newspaper office and closed it down.

It was not the first Irish newspaper to be censored by the British, nor would it be the last – indeed, one of the ‘Pillars of the Establishment’ in London, ‘The Times’ newspaper, voiced opposition to that policy ; ‘‘A right of interference would be sustainable if the Press were used as an instrument of crime – but not otherwise. We do not regard the advocacy of any political opinion as included in this definition, and we consider that the Press has an indefensible right to report faithfully the happenings of all events whether welcome to the Executive or not…’ (from here, and more of same can re found here.)

One Irish republican newspaper survives to this day, and subscriptions for same can be accessed here. If you haven’t already done so, please consider subscribing now – your financial help would be appreciated. For obvious reasons, we are NOT State funded!


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.

See the immediate reaction of the imperialist press ; ‘The Irish Times’ and ‘The Belfast Telegraph’ each carried the headline ‘A Challenge To Both Governments’, and proceeded to insist that the Dublin and Belfast governments must unite in taking action against the “wild men” who carried out the raid, and their cry was taken up in chorus by the other pro-British newspapers.

In other words , England expects her Irish dupes to do their duty. And their duty apparently is to rally to the defence of the British occupation forces in Ireland. This is very significant, and it is essential that its significance should be brought home to the Irish people, for it must be clear that all talk about partition, about national unity, about political or economic independence for our country – every issue of any importance – hinges on one cardinal factor ; the continued presence of British troops in Ireland.

Those troops still represent the threat of “immediate and terrible war” which forced the acceptance of the Treaty in 1921 and which forced the other acts of submission since.

Their continued presence is intended to ensure that we will remain submissive. If we are to make any progress, whether in the political, social or economic sphere, we must first get the invaders out. That is the fundamental issue, the first step to be taken. If the Armagh Raid has made that point clear – and we are convinced that it has – then if there had not been a single gun captured, it would still have been a wonderful success.

(END of ‘A Tonic’ ; NEXT – ‘Get England OUT!’, from the same source.)


John Blake Dillon (pictured) was born in Dillon House on the Market Square in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, on 5th May 1814. He was educated at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and Trinity College Dublin. He trained as a barrister and was called to the Irish Bar in 1841.

Dillon became well known as one of the founders of the ‘Nation’ journal. During this period, the newspapers available to the Irish public had a British bias. The Nation set out to teach people about their own country and its history (and) was first published on 15th October 1842. The print run of 12,000 copies was sold out on the first day. Dillon contributed an estimated fifty-one articles to the journal between the date of its first issue and May 1843.

After witnessing the devastation the Great Famine (sic) had on the country and in particular the poor, the group tried to gather an army to mount an insurrection. The attempted insurrection took place in 1848 but was a failure. Despite this, the cultural nationalism of the ‘Young Ireland’ movement had a strong influence on later movements that aimed for Irish independence, most notably the Fenians.

John Blake Dillon was a member of the Young Irelanders. This was originally a group of young men in Daniel O’Connell’s Repeal Association. O’Connell’s association advocated the repeal of the Act of Union and refused to resort to physical violence or armed rebellion. However, the Young Irelanders advocated the use of force in order to achieve their aims. Dillon had to flee the country after the failed uprising.

He was convicted of High Treason and sentenced to death (but) managed to escape to the United States, dressed as a priest. There he practiced law until he returned to Ireland under an amnesty in 1855. He was elected as an MP for Tipperary in 1865. A promising career as a politician came to an end when he died of cholera in 1866. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin…’ (from here.)

As stated above, a section of Daniel O’Connell’s ‘Loyal National Repeal Association’ walked-out of a meeting which was being held in the Conciliation Hall in Dublin on the 28th of July in 1846 and broke with the O’Connell-led ‘Repeal Association’ for good ; the so-called ‘Uncrowned King of Ireland’ objected to ‘fighting fire with fire’ ; even when Irish ‘violence’ was to be employed in self-defence, Daniel O’Connell’s ‘Loyal National Repeal Association’ was against it.

This led to tension within that organisation, and a ‘split’ developed – those that left included William Smith O’Brien (a Member of the British Parliament, Harrow-educated, with an accent to match!), Thomas Francis Meagher and John Mitchel, and a new group was established – ‘The Young Irelanders’. That new group’s political position was outlined in their newspaper ‘The United Irishman’ : a call for immediate armed revolt against the British, and a ‘War Council’ was appointed, of which John Blake Dillon was a member.

Try as they might, John Blake Dillon and ‘The Young Irelanders’ were not successful in removing the British military and political presence from this country, but they succeeded in keeping the flame alive.

Although he later renounced the views he had held earlier (ie towards his final years he condemned those who adhered to the views he had expressed earlier regarding armed revolt against the British) his good deeds deserve to be highlighted. He died from cholera, at 52 years of age, in 1866, in Killiney, County Dublin, and is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin.


The following article was solicited by ‘IRIS’ from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article – whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement – is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.

(‘1169’ comment – please note that ‘IRIS’ magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

The hunger-strikes campaign brought in a whole new generation of activists* and they and some of the older republicans have worked hard since 1981 to involve themselves in the day-to-day struggles of the working-class.

And they have had some definite successes, like in the ‘Concerned Parents Against Drugs’ movement in Dublin but, in the meantime, life has got a lot harder for the poor, especially in the last two years with the emergence of the new right-wing consensus between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, the PD’s and the media about paying the international bankers out of the pockets of the poor.

With unemployment at at least 20%, with doctors’ charges, hospital charges and ‘voluntary contributions’ in the schools all to be met, with dole and benefit cuts on the way, with soaring prices and every public service being cut to the bone, the struggle to exist has become so overwhelming in the South that most of the working-class cannot think about anything else. The North has become more and more remote to them and they judge Sinn Féin and anyone else on what they have to say – and what they have done -about working-class issues in the 26 Counties.

And that’s where the burden of history comes in. Historically, Southern workers see Sinn Féin as a party that avoided domestic class issues by concentrating on the national question and copped out of awkward political battles by wrapping itself up in a cloak of sea-green abstentionist purity – remember the line used by a lot of republicans during the abortion referendum ; “We cannot take a position on amending the Constitution because we do not recognise the Constitution..”**

(‘1169’ comment* – most of those new ‘activists’ were that in name only ; they were mostly ‘political theorists’ who had little interest in republicanism other than whatever they personally could get out of it in the long term. Joining the then Sinn Féin organisation was another step in their ‘phd project’ but, unfortunately, there was such an intake of them that they began to have a negative, constitutional effect on the organisation which, in 1983, payed dividends for them, when a sticky-minded leadership was put in place with their help.)

(‘1169’ comment** – we did, as individuals, take part in all aspects of the abortion dispute, some in favour of that medical procedure, some against [I’m in the latter camp] but it would have been a contradictory nonsense for the then Sinn Féin organisation to seek to tweak a written State constitution which it had avowed to do away with. To do so, as an organisation, would have left us open, rightly, to charges of being ‘just another hypocritical political party’. Any Irish republican would know that, but a nationalist/trot wouldn’t understand that reasoning, unless, of course, a situation like that was happening in a far-away conflict zone.) (MORE LATER.)


..1922 – four seperate ‘incidents’ were lodged and recorded by the new Free State Army (which actually had the nerve at that time to call themselves ‘the Official IRA Army’!) as having occurred on that date in Dublin (15th September 1922).

The ‘Irregulars’ (the IRA) laid seige to the main Dublin telephone exchange building, attempted to take over ‘Kingsbridge’ (now Heuston) Railway Station, attacked the Free State Wellington Army barracks (later re-named ‘Griffith Barracks’) and also had a go at the Staters in the Portobello Barracks. On each occasion a gunfight ensued.

…in Dundalk, County Louth, the ‘Irregulars’ made several attacks on Free State troops and took over the power station, cutting off the town’s electricity supply. One State soldier was killed by a hand grenade during the fight.

…in Athboy, County Meath, the Post Office was attacked by the IRA ; one State soldier was killed in the fighting.

The ‘Lord Chief Justice’ of the new Free State, the ‘Right Honourable Sir Thomas Molony 1st’, declared that a state of war existed and stated that Habeas Corpus (ie the right of a citizen to obtain a writ of ‘habeas corpus’ as a protection against illegal imprisonment) no longer applies. The man lived long enough to die on the 3rd September, 1949, and is buried in Gap Road Cemetery in Wimbledon, London, England. He was obviously unable to save himself from being thus ‘imprisoned’.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.

Seosamh MacCriostal, a law student, referring to recent comments on the morality of the actions of the men (sic) who attacked the occupation forces at Armagh and Omagh, said that history was unfortunately littered with examples of such condemnations ; “Politicians have said that these men acted in an immoral and un-Christian manner, but when I look back on the cold-blooded murders which the same politicians committed to suppress the IRA, I realise how ill-equipped they are to dogmatise on morals or Christianity.”

William Fogarty, Veterinary College, reminded the meeting of Padraig Pearse’s words that there is something worse than bloodshed and that is slavery. What was true then, he added, is still true, and if bloodshed was needed to break the chains of slavery, then let there be bloodshed…

Martin O’Connell, a dental student at UCD, told how, two years ago, he had attended lectures with Phil Clarke and “I have never known a more likeable character. He was a quiet man, a brilliant scholar, an All-Ireland cycling champion and now an exemplary patriot..” (MORE LATER.)

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


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John Martin, Irish revolutionary, transportee and politician, was born at Loughborne, near Newry, in County Down, on the 8th September, 1812 – 209 years ago on this date – and he grew up to become a prominent member of the ‘Young Ireland’ movement, a journalist and a politician ; the mark he left on Irish history is perhaps not as well remembered as it should be.

The son of a Presbyterian cleric, John Martin was educated in Dr. Hendersons school in Newry, where he ‘learned his lessons’ with, and from, the young Fenian John Mitchel ; the two young men were of similar mind in relation to the British presence in their country, and formed a friendship that was to last to the end of their days.

John Martin joined Daniel O’Connell’s ‘Repeal Association’ in the early 1840’s , and listened as that organisation and its leadership repeatedly condemned the ‘Young Ireland’ group, stopping short of labelling them as a ‘terrorist’ body ; John Martin and John Mitchel left the ‘Repeal Association’ and assisted William Smith O’Brien to found the ‘Irish Confederation’ movement.

Also, at this time, the well-known Fenian James Fintan Lalor was agitating on the land issue in Ireland and John Martin wrote articles in support of Lalor’s position and had same published in John Mitchel’s newspaper, ‘The United Irishman’.

Mitchel was arrested in 1848 , and his newspaper was shut down ; almost immediately, John Martin founded his own newspaper, which he called ‘The Irish Felon’, and continued on where Mitchel’s ‘paper had been forced to leave off – on the 24th June, 1848, he wrote in his first issue : “I regard the Act of Union as a usurpation and refuse to acknowledge the authority of the London parliament. So long as such a ‘government’ presumes to injure and insult me, and those in whose prosperity I am involved, I must offer to it all the resistance in my power. I hope to witness the overthrow, and assist in the overthrow, of the most abominable tyranny the world now groans under – the British imperial system.”

John Martin quickly published a second issue of ‘The Irish Felon’, again condemning the British Government and its agents in Ireland, and was arrested, charged with treason and sentenced to ten years in Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) ; he was released six years later (1854) on condition that he stayed out of Ireland, which he did.

In January 1856, that proviso was lifted and John Martin returned to his native County Down and again involved himself in the struggle – he was an outspoken supporter of the tenants rights movement and, in May 1870, at the age of 58, he helped to found the ‘Home Government Association of Ireland’.

In 1871, to the disgust of the British, he was elected MP for Meath. His good friend and fellow rebel John Mitchel died in March 1875 and, within a fortnight, John Martin died, aged 63 ; he had lived his life as a thorn in the side of “the most abominable tyranny ; the British imperial system”.

And he helped sow the seeds for more such thorns.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.

Even Irishmen who themselves had served in the British Army agree that it has no right here and that it must be got out.

This is what gave rise to the feeling of delight at Armagh – not to capture some guns, though that is important, not to make the British Army look foolish, not merely a spectacular operation, but to emphasise the fact that the British Army of occupation is still in Ireland, that it holds Irish territory by force of arms and that it must be cleared out!

It is a return to fundamentals. The devilish cunning which conceived the ‘Government of Ireland Act 1920’, which set up two statelets in Ireland and which committed these two puppets to hold Ireland for England “with an economy of English lives”, this diabolical scheme has seen for over 30 years the forces of the Southern State, and the RUC, B Specials and Territorials of the Northern State act as first line of defence as protectors and upholders of the continued grip of England on Ireland.

For over thirty years they have been united on this issue, they have been consistently and deliberately anti-republican. They have played England’s game for her, according to the rules laid down, while the English politicians in the background have been sneeringly contemptuous of their Irish dupes… (MORE LATER.)


On the 8th September 1922 – 99 years ago on this date – a Captain in the Cork No. 1 Brigade, IRA, Tadhg Kennefick (pictured) (aka Tim Kenefick), was on his way to his mothers funeral when he was jumped-on by several Free State soldiers.

They dragged him behind the back of their truck, tied his hands together and then pummeled him to the ground with their rifle butts, knocking out some of his teeth. When, eventually, he was found – dumped behind a wall outside Coachford Village, Cork – his lifeless body showed two gunshot wounds to the head.

An inquest into his death was held in Coachford on the 11th September, at which Coroner John Joseph Horgan presided, after which the verdict was announced : ‘Wilful murder of Timothy Kenefich by National troops at Nadrid, Coachford, Co. Cork, on 8th September, 1922..’

When this was put to Free State Army General Richard James Mulcahy he became defensive and declared that the inquest had been held under the auspices of the “irregulars.. (ie the anti-treaty IRA) ..who were armed to the teeth.”

He ended his input by stating that…”under the circumstances, no action had been taken to bring the so-called guilty troops to justice.” One of Mulcahy’s State Army comrades, Emmet Dalton (who, like Mulcahy, was an IRA-poacher-turned-Free State-gamekeeper) is said to have told Mulcahy that Collins’ Squad were responsible for the death of IRA Captain Kenefick, and that he – Dalton – supported such actions.

Just one of the hundreds of such actions perpetrated on their own people by those left in charge of the ‘new Free State’ by Westminster.

‘By a Traitors Hand

Was His Life Blood Shed

As Crimson He Dyed The Sod

May The Angels Watch Over This Martyrs Bed

And His Soul Find Peace With God.’


The following article was solicited by ‘IRIS’ from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article – whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement – is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.

(‘1169’ comment – please note that ‘IRIS’ magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

Things were flagging badly by 1980 until the hunger-strikes sparked off a new wave of support on an emotional Northern issue.

But towards the end of the hunger-strikes, republicans had realised that only action by the South could save the remaining prisoners and yet public interest was fading in the South. The poor of Kilbarrack, Finglas, Coolock, Ballymun or Gurranebraher in Cork, or Southhill in Limerick, who had come out on H-Block marches, were so burdened down with the daily struggle to survive that they could not keep their attention focused on a seemingly remote issue like the North for any length of time.

And Sinn Féin had virtually nothing to say* to them about their own day-to-day problems or how they were connected with the struggle against imperialism in the North. The hunger-strikes were the start of a whole republican renaissance in the North, but there the national question was in the forefront of everyone’s mind – though even in the North republicans had to (and wanted to) develop policies on housing, unemployment, health, public services etc.

In the South there was still that enormous gap between a movement whose entire pre-occupation appeared to be the national question** and the North, and the working-class whom they wanted to reach but who had more urgent preoccupations of their own…

(‘1169’ comment* ; a completely false and deliberately misleading claim by this anti-republican ‘nationalist/trot’ – in the mid-1980’s, the then Sinn Féin organisation had publicly-accessible policies, in leaflet and pamphlet etc format, on unemployment, agriculture, fisheries, culture etc and these were distributed at public meetings, door-to-door, pub-to-pub etc, and edited versions of same were included in election manifestos during the 1980’s. But a ‘nationalist/trot’ will never let the truth deflect him/her from their anti-republican agenda.)

(‘1169’ comment ; it “appeared” that way to those who made it their preferred business not to look for social polices within the then Sinn Féin organisation in order that they could then dismiss/label the organisation as a one-trick pony.) (MORE LATER.)


On the 8th September 1908 – 113 years ago on this date – Padraig Pearse and Thomas McDonagh, both poets, educators and then soon-to-be leaders in a Rising against British misrule in Ireland, founded and opened a new type of school, one which focussed on the connection between European issues and Irish history.

The premises was located at Cullenswood House, Oakley Road, in Ranelagh, in Dublin, and offered a curriculum of freedom for each student to choose which subjects suited them better and allowed for and, indeed, encouraged, personal development among the students ;

‘Pearse was also influenced by the most modern educational theories of his time, such as those of Maria Montessori and in particular the ‘Direct Method’ of language teaching which he had seen being practised in the bilingual schools of Belgium. Classes were to be taught in both Irish and English, with Irish as the everyday language of the school. At St Enda’s, education was to be an adventure in which the pupils’ imaginations would be stimulated and their individual talents developed..’ (from here.)

The name for the new school was almost settled on as ‘St Lorcans’ but it was felt that ‘St Enda’s’ would better reflect the ethos of what Pearse and McDonagh hoped to achieve ; ‘The mouth of the just shall mediate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgement, the law of his God is in his heart…’ (from here) as St Enda had left behind him the life of a soldier to become a scholar.

In its first year in operation about forty boys were enrolled and in year two this number had increased to about 130, comprising approximately 30 boarders, 70 day-pupils and 30 in preparatory classes. Such was the demand for places, the school moved location to a building in Rathfarnham, in Dublin, known as ‘The Hermitage’, in 1910, and all the Pearse family came on board to play their part in the day-to-day running of the school.

The 1916 Rising intervened in this useful and successful enterprise and the school was closed down – but not for long. Before the end of that same year it had re-opened back in Cullenswood House in Ranelagh and, having re-established itself there, was in a position to move back, again, to The Hermitage, in 1919, which it did.

It suffered the loss of Padraig Pearse and, try as it might, was unable to overcome the absence of his organisational skills, but managed to persevere until 1935, when it closed its gates for good, leaving the way open for the Free State ‘Murder Machine’.

We need people like Padraig Pearse today, and we need his ideals.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.

The biggest republican demonstration seen in Galway for many years took place on February 5th last when the students of the city marched in support of the Omagh prisoners.

Despite opposition from the authorities, a group of students within University College Galway succeeded in organising a magnificent turn out for the Rally and the meeting which followed in Eyre Square held the attention of a big crowd – more than a thousand copies of ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper were sold at the meeting – which the daily papers reported as being only 300 strong!

Mr McNamara, Galway, chaired the meeting and speakers who travelled from Dublin held the huge crowd for more than two hours.

Appealing to the students to step into the ranks of the ever-growing Republican Movement, Seámus Sorahan BL said that their fellow-student Philip Clarke and indeed all the prisoners were a monument to a rising generation and they looked to the people to fill their places in preparation for the bitter fight ahead… (MORE LATER.)


‘Fine Gael’s roots begin in post-revolution Ireland of the 1930s. From 1918 to 1922 there was a huge swell of popular mobilisation involving strikes, boycotts, workers’ occupations and land seizures, as well as an armed struggle between the British forces and the IRA.

Hundreds of thousands were directly involved in the various elements of the revolution ; fighting for national liberation as well as a range of social aspirations, which were ultimately defeated.

After the defeat, a counter-revolution ensued in Irish society, crystallised in the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the subsequent Civil War that enforced it. The counter-revolution was led by right-wing groups and individuals trying to quash the social demands of the revolution. It is from amongst these forces of the counter-revolution that Fine Gael (pictured) would eventually emerge…’ (from here.)

The ‘Fine Gael’ paramilitary/political party was spawned on the 8th September 1933 – 88 years ago on this date – by W.T. Cosgrave, Eoin O’Duffy, James Dillon and Frank MacDermot, who thought (wrongly, obviously, as it transpired) that it would be a good idea to amalgamate their various political/paramilitary outfits into one grouping.

And so it was that Cumann na nGaedheal (which considered itself to be the ‘Party of the Irish’!), the National Centre Party (aka ‘The Farmers Party’) and the ‘Army Comrades Association/National Guard’, who were better known by their other name – the ‘Blueshirts’ – melted together into one bigger shit-show organisation, which they labelled ‘Fine Gael’ (‘Irish Race’), a grouping which represented the supporters of the Treaty of Surrender (the ‘Anglo-Irish Treaty’).

Indeed, the Fine Gael party are so ashamed of their own history that they never talk about or promote it, and their colleagues in the establishment media in this State never seek to discuss it with them as most of them are establishment supporters themselves and don’t want to upset or expose their political colleagues in their Head Office.

We went on to the main Fine Gael website and searched it for ‘Party History’ ; this is what we found –‘History of Fine Gael ; Fine Gael has long been the major vehicle of innovative reform and new thinking in the Irish state, with a proud record of achievement, and with 30,000+ members is the largest political party in Ireland (sic) today.’

And that’s it. That’s all they have to say about their own party history. And if any party that I supported had a history like Fine Gael has, I’d keep quiet about it, too.

The then new paramilitary/political party, ‘Fine Gael’, in 1933, believed that it and its supporters were the continuation of the departing British aristocracy and were entitled to the ‘spoils of war’ just like that aristocracy and, today, that is still how they view themselves.

They enhanced their value among their own type by attempting to tax childrens shoes – they consider the poor and the unemployed to be ‘a burden’ (see Mr Cosgrave’s comments, pictured) – and by making dodgy political appointments and, indeed, by attempting any other nefarious deeds that would continue to enhance their political/financial/moral standing with their own supporters.

Without the (neo-Nazi) Blueshirts there would have been no Fine Gael, but don’t just take my word for it.

That’s it, readers. Can’t handle any more of that, but there’s more here, if you can stomach it.

I need a shower now…

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


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On Wednesday, 8th September next, we’ll be posting a seven-part blog post which will include a few paragraphs on fascism in Ireland, from the 1930’s to this year.

Due to the savage manner of how this corrupt State was spawned in 1922, right-wing political opportunists took advantage of the turmoil created by the British and by the new Free State regime to attempt to establish and promote themselves as ‘leaders-in-waiting’ but, before they either ‘burned out’, collapsed or were put out of business, they seen the writing on the wall and came to an agreement between themselves, the ramifications of which are still being felt in this State today.

Indeed, one such right-wing grouping is so aware that its political history would be detrimental to its future prospects that it actually refuses to disclose same to its own members and supporters, never mind to the general public!

All this (and more!! – six other items, to be precise..) will be posted here on Wednesday, 8th September 2021.

If you’re interested in where and when it all started to go wrong for this gombeen State, then check us out on Wednesday coming. Unlike with most things in politics, you won’t be disappointed.


Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


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On the 1st of September, 1803 – 218 years ago, on this date – two Irishmen were executed by the British for the part they played in supporting Robert Emmet in his quest to remove the British presence from this country.

It was not only college-educated men and women like Robert Emmet (ie those who might be perceived as being ‘upper class’) who decided to challenge Westminster’s interference in Irish affairs in 1803 : so-called ‘working class’ men and women also paid the ultimate price for daring to challenge that unwanted presence.

On the 1st September, 1803, two such men were executed by the British ; Edward Kearney, a carpenter, was hanged in Thomas Street, in Dublin, as was Owen Kirwan, a tailor –

‘Owen Kirwan afterwards to wit on the twenty-third day of July in the said forty-third year of the reign of our said lord the king with force and arms at Plunket-street aforesaid in the city and county of the city of Dublin aforesaid with a great multitude of persons whose names are to the said jurors unknown to a great number to wit to the number of one hundred persons and upwards armed and arrayed in a warlike manner to wit with swords guns and pikes being then and there unlawfully maliciously and traitorously assembled and gathered together against our said lord the now king most wickedly maliciously and traitorously did ordain prepare levy and make public war against our said lord the king his supreme and undoubted lord contrary to the duty of the allegiance of him the said Owen Kirwan against the peace of our said lord the king his crown and dignity and contrary to the form of the statute in such case made and provided…’ (from here.)

‘After he (Edward Kearney) was hanged, his head was cut off by the executioner, who held it up in his hand to the spectators, according to the law against his crime, saying, “Behold the head of a traitor.” His remains were brought back in a cart to the prison, and afterwards interred in the yard of Newgate…’ (from here.)

“A man in my situation, my lords, has not only to encounter the difficulties of fortune and the force of power over minds which it has corrupted or subjugated, but the difficulties of established prejudice : the man dies, but his memory lives…” – Robert Emmet.

And their memories will live on, even after the conflict in this country has been fully and finally settled. We may eventually forgive, but we’ll never forget.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.

The brilliantly sucessful raid on Armagh military barracks has been a wonderful tonic to every Irishman (sic)with even the smallest spark of national feeling in him (sic).

When the news was flashed in great headlines across the newspapers, when it was repeated on the radio, Irish shoulders straightened, Irish heads lifted higher and there was a feeling of delight everywhere. In the public streets, in factories and workshops, in the theatres and dance halls, the mention of Armagh brought rounds of applause.

Men (sic) who were active republicans but who have since grown tired, those who have been Free State supporters since 1922, and those who “never took any part in politics” all echoed their praise of the courage and daring of those who carried it out.

For all are agreed on this one point – the British Army has no right in Ireland. It is the army of the aggressor, of the robber Empire, and its only right in Ireland is the ‘right’ of conquest, of naked force…

(‘1169’ comment
: Politically, as well as militarily, the British have no right in Ireland.) (MORE LATER.)


‘Irish Volunteers split over Redmond’s recruitment plea. Founders of movement call for the establishment of a ‘National Government’ in Dublin.

Tensions within the Irish Volunteers have flared into open view with the announcement that all John Redmond’s nominees have been removed from the ruling committee. The announcement came in a statement by twenty members of the governing committee that is highly critical of John Redmond. Issued by the founder of the Irish Volunteers, Prof. Eoin MacNeill, the statement condemns Mr. Redmond for his call on Irish Volunteers to join the British army. It reads:

‘Mr. Redmond, addressing a body of Irish Volunteers on last Sunday, has now announced for the Irish Volunteers a policy and programme fundamentally at variance with their own published and accepted aims and pledges. He has declared it to be the duty of the Irish Volunteers to take foreign service under a government which is not Irish. He has made this announcement without consulting the Provisional Committee, the Volunteers themselves, or the people of Ireland, to whose service alone they are devoted…’

(The statement was laced with bitterness at the manner in which Mr. Redmond had assumed control over the Volunteers three months ago when it was a proven success, having initially opposed its establishment and operations…) (from here.)

John Redmond (pictured) was born on the 1st September, 1856, in Dublin and, from a position of power within nationalism in Ireland, he encouraged Irish people to join the British Army to “..account yourselves as men not only in Ireland itself, but wherever the firing line extends..” by which he meant that Irish people should shoulder weapons for British objectives in the hope that Westminster would look favourably on the Irish for doing so!

At the time that Mr Redmond made his ‘Join the British Army’ call, the organisation that he was in the leadership of, the ‘Irish Volunteers’, was approximately 180,000 strong ; at least half of the ‘IV’ leadership were Redmond’s people and, as he was also in the leadership of the ‘Irish Parliamentary Party’, his words carried weight within the political and media circles of the day.

However, thankfully, not everyone was smitten by the man ; the ‘Irish Volunteers’ split, with the majority unfortunately siding with Redmond, and calling themselves the’National Volunteers’, but approximately 11,000 of the membership refused to join with him in his new organisation and, within a few short years, as the actual raison d’être of the new organisation became even more unclear, it’s power waned as, indeed, did Redmond himself – in early March, 1918, he underwent an operation to remove an intestinal blockage.

The operation was, at first, considered successful but directly or indirectly caused the man to suffer a heart attack, from which he died on the 6th March, 1918. No doubt the British missed his input and support.


The following article was solicited by ‘IRIS’ from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article – whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement – is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.

(‘1169’ comment – please note that ‘IRIS’ magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

Sinn Féin in the 26 Counties became little more than a support group for the IRA in the North. In so far as it had any policies of its own, they were the tired old ones of abstentionism, the Second Dáil, federalism, and a vague sort of liberal co-operativism that would not scare away small business people but would not do anything for the working class either.

For years that did not seem to matter. Emotional support for the Northern nationalists was at a peak and all Sinn Féin had to do was channel it. Other issues seemed secondary at the time. And even when that support began to wane in the mid-1970’s and Southern governments stepped up their attacks on republicans with the ‘Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act’, seven-day detention, the ‘Heavy Gang’ etc, nobody paid too much attention to Sinn Féin’s policies, or lack of them, on day-to-day issues.

The task of the Movement was to fight repression and it took up all the time and attention of the activists and supporters…

(‘1169’ comment* – the then Sinn Féin organisation had indeed got policies in regards to those issues, among many other issues, as those issues relate to republicanism and the republican position, politically, as should be expected from an Irish republican organisation! To attempt to dismiss those issues as ‘tired old policies’ is a strong indication that the person doing so does not understand the nexus or, indeed, the basics of Irish republicanism, and has little or no interest in same.)

(‘1169’ comment** – in other words, if republican activists were not so determined to support and promote republican objectives and campaign and fight against State attacks on those objectives, those activists would have had more time to spend in support of [far-away] campaigns and fights against injustice in other countries!)



Pictured, left – Roger Casement’s body being re-interred (on Monday, 1st March 1965) in the Republican Plot in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, having been released by the British from Pentonville Prison in Islington, North London.

Ruairí Dáithí Mac Easmainn (Roger Casement) was born on the 1st September, 1864 – 157 years ago, on this date – in Sandycove, County Dublin, the son of Captain Roger Casement of the 3rd Dragoon Guards of the British Army and Anne Jephson from Mallow, County Cork.

His mother had him secretly baptised in her own religion, Roman Catholic, but he was raised in the Protestant faith of his father. As both his parents died young, Roger was taken in by an uncle, near Ballycastle, County Antrim, and educated as a boarder at the diocesan school in Ballymena.

From 1895 onwards he held consular appointments at various locations in Africa, including Boma in the Congo (1904) where, for the British Foreign Office, he investigated Belgian human rights abuses of the indigenous people. Later, in Peru, he was commissioned to undertake a report on the reported abuse of workers in the rubber industry in the Putumayo basin, which earned him a knighthood after his findings were published as a parliamentary paper (1911).

He had been a member of the Gaelic League and became increasingly radicalised by the opposition of the Ulster unionists to Home Rule from 1912 onwards and wrote nationalist articles under the pseudonym ‘Seán Bhean Bhocht’.

He rarely receives a mention when it comes to the writers and poets of 1916 (“Of unmatched skill to lead by pathways rife/With danger and dark doubt, where slander’s knife/Gleamed ever bare to wound, yet over all/He pressed triumphant on-lo, thus to fall” – ‘Parnell’, by Roger Casement) yet his reports from the Putumayo and from the Congo show a writer of great talent.

His descriptions of the horrendous brutality inflicted on innocent and perfectly peaceful native inhabitants was enough to force a change of policy with regard to the treatment of workers and slaves on the rubber plantations. Casement wrote in 1911 that “..the robbery of Ireland since the Union has been so colossal, carried out on such a scale, that if the true account current between the two countries were ever submitted to any impartial tribunal, England would be clapped in jail..”.

For his part in trying to stop that robbery he was convicted of treason by the British and sentenced to death after a three-day ‘trial’ (held at the Old Bailey in London between the 26th and the 29th of June 1916, where he was prosecuted by ‘Sir’ Edward Carson, the Orange Order bigot).

His speech from the dock is not as appreciated as it should be –

“With all respect I assert this Court is to me, an Irishman, not a jury of my peers to try me in this vital issue for it is patent to every man of conscience that I have a right, an indefeasible right, if tried at all, under this Statute of high treason, to be tried in Ireland, before an Irish Court and by an Irish jury.

This Court, this jury, the public opinion of this country, England, cannot but be prejudiced in varying degree against me, most of all in time of war. I did not land in England ; I landed in Ireland. It was to Ireland I came ; to Ireland I wanted to come ; and the last place I desired to land in was England. But for the Attorney General of England there is only ‘England’ — there is no Ireland, there is only the law of England — no right of Ireland ; the liberty of Ireland and of the Irish is to be judged by the power of England.

Yet for me, the Irish outlaw, there is a land of Ireland, a right of Ireland, and a charter for all Irishmen to appeal to, in the last resort, a charter that even the very statutes of England itself cannot deprive us of — nay, more, a charter that Englishmen themselves assert as the fundamental bond of law that connects the two kingdoms..” (..more here).

I say that Roger Casement

did what he had to do.

He died upon the gallows,

but that is nothing new.

Afraid they might be beaten

before the bench of Time,

they turned a trick by forgery

and blackened his good name.

A perjurer stood ready

to prove their forgery true ;

they gave it out to all the world,

and that is something new.

For Spring Rice had to whisper it,

being their Ambassador,

and then the speakers got it

and writers by the score.

Come Tom and Dick, come all the troop

that cried it far and wide,

come from the forger and his desk,

desert the perjurer’s side.

Come speak your bit in public

that some amends be made

to this most gallant gentleman

that is in quicklime laid.
(From here.)

Roger Casement was sentenced to “death by rope” on the 29th June 1916 and was executed by the British on the 3rd of August that year in London, England.

God’s curse on you, England…


.. 1920 –

On Wednesday, 1st September 1920, the IRA ambushed an RIC cycle patrol at Ratra Crossroads, County Roscommon ; five RIC men on bicycles were attacked at Rathmacross (or Ratra Crossroads) in County Roscommon (located between Ballaghdereen and Frenchpark) resulting in the deaths of two RIC operatives ( Edward Murphy and Martin McCarthy) and one IRA man, Captain Tom McDonagh from the South Sligo Brigade.

The IRA ambush party of about 25 men were under the command of Jim Hunt and Michael Marren from the East Mayo Brigade. Captain McDonagh’s body was dragged by British Crown Forces through the streets of Ballaghdereen and put on public display, and a number of buildings and businesses were burnt or blown up in Ballaghdereen that night, by the RIC, in reprisal.

Thomas J McDonagh was a leading member of C Company, 4th Battalion, Sligo Brigade, IRA. He was 20 years old and was born in the USA, moved to Ireland after his parents died when he was five years old and grew up with his grandmother and uncle on their small farm. He trained as a stereotyper in the offices of the Herald Works but, due to illness in the family, he returned to working on the family farm.

Also, on that same date (1st September 1920) the following actions took place :

The 6th Battalion of Cork Number 1 Brigade, IRA, ambushed British forces at Inniscarra, in the barony of Muskerry East, County Cork ; the enemy forces escaped, and there was no casualties reported by either side.

IRA Volunteer Patrick McKenna, 24, from Church Street in Castleblaney, in County Monaghan, a member of the Castleblayney Company, 4th Battalion, 2nd Monaghan Brigade IRA, was shot dead during an IRA-authorised arms raid in his home town.

The perpetrators, William and Robert Fleming, a father and son team who were, apparently, members/supporters and/or involved with the ‘Ulster Special Constabulary’, a paramilitary reserve pro-British ‘special constable police force’ in the Occupied Six Counties, were later executed by the IRA (our photograph shows the British trappings on display at their funeral).

Lieutenant Bernard Marron IRA died as a result of gunshot wounds received while raiding for arms at Corcreagh, County Monaghan. He was a carpenter by trade and was from Monaghan, and was about 29 years old. He was found in a field at Corcreagh about one mile from Shercock (on the morning of Wednesday, 1st of September 1920), badly wounded to the head with a gunshot wound and was taken into the house of Mr. Thomas McKenna. He survived for several hours before his wound got the better of him.

Volunteer John (‘Jack’) O’Brien, 1st Battalion, 3rd Northern Division, IRA, was killed at Carrick Hill, Belfast while engaged in picket duty. He was shot at the corner of Park Street and Kildare Street, on the 1st September, 1920, and was taken to the Royal Hospital, where he died, two days later. His funeral service was held in St Patrick’s chapel in Donegal. He was 49 years of age, and left behind his wife, Sarah, and children Sarah, Margaret and John.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.

The great majority of men and women who are products of the secondary schools and colleges bow to the conqueror and the spirit of slavery prevails.

Britain is well aided and abetted by ‘the government of the Republic of Ireland’, and here is one instance – if a teacher who was trained in a Belfast training college is appointed to a job in the 26-counties, the State Department of Education will not sanction the appointment – however great the need for the teacher or however anxious the manager is to have him or her. And it is not a question of language, as the rule would apply to a native speaker.

The teacher is an ‘alien’, educated in Belfast. So that is that!

(END of ‘An Empty Formula’ ; NEXT – ‘Students On The March’, from the same source.)

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


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‘I have the honour to inform you that the Government of the Irish Republic [32 counties], having as its first duty towards its people the establishment and maintenance of peace and order here, demand the withdrawal of all British armed forces stationed in Ireland.

The occupation of our territory by troops of another nation and the persistent subvention here of activities directly against the expressed national will and in the interests of a foreign power, prevent the expansion and development of our institution in consonance with our social needs and purposes, and must cease.

The Government of the Irish Republic believe that a period of four days is sufficient notice for your Government to signify its intentions in the matter of the military evacuation and for the issue of your Declaration of Abdication in respect of our country. Our Government reserves the right of appropriate action without further notice if upon the expiration of this period of grace, these conditions remain unfulfilled…’ – IRA ultimatum to the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, 12th January, 1939.

Westminster ignored the Irish republican ultimatum, thus setting in motion “appropriate action” by republican forces in England. Over the next few months, at least 300 bombing incidents took place in different British cities, targeting infrastructure such as electricity stations, post offices, gas stations and government buildings.

The last known attack took place in London on the 18th of March, 1940 – indeed, following the Coventry ‘own goal’ by the IRA, there were a further 42 such incidents attributed to Irish republicans, culminating in the London explosion, mentioned above.

It was on Friday, the 25th August, 1939 (a few days before Hitler’s German army invaded Poland), that an IRA man from Cork, Joby O’ Sullivan, strolled through Broadgate, in Coventry, wheeling a push bike (a ‘Halford Karriwell’ model, purchased from the ‘Halford Cycle Company’ in Smithford Street, in Coventry), heading for the police station.

The bike apparently, repeatedly, got stuck in tram tracks on the road and, frustrated, he removed it from the road and propped it up against a wall. The bike had an armed bomb in the basket that was fixed to the handlebars, which had been wired up to an alarm clock timer, which was set for about 2.30pm. He left it there, and walked away, claiming afterwards that he was frustrated with the problem caused by the tram tracks. The five-pound bomb exploded prematurely, killing five people and injuring dozens more.

Joby O’Sullivan said later that he wasn’t caught because the British police were expecting Irish suspects to get a ferry at Holyhead back to Ireland, but instead he got a train to London and stayed there “until everything died down.”

Shortly after the Coventry explosion, Peter Barnes (pictured, who was in London on the day of the explosion) was arrested at the lodgings he was staying in and, three days after that, James McCormack (aka ‘James Richards’) was pulled-in along with the other tenants of the house he was staying in. The ‘trial’ began in December (1939) and both men were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging. Throughout the court case, James McCormack remained silent until he told the court – “As a soldier of the Irish Republican Army, I am not afraid to die, for I am dying in a just cause.”

Peter Barnes stated to the court – “I would like to say as I am going before my God, as I am condemned to death, I am innocent, and later I am sure it will all come out that I had neither hand, act or part in it. That is all I have to say.” In his last letter (to his brother) he wrote – “If some news does not come in the next few hours all is over. The priest is not long gone out, so I am reconciled to what God knows best. There will be a Mass said for us in the morning before we go to our death. Thank God I have nothing to be afraid of. I am an innocent man and, as I have said before, it will be known yet that I am.”

In the last letter he ever wrote, James McCormack, pictured, said – “This is my farewell letter, as I have been just told I have to die in the morning. As I know I am dying for a just cause, I shall walk out tomorrow smiling, as I shall be thinking of God and of the good men who went before me for the same cause.” (That letter was addressed to his sister, as both of his parents were dead.)

In Winson Green Prison, Birmingham, at 8.50am on Wednesday, 7th February 1940, the two men received a final blessing. Minutes later they walked together to the scaffold and were hanged by four executioners.

May all involved Rest in Peace.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.

I haven’t too much money to spare, but for promotion of this idea I am heartily willing to squeeze out ten guineas as the start of a fund for a grand ‘Armagh Commemoration Day’.

Signed – Seumas MacManus.

‘UI’ Editors Note ; Seumas MacManus is a well-known poet who has spent many years in the USA, where much of his work was published.

He is now back home in his native Donegal. The above letter was refused publication by ‘The Irish Press’ newspaper and by ‘The Irish Independent’ newspaper.)

(END of ‘The Break Of Armagh : A Suggestion By A World-Famous Poet’ – NEXT : ‘A Tonic’, from the same source.)


‘Beside a block of two houses in Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6, is a small plaque remembering rebel leader Robert Emmet. While his grand statue in St Stephen’s Green is a well-known landmark, this plaque is much easier to pass by without a second glance. But it holds quite an interesting story, as marking the site of the house where Emmet hid before his eventual capture and execution.

After his failed rising against British rule in July 1803, Emmet fled into hiding and eventually ended up in a house in Harold’s Cross under the assumed name of a lodger called Hewitt..’ (from here.)

It was during his stay in the Harold’s Cross ‘safe house’ that he met-up with his mother and Sarah Curran but, on Thursday August 25th, 1803 – 218 years ago on this date – he was finally ‘arrested’ by the British. It has been stated by others that a £1000 reward was paid by Dublin Castle to an informer, for supplying the information which led to his capture.

Robert Emmet’s misfortunes did not stop on his arrest : he had the misfortune to be defended by one Leonard McNally (pictured) who was trusted by the United Irishmen.

However, after McNally’s death in 1820, it transpired that he was a highly paid government agent and, in his role as an informer, that he had encouraged young men to join the rebels, betrayed them to Dublin Castle and would then collect fees from the United Irishmen to ‘defend’ those same rebels in court!

Emmet was tried before a ‘Special Commission’ in Green Street Court House in Dublin (..some political groupings today will swear their allegiance to Emmet and that which he represents while at the same time refusing to make a stand against such ‘Special Commissions’!) on September 19th, 1803.

The ‘trial’ lasted all day and by 9.30pm he was pronounced guilty ; asked for his reaction, he delivered a speech which still inspires today. He closed by saying that he cared not for the opinion of the court but for the opinion of the future – “..when other times and other men can do justice to my character..” Robert Emmet, 25 years young, was publicly executed on Tuesday September 20th outside St Catherine’s Church in Dublin’s Thomas Street ; he was hanged and his body was then beheaded.

The final comment on the value of Robert Emmet’s Rising must go to Seán Ó Brádaigh, who states that to speak of Emmet in terms of failure alone is to do him a grave injustice.

He and the men and women of 1798 and 1803 and, indeed, those that went before them, set a course for the Irish nation, with their appeal to Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter under the common name of ‘Irishman’, which profoundly affected Irish life for more than two centuries and which will, we trust, eventually bear abundant fruit, regardless of the amount of ‘poison fruit’ – like McNally – that constantly try to hinder progress in that direction.


The following article was solicited by ‘IRIS’ from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article – whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement – is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.

(‘1169’ comment – please note that ‘IRIS’ magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

For various reasons, the IRA reverted back to a purely military policy and by the 1940’s both (P)Sinn Féin and the IRA were seen as solely concerned with military campaigns in the North and Britain, uninterested in social and economic issues, and obsessed with weird and esoteric arguments about the legitimacy of Leinster House, which the bulk of the population had long since settled down to accepting as fact.

(P)Sinn Féin’s fortunes picked up briefly with the initial success of the 1950’s border campaign, but basically by 1962 its image was the same as in the 1940’s and the whole Movement’s attitude was summed up in the statement ending that campaign, which blamed the Irish people for not supporting it,
* their liberators – dissolving the people again!

There were attempts to change things in the 1960’s with the increasing involvement in social issues through groups like the ‘Dublin Housing Action Committee’ and they seemed to be having a fair degree of success. But the split in 1970 cut short that development ; the Stickies sold out on the struggle in the North but because Sinn Féin in the South focused at that time on abstentionism and attacks on the Marxist policies of the Stickies, many of the activists on social and economic issues went with Gardiner Place (the Stickies) only to become disillusioned later and go up the blind alley of the IRSP…

(‘1169’ comment –* “…weird and esoteric arguments about the legitimacy of Leinster House..”! And that nicely sums up just how a confused nationalist/trot views a political subject which is alien to them – republican history. The further away a conflict is, the louder they shout their support for it, but a political conflict on their own doorstep will be dismissed by them as a “weird obsession” as they elbow you out of the way in their rush to cheerlead for a far-away conflict!)

(‘1169’ comment –**Not so : in late February 1962, the IRA Army Council issued a press release in which they announced the ending of the ‘Border Campaign’ due to various factors, including ‘the attitude of the deliberately distracted general public’. That anti-republicans and trots/far-away cheerleaders should seek to misrepresent and ‘spin’ that Army Council statement is par for the course with that type as that’s how their confused mindset works – they don’t understand the nuances in republicanism which is to be expected, as they don’t understand republicanism itself!)



..1764 – ‘James (Jemmy) Hope was born in County Antrim in 1764.

Heavily influenced by his Presbyterian faith and by the ideas of the American Revolution, in 1782 he joined the Irish Volunteer movement, which was initially raised to protect Ireland, but which progressively became more radical in its outlook and demands. In 1789 he marched with them to celebrate the taking of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution.

When the Volunteers waned, James joined the newly formed United Irishmen, which sought the end of British rule and an independent Ireland. The authorities watched the growth of the United Irishmen with concern. On war being declared against France in 1793, they were declared illegal and they went underground…’ (from here.)

..1919 – IRA members took an oath to the Cause of Irish republicanism and began using the name ‘Irish Republican Army’ ; five days before that event took place, the [32-County] Dáil Éireann passed a Motion that that Oath of Allegiance to the [32-County] Irish Republic should be taken by all members of the ‘Irish Volunteers’ and by the members and staff of the Dáil, and it was on the 25th August that that process began.

..1920 – An RIC ‘Constable’, Matthew Haugh, was shot dead in Bantry, County Cork, by the IRA. He was a 25-years-young native of Ennis, in County Clare, and was shot and killed when his ‘police patrol’ was ambushed at Chapel Street in Bantry, Co Cork. The other three of his paramilitary colleagues that were with him at the time were injured, but fled the scene.

..1922 – A Free State CID Motor Driver was fatally wounded in an IRA attack at Deansgrange, in Dublin and, on that same date (25th August 1922) a Free State soldier was shot dead and a barracks burned at Shortcourse, in Waterford and, also on that date, a 17-years-young Free State soldier, Michael Bannon, from Fardrum, in Athlone, County Westmeath, was shot dead by the IRA in Tubbercurry, in County Sligo.

Dying at such a young age, fighting to defend the undefendable.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.

Supposing – and it would take a great stretch of imagination – but supposing Pearse or Connolly had done that, would it have been any more justifiable, any less despicable?

We believe in the sacredness of an oath, and for that reason the Republican Movement cannot admit into its ranks any who are bound by an oath of allegiance to England. The taking of this oath of allegiance is a condition of employment for all teachers in the Six Counties, for all nurses in hospitals over which Stormont has any control and for all civil servants. In fact, for every worker who gets a payment from the government.

This means that a great number of splendid men and women may not become affiliated to the Republican Movement because they are bound by oath “to render true and faithful allegiance to ‘Her Majesty’ “. Many of these, especially a great body of schoolteachers, work very hard for the language, and for the national games and dances, and turn out of the schools the makings of grand republican soldiers, although they own that they themselves have had to swallow the bitter pill.

There are, however, a great crowd who take this oath and make the excuse of Mr de Valera which has now become so familiar that we are sometimes at a loss to know which is the right definition of an oath – is it the one we learned in the catechism or is it “an empty formula..”? (MORE LATER.)


The Annual Bundoran Hunger Strike Commemoration will be held on SATURDAY 28th of AUGUST, 2021, meeting up at the East End of Bundoran, at 3pm. This year is the 40th anniversary of the H-Block Hunger-Strike.

Regardless of where you were or who you were with 40 years ago, we hope you’ll be in Bundoran, with us, this year. See ye there!

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


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