The following statement was issued subsequent to a meeting of the Caretaker Executive of Sinn Fein on January 17th 1970 .

It is of interest to note that the entire Cumann na mBan organisation was expelled from the Republican Movement because it objected to these ‘radical groups’ with their banners taking part in the Bodenstown parade of 1968 . The Sligo town Cumann of Sinn Fein , which included the Mayor , the late Councillor Norbert Ferguson , was disbanded in 1969 because they objected to the local Connolly Youth Movement marching as a body in uniform , in the annual Easter Commemoration parade .

After those Republicans were thrown out without their side of the case being heard , a ‘new’ Cumann of Sinn Fein was formed consisting almost entirely of the Connolly Youth members . We leave it to the people of Ireland to draw their own conclusions in regard to this point : we know that in other countries which have come under the control of organisations similar to these ‘radical groups’ , totalitarian dictatorship has been the outcome . We have no reason to believe that the result would be any different in Ireland. We believe that the delegates who ‘walked out’ had long been disgusted with the internal methods in operation in the Republican Movement for some time and indeed with the general atmosphere at the Ard Fheis .

In 1966 , the entire North Kerry Comhairle Ceantair of Sinn Fein , embracing 13 Cumainn and 250 members and including three local councillors and leading figures such as Miss May Daly (sister of Charlie Daly , executed at Drumboe , Donegal , in 1923 ) , John Joe Rice , Sinn Fein T.D. , 1957-1961 and John Joe Sheehy , veteran Republican and Kerry footballer , were ousted from the organisation . The underlying issue was the uncompromising stand of Kerry in refusing recognition to Westminster , Leinster House and Stormont . Others in Cork and Kildare resigned in disgust at what was happening …….


First published in ‘IRIS’ magazine , Volume 1 , Number 2 , November 1981 .

On Saturday , 26th September 1981 , a statement was issued by the Republican prisoners who were on hunger-strike :

” From recent experience we have found Fr. Faul to be a conniving , treacherous man , not in the least shy about twisting the truth to achieve his own ends . Once he decided to oppose the continuation of the hunger-strike , he threw himself into a vigorous campaign to discredit both we prisoners and the National H-Block Committee .

Realising the futility of such a campaign , he turned his attention to the hunger-strikers’ families , who are under tremendous pressure as it is , and he actively set about increasing the pressure on them . He has insinuated that those mothers who so courageously stood by their sons were somewhat less than ‘loving mothers’ ; and we utterly deplore such devious manipulation of emotional words to maximise the pressure on families , and especially on mothers , to go against their sons’ expressed wishes .

At one stage , Fr. Faul was seen to be a sincere cleric who was genuinely concerned about the attainment of justice for prisoners , but now he has forfeited that moral standpoint on justice and emerged as the best friend the British government has . ” (End of Statement.)

The prisoners’ statement was in reality no more than putting their view on the historical record …….


As the Anglo-Irish talks reach their conclusion , FINTAN O’TOOLE talks to activists of Ian Paisley’s Democratic Unionist Party and hears that they would prefer civil war to an accommodation with Dublin .
First published in ‘MAGILL’ magazine , November 1985 .

If the Free State administration does not believe that the basic ‘security structures’ of the Six Counties can be reformed in the absence of a united Ireland , then there is no point in calling , as Charles Haughey has done , for the disbandment of the UDR before a united Ireland is achieved .

A cosmetic level of constitutional ‘progress’ which consists in no more than the establishment of a ‘consultative process’ achieves only the worst of both worlds , giving a validity to discredited ‘security forces’ and at the same time risking an escalation of loyalist violence . What is needed is real and tangible progress towards finding acceptable institutions of justice .

Without it , all the talks of “…historic objectives and a united Ireland .. ” is just so much verbiage .

(Tomorrow – ‘ENTERING LEINSTER HOUSE – A VETERAN SPEAKS’ : from October 1986.)

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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