THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE IRISH STRUGGLE …….
This article is based on a lecture delivered by Sean O Bradaigh in Dublin on January 21 , 1989 , marking the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the First (All-Ireland) Dail Eireann in the Mansion House on January 21 , 1919 , and the links between Irish and French Republicans – ‘Partners in Revolution’ 200 years ago .
Published in 1989 by Sean Lynch , Cleenrath , Aughnacliffe , County Longford , on behalf of the County Longford Branch of the National Graves Association .
By Sean O Bradaigh .
Liberte ! Egalite ! Fraternite ! Ou La Mort ! ( (Freedom ! Equality ! Brotherhood ! or Death!).
Unite Indivisibilite De La Republique !
On the day Castlebar was liberated – August 27 , 1798 , James Napper Tandy 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 16 , 1798 but , on hearing of General Humbert’s defeat at Ballinamuck , they withdrew . On September 21 , 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 22 , 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 , he was extradited on October 1 , 1799 : 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 …….
THE UNBROKEN LINKS IN THE IRISH REPUBLICAN CHAIN …….
By Martin Calligan.
(No year of publication.)
Tom Clarke served 14 years under the most brutal conditions in an English prison for his part in a bombing campaign in England .
Eamonn Kent stated – ” I leave for the guidance of other Irish revolutionaries who will thread the path that we have trod – this advice – never treat with this enemy , never surrender to their mercy : fight to a finish . This enemy has never cherished one generous thought for those with poor equipment and small in numbers , who withstood their forces for one glorious week . I shrink not from death at daybreak … ”
Sean McDiarmada stated – ” In a few hours I will join my comrades in a better world . I am sentenced to die in the morning : I die that Ireland might live . The job-hunters will condemn our action , but posterity will judge us right . ”
In his address to the Court Martial , Thomas McDonagh said : ” I chose to think that you have done your duty according to our rights in sentencing me to death and I accept your sentence with joy and pride since it is for Ireland I am about to die …. ” The British occupation have never for more than a hundred years been compelled to confront in field of battle such formidable force . While Ireland lives the brain and the brawn of her manhood will strive to destroy the last vestige of British rule in Ireland …….
Then from left and right they came ,
more mangled corpses , bleeding , lame ,
holding their wounds : they chose their grounds –
ghost by ghost , without a sound .
One stepped forward , soiled and white :
” A bomber I . I travelled light , four pounds of nails and gelignite
about my person , hid so well – they seemed to vanish where I fell .
When the bullet stopped my breath , a doctor sought the cause of death :
he upped my shirt , undid my fly , twice he moved my limbs awry : and noticed nothing .
By and by a soldier , with his sharper eye , beheld the four elusive rockets –
stuffed in my coat and trouser pockets .
Yes , they must be strict with us ; even in death so treacherous ! ”