<img src="http:// ANNUAL WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION :
Sunday , June 11 , 2006 , Sallins , Co. Kildare .
A bus for this Commemoration , which is organised each year by the Republican Movement , will leave from outside the old McBirneys/Virgin Megastore site on Dublin’s Aston Quay at 12.45PM on the day : the Commemoration itself starts at 2.30PM .
The same bus will leave Bodenstown at 5.30PM that afternoon on its return to Dublin city centre . The fare is ten Euro per person .
For information on the death of Wolfe Tone , scroll through this piece (article starts on March 9 on that page) which was published on this blog last year .
“To subvert the tyranny of our execrable government, to break the connection with England, the never-failing source of all our political evils and to assert the independence of my country- these were my objectives. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter – these were my means.” -Theobald Wolfe Tone .
<img src="http:// MacGIOLLA’s GUERRILLAS …….
Fifteen years ago , the leadership of the ‘Official Republican Movement’ (now ‘The Workers’ Party’) stated that their armed wing , the ‘Official IRA’ , went out of existence .
Today , the ‘Official IRA’ is alive and well and living mainly in Belfast and Newry . In the days when both organisations were operating in an overt way , the leadership of ‘The Workers’ Party’ and the ‘Official IRA’ overlapped to a certain degree .
Tomas MacGiolla , the man who led the ‘Official IRA’ for the last twenty-five years has always maintained the position that the ‘Official IRA’ went out of existence in 1972 . But the ‘Official IRA’ still march on , not an army fighting the British , but as a fund-collecting agency .
DEREK DUNNE traces the roots of the ‘Official IRA’ and ‘The Workers’ Party’ .
From ‘IN DUBLIN’ magazine , October 1987 .
At the Mornington conference , there was another paper delivered by Sean Garland during which the following question was posted : ‘ The question for the leadership (of the Official organisation) as put by a foreign observer , was : ” How can a revolutionary group shift priorities when it is dominated by a secret army organised for military purposes , led largely by men sympathetic first and foremost to military action , staffed by volunteers who joined not another party but an army , and hampered by deeply orthodox traditional civilian organisation suspicious to politics ? ” ‘ .
That question encompassed the central question relating to the Official organisation , and one which has never been completely and satisfactorily resolved . Another aspect of the Officials that was always uppermost in the minds of the leadership was discipline : this also came up at the Mornington conference and it was pointed out that failure to comply with a ‘direction’ from the Ard Comhairle (the ‘ruling body’) was no different from opting out of the organisation altogether .
As Tomas MacGiolla succinctly put it – ” The need for a tight organisational structure and disciplined membership is paramount ” . By the mid-1970’s , Derry had ceased to be a base of substantial support for the Officials : Belfast , Dublin and Newry became the power centres . Gradually , all orders came from Dublin . In 1977 and 1978 , the Official IRA was still actively recruiting in Newry ; there were also a large back-up of people who were no longer militarily involved – they were brought out for a day a year to fire weapons , to ‘keep their hands in’ and to keep their support . There were about 100 active OIRA members and they continued to carry out attacks on the British Army , though never claiming these on behalf of the Official IRA …….
Fergus Finlay recalls “…being told no , we don’t want a Labour Party spokesman for this programme , we’re not having politicians , only trade unionists – and then the trade unionist would turn out to be Des Geraghty . ” A senior RTE figure stated – ” One of the funniest examples of this practice that I can recall was the time that a man called Brian Lynch popped up in the ‘Late Late Show’ audience attacking the Wolfe Tones , or somebody . It later emerged that , at the very same time , the very same Mr. Lynch was on the HQ staff in Gardiner Place counterfeiting tax books , ‘Irish Life’ cheque books and five pound notes ! In fact I believe the the mugshot that Interpol currently use – they’re still hunting Brian Lynch – came off a piece of RTE film . ”
A ‘MAGILL’ investigation in 1982 calculated that the cost of running the Sinn Fein The Workers Party organisation was around £3,000 per week at that time while membership fees – the party’s declared source of funds – yielded about £500 per week . That report concluded – ‘ In an interview with ‘MAGILL’ for this article , Tomas MacGiolla and Sean Garland stated that the party also earned a lot from the sale of Easter Lilies . ‘
After his departure from both Sinn Fein The Workers Party and , in 1990 , from RTE , Eoghan Harris became what Eamonn McCann describes as ” …a freelance ideologue , a genuine soldier of fortune .. ” , and he had his first major success as a ‘spin doctor’ with Prionsias De Rossa’s memorable European Parliament campaign in 1989 : Harris also played a major part in the election of Mary Robinson in 1990 , although the extent of his involvement is questioned by others involved at that time …….
<img src="http://THE 26 COUNTIES : A STATE BUT NOT A NATION …….
The history of the Free State has been one of progressively solidifying partition : cross-border collaboration is only one aspect of this .
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , November 1983.
Irish Republicans must get involved in existing relevant organisations – trade unions , cultural bodies , tenants groups and so on – not the creation of new ones . It also means approaching the people in the electoral context where they are familiar with , and receptive to , political argument . The republican view of the elected institutions is not an excuse to stand aside from the political discussion altogether . (‘1169…’ Comment – nor was it ever used as such , and nor should it have been .)
Sinn Fein has made enormous progress in the North of Ireland , without surrender of principles , by coming to the people in a way that is seen as straightforward and understandable . The lessons for the one non-partitionist party (sic – Sinn Fein is a political organisation , NOT a [Leinster House-registered] political ‘ party’ ) on this island are there to be learnt .
[END of ‘ THE 26 COUNTIES : A STATE BUT NOT A NATION ‘]
(Monday , 22 May 2006 : “We are all part of the same struggle” – by Margaret Ward , from 1983)