From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .

They gave their lives for you and me and the generations yet unborn . May they be remembered forever –

SEÁN SABHAT of Limerick City . Gave his life for Ireland on January 1 , 1957 .
PATRICK PARLE of Wexford Town . Gave his life for Ireland on November 11 , 1957 .
GEORGE KEEGAN of Enniscorthy , County Wexford . He gave his life for Ireland on November 11 , 1957 .
PAUL SMITH of Bessbrook , County Armagh . He gave his life for Ireland on November 11 , 1957 .
MICHAEL WATTERS of Edentubber , County Louth . He gave his life for Ireland on November 11 , 1957 .
OLIVER CRAVEN of Newry , County Down . He gave his life for Ireland on November 11 , 1957 .
FEARGAL Ó hANNLUAIN of Monaghan Town . Gave his life for Ireland on January 1 , 1957 .

These are the men who gave their lives for freedom in Ireland in 1957 , one-hundred-and-sixty-seven years after the first Irish Republican martyr , William Orr, was hanged for the ‘crime’ of wanting his country separated from Britain .

Except for Michael Watters , who was 55 years of age , the rest were young men under 30 . Paul Smith was only 19 , Oliver Craven was 19 , Feargal Ó hAnnluain was 20 , Patrick Parle was 26 , George Keegan was 27 and Sean Sabhat was 28…….

Dessie O’Malley would expect to draw his support almost exclusively from middle-class areas , but if he is to succeed in getting the twenty seats he hopes for that support base would also have to include working-class areas , especially in Dublin . On the evidence of one day spent with PD leader O’Malley ,that working-class support is unlikely to be forthcoming.
By Derek Dunne.

Back on the election bus , Dessie explains that he was once told never to say a ‘billion’ when he was appearing on television – that it is better to say ‘one-thousand-million’ , rather than a ‘billion’ , because “people have no understanding of that kind of money .”

The next stop are the Sisters Of Charity old folks home in Dublin Four : Dessie is shown around by a nun and looks clearly out of place and uncomfortable , especially when a nun takes him into a corner for a private talk . But there are at least one-hundred votes and he thinks he might swing them . ” I want to talk to you very privately over here…” , says the nun , and Dessie spends at least five minutes in the corner with her .

One handler refers to the whole idea of being among the nuns as ‘a good move’ . By now , Dessie has tired of the bus and prefers to take the car . Michael McDowell has been in the crowd surrounding O’ Malley , and is introduced to all not as being a member of the PD’s , but as being ‘belonging to Dessie O’ Malley’s party..’…….

Between December 1983 and May 1987 , over 25 republican or nationalist funerals were systematically attacked by the RUC as a matter of deliberate British policy . The objective was to drive mourners off the streets so that later Britain could claim dwindling support for republicanism as ‘evidenced’ by the small numbers attending IRA funerals . As Jane Plunkett reports , the opposite happened . More and more people came out to defend the remains of republican dead , the RUC were exposed as being as brutal and sectarian as ever , and these two factors , combined with damaging international news coverage , eventually forced the British government to reverse its policy of attacking republican funerals .
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , October 1987.

RUC Chief John Hermon claims that the RUC are present at republican funerals to prevent any appearance by a (P)IRA firing party, but the RUC were aware , as everyone was aware , that the (P)IRA had already paid their last respects to their fallen comrade with a volley of shots the previous Sunday , and had made it clear that they would be playing no formal part in the funeral .

And John Hermon’s excuse cut no ice with those who recalled that the RUC had already attacked several other republican funerals on the same pretext , again though they were well aware that (P)IRA firing parties had already paid their last tribute .

Since December 1983 , a period of little more than three years , more than a score of republican or nationalist funerals had been attacked as a matter of British policy : sometimes the RUC’s pretext was to demand the removal of beret and gloves from the coffin or , when there was no beret , the Tricolour , but they also attacked private funerals , such as that of Volunteer Jim McKernan (in September 1986) , where no flag was on display . The RUC attacked the funerals not just of Volunteers who died on active service but also those of republican veterans . On rare occasions when the RUC gave undertakings to bereaved families that they would allow a dignified burial , they broke those undertakings…….

About 11sixtynine

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