From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .

Sean Sabhat was from Limerick . One of the last things he wrote before going north to join his fellow-countrymen in the battle for national liberation was that ” …the time for foolish talk is past . “ He died manning a machine-gun at Brookeborough in Occupied Ireland some weeks later , on January 1,1957 .

Feargal Ó hAnnluain was from Monaghan . He too died at Brookeborough in County Fermanagh (where the majority of the people want an Ireland united and free) on New Year’s Day , 1957 .


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.

One of the last stops of the day is at a bakery where there are 500 workers : Mr O’ Malley , however , does not meet them . Instead , he goes up to the office and is introduced to management . There are twenty-four people in the room – journalists , ‘handlers’ , hangers-on , ‘suits’ . But there is an enbarrassed silence surrounding the visit , with darting looks of ‘ What is he doing here..?’

At around 5.30pm , Dessie is reported as having gone home ‘for a bit’ . The remainder of the PD entourage is dropped off at the Marino Hotel , where the party itself was founded . The hotel boasts , amongst other things , an indoor swimming pool . A ‘High Tea’ is laid-on for the PD people , and it is during this that Dessie walks in – he ‘has words’ with one of his candidates over some personal differences , and the shouting can be heard far and wide . When he comes back to the table he looks very angry .

The working-class area of Kilbarrack is next on the agenda…….


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.

Funerals became massive , intimidatory displays of British military might , with hundreds of heavily armed , riot-clad RUC men, two or more British Army helicopters and scores of armoured Land Rovers. During the burial of Volunteers Charlie Breslin and Michael and David Devine, Strabane resembled nothing so much as Red Square on May Day – except that this was a funeral . Journalists counted at least 130 RUC Land Rovers parading the streets , sent in from as far afield as Belfast .

Significantly , Finbarr McKenna’s funeral was by no means the first at which plastic bullets were used . Those bullets , fired by the RUC during the funeral of Ciaran Fleming in December 1984 inflicted serious head injuries on two people , one of them a BBC Radio Foyle journalist .

In three years of attacks on funerals , many scores of nationalists have been injured by RUC batons , plastic bullets or jackboots . And the sight of scores of RUC men , plastic-bullet guns held at the ready , has been an ever-present threat…….

About 11sixtynine

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