From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .

PAUL SMITH was from Bessbrook , County Armagh , and he knew that force of British arms have kept our country divided and unfree . He knew that only by force of Irish arms could Ireland be restored to her rightful owners , the Irish people . He died at Edentubber on November 11 , 1957 .

OLIVER CRAVEN was from Newry , County Down and , out of his own experience , he knew that by force of arms the usurper maintains his rule in our land and that there was no other way to win independence for our nation . He gave his life at Edentubber on November 11 , 1957 .

GEORGE KEEGAN was from Enniscorthy , County Wexford . He followed the path his father had trod 40 years before him , and he followed it through all the way to his death at lonely Edentubber , overlooking the Gap of the North on November 11 , 1957 . He died for the Republican faith which once united Wexford and the North in the days of William Orr and Fr. John Murphy…….

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.

In Kilbarrack , Dublin , Dessie delivers himself , in response to a question , of the opinion that he is against capital punishment . PD party workers are good on the ground here , and a good crowd is out and about . Dessie tells all that coalition is now a possibility , and states that whether the PD’s enter into such an arrangement or not “will depend…” , but he doesn’t say on what it will ‘depend’ .

A woman replies that she will not vote for him on that ‘depend’ answer , while another voter did not like the PD policies on privatisation . And so on it goes . As he prepares for his next stop , Dessie says – once more – that if he was doing the whole election again , he would run more candidates .

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.

For many nationalists , the RUC’s use of plastic bullets between the years 1983 and 1986 was reminiscent of the way they were used during the 1981 hunger-strike* (* 29,665 fired) , when they were fired at the heads of people taking part in street-corner Rosary groups , at young children such as Julie Livingstone and Carol-Ann Kelly, and at mourners at the funeral of Joe McDonnell.

The RUC’s aim at that time was to terrorise protestors off the streets and crush nationalist resistance . That was to be their futile aim , too , when attacking republican funerals .

The British government decided to systematically attack republican funerals as a direct response to the upsurge of nationalist consciousness which took place through the hunger-strike and which was expressed in October 1982 in the success of five Sinn Fein candidates in the Assembly elections. In June 1983 , Gerry Adams was elected MP for West Belfast , the first republican* ever to hold that ‘honour’…… ( * ‘1169…’Comment – ….which philosophy he abandoned in 1986.)

About 11sixtynine

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