The Rise And Decline Of Fianna Fáil , by Kevin Boland – Mercier Press.
Seán Lemass And The Making Of Modern Ireland , by Paul Bew and Henry Patterson – Gill and Macmillan.

By Roy Johnston.
From ‘Gralton’ magazine, Aug/Sept 1983.

Kevin Boland , with a nice sense of irony, contrasts the 1976 situation. A prestigious historian , T.P. O’Neill of UCG , Dev’s biographer , was appointed in 1974 to produce for 1976 the history of the first 50 years of Fianna Fáil . It has , however, not yet appeared.

T.P. O’Neill , in an interview on ‘Feach’ , subsequently denied that he was writing it – he was to edit the contributions of others : ” …even at this early stage there were problems arising for his professional integrity as a historian..” , yet no dogs barked. There appeared to be a cover-up – “…a rigid decision by media controllers that the unsavoury matter safely and efficiently swept under the carpet in 1970 was to stay there undisturbed…..the loyal Fianna Fáil households …… proud owners of the story of the first 25 years , have no corresponding record of the second twenty-five….”

The ‘1970 events’ , of course, were those at the root of the Haughey-Blaney-Boland ‘Arms Crisis’ …….

THE PETER BERRY PAPERS……. The Top Secret Memoirs of Ireland’s Most Powerful Civil Servant : Dirty Tricks, Election ’69/ Spying on a Unionist Politician/ Keeping the (State) Taoiseach informed/ The Garda Fallon Murder/ Advice to Jack Lynch- ‘Fire the pair of them…’/ Vivion De Valera’s advice to O’Malley/ Rumours of a Coup D’Etat/ The Internment Plot, November 1970/ Secret Meeting with William Craig.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , June 1980.

AUGUST 25th , 1969 :
” I informed the Taoiseach (being a Monday, the Minister was absent in his constituency) that an instruction had been issued by Cathal Goulding that 26-County members of the IRA should return to their homes on a ‘stand-to’ alert , that, for the present, operations would be conducted by selected personnel and local units.

I also told him that an approach had been made to Gardai on duty near the border to turn a blind eye to the movement of men and materials (weapons and explosives) but the Taoiseach instructed that that was out and that there should be “no fraternising” , and I conveyed that instruction to the Garda Commissioner.”

SEPTEMBER 15th, 1969 :
” In the next week or so I received numerous verbal reports of the border activities of Military Intelligence officers and the name of Captain James Kelly cropped up again and again as consorting with known members of the IRA. It was alleged that he was so forthcoming in advocating the use of arms that doubts were entertained by his listeners as to whether he was , in fact, an Intelligence Officer . I made enquiries from Stephen O’ Cearnaigh , Secretary of the Department of Defence , who didn’t know but said that he would find out and he phoned me back to say yes. I passed this information to our security police and it is referred to in the evidence given by Chief Superintendent Fleming before the CPA……”


Free State authorities have ordered the publican who erected a ‘BRIT QUEEN BARRED…’ banner on the front of his pub to remove it on ‘Health and Safety’ grounds (!) and have hinted that aspects of his operating licence may be questioned if he does not do so.

Had the banner been erected in favour of the ‘Killer Queen’, and inviting her in for a pint , the same State authorities would have had no quarrel with it – but the general public would have had…..

…..however : the pub banner may be coming down , but placards of a similar nature will be ‘going up’ : Republican Sinn Féin in Dublin are holding a picket on the British Embassy against the visit of the British ‘queen’ on Tuesday March 29th 2011 from 2pm to 4pm and , despite whatever moans and cries are spluttered by the State and other seoinín , this protest , and the issue itself , will not be ‘taken down’.

Occupation breeds resistance – the ‘queen’ of England is not welcome in Ireland while her troops are here : she holds , amongst other ‘Offices’, the title of ‘Commander-in-Chief’ of the British Army and ultimate responsibility for all political deaths in this country rests with her. That point will be , once again , loudly exclaimed on the streets of Dublin on Tuesday , 29th March next , on Merrion Road in Ballsbridge – ALL WELCOME ! *

Thanks for reading,

( * Not really ‘ALL’ , if you know what we mean…!)

About 11sixtynine

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