By Peadar O’Donnell ; first published in January 1963.

De Valera was not a Republican in Wolfe Tone’s sense – he had none of Tone’s scorn of the superstition of royalty and was incapable of seeing the independence struggle as Tone saw it , or James Connolly. He was numb , rather than hostile, to the working-class struggle and was as scared as Arthur Griffith of the gospel of Fintan Lalor. It was inevitable that he and Griffith should come together.

The country saw high drama in the incident at a Republican delegate meeting in the Mansion House in Dublin when Father O’ Flanagan , reporting on a backstage conference with Arthur Griffith , announced that “Griffith has thrown his lot in with us…” – the delegates got to their feet and cheered , but nobody noticed that Connolly’s chair was left vacant : that the place Connolly purchased for the organised Labour movement in the leadership of the independence struggle was being denied ; or reneged.

It was made easy for de Valera to call Griffith in and shut Labour out , for the Irish Labour Party did not want a share in the leadership. James Connolly’s work , teaching , martyrdom , left no imprint on the policy of Irish working-class movements. Dublin workers uncovered at every mention of his name at a meeting , but nobody preached Connolly to them and , during his short days among them , he spoke to them from a very great height. He was a Marxian Socialist who , as a fighter for Irish Freedom , was dedicated to the proposition that the working-class alone is capable of leading the nation to victory. Any leadership not responsive to working-class needs must make peace short of independence and , in the light of this proposition , he explained the collapse of Daniel O’ Connell , the hesitations of the Young Irelanders , the failure* of the Fenians , the Tragedy of Parnell : for that matter he foretold the Treaty…….
(* ‘1169…’ Comment : to say that the Fenians “failed” is not the truth – their actions ensured that the desire – the ‘flame’ – for Irish freedom was kept alive for the next generation.)


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.

MAY 20TH 1970 :

” Late on this evening I had a discussion with the Minister and the Attorney General in the Minister’s room on the money implications in Tony Fagan’s statement and the Attorney General gave me , for reading overnight, a photostat copy of the Department of Finance file dealing with the Grant-In-Aid ; the papers are reproduced in the CPA Report of July 1972 , para. 2574. I read the complete file when I was in bed and I was appalled at what I saw – it seemed to me that there was indisputable evidence that the Irish Red Cross Society had been used to juggle moneys from the Grant-In-Aid funds for the purchase of arms abroad , the equivalent of using ambulances for carrying munitions.

I felt that the whole country’s name would be blackened internationally if the word got out and , at about 4.00am , I drafted a letter to Murray in which I expressed my horror , and my relief that Grant-In-Aid funds were not subject to the C+A.G’s audit as publication would disgrace the whole country. I remember that my letter stated – “Dear Mr Murray , we are looking into an abyss…” . This is the letter which is referred to extensively in the Report of the Committee of Public Accounts – the letter which they were unable to get. The Committee also tried to establish the tape recording of my conversation with Murray on 19th May but they addressed their questions to Mr O Morain who had ceased to be Minister for Justice on 4th May.

I was asked by the Committee to “consult” with them on 12th March 1971 – after I had retired – and an account of my consultations is recorded in its proper place. I had a letter from Murray , dated 29th May , I think, in which he ticked me off , saying that he was the Accounting Officer , that it was his responsibility and that he did not accept my interpretation…..”


Full list of Republican 1916 Easter Commemorations 2012:

Easter Sunday, Belfast, Republican Plot, Milltown Cemetery, assemble 11.30am at cemetery gates.

Holy Saturday, Lurgan, Commemoration, assemble at the top of Kilwilkie at 3pm for march to the Republican Plot, St. Colman’s Cemetery.
Easter Sunday, Armagh city, assemble 2.45pm at the gates of Sandyhill Cemetery.
Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremonies at Ballymacnab and Keady.
Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony, Republican Plot in Camloch.

Easter Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony at the Republican Plot, Carlow Cemetery at 3.30pm.

Details in April Saoirse.

Easter Sunday, wreath-laying ceremonies at Kilmurry McMahon and Doonbeg.

Easter Sunday, assemble at Wilton Roundabout, 2pm. Parade to Republican Plot, St. Finbarr’s Cemetery.

Cúchulainn Memorial, City Cemetery, Derry City, Easter Sunday, assemble at 12 noon.
Wreath laying ceremonies at the following on Easter Sunday morning: The Loup Cemetery, 9am, at the grave of Brigadier Seán Larkin; and the grave of Tommy Toner in Dungiven, 10.15am at the graves of Vols Kealy, O’Carolan and Kilmartin and hunger striker Kevin Lynch.

Holy Saturday, Doneyloup, Castlefin 7.30pm. Clady Bridge, 11.30am.
Drumboe Easter Sunday, assemble Johnson’s Corner 2.30pm.

Easter Sunday, Newry, assemble 10am, gates of St Mary’s Cemetery for march to Republican Plot.

Easter Sunday, commemoration at Deansgrange Cemetery, 1pm.
Easter Monday, assemble Garden of Remembrance, 1.45pm for march to GPO, O,Connell Street, Dublin.

Good Friday, wreath-laying ceremony at the Workhouse Tuam, 5pm.
Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony Kilcummin cemetery Oughterard, 7pm.
Easter Sunday, assemble at Cathedral for parade to Liam Mellows Memorial, Eyre Square, Galway city, 11am.
Republican Plot, Donaghpatrick, Headford, Easter Sunday, assemble Queally’s Cross, Caherlistrane, 3pm.

Easter Sunday commemoration and function. Details from Saoirse sellers.

Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony, Republican Plot Castleisland Cemetery, 2pm. Easter Sunday, Caherciveen, assemble 2.30pm at the Monument, the Square.
Tralee, Easter Sunday, assemble at Denny Street at 2pm for parade to Republican Plot, Rath Cemetery. Killarney, wreath-laying ceremony at Republican Monument.
Easter Monday, Republican Plot, Listowel, wreath-laying ceremony, assemble at graveyard gates, 12 noon.

Easter Sunday, commemoration at the grave of Martin O’Brien, St Corban’s Cemetery, Naas, 12 noon.
Easter Monday, wreaths will also be laid throughout the county.

Holy Saturday: wreath-laying ceremony at Rathciarin, Mooncoin.

Wreaths will be laid on the graves of William O’Connor and James Lacey, Barrowhouse Cemetery; grave of Denis O’Dwyer, Wolfhill cemetery, the Republican Plot, Portlaoise and 1798 Monument, Portarlington.

See April Saoirse.

Easter Monday, Republican Plot, Mount St Lawrence Cemetery.

Easter Monday, commemoration, Hendon Cemetery, Holder’s Hill Road, Hendon, 12.30am. assemble at entrance at 12.15pm.

Easter Sunday, commemoration, Ballymacormack, outside Longford town, 3pm.

Dundalk, Easter Sunday, assemble at gates of St Patrick’s Cemetery, 2.30pm for wreath-laying ceremony at the Republican Plot.

Kilkelly, Easter Monday, 12 noon, assemble at Church gate and parade to East Mayo Brigade Memorial on main Sligo-Galway Road.

Easter Sunday, wreath-laying ceremonies at grave of Séamus Fox, Drumcree, 12 noon; at grave of Niall Fagan, Summerhill, 1pm; at Ballinlough Cemetery, Kells, 2pm.
Easter Monday, wreath-laying ceremony at grave of Vol. George McDermott, Ardbracken, 2pm.

Easter Sunday, commemoration, Urbleshanny Cemetery, Scotstown, at grave of Vol. Seámus McElwaine, 2pm.

Easter Sunday, commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising at the Byrne & Hanrahans 960 Mc Lean Ave., Yonkers NY, 10am. Prior to the Commemoration a wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the graveside of Joe Stynes in Woodlawn Cemetery at Webster Avenue & E. 233rd St. in the Bronx, NY. Tickets $25.00 (children under 14 free). Includes Irish Breakfast.

Easter Sunday, wreath-laying ceremonies throughout the county.

Ballinlough, Easter Sunday, 12 noon, parade to IRA Memorial.
Elphin, parade to County Roscommon Memorial after 11.30 Mass.
Easter Sunday, County Commemoration 3pm, See April Saoirse.

Sligo Town, Easter Sunday, wreath-laying ceremony, Republican Plot, Sligo Cemetery.

Easter Sunday, Commemoration, Hunger Strike Memorial, Banba Square, Nenagh, 10am.

Holy Saturday, Carrickmore at the grave of Frank Ward, 5pm.

Holy Saturday, wreath-laying ceremony at Statue on Quay, Waterford city, 12 noon.

Easter Sunday, wreath-laying ceremonies throughout the county.
County Commemoration:
Easter Sunday 12 noon.
Assembly at the gates of Cornamagh Cemetery, Athlone, for the short walk to the Grave of I.R.A. Capt. Tom Hughes.

Republican Plot, St Ibar’s Cemetery, Crosstown, Easter Sunday, assemble at Cresent Quay, Wexford at 3pm. Mass for all who died for Ireland, Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rowe Street, 11.15am.

Holy Saturday, 3pm, wreath-laying Hollywood Cemetery, West Wicklow.

I’ll be at the Commemoration on Easter Monday in Dublin , as myself and three others have been ‘detailed’ to distribute the 500 leaflet ‘packs’ that RSF Head Office have prepared for the day : so keep an eye out for me , somewhere between O’Connell Bridge and the Parnell Monument…..



A Seminar entitled ‘Who Fears To Speak Of Easter Week’ , which has been organised by Republican Sinn Féin , will be held in Dublin on Saturday 21st April 2012 , in ‘The Ireland Institute’ (formally known as the ‘Pearse Institute’) from 12 Noon to 5pm : there is no entry charge and those interested in attending can stay for the whole seminar or part thereof. The main speakers are Ruán O’ Donnell , Des Dalton and Ruairí Óg Ó Brádaigh , and songs , poems and readings connected to the 1916 Rising will feature throughout the event.
Clár (‘Programme’) for the Seminar is as follows :
12 Noon – reading of the 1916 Proclamation.

12.05 to 1pm – music and songs of the 1916 Rising.

1pm to 1.30pm – break for lunch.

1.30pm – excerpt from Thomas J Clarke’s ‘Glimpses of an Irish Felon’s Prison Life’.

2pm – Ruán O’Donnell.

2.30pm – Des Dalton , Uachtarán , Sinn Féin Poblachtach.

3pm – Ruairí Óg Ó Brádaigh (a ‘Q&A’ session will be held after each speaker).

3.30pm – Pádraig Pearse’s address at the grave of O’Donovan Rossa.

3.45pm – Thomas MacDonagh’s address to his court-martial.

4pm – excerpt from Éamonn Ceannt’s court-martial address.

4.10pm – a reading from ‘James Connolly’.

4.15pm – ‘The Rebel’ (Pádraig Pearse).

4.25pm – ‘Easter 1916’ (WB Yeats).

4.35pm – ‘The Rose Tree’ (WB Yeats).

‘This Heritage To The Race Of Kings’ (Joseph Plunkett).

‘A Lament For Thomas MacDonagh’ (Francis Ledwidge).

‘The Ghost of Roger Casement’ (WB Yeats).

5pm – CLOSE.

The ‘Ireland Institute’ is located at No. 27 Pearse Street , Dublin 2 – a few doors away from the Trinity Capital Hotel – and, as stated , there is no cover charge for entry to the Seminar , nor is there a requirement that you stay for the full five hours. Hope to see you there !

Thanks for reading ,

About 11sixtynine

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