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

I let on I mentioned these things to them for fear any among them might have in mind other ways of stopping the bailiff. By now we were neighbours together with the listening guards as outsiders. They would have to talk all this over among themselves , I told them : I would go round through the townlands later and they could tell me what they had in mind to do , and maybe I could help them. And then abruptly I stepped down from the chapel wall.

If the townlands were to be moved on to a road of struggle , meetings alone would not do it – there must be a foundation of firm men , with a name for sturdy good sense. This I learned the hard way , from mistakes made organising new trade union branches in small towns – you held a good meeting , enrolled members and went on your way but you came back to find the branch had fallen apart. Eventually you met one man at lunch hour , called on another man at his home , sat with a group of two or three – you rested your branch on firm men and that branch grew.

I sifted the men of the townlands now , face by face , and I picked on Black James Duirnin of Croveigh as the best test for what I had in mind : I cycled to his place on the afternoon of the next day and I came on him sharpening his scythe in a field of oats. His son Willie spoke to him as I crossed the stubble and he looked up – a big-boned , spare man, stubble-faced , awkward in movement and slow in speech , seventyish. He laid down his scythe and came to meet me and he spoke over his shoulder to his daughter to call the neighbours , but there was no need for that – people saw me coming into the glen and they came hurrying across the fields shouting at one another…….


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.

15TH JULY 1970 :

” On the morning of the 15th I informed the Deputy Secretary , Mr. Ward , and the Assistant Secretary , Mr. Hayes, of the Minister’s words and each felt , with me, that character assassination of this kind was of an extremely grave kind and struck at the very roots of civil service honour in administration. I considered that I could not hold the Minister’s confidence if I were to let a defamatory statement of that serious kind go unchallenged.”

20TH JULY 1970 :

” I spoke to the Minister on this date and demanded that he should pursue the matter with Deputy de Valera and require him to substantiate or withdraw the calumny , about which I felt deeply. The Minister tried to put me off , saying that nobody paid attention to anything that Vivion de Valera said and that if he had thought that I would take the remarks seriously he would never have mentioned them. I persisted , however , and the Minister promised to speak to Deputy de Valera and , when reminded again some days later , he again promised.

On following days I discussed the matter with my senior colleagues who were agreed that the matter was too serious to let drop as it was on the cards that Deputy de Valera was saying similar remarks to other Ministers. I went to the Minister and , in the presence of the Deputy Secretary , Mr. Ward , threatened to resign unless my character were cleared and a retraction got from Deputy de Valera.

The Minister appealed to me not to ‘put him on the spot’ , that in telling me of what his Parliamentary Colleague had said he was breaching confidence and that , if known, he would have to resign from the Parliamentary Party……”



“…… . the Adams visa will advance the peace.(Provisional) Sinn Féin will pay a price for going to Capitol Hill. A lot of powerful people went out on a limb for Adams. If he doesn’t deliver, they’ll have him back in the house with the steel shutters ([Provisional] Sinn Féin headquarters, Falls Road, Belfast) so fast his feet won’t touch the ground. We’re slowly putting the squeeze on them, pulling them in, boxing them in, cutting off their lines of retreat…”

– the words of Albert Reynolds (see #32 , here) , in relation to encouraging* the Adams/McGuinness PSF leadership to convince their followers to go constitutional (*…not that they needed to be encouraged) . Mr Reynolds and, indeed , the State elite that now pay him €3119.58 cents a week in a pension payment, continue to get their money’s worth.
In a sense , Reynolds , Bill Clinton , John Hume etc are to be congratulated for being politically astute in that they recognised ‘weak links’ in the Irish Republican chain at the time and exploited the fault : those that were exploited for such a cheap price and those that watched from ‘inside the house’ and went along with it deserve to be held accountable more so than those that carried out the ‘job’ – after all , the latter were simply doing what was natural to them ; fooling those that really
wanted to be fooled.



On Sunday 1st July last , Provisional Sinn Féin representatives laid a wreath in Belfast in honour of British soldiers that died in war , fighting to ‘maintain the Empire’. Those PSF reps were instructed by their leadership in Stormont – and by Adams and McGuinness (!) – not to attend the main commemoration , as it is believed that that ‘honour’ is being kept in reserve until Minister McGuinness is allowed to shake his queen’s other hand…..



Myself and the usual team will be off this coming Sunday (8th July 2012) , once again , to one of our favourite meeting places to hold the monthly 650-ticket Irish Republican raffle : apart from raising much-needed finance (we’re not State funded , don’t-ya-know….!) we’ll be meeting our friends and supporters from that vicinity of the Dublin-Kildare border , meeting and making new friends and supporters and handing-out a total of €440 in prize money : as always , I’ll post the results of the raffle on this page and I’ll try and do that on Sunday evening – but no guarantee that I will , as time can run away on you , when you’re having the craic….!

So that’s Sunday , Irish time 😉 !

Thanks for reading,

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics. and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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