“UNDESIRABLE…..DANGEROUS REPTILES…” – MICHAEL COLLINS.

‘THERE WILL BE ANOTHER DAY…..’
By Peadar O’Donnell ; first published in January 1963.



If I wanted proof of the miracle in a small victory, I got it at the committee meeting the next evening when I reported on the seized cattle ; I had already reported on the other matter privately to Phil and Black James. This good work was put down to Seán McCool and that was a useful rumour to get abroad. The problem of getting the cattle back became more complicated as we talked.

We would set up a watch on that man’s place and we would drive the cattle away in daylight or we would go to his place at night-time , a whole lorry load of us, and we would take the cattle out of his byre and nail the couple of pounds he gave for them on the door or we would get somebody of his district to pick him out for us at a fair in Glenties and Big Neil Houston and Jimmy Getins would corner him and make him pay.

A couple of times Black James Duirnin tried to get a word in but the pace was too fast for him and it was not until he was asked if he had any suggestion that he got his chance – “What about this man of ours going to see him, and advising him to give the cattle back?” I was “this man”. (MORE LATER).


FEAR AND LOATHING IN SOUTH ARMAGH……

The inside story of a personal feud that has left one man dead and tarnished the reputation of the PIRA’s most fearsome brigade.


From ‘Magill’ magazine , April 2003.

By John Keane.



In 1990, the British government introduced legislation specifically targeting Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy’s oil company , ‘West Star’ , a name derived from the popular TV series ‘Dallas’. Under the Newry and Mourne Regulation Hydrocarbon Traffic Order , oil tankers were banned from a stretch of Larkin’s Road at Ballybinaby – the specific target was Tom Murphy’s private free-trade zone , the sheds where tankers owned by his oil company , and others nominally owned by his family members, could evade the prying eyes of customs officers , to facilitate his smuggling operations.

During the conflict (‘1169…’ Comment : sic – past tense?) it was an unwritten law in South Armagh that nobody could buy or sell land or build houses nearby without PIRA approval : premises could be sold but not advertised for sale. The logic was that strangers might move into the area and jeopardise the security of PIRA operations , but it was never foreseen that the same ‘property rules’ might be applied to a senior republican.


However, Patrick O’ Callaghan’s initial account suggests that is exactly what led to the death of PIRA Volunteer Keith Rodgers at Waters Service Station in Cullaville.

Patrick O’ Callaghan claimed that he and his brothers had bought four acres of land on Larkin’s Road for development – that land is about a quarter of a mile from the Murphy farm , on a rise overlooking a derelict house , and the roadway in front of the house has been widened to allow parking and turning space for large vehicles. The O’ Callaghan brothers had already obtained outline planning permission for one house several years ago but around the beginning of February they applied for full planning permission for two houses at the site. With one brother just leaving hospital and another on his way by ambulance, Patrick O’ Callaghan claimed his family had been targeted because they had stepped-up their plan to build four house on their Larkin’s Road site and had been seeking financial backing. He claimed the attacks on the family began after he had been seen visiting the site with an architect. Signs went up on the road saying ‘NO BUILDING HERE’. (MORE LATER).


21ST NOVEMBER 1920 : 31 PEOPLE KILLED.

14 British military operatives, 14 Irish civilians and 3 Irish Republican prisoners ( ‘whilst attempting to escape’ ) : Peadar Clancy , Richard McKee and Conor Clune.
The 14 British military operatives comprised an undercover BA Intelligence unit known as the ‘Special Gang’
(referred to more often than not as ‘The Cairo Gang’) , one RIC man and an informer : there is a fascinating account of one of Collins’ ‘Squad’ here , which details how (and why) his new ‘own (Free State) side’ wanted to get rid of him , and were further prompted to do so after he took (deadly) offence to a man who was carrying a bag of tomatoes ! The 14 civilians were shot dead by frenzied British forces in Croke Park whilst watching a match.


Peadar Clancy (left) who, whilst defending the Irish Republic in 1916 with other armed Irish soldiers, came under sniper fire from a house on Bridge Street, Dublin , from the British Army, and instructed his comrades to open fire on the house. As the gunfire intensified, Clancy made his way across the street and broke a number of downstairs windows and set the house on fire. Clancy and his men then proceeded on their way. In 1967 , republican-minded people in New York raised enough funds for a bronze statue of Peadar Clancy to be erected in Kildysart , County Clare. He was a native of Carrowreagh East, Cranny, West Clare, and was a partner , with another IRA man named Tom Hunter, in a drapery business called ‘The Republican Outfitters’, located at Number 94 Talbot Street in the centre of Dublin.


Richard McKee (left) , highly regarded by, amongst others , Éamon de Valera, Austin Stack and Michael Collins. This Finglas , Dublin, man joined the Volunteers in 1913 and three years later found himself under British fire in Jacob’s Factory. He was later to be appointed Brigadier of the IRA’s Dublin Brigade and was also Director of Training on its General HeadQuarters staff. On 17th November 1920 he received a communication from Michael Collins saying – ‘Dick . . . have established addresses of the particular ones. Arrangements should now be made about the matter. Lt. G. is aware of things. He suggested the 21st. A most suitable date and day I think. “M” ‘. On 21st November 1920, McKee was bayoneted in the liver, suffered broken ribs, abrasions to the face and received many bullet wounds ‘whilst attempting to escape’.



Peadar Clancy and Richard McKee were informed on by an ex-British Army soldier , James ‘Shankers’ Ryan , and were arrested on the eve of ‘Bloody Sunday’ by a combined force of the RIC and the Tans at Sean Fitzpatrick’s house at 36 Lower Gloucester Street (renamed Sean McDermott Street). The informer Ryan was a brother of Becky Cooper one of the Madams of the famous red-light district known as ‘The Monto’.
On the 5th of February , 1921, William Stapleton and other IRA men were notified that ‘Shankers’ was drinking in Hynes Pub , on the corner of Lower Gloucester Street and Railway Street in Dublin, and they went there and shot him dead. A short video of the funerals of Peadar Clancy and Richard McKee can be seen here.


Conor Clune (left) the nephew of Archbishop Clune and a member of the ‘Gaelic League’ (but, according to most accounts, not a member of the Republican Movement) was arrested by the British in Vaughn’s Hotel in Parnell Square, Dublin, on the 20th November 1920 (the day before ‘Bloody Sunday’) – his family connection to Archbishop Patrick Joseph Clune could very well have been ‘reason’ enough for the British to detain him. Incidentally , on the 7th of December 1920 , at the request of David Lloyd George, the then British Prime Minister , Archbishop Clune held a ‘state-of-play’ discussion with Michael Collins to discuss how things stood between the rebels (‘dissidents’) and the British. The meeting was held in Number Five Merrion Square , home of Dr Robert Farnan, a prominent gynecologist. To ‘stop Conor Clune escaping from their custody’ , the British shot him 13 times in the chest.



When asked about the executions of the ‘Special/Cairo Gang’ , Michael Collins replied –
“My one intention was the destruction of the undesirables who continued to make miserable the lives of ordinary decent citizens. I have proof enough to assure myself of the atrocities which this gang of spies and informers have committed. If I had a second motive it was no more than a feeling such as I would have for a dangerous reptile. By their destruction the very air is made sweeter. For myself, my conscience is clear. There is no crime in detecting in wartime the spy and the informer. They have destroyed without trial. I have paid them back in their own coin.”


Those “reptiles” are still active to this day , even though they are housed in more salubrious surroundings and are , as ever, motivated in their actions by ‘the coin’. There are no such encouragements here but true Irish Republicans , unlike ‘Shankers’ and his 21st-Century equivalent never required any , except for the righteousness of their Cause.



A HALF-CLOSED/OPEN BOOK.

PSF Mayor of Dungannon Phelim Gildernew (left).


Provisional Sinn Féin elected representatives in the British-occupied county of Tyrone (and elsewhere!) have no bother at all in working side-by-side with British Establishment and other (local) anti-republican elements to the point where they will not only call on their constituents to report activities by Irish republicans ‘to the proper authorities’ but will wholeheartedly beseech their supporters to assist them in implementing the British writ as delivered to them in Stormont by their parent body in Westminster.


Hypocritical then, of them to object to a book of condolences being opened on the death of one of their fellow-government employees. A UUP council member proposed that such a book be opened but this was objected to by Mayor Phelim Gildernew and other ex-republicans on the council , but those objectors quickly backed-down after their position was made public and their ‘leader’ , the good Mayor, was actually the first to the table to sign the book !


Mayor Gildernew’s hypocrisy has been exposed before , when he sought to honour those from Tyrone who had challenged the British, militarily whilst, at practically the same time and in the same breath, calling those who continue that struggle ‘unrepresentative and misled criminals’, and asking his supporters to betray them to the paramilitary RUC/PSNI. The brother of an assassinated PIRA member pointed this fact out to him recently : “His most recent charade rubs salt in the wounds of those of us who daily mourn the loss of family members who gave their lives for the promised objective of a 32 county democratic republic and not a regurgitated partitionist Stormont.” (From here.)


Incidentally , Phelim’s daughter , Michelle (a Seán Quinn supporter) is not happy with just taking wages from the British , but now wants a pay-out from the Free Staters as well ! Between their family businesses , their Stormont and Westminster wages and stipends and the ‘fall-down-the-stairs’ claim , this family might yet end up with a booty which their queen would envy !



SUPPORTING THE OBJECTIVES BUT NOT THE ORGANISERS :

Protests of this nature should be held during the working week for maximum effect , not at the weekend when traffic etc has wound-down for a day or two, and all firms and employers etc should be left in no doubt that there will be trade union repercussions for them should they attempt to prevent their employees from attending.


I’ll be taking part in this protest on Saturday and my three daughters will be there as well – their school/college friends and some of the teachers are going , but no doubt we’ll meet up somewhere along the route. I’ll be marching with other RSF supporters and members and, from talking to them over the past few days it is clear that we share the opinion that, whilst the objectives of the protest are legitimate, the same cannot be said in relation to the ‘parent body’ of the organising committee ie the trade union leadership.


That overpaid leadership are as divorced from the economic reality which daily , if not hourly, faces the workers they claim to be ‘at one’ with – indeed, Jack and the Boys (and girls) have , in my opinion, more in common with the business elite and political bigwigs that are punishing the working class and the unemployed in this State for an economic crime they are not responsible for. But, as stated , I’ll be there , on the street, on Saturday 24th – in solidarity with the hundreds-of-thousands of other hard-pressed ordinary ‘joe soap’ people more so than in answer to a call for support from trade union-members of the ‘Establishment’. One over-paid ‘suit’ is as bad as another as far as I’m concerned , regardless of which side of the fence s/he purports to sit on.



A WISE DECISION BY A MAN WHO APPEARS TO KNOW US BETTER THAN WE KNOW OURSELVES.

Praveen Halappanavar , who lost his wife, Savita, in this State due to which the Authorities here have all but described as an ‘unfortunate accident’.


‘Mr Halappanavar said he has no confidence in the HSE to lead the investigation, saying he fears there could be some bias if it is carried out by people paid by the executive….’ (From here.)


It’s not Mr Halappanavar’s refusal to co-operate with the proposed ‘inquiry’ into the dreadful situation in a Galway hospital that cost him his wife that should raise our hackles but rather the fact that the ‘powers-that-be’ in this morally bankrupt State could see nothing wrong with appointing three consultants from the same hospital onto the inquiry team : simply because we Irish have , for the most part, surrendered our ‘Fightin’ Irish’ spirit and will (again, for the most part) accept any old verbal shite that those bastards in Leinster House feed us, doesn’t mean that everyone will.


It will be extremely poor ‘compensation’ , if any, when the poor man successfully sues the medical authorities in this State and wins , hopefully , millions of Euro (which , of course, will have to be paid by us taxpayers which, in this instance, I don’t have an issue with) but this State operates in such a haphazard , sloppy and disjointed fashion that, after the settlement is handed over, absolutely no lessons from this case will be learned and/or taken on board and whilst a few medical operatives may be moved ‘sidewards’ no political heads will roll because the State ‘Elite’ here protects its own.


We wish Mr Halappanavar the best of luck in his quest for justice and, not to take from the magnitude of his suffering and that of the families concerned, we are grateful to him for the part he has played in helping to publicise the complete lack of moral values that exist in this wasteland of a State : what a shame that that exposé had to come at such a high human cost to him and the families mentioned.



Thanks for reading,
Sharon.





About 11sixtynine

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

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