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

I recognise at least one of my nervous habits – in the interval , when nothing is to be gained by thinking before something unpleasant happens, I want something to read, and anything will do. Under her knitting in the window I found the current copy of ‘Ireland’s Own’ magazine – a very old friend. It surprises me that I do not remember something of what I read, for it is a way of mine to make lighted candles of trivia at such times. (When I think of Liam Mellows I see him with his shoulder to the cell door, the lid of his clay pipe dangling from the thin chain on its stem – that was how I saw him at ‘lights out’ on the night before his execution.)

I do know I was reading when a man’s angry step struck the gravel , and she was on his heels, in the door, and there was anger in her, too.

They made a fine pair – he opened at once, truculent and threatening : “You were on the other side of the barbed wire when I saw you last,” he said. I told him the reason why the bailiff was back was because his side won , and he replied “Let you be on your way. I bought and paid for those cattle.” I unbalanced him then , by telling him I had no interest in the cattle , that I was a newspaper man after a story for ‘An Phoblacht’ , and that I would make a great story out of this, and that I would like a photo. The trouble always was that the man who bought in seized cattle always denied doing it.

He had the courage to own he did the like and to boast of it. I had to make such a story as would frighten men without his courage , so I told him I would be fair to him and give him full credit for courage, even though I would abuse him for going back on his own kind of people. He would be a famous man , when I was through with him, even though it might not be the kind of fame many men would like. I would put out posters with his name on them and would get IRA men to sell ‘An Phoblacht’ at chapel gates in that parish but nobody would interfere with him. I told him that that , mostly, was what brought me , that I wanted to tell him he need have no fear , no need of police protection…..(MORE LATER).


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.

They rammed Kevin O’Callaghan’s old Nissan Bluebird and tried to drag him out of the car , and what happened next is the subject of conjecture because oddly, despite the fact that the forecourt and shop had plenty of customers, nobody saw or heard anything.

O’Callaghan’s family claimed, despite the police warning, that he was unarmed when he drove into Cullaville. The PIRA , in a statement, claimed that Keith Rodgers was unarmed. But the outcome was one dead and two injured in a hail of bullets. Only in Sicily is the law of omerta , or silence, as rigidly adhered to by protagonists. Then , in a dramatic u-turn two weeks later, Patrick O’Callaghan issued a statement to local media withdrawing his allegations that the Cullaville incident had been a row over land.

In remarks which could be seen as tantamount to calling his brother Kevin an armed criminal, he said he accepted that the Cullaville incident was the result of criminal activity and that neither Keith Rodgers nor his wounded comrade had been shot with their own weapons : ” I am satisfied the version of events given to me was quite untrue. I fully accept that the incident was not connected with the purchase of land.” The u-turn raised as many questions as it answered…..(MORE LATER).


The Water Tower on the Monastery Road , in Clondalkin, near the old Quarry.

When previewing this RTE production, we wrote – “Although Irish republicans have good reason to shudder anytime the establishment main-stream media attempts to address any issue to do with republicanism (this, for instance , in which republicans blend-in seamlessly with drug pushing scumbags) , it would be hard (if not near impossible) even for RTE to attempt to put an anti-republican ‘spin’ on the events covered by this documentary as the actual facts of what happened, and how and by whom, are too widely known. Still , don’t take my word for that , as it is RTE we’re talking about…. “

We were nearer the mark than we were hoping to be : It was alleged in the programme that one of the young lads that was out pasting up republican posters was carrying a gun when they were kidnapped by Free State forces which, in the research we done for a blog post we wrote on this issue, was a claim that we never encountered , and would consider to be a story put around by the Staters at the time to try and ‘justify’ their actions and now, 90 years later, regurgitated by them (and their supporters) for the same reason. Had we heard about this allegation before, we would have asked why a weapon would be carried in the first place by a postering crew in such times, when the known Free State penalty for doing so was execution ? And what happened this weapon ? Should it not have been introduced as ‘evidence’ in the Free State ‘inquest’ re Dalton’s involvement etc (even though Dalton himself never bothered to turn up for that particular Free State show trial) ?

And the claim made during the programme that there was no witnesses to that crime in the quarry doesn’t ring true, either – (see above link) “But this crime did not go unnoticed – Dermot MacGiolla Phadraig, a Na Fianna Éireann training officer, was passing by the area at the time on Saturday 7th October 1922 and witnessed the executions and a Charles Byrne, an undercover man for the IRA in Oriel House, was also passing by and actually spoke to one of the Free State gunmen, Charlie Dalton….” Amazing how RTE , with the resources it has at its disposal , and politically well-connected Eddie Hobbs never once referred to the witnesses , even if only to dismiss the possibility of same as ‘republican propaganda’ or somesuch.

Finally , the format/presentation of the programme was confusing : one hour to highlight three different events, but instead of attempting to do each event justice by allocating a twenty-minute segment to it, after approximately between five and ten minutes on one of the subject matters, one of the other subject matters would then be given the same coverage and then the third one would be given the same. And then focus would revert to the first subject and so on….

It would be too charitable to suggest that it was the confused format which threw the programme makers and Mr Hobbs off-balance re the finished article : more likely that they produced an off-balance finished article because that was what they set-out to do. And they achieved that objective.


A reminder – this event takes place this coming Saturday , 8th December 2012.

We have already mentioned this commemorative event (“The 8th December 2012 will be the 90th Anniversary of the executions , by the then Leinster House Administration, of four imprisoned Irish Republicans – Richard Barrett, Rory O’Connor, Liam Mellows and Joe McKelvey. It was an act of revenge by the Free Staters for the death of Leinster House member Sean Hales , killed by the IRA. The four Irish Republicans were in prison at the time that Hales was killed and as such it was known by all concerned that none of them were involved in that particular act….”) but it’s worth mentioning again – that particular Saturday is known to us Dubs as ‘Culchie Day’ (pardon my un-pc-ness !) as thousands of our country cousins travel up to Dublin to start their Christmas shopping , so to our many country readers we suggest the following – tell himself/herself that you will take him/her to Dublin on Saturday 8th for the usual Christmas shopping spree and if s/he is more ‘into’ the whole shopping craic than you yourself are, then tell your better half that you will meet him/her at the GPO at about 5pm , which means you can attend the event and still have an hour for a pint or two in the hotel bar afterwards! And I betcha that your partner will enjoy themselves all the more, not having to listen to you moan and whinge about having to visit “..another Bloody shop…” !


We won’t be able to attend the above-mentioned commemorative event in Wynn’s Hotel on Saturday 8th (although we do hope to poke our heads in the door for an hour or so at some stage during the day) as we will be ‘gearing-up’ for the usual monthly visit to an hotel a fair distance away – on the Dublin/Kildare border, to assist in the holding of a different Irish Republican event : the monthly 650-ticket raffle , which is being held on Sunday 9th. This being ‘Prisoners Month’ , the raffle is being held for the CABHAIR organisation , a charitable group, solely dependant on public subscriptions, which was established in early 1987 for “…the relief of cases of distress arising out of republican activity…” , following the revolutionary / reformist split in the Republican Movement.

And no doubt we’ll have our own culchies to do battle with in that hotel as well, as it is an ideal spot for a family get-together on a Sunday afternoon and it draws (!) a great crowd for that reason. Some of whom , hopefully, will be leaving the premises with a few quid more than they had when they entered it!


If family can treat you like this, what would strangers do to you….

Regular readers will know that I have mentioned this blog a few times already and I’m doing so again now and will more than likely give it another plug in future posts – I find it fascinating (and a wee bit disturbing) to observe the lengths that what I can only describe as morally-crippled people will go to in order to secure their own comforts regardless of the boundaries of human nature they have to trample over in order to do so. And all the more fascinating and disturbing when it’s not strangers that they are morally and mentally ‘elbowing’ out of their way , but their own parents. I am genuinely at a loss in trying to figure out how people like that can live with themselves, and how others can stomach to be in their company, knowing what degenerates they are.

One of the latest blog posts on that troubled site highlights the fact that the poor old woman in question was only left with 57 cents in her old-age pension account after two of her daughters continued to empty it for themselves and details how one of her sons had to step in and remove all ATM access to their mother’s account from his two sisters and, in the process, was threatened with legal action by one of those two women for having done so. It is a depressing scenario that’s painted by the author and one which will puzzle those of us who would never be capable of such underhanded actions. I hope those that are trying to do good for the old woman are stronger than those that evidently couldn’t care less about her and are only interested in her money. And I also hope that there is a special corner reserved in Hell for charlatans like the two featured in that blog.

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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