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

On December 17th , 1927, ‘An Phoblacht’ carried a report on Croveigh : ” Events that will test the nation’s conscience – evictions are threatened in the Tirconail Gaeltacht. Croveigh, a pocket of reclaimed land within a ring of raw mountain, is to be attacked. In the Tan days this glen was the resting place for groups of wanted men. The same white-washed cottages. In one home there are father, mother and two daughters, the boys are in Scotland. The spinning wheel in the corner, that was her grandmother’s. The names cut on the flags in front of the door- the old woman tells of the days when they were cut. This is the sort of home the Land Commission proposes to uproot. Have we come to this then ?”

We had so. Things had come to a pretty desperate pass. There was no longer a safe byre or a safe field in Croveigh – there were decrees out against every holding. I was scared that something more elaborate than the bailiff’s ordinary , hit-or-miss raid on a particular farm would be attempted , that this one would be in force through being guided by a decision on a higher level that the sheriff’s office. And we were pathetically weak. I spent a good deal of time with Black James and we checked over what the total loss of cattle would amount to, should the worst befall us.

We were afraid to ask anybody sell such of his stock as were in a forward state for the market lest people would think we were looking back over our shoulders now that the crisis of the struggle had been reached. I was scared.(MORE LATER).


Roisin McConnell claims she was abused, called “a murdering bitch” , “Satan” and “the Devil”. She claims gardai told her that her child would be taken away, that her husband was having an affair, that she would “do seven years in jail” and that she was “going to get stabbed”. A named garda told her that when this happened, he would spit on her grave, she says.

By Sandra Mara.

From ‘Magill’ Annual 2002.

The McConnells are currently taking an action against the State but no amount of compensation can repair the damage to this family, and as recently as last weekend Roisin McConnell was again hospitalised, as a result of her experiences.

With over 20 similar actions being taken by the McBreartys , Michael Peoples , the Gallagher family , Hugh Diver and others, the implications for the State , financial and otherwise, in what has been described in the Dail (sic) as “the most sinister, ruthless and malicious case of garda corruption in the history of the State” , are enormous.

The financial costs alone are estimated as being likely to run into millions. In a country (sic) now riddled with scandals , this has arguably become the greatest scandal of them all.


(Next – ‘The Betrayal of 1916 – Revisionism Exposed’ , from 1991.)


11 of the 21 IRA escapees were ‘arrested’ in Donegal by Free State forces within hours of the escape.

Early on Saturday morning , 21st March 1943, as the Logue family of Harding Street, Derry, were about to sit down for their breakfast, they noticed a part of their small garden rising up and being pushed back – their garden wall formed part of the perimeter of a neighbouring premises , Derry Jail : a figure pulled himself up from the hole in the ground and began assisting others that were trying to scramble to their feet. Within minutes there were 21 men assembled in the small garden, all of whom rushed into the Logue house and let themselves out through the front door. They ran to near-by Abercorn Place and jumped into a waiting lorry , a furniture removal van, which was driven by an on-the-run IRA man , Jimmy Steele, who had recently liberated himself from Crumlin Road Prison!

Among the escapees were well-known IRA activists Patrick Donnelly, Ned Maguire ,Hugh McAteer , Liam Graham and Brendan O’Boyle who, incidentally, was the last man to be helped from the tunnel. Jimmy Drumm was earmarked as the last man and was in the tunnel, yards behind Brendan O’Boyle, when he heard a warning being shouted that the British Army had discoved the exit and were picking-up the men as they emerged – so he turned back, only to discover later that it was a false alarm.

The tunnel had been started in November 1942 , in Liam Graham’s cell and, out of the 200 or so IRA prisoners in the jail, 22 had been picked by the prisoners themselves as it was felt that that group could more readily ‘rally the troops’ on the outside as each of them had a high profile in the Movement and were respected by all concerned (except, obviously, by the Brits and the Staters!) . An estimated five tons of clay was removed over a five month period and most of it was scattered in the prison grounds, although repeated attempts were made to dispose of some of it via the toilets , which blocked the pipes. A plumbing company was called in on a regular basis over that five month period but, whether they knew what was happening or not, they said nothing and the warders and their bosses knew nothing of the excavation that was then on-going – indeed, during the last few weeks of the dig, the IRA prisoners had held a ‘mini-fleadh cheoil‘ to cover the noise and the constant comings-and-goings from cell to cell and from cell to prison yard.

Jimmy Steele and Harry White had each organised to have about 12 men on stand-by on each side of Britain’s border in Ireland to assist with the dispersal of the escapees , the majority of whom were taken to Donegal but, within a day , some of their number had been captured by Free State forces and interned in the Curragh. Others were also captured in that county, in a place called Glentown , and they were then held in a FS barracks in Letterkenny.

That successful escape effort not only helped to refocus world attention on to the then(-as-now) on-going struggle for national liberation in Ireland , but proved to be a massive morale boost for the Republican Movement – it helped to insure that the flame stayed lit, and brought in new recruits who, in turn, passed the mantle to those who hold the same values today.


Tomás MacCurtain , shot dead in his house in Cork by British police on 20th March , 1920.

“Tomás MacCurtain was shot dead at his home at Thomas Davis Street, Blackpool between 12.10 a.m. and 1.15 a.m. on Saturday, March 20, 1920. It was the morning of his thirty-sixth birthday. The fatal revolver shots were fired by two men with blackened faces who had rushed upstairs and called him out of bed after his wife had opened the door to their knocks and threats. Companions of the murderers held her at the door while the crime was being committed. The inquest verdict found that all those engaged were members of the Royal Irish Constabulary….” (…from here , and a short video of the funeral can be seen here.)


In what has (rightly) been described as an act of “cultural censorship” , the organising committee responsible for last weekend’s St Patricks Day Parade banned trade unionists from entering a float commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1913 lockout. The ‘reason’ given by the politically-connected ‘suits’ that run the parade was that the 1913 float proposal “….didn’t reflect the theme of the Gathering…” , an event which seeks to encourage those who were forced from these shores for economic reasons to come back for a visit and be taxed heavily by the political class whilst here.

The banned St Patricks Day Parade representation of the 1913 lockout, on the other hand, would serve as a reminder to those watching that it was greed on an economic and political scale, which affected the working class in this State, that made a ‘Gathering’ possible ie had those that fled for economic reasons in recent years not been forced to flee there would be no body of financial emigrants abroad to ‘entice’ back. However , the irony of this ‘ban-the-float’ episode is not lost on Irish republicans : amongst those that supported the idea is the trade union SIPTU , which normally works hand-in-glove with Leinster House-appointed organising committees such as the one that binned the proposal.

It would be nice to think that the ‘float refusal’ outcome would help serve as a wake-up call for the likes of SIPTU in relation to realising just who it is they should consider as being on ‘their side’ but that won’t happen – this is just a temporary bump in the road for both bodies, and will no doubt be quickly resolved around apéritifs at the next taxpayer-funded meeting that both sets of reps meet up at.


If you can spare just under eight minutes of your time , and then maybe another few minutes to pass the link on, it would be appreciated. This is a visually refreshing representation of the Irish republican position and it deserves as big an audience as possible. Turn your speakers on and click here.


Those that call for a boycott of this unjust tax have my full support , providing they don’t ‘change horses’ midstream…..

A person who tells those who log on to his website that he is a pensioner from Cork is concerned about the new State-introduced (and enforced) ‘Property Tax’ and has organised an on-line petition against same , and asks that his readers
join him in
“….petitioning Fine Gael TDs and Senators (to) repeal the Household Tax Law…”. The 1994 quote from Enda Kenny re property tax (“It is morally wrong, unjust and unfair to tax a person’s family home”) is quoted by the site owner, readers are given a link to the petition and asked to email it to their friends, family and work colleagues and to pass it on via Facebook and Twitter and a sample letter of protest is provided on the site for people to copy and send to named Leinster House members. All good stuff , and proper order – any and every avenue should be used to combat that tax and it was our intention here on this blog to do what we could in promoting that site , and others like it. But we do so now for a different reason….

…a recent post on that site advises readers in the following manner :

‘TIP: If, through fear, you feel you have to pay this tax, then:-“ONLY PAY BY CHEQUE in 12 monthly installments.” (Good reason!)’

So there you have it – an ‘Irish solution to an Irish problem’ : a concerned citizen sets up a website in opposition to an unjust tax but , when push comes to shove – when it comes to the crunch – he bottles it, and suggests that the tax be paid in what he perceives to be a manner which will make it ‘awkward’ for those that it is paid to! Yes, indeed – that’ll ‘teach them’ not to mess with you, you old rebel you…..

But seriously – that behaviour is , unfortunately, representative of the prevailing attitude here at the moment amongst most people – they know they are being treated unjustly and unfairly, they complain about the situation and swear blind that they will fight back , they may even write a ‘Letter to the Editor’ and/or set up a website/blog with which to garner support and spread the word. But when the time comes to put up or shut up they find what they consider a ‘good compromise’ (‘…..ok so I have to pay it but I’ll do so in installments/in pennies/cents/50 cent pieces…’) and thereafter try and convince themselves that they have shown ‘the man’ that they are not to be messed with!

In the long run, people like that do more harm than good – their actions demoralise would-be supporters to the point that those of us who do genuinely mean what we say are tarred with the same brush as those ‘half-way-housers’ and the fight against the issue at hand (property tax, in this instance) is lost.
And , by the way – I haven’t paid the bill I received for bin tax , nor did I pay the ‘household charge’ , I won’t be paying any water tax and have absolutely no intention to pay this latest (property) tax. Roughly one-third of my wages are stopped , at source, in various taxes , when I spend money I’m taxed on it and if I manage to save some money (in the Credit Union, for instance) , I’m taxed on that , too. I won’t be paying those
“BY CHEQUE” or in “12 monthly installments” . I won’t be paying them at all , full stop, and if/when they take me to court and/or attempt to stop same out of what remains of my wages, then I’ll fight them on that as well , as best I can. And that’s the way it has to be , but I’ll not ask someone to do that which I am not prepared to do myself.

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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