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

Croveigh people will tell you that Colmcille slept a night in their glen and that the sheltering shadow of his hand has been over it since, and will be forever. No man on-the-run was ever caught in their glen , not even wounded strangers, with the great hunt on their heels, in the year of the French ; day raid, dawn raid , night raid – always some ear caught a sound in time.

If ever you took shelter there, on the run, you might think if Colmcille left the glen any gift it was sharpened hearing , beyond human range. Even animals had it – dogs barked at less , cattle got to their feet in the byres for less , ducks, hens, geese , even the grass, couldn’t fidget at night but they heard it. It would be unlikely that trouble would sneak in on us, but it could come with a rush and in great strength and overwhelm us.

And then suddenly our day brightened. Hughie Donal Anthony O’ Donnell , a merchant of the village of Dungloe and a government supporter – an upright and honourable man who was above all else a good neighbour – got a whisper of the day and the hour for the raid on Croveigh and he passed it on. It came to him from PH O’ Donnell , from Doochary, a man of great contradictions. He was a Hibernian , a dedicated supporter of John Redmond. Once, in the Tan days, I brought a whole IRA active service unit into his home, late at night, after a long march. We were wet , tired and hungry…..(MORE LATER).



From ‘IRIS’ magazine, Easter 1991.

By Martin Spain.

Most Irish people still regard the 1916 Rising as a great moment in Irish history. It is seen as a heroic act of defiance staged to reawaken the desire for Irish freedom , a symbolic military blow for freedom which achieved its ends with the rise of Sinn Féin and the IRA and the subsequent Tan War. The Irish people gave Sinn Féin an overwhelming victory in the general election of 1918.
The Tan War saw Britain at last defeated in Ireland , albeit in a limited manner.

The subsequent tragedy of the Civil War and the acceptance of partition by an emergent and reactionary Free State government left a sizeable section of nationalist opinion betrayed , trapped without a voice in the sectarian Six-County statelet. The Free State had accepted partition and by doing so had abandoned Six-County nationalists to their fate.

When de Valera’s Fianna Fáil acceded to power in 1932 there was a feeling among many republicans who had openly campaigned for Fianna Fáil during the election campaign, that at last something would be done about partition and achieving national self-determination once and for all. Instead the new Fianna Fáil government merely paid lip-service to Republicanism.(MORE LATER).


State-approved Easter Lilies!

“Easter Lilies….will be sold by Licensed Sinn Féin Sellers (sic). Always ask for a permit before you donate.”

The above leaflet/poster was issued by Provisional Sinn Féin in Offaly , following instruction from their Head Office in Dublin to word it as is. Similar instructions have been issued for decades now , at this time of year, to all areas in which PSF have a presence and, as with their people in Offaly, all areas complied with the instruction.

The irony of the situation is either lost on or glossed-over with that type of ‘republican’ , although I suspect it’s the former : those involved with the Provisional political party are either unaware of what the Easter Lily represents or simply don’t care about that aspect if, by ignoring same, they reckon they can boost whatever chance they have of forging a political career for themselves.

To seek ‘permission’ and a written permit from those that played a major part in the deaths of the men and women you seek to ‘honour’ is, at best, politically perverse and, at worst, politically immature , and is an issue I have commented on before. To ensure you don’t get fooled into contributing to a false ‘Cause’ and wearing a Free State-approved Easter Lily , best to deal only with genuine republicans and to attend genuine Easter commemorations – a list of same can be seen here.


A ‘uniform’ approach : selling your ‘loyalty’ to the highest political bidder.

Bent (and/or incompetent) politicians and incompetent (and/or bent) trade union leaderships have both ‘contributed’ to hundreds of thousands of workers in this State – myself included – suffering wage reductions in recent years , whilst the cost of living increases. Like most of those other workers, I fought tooth and nail to hold on to that which I already had and myself and my work colleagues went through the necessary motions and eventually secured a hearing in a Court setting , only to be badly let down by our trade union reps at a crucial stage: the wage reductions stood (two of them, within an 18-month time frame) and we had no option , with that employer, other than to ‘suck it up and get over it’, as management and our trade union reps put it.

Had we attempted to ‘blackmail/intimidate’ our employer into reversing the wage cuts or to prevent them from implementing such cuts in the first place I have no doubt that they would have used same to have us dismissed from the job and, had we challenged them re same, I don’t doubt that we would have lost. For example , had we said to our employer that ‘…there is a risk of your workers being got at financially ….you cannot have a situation where your employees are put into a place where they might not want to be in terms of their ability to pay their lawful debts….such a scenario wouldn’t be healthy for all concerned…’ , we would expect the ‘authorities’ to be called in to investigate our ‘threats’.

Interesting, then, to see what happens when it’s not only the ‘authorities’ themselves that make such ‘threats’ but actually act upon them. But one thing is certain – had we, the ‘ordinary joe soap’ workers done it, we would not be allowed to ‘investigate’ it ourselves…..


A load of….

Labour Party member Ruairi Quinn , the current ‘State Minister for Education and Skills’, is in good company : he has surrounded himself with other political spoofers. His boss , Pat Rabbitte, is one such spoofer and, between them (Fine Gael and Labour, that is) , they have reneged on political promises made not to introduce a property tax , not to pay “one more red cent” to Anglo Irish Bank , not to cut child benefit payments (cut twice since that particular promise was given) , to protect special welfare payments to the disabled (since cut) , to specifically keep the Roscommon Hospital Accident and Emergency service open (since closed) ….and there are many more such examples , but you get the picture : don’t vote for any of them on the strength of what they promise you , either on the doorstep or in leaflets/posters/advertisements etc.

And it’s not only those that are at the ‘Top Table’ inside the tent that are pissing all over you – those that are also inside that tent (albeit not at the ‘Top Table’) cannot be trusted either –

(They are ‘in the tent’ but no cuts have been reversed…)

– the only true recourse that we have is to wish a plague on all their houses : next time you get the opportunity , use your vote wisely – perhaps after promising the candidate on your doorstep that , yes, of course you’ll vote for them…..


– the ‘Save Moore Street Dublin’ group are an organisation that we on this blog and , indeed, Irish republicans overall, have a lot of time for : we have met and been introduced to some of their members at various events over the years and know them to be genuine activists , committed to their objective , which is the preservation of “….buildings (which) form part of the most important battlefield site in modern Irish history……” (more here).

With that in mind, we want to draw attention to a similarly named group which purports to have the same objective in mind and which appears to have the interests of the area at heart , until, that is, you ‘open the bonnet’ and examine what it is that makes it ‘tick’ , as the genuine activists have done. They discovered enough faults to issue this warning – “It has come to the our attention that the developers committee who seek to demolish the National Monument are still trying to gain support for the demolition. Their latest effort is very novel. They have set up a ‘booth’ with promo video and a petition for the public to sign in the ILAC centre at the Parnell Street entrance. They have used our name on the literature and are misleading people totally. We would urge all of our supporters to avoid this stunt or if you feel the need go and tell them how you feel about their plans for demolition. Be advised, they are past masters of spin and will try anything to convince you otherwise. A number of supporters including some of the relatives have already been barred from their facebook page after asking very legitimate questions about this groups plans.”

We have a link for that false group but we won’t be posting it here , as we don’t want to give them too much publicity nor do we want to possibly add to any confusion in relation to this issue. Suffice to say that the above-mentioned ‘Facebook’ link will not lead to you being ‘misdirected’ should you wish to get in contact with genuine activists in relation to this issue.


Loaded , bent and biased – TV3 aims to please the ‘Establishment’ with ‘docudramas’ such as ‘In The Name Of The Republic’.

“Between 1917 and 1921 , Irish republicans took on the might of the British Empire. And won.” That comment was delivered on Monday night last , 25th March 2013, as the opening credits were rolling at the start of the final episode of TV3’s ‘In The Name Of The Republic’, which concentrated its ire on the IRA in the Cork area. And aptly so – as far as those connected with that programme are concerned , the fight was for a 26-County Free State and , once that was ‘won’ (at least in so far as there is no British military or political presence overtly exercising power in this failed entity) then any armed actions by republicans after that ‘win’ were unwarranted and ‘terrorist’ in nature.

20 minutes into the programme and there was only an ‘oh-by-the-way…’ -type reference to the damage inflicted on the people and the area by the British Army and their colleagues in the RIC , and even this was practically excused by the voiceover, which informed listeners that “….the IRA murder campaign was having a demoralising effect on the RIC..” and references were made about “…IRA killing sprees..”.

The programme made reference to , in my opinion , one unsound source of material in particular , on more than a few occasions and, when it did refer (begrudgingly) to IRA operatives that it did not consider to be taking part in a “murder campaign” it did so by asking “….what those dignified old IRA men would have had to say about the shooting of spies and informers…?” but , pointedly, the programme makers never did get around to asking them that question !

Had there been a third episode , it no doubt would have highlighted the cultural contribution made to Irish society by the British Army and their comrades , the gentle Black and Tans…..

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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