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

I was, therefore, all the more taken aback to get word, by telephone, that Black James Duirnin and Widow Biddy Doherty were in Sligo Jail – I was assured they were not imprisoned for obstructing the bailiff, but for debt.

I have always regretted I was not in court when Black James was asked if it was need exposed him to so great a hardship as jail at his age – he was over seventy at the time – or was he influenced in any way by politics. Duirnin was always slow to find words , but you felt that his delay was forced on him by the care he took to sort out his thoughts before he spoke. This time he was even slower than usual , and his neighbours waited in a tense silence.

He said he thought politics entered into it : all this began, he explained, a good few years back , on a Sunday, it was, and in the parochial hall. He minded the day fine. There were a number of young men in a line and they raised their hands and took an oath , but he himself took no oath for he was too old, although he was then of the same mind as those men. A resolution was put before the people that day, disowning rent, and he said his word on it and he put his hand up for it. “Some of the men who took an oath that day didn’t abide by their oath, but my hand is up yet” , he said. (MORE LATER).



From ‘IRIS’ magazine, Easter 1991.

By Martin Spain.

Historians have a duty to be honest about where they themselves are coming from when promoting a historical interpretation ; the cardinal sin committed by the revisionists is in imposing their values on historical events. Their version of history promotes Britain as an innocent party , if sometimes clumsily arbitrary in its actions, while the militant republicanism through which the freedom of the 26-County state was achieved is put forward as the root of the ‘Troubles’ in the Six Counties today, which, of course, are entirely the fault of the PIRA and (P) Sinn Féin.

The history of republican endurance and sacrifice is derided as the actions of the fanatical few, not content to accept their situation but constantly harking back to the old enemy, Britain , as the source of all Ireland’s ills.

The very people who were lauded as revolutionary leaders in 1966 during the state-sponsored 50th anniversary celebrations of the Rising are now dismissed as ‘men of violence’. But why has there been such a revisionist push in Ireland ? To answer my own question, the reason there is such fertile ground for revisionist theorising and rewriting of Irish history * is precisely because of the horror felt by most Irish people about the present situation in this country.

(* Re ‘rewriting of Irish history’ : good example here!)(MORE LATER).

24TH APRIL 1916.

1916 Easter Rising , Ireland.

Too long a sacrifice

Can make a stone of the heart.

O when may it suffice?

That is Heaven’s part, our part

To murmer name upon name,

As a mother names her child

When sleep at last has come

On limbs that had run wild.

What is it but nightfall?

No, no, not night but death;

Was it needless death after all?

For England may keep faith

For all that is done and said.

We know their dream; enough

To know they dreamed and are dead;

And what if excess of love

Bewildered them till they died?

I write it out in a verse-

MacDonagh and MacBride

And Connolly and Pearse

Now and in time to be,

Wherever green is worn,

Are changed, changed utterly:

A terrible beauty is born.
(From here.)

The 97th Anniversary of the Easter Rising was commemorated in Dublin and throughout the country, and abroad, by the Republican Movement on Easter weekend last , 30th March – 1st April 2013 , where a pledge was given that the ‘job of work’ that was started then will continue until completed. A history of those events , 97 years ago, can be read here.


Martin Corey , political hostage.

‘Martin Corey is a Republican from Lurgan, Co. Armagh. He was sentenced to Life Imprisonment in December 1973. At that time he was only 19 years old. He was to spend the next 19 years of his life in jail until he was finally released without signing anything in June 1992.

on April 16th 2010 he was taken back into custody….

was given to Martin at the time or since his return to jail….’
(More here.)

The CABHAIR Committee that organise the ‘Annual Testimonial Dinner and Republican Reunion’ are to be congratulated for including Martin Corey as the ‘Ulster Honoree’ this year : had this injustice occurred in any other country , groups such as ‘Amnesty Ireland’ would be amongst the loudest in their condemnation of same but , because that particular organisation (along with many other pro-establishment ‘human rights groups’) consider the Six County debate to be ‘settled’ , they ‘play safe’ and ignore it. Hopefully , this CABHAIR initiative will help to publicise Martin’s case.


The Republican Movement will commemorate Wolfe Tone on Sunday , 16th June 2013.

At 2.30pm in Sallins , County Kildare , on Sunday 16th June 2013 , the Republican Movement will be represented at the grave of Wolfe Tone , to pay its respect to its ‘Founding Father’.

Incidentally , the claim that Tone “committed suicide” is not by any means a ‘given’ , and is challenged here (see ‘Murder Most Foul’ , Wednesday, March 09, 2005) and, as Irish republicans can verify , the British administration are capable of anything when it comes to anti-republican propaganda.

1,350 (=350) FOR THE 22 ON 4 5 13….

… here for more details!


British ‘Sir’ Fredrick Hamilton , an ‘adventurer’ let loose in Ireland.

Hamilton was a (Scottish/)British ‘nobleman’ who was ‘given’ Irish land during the Plantation of Leitrim in 1620 and, accompanied by his wife, they ‘moved in’ and almost immediately began to covet their neighbours land. His military ‘adventures’ took him to Germany and, at one point, he sued the Swedish administration for financial compensation after they disbanded the cut-throat mercenaries he had gathered around him!

He attempted to increase his fortune in Derry in 1643 by becoming Governor of that fine City (a position then held by his father-in-law and which he thought he should be entitled to!) and, to further prove his ‘loyality’ , joined the ‘Covenanter Movement’ in the hope that in doing so he would be better placed to receive ‘favours’ from the political establishment of the day. Whether he was recognised for the sleiveen he was or for some other reason, his new ‘friends’ decided they would be better off , politically, without getting too close to him and they placed him as a commander in Scotland of one of their regiments , from which duties he was discharged in 1647 , the same year that he died , practically penniless.

So proud was he of his military derring-dos in Ireland , he kept a diary which can be referenced to this day , and included in which are the following gems : “…. hurt drivers, killed three, brought home their heads to our Collonel, with a lusty prisoner who was hanged next day…..killed about 30 in 3 cabbins, and hanged our guide, who died a most obdurate villain….marched towards the Rosse, where we killed 60 of their ablest men with 2 of their famous priests…..sent a party of horse and foot upon them, where we had good sport in killing near 60 of them – with all three Captains, and Captain Teige O’ Connor’s wife…..burned and killed in the houses upwards of three score persons….took prisoner Charles Maguire after breaking his leg; to cure him had him carried on a barrow to the gallows, where he rayled at us for not getting a souldier’s death after having served in France and Spain….in burning the Toune of Sligo where it confest by themselves was destroyed that night neere 300 soules by fire, sword, and drowning: to God’s Everlasting Great Honour and Glory, and our Comfort….”

This man Hamilton was not by any means the first foreign gobshite to involve himself , militarily and/or politically, in Ireland , and most likely won’t be the last. But they , too, will end up like Hamilton – leaving a dark stain on the history of their family name. And we Irish have long memories.

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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