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

Black James sat there and nodded to himself as if finding in his own thoughts, even now, approval of what he had done. “And what did he say, James ? ” , I asked, and for once I found words as hard to get as James. “Tut tut, James’ , he said , tut tut…” I threw back my head and roared, but James was not at the end of his story : “….we had a drink together , like always, and when I was going he said something and what he said was this – ‘Seasaigídh le chéile, James , let you stand together. Don’t one do one thing and one another’. And James looked around at us all.

The mood of a movement is strange and , on occasion , unpredictable. One day it will withstand an impact that should shake it to its roots and on another day it will scare itself to pieces at a whisper that should not take a chip out of it but one thing is certain – once it loses momentum , the maggots get to work on it. I do not know , to this day, what took the heart out of the committee , but the agitation just stalled. The jailings had a part in it , and so had the death of Big Nial Houston – a great part. Maybe I stayed too much in Dublin. One morning I got a letter , curt and direct, instructing me to go to Paddy Hogan and make the best terms I could, for such was the decision of the committee. Phil McCauley did not add a word to it.

I hurried round to Bertie Smyllie , Editor of ‘The Irish Times’ , at his home , and he came down to see me in his dressing-gown : when will somebody adequately acknowledge Smyllie’s warm response to the many demands Republicans made on him ? I asked him to arrange an interview for me with Paddy Hogan and I gave him a note of my terms to forward to the man – ‘Release the prisoners / Forgive the court charges / Freeze the arrears’. I will then undertake that every tenant in the townlands will pay his current annuity * . When I got home I found a telegram awaiting me , which merely summarised the morning’s letter – the committee was obviously afraid the letter might not have reached me by that morning’s post. I was greatly upset to get the telegram , for I knew that although the post office was administered by two charming old-world ladies , it was wide open to one of the most hostile of the government supporters in the village – hostile to me and with some reason. That was one of the troubles , the robustness of the personal enmity I drew on myself. Word of this telegram would go whooping over the telephones of the county and our position would be greatly weakened by it. (* A sell-out, in my opinion , which is why , although strongly guided by the principles and policies of RSF – with which I have never yet been disappointed – I adhere to my own value system first and foremost , regardless of whether or not I have the backing/support of an organisation behind me.) (MORE LATER).



From ‘IRIS’ magazine, Easter 1991.

By Martin Spain.

However , the military struggle of Irish republicans is not born out of a colonising past but rather from resistance to colonisation (nicely expressed here by the political party that the author , Martin Spain, supported at the time he wrote that sentence!) . The moral high ground which Britain today increasingly claims in the Six Counties , as ‘an honest broker keeping the two warring factions apart’ , stands in stark contrast to the jingoistic pride with which colonial adventures in India and Afghanistan are proudly remembered and indeed how this latest bloody campaign in the Gulf is already being celebrated with patriotic feavour. Not for the vast majority of Britons moral dilemmas about the use of force (no , indeed – it is others that suffer that “moral dilemma” !).

In contrast, Irish people are expected by our home grown if Anglocentric revisionists to be ashamed of those men and women who took up arms against a massive military machine in 1916, and who fought, not for oil or territorial aggrandisment, but simply for an end to occupation and repression by Britain.

The English citizen’s self-confidence in his or her nationality is not one which is commonly echoed in Ireland , despite the fact that military force as a tactic has been used here only as a last resort to achieve freedom for our people. The armed revolt which was 1916 was employed not to crush an opposing community but to strike a blow for freedom and equal rights for all, as even a peremptory glance at the 1916 Proclamation shows. Britain’s bloody imperial past, meanwhile , is one of the slaughter of successive races of ‘restless natives’ the world over. (MORE LATER).

(*’Mandatory Alcohol Test Checkpoint’.)

‘That’s green behind me , but there’s none in here…’

Just a flavour of political life here , for our many readers abroad : the man at the centre of this ‘storm’ (which he inflicted on himself) , Alan Shatter , is State minister for justice and is also in charge of the State army , but the fact that he holds those two posts does not excuse or explain his arrogance in attempting to (ab)use same for his own advantage. Such is the level of self-entitlement borne by Shatter and his colleagues in Leinster House that even if he were a lowly (!) back-bencher, he would still consider himself to be a breed apart from those of us who work for a living. People like that will never suffer , as they have insulated themselves from the everyday troubles that they happily inflict on those of us that pay their outrageous salaries and pensions, and have conviced themselves that they are worth it as they consider themselves to have ‘done the State some service’. And, in a (perverse) way , they have , in that once again they have highlighted the fact that there is no difference between Fianna Fail , Fine Gael , Labour , Provisional Sinn Féin , the Green Party etc in that they are totally committed to using whatever time they are allowed in Leinster House to feather their own nests. Indeed , the only “green” on view is brought into the equation by those who vote for any of them !


From a full-colour PSF newsletter (made possible by Aengus , no doubt !) published by that party in the Clondalkin area of Dublin.

‘(Provisional) Sinn Féin members protecting at the offices of Francis Fitzgerald TD (sic) and Robert Dowds TD (sic) for breaking their pre-election promises and introducing a tax on the family home’ , as per the caption : and why wouldn’t PSF seek to “protect” their Leinster House colleagues , as Mr Adams and Co. are guilty of the same offence ? Won’t be long now until Fine Gael and Labour members and supporters are standing outside PSF offices with placards and banners to “protect” those inside from public anger. Stranger things have happened…..


One thing is certain – they are not going to ‘fall’ on either side.

From ‘not going to welcome it’ to being delighted to publicise the distribution of leaflets in its favour (in the company of , no less, a leading member of a pro-British paramilitary gang!) : Provisional Sinn Féin have found themselves hoisted by their own petard , in that , as a ‘revolutionary socialist’ party they should be rallying their troops to oppose the G8 and what it stands for but, as a party now firmly ensconced in the ‘establishment’ that they once politically attacked , they are unable to do as they have given that same ‘establishment’ too many hostages to fortune which it can use against them and that ‘revolutionary socialist’ party is well aware that their ‘friends and colleagues’ in both Leinster House and Stormont would not hesitate to do so.

This sort of issue is very easy for Adams and the rest of the PSF leadership to ‘fudge’ as the majority of their members now consist of floating voters and/or ex-SDLP/Labour/Fianna Fail and other assorted ‘nationalists’, and that type have been ‘reared’ , politically , on a diet of such ‘fudge’. And actually it would cost that Party dearly were it to commit itself to outright opposition (or support!) for the G8 , as some of its members would be in favour of the G8’s of this world whilst others would be against. So best to try and play for both camps from its perch on the fence, whilst continuing to coin it in from both of the above-mentioned political institutions. A true ‘party of government’ in the making !


John Buttimer , Fine Gael elected representative in Cork , and cancer sufferer.

This poor man , only 41 years of age, is bravely fighting back against a killer illness and is doing so publicly : in January this year he spoke about how he discovered he was ill , despite feeling that he was in good overall health , and has been on some TV news programmes here in recent days in connection with his on-going battle against the illness , during which he (rightly) opined that ‘no amount of money should be spared on research or treatment’ where cancer is concerned.

Before his Party took office in Leinster House , Mr. Buttimer’s brother , Jerry (also a Fine Gael rep) , was among the many who questioned and queried the approach outlined by Fianna Fail and the Green Party in relation to health cutbacks in his own electoral area and there is nothing to suggest that he won’t do the same now that his own Party are attempting to further decrease the effectiveness of what remains of the health service in that part of Ireland. The fact that both are members of the same ‘team’ that are implementing the health cuts will , of course, have no bearing on how they now feel about cutbacks of that nature…..


Even the Mafia had , for the most part , a ‘rule book’ that they sometimes adhered to…

……although it’s taken for granted that we’re not dealing here with an organisation as ‘honourable’ as that.

The imposed (“extended”) ‘deadline’ for paying the so-called ‘property tax’ was 8pm tonight , Wednesday 29th May 2013 , and not only did I not pay , but I have no intention of doing so, and have , like many others, tried to encourage those I came in contact with over the past few months not to pay , explaining the consequences involved in making that stand against the State. And that’s a challenge that myself and hundreds of thousands of others are willing to fight , when the time comes.

There is some talk in anti-unjust tax circles of using the State Constitution as a means of defence against this tax , with particular reference to Article 40 (‘5.The dwelling of every citizen is inviolable and shall not be forcibly entered save in accordance with law’) and Article 43 (‘The State acknowledges that man, in virtue of his rational being, has the natural right, antecedent to positive law, to the private ownership of external goods…the State accordingly guarantees to pass no law attempting to abolish the right of private ownership or the general right to transfer, bequeath, and inherit property…the State recognises, however, that the exercise of the rights mentioned in the foregoing provisions of this Article ought, in civil society, to be regulated by the principles of social justice…the State, accordingly, may as occasion requires delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good’) and , whilst I, for one, will simply not engage with what I regard to be a bastard illegitimate State (re its ‘Irish Constitution’) I can understand how others could view either or both of the above-mentioned Articles to be of some use to them in defending their position.

However , not meaning to put a damper on the campaign, it seems obvious to me that , should such a State Constitutional challenge arise, the suited gentry in Leinster House , with deep taxpayer-filled pockets, will hone in on the words ‘… in accordance with law’ (Article 40) and the words ‘….to be regulated by the principles of social justice (and) delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the common good’ (Article 43) as their trump cards with which to ‘prove their authority’ in relation to this new tax. But it’s a challenge worth taking by those that are so inclined but , as stated , I am not in that camp : I prefer to fight my corner , in this instance, on what I believe to be ‘natural justice’ rather than the fine and well-dressed weasel words allegedly supported by a political mafia.
Either way , those bastards will not be filling their greasy coffers with any more of my already taxed take-home pay without a fight. I’ll fight my own battles and will not be misled by those who, at first, appear to be ‘on your side’ ……

…..until push comes to shove, that is. Rely on your own convictions first , not on the stated ‘convictions’ of others.

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.


  1. padraig66 says:

    Go raibh mile Sharon as na clann Uí Mhorda as deilginis !!!

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