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

I did not feel like cheering when I left Hogan’s office. I must wire Phil McCauley this news, before others got time to shout it at him. I spent a lot of time over the telegram – I wanted to signal the committee to hold on, but I was not in a very inspired mood and I could not find any message that did not seem to reflect, in some way, on their instructions to me. In the end I simply stated that Hogan refused to discuss any terms and asked for a full meeting of the Dáil (sic) three nights hence.

If word of a meeting would not hold them, nothing I could do would. I think it likely I went in somewhere for coffee – I am one of the freak Irishmen who deny themselves the comfort of the public house. ‘Deny’ is not the word , it is just a world off my beat. It did not help at all that I had no idea what whispers influenced the committee , and so I made what preparations I could for my meeting in Donegal. I got a number of forms run off at the ‘An Phoblacht’ office , sorted out my ideas and fumbled around for words that would light them up, writing and re-writing. There is always a best way to say a thing.

This time I drove to Donegal , alone, as I think well while driving a car. I holed up in a gravel pit on a side road to time my arrival at Getins’ house half an hour after the time fixed on for the meeting. Getins as host of the evening bade me welcome : “It’s too bad , Peadar, ” he greeted, “I say it’s too bad.” It was a habit of his to repeat himself when he was worried and add “I say” for emphasis. I pushed my way through the thronged kitchen to the hearth and picked up a creepy on my toe , settling it where I could stand on it , the better to be seen in that gathering of tall men. This was a wider meeting than the Dáil (sic) and I noticed faces that should not be there…..(MORE LATER).



From ‘IRIS’ magazine, Easter 1991.

By Martin Spain.

The intention of enforcing military conscription on Ireland similarly aroused a national sentiment which culminated in Sinn Féin’s sweeping victory in the 1918 elections (and the later increased mandate in the local government elections of 1920) and the demise of the ‘Irish Parliamentary Party’ which was seen increasingly as an irrelevant failure.

Sinn Féin’s exhortation to Irish people that they had the right and the ability to take control of their own destiny promoted a degree of self-confidence – the one quality which a colonised nation lacks. The 1916 Rising came about as a direct result of the self-confidence engendered by the cultural revival movement : the reclaming of an Irish identity , whether through language, sport, music , writings or poetry.

The Citizen Army , which played such a vital role during Easter Week, had its roots in the titanic struggle of labour against capital during the Lock-Out of 1913 when so many people starved but held out for so long against the monetary might of the employers and their leader, William Martin Murphy. The Rising itself provided the spark which led eventually to guerrilla war and Irish military commanders travelling to London to negotiate with the British cabinet. ‘Talking to terrorists’ was a policy which the British government continued in the 1970’s although we hear many pious pronouncements now about how this well-tried policy is an inconceivable option. (MORE LATER).


One of the election leaflets distributed in the Clare area in 1917.


Two candidates contested for the seat
(which became vacant after it’s ‘owner’ , Major Willie Redmond, died at the battle for Messines Ridge in Belgium on 7th June 1917 – he and many others had convinced themselves and had been convinced by others that by fighting side-by-side with British forces they would win ‘Home Rule’ for Ireland) – de Valera for Sinn Féin and Patrick Lynch for the ‘Irish Party’. Lynch , a British Crown Prosecutor by ‘trade’, attempted to capitalise on the threat of conscription to the British Army by claiming that only an ‘Irish Party’ victory could prevent same , stating that the (then recent) 1916 Rising would be to blame if conscription by Westminster was enacted! He also attempted to scare voters away from de Valera by insisting that the (on-going) Irish republican policy of abstention from British and British-established ‘parliaments’ would mean that, by default, conscription would be made law as absent elected Sinn Féin representatives would not be on hand to vote it down (as if they could carry enough political weight and/or numbers to do that!).

Pro-de Valera election leaflet , 1917.

One of those working with de Valera on his election team went on record to declare – “We cannot touch Ennis and Lynch is a strong candidate. He has defended one half of the murderers in Clare and is related to the other half….” and, indeed, he was ‘well got’ in the area , with a strong track record : he was 51 years of age when he contested that election in 1917 , whereas de Valera was only 35 , an ‘inexperienced young fella’ , up against ‘an older and wiser man’ who worked in the legal profession as a barrister and British Crown Prosecutor , and who had a track record in (constitutional) politics , taking the Parnell side when that party split. Lynch’s own people considered him a ‘sure thing’ to the extent that his party leadership didn’t bother to assist in his campaign, preferring instead to comfort their party leader, John Redmond, on the death of his brother, Willie, whose death in Belgium on 7th June (1917) caused the by-election (in March 1918, John Redmond joined his brother , Willie, in that much-weakened ‘Home Rule’ cloud in the sky) . But the ‘sure thing’ , Patrick Lynch , lost the election by 2,975 votes – de Valera polled 5,010 compared to 2,035 for his opponent , thus ‘encouraging’ Lynch to ‘look into his heart’ whereupon he fairly quickly discovered that he was really an Irish republican (!) and he joined the then Sinn Féin organisation! He voiced opposition to the Treaty of Surrender in 1922 yet was appointed a ‘King’s Inns Bencher’ in 1925 and then , in 1934, was elected to the Free State ‘Seanad Éireann’ as a Fianna Fáil member , where he remained until 1936, when he was appointed FS ‘Attorney General’ , a post he retained until 1940. He died , aged 81, seven years after he left that Office, no doubt comforted by the fact that he shared the same kind of Irish ‘republicanism’ as his one-time opponent, de Valera – a ‘brand’ practiced to this day by those in Leinster House who are following in the political footsteps of those two men.


Countess Markievicz , with revolver.

A protest was held in Dublin on Thursday last , 4th July 2013 , in opposition to an auction of family homes (and businesses) which had been repossessed by (taxpayer-owned!) banks and, as a result, the auction was cancelled. Protestors gained entry to the venue (the Shelbourne Hotel) and also maintained a presence on the street outside the hotel. Those attempting to profit, on this particular occasion, from the politically-inspired economic collapse in this State , ‘Allsop Space’ (which apparently has two shareholders – Dublin based ‘SPIH’ [100 ‘B’ shares] and ‘Allsop’, a London-based auctioneering company [100 ‘A’ shares]) decided to cancel/postpone the auction and one of the protestors , a Mr. Tom O’ Reilly , is on record for (rightly) stating that “…..people feel it’s very wrong to have English agents selling Irish properties on behalf of English owned banks. It irks a lot of people that this is going on….” whilst another protestor , a Mr. Tom D’arcy, made reference in comments he made to a television reporter in relation to how “Countess Markievicz gave up his life to enable us to eradicate suppression , taxation, eviction…” .

Perhaps Mr. D’arcy was just momentarily unbalanced by the tv camera in front of him and the microphone which was being held to his face, but Countess Markievicv was a female who died in 1927 as a member of Fianna Fáil , the ‘Builders and Bankers Party’. And , speaking of which , Mr. D’arcy himself has an ‘interesting’ background , and has divided opinion in relation to his position re “taxation” and other such social issues – see here , here , here and here.

Mr. D’arcy was , apparently, a multi-millionaire property developer who, after his business gambles failed, ended up with over €17 million in unpaid bills , a sizeable portion of which is owed to the taxpayer in this State , raising the question that if his business plans had gone as he no doubt intended
(ie to ‘progress’ from a multi-millionaire to a billionaire ?) would he still have protested outside the hotel that day ? My enemy’s enemy etc….


An Irish city will never be regarded by Irish republicans as a ‘UK City of Culture’

On Sunday 18th of August next , a ‘gathering’ will take place in Derry at the Guildhall at 3pm to protest the fact that an Irish city is being promoted as a ‘UK City of Culture’, a decision which, when announced , was warmly welcomed by, amongst others, those who professed to be engaged in a battle against British interference in Irish affairs. Those who are genuinely against British interference in Irish affairs will be outside the Guildhall on Sunday 18th August 2013 , not inside it. All genuine republicans welcome !


….the words of Enda Kenny. When he was in ‘opposition’ to the then Fianna Fáil/Green Party State administration, of course….

This man has been on hunger-strike since Monday 17th June 2013 in protest against the property tax and , although he has had some coverage in certain newspapers and on one or two radio stations , both television stations in this State have ignored the man and his protest, least they offend their colleagues in Leinster House. But now that the ‘Boss of Bosses’ in that institution , Enda Kenny, has signalled that he is prepared to acknowledge that the man does exist , his supporters in the management of those TV stations should now be more ‘relaxed’ about highlighting his case.

However , Mr. Kenny appears to have set a ‘precondition’ to his offered meeting with Tony Rochford – that of offering advice to Tony that he should seek to ‘defer’ payment of the property tax, as if the poor man has been fighting for that option all along. The only way that deferral should be considered an option is by the politicians offering to ‘defer’ the whole notion of a property tax until such time as State taxes, income tax , so-called ‘Value Added Tax’ and the various financial ‘levies’ that those same politicians have imposed on the citizens of this State are either withdrawn , reduced or used correctly to pay for the services that , we have been told, the income gathered by the new property tax is to be spent on. And hopefully Tony Rochford will put that point across to Enda Kenny , should the offered meeting ever take place. And, by the way, I haven’t paid it and I won’t be paying it. If anyone wants to tax me for living in my own home, then they’ll have to prove their case in court.


Eamonn Gilmore , before he got fat , comfortable and thirsty.

And so it begins in earnest , as expected : even as people are still being threatened about paying the imposed and unjust property tax , they are being put ‘on notice’ that they will shortly be required to pay another double-tax – for water , a resource which is supposed to be already paid for by increased tax rates. ‘Domestic rates’ were abolished in this State in 1977 after being ‘under discussion’ by various political parties since 1973 , by which year the Fianna Fáil party had held Office for almost sixteen consecutive years. Hoping to capitalise on a State electorate which was weary of FF , Fine Gael and Labour issued a joint manifesto in which they promised to abolish domestic rates , a proposal which the then FF State administration dismissed as “nonsense”. However , in the closing days of that 1973 election campaign, FF announced that it, too , would abolish rates if re-elected ! But it was ‘too little , too late’ for FF and Fine Gael and Labour won the mercs and perks – but broke their “abolish rates” promise. Seeking re-election in 1977 , that coalition resurrected its “abolish rates” promise , and FF followed suit. And won. Domestic rates were abolished by FF in the 1978 State budget but fees , charges and tax rates were then increased to make up the shortfall in revenue and, since then, those ‘fillgap’ charges etc have increased.

The same people that have paid , and are now still paying, those increased charges etc now find themselves being ‘billed’ a second time for those same services ie bins, property and water and have been informed that in the case of the latter soon-to-be issued ‘bill’ (ie water) the supply of same to their house will be curtailed , and at low pressure to boot, if they don’t pay that particular double tax. And , no doubt , should FF promise to abolish that double tax (and/or other such unjust taxes) they would win an election. And the muppets that vote for them will still be surprised when they break that promise or implement it whilst increasing taxes to ‘make up the shortfall’ !



Or something like that. According to what I’ve been told (by those that like to think they know better!) there isn’t a lot of sporting activity planned for this coming Sunday (14th July) but one ‘game’ that is going ahead is the monthly raffle : all 650 tickets were distributed over the last month , the raffle crew are , as always , rarin’ to go , the (usual) venue has the (usual!) red carpet dusted down and cleaned for our arrival and the ‘Top Table’ has been ‘Reserved’. And that’s only in the mini-bus that takes us out there….!

And if I’m not whisked off to New York again (!) sure I might write a few words here on Monday or Tuesday about how we got on. But I am available to carry bags if you’re going to NYC…. 😉

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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