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

I picked up a pencil and in the light of the townlands I wrote rapidly ‘And since these payments are illegal and immoral, all decrees enforcing them shall be suspended pending national agreement on what contributions Irish farmers will make towards national housekeeping expenses.’ I wrote across the top for our slogan of action – ‘CALL OFF THE BAILIFFS’. Accept that addendum and we’re a team , I said , and we settled down for a long discussion.

I was amused to find that Colonel Moore was as convinced as Paddy Hogan that I was acting for the IRA , and it sharpened my admiration for him that , with that in mind, he was willing to join me. I told him exactly how things were and that I would , if I could, involve the IRA in the agitation of the small-farmer countryside, even though many of the units might shed members initially if pushed along that road. I would not use the poor of the countryside to blast the Free State Government out of the way but the Republic, if restored through a struggle on this level , would be a Republic of the poor, achieved by the poor, for the poor. But to think thus was to dream – the agitation was as yet simply an affair of neighbours in a few townlands.

Colonel Moore told me he asked Labour Senator Tom Johnson to interest himself in the case against payment of land annuities to Britain and that Johnson did, in fact , make a speech to the Senate , but he hedged himself in behind so many reservations that his speech meant nothing. He saw William O’Brien too , but O’Brien told him quite frankly he did not understand the position. It is puzzling that the Dublin Labour movement has persisted in a strange aloofness from the small-farmer countryside : perhaps this is the ultimate proof of its backwardness. This is a recent development , this aloofness , for during the period of the conflict with landlordism town workers were close allies of the Irish countryside. (MORE LATER).


By Michael O’Higgins and John Waters. From ‘Magill Magazine’ , October 1988.

By Saturday night , then, pretty much everything was in place in preparation for ‘Operation Flavius’: at midnight the Commissioner held a final briefing at which various details of the operation were discussed. The briefing , attended by everyone involved in the operation, was addressed by the Commissioner and by the military and security officers in command of those respective elements of the operation.

By this time the Commissioner and his advisory group had identified four key indicators to assist them in coming to a decision about when they should move in on the IRA ASU. These were 1) If a car driven by one of the ASU crossed the frontier and parked in the assembly area in the square ; 2) If a car driven by a member of the ASU arrived in the assembly area without prior warning ; 3) The presence in Gibraltar of other members of the ASU and 4) If there were indications that the ASU , having parked the car , was about to leave Gibraltar. At the briefing the Commissioner also stressed the sequence which he wanted followed with regard to apprehending the three IRA member. This was 1) Arrest ; 2) Disarm and 3) Defuse the bomb.

The inquest heard several different versions of what happened to cause the surveillance operation at the border to miss Seán Savage driving into Gibraltar in the white Renault in the early afternoon of Sunday March 6 , 1988 : according to the Commissioner and several other early witnesses to the inquest, the surveillance operation at the Gibraltar side of the border was working in complete ignorance of what , if any, surveillance was being mounted in Spain. The procedure being followed at the border , the inquest was told , was that, because of the volume of traffic, only cars containing two males and a female were being checked – other cars and pedestrians were being waved through. On day eleven of the inquest , however , Detective Constable Charles Huart of the Gibraltar special branch told a different story….. (MORE LATER).



I have no intention of dwelling on this as I find it a disturbing subject , but it does need highlighting. For one of those involved in such a sensitive issue to behave in such a crassly ignorant manner is a mark of an insensitive person , to put it mildly, and/or a person who is so confident that they will not be properly punished by the ‘establishment’ they belong to that they have convinced themselves that different rules of conduct apply in their case.

That Gerry Adams is at fault in this instance is , in my opinion, as obvious as the fact that his brother , Liam , done wrong and, whilst we are not ‘our brothers keeper’ , we all of us owe it to society , and to ourselves , to ensure that ‘our brother’ is properly reprimanded and removed from all potential areas in which he could re-offend. Not only did this not happen in this case but Gerry Adams rubbed salt into the wounds by trying to ignore the deed and when it snowballed into an avalanche he attempted to make light of it via his ‘Twitter’ account by using that social media outlet in a failed attempt to present himself as a ‘victim’ in the whole squalid affair , by posting a poem about how he bravely took all criticism on the chin , like ‘a man’ :

“You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries?”

It’s the “soulful cries” of your own family members you should have been concerned about , Gerry , not your own (imagined) ‘soulful cries’ in relation to how you considered yourself ‘victimised’ in this sickening business.


The eight prizes won on Sunday 13th October last – ‘P’ won elsewhere , ‘C’ won on the premises!

‘PC’ as in ‘P’ for Pats , ‘C’ for Cabhair : we were surprised to see , on the TV, that any Pats fans at all were actually at the game ,as the hotel was packed solid with them , save for a few poor lads from Sligo , who got an awful – but good-hearted – roasting from them , and that was even before the game started!

The atmosphere in the hotel was brilliant , as usual – noisy , colourful and very busy – just the way we like it , as it’s much easier to sell the fifty tickets to a good-humoured crowd than it would be if they were down in the dumps. And sell them we did : it took us twenty minutes to shift them and (on my band-wagon again!) had we had another fifty we could have sold them, too!

Anyway , that’s a discussion for another day and a different venue. The first prize , €200, was won by Mattie Langan , who bought his ticket (number 13) from our bus driver , Anto , neither of whom could believe their luck and , indeed, wouldn’t believe it until the actual envelope was handed over : Mattie pulled out the second prize for us (ticket number 544), €100, which was won by a screaming Mags , from Dublin, who was in her Sligo colours and told us she was there with her husband , a solid Pats supporter! Some craic in that house that night!

Mags then pulled the third prize , €40 , which was won by one of the many locals present , Andy C , on ticket 189, who had bought his ticket from myself and Andy was asked to pick a stub from the drum for prize number four – that was claimed by Seán Byrne , (ticket 410) from Carlow , who enjoyed the experience of his walk to the top table to collect it , as did we (!) , wondering what he would have been like had he won first prize 😉 ! Seán done the business for us with prize number five ,€20, which he ‘gave’ to Linda Larkin (ticket 166 , sold by our Darren) and made a song and dance about it. Literally!

When she was released from Seán’s grasp (!) , Linda pulled out ticket number 233 , sixth prize (€20) , which was sold by Tony and won by John and John pulled out our second-last prize , €20,(stub 580) which was won by Greg Mackers , from Inchicore in Dublin , and Greg then made Mick , from Dublin , a happy camper by helping him to win our last prize , €20, with stub number 520.

We had a ball with the lads and lassie supporters from both teams and want to thank them , on behalf of Cabhair, for their financial and verbal support. Really appreciated!


Martin McGuinness : a puppet controlled by the State he once pledged to oppose. A well-paid ‘establishment’ gille.

Nothing surprises anymore in relation to this man as , not only does he realise that he has no way back , but he doesn’t even want one. He is content to be a court jester for his Masters , who afford him what they deem to be ‘respectability’ as long as he toes the line. Their line. And he is only too happy to oblige , even though he knows it means turning his back , politically, on all he professed to believe previous to his ‘elevation’ as an over-paid lickspittle.

Just how grateful the man is for his political position within his corner of ‘the empire’ can be seen in the fact that he will gladly poke fun at himself to remain integrated with those he now admires , to the point where he has no shame in playing the court jester , at his own expense : not a new development for him , or a departure from his previous form in this regard, but confirmation (if any was required) that he is indeed comfortable in believing himself to be ‘in’ with the ‘in crowd’.

“For services to the hot-water bottle industry , Sir Martin – you are truly under ones foot…”

His latest ‘trick’ was delivered during his address to a business conference in Hillsborough Castle where he amused the business community by announcing that he had slept in the room reserved for a British ‘queen’ when she visits these shores and he then added the punch line – that he had actually slept in the same bed that she uses. The irony of painting such a mental picture is lost on him , as he will use any and all such ‘amusing anecdotes’ to prove how harmless and loyal he and his are to their benefactors. He likes fumbling in the greasy (and bloody) till and doesn’t care who notices it. Shame on him.

(*Not now if, indeed, ever – although to be fair to the man he did verbally and physically profess that to be the case over a number of decades. But talk is cheap, and so, apparently, are some people. Morally, that is.)


Two of the most savage State budget cuts that were announced in yesterday’s budget will both affect the elderly in particular : the ‘Death Grant’ and the telephone allowance. A funeral in Dublin now costs between €7,000 and €10,000 and as such the ‘Death Grant’ of €850 might not seem much of a help , but it did offer some comfort to a family who would be experiencing enough trauma , without adding extra financial worry onto already stressed shoulders. The OAP phone subsidy of €9.50 a month was , believe it or not, in some cases, the deciding factor for elderly people in whether to keep a landline or not – if or when an OAP now decides to discontinue with that telephone service they would then have one less avenue in which to call for help , an issue which does not , apparently, concern those who pulled the plug.

Reacting to those and other State cuts, RSF President Des Dalton had the following to say : “Once again the Leinster House political elite have targeted the most vulnerable members of society in order to protect the interests of the wealthy. The singling out of the elderly and the young unemployed exposes the harsh reality of the neo-liberal economics that drives the economic and social policy of the 26-County Administration. Cutting access to a full medical card to thousands of people over seventy as well as the renewed targeting of the young unemployed, leaving many with no other option but to emigrate, is reminiscent of the ‘Poor Law’ mentality of the 1840s when starvation or the coffin ship were the only options that were provided. The ability to care for the old and provide for the young define what is a civilised society. The barbarians have breached the gates.

The Leinster House political class are collaborating against the interests of their own people in order to prop up the economic agenda of the EU power elites. This budget is just the latest salvo in a war of economic imperialism being waged against ordinary people, workers, the unemployed, the rural and urban poor, the young and the old across Europe.

The budget as an exercise is largely a media event, as the major decisions are already made by the political and economic masters in Brussels and the European Central Bank. This is the new face of imperialism and people must awake to the reality that they are now locked in a struggle for the very survival of the norms of a civilised society not only in Ireland but across Europe and beyond.”

The Administration in Leinster House are attempting to preserve their own privilleged positions by forcing those who would most likely oppose them in the not-to-distance future – the youth – to leave the State and have turned their backs on those they consider to be an ‘extra burden’ on State finances – the elderly. “Barbarians” indeed.

Thanks for reading , Sharon.

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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