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

Charles Stewart Parnell sat in private talks with leaders of the weak trade union movement in Galway. Once the landlord phase was over, trade union leaders seemed to get the idea that the big farm, employing labour , was the pattern to favour. This mistaken view has got such a hold that on a recent occasion when I invoked the aid of one whom I consider to be among the most enlightened in the Dublin trade union movement , in my search for allies for small farmers who were striving to influence the ‘Irish Land Commission’ to undo a mistake it made when it permitted a foreign syndicate to buy land badly needed to reconstruct uneconomic holdings , I found him on the side of the syndicate.

Until the trade union leaders free themselves from this weakness , the Labour Party must remain a backward organisation in the eyes of Fenian radicals – this is the sort of thing to which the trade union movement could well devote a summer course.

If Colonel Moore could make no headway with O’Brien , Johnson or O’Connell , the three serious Labour leaders, I would be a worse messenger to them. There was such working-class support for the IRA in Dublin , however, that on the level of trade union branches many of the officials would be carried on to our platform for a meeting, if only O.C. Dublin Brigade would undertake the chore of bringing them forward. But this was a chore that O.C. Dublin Brigade would not undertake without direction from above, and there was no hope of that, for it involved a policy decision. (MORE LATER).


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

Detective Constable Charles Huart of the Gibraltar special branch said that he had been at the border since 8am , working with the Spanish police on their side of the border. As arranged with the Spanish by Chief Inspector Ullger , Huart worked inside a windowless room equipped with modern computer facilities , and outside that room Spanish police checked passports and any they thought were suspicious were flashed onto a screen in front of DC Huart. Remarkably , Huart had no details of the false passports known to be in use by the IRA ASU.

In any event , Seán Savage was not detected driving through the frontier sometime during the early afternoon. ‘Soldier F’ , the commander of the SAS unit , claimed at the inquest that this was because of a complete lack of warning from the Spanish side, but it is worth repeating that , contrary to the official line which emerged at the inquest, there were and are persistent reports that in fact the Spanish were monitoring the progress of Savage in the white Renault all the way down the Costa del Sol to the Gibraltar frontier and were relaying details of its movements to the British security services in Gibraltar all morning.

A thoroughly new complexion was added on day twelve of the inquest when Detective Chief Inspector Ullger , head of the Gibraltar special branch, gave evidence : under cross examination by Mr. McGrory , Ullger said that they had had no preconceived ideas about how the IRA ASU might cross the border – they might cross on foot, all together or individually , or in a car together, or in some combination of both. In briefing the Spanish police, therefore, there had been no question of him telling them to confine their attention to cars containing two males and a female, or to ignore pedestrians altogether. Ullger suggested that the reason Seán Savage had not been detected on the Spanish side of the border was that the Spanish did not realise the full seriousness of the situation and were therefore not as thorough as they might have been. (MORE LATER).


Solidarity! Saturday 26th October 2013.

On Saturday 26th October 2013 , Irish republicans in Dublin will highlight the fact that there are still Irish republicans incarcerated due to their support for Irish republicanism : a two-hour picket and leaflet distribution will take place on that day on the Ha’penny Bridge , beginning at 1(one)pm , and in Wexford , at the same time, republicans will do the same at the Bullring.

At 2pm in Belfast on that day , POW leaflets will be distributed outside the RSF Office (223 Falls Road) and a similar event will take place , also at 2pm, on the Bridge of Peace in Drogheda , County Louth. A few pics and a brief report of last years event can be seen here , and contact details for the organising committee can be obtained here. Also, a linked event will be held at the Celtic Club on Queen Street in Melbourne in Australia on the 26th at 12 Noon (organised by the ‘James Connolly Association’ of Melbourne) and an event will be held in Sydney (Circular Quay) , also on the 26th , and pickets etc will be held in Paris , Italy , the Netherlands , Germany, England , New Mexico (Albuquerque) , New York (two events – one on Saturday 26th and one on Sunday 27th) and New Jersey. If you can spare an hour-and-a-half or so on Saturday 26th , please help us as we have limited resources and are up against an anti-republican administration and a self-censoring media.


MICHAEL WATTERS of Edentubber , County Louth , 55 years of age. GEORGE KEEGAN of Enniscorthy , County Wexford , 27. PATRICK PARLE of Wexford Town , 26. OLIVER CRAVEN of Newry , County Down , 19. PAUL SMITH of Bessbrook , County Armagh , 19.

The five men were active in the IRA’s ‘Border Campaign’ (1956-1962) , known as ‘Operation Harvest’. They were on active service in a small County Louth cottage in November 1957, near the Edentubber Mountain , about 300 yards from the imposed border, when an explosion destroyed the small dwelling, killing all inside. The Republican Movement will honour these men on Sunday 27th October 2013 , and those attending are asked to assemble at ‘The Border Inn’ at 2.30pm , from where the parade will leave for the monument. The main oration will be delivered by John Joe McCusker , Fermanagh. A brief history of the five men can be viewed here and last years commemoration can be seen here. All genuine republicans welcome!


Phelim Roe O’Neil , one of the leaders of the 1641 Rebellion , who was hanged, drawn, and quartered, one quarter being impaled at Lisburn, another at Dundalk, a third at Drogheda and the fourth, with his head, at Dublin.

Although the intention of the Irish rebels was to dislodge the English settlers and reclaim their land , O’Neil is on record for stating the following : “…the rising was not against the King, but only for the defence and liberty of ourselves, and the Irish natives of this kingdom…” which , if you read between the lines, would indicate that the action was taken not so much against English rule as against English mistreatment. The fighting , which began in Ulster on the night of October 22nd/morning of the 23rd and was only quashed 12 years later (September 1653) caused the death of ‘30,000 English, murdered and massacred…’ , according to English politicians but, within weeks, this figure rose to 50,000. Then 100,000 , later ‘revised’ to between 150,000 and 200,000 and finally a nice round figure of 300,000 was agreed on. By those English politicians, that is. But in their haste to make propaganda at the expense of the “…tumultuary Irish rabble…..” , they overlooked the fact that there were only 20,000 English people living in the area affected by the rebellion! The actual casualties are said to be nearer to 12,000 English ‘settlers’ and 7,000 indigenous.

However : whether the rebellion was fought by some for ‘civil rights under the English Crown’ , so to speak, and by others to remove the political and military might of the English ‘settlers’ it has to be borne in mind that those who were attacked were being set upon by those whose objective it was to regain that which was once theirs. In short , the robber was challenged by those he robbed. More on this rebellion can be viewed here and here.


Michael Noonan offers advice on how to stop the State from taking your food and bill money….

It must be nice when , after you have been forced (by nature of the position you hold) to repeat meaningless platitudes time and again for newspaper , TV and radio interviews , you get a ‘private moment’ in which to speak your mind. Except , of course, in this day of ‘citizen journalism’ there are no such moments when you’re on a public street. But such is this mans arrogance that it was precisely because he was on a public street , and not in front of the mainstream media, that he felt comfortable in sneering at a passer-by who asked him if he was aware of the damage that he and his type were doing to ordinary working and unemployed people by the cutbacks they were enforcing. The incident was captured on video and posted on-line but , as expected, has been ignored by the media mentioned above – the outlet that highlights it would be left in no doubt that their requests for future interviews with him and, indeed, the rest of his administration , would be ‘coloured’ due to their having drawn attention to Noonan’s comment.

The incident can be seen here and is a good example of how far Noonan and his type are from the financial reality of those they claim to ‘govern’ on behalf of. But career politicians will never have to share our reality as they have (ab)used our money to insulate themselves from that. No hospital trollies , dole queues or forced emigration for them. They should have something other than their pockets sown up.


Not long now before the above scene is enacted for real?

It could very well only be a matter of time before unemployed women in this corrupt State are forced into prostitution by a State department whose only interest in you is in relation to how much income tax they can get from you. On the face of it , it sounds unlikely and more so when it appears to be the State that has taken on the role as a ‘pimp’ but this story (albeit from 2005) is proof that a capitalist-led society is capable of lowering itself (and its ‘subjects’) to the gutter when profits are at stake. When the woman mentioned in that piece understandably took offence at the ‘job’ on offer and tried to prevent the job centre from offering such ‘work’ to others, not only was she told that no law had been broken but that she was leaving herself open to being penalised by not taking on the ‘job’ and, further, the job centre would be acting outside the law if it didn’t take action against her for refusing to take the ‘job’!

Considering the callous nature exhibited repeatedly by those in Leinster House towards the citizens of this State , the above scenario could be said to be not only possible, but probable. And perhaps it will take something along those lines before things here will change?


Butchered for seeking ‘civil rights’ , not for demanding ‘Brits Out’.

The recent announcement that those members of the British Army that ran amok in Derry in January 1972 are to be “charged with murder” should be treated with suspicion if not outright contempt by Irish republicans – only when those armed thugs are actually imprisoned , alongside the politicians that set them loose that day on unarmed protesters, should we look at this case of injustice in a different manner than that which we have viewed it in , to date.

It is far more likely that this move has more to do with ‘fair warning’ ie notification to those concerned to ‘tool up’ , legally , to defend themselves, than it has to do with ‘fair play’ ie Westminster recognising that it committed a crime that day. The British have no friends , only interests and , on this occasion, it suits their interests now to give the appearance of ‘democracy’ in that they appear to be about to prosecute those they perceive as having done wrong that day in 1972, even if the latter are not only ‘friends’ , but employees.

In effect, Westminster has ‘advised’ the surviving members of the Parachute Regiment that , in the interests of giving the appearance of presenting itself on a world stage as ‘a fair and democratic government’ , it is prepared to take action against those who, even though they were acting under orders from them, behaved in a ‘questionable manner’. The reality is that that gang of armed marauders are now ‘on notice’ that their ‘service to the Crown’ is not yet complete. A typical move by the ‘Empire’.


Gerry says Michael is guilty of it re James but Gerry himself is also guilty of it….

The Fine Gael State Minister for the Health Service (or the man responsible for the state of the health service in the 26 Counties) , James Reilly , has been called on , by the present Fianna Fail leader, Micheál Martin, to resign before he does any more damage to an already shattered entity (oh the irony of Micheál in attempting to make political capital out of the political failings of others in that regard!) giving Gerry Adams the opportunity to declare that Mr. Martin was ‘missing the point’ as it’s “a change of government” that’s needed, not just “a new Health Minister”.

But Gerry himself is ‘missing the point’ : it’s not ‘new’ (or pre-used) politicians that are “needed” in Leinster House – it’s a new system that’s required , as the present political system in this State has failed , regardless of who it is that sits behind the oak cabinet table and cheers or jeers them from the plush seats in that venue in Kildare Street in Dublin. Anyone involved in the Health service will tell you that dodgy material should not be placed in an already rotten structure.

Thanks for reading , Sharon.

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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