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

This catechism enjoyed a popularity few other catechisms have ever achieved – it was recited in public houses : ‘Stories that live longest are told above the glass’. Shortly after we had grouped together in Galway, Father John Fahy’s parish priest asked him to make an appeal to his parishioners on a Sunday for money to build a curate’s house , and Father John began his address quietly – he was sorry to have to ask people for money and indeed he might not have agreed to do it only that it had been made clear to him that the people had money to spare. Some of them might think that if they had spare money they could put it to better use , and it could be , indeed, that he was not the comfort to them he should be, much as he would like to be a big help to them.

However, whatever his faults, he lived among them and he did the best he could , so if they had money to give away would it not be a better use to make of it to build a house for him than send it to Britain by way of land annuities…..the startled parish priest popped out of the sacristy door, but Father John had no eyes for him as he was too busy advising his people to make two halves of the land annuity, take one half of it with them into the village and buy the makings of a celebration and give the other half to him. The congregation, watching the parish priest in a dither, was in a mood to cheer by the time Father John finished his sermon.

The bailiff seized cattle and was foolish enough to put them in a pound in Galway city for public sale. Had he been responsive to a whisper from Father John, he could not have served the agitation better, for it took very little organising to ensure that when they were offered for sale no man bid on them. That night, members of the Galway committee released the cattle from the pound. From the very outset I was scared Father John might get himself personally involved in some clash that would bring down penalties on him to which other members of the committee would not be exposed and, at meetings with him present , I asked the others to see to it that he kept himself in the background at moments of stress. (MORE LATER).


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

Commissioner Canepa arrived back in the Operations Room at about ten minutes past three and he was told that an arrest had been considered a short time before but had been abandoned when the three suspects moved southwards. He was told that this had led the occupants of the Operations Room to consider the possibility that, contrary to assessments up to that point, the Renault car did not contain a bomb, and that the three might be on a reconnaissance mission. In court six months later , Deputy Commissioner Columbo, who was in command at the time, said that when he saw the three move southwards he began to have doubts that the car contained a bomb.

Commissioner Canepa was requesting that more positive identifications of the three be made before he would agree to sign the document handing over control but then the three suspects were reported to be back in the assembly area. The occupants of the Operations Room were told that the three had “stared hard” at the car , and ‘Officer H’ would later tell the inquest that the three had “looked intently” at the car from the far side of the Main Street. They were looking around them, he said , talking and laughing, but he detected “the intent to look at the car”. There were children about the square at the time, he said.

He said that Daniel McCann turned towards the other two and appeared to make a joke and, as they moved off , he claimed, there were smiles on their faces : “It was a chilling moment. I felt that these were evil people , people who were prepared to shed a lot of blood….” , said ‘Officer H’. Around this time, according to the SAS testimony, control was again passed fleetingly to them, this time by Commissioner Canepa, but was withdrawn again when he asked for final confirmatory checks on the identities of the suspects. Mairead Farrell , Daniel McCann and Seán Savage , meanwhile, had left the assembly area and were moving north towards the border. The time at that point was 3.25pm. (MORE LATER).


The tracking device which British forces attempted to retrieve , after an RSF member found it under the wheel arch of his vehicle…..

….and the owner of the vehicle, after those same British forces paid him a visit to retrieve the device.

This is one of the sides of the continuing British violence in Ireland that, although widespread in various forms, is not highlighted by the mainstream/establishment media which, since 1998 (for some of those media outlets) and for decades before that year/Treaty (for the majority of those outlets) have propagated the lie that the British are on a ‘peace keeping’ mission in Ireland and, indeed, were it not for a few hundred Irish republican ‘dissidents’ , would not be still in Ireland at all.

That the British military can behave in that fashion today , knowing full well that they are politically protected by Stormont and Westminster, is reminiscent of , among other British transgressions, their conduct on Bloody Sunday in 1972- 41 years ago, after which all concerned were told by Westminster that that was an ‘attitude changing’ event and that their army ‘would be kept in check’ in future dealings with civilians. The manner in which they punished the man in question shows that their attitude hasn’t changed , and nor has the attitude of Irish republicans : we are still demanding a complete British military and political withdrawal from this country. They haven’t got enough tasers or manpower to deal with us all in the manner they dealt with Eddie Breen.


….or just another ‘misunderstanding’?

It was, in my opinion, always going to be so from the word go: the ‘NAMA’ institution was based on a false premise from the start , by which I mean that the stated reason for it being established was faulty so therefore any proposition/solution offered by it, again in my opinion, would be incorrect because, in short, it was ‘starting’ from the wrong place.

As far as I’m concerned , that institution was established by (political) business people to save reckless bankers, property developers and other business people from their own greed by making it ‘legal’ (under State law) to offer them a means to regain their wealth using taxpayers cash and, quite apart from the fact that almost one-fifth of the ‘NAMA Corporation’ is now in the hands of British businessmen, the ‘business plan’ behind the company is outrageous.

NAMA was established this month three years ago (2009) and, within a mere eighteen months, had begun to attract the type of attention it had hoped to avoid (indeed, it was only three months ‘old’ when it itself decided it was practically worth its weight in gold!) but , given its ‘parentage’ , that type of attention was inevitable. The can of worms was beginning to open further and more indications surfaced that some of those appointed to positions of authority within the company were as willing (and as able) as their ‘parents’ to ensure that, come what may, they themselves should be looked after by the taxpayer. And, like those in the political class that spawned this monster, they, too, will not suffer financially, regardless of the pain they inflict on the taxpayers. Because that’s the way this State, and the system it enforces, works.


The ‘Ulster Defence Regiment’ , a pro-British loyalist paramilitary gang, was established by Westminster on 18th December 1970 and continued to uphold the British writ , as the UDR, until 1992, when they were amalgamated with the ‘Royal Irish Rangers’ to form the ‘Royal Irish Regiment’.

In every country it occupied (….and in every country it continues to either occupy or take an ‘interest’ in) Britain , like other imperialist forces, recruits a native ‘workforce’ which it uses to serve its interests : in the mid-to-late 19th Century in Ireland, for instance , Westminster decreed that the then Irish police force be re-named the ‘Royal Irish Constabulary’ , a move which the then British ‘queen’ , Victoria, was strongly in favour of , as a ‘reward’ to them in payment for the cruel manner in which they dealt with the Fenian rising : in the early 1920’s , after Britain had partitioned Ireland, the paramilitary RIC groupings in the Six Counties were re-classified as the ‘RUC’ , ‘U’ for ‘Ulster’ (‘1169…’ comment : sic – Ulster has nine counties , not six) and a new pro-British death squad was also established – the ‘USC’ (or the ‘B Specials’ , as they were better known) , comprised of native loyalist/unionist supporters , sharing a common hatred of all things Irish.

British military forces show proper respect for their flag.

‘The Specials’ were left with more or less a free rein by Westminster to ‘maintain (English) law and order’ in that part of Ireland but they dirtied their own doorstep so often that Westminster , long embarrassed by having to clean up after them so often, produced a report which, basically (much to the disgust of the local ‘powers-that-be’) , called for their reign to be brought to an end but, by coincidence (!) , a new pro-British murder gang was formed : the UDR. This latest reincarnation of the RIC/RUC/USC/B Specials (which also ‘traded’ as the ‘UVF’) had, by 1992, ran out of doorsteps to dirty and, in that age-old British ‘tradition’ , was ‘re-launched/re-named’ as the ‘Royal Irish Regiment’ (RIR), on 1st July 1992.

But regardless of what name or uniform Westminster dresses them up as (or in) they will remain what they have always been – mercenary boot-boys in military garb , whether in Ireland or abroad. And they will continue to meet the same response that their ilk so readily dish out to those that dare challenge the ‘might of the British Empire’.


Bad weather prevented French troops from landing in Bantry Bay , Cork, Ireland in 1796.

Near the end of December in 1796, Wolfe Tone arrived in Bantry Bay , Cork, with French General Hoche and a fleet of thirty-five ships, carrying about 15,000 troops, but fog and other bad weather prevented them from landing. Some of the ships sank, and a despondent Wolfe Tone recorded the following in his journal at that time – “This damned fog continues without interruption. I asked General Cherin what we should do in case they did not rejoin us. He said that he supposed General Grouchy would take the command with the troops we had with us, which, on examination, we found to amount to about 6,500 men. The Captain has opened a packet containing instructions for his conduct in case of separation, which order him to cruise for five days off Mizen Head, and, at the end of that time, proceed to the mouth of the Shannon, where he is to remain three more, at the end of which time, if he does not see the fleet or receive further orders by a frigate, he is to make the best of his way back to Brest….”.

On 21st December , this entry was recorded in his journal –
“There cannot be imagined a situation more provokingly tantalising than mine at this moment, within view, almost within reach of my native land, and uncertain whether I shall ever set foot in it. We were near enough to toss a biscuit ashore…” and this on the 26th : “We have now been six days in Bantry Bay, within 500 yards of the shore, without being able to effect a landing. All our hopes are now reduced to getting back safely to Brest…”. The French armada was forced, by the weather, to return to France and an opportunity to change the history of this country and, likely enough, the on-going political conflict here, went with it.


Che Guevara being interviewed in Dublin Airport by RTE’s Seán Egan : the result was first aired on RTE television on this date (18th December)in 1964. He was travelling to Algeria from New York when the plane he was on was redirected from Shannon to Dublin due to bad weather.

On the 14th June 1928, Celia de la Serna y Llosa, from Rosario in Argentina, gave birth to her fifth child,a boy, who her and her husband, Ernesto Guevara Lynch, named as Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna , better known to the world as Che Guevara. Celia’s mother was from Galway and moved to South America where she married into the Guevara family.

Having Irish roots , Guevara visited this country a number of times and it was during one such visit in the early 1960’s , to Kilkeel , in British-occupied County Down, that Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick encountered the man. The young artist , then a teenager and a student at Gormanstown College , was helping to pay his way through college by working part-time in the Marine Hotel pub in Kilkeel, where his mother was from. Jim happened to be on the premises on the same morning that Che Guevara and two of his colleagues walked in and ordered glasses of Irish whiskey. He recognised Guevara immediately and got chatting to him about his Irish roots, and was told by Guevara that he had an Irish grandmother and that her mother , his great-grandmother, a woman named Isabel, was from Galway and that he had other family connections with the Cork area. However , now, perhaps, more so than in the 1960’s , ‘money talks’ and local politicians listen : to destroy a Jim Fitzpatrick work of art for such short-term gain is the very mindset that Che Guevara tried to overcome and, unfortunately, there are not enough Che Guevara types left in this world to do that.


Ar eagle an dearmaid ….

Ba bhrea an rud e siocháin bhuan bunaithe ar an gceart a bheith againn in Éireann . Is i an bronntanas is fearr a d’fheadfaimis a thabhairt duinn fein agus dar gclann .

Coinniodh an ceart agus an tsiocháin uainn le breis agus ocht gcead bliain , de bharr ionradh , forghabhail agus miriaradh na Sasanach. Socrú ar bith a dheantar in ainm mhuintir na hÉireann agus a ghlacann le riail Shasana agus a dhaingnionn an chriochdheighilt , ni thig leis an ceart na an tsiocháin bhuann a bhunu.

Ni dheanfaidh se ach la na siochána buaine a chur ar an mhear fhada agus an bhunfhadb a thabhairt do ghluin eile . Tharla se seo cheana nuair a siniodh Conradh 1921 agus cuireadh siar ar mhuintir na hÉireann e in ainm na siochána . Is mór ag Sinn Féin Poblachtach Éire a bheith saor agus daonlathach , an cuspoir ceanna a bhi i gceist ag Wolfe Tone agus ag na Poblachtaigh uile anuas go dti 1916 agus an la ata inniu ann.

Rinne a lan fear agus ban croga iobairti mora , thug a mbeatha fiu , ar son na cuise uaisle seo .



Least we forget ….

A just and permanent peace in Ireland is most desirable . It is the greatest gift we could give to ourselves and our children . We have been denied justice and peace for more than eight centuries , because of English invasion , occupation and misrule of our country .

Any arrangement which , in the name of the Irish people , accepts English rule and copperfastens the Border , will not bring justice and lasting peace . It will only postpone the day of permanent peace , handing over the basic problem to another generation.

This happened before when the Treaty of 1921 was signed and was forced on the Irish people in the name of peace . Republican Sinn Féin cherishes the objective of a free , democratic Ireland , as envisaged by Wolfe Tone and all Republicans down to 1916 and our own day . Many brave men and women sacrificed a lot , even their lives , for this noble Cause .


(From the ‘1169…’ Crew , December 2013. PLEASE NOTE : we are on a short break from normal posting , although we will post details of how the CABHAIR swim went and possibly a few other posts. We will return to ‘normal’ early in the New Year. Go raibh maith agat, and 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.


  1. sam says:

    If you are going to write propaganda at least get the pictures right. The picture of the soldiers holding the scarf are not UDR troops but Royal Scots Borderers, hence the sham-o-tanters (traditional Scottish bonnet) and black plume. Or are you using Scottish soldiers because you can not get a picture of a “UDR death squad?”

    • 11sixtynine says:

      Hi Sam!
      Thanks for dropping by, and for the comment – appreciated!
      We use various pics and images to better illustrate the point we are making – ‘artistic licence’, if you will.
      Thanks anyway!

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