By Peadar O’Donnell ; first published in January 1963.
I didn’t think it wise to visit Father John in Galway Jail , but my wife went to see him and she consulted with Louis Ó’ Dea, a solicitor, a good republican and a good neighbour. O’ Dea went to see Father John and they went into a huddle together to find a formula that would open an escape for Father John without altering his plea. It seemed to me that the key lay in the attitude one took before the jury. I chose to ask the jury to keep out of it by finding me not guilty. Suppose Father John said to the jury that he didn’t want to put them to the trouble of listening to a lot of balderdash ; that he didn’t see any reason why he should deny that he rescued a poor woman’s cows from the bailiff. Louis O’ Dea and Father John evolved a polished formula and so when Father Fahy was asked how he pleaded, guilty or not guilty, he said to the jury he saw no reason why the judge should not proceed as if they had just found him guilty.
The judge interpreted this as a plea of guilty and sentenced Father Fahy to six weeks’ imprisonment to date from the day of his arrest, so that he walked out of the court into a throng of friends. His bishop had Father John on the carpet, but to the great relief of us all he did not ‘silence’ him : his Lordship gave Father John written instructions that he must not discuss politics where two other people are present, and he sent him to Clostoken. There is a ‘Clostoken’ in nearly every diocese, a ragged curacy which is a sort of place of punishment for priests who ‘stumble’ : the people there know that unless the new priest is a fledgeling on his first appointment, then he is a poor man under a cloud of some kind.
They are civil to the first but they reach out warmly to the second. Father John and I took up residence at Clostoken, a thatched cottage. Our circumstances were changed. Alice, wonderful Alice, who fed relays of greedy and not too-thoughtful men who let her cook meals at all hours of the day or night at Bullaun, could not fit into our new house – anyway, we could not afford her. Father John and I are both untidy men in a house and so Clostoken soon took on some of the appearance of an unhappy home but the appearance belied it, for there never was a happier house in a setting of better neighbours, and the gatherings at night in that cottage are a great memory. I wrote a lot amid the confusion , as my mind seems to thrive on noise, and some of the noise went into ‘An Phoblacht’. (MORE LATER).
THE ANATOMY OF AN AFTERNOON : THE STORY OF THE GIBRALTAR KILLINGS……..
By Michael O’Higgins and John Waters. From ‘Magill Magazine’ , October 1988.
Back in the Operations Room, Commissioner Canepa had finally been persuaded to sign the handing over document and in court he said that he formed the view that they should arrest the three “on suspicion of conspiracy to murder” , now that all the four indicators were in place. The form was presented to him by military officers and he signed it, thereby passing control to Soldier ‘E’, the SAS tactical commander, who crossed the room and instructed the radio operator to issue orders to the men on the ground. It was 3.40pm.
Commissioner Canepa said in court that he did not actually hear the order being given and said that the radio operator had a headset and it was therefore not possible to hear messages being received or transmitted. Soldier ‘F’ in evidence appeared flatly to contradict this when he said that the radios were equipped with speakers which could be heard throughout the room. Other witnesses subsequently ‘clarified’ this apparent conflict by explaining that the device used to transmit messages was like the handset of a telephone – incoming messages could not be heard by anyone other than the operator but the procedure for transmitting and receiving messages was for the operator to state aloud the message received back as well as that transmitted, so that everyone within earshot could hear.
It was suggested that perhaps the reason the Commissioner did not hear the order going out was that he had other things on his mind. Canepa was able to say in court , however, that Mr Ullger, the Head of the Special Branch and Soldier ‘E’ had both left the Operations Room as soon as the order was given. He remained there with Soldier ‘F’ and said in court that he heard nothing further for over twenty minutes. Having signed the document he instructed Deputy Commissioner Columbo who was also present to phone Central Police Station to ensure that vehicles were available to take the suspects into custody.
Mr Columbo immediately phoned the station and instructed them to have a van and a car on standby. Back in the station, PC John Anthony Goodman radioed a patrol car in which Inspector Luis Revagliatte and three other officers were out on patrol. The time recorded for the call in the station was 3.42pm. (MORE LATER).
MARTIN COREY RELEASED : “NOT BEFORE TIME…”
Statement from POW Department, Republican Sinn Féin:
THE release of Martin Corey from Maghaberry jail in Co Antrim on January 14th, 2014 was “not before time”, according to Josephine Hayden, a spokesperson for the POW Department, Republican Sinn Féin who welcomed his release in a statement on January 15th.
She said “The treatment meted out to Martin Corey for nearly four years was nothing short of barbaric and it was difficult to get the general public and the media interested in Martin Corey’s internment from the beginning. While, quite rightly, we saw/see criticism of the mistreatment of prisoners in other countries – on social media and in the press – the case of Martin Corey was ignored, with a few honourable exceptions, by people here at home. The various British secretaries of state hid behind a wall of silence and claimed that Martin Corey was ‘a threat to the public’. Their case was based on secret evidence/closed material and unspecified allegations. The role of the courts to ensure that ‘not only must justice be done, but must be seen to be done’ took such a back seat that it disappeared.
Not only was justice not done to Martin Corey, an injustice was done to him. Unspecified allegations are not allowed in courts of law, unless of course the allegations are made by states. We have seen the British Crown Forces and their collaborationists hide behind physical screens and screens of silence in many cases down the years, black-ops in good working order, still operational. For almost four years Martin sat in a jail cell not knowing why he was there – this is also the type of action that even the British condemn in other countries. Martin was held without any due process, he was never questioned from the time of his arrest about any specific incident(s) and his legal team have never been allowed to challenge any of the secret evidence that was bought before the Parole Commissioners – neither the legal team or the judge saw the secret evidence adjudicated on by a state appointed advocate. On his release the statement from the Northern Ireland (sic) Office said ‘The Parole Commissioners have decided to release Martin Corey on a licence that is subject to conditions which are designed to manage the risk they assess him to pose.’ On his release – after four years – we are still asking the question ‘what risk’? “
She concluded: “Is it any wonder the Republicans have no confidence in and refuse to engage with what operates as the justice system in the Occupied Six Counties, when it sees a man who ran his own business for 20 years, just picked up and interned on the word of some anonymous MI5 individuals and held without charge or trial for almost four years. And who, according to media reports [BBC and UTV January 14/15, 2014], cannot even reside in his own home town. Martin should never have been interned in Maghaberry or any other jail. He should have been, and should be now, at home with his family and friends, working at his business and getting on with his life.”
As alluded to in the above statement, the media, for the most part, censored itself in relation to this injustice, and maintained that censorship for almost four years. Shame on them.
SIPTU BOSS TO OBSERVE JIM LARKIN SPINNING IN HIS GRAVE.
We note that the trade union group, SIPTU, has organised a commemoration in Dublin to Jim Larkin to be held in early February next with the purpose of “reaffirming…..that trade unions serve their members and the wider community when they champion social and economic justice for all…” The oration will be given by SIPTU General President, Jack O’Connor.
We know the date, the venue and all other details in relation to the above event but, out of respect for Jim Larkin, we won’t be mentioning them here nor will we promote or attend the event. SIPTU has more in common with the bosses than it has with the workers and the unemployed and, in our shared opinion, if Jim Larkin was alive today he would form another trade union in opposition to SIPTU and other trade unions like it. Mr. O’Connor should not add insult to injury by claiming any proper connection with Jim Larkin or that which he fought for.
SUNDAY , 26TH JULY , 1914 – ON THE DUBLIN QUAYS ; BRITISH SOLDIERS OPEN FIRE.
British Army ‘KOSBIE’ Regiment: same as any other terrorist unit in that murder gang.
On Saturday 22nd February next, in Dublin, a fund-raiser will be held to cover the cost of a memorial plaque in memory of those who were killed and injured in 1914 on Batchelors Walk, Dublin, by the ‘Kings Own Scottish Borderers’ (the ‘KOSBIE’ regiment) and any money left over will be donated to two good causes – details here.
In the early afternoon of Sunday , 26th July , 1914 , a consignment of over one-thousand rifles and ammunition for same was landed at Howth harbour , in Dublin , and unloaded by the newly-formed ‘Irish Volunteers’ , assisted by members of Na Fianna Éireann. On its way in to Dublin city , the Republican convoy was halted by a force of about fifty British RIC ‘policemen’ and over one-hundred British soldiers from the ‘Kings Own Scottish Borderers’ , known as the ‘Kosbies’.
A large crowd of civilians gathered to watch the confrontation ; the Assistant British RIC Commissioner , William Harrell , approached the republicans and demanded that their weapons be handed over. Two of the rebel leaders , Thomas MacDonagh and Darrell Figgis ,left the main body of armed republicans and marched over to Harrell and told him it was their understanding that he (Harrell) had no legal authority to issue such a demand.
While RIC Chief Harrell issued chapter and verse of how , and from whom , he derived his ‘authority’ , the two Irish republicans were quoting him chapter and verse of why it was that his ‘authority’ was not valid in Ireland ; Harrell’s RIC colleagues were lined-up on the road about ten feet behind him and the British ‘KOSBIES’ were , in turn , lined-up behind the RIC men – both groups were concentrating on the verbal sparring-match between Harrell, MacDonagh and Figgis. But the group of Irish republicans , standing in military formation behind MacDonagh and Figgis , were concentrating on something else and, as the verbal disagreement continued , republicans at the very back of the gathering simply walked away in the opposite direction with their weapons under their coat! Other men in the republican contingent handed their weapons to known members of the public who , again , walked off with the equipment under their coats.
Meanwhile , after about half-an-hour of trying to get the better of MacDonagh and Figgis , RIC Chief Harrell gave up and ordered his men , and the British military , to move-in and seize the guns ; they got 19 of the 1000 rifles , the rest having been spirited away! The Brits were not amused , but the crowd that had gathered to watch the confrontation cheered , clapped and laughed at the RIC and the British KOSBIES , as the two forces formed-up for the march back into the city centre. Word of the incident had spread at this stage and a large number of the public decided to walk alongside the British forces , laughing and jeering at them . When the procession was about three miles from Dublin city centre , they were joined by about fifty more members of the ‘Kings own Scottish Borderers’ who fell in behind their colleagues. Likewise , dozens of men , women and children – out for a Sunday walk – had heard about the “disappearing rifles” and joined with their neighbours in walking beside the Brits , poking fun at them. It being a Sunday afternoon , families were out in force in the city and were lined-up along the Quays , having heard that the British military detachment was headed that way : people spilled-out from the old tram terminus on Bachelors Walk to join in the slagging.
The Brits were by now near breaking-point ; they were more accustomed to being feared or, at best , ignored , by the public , and were seething with rage now that they were being laughed at by them . An Officer in charge felt the same, and he ordered one line of his men (approximately twenty soldiers) to halt and turn to face the jeering crowd ; when the soldiers had done as commanded , he instructed them to “ready weapons” and fire on the crowd , if he so ordered. It is not clear whether the order to fire was given or not but , regardless , the Brits did open fire – the people on the footpaths – men , women and children – were easy targets. Forty-one people were hit : a man in his mid-forties died on the spot , as did a woman in her early fifties , and a teenage boy. Of the other thirty-eight people , one died later. Such was the outcry from Ireland and abroad , the British Government decided to hold a so-called ‘Commission of Inquiry’ into the shooting and, in August that year (1914), the Brits announced their conclusion and, as expected , the ‘Commission of Inquiry’ was nothing of the sort. In August that year (1914) the Brits announced the findings of same -it amounted to a mere ‘slap-on-the-wrist’ for those who pulled the triggers. The ‘Commission’ simply stated that the actions of their gunmen on that day , Sunday , 26th July , 1914, was ” questionable and tainted with illegality ” and scolded their soldiers for “a lack of control and discipline”!
The British Army soldiers responsible for the massacre (the ‘Kings Own Scottish Borderers’) within hours following the shootings , found themselves even more reviled by the Irish than they had been – their very presence on the street now guaranteed trouble. They were shipped out only days after the incident , to the Western Front. The Irish , meanwhile , had buried their dead : on 29th July , 1914 , literally thousands of Irish people followed the coffins of those shot dead three days earlier. Dublin city came to a standstill as thousands upon thousands of people filled the footpaths along the funeral route , from the Pro-Cathedral to Glasnevin Cemetery . An armed Company of Irish Volunteers , with weapons reversed , led the mourners to the gravesides.
The ‘KOSBIES’ shot forty-one members of the public , in Dublin , on 26th July 1914 ; the then British Prime Minister , H. H. Asquith, announced on 4th August 1914 that Britain had declared war on Germany and the ‘KOSBIES’ were shipped-out from Ireland on that same date (ie 4th August 1914) , and sent to the Western Front. There were already twenty-two thousand soldiers from all parts of Ireland serving in the British Army when the war began , attached to regiments such as the Connaught Rangers , the Munster Fusiliers and the Irish Guards. Thousands more Irishmen took John Redmonds advice and joined up as well. Redmond’s crew were apparently led to believe that they would be kept together , as an ‘Irish Brigade’ , with their own special badges and emblems etc , but the British War Office would not allow that to happen.
While the British Administration claim jurisdiction over any part of Ireland , and maintain and enforce that jurisdictional claim with an armed presence , the incident outlined above can happen again. That British claim must be dropped and the armed thugs enforcing same must be re-called to their own country . Any other ‘solution’ only postpones a true and lasting peace…….
And don’t forget –
…..another British massacre in Ireland will be marked this coming Saturday (25th January 2014):
Bloody Sunday , Derry, 30th January 1972.
A picket to mark the 42nd Anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday’ will be held at the GPO in Dublin on Saturday 25th January 2014, at 12 Noon. All genuine republicans welcome!
ON THIS DATE 113 YEARS AGO….
…English ‘Queen’ Victoria died (22nd January 1901), aged 81, at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight : her legacy in Ireland included 1,225,000 deaths due to An Gorta Mór (the ‘Great Hunger’/so-called ‘famine’) , 4,185,000 who were forced to emigrate and 3,668,000 who were evicted. And a newspaper editor was jailed for two years for pointing those facts out.
She was of German descent, born in 1819 at the Kensington Palace, to Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent. She is (and was) known as ‘The Famine Queen’ here in Ireland, but republicans would not agree with that nickname , and for the same reason that George Bernard Shaw (and many others) disagreed with it : “The Famine? No, the starvation. When a country is full o’ food, and exporting it, there can be no famine. Me father was starved dead; and I was starved out to America in me mother’s arms. English rule drove me and mine out of Ireland….” (‘Man and Superman’ , 1903.)
“HER PEOPLE IN IRELAND (WHO ARE)PAID TO BE LOYAL….”
“In the very midst of all this havoc, in August, 1849, her Majesty’s Ministers thought the coast was clear for a Royal Visit. The Queen had long wished, it was said, to visit her people of Ireland; and the great army of persons, who, in Ireland, are paid to be loyal, were expected to get up the appearance of rejoicing……one Mr O’Reilly, indeed, of South Great George’s Street, hoisted on the top of his house a large black banner, displaying the crownless Harp; and draped his windows with black curtains, showing the words Famine and Pestilence: but the police burst into his house, viciously tore down the flag and the curtains, and rudely thrust the proprietor into gaol……
‘The Freemans Journal’ newspaper says, that on passing through Parkgate Street, Mr James Nugent, one of the Guardians of the North Union, approached the royal carriage, which was moving rather slowly, and, addressing the Queen, said: ‘Mighty Monarch, pardon Smith O’Brien.’ Before, however, he had time to get an answer, or even to see how her Majesty received the application, Lord Clarendon rode up and put him aside…..” (from here.)
And, for shame, there are still those in Ireland today who are “paid to be loyal.”
A FEW BOXES OF THIS –
– will be required for this. And even then it would only be a temporary ‘solution’ , as it’s ‘the nature of the beast’ that needs to be tackled, not just the symptoms caused by that particular ‘beast’. The greedy ‘leader’ in question in the above-linked article is guilty of nothing more than having looked up the greasy pole at those that appointed him and saying to himself ‘ME, TOO!’. And he could be forgiven for looking around the room at his inquisitors and wondering why it seems to be acceptable for them to get rich at the taxpayers expense but not for him. And the poor man must surely be wondering where his political ‘friends’ are now that he could do with a ‘dig out’. In the corrupt political and business worlds that exist in this bastard of a State , Paul Kiely and those like him would be considered ‘sound men’ and simply judged to be unfortunate in that they ‘got caught’. But they won’t be subjected to any serious jail time, if any at all, as that would set a dangerous precedent. ‘Dangerous’, that is, as far as the political and business leaders here are concerned. Because ‘there but for the grace of God…..’
OH WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE….
“….and, with a shake of his head from side-to-side, he said ‘YES’ , of course I will…!”
We occasionally (!) highlight on this blog the sheer hypocrisy of the ‘Establishment’ Leinster House-registered political parties vis-à-vis their ‘do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do’ attitude and political outlook in general but this example has got even us confused : two elected representatives , from the same ex-Irish republican party, apparently arguing, verbally (and, no, I’m not referencing this particular episode!) over which of them is a ‘better republican’ :
Councillor Colum Thompson throws a verbal grenade at Councillor Michael McIvor, not realising , apparently, that the same point could be made about him!
Both men are members of the same political party which sits in a British-established ‘parliament’ in this corrupt State, the same party which assists the British government, via Stormont, to implement its writ in six north-eastern counties of Ireland, yet they see fit to argue, publicly, over which of them is the better ‘republican’!
“A tangled web…” , said the pot to the kettle…..
Thanks for reading, Sharon.