By Peadar O’Donnell ; first published in January 1963.
“Well, it was this way…”, said Father John, “…when they left here they went to Belfast and as they came to the bridge over the River Boyne at Drogheda, Lascelles said to his wife – “Have you them things ready?” , to which she replied “In my hand” , and as the train entered on the bridge she put her hand out the window and she dropped the rosary-beads into the River. “She did not, Father,” , the woman gasped. “She did so,” Father John assured her, “for I have it from the lips of a man that was in the carriage with them, a cattle dealer from Ballinasloe.”
The restriction on Father John’s right to talk politics had its funny side. It could be observed, in certain circumstances, to demonstrate its foolishness. When, in any group, politics came up for discussion Father John and I , in an abrupt way, would introduce astronomy, as Father John was well-informed in this field and I worked up enough knowledge to clerk for him. We always used that one subject, and I would then explain to the puzzled people present that if talk on politics continued Father John would have to leave the room, because of rules laid down for him by his bishop.
When people said the rules were harsh I explained we were not grumbling. It was all very mischievous, and I do not remember, now, how it came about that His Lordship lost patience and sacked Father John , but I was greatly relieved when he gave us back our curacy. I was so much freer than those near me – there was nothing anybody could do to me except jail me. Father John’s stand took rare courage. (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.
Soldiers ‘C’ and ‘D’ had also decided to make an arrest around the time they reached the end of Smith Dorrien Avenue : soldier ‘C’ had been delayed momentarily on the bridge at the end of Line Wall Road when he experienced some difficulty with his radio , and ‘D’ had gone on ahead of him. Officer ‘H’ was nearby, keeping an eye on the three IRA members who were standing opposite the junction.
The three, according to ‘H’ at the inquest, took “a hard look back” at this point, and ‘H’ then turned to Soldiers ‘C’ and ‘D’ and when he looked back again Seán Savage had split from the other two who were walking northwards towards the Shell garage on the right hand side of Winston Churchill Avenue.
Officer ‘J’ , who had been across the road with Soldiers ‘A’ and ‘B’ , had lagged behind somewhat as the two soldiers moved in to make the arrests. She momentarily lost sight of Seán Savage, noticing that Mairead Farrell and Daniel McCann were walking north without him. She noticed Farrell’s fairly large shoulder bag and, at that point, Seán Savage passed her, having already passed Soldiers ‘A’ and ‘B’ who, having decided to leave Seán Savage to ‘C’ and ‘D’ , were pressing ahead after the other two. Seán Savage actually brushed against ‘A’s shoulder as he passed. Officer ‘J’ turned to follow Seán Savage as she thought she was the only member of the surveillance team to see him part from the others. She was between fifteen and twenty feet behind Seán Savage….. (MORE LATER).
PUNCH DRUNK – OR THEY BELIEVE THE ELECTORATE ARE. AND SAD TO SAY THEY ARE PROBABLY RIGHT.
Kenny Egan : soon to be looking for your ‘Number One’?
By all accounts, it appears that boxer Kenny Egan is to contest for a council seat in the elections which are due to be held in May 2014, and apparently Fine Gael is confident that he will be on ‘their team’. But, knowing Kenny as we do – we live in the same area of Dublin as he does – if what he considers to be a better offer comes along (from Fianna Fail, for instance) he will switch teams before the count even begins!
Fair to say, I believe, that ‘fame’ came at a price for Kenny and that it gave him a taste for the high life, in that he now wouldn’t be able to hold down a ‘regular job’, and not only for financial reasons, either – he has travelled to places and met people that he would otherwise not have had the opportunity to do, and to work in a warehouse or even to stay in the sport sector – as a coach, perhaps – wouldn’t suit him now. He can be unpredictable at the best of times and tends to react in the heat of the moment which, indeed, may very well be an occasional advantage ‘in the ring’ but is a trait not encouraged or welcomed in the political ‘ring’ , where you are required to toe the party line. As such, we welcome his apparent move into politics, because we have no doubt he will do more damage to Fine Gael (or whatever party he is parachuted into) as a party member than he could ever do as an ‘outsider’. On his own, he won’t be able to deliver a KO blow to that political party but he will leave them with a black eye or two!
STATE ADMINISTRATION ELECTION PROMISES : ONSLAUGHT BEGINS FOR MAY 2014 CAMPAIGN!
Gilmore promises to reduce a bad tax which he was previously opposed to. Verbally, anyway, in both instances!
Eamon Gilmore, Enda Kenny’s pet poodle, obviously realises that he is the leader of the new ‘Greens’ , in that his party are going to be obliterated at the polls in May coming , when the council elections are held. The man, and his party, have nothing to lose and they know it but he’s working on the maxim that ‘you can fool some of the people some of the time…’ in the hope that he can obtain enough votes to save him having to shut-up shop completely. And, worse luck, he knows his market : enough desperate voters will no doubt believe his promises re the ‘intended’ 15% reduction in property tax and he and his party will probably garner enough votes to save at least a piece of their collective hides.
Which is why this clip regarding Gilmore’s Labour Party colleague, Pat Rabbitte, and election promises, should be passed around ad nauseam between now and voting day. And those intending to vote should also keep in mind the ‘promise’ hinted at in this comment from Enda Kenny, in relation to a property tax not being the way to proceed but , hey, ‘yeah, well, I mean, isn’t that what you tend to do during an election?’ !
Finally, another example of a broken political promise – this one, believe it or not, was made 30 years ago and involves ‘paying’ for the building and upkeep of a toll road which, obviously, is used by people who already pay a road tax for the privilege of using the roads in this State! The toll was to be removed this year, but it’s easy money for the politicians and they appear to be set to keep it in place. Maybe Mr. Gilmore will promise a 15% reduction in the toll fee….!
….AND SPEAKING OF THE PROPERTY TAX : HERE COMES THE SHERIFF!
On Monday, 3rd February last, I received yet another letter from the State Revenue Office in connection, once again, with the property tax which they claim I owe them. They insist that I owe them just under €700 and have told me , “formally” , that that Office will “….proceed, without further notice, to enforce collection….through the various enforcement options….including Sheriff or solicitor action…”
The wages department in my job have contacted me to let me know, in a very courteous manner, I have to say, that the State Revenue Office has issued the following instructions to wage clerks – “Where a liable person fails to submit a return, the Revenue Commissioners will instruct either the employer, pension provider, Department of Social Protection or the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, as appropriate, to deduct the amount of the Revenue estimate when making payments to the liable person….” and if the employer does not comply they will be fined €100 a day until they do comply.
In June last year the State Revenue contacted all employers in the State , requesting them to note the new section in the P30* forms (*see’Monthly Revenue Returns’, here) which is in connection with deductions re property tax, and ‘those who fail to submit their LPT (‘Local Property Tax’) return or fail to meet the relevant payment obligations will have mandatory deduction at source from salary or pension imposed…’.
According to the calculations that myself and a friendly member of the wages department used, based on the figures supplied by the State Revenue in their notification to the wages department, they will shortly begin deducting approximately €23 per week from my wages , if their Sheriff is not handed the €700 when s/he calls (any such hand-over, involving any amount of money or goods, will not be happening) , and that weekly ‘take’ by the Revenue will continue until such time as they are satisfied that I have paid the amount they claim I ‘owe’ them. The ‘no-none-work-related-stoppages’ letter that I handed to the wage department in my job in August last year, in which I instructed them that no money was to be deducted from my wages in connection with non work-related issues unless I give permission in writing for same, is still on record with the job but, I have been told, the Revenue instruction takes precedence over any such instruction from an employee, as I suspected it would. My one consolation in this sordid business would seem to be the satisfaction I will have in knowing that at least I didn’t voluntarily hand over the money to the bastards and, small and all as that point is, it will allow me peace of mind. But how do they sleep at night?
70 YEARS OF AGE THIS YEAR (2014), IMPRISONED FOR THE LAST 37 YEARS, NOT OFFICIALLY DUE FOR RELEASE FOR ANOTHER 26 YEARS : LEONARD PELTIER.
Leonard Peltier being arrested in 1975.
Leonard Peltier is an ‘American Indian Movement’ activist who was born in 1944: at 31 years of age he was arrested in connection with the deaths of two FBI agents during a conflict on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and, two years later (1977), at 33 years of age, he was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment. He will be 70 years of age in September coming and , as things stand now, he will be 96 years of age before he is released. More information on Leonard Peltier can be read here.
A ‘Leonard Peltier Fundraiser’ will be held in Dublin on Sunday 16th February 2014 in the ‘Bad Ass Café’ in Temple Bar Square, beginning at 9pm , €3 per person entry fee , with free pizza during the break. This man, a father, grandfather and great grand-father, is presently imprisoned in the United States Penitentiary, Coleman in Florida , a long way from Dublin – but the ‘Bad Ass Café’ is on our doorstep and should be ‘doorstepped’ on Sunday 16th February next. An injustice to one is an injustice to all.
AND SPEAKING OF FUNDRAISERS……
….it’s only Wednesday but already things are looking up for the monthly raffle this coming Sunday (9th) : the rugby game won’t clash with the raffle this month! Ireland are playing Wales on Saturday 8th in Lansdowne Road , Dublin (price per ticket is a staggering €219!) and, on the day of our raffle, Manchester United take on Fulham and Everton are up against Tottenham Hotspurs – none of which means anything to me – but it means a lot to the hotel : a full house guaranteed for them, and guaranteed ticket sales for us.
As usual, the organisers kept back about 40 tickets (not counting the 60 or so tickets that our regular ticket sellers distribute on the premises) as the two male members of the committee would be well versed on the sporting fixtures which are to be held on the day of the raffle, allowing us a bit of comfort on the Sunday as we have a guaranteed number of tickets for sale, although it’s never enough. Anyway – we will post the results here within a day or two, but our eight winners will be notified and paid immediately and our ticket sellers will , as usual, have those results in their possession within minutes of them having been announced, thanks to a dozen or so well-trained homing pigeons. Because they can text and email….!
Thanks for reading, Sharon.