By Peadar O’Donnell ; first published in January 1963.
The letter said that Dr. Fogarty’s father was known among his own people as ‘Tear-’em-Down Fogarty’ , as big a blackguard of a bailiff as was ever in North Tipperary. I said no man should blame such a man’s son for telling people to pay rent, but we had a right to warn him not to dress up as a bishop when he had in mind to speak as his father’s son. I hadn’t the slightest idea, nor have I to this day, whether there was a word of truth in a letter that came to me so opportunely, but I felt that a bishop who flung so much falsehood at others deserved whatever came to him from somebody hitting back at him in the name of all he hurt.
I finished my speech and went on my way. That same afternoon I held a small conference at Nenagh, men gathered to meet me by my great, good friend, John Cooney of Ballyphillip, and because it was a small gathering and wore a republican face, I, very stupidly, blathered crudely about that morning’s meeting – as I might have done with a group by Cooney’s fireside and, for that matter, as I did in ‘An Phoblacht’ without shock to anybody.
A man walked out of the Nenagh conference and he went straight around to one of the local priests who stormed into the papers with a version of me that heightened the red glow around my name. No harm to me in that, but this noise brought sadness to a home, for it chanced that there was a man at the Nenagh conference whose son was a student at Maynooth College, and because the father made no protest against my attack on Dr. Fogarty, his Lordship withdrew whatever sanction it is that governs a student’s tenure at the College, so that the boy had to leave. He volunteered for the foreign missions to be ordained. I met him in exile, and he heart-sick for home. There is terrible cruelty in a blow like that, struck at an innocent, unprotected lad in the climate of a place like Maynooth College. (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.
Stephen Bullock and his wife and child were nearing the junction of Smith Dorrien and Winston Churchill Avenues. Stephen saw the police car which had been stopped at the zebra crossing pull out of the line of traffic and drive down Winston Churchill Avenue with its siren on. Simultaneously he heard a burst of gunfire but couldn’t say whether the siren or the gunfire came first , but thought the shots came a split second after the siren. He looked in the direction the shots had come from, towards the Shell petrol station, and saw a man being shot at from a distance of four feet. The man was reeling backwards with his hands raised over his shoulders. The man shooting at him was standing on the road, just off the pavement , and appeared to be facing straight-on and firing very rapidly.
The man being shot fell to the ground and Stephen Bullock could not say if the shooting continued once he had done so, he did not see a second man firing nor did he see a woman being shot. He redirected his attention to the two men with guns he had seen standing at the junction and they, too , he told the inquest, had been watching the incident. When the shooting had finished the two men began to run towards the entrance to the Landport Tunnel. Mr Bullock was adamant under cross examination that the car with its siren on had not reached the petrol station by the time the shooting started. Mr Bullock’s wife account corroborated his but was less specific in relation to the whereabouts of the car when the shooting started.
Douglas and Josie Celecia live in the apartment block directly across the road from the Shell station, and were planning to go out for a walk. Douglas had just come in from work and was chatting to a neighbour whose apartment was towards the back of the building. Josie was standing at her bedroom window and saw a man and a women walking towards the Shell station. In her statement afterwards she was able to describe accurately what they were wearing and also said that each of them was carrying a motorbike helmet, one red, the other black. Those helmets were seen on the wall beside the bodies in a video of the aftermath shown on Thames Television’s ‘Death on the Rock’. Gibraltar special branch Officers ‘Q’ and ‘R’ claimed at the inquest that the helmets belonged to them – each of them having gone to the scene on a motorbike. Mrs Celecia’s gaze moved momentarily away towards the children’s playground to the left of the Shell station. All of a sudden she heard two loud bangs from across the road and when she looked back both the man and the woman were lying on the ground. The man was against the wall and the woman at his feet at the edge of the pavement. There was a man standing close to the bodies with his hands clasped together, pointing downwards. She heard another burst of gunfire totalling four or five shots. (MORE LATER).
MICHEÁL MARTIN TAKES THE (WRONG) BOUNDARY COMMISSION TO TASK.(Part 2)
“Gerrymandering” , Mr. Martin called it : “It is the biggest attempt to manipulate election boundaries in the 35 years since Fianna Fail introduced independent Boundary Commissions….” (from here) , adding “….we saw that straight away when the terms of reference were published,that skewing was going on….”.
However, a more important ‘skewing’ by a Boundary Commission has been ignored by Mr. Martin and his party and, indeed, by the administration and the so-called ‘opposition’ in Leinster House – the ‘Boundary Commission’ established under ‘Article 12’ of the 1921 ‘Treaty of Surrender’, which was tasked with ‘determining the boundaries between the newly-partitioned 6 and 26-county ‘states’ ‘ , the deliberations of which caused a mutiny within British forces in Ireland!
(……. voices were raised at a meeting to discuss the Boundary Commission , held on 2nd February 1922 ; the meeting broke down abruptly with no agreement reached . However , the Unionists claimed that the meeting was a success from their point of view , while Michael Collins [speaking for the Free Staters] claimed that that same meeting was a success for them …….)
The (pro-British) Unionists were told that the Boundary Commission was established only to ease the passage of the 1921 Treaty of Surrender amongst hesitant (soon-to-be , at the time) Free Staters who , in turn , were told by the Brits (and by Collins and other Free State leaders) that the Boundary Commission would eventually conclude that two or three of the (British partitioned and occupied) Six Counties would be ‘returned’ to the Free State thereby making the remaining (British occupied) counties unviable for Westminster to maintain , financially and militarily. Indeed , the whole episode is somewhat reminisent , in this scribblers mind anyway , of Gerry Adams and the ‘T.U.A.S.’ document , which was issued (on behalf of the Provo leadership) during one of the many ‘discussions’ (in 1994 / 1995) with the Brits and the Free Staters : those latter two groups were told by Adams that the PIRA-approved ‘T.U.A.S.’ method meant seeking a United Ireland by a ‘Totally Un-Armed Strategy’ , whereas Adams’ own cannon fodder , the PIRA volunteers , were assured that ‘T.U.A.S.’ stood for ‘Tactial Use of Armed Struggle’ ! Adams and his colleagues in the Provo leadership had learned well from their tete-a-tetes with their pay-masters !
When (pro-Brit) Stormont ‘Prime Minister’ , ‘Sir’ James Craig , heard of Michael Collins’ boast (ie “We’ll get back almost half of the Six Counties …” ) he ‘lost the head’ – Westminster was told “… there will be bloodshed and chaos ..” Craig stated that if the Boundary Commission “were to make anything more than the very minutest change in our boundary , the inevitable result of that would be bloodshed and chaos of the worst description . I will never give in to any re-arrangement of the boundary that leaves our Ulster (sic) area less than it is under the Government of Ireland Act.”
Westminster could see a situation developing in which they might have to use force against one side or the other – ie against the Unionists to make them accept the ruling of the Boundary Commission , or against the Free Staters in the Leinster House ‘parliament’ in Dublin , to make them accept that the Boundary Commission was just a ‘talking shop’ ; and , mindful of the fact that the Brits have no friends , only interests , it suited Westminster , this time, to support the Unionists. Winston Churchill , the then British ‘Colonial Secretary to Ireland’ , stated that the possibility of the Boundary Commission “reducing” what he called “Northern Ireland (sic) to its preponderatingly Orange (ie Unionist) areas (is) an extreme and absurd supposition , far beyond what those who signed the  Treaty meant…” and Austen Chamberlain , the then British Chancellor of the Exchequer , went even further in his desire to appease the Unionists – he ‘reminded’ the Unionists that they had , in effect , control of the “impartial Chairperson” of the Boundary Commission ! Indeed , it was the same Mr. Chamberlain who , during the Treaty of Surrender negotiations with the (then) Irish Republican side insisted that they (the Irish) should take an ” Oath of Allegiance to the (British) Crown …” as part of the 1921 Treaty of Surrender! (MORE LATER).
“NO OBSTACLE IN HIS WAY….”
‘Republican socialist’ and ex-PIRA leader Martin McGuinness and the man who got his job (pictured here, about to withdraw some of his taxpayer-funded salary of €5208 a week!) are apparently to dine with their ‘queen’ at an official British state lunch. No doubt humble pie will not be on the menu….
Higgins and his political cousin, McGuinness, pictured here in the company of their political parents. The two Irish working-class heros sure do look delighted with themselves to be in such company. Especially Higgins. Either that or he can’t find his way to the toilet.
The pair of them (the Irish spongers, that is, not the British ones) will be ‘treated’ to a banquet, a speech at the Palace of Westminster and a few cucumber sandwiches afterwards in Downing Street with Brit PM David Cameron and media attention is sure to focus on the ‘Irish rebel’ McGuinness as he once again cosies up to the representation of that which he once fought against. And so obvious is it that the man will have no issue in doing that, that even an anti-Irish newspaper can confidently predict that there is “…no obstacle in his way..” to prevent him from performing a curtsy in recognition of her place in the pecking order of the world he now inhabits. Conscience ‘no obstacle’ , of course.
Back when he still had some (verbal) balls, this idiot claimed that he would lead those who placed their trust in him “to the Republic”.He obviously meant ‘Commonwealth’.
ON THIS DATE (2ND APRIL) 89 YEARS AGO : AN AMALGAMATED FREE STATE FORCE IS BORN.
‘An Garda Síochána’ – protecting the State and its business interests since 1925 (such as Shell, this pic…)
Officially, the ‘safeguarding’ of streets, marts and the local citizens seems to have been put on a regular footing in Ireland in 1786, in Dublin, when a body of men were assembled under the banner ‘Dublin Police’. This grouping was replaced in 1814 by Westminster, when an Irish ‘Peace Preservation Force’ was announced by the then ‘Chief Secretary for Ireland’ , Robert Peel , to be replaced six years later by a more organised body, the ‘County Constabulary’ , which was organised on a regional basis and shared a common uniform.
Fourteen years later, the ‘County Constabulary’ was replaced by two organisations, the ‘Irish Constabulary’ and the ‘Dublin Metropolitan Police’ (DMP) : the former was re-named the ‘Royal Irish Constabulary’ (RIC) (which recorded 11,000 members in about 1,600 barracks in the year 1900) and was officially dissolved in 1922 (but not mentally or morally,as far as its members and supporters are concerned) and the latter , the ‘DMP’, merged with the ‘Civic Guard’ (renamed in 1923 as ‘Garda Síochána na hÉireann’) in 1925 and the amalgamated force was named ‘An Garda Síochána’ on 2nd April 1925 : ‘On and from the commencement of this Act the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the Gárda Síochána shall be amalgamated and form one force (which force is in this Act referred to as the amalgamated force), and it shall thenceforward be lawful for the Executive Council to train, equip, pay, and maintain such amalgamated force as a police force in Saorstát Eireann. The amalgamated force shall be called and known as the Gárda Síochána…..’
As far as Irish republicans are concerned, there is little, if any, actual difference between the above-mentioned ‘police forces’ as they are all tainted either directly by a foreign government or by that foreign government’s proxy in this country, north or south of Britain’s imposed border. In short, both the RUC/PSNI and An Gárda Síochána seek to preserve the political status quo and, as such, they are of no benefit to those of us who campaign and work , politically, for a just society in this country. Robert Peel and his ilk would be proud of both groups.
SAVE THE WHALES….AND OTHER ‘FISH’!
Families of silverfish (pictured, left) are under direct threat from an infestation of the dreaded rucpsni rodent that has outbred them and commandeered their habitat. The rodent , well known for making your skin crawl and giving you a bad taste in your mouth, is rentless in its objective to either directly control an area it has no legitimate business being in and/or working hand-in-glove with its rodent cousins to make an area so uncomfortable that decent life forms refuse to have anything to do with it. Rucpsni are considered household pests, due to their consumption and destruction of property. However, although they are responsible for the contamination of the body politic and other types of damage, they do not transmit disease, for the most part, that is, although they have left silverfish, and people, bloodied , broken but unbowed. More here.
AN ‘APRIL FOOL’ JOKE*. AND ALL-YEAR ROUND JOKERS. (*OR MAYBE NOT…..?)
“Sure we can say whatever we want to, Peter. No-one’s listening, and even if someone does hear us, we can gag them!”
This has to be an ‘April Fool’ joke, although it is no doubt high on any career politicians wishlist : “Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness’s department has argued that it should be allowed to withhold information if releasing it might cost the First Minister and Deputy First Minister votes……(they) argued specifically that disclosure of the requested information…could prejudice ministers’ electoral prospects..” Even as a newspaper April 1st skit, the sentiment expressed would find favour with any professional politician as it would permit them to censor any bad news which could cost them votes and would ensure that only ‘good news’ stories could be publicised untill, eventually , we end up in George Orwell territory. More about this political joke (?) here.
Thanks for reading, Sharon.