By Peadar O’Donnell ; first published in January 1963.
As a memorial service, the Armistice ceremony was treated with respect and no conflict stirred until, at the end of the two minute silence, a section of the crowd struck up the British national anthem and broke out in a flutter of Union Jack flags. The organised basis for this outburst was the British Union of Fascists with headquarters at York Street. Trinity College students rallied to them, partly – but only partly – in the spirit of a rag. A great brawl swept across College Green and into O’Connell Street.
The IRA was anxious that the British Union of Fascists should be deprived of the power for mischief, even though, by themselves, this Fascist group meant little – their power for harm derived largely from the forces they drew around them by brawling. The remedy for it all was to shift the Armistice meeting from College Green , and I forget now how this chore was passed on to me or whether, in fact, I took it on myself, but I think that unlikely. Anyway, I met General Sir William Hickey to discuss the matter with him, and he agreed that it would be well to find another venue. During our chat I was amused to find that General Hickey looked on himself as a bit of a patriot, and that he was encouraged in this view by a sense of grievance against the British War Office, and especially Field Marshal Henry Wilson. As the evening mellowed, I encouraged him in his grievance, and invited him to picture himself as an Irish hero, somewhat in the pattern of Eoghan Roe O’Neill, only a lot more favourably circumstanced – with his fifty thousand ex-soldiers, he could free Ireland!
It was all great fun and I wrote a speech Sir William was to make at the next Armistice rally and it is a great pity if he was not moved to file it away somewhere, when he came on it next morning, as it was a good speech. (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.
Soldier ‘C’ moved the woman out of the way with his left hand, drew his pistol with the other hand and fired at Seán Savage from about two or three metres. He did not close in after opening fire and in all he fired nine rounds, initially at the centre of Savage’s body, who turned, ‘corkscrewing’, as he fell to the ground. His first shot went into the front, followed by two or three in virtually the same place. Some of his shots might have gone into Savage’s back, he thought, and he also thought he shot him twice in the head. His last two rounds were aimed at Savage’s head when it was a few inches from the ground, just about to hit it. Seán Savage had been facing him when he began firing, but turned left, then right, then fell backwards to the ground. Then Soldier ‘D’ stopped firing, he said.
Stephen Bullock saw the two men he had seen with guns in their waistbands run across the road at the traffic lights in the direction of the Landport Tunnel and within a few seconds he heard a sustained burst of gunfire. Officer ‘H’ had watched Mairead Farrell and Daniel McCann fall to the ground outside the petrol station and his attention then shifted to Seán Savage and Soldiers ‘C’ and ‘D’ who were going after Savage into the roadway leading to the tunnel. When the shots came from the Shell station behind, Seán Savage turned with, according to Officer ‘H’ , “an expression of amazement on his face”. He heard shouts from his right and moved towards the road, pushing some bystanders back and shouting “Take cover.” He was afraid Seán Savage would shoot or let off a bomb. When he turned around again he saw Savage lying face-up on the ground. Soldiers ‘C’ and ‘D’ were standing away from the body and Officer ‘H’ left the scene immediately.
Just as Farrell and McCann fell to the ground, Officer ‘I’ , standing on Corral Road, saw Officer ‘H’ and Soldier ‘D’ coming out of Smith Dorrien Avenue onto Corral Road. He pointed towards the roadway leading to the tunnel, on the far side of the road, where Savage had gone, and said “He’s over there.” He did not see Soldier ‘C’, but Soldier ‘D’ and Officer ‘H’ crossed the road and turned in towards the tunnel, leaving his sight. A few seconds later he heard more gunfire and went to investigate. He saw Seán Savage hitting the ground, with the last few shots being fired as Savage was falling. Officer ‘I’ left the scene immediately on foot. (MORE LATER).
MICHEÁL MARTIN TAKES THE (WRONG) BOUNDARY COMMISSION TO TASK.
“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! (Part 6)
……. after about one year spent arguing about what the term “… in accordance with the wishes of the inhabitants ..” actually meant , the Boundary Commission decided ( by a two-thirds majority – ie the two Brit representatives !) that the Free State should cede some of its territory to the Six County ‘State’ ……. !
Eoin MacNeill , the Free State representative on the Boundary Commission, resigned in disgust: but you would wonder , again , that he found himself in that position at all, on that November day in 1924 ; one of those who had signed the 1921 Treaty of Surrender for the British side , a ‘Sir’ Lamington Worthington-Evans (who , by the sound of it , must have been a great cricket player!) had let it be known , in practically the same breath with which he signed that Treaty – “It was not intended that there should be large transfers of territory. If by any chance the (Boundary) Commissioners felt themselves at liberty to order the transfer of one of these counties , nothing would induce the Ulster (sic) people to accept such a decision and no British Government would be guilty of the supreme folly of trying to enforce such a decision.”
In actual fact, the British Prime Minister, Lloyd George, said much the same thing even before the Boundary Commission had its first meeting and agreed with a resolution passed by the British House of ‘Lords’ that the Commission “… contemplated nothing more than a re-adjustment of boundaries – no other interpretation is acceptable or could be enforced.” Also, Eoin MacNeill and his colleagues in Leinster House must have known ‘the game was up’ when , following the refusal of the ‘Prime Minister’ of the Six County Stormont (British) ‘Parliament’, ‘Sir’ James Craig , to elect a member to the Boundary Commission, Westminster, in turn , refused to establish any such Commission at all and asked one of its own Legal Committees where it stood in relation to such a move.
That British Legal Committee, the ‘Judicial Committee of the Privy Council’ , issued its ruling on 31st July 1924 – it stated : “If no appointment is made (ie by ‘Sir’ Craig) the (Boundary) Commission cannot go on.” What happened next was , in the opinion of this blog , highly dubious and illegal : realising that they would have an ‘inbuilt majority’ on any Boundary Commission anyway, and could therefore control its conclusion, it seemed foolish not to set it up and use its ‘findings’ for propaganda purposes : so the Brits actually took it on themselves to amend the 1921 Treaty to allow themselves (ie Westminster) to appoint a representative to speak on behalf of the Stormont ‘Parliament’ !
It should be noted that the 1921 Treaty of Surrender (which set-up the Free State [and the Boundary Commission]) was lodged with the ‘League of Nations’ body in Geneva ; as already stated here, Article 12 of said Treaty concerned itself with the specifics of establishing a ‘Boundary Commission’. That set-up, as agreed and outlined in Article 12 , and as lodged in Geneva, was not properly adhered to by the signatories of the 1921 Treaty thereby, at least in the opinion of this blog , negating the Treaty itself. We can only presume that the Free State administration would have been aware of this probable ‘get-out’ clause but choose not to take its case to Geneva ; instead, they ignored this breech of the 1921 Treaty despite the fact that they were witnessing war on the streets caused by that Treaty – ie Treaty signed 1921 , while the agreed terms of the ‘Boundary Commission’ was broke on 9th October 1924……. (MORE LATER).
THE TWENTY-TWO IRISH REPUBLICANS WHO DIED ON HUNGER STRIKE WILL BE COMMEMORATED IN DUBLIN ON SATURDAY 3RD MAY 2014.
Between the years 1917 and 1981 , 22 Irish men died on hunger strike in the fight for Irish Freedom. That same fight continues today, as six Irish counties remain under the jurisdictional control of Westminster, which enforces that control with military occupation. The annual Hunger-Strike Commemoration -organised by the Republican Movement- will be held this year on Saturday, 3rd May, when a picket and rally will be held on the traffic isle facing the GPO in Dublin’s O’Connell Street, beginning at 2pm. All genuine republicans welcome!
Thomas Ashe, Kerry, 5 days, 25 September 1917 (force fed by tube,died as a result).
Terence McSwiney , Cork, 74 days, 25 October 1920.
Michael Fitzgerald, Cork, 67 days, 17 October 1920.
Joseph Murphy, Cork, 76 days , 25 October 1920.
Joe Witty, Wexford, 2 September 1923.
Dennis Barry, Cork, 34 days, 20 November 1923.
Andy O Sullivan, Cork, 40 days, 22 November 1923.
Tony Darcy, Galway, 52 days, 16 April 1940.
Jack ‘Sean’ McNeela, Mayo, 55 days, 19 April 1940.
Sean McCaughey, Tyrone,22 days, 11 May 1946 (hunger and thirst strike).
Michael Gaughan, Mayo, 64 days, 3 June 1974.
Frank Stagg, Mayo , 62 days, 12 February 1976.
Bobby Sands, Belfast, 66 days, 5 May 1981.
Frank Hughes , Bellaghy (Derry), 59 days, 12 May 1981.
Raymond McCreesh, South Armagh, 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Patsy O Hara, Derry, 61 days, 21 May 1981.
Joe McDonnell, Belfast, 61 days, 8 July 1981.
Martin Hurson, Tyrone, 46 days, 13 July 1981.
Kevin Lynch, Dungiven (Derry), 71 days, 1 August 1981.
Kieran Doherty , Belfast, 73 days, 2 August 1981.
Tom McIlwee , Bellaghy (Derry), 62 days, 8 August 1981.
Micky Devine , Derry, 60 days, 20 August 1981.
Saturday 3rd May 2014, facing the GPO in O’Connell Street, Dublin, at 2pm. Hope to see you there!
ON THIS DATE (30TH APRIL) 44 YEARS AGO : USC (‘B SPECIALS’) DISBANDED.
The ‘B Specials’: this outfit earned recognition for being a unionist ‘police force’ for a unionist Six-County ‘State’.
Before the British partitioned Ireland (1921), pogroms by loyalists in Belfast were carried out by the ‘Ulster Volunteer Force’ (UVF), a loyalist paramilitary outfit, with the British Army and the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) looking on, but not intervening. The loyalist political leader, James Craig, realised that the British hold on the island was slipping but was determined to protect his own patch, in the North-Eastern corner : he insisted that Westminster establish a ‘Special Constabulary’ to assist the British Army and the RIC and, at a meeting of the British Cabinet on 6th September, 1920,he got his wish : a force of “well-disposed and loyal citizens” was to be established for operational purposes in the North-Eastern Counties only -the Six County area. This new unit was to be known as the ‘Ulster Special Constabulary’ and was to be divided into three sub-units – the A, B and C Specials.
The A-Specials were a full-time unit, and were based in RIC barracks, thus allowing more ‘police officers’ free to leave their desks and assist their colleagues in cracking skulls in Nationalist areas. The B-Specials were a part-time but fully-armed unit, that were sent out on patrol duty, with or without the British Army or RIC and the C-Specials, a reserve unit, for those eager to serve ‘Queen and Country’ on a “call-us-if-you-need-us” basis. In December, 1920, the new A-Specials moved into RIC barracks ; there was three-thousand-five-hundred ‘A’-members, meaning that thousands of RIC men would soon be available to roam the streets of Ireland, causing disturbances which they could then blame on the Nationalists ; the new B-Specials (UVF men in uniform) were unleashed on the public in February 1921 – 15,000 of them.
The number of C-Specials was never properly determined – this grouping had no specific duties, but were presumed to be ‘ready for action in an emergency situation’. Each ‘C’-man would be allowed carry some weapons and would be entitled to a gun-licence (while most nationalists were not) thus, in effect, the C-Specials were a device to encourage the Unionist population to arm itself. One of the most embarrassing (for Westminster) incidents with the ‘Specials’ occurred on the night of 23rd January, 1921, when a fifteen-man gang from the A-Specials from Newtownbutler in County Fermanagh drove to Clones in County Monaghan and broke into a pub …….(MORE LATER).
NO HONOUR AMONG (POLITICAL) THIEVES!
Martin , left (with the half-a-bally!) and his pal, Peter, in a nice suit.Martin then decided he, too, wanted a nice suit….
“He (half-a-bally McGuinness!) like any of the rest of us, should be brought before the courts and tried….all of these matters have to be dealt with by the due process of law. If anybody has evidence against any member of this house they should bring it to the authorities, there are proper processes to go through….” , so said Martin’s BFF, Peter Robinson. Apart from the hypocrisy of Mr Robinson in relation to past paramilitary activity, how is it possible for a bastard entity such as the Six County area to have ‘proper processes of the law’ when that particular part of Ireland has been violently removed, politically, that is, from the rest of its own country? A forced land-grab of that nature, backed-up by the military (and paramilitary) might of those doing the ‘grabbing’ ensures that, amongst other courtesies that society expects, the ‘due process of law’ is suspended, as that is the only way that the land-grab can be ‘legalised’.
Indeed, sad to relate that Martin McGuinness once struggled against those doing the ‘grabbing’ before deciding to join them. And now his lang-grabbing ‘BFF’ sticks a verbal knife in his back :
Among thieves and murderers,
There is no honour among them,
They plunder and kill,
lied behind their smiles,
pretend and talked a smooth talk,
and even turn on their own.
Some are fools, and they dance when their master say dance,
But many nowadays, they come as presidents and ministers…
Pretending to be your most understanding and helping friends,
But they come only to steal your wealth,
To enslave you!
THE SMUGGLE FOR (FINANCIAL) INDEPENDENCE! (OR ‘I SPLUTTERED WHEN I READ THIS!‘)
‘MAINTAIN THE BORDER, ADAMS…..’
When ‘rebels’ become kept by the State they once fought against, they quickly become more ‘state-i-fied’ (!) than even their one-time foe was, but sometimes they outdo themselves, as Gerry Adams did here – “(Fuel launderers/smugglers) are causing serious environmental and health problems, putting at risk legitimate business and jobs, as well as imposing significant financial costs on local councils and the tax payer….adverse impact fuel laundering is having, especially in border counties…..while I welcome the increasing cross border co-operation….the process of identifying and prosecuting those involved in this activity….it is Sinn Féin’s (sic) view that the only guaranteed means of ending this lucrative trade is to have a single tariff for diesel….”
If you were still a ‘poacher’, Gerry, and/or an Irish republican, you would know that “the only guaranteed means of ending…” cross-border smuggling is to do away with the border in question and, indeed, you yourself and others in your party would have pointed that out to those (such as the SDLP, Workers Party, Fianna Fail etc) who would have meekly suggested that a “single (tax) tariff” is the solution. To abolish a land border is not a choice that can be made where a legitimate border exists but, in the case of this artificial ‘border’, all 360 kilometres of it, which seeks to separate six Irish counties from the other twenty-six, then it’s another reason to scrap it. That he called for Britain’s imposed border in Ireland to be ‘policed’ better rather than call for it to be removed speaks volumes about the man and his party.
“IF, WITHIN 14 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS LETTER……
….you have not paid in full or picked a payment option, or confirmed that a payment is not due, I hereby serve notice that I will issue an instruction to (EMPLOYERS NAME HERE) to deduct €200 in equal instalments from payments to you over the rest of 2014. The deductions will start as soon as possible after receipt of the instruction and will finish in December 2014.”
The above is part of the text of a letter I received from the State revenue commissioners last Friday, 25th April, in connection with a ‘property tax payment’ which the taxman insists I owe. I have mentioned this subject before (see here, and here) and, in my own defence in relation to this new tax, I have handed a second letter to my employer, instructing that no non-work related stoppages are to be deducted from my wages unless I first consent to said deductions. It’s a weak defence, I know, when up against the State revenue office, but it’s the best I can do and at the very least my conscience will be clear in that I didn’t give in voluntarily to this unjust financial imposition. Small comfort, but for me and the tens of thousands like me in connection with this new tax, it’s the best we can do. But ask yourself why it is that the trade union leadership failed to act against or even attempt to mobilise its membership in opposition to this extra tax, then slap yourself about the head for asking such a stupid question!
I’ll post here about how I get on regarding this issue but I do want to say this before I leave the subject for now – I have the money to pay this new tax but have better things to do with it* rather than hand it over willingly to a shower of misfits in the employ of even bigger misfits, all of whom insist that householders in this corrupt State should pay for the greed of a mafia of political and business elite and bankers. And even if I hadn’t got better things to do with that money, I’d rather burn it than hand it to them. (*….will be posting here about that in the next few weeks!)
Thanks for reading, Sharon.