THE PRICE OF PEACE……
Last month, 28 women who protested peacefully in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, against US President Ronald Reagan’s visit to Ireland received £1000 each arising from their action for wrongful arrest. Gene Kerrigan recalls the weekend when another State determined Irish security requirements and details the garda action which could cost tens of thousands of pounds. From ‘Magill’ magazine, May 1987.
At the ‘Bank of Ireland’ building in Dublin city centre, the ‘Fast for Life’ group were having problems – they had set up their shanty-shack with a sign saying that for millions in the Third World this was home, but now the gardai had arrived. The shack was to be taken down, they were told, but the group replied that they had received permission from a garda inspector to stage their out-of-the-way protest but the gardai said it had to come down. The group asked for time to discuss what they would do and the gardai said they would be back at 9pm.
They returned at 8pm and said their superintendent wanted the shack taken down and the ‘Fast for Life’ group stated that they would not themselves dismantle it but they would not resist if the gardai did so. The group stood aside and watched the gardai take it down. At that same time, Ronald Reagan was being welcomed at Shannon Airport. Later the group arranged a number of display boards in a circle and continued their protest from inside that construction. They had a kind of ‘exhibition’ on the boards, photos of Third World conditions and also had some posters expressing criticism of Ronald Reagan’s policies towards the Third World and nuclear militarism. A Dublin Corporation official instructed them to remove “those particular (Reagan) posters…” .
The gardai came for the women in the Phoenix Park that night, about an hour after midnight : the headlights of the gardai cars and motorbikes lit up the gathering of women under a tree, and a garda came forward and asked – “Nil aon mna Éireannach anseo?” (“Is there any Irish women here?”) : it seems that the gardai assumed that the women were foreigners, outside agitators from Greenham Common or further afield. One of the women responded in Irish. (MORE LATER).
THE NEW IRA IS YOUNGER, MORE RADICAL AND HAS SEEN LITTLE OF LIFE OTHER THAN VIOLENCE….. By Ed Moloney. From ‘Magill’ magazine, September 1980.
It’s impossible to verify the British Army’s claim that inflation has more than doubled the Provo’s costs since 1978 ; one source says that one spin-off benefit from the slimmed down re-organisation was a saving of money. However, there are one or two errors in Glover’s calculations which as a result seriously understate the amount the IRA has left for arms spending.
The first relates to income from theft. Since 1977, nearly £5 million has been stolen in the 26 Counties and nearly £1.5 million in the 6 Counties. According to reliable sources at least a third of the money goes in to Provisional IRA coffers, the rest to the INLA, freelance Provos and criminals. That would make the Provo’s income on average during that period over £650,000 per annum. The second mistake relates to expenditure on newspapers and propaganda. According to a reliable Source, the Provo’s newspaper, An Phoblacht/Republican News , which sells 34,000 copies each week and employs 12 full time staff, actually makes a profit. So the Provo’s surplus for arms purchases could be as much as £300,000 more than Glover estimated.
This would accord with some quantifiable facts about arms shipments. The Towerstream consignment (‘In December 1977, a massive consignment of arms sent by Palestinian sources was captured on the Towerstream ship in Antwerp….‘) , by General Glover’s own reckoning, would have cost about £400,000, notwithstanding the cost of arranging it. The M60’s, which came along with some 40 military Armalites stolen from the Danvers US armoury in Massachusetts in 1976, would have cost about £50,000. That’s over £450,000 on arms spending in one year.
Other items in Glover’s account, like money spent on pay, are confirmed by IRA sources, but others are impossible to check. The amount of money gained from ‘racketeering’ for instance, is an example. There’s no doubt that numerous businesses, pubs, clubs, taxis, etc. in Republican districts do pay to the IRA. The money is collected by the ‘IRA Civil and Military Administration’ and can vary from £15,000 to £20,000 per annum, from a large club, to £2 per week form a corner shop. No one will say whether its ‘protection’ money or ‘voluntary donations’. (MORE LATER).
ALREADY PAID FOR THROUGH GENERAL TAXATION – NOT PAYING TWICE FOR THE ONE SERVICE!
A protest against the unwarranted and unwanted double tax on tap water will be held in Dublin on Saturday next, 21st March 2015, at 1pm, and we can confidently declare that it will be supported by tens of thousands of people. There will be three separate marches which will all convene on O’Connell Street, with all of those marches having different assembly points – Connolly Station, Merrion Square and Heuston Station. ‘Bills’ from ‘Irish Water’ for between €160 and €260 will be desecrating hallways throughout this State in April and May but it has been made clear that those prices are ‘introductory only’ and cannot be guaranteed past 2019.
This pic (right) shows a ‘warning notice’ displayed on footpaths, driveways etc by those hoping to fit water meters outside a dwelling in a vain attempt to keep objectors away – the fact that proper utility suppliers (electricity, gas, TV cable company etc) have no need for ‘warning signs’ of that type (because those suppliers do not charge twice for their service) should tell you all you need to know about the scab-laden ‘Irish Water’ company and why it is that most of us object to its presence. And I, for one, will once again be objecting to that company and the product it wants to foister on us on Saturday 21st March 2015 in Dublin : if you can make it, please do, as together we can snap this thin edge of the wedge before it’s used to hold open the door for more charges.
PDNUA : WHEN SOUNDBITES ARE JUST NOT ENOUGH!
Lucinda Creighton, pictured with her then Fine Gael hero, Enda Kenny, and a list of some of the broken political promises that they secured office with.
‘Reboot’ becomes ‘Renua’ – “…a political party designed for a new age….a modern, collaborative party, engaging the nation in a new conversation….” , according to its ‘Twitter’ account, that is, the author of which is confused re the difference between the 26 County State (which ‘Renua’ has confined itself to) and “the (Irish) nation”.
The mentally of the Free State ‘twit’ behind this groups website also leaves a lot to be desired : ‘RENUA is a political party designed for a new age….a modern, collaborative party, engaging the nation in a new conversation….RENUA is travelling around the country, hosting public meetings…..RENUA believes the primary role of the state is to keep the citizen safe. A state that fails to meet this criterion fails its people. Ireland must recognize self-reliance is a virtue rather than a necessity…..’ – “the nation…the country..” equals the 26 County State, according to Creighton’s Crew, who also declare that this State is in itself ‘Ireland’ and ironically talk in favour of “self-reliance” while at the same time ignoring the fact that a foreign country claims jurisdictional control over six Irish counties!
Ex-Fine Gael Leinster House member, Terence ‘Cut the Dole’ Flanagan, now a leading light in ‘Renua’, should be put in charge of both of the above-mentioned social media outlets as his media skills are outstanding, as can be verified here, in this clip from RTE Radio, if you have three minutes and forty seconds to spare. And we suspect he is already in charge of their ‘Facebook’ page, as it, too, is a car-crash of a job. Or, at least, based on Terence’s proven public relations efforts, we presume that’s the ‘Renua’ Facebook page. But whether Terence wrote it himself or not is another question – in 2008, when he was the Fine Gael Deputy spokesperson for the Environment and Housing, he delivered a political speech which was said to be similar to a speech which had already been given by Labour’s Joan Burton. He at first denied that he copied the speech but after more enquiries by those who noticed the similarities he finally admitted plagiarism and apologised for his actions. Maybe he’s at it again, this time making similar noises (!) to Simon & Garfunkel!
This group of right-wing political zealots remind me of the episode of ‘The Simpsons’ in which Homer decides he wants to make a living without having to work and decides that counterfeiting jeans is the easiest way to do it : “We’ve all thought about counterfeiting jeans at one time or another…these are the people who saw an overcrowded marketplace and said ‘Me too!’ “ And that’s what this ‘Renua’ outfit are – just another Leinster House-based gang of political counterfeiters who see the possibility of cushy political careers and have loudly declared ‘Me too!’.
NOTHING COMPARES TO YOU. EXCEPT YOU! (Or ‘Nothing Compares To UK’!)
“Oops! Did I say that….?” – Sinead O’Connor (pictured, left), who has said many a thing. And then contradicted herself.
“We need non-violent total civil disobedience. We have scaffolded and supported and continue to support a terrorist State which has never given a toss about children or women……we can’t blame anyone but ourselves for this. We are cowards. Grateful for crumbs on tables and think we deserve nothing more. We are pathetic. An inexcusable disgrace to the courage of those who fought and died in 1916….ailing animals can have a compassionate death. People can’t. What the fuck more evidence do you need? We are less than animals to the state and to the church who still run it…..” (…from here).
“…I understand entirely why people would want to fight back. But I don’t think it actually achieves anything. It doesn’t bring back your lost people. I kind of like a peaceful life nowadays. I’d rather not get in trouble…” (…from here).
And now this : “Frankly, I wish England had never left (sic) Ireland. I think we would be a lot better off….” (…from here) , which perhaps helps to explain her recent application to join Provisional Sinn Féin – she, too, wants to work with (and for) the British in maintaining their military and political presence in this country. Incidentally, in relation to her ‘Me, too!’ application to Provisional Sinn Féin, she stated the following – “Extraordinarily supportive e mail from Gerry Adams yesterday. Saying far from it being the case he might be upset by conversations I have been instigating, Sinn Féin is a party which welcomes new ideas and that it is great to have members who wish to create debate as to how we might go forward as one country and that artists have an important role to play in such debates. He said someone will be in touch shortly in order to process my application to join….” (…from here.)
When/if Gerry sends someone around to your place to ‘process’ you, Sinead, you might be as well telling them that you ‘went to the doctor…’ and asking them to ‘guess what he told you, guess what he told you’. At the very least, Gerry might arrange for a second opinion with his doctor or, recognising a kindred spirit, he might just invite you to go trampolining with him….
WOLFE TONE COMMEMORATION, 2015 : SUNDAY 14TH JUNE.
This annual RSF-organised commemoration will be held as stated, on Sunday 14th June 2015, at 2.30pm, in Sallins, County Kildare, and I hope that either the chairperson or the main speaker will highlight some of the lesser-known facts in relation to what myself and others consider to be the propaganda theory that ‘Tone committed suicide’, an issue we wrote about on this blog in the past. A lecture delivered to Dublin republicans by Joe Egan in November 1989 (who was a member of the RSF Education Department at the time) addressed that very issue :
‘Theobald Wolfe Tone was born on June 20, 1763 – the exact time and date of his death are unknown. Wolfe Tone was sentenced to death on November 10th, 1798 ; on November 11th he was informed by his gaolers that he would be publicly hanged on the following day, Monday, at one o’clock. It is generally accepted that Wolfe Tone died on November 19, 1798 ; in fact, he could have been murdered at any time during the previous week, and there is no doubt, and none of us should be in any doubt, of his murder by British Crown agents. It is time now, once and for all, to bury the lie that Wolfe Tone took his own life. These false stories were put out at the time not just to cover up the murder but also as black propaganda to denigrate Tone and the Cause he cherished with all his being. The proof of their successes in trying to destroy Wolfe Tone’s character is still evident today nearly 200 years later.
Yes, the British establishment was expert at that time at covering up their crimes, even more successful than they are today. Many historians to this day trot out the same British lies, as if they were gospel, that Tone committed suicide ; they quote all sorts of stories to ‘back-up’ their claims. They use the most abominable argument that especially as Wolfe Tone was of the Protestant faith it would not be repugnant for him to take his own life : I say here and now that this was and is the most objectionable of arguments. It was against everything Tone dedicated and gave his life for, namely, to substitute the common name of Irishman for the religious denominations. To spread the lie and imply that somehow being a Protestant made it acceptable to commit suicide is to be against all Wolfe Tone stood for. The argument is still going on with new books being written about Tone and praised and published by the present establishment who are as much against what Tone stood for as were the British establishment of the time. Why do the establishment, British and Irish, make such a case for Wolfe Tone’s suicide? Because to face the truth might make people today see the light and not just follow Tone’s teachings but practice them. It is often quoted also that Tone’s son accepted his father’s suicide ; even if this were true it is of no consequence as what he thought one way or the other has no bearing on the facts. How did Tone’s son know how long his father lay dying? There was no way he could know, no more than anyone else – at no time were any visitors allowed into see Wolfe Tone. His father tried every possible move through the courts to get his son free. His lawyer applied for and was immediately granted a writ of Habeas Corpus by Chief Justice Lord Kilwarden. Major Sandy, in charge of the barracks, was recognised generally as being a man with scant regard for justice or truth. It has been stated as proof of Tone’s suicide that a man of Sandy’s calibre and his hirelings would’nt do such a botched murder that would take eight days for the victim to die.
How do we know how long Wolfe Tone took to die? It could very well have been eight minutes, not eight days. The only evidence ever produced to support the suicide verdict is an account from a French royalist, a Doctor Lentaigne, of whom little is known. This same doctor was by his being a royalist first, and working for the British Army, doubly opposed to all Wolfe Tone would stand for. How anyone with the remotest feeling for justice or truth could accept the word of such a man under the circumstances at the time is an insult to ordinary intelligence. But then as the old cliche says – “where ignorance is bliss it’s folly to be wise.” The secrets of a state prison at that period in history are seldom penetrated and even today would be virtually impossible. Abundant proof is available even today if a thorough search was to take place but we who wish to know the truth have only to know the man : he had dedicated himself to his principles and had seen his friends and compatriots, including his brother, hanged, and he would not let them or his country down by taking his own life.
Without knowing the man, even reading his last letters is enough to disprove the abominable lie that he committed suicide. Did he not write to his wife – “My mind is as tranquil this moment as at any period in my life.” One only has to read his last speech from the dock at his trial to see and understand the character of the man. Just to quote a few lines is enough to convince any fair mind of the impossibility of Wolfe Tone committing suicide ; only the avowed enemies of truth and justice could dare say otherwise –
“Mr. President and gentlemen of the Court Martial : I mean not to give you the trouble of bringing judicial proof to convict me legally to having acted in hostility to the government of his Britannic Majesty in Ireland. I admit the fact from my earliest youth, I have regarded the connection between Ireland and Great Britain as the curse of the Irish nation and felt convinced that, whilst it lasted, this country could never be free nor happy.”
Regarding the French, Wolfe Tone said – “Attached to no party in the French Republic, without interest, without money, without intrigue, the openness and integrity of my views raised me to a high and confidential rank in its armies ; under the flag of the French Republic, I originally engaged with a view to save and liberate my own country. For that purpose, I have encountered the chances of war, amongst strangers. For that purpose, I have repeatedly braved the terrors of the ocean, covered as I knew it to be, with the triumphant fleets of that power, which it was my glory and my duty to oppose. I have sacrificed all my views in life ; I have courted poverty, I have left a beloved wife, unprotected children I adored, fatherless. After such sacrifices, in a cause which I have always conscientiously considered as the cause of justice and freedom – it is no great effort, at this day, to add the sacrifice of my life. To the eternal disgrace of those who gave the order, I was brought hither in irons, like a felon….”
During his last speech from the dock, Wolfe Tone stated – “I mention this for the sake of others, for me I am indifferent to it. I am aware of the fate which awaits me, and scorn equally the tone of complaint and that of supplication. Whatever be the sentence of this court, I am prepared for it. Its members will surely discharge their duty ; I shall take care not to be wanting in mine.” Tone’s use of the word ‘eternal’ and ‘his duty’ are obvious references to God and posterity and he would have been fully aware and very careful about their use. Any study of the man and any understanding of him as a person to those who wish to see the truth can only draw the one conclusion. To quote just a line or two from his last letters to his wife : “…be assured I will die as I have lived, and that you will have no cause to blush for me. Adieu, dearest love, keep your courage as I have kept mine. My mind is as tranquil this moment as at any period of my life.”
Are these the words of a man contemplating suicide? No! Wolfe Tone knew that suicide would have damned his reputation irreparably and consequently the cause he dedicated his life to. There is only one conclusion to be drawn knowing the man – murder by a person or persons unknown.’
This brave man will be suitably honoured by Irish republicans on Sunday, 14th June 2015 – all genuine republicans welcome!
Thanks for reading, Sharon.