“Our success has only been possible thanks to the talented people who work for us. Each individual plays an essential role in continuing the growth and development of Dunnes Stores…..we offer a broad range of challenging, rewarding careers (and are) committed to exceeding expectations (with) opportunities for advancement and competitive salaries..” (from here.)

“Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson were appointed joint Provisional Liquidators to OCS Operations Limited (the “Company”) trading as Clerys, on 12 June 2015. The Company has ceased to trade with immediate effect. If you have made any payment by credit or debit card for a product that has not been delivered, or if a gift voucher was purchased with a credit or debit card, it may be possible to get a refund from your card provider via “chargeback”. The chargeback can be claimed when a company has ceased trading. You should contact your card provider immediately with details of the payment. As the store has closed, unused gift vouchers will not be redeemed.” (from here.)

Very encouraging to see the workers in Dunnes and Clerys stand up for themselves in their fight to get their entitlements, great to see the general public support them in their endeavours and heartening to witness the various trade unions throw their weight behind those victims. Hopefully, all concerned groups and individuals will be equally as vocal in supporting and highlighting injustices to workers that are employed in jobs that are not as high profile as Dunnes and Clerys –

“We promote an informed and critical social and political awareness and challenge those elements which are detrimental to human development and particularly to the welfare of young people…we promote the highest possible standards in our practice. We are committed to high standards in the selection and support of our volunteers and employed staff….” (from here.)

An on-going dispute at the ‘Ferns Diocesan Youth Services’ (FDYS) which, as with Dunnes and Clerys, has been caused by the bad practices of management/owners, who are attempting to get more for less, from their workforce : ‘…management has attempted to force through a change to the conditions of employment of its staff while refusing to negotiate with their union or attend the Labour Relations Commission (in) a dispute concerning a unilateral change by management to sick leave benefit and its refusal to engage with their union…’ (from here.) As I said, not as high profile as the Dunnes or Clerys disputes, but just as important as same. Workers and those looking for work are under attack by a vicious system that views them, first and foremost, as simply a ‘commercial product’ from which that system might benefit. But those hoping to benefit don’t believe that they should have to speculate (ie decent wage, fair working conditions etc) to accumulate, and those of us at the bottom of that particular ladder will suffer.


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.

The lawyers finally found a High Court judge willing to hear a habeas corpus appeal, Donal Barrington. They went to his home in south county Dublin and he gave them an order of habeas corpus but not, as they had been seeking, effective from Monday morning – the order was effective only from Tuesday morning but, in the event, it was useless. Ronald Reagan left the banquet and retired to the US Ambassador’s residence , and was spared the trial of having to pass by a group of women sitting in the dark several hundred feet away, keeping a vigil for peace.

The lawyers returned to the Bridewell to explain the legal developments to the prisoners, and were there until 2am.


As soon as US President Reagan began speaking in the Dáil (sic) chamber the next morning, Deputies Tomas MacGiolla, Tony Gregory and Prionsias de Rossa (who had on Sunday inquired at the Bridewell about the prisoners’ welfare) stood up and left the chamber. Monica Barnes had absented herself from the Dáil (sic). The vast majority of the (Free State) TD’s and Senators, in a joint session of the two houses, gave Reagan a welcome of rapturous applause, and the Ceann Comhairle, Tom Fitzpatrick, noted the United States’ “commitment to the rights of the individual under law.”

Regan began his speech at noon and he and Nancy, he said, had been made “as welcome as the flowers in May”. On TV, the presidential motorcade had been seen whizzing through the streets lined with crowd-control barriers with no one behind them. As Reagan spoke in the Dail (sic) there were 4,000 protestors outside in Molesworth Street. (MORE LATER).


Ed Moloney speaks to a leading member of the Provisionals who has been authorised to speak on behalf of the (P)IRA Army Council.
From ‘Magill’ magazine, September 1980.

Ed Moloney : The Provisional IRA and its campaign of violence have been going on for nearly 10 years now. The British are still in the North despite that. Why go on?

IRA : First of all, the IRA is not 10 years old, it’s over 60 years old. As for why we continue the campaign, nothing has changed in the occupied Six Counties but there is a lot of evidence that things can be changed. We have been wearing down successive British administrations, we have worn down their will. There are indications now of changes taking place within the British political scene – the ‘Young Liberals’, for example, have come out in support of a policy of disengagement from Ireland and there are at present discussions going on within the National Executive of the Labour Party.

There is also evidence that a lot of British soldiers are fed up with what’s going on in the North and ‘Document 37’ shows that the present commander of land forces in the North, Brigadier-General James Glover, knows that we are not a spent force and that we will continue. And he also admitted the cause of the trouble was the presence of British forces.

The object of our armed struggle is two fold ; further destabilise the inherently unstable Six Counties and also to wear down the will of the British government. Either the British Government itself comes to the conclusion that it must leave, or that conclusion will be forced on them by British public opinion. We can make the occupation of the North extremely expensive (*) – present costs are running at £1000 million annually – and of course we will be hitting at their soldiers continually and causing their morale to be so low that the Brits will find that they are incapable of maintaining any sort of order in the North.(**) ( */** ‘1169…’ comment : “Expensive” , no doubt, re the salaries and expenses that Westminster is now paying to former revolutionaries and the issue of “maintaining order” has, for the most part, being sorted by Westminster as a result of having those new employees on board.) (MORE LATER).


On Monday, 17th June 1974, the then IRA decided to make it’s presence felt, once again, in ‘the Belly of the Beast’ – a 20lb device exploded at the British Parliament, causing widespread damage and injuring 11 people. Six months before that attack, the IRA had exploded two bombs in London – one at Madame Tussauds and one at a boat show which was taking place at Earls Court Exhibition Centre and, one month after the 17th June attack, two bombs also exploded in London – British government buildings in Balham, South London, were damaged in the first explosion that day and the Tower of London was the target for the second bomb. This is a BBC report of the 17th June 1974 IRA attack –

‘A bomb has exploded at the Houses of Parliament, causing extensive damage and injuring 11 people.
The IRA said it planted the 20lb (9.1 kg) device which exploded at about 0828 BST in a corner of Westminster Hall.
The explosion is suspected to have fractured a gas main and a fierce fire spread quickly through the centuries-old hall in one of Britain’s most closely-guarded buildings. Scotland Yard detectives have said they fear this attack could herald the start of a new summer offensive by the dissident Irish group on government buildings. No one expected in those days the House of Commons would be a target – security was extremely casual.’

Former Labour MP Tam Dalyell (‘Sir Thomas Dalyell of the Binns, 11th Baronet) gave this account – “A man with an Irish accent telephoned the Press Association with a warning only six minutes before the explosion. Police said a recognised IRA codeword was given. Although officers were not able to completely clear the palace before the bomb went off, most of the injured were only slightly hurt” and Edward Short, the Leader of the British ‘Commons’, announced that a review of security procedures would begin immediately, but he said the attack would not disrupt parliamentary business or intimidate MPs. Liberal Chief Whip David Steel was in the building when the device detonated and told the BBC the damage looked considerable – “I looked through Westminster Hall and the whole hall was filled with dust. A few minutes later it was possible to see flames shooting up through the windows…”

Today, the group that carried out that attack are only a short step away from again entering that bastion of British misrule but, this time, to assist their new objective of administering the British writ in Ireland. Shame on them.


Emily Lawless, pictured, left (aka ‘Emily Lytton’), the writer and poet, was born on the 17th of June, 1845, in Ardclough, County Kildare and was educated privately.

War battered dogs are we

Fighters in every clime;

Fillers of trench and of grave,

Mockers bemocked by time.

War dogs hungry and grey,

Gnawing a naked bone,

Fighters in every clime –

Every cause but our own.

– Emily Lawless, 1902 ; “With the Wild Geese”.

She was born into a politically mixed background, the eldest daughter and one of eight children (‘Sir’ Horace Plunkett was her cousin) . Her father was ‘Titled’ by Westminster (he was a ‘Baron’) even though his father (Emily’s grandfather) was a member of the ‘United Irishmen’. Her brother, Edward, seems to have taken his direction from his father rather than his grandfather – he held and voiced strong unionist opinions, wouldn’t have a Catholic about the place and was in a leadership position within the (anti-Irish) so-called ‘Property Defence Association’. Perhaps this ‘in-house’ political confusion (mixed between stauch unionism and unionism with sympathies for Irish nationalism/republicanism, coupled with the ‘whisperings of shame’ that Emily was a lesbian and was having an affair with one of the ‘titled’ Spencer women) was the reason why her father and two of his daughters committed suicide.

She considered herself to be a Unionist although, unlike her brother, she appreciated and acknowledged Irish culture (…or, in her own words – “I am not anti-Gaelic at all, as long as it is only Gaelic enthuse and does not include politics…”) and, despite being ‘entitled’ to call herself ‘The Honourable Emily Lawless’, it was a ‘title’ she only used occasionally. She spent a lot of her younger days in Galway, with her mother’s family, but it is thought that family tragedies drove her to live in England, where she died, on the 19th of October 1913, at the age of 68, having become addicted to heroin. She was buried in Surrey.
She wrote a full range of books, from fiction to history to poetry, and is best remembered for her ‘Wild Geese’ works, although some of her writings were criticised by journalists for its ‘grossly exaggerated violence, its embarrassing dialect and staid characters…’. ‘The Nation’ newspaper stated that ‘she looked down on peasantry from the pinnacle of her three-generation nobility…’ and none other than William Butler Yeats declared that she had “an imperfect sympathy with the Celtic nature…” and that she favoured “theory invented by political journalists and forensic historians.” But she had a great talent :

After Aughrim

She said, “They gave me of their best,

They lived, they gave their lives for me ;

I tossed them to the howling waste

And flung them to the foaming sea.”

She said, “I never gave them aught,

Not mine the power, if mine the will ;

I let them starve, I let them bleed,

they bled and starved, and loved me still.”

She said, “Ten times they fought for me,

Ten times they strove with might and main,

Ten times I saw them beaten down,

Ten times they rose, and fought again.”

She said, “I stayed alone at home,

A dreary woman, grey and cold ;

I never asked them how they fared,

Yet still they loved me as of old.”

She said, “I never called them sons,

I almost ceased to breathe their name,

then caught it echoing down the wind

blown backwards, from the lips of fame.”

She said, “Not mine, not mine that fame ;

Far over sea, far over land,

cast forth like rubbish from my shores

they won it yonder, sword in hand.”

She said, “God knows they owe me nought,

I tossed them to the foaming sea,

I tossed them to the howling waste,

Yet still their love comes home to me.”

Emily Lawless, 1845-1913.


‘…the group says hundreds of older people are facing regular demands for money, are having their pensions withheld and are finding that their property is being taken….in the vast majority of cases, the perpetrators are immediate family members…financial abuse is now the second most common form of elder mistreatment…’ (from here.)

We have mentioned one particular case of this despicable behaviour before as, unfortunately, it has happened on our own doorstep, so to speak, in the same small(ish) town we live in, and those responsible are known to those of us who take the time to care about such issues : ‘In early May 2008, my Grandad was not living at home any more and not in any state of mind to conduct family business re paying household bills or calling to the Post Office to collect his or Nana’s weekly pension. My Nana, now living on her own in the bungalow (although my Grandad was brought home on a regular basis for visits and Nana and one or more son or daughter [my Uncle/Aunt] would go to see my Grandad in his ‘new home’ four or five times a week) and being, at the time, 81 years of age (but not too bad, physically or mentally) agreed to a suggestion from her daughter ‘M’ (my Aunt) that her pension, and Grandad’s pension – a combined total at that time of €423.30 a week – should now be paid into the local AIB bank rather than the Post Office and that an ATM card be obtained from AIB by Nana which would enable the card holder (once they knew the PIN number) to withdraw some of the money from the account to pay bills and buy shopping etc for Nana….(from here.)

The two thieving daughters referred to in that blog are otherwise ‘normal’ human beings – on the outside, anyway – and present themselves in this neighbourhood, sickeningly so, as ‘concerned siblings’ who are forever fussing over their mother, whom they profess to love very much. There is a lot more I could write here about them, and about their disgraceful on-going behaviour in relation to their mother and their brother (‘Uncle S’) but this is not the time to do so. However I will take the time, now, to advise readers to please keep a close eye on your elderly and vulnerable parents or neighbours etc who are in the same boat as the poor woman featured in that blog. I don’t think you necessarily have to be born ‘bad’ (or with a moral defect) in order for you to be capable of doing that on your own parents or, indeed, on any person, elderly or not – perhaps life’s various interventions can turn you into a shameless degenerate with no empathy or feelings in relation to your own parents?

Thanks for reading, Sharon.

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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