“IN BODENSTOWN CHURCHYARD…
..there lies a green grave
And wildly around it the winter winds rave
Small shelter is weaned from the cruel walls there
When the storm clouds blow down on the plains of Kildare
Once I stood on that sod that lies over Wolfe Tone
And I thought how he perished in prison alone
His friends unavenged and his country unfreed
Oh pity, I thought, Is the patriot’s need
I was awakened from my dreaming by voices and tread
Of a band who came in to the home of the dead
There were students and peasants, the wise and the brave
And an old man who knew him from cradle to grave
This old man who saw I was weeping there said
We’ve come for to weep where young Wolfe Tone lies laid
We’re going to build him a monument, too
A small one yet simple for the patriot true
My heart overflowed and I clasped his old hand
And I blessed him and blessed everyone in the band
Sweet sweet ’tis to find that such things can remain
To a man that’s been long vanquished and slain
In Bodenstown churchyard there lies a green grave
And wildly around it let the winter winds rave
Far better it suits him the wind and the gloom
Until Ireland a nation might build him a tomb.”
Those attending this RSF-organised Wolfe Tone commemoration are requested to assemble at 2.30pm in Sallins Village, Co Kildare, on Sunday June 26th, 2016, from where a parade will make its way to Bodenstown Churchyard.
PROSE AND CONS.
By prisoners from E1 Landing, Portlaoise Prison, 1999.
Grateful thanks to the following for their help, support, assistance and encouragement, and all those who helped with the typing and word processing over the past few months. Many thanks to Cian Sharkhin, the editor of the book, Mr Bill Donoghue, Governor, Portlaoise, Mr Seán Wynne, supervising teacher, the education unit in Portlaoise Prison and the education staff, especially Zack, Helena and Jane. Education officers Bill Carroll and Dave McDonald, Rita Kelly, writer, print unit, Arbour Hill.
First Print : November 1999, reprinted March 2000, illustrations by D O’Hare, Zack and Natasha. Photograph selection : Eamonn Kelly and Harry Melia.
BLACK AND WHITE. (By Pat Kelleher.)
I’ve lain awake days and nights
waiting for a sign, a flicker of light
a searching soul, a troubled mind
the scars of past and present.
Angels singing in the clouds
howling wolves and searching hounds
witches dancing in the storm
the sound of children laughing.
Facing long into the wind
heading towards shelter
being dragged from here to there
questions without answers.
And in your arms
I found sanctuary
a shelter from a nightmare
you give me hope and energy
magical wonderful creature.
IRISH BLOG AWARDS 2016.
Too much testosterone in Blogsville
too many males with space to fill,
and they’re killing the dignity,
of our femininity.
Stepped out of my silence, hung up the phone,
armed with my keyboard, mouse and printer –
mother, warrior, freedom fighter :
If you like what we do here in our wee corner of the internet, then please don’t be shy – give us a vote! You will have to either log in or create an account before you can vote but we really would appreciate it if you did that for us. There is no charge, and it won’t take up too much of your time – entries are open until the 26th June next and judging will start after that. And know this – if you don’t give us a vote, we know where you live..!
SIX REASONS WHY THE ‘BREXIT LEAVE’ CAMPAIGN MUST WIN.
Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone : our six occupied counties, a situation which a ‘Brits Out of Europe’ vote might help change. ‘The devil we know’ – ie EU membership – has done absolutely nothing in regards to ending or even weakening the British political and military claim of jurisdiction over that part of Ireland, so we’re hoping that a Brexit win might be a step in that direction.
We have already set out our stall on this issue (“For what it’s worth, this blog is firmly in the ‘Brits Out’ (ie vote ‘Leave!’) camp, for our own selfish (!) reason…”) in keeping with we believe to be the republican position – we want Irish sovereignty to remain in Irish hands, regardless of whether the ‘foreign’ hands are based in London or Brussels, and that has been the republican position going back to, indeed, 1169, and is the reason why Irish republicans opposed the EEC Accession Treaty in 1972, the referendums on the Single European Act 1987, the Maastricht Treaty 1992, the Amsterdam Treaty 1998, the Nice Treaty 2001 (and 2002), the Lisbon Treaty 2008 (and 2009) and the Fiscal Stability Treaty of 2012. Not forgetting, of course, the Treaty of Surrender in 1921, the Hillsborough Treaty in 1985 and the Stormont Treaty in 1998.
Irish republicans will not accept any form of domination by London or Brussels, insisting instead that we revert to managing our own affairs and employing our own resources for our own use. A ‘Brits Out of Europe’ might help us to achieve a ‘Brits Out of Ireland’, politically and militarily. We will of course still give tourists a ‘céad míle fáilte’ but, equally, we’ll give them short shrift if they arrive here with any political interference in mind. If you have a vote on Thursday, 23rd June 2016, use it wisely – Vote ‘Leave’!
‘Magill’ magazine has unearthed new information which raises a grim but important question : were explosives from within this Republic used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings? It is a question which, bizarrely, also encompasses the controversial Dónal de Róiste case. By Don Mullan, author of the book ‘The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings’.
From ‘Magill’ magazine, February 2003.
THE CLONAGH AFFAIR.
A subsequent meeting of the ‘Joint Security Committee’ at Stormont on 18th November 1971 reported “..progress..on the possibility of marking explosives for identification purposes..” , and the RUC Chief Constable expressed hope that “..joint RUC/Garda discussions on the question of explosives control would be arranged at an early date.”
The committee met again on 2nd December 1971 and the meeting was given details “of methods being adopted by manufacturers to identify explosives and wondered if an officer should not be appointed to try to trace the source of the traffic of explosives to Northern Ireland (sic)” but it is not yet known how these discussions and recommendations progressed. However, if the matters discussed at Downing Street and at Stormont in 1971 were successfully implememted, it seems certain that the British government, let alone the British Army, as alleged by Garrett Fitzgerald, would have known about Clonagh being a Provisional IRA explosives supply source.
His assertion, therefore, that “they preferred to use this leakage as a propaganda weapon against us than to save lives in Northern Ireland (sic) by stopping it” takes on an even graver meaning. (MORE LATER.)
32 MINUS 6 EQUALS 32? BUT ONLY IN 2036 OR 2046, IT SEEMS…
‘Sinn Féin motion: That Dáil Éireann:
notes that a majority of Deputies elected to the Thirty-second Dáil made clear pre-election pledges to end water charges;
and calls on the Government to:
— immediately abolish domestic water charges;
— establish a public water and sanitation board to deliver water on the basis of need; and
— set a date for a referendum to enshrine the public ownership of water services in the Constitution of Ireland.’ (From here.)
The preamble to that motion (linked, above) is very badly worded and is not something that any Irish republican would stand over, never mind release to the media, and the motion itself is the same – worded, no doubt, by a political ‘newbie’, a republican wannabe , a political careerist, who would feel just as politically ‘comfortable’ in The Workers Party, Fianna Fáil or the SDLP etc.
By “Dáil Éireann”, the author was referring to Leinster House, which are two different institutions : the description of the current Leinster House assembly as being “the Thirty-second Dáil” is incorrect as the First and Second Dáil Éireann were parliaments of a 32-county republic whereas the 30th Leinster House institution now assembled is only a 26-county Free State assembly and there is no “Constitution of Ireland” (there is, however, a Free State constitution and a later 26-county document which purports to be ‘the Constitution of Ireland’).
The motion preamble is, as stated, also ‘full of holes’, as any Irish republican will confirm, and then there’s the substance of the motion itself ie the issue of the imposed double-tax on the supply of water to households etc which, according to the author, the (Provisional) Sinn Féin party is opposed to. Now, that is, apparently, but that wasn’t always their position. Like water, their grasp of republicanism has slipped through their fingers.
And then there’s their willing involvement with that other British-imposed political assembly in Ireland – Stormont. As well as aping the Free State and copying its political mannerisms, Gerry Adams and his party have settled comfortably into their ‘government’ role in the six occupied counties – the Provisional Sinn Féin Stormont ‘Minister for Infrastructure’, Chris Hazzard is, like his party, doing his best to shore up not only the Stormont institution, but the bastard six-county State itself (click on pic to enlarge) :
Minister Hazzard speaks about “…building a successful region (and) building economic growth (for) the next 20-30 years..” which is not something you’d expect from a person committed, allegedly, to overthrowing the British writ over our six counties, especially when one of his party leaders is on record for claiming that he and his would obtain a united Ireland by this year! Unless, that is, Gerry, Martin, Chris and Co. are intending to have Ireland ‘reunited’ within their beloved ‘United Kingdom’!
Incidentally, while we’re on the subject of national sovereignty, I’d like to highlight an issue which I presume is puzzling more people than I know about (or at least I hope it is!) : it’s in relation to this ‘Euro 2016’ competition, a sport that I have no real interest in but which has, apparently, grabbed the attention of most people I know, including other republicans. And the latter concerns me, because they should know better – we are seemingly ‘allowed’ two teams from Ireland to represent us in the competition, one from the so-called ‘Republic of Ireland’ (which is nothing of the sort) and one from ‘Northern Ireland’ (which, again, is nothing of the sort) and then there is England/the ‘United Kingdom’, which has a team in the game, despite assuring anyone that will listen that what it terms ‘Northern Ireland’ is part of the so-called ‘United Kingdom’!
Should issues of national sovereignty take second place to sport? No, not in my opinion, anyway, and I am a wee bit disappointed that I haven’t heard these concerns raised by many other people. But I suppose I shouldn’t really be surprised at this geographical bastardisation, as it’s well known that the ‘company’ behind this football competition has been linked to financial corruption (suspicions of “criminal mismanagement” and “[financial] misappropriation”) so for it to be morally and politically corrupt as well is not, in my opinion, an ‘offside’ thought.
THE SECRET HISTORY OF PÁDRAIG PEARSE…
Well…not quite. We borrowed this gem from – as per above piece – politicians who consider themselves to be ‘republican’. This time it’s one of Fianna Fail’s ‘rising stars/wannabe’, Donnacha Maguire, pictured, above right.
Donnacha was recently complaining (rightly so!) about his ‘republican cousins’ in this State, Provisional Sinn Féin, attempting to associate themselves with Irish republican leader Pádraig Pearse and, by God, he soon put manners on them with this tweet –
“Pearse after 1916 joined Fianna Fail…” – Donnacha Maguire, Fianna Fail.
Fianna Fail has somewhat (!) of a reputation as being well capable of fiddling numbers and figures but even they are going out on a limb to claim that a man who was executed (by the British) in 1916 joined their party in 1926! If he keep’s that up, young Donnacha has a golden political future waiting for him in Gerry’s party!
NOTE TO ‘IRISH WATER’ : AS FAR AS YOU ARE CONCERNED, THE TAP IS DRY.
‘..Irish Water is the new national water utility responsible for providing and developing water services throughout Ireland…incorporated in July 2013 as a company under the Water Services Act 2013, Irish Water has combined the public water and wastewater services of the 31 Local Authorities together under one national service provider…management of national water and wastewater assets… we can ensure sustainable water services for Ireland into the future…’ (from here, although you’d be forgiven for thinking that a Provisional Sinn Féin script writer was behind it!) “National…throughout Ireland..services for Ireland into the future..” – this company has a ‘remit’ from the 26-County administration to operate within the State yet claims to be a “national water utility” company, but that is not the only field (of which there are four!) in which it is making an error. On the 2nd June last, Irish Water’s ‘Head of Customer Operations’, Eamon Gallen, sent me a letter entitled ‘Overdue Account’ in which he stated “..our records show that your account is now overdue…the total amount now overdue is €324.64..”.
Eamon’s first mistake is in considering me to be a ‘customer’ of his company as I never signed up to the ‘service’ they offer and his second mistake is in omitting to take into account the fact that I have been paying for my water service for decades now through the general taxation system that operates in this State. There are a few household bills that I pay for through direct debit and if any one of those services sent me a bill through the post, having already deducted that money from my ‘stopped-at-source’ finances, I wouldn’t pay it. And, for that reason, I won’t be paying this ‘Irish Water bill’ either. So there you have it, Eamon – I don’t owe you that money and you won’t be getting it. And I’m looking forward to your next letter, as I presume it will be an apology…
GROWING UP IN LONG KESH…
SIN SCÉAL EILE.
By Jim McCann (Jean’s son). For Alex Crowe, RIP – “No Probablum”. Glandore Publishing, 1999.
Biographical Note : Jim McCann is a community worker from the Upper Springfield area in West Belfast. Although born in the Short Strand, he was reared in the Loney area of the Falls Road. He comes from a large family (average weight about 22 stone!). He works with Tús Nua (a support group for republican ex-prisoners in the Upper Springfield), part of the Upper Springfield Development Trust. He is also a committee member of the ‘Frank Cahill Resource Centre’, one of the founders of ‘Bunscoil an tSléibhe Dhuibh’, the local Irish language primary school and Naiscoil Bharr A’Chluanaí, one of the local Irish language nursery schools.
His first publication last year by Glandore was ‘And the Gates Flew Open : the Burning of Long Kesh’. He hopes to retire on the profits of his books. Fat chance!
“THANK YOU, BOYS, THANK YOU…” (PART TWO.)
Unfortunately, Lasher was busy in another part of the cage, becomming Timmy. No one answered Timmy. Arder was told by one of Timmy’s guards that whether it was nerves or physiological in those few hours, Timmy had contracted acne. At about 10.45am a screw shouted into the cage “Johnson, time to go” – Lasher was ready, the transformation was incredible ; he had become Timmy Johnston, and tried to leave the cage as quietly as possible without drawing the screws’ attention to himself. He left the cage and disappeared through the security gate of the hospital block, which sat across from Cage 11. The escape was on.
Back in the drying room, Timmy was still bound to the chair with his two guards in close attention. Unfortunately, at 11am, the sirens went off – the plan had failed. Screws stopped counting their wages and tried to contact the ‘Prison Officers’ Association’ (POA) representative in an effort to find out about current danger money rates.
The blindfold was removed from Timmy’s eyes long enough to remove the gag in his mouth, then the blindfold was put back over his head. “I’m in trouble,” Timmy cried, “they’ll never believe me.” One of Timmy’s guards assured him “They will – when they see all the blood.” Just before Timmy could say “What blood?” , one of his guards gave him a severe punch on the nose and broke it. The pillowcase-cum-blindfold turned red with the volume of blood that squirted out of his nose.
As Lasher was being transported down to the Boards (Punishment Block) Timmy was being carried out of Cage 11 on a stretcher. As he was being taken out of the gate by the two screws at either end of his stretcher he looked over in our direction and blurted out “Thank you, boys, thank you…” Lasher made a number of other attempts to escape and Timmy was never heard of again. Even Timmy’s inseparable ‘chum’, Lasher, never mentioned him again. (End of ‘Thank You, Boys, Thank You’ : next – ‘Catch 22 – In Cage 22. In Memory of Ned Maguire RIP’.)
NA FIANNA ÉIREANN FUNDRAISER, DUBLIN, FRIDAY 1ST JULY 2016.
Glaine ‘nar gcroi – Purity in our hearts. Neart ‘nar ngeaga – Strength in our arms. Beart do reir ar mbriathar – Truth on our lips : Na Fianna Éireann, 1909 to date.
The Na Fianna Éireann organisation is still active to this day and, as in 1922, continues to support the republican position : Na Fianna Éireann (literally ‘Warriors of Ireland’) has had several subtitles in its history ; Irish National Youth Movement, Irish Republican Youth Movement, Irish Republican Scouts etc but its central ethos has never changed. It has always had the object of educating the youth of Ireland in national ideas and re-establishing the independence of the nation. The goal of the organisation on its foundation in 1909 was “…to re-establish the independence of Ireland by means of training the youth of Ireland to fight Ireland’s fight when they are older and the day comes…” . Members are trained in scouting skills and parade drill and receive education regarding republicanism and Irish history and heritage. In short, the NFÉ organisation instills a sense of pride, worth and value into those who join – worthy character traits which they carry with them into adulthood.
A fundraising function will be held in Dublin for the NFÉ on Friday, 1st July 2016, in Hanlon’s Bar and Restaurant, North Circular Road. A fiver a head will get ye in, and the group on stage – Erin Go Bragh – will make ya wanna stay! Doors open at 8pm and a raffle will be held on the night. All supporters welcome!
ON THIS DATE (22ND JUNE) 95 YEARS AGO – TWO IRA MEN SHOT DEAD BY BRITISH FORCES.
On the 6th of April, 1921, two IRA men, Patrick Conroy and James Monds (a local Protestant farmer), who were friends and neighbours, were pulled out of their homes in Tarmon, County Roscommon, by an RIC/Black and Tan raiding party and executed. At that time in Roscommon, as across Ireland, the Black and Tans, the RIC and the Auxiliaries were running rampant – the sack of Balbriggan, the burning of Cork, the murder of MacCurtain in Cork and Father Griffin in Galway were among their worse atrocities. The so called ‘Castlerea Murder Gang’ consisted of British soldiers, RIC and Black and Tans who would act on information provided by informers and raid local houses late at night looking for their victims. The gang would arrive at the door with blackened faces and shine a light in the face of a suspect who would be identified by the informer. If the unfortunate person was wanted by the British he would be taken away and shot or beaten to death, as was the case with Volunteer Pat Conroy who was murdered the same night as James Monds.
James was a Volunteer of the Irish Republican Army and had been involved in land agitation. It is known that he refused to sing ‘God Save The King’ in church which may have singled him out as a republican or ‘Shinner’ to those loyal to the Crown. He was taken from his house on the night of the 6th of April 1921 and his bullet riddled body was found the next day. The ‘Murder Gang’ extracted no information from him regarding local Volunteers and they killed him despite him having 6 children.
It later transpired that the British troops raided the home of James Monds looking to remove his 17-year-old son, but the father pleaded with them to take him instead, and leave his son out of it. They did, which is about the only act of ‘kindness’ any republican could hope for, from a British mercenary. The next morning, the riddled body of James Monds was located at the end of the road. Incidentally, the man in charge of that particular British murder gang, RIC Sergeant James King, was infamous as a well-known thug in uniform in Ireland and then became ‘famous’ as the last member of the RIC to be killed during the War of Independence – “On the morning of the 11th of July (1921) Thomas Crawley was waiting. Sergeant King of the RIC was the principal man in the murder gang that was organised in the RIC in Castlereagh and was responsible for a number of killings around the area. He was badly wanted by us. On the morning of the Truce, the 11th July 1921, we made a final effort to get this man. Between 10a.m. and 11a.m. on that morning we proceeded into the town on this mission…we went into a shop to get a drink of lemonade and when only a few minutes there Sergeant King came out of his own house on the opposite side of the street and proceeded to get on his cycle as if to go to the barracks. We left the shop. Ned Campion and I let him have it. He died immediately. Although the truce took effect at 12 o’ clock on that day, the enemy chased us until about 6pm that evening. We finally escaped them, however, by adopting the role of shepherds gathering up sheep…” (from here.)
King was struck in the chest by at least two of his attackers bullets and despite receiving prompt medical attention died at approximately 10.30am – less than two hours before the ceasefire was due to begin. Local IRA men later recounted how King and his gang burst into the Vaughan family home at Cloonsuck, County Roscommon, on the 22nd June 1921 – 95 years ago on this date – catching three IRA men unaware : the three republicans made a run for it, but two of them – Ned Shanahan and John Vaughan – were shot dead. The third IRA man, Martin Ganly, was captured and, during the search of the house, King battered (the deceased) John Vaughan’s mother unconscious with his rifle butt and stopped on his way out of the house and shot the family’s dog dead. A nasty and vindictive piece of work by all accounts, ‘relatives’ of whom wear a similar uniform today, in this country.
ON THIS DATE (22ND JUNE) 30 YEARS AGO : A HYPOCRITE EXPOSES HIMSELF.
Martin McGuinness (pictured, left) greeting another ‘internal tinkerer’.
The following quote was published in the ‘Socialist Republic!’ newspaper in September 1986 and records some of the words of Martin McGuinness from a speech he delivered on Bodenstown Sunday 1986 – 22nd June of that year, 30 years ago on this date. That publication was ‘the newspaper of the Scottish Communist Republican Party (SCRP)’ , both of which are now apparently defunct as separate entities as, indeed, is McGuinness himself, in relation to Irish republicanism. Less than six months after he delivered his “internal tinkering” comment, Martin McGuinness assisted other nationalists in splitting the Republican Movement.
Quote from Martin McGuinness, 22nd June, 1986, Bodenstown Sunday : “Despite the multi-million dollar hype of the (Hillsborough) Agreement, despite disinformation, despite the rewriting of Irish history by West Britons and British propaganda, more and more people are beginning to realise that internal tinkering with the six-county statelet solves nothing..” And he’s right, of course – ‘tinkering’ with the British claim of jurisdiction (ie implementing that claim on Behalf of Westminster and doing so in a ‘fairer’ manner than that which Westminster itself would have done) will solve nothing. Not in regards to the ‘bigger picture’, anyway but, in the case of Martin and his colleagues, it solved one issue for them – how to make a political career for yourself from the British presence and still be considered, by some, to be ‘an Irish republican’!
TAKING A BREAK…?
(NOT JUST YET, BUT MORE LATER..!)
Thanks for reading, Sharon.