‘BLACK NOISE’ USED ON IRA POW’S, 1930’s.
..’cause we only finished the raffle aftermath yesterday (Tue 12th Sept) and have LOADS of other stuff to do, including helping to assemble the ‘leaflet packs’ –
A total of 350 ‘leaflet packs’, comprising 1,250 printed items of a republican nature, will be distributed at the ‘Eve Rally’ on Sunday, 17th September 2017.
– for this event. But we couldn’t let this anniversary pass without mention :
ON THIS DATE (13TH SEPTEMBER) 81 YEARS AGO : TWENTY-FOUR YEAR OLD IRISH REPUBLICAN KILLS HIMSELF OVER MENTAL TORTURE BY FREE STATERS.
‘In fond and loving memory of Seán Glynn, Captain Mid-Limerick Brigade IRA, 69 Pennywell Road, Limerick, who died in Arbour Hill Detention Barracks, Dublin, Sunday 13th Sep 1936, aged 24 years. Jesus Mercy Mary help..’ – inscription on the grave (pictured, left) of Seán Glynn, who was born into a strong republican family in 1911 and, on leaving school, began work as a labourer. In 1930 he joined the IRA and was known to be a committed Volunteer. He rose through the ranks and soon became O/C of ‘B’ Company of the Mid-Limerick Brigade, a position previously held by his father, John Glynn, during the early 1920’s.
In 1936, the Free State government had banned the Wolfe Tone Commemoration at Bodenstown and ordered contingents of its police and troops to block all approaches to Bodenstown. In Limerick, approximately 30 republicans, including Seán Glynn, commandeered a Limerick County Council lorry and headed for Bodenstown. They were apprehended at Dunkerrin, County Offaly and subsequently sentenced to prison terms ranging from 6 to 18 months (Seán was sentenced to nine months imprisonment). The prisoners were committed to Arbour Hill Military Prison, where the Free State Army ran an exceptionally harsh regime, including a policy of strict silence (the screws actually wore rubber-soled shoes, to ensure that they could ‘appear as if from nowhere’ in an attempt to frighten the prisoners), which was brutally enforced. The Fianna Fail administration had warned that Arbour Hill “was no longer (sic) going to be a holiday camp or hotel for republican prisoners”.
Conditions in the prison were grim – Free State military guards kept the republican prisoners in solitary confinement and they were punished for trying to speak or otherwise communicate with each other ; the prison was said to be like a tomb, and the system was intended to drive men insane and in some cases succeeded. Several men never recovered from their months of solitude even if they did manage to preserve their sanity. These were the conditions that drove Seán Glynn, serving nine months for IRA membership – who had been in perfect mental health prior to his arrest – first insane and then, on Sunday, September 13th 1936 – 81 years ago, on this date – to take his own life (another IRA prisoner, Christy Aherne, had attempted to kill himself a few months earlier, for the same reason).
A subsequent inquest and commission of inquiry into his death found that he had been driven insane by the ‘silent-system’ in Arbour Hill. After his death, somewhat more humane (but by no means ‘pleasant’) conditions prevailed for the remaining prisoners. Two days after his death, Seán Glynn was buried in the Republican Plot in Mount St Laurence’s Cemetery in Limerick.
At 24 years of age, he was driven to take his own life on September 13th, 1936, by a Fianna Fail administration : driven to suicide by concocted prison conditions, Arbour Hill Barracks, Dublin. Rest In Peace.
Thanks for reading – hope to see some of ye at Croke Park this Sunday, 17th : I’ll be one of those on ‘leaflet duty’!