Two examples of political ignorance, as practised by those who apparently consider themselves to be ‘republicans’ but, judging by that with which they hope to cash-in with this Easter time, are actually ‘nationalist’-minded ie they would be more at home, politically, with Fianna Fail/SDLP, and answerable to either Stormont or Leinster House, rather than to any Irish republican institution.

The Easter Lily leaflet/poster on view with this post was produced and distributed by Offaly Sinn Féin (Provisional Sinn Féin, that is…) and included the following text – ‘Easter Lillies will soon be available in the Offaly area. They will be sold by Licensed Sinn Féin Sellers. Always ask for a permit before you donate’. A ‘licence/permit’ to distribute Easter Lilies is granted, upon application, by the Free State administration here in Dublin, the same Free State administration which, since it was spawned by Westminster in 1922, has done its utmost to destroy Irish republicanism, and continues to this day in its attempts to do so.

That Free State administration, acting under the guidance of Westminster and, during its ‘birth’, actually armed by Westminster, turned on Irish republicans, imprisoning, torturing and executing us, as much for its own ends (to maintain the amount of political and military ‘control’ that Westminster granted it) as for Westminster’s (to secure London’s ‘western front’ by planting a friendly [puppet] force in power).

No genuine Irish republican would apply to any such political administration for a ‘permission slip/licence/permit’ to honour the same men and women that were (and are being) hounded in life and death by that same political administration. A Fianna Fáil/SDLP-type ‘nationalist’, however, wouldn’t comprehend the above, as it’s above their political ‘paygrade’.

Our second example of political ignorance concerns a print collage assembled by those that are mentally and morally similar to the Provisional Sinn Féin political party –

– to state that Michael Collins, Martin McGuinness and Constance Georgine Gore Booth Markievicz – all of whom ended their days having worked for/with and giving political recognition to, the Free State – had the same ‘..dream, goal and desire..’ as Irish republicans is just as wrong as seeking an Easter Lily permit from the Free Staters in Leinster House. Our regular readers will understand that to be the case and, if any of ye can be bothered, ye mightn’t mind educating certain people in Offaly about these things. And, with a bit of luck, they, in turn, might mention it in passin’ to the rest of their party at their next get-together…!


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, December 1954.

Tomas O’ Dubghaill’s speech to the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, 7th November 1954 (…continued).


“It is not a question of personal advantage, nor of party pride – it is a question of the Nation and the future of the Nation. We are serving the very same Cause in our own way as the men who went to Armagh and Omagh. In that spirit we are going into this contest, and we ask for the whole-hearted support of all who treasure the hopes of Irish freedom, to help us make this a success.

In mentioning this, it is only right that I should take this opportunity to thank publicly on behalf of the organisation those people who have subscribed so generously to our Northern election fund during recent months, in particular the patrons of Croke Park and the other GAA circles where our collectors were so well received.

One final word – the politicians of Leinster House admit they have no solution. They are hoping for a miracle. I would remind them of the words of Ethna Carbery in ‘The Shan Van Vocht’ in January, 1896, words which are very appropriate today. She said – “Nothing will be accomplished for Ireland by overweening confidence, by empty boasting, by the belief that any favouring circumstances and events occurring outside our own nation will avail to bring us nearer to the goal. The wind and the tide help the ship but they cannot bring her into the port, nor even advance her on her journey. That can be done only by those on board. Ireland will never drift into her desired haven. A few strong hands under the guidance of a few brave resolute hearts can steer her thither before the winds that are now astir, tho’ they should grow and blow with a hurricane’s strength.”

Yes, the miracle will come when we get down to work to bring it about.”

(END of ‘Ard Fheis Speech’. NEXT – ‘Cork Ceremony’, from the same source.)


The British ‘queen’, Victoria, who died (but not from hunger) on the 22nd January 1901, aged 81, at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, left a special legacy in Ireland which included 1,225,000 deaths due to An Gorta Mór (the ‘Great Hunger’/so-called ‘famine’, but in reality an attempted genocide), 4,185,000 who were forced to emigrate and 3,668,000 who were evicted ; a newspaper editor was jailed for two years for pointing those facts out –“This is the record of Ireland under the glorious and prosperous reign of Queen Victoria! A reign which our country has been slowly bleeding to death…Queen Victoria was a good mother and a model woman according to her lights, but it cannot be said that she took the private interest in the trials and troubles of Irish subjects which would make us mourn her death with a sense of irreplaceable loss…”and, indeed, her visit here during that attempted genocide did not go without some protest –

“In the very midst of all this havoc, in August, 1849, her Majesty’s Ministers thought the coast was clear for a Royal Visit. The Queen had long wished, it was said, to visit her people of Ireland; and the great army of persons, who, in Ireland, are paid to be loyal, were expected to get up the appearance of rejoicing…one Mr O’Reilly, indeed, of South Great George’s Street, hoisted on the top of his house a large black banner, displaying the crownless Harp ; and draped his windows with black curtains, showing the words Famine and Pestilence : but the police burst into his house, viciously tore down the flag and the curtains, and rudely thrust the proprietor into gaol.. ‘The Freemans Journal’ newspaper says, that on passing through Parkgate Street, Mr James Nugent, one of the Guardians of the North Union, approached the royal carriage, which was moving rather slowly, and, addressing the Queen, said: ‘Mighty Monarch, pardon Smith O’Brien.’ Before, however, he had time to get an answer, or even to see how her Majesty received the application, Lord Clarendon rode up and put him aside…” (from here.)

This ‘British queen’, Victoria, was of German descent, born in 1819 at the Kensington Palace, to Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent. She was (and is) known as ‘The Famine Queen’ here in Ireland, but republicans would not agree with that nickname, and for the same reason that George Bernard Shaw (and many others) disagreed with it : “The Famine? No, the starvation. When a country is full o’ food, and exporting it, there can be no famine. Me father was starved dead ; and I was starved out to America in me mother’s arms. English rule drove me and mine out of Ireland…” (‘Man and Superman’, 1903.)

It was not until the 3rd April, 1900 – 119 years ago on this date – that she visited Ireland again, this time for three weeks ; it was suggested that this was really intended as a recruiting tool for British forces during the Boer War and, as with her previous visit, not everyone bowed-down to her. Arthur Griffith’s weekly newspaper, ‘The United Irishman’, which was based in number 17 Fownes Street, in Dublin, had a ‘particularly offending’ edition seized by the RIC, and the ‘Inghinidhe na hÉireann’ (‘Daughters of Ireland’) organisation hung a black banner in O’Connell Street in protest at the visit and placed black flags from the windows of many houses throughout Dublin, which the RIC tried to remove, wrecking the properties in the process :

‘Not everyone agreed. Those who cheered were lambasted as traitors by W.B. Yeats. Others questioned why the Queen was not shown the city’s northside where upwards of 200,000 slum-dwellers were living in abject poverty…a large element of Irish nationalists also did not buy into the concept that the Queen’s visit was for the good of her health. Maud Gonne maintained the Queen had taken ‘a shamrock into her withered hand’ solely to stimulate recruitment of Irish soldiers into the British Army. Thousands of Irishmen had already died in the war then raging between Britain and the Boers in South Africa…in 1899, Gonne and Arthur Griffith co-founded the ‘Irish Transvaal Committee’ (and) amongst their high calibre members were Yeats, James Connolly, Michael Davitt, Willie Redmond and the veteran Fenian John O’Leary. Over the ensuing months they held a number of pro-Boer rallies in Dublin which had led to a notable decline in the numbers volunteering for service…for the Queen’s visit, there was a large increase in military and police presence in the city. There was to be zero tolerance for protests, particularly from the ‘Irish Transvaal Committee’.

When Gonne and her supporters gathered for a torchlight procession on the night the Queen reached Dublin, they were charged by baton-wielding Dublin Metropolitan Police and reputedly sent fleeing with faces ‘as black as those of Christy Minstrels.’ The following day, The United Irishman, a Nationalist newspaper edited by Griffith, published an article by Gonne called ‘The Famine Queen’ in which she castigated the ‘vile and selfish’ monarch for presiding over an ‘organised famine.’ The police managed to seize most copies of the paper early that morning. Griffith’s office was raided and, as an indirect consequence of Gonne’s article, the future founder of Sinn Féin was sentenced to two weeks imprisonment…’ (from here.)

‘Good, you were good, we say. You had no wit to be evil.

Your purity shines serene over virgins mangled and dead.

You wasted not our substance in splendour, in riot or revel—

You quietly sat in the shade and grew fat on our wealth instead…’
(from here.)


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1955.

‘The Spreading Of The News’ or – ‘Theirs is not to reason why, theirs is but to sell UI’!

O’ then, Paddy dear, did you hear the news that’s going ’round?

The ‘UI’ is forbid by ‘law’ to sell in Belfast Town.

No more we’ll chant the praises of the traitors to the Crown,

No more we’ll read of soldiers who would pull the Empire down.

Yet still in spite of Stormont’s ban and Hanna’s loud ‘HURRAY!’,

From mouth to mouth the news we’ll hear of how the IRA

Are working for auld Ireland in their quest to set her free,

Free, that is, from Hanna’s bans and Basil’s plans and Free State knavery!


Waterford Corporation adopted a resolution from the ‘Anti-Partition League’ asking the US President and British Prime Minister to implement in Ireland their recent declaration in Washington to seek through free elections the unity of nations divided against their will. “We realise from past experience,” said Mr J. Griffin, “that what Sir Winston Churchill and the President said was simply platitudinous humbug and no amount of appealing to them to apply fair play to Ireland is going to get us anywhere. We should further cease to appeal to them, except for the purpose of underlining to the world their dishonesty with regard to Ireland. We will, however, have to rely on ourselves. It is back to the old days of Sinn Féin.

(END of ‘SPREADING’ and ‘OLD DAYS’. NEXT – ‘The Peeler And The Goat’ and ‘Did They Pledge For You?’, from the same source.)


By Adrian Langan. From ‘Magill’ Magazine, May 2002.

Germany is learning that the best way to achieve that is by accepting that immigration will be a permanent process and changing the law to reflect societal reality. Ireland’s constitutional position provides a mechanism to overcome a lot of those mistakes. The system has its drawbacks and there is no doubt that the existing situation is causing enormous problems in maternity hospitals. Many asylum-seekers, quite rationally, may view pregnancy as a solution to the lack of other means to secure a right to stay here.

The trend, however, is unquestionable – people will move to Ireland in increasing numbers over the medium to long term and we have a major choice ahead of us in terms of how we choose to respond to those who we will need to work in our society, and will arrive anyway.

(END of ‘IRISH CITIZEN’. NEXT – Patrick Cosgrave : born on a Dublin council estate, supporter of the British Army in Ireland and an admirer of Thatcher, from the same source.)


‘Michael J. Moran was born circa 1794 in Faddle Alley off the Blackpitts in Dublin’s Liberties and lived in Dublin all his life. At two weeks old he was blinded by illness. He developed an astounding memory for verse and made his living reciting poems, many of which he had composed himself, in his own lively style. He was described by songwriter P.J. McCall as the last Gleeman of the Pale.

Many of his rhymes had religious themes ; others were political or recounted current events. He is said to have worn “a long, coarse, dark, frieze coat with a cape, the lower parts of the skirts being scalloped, an old soft, greasy, brown beaver hat, corduroy trousers and Francis Street brogues, and he carried a long blackthorn stick secured to his wrist with a strap.”

He performed all over Dublin including at Essex Bridge, Wood Quay, Church Street, Dame Street, Capel Street, Sackville Street, Grafton Street, Henry Street, and Conciliation Hall. He began each oration with the verse :

Ye sons and daughters of Erin,

Gather round poor Zozimus, yer friend ;

Listen boys, until yez hear

My charming song so dear.

In his last few years, his voice grew weak, costing him his means of livelihood. He ended up feeble and bedridden and he died on 3rd April 1846 (173 years ago, on this date) at his lodgings in 15 Patrick Street, aged around 52, and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery two days later on Palm Sunday. He had feared grave robbers, who were busy in Dublin at the time. In one of his narrative songs, he begged his long-established companion, ‘Stony Pockets’ :

Oh Stony, Stony

Don’t let the Sack-‘Em-Ups get me

Send round the hat

And buy me a grave.

Zozimus was buried in Glasnevin’s Prospect Cemetery which was guarded day and night. His grave remained unmarked until the late 1960s, when the band ‘The Dublin City Ramblers’ erected a tombstone in his memory. His grave is in the “Poor Ground” of the cemetery, at the co-ordinates AG 30 South ; it is not far from Daniel O’Connell’s monument. His epitaph reads:

My burying place is of no concern to me,

In the O’Connell circle let it be,

as to my funeral, all pomp is vain,

Illustrious people does prefer it plain.

(From here.)

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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