ON THIS DATE (10TH APRIL) 96 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF IRA GENERAL, LIAM LYNCH.
‘Liam Lynch was born in Barnagurraha, Co Limerick. He joined the Irish Volunteers after witnessing the arrests of the Kent family by British forces after the failed Easter Rising of 1916. Two of the Kent brothers, David and Richard were shot during their arrest. Richard would later die of his wounds and a third brother, Thomas, was executed by Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC).
During the Irish War of Independence Lynch helped to reorganise the Cork IRA, becoming commandant of the Cork No. 2 Brigade. He was arrested by the RIC in August 1920 in Cork City, along with Terence MacSwiney, who would later die in Britain during a hunger strike. Lynch was not recognised by RIC officers and was released. Lynch continued to prove his leadership abilities throughout the war including the capturing of the Mallow Barracks in September 1920 with Ernie O’Malley. In April 1921, the IRA was re-organised into divisions and Lynch was made Commander of the 1st Southern Division. He would hold this post until the truce in July 1921.
Lynch opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty signed on 6 December 1921. Much of the IRA, of which Lynch was Chief-of-Staff, was opposed to the treaty. As the country moved towards civil war in 1922, the majority of the republican forces elected Lynch as Chief of Staff of the republican forces at a Dublin convention…’ (From here.)
Liam Lynch was born in Barnagurraha, on the Cork-Limerick border, on the 9th of November, 1893, into a republican family – his mother was the secretary of the Ballylanders branch of the Ladies Land League, and his uncle John was one of a party of Volunteers who assembled in Kilmallock on Easter Sunday morning in 1916 to play their part, locally, in the Rising but, due to Eoin MacNeill’s ‘Countermand Order’, the intended insurrection there never happened. Throughout his life, Liam Lynch had no faith in politicians and is on record for declaring that “…the army has to hew the way to freedom for politics to follow..”
And his preference for a military solution ie to ‘fight fire with fire’ to remove the British military (and political) presence from Ireland was known to the enemy in Westminster, so much so that London instructed their ‘Cairo Gang’ mercenaries to concentrate on admired soldiers like Lynch and, in their rush to do so, a Sinn Féin councillor, John Lynch, was shot dead by ‘Cairo’ member Lieutenant Angliss, (aka ‘McMahon’- he had been recalled from spy work in Russia for the ‘Cairo Gang’ job in Dublin) : the British assassin is said to have believed that John Lynch was Liam Lynch, or related to him, but expressed no remorse when his mistake was pointed out to him. The Ciaro man was playing billiard’s in Dublin after he killed John Lynch when the IRA shot him, but he was only wounded. He wanted revenge – and the ‘Cairo Job’ gave him that opportunity, he thought ; in November, 1920, he was in lodgings at 22 Lower Mount Street in Dublin when two of the ‘Twelve Apostles’ entered his room. He reached for his revolver but was shot dead before he could get to it.
‘…the dramatic headlines of the papers told the story in graphic form ; “Leaders meeting surprised, Irregular Chief taken near Clonmel, fight in the hills”. The text went to say – “Liam Lynch was severely wounded and captured in a fight south of Clonmel yesterday. His death was announced in the following report, recieved from Army G.H.Q. this morning- “Liam Lynch died in Clonmel at 8.45 last evening”. Further down the page under the heading “Liam Lynch Dead” and “Mr. De Valera” Narrow Escape”, it gave further details and also a short biography of the dead leader.
At the inquest in Clonmel on Wednesday the last wish of Lynch was told by a witness – “In conversation with me, deceased asked to be buried in Fermoy along with Fitzgearld, and told me he was Liam Lynch”. Liam Lynch had been shot in the right side of the body with the exit wound on the left side, said Dr Raymond Dalton, military M.O. There was a fair amount of external and considerable amount of internal hemorrhage, and he was suffering severely from shock…’ (from here.)
IRA General Liam Lynch died on the 10th of April, 1923, in Clonmel, Tipperary – 96 years ago on this date.
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, December 1954.
The ‘Manchester Martyrs’ were fittingly commemorated in Ladysbridge, County Cork, at 3.30pm, on Sunday, November 21 with a parade of very large dimensions, led by the Cork Volunteers Band, Cork City Fianna Éireann, Cumann na gCailini and Cumann na mBan and consisting of a Colour Party drawn from the Cork No. 1 Brigade IRA, the East Cork Manchester Martyrs Committee, the various Cork City and County IRA units and the following Sinn Féin Cumainn – Cumann Daithe Ceannt, Cumann Mick Fitzgerald, Cumann Tomas MacCurtain, Cumann Brian Dillon, Cumann Tomas Aghas and Cumann Joe Murphy.
The representatives of the local national bodies and the general public marched from the monument in Ladybridge to the grave of Captain Willie Cox, IRA Volunteer, and a wreath was laid on the grave of this worthy successor to Allen, Larkin and O’Brien, the Martyrs. The Last Post and Reveille was sounded by the buglers of Na Fianna Éireann as the Brigade Colours dipped in salute and slowly rose again to flutter in the gentle breeze. After this simple but moving ceremony the parade marched back to Ladysbridge to the strains of ‘The First Cork Brigade’.
On approaching the ‘Manchester Martyrs Memorial’, the Cork Volunteers Band played the ‘Dead March’ and the parade slowly moved into position in front of the Monument and Miss Kitty O’Callaghan, from Cumann na mBan, recited a Decade of the Rosary for the repose of the souls of the three Martyrs, a wreath was placed on the Monument and the Last Post and Reveille was sounded by Fianna buglers. Tomas Foley, a member of Cumann Daithi Ceannt, announced the speaker, Michael McCarthy, from Cumann Tomas MacCurtain… (MORE LATER).
Born on a Dublin council estate, supporter of the British Army in Ireland and an admirer of Thatcher.
By David Thorpe.
From ‘Magill’ Magazine, May 2002.
Patrick Cosgrave was born on a council estate in Dublin but on ‘The Late Late Show’ called for the British Army to be given its head in the North. He was the quintessential Irish hard-drinker, and adored Maggie Thatcher. Although an Irishman, he became the most unlikely of Conservative crusaders. Brilliant, learned and profoundly loveable, complicated and difficult, impossible : the range of opinion on him is testimony to his unpredictable nature. Hugely talented, his early career was one of immense distinction, but a combination of his drinking and the whims of his political masters meant that, when he died last year, he had long since faded from public view. Those closest to him would argue he deserved much better.
Patrick Cosgrave was born in Finglas in 1941, and was only ten years of age when his spendthrift father, a builder, died, plunging the family into poverty. To keep the family afloat, his mother worked as a cleaner in Dublin Castle.
Cosgrave was educated by the Christian Brothers at St Vincent’s School in Glasnevin, and was known to be a keen reader. It was this latter interest that, perhaps, contributed most to a boy of common Irish background becoming an ardent Anglophile – he spent much of his childhood reading tales of British imperial glories, which helped influence his eventual decision to make his life in England, as well as to the political views which played a key role in both his rise and fall. He also began affecting an upper-class British accent, and quite what his peers made of this is unknown… (MORE LATER).
‘THE PEELER AND THE GOAT’.
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1955.
At Lackey Bridge, near Clones, in County Monaghan, a member of the RUC went off his beat slightly, crossed into the Twenty-Six Counties and ran into trouble : the river running under the bridge represents the Border line, but the ‘policeman’ had to cross the bridge to get to a salient of Six-County territory. No sooner had he crossed into the Twenty-Six Counties than a goat running from a field struck his bicycle and tossed him from it. The goat then tried to butt him and he was obliged to jump on his bicycle and retreat to the Six Counties to avoid further injury. For almost an hour afterwards, the goat patrolled the road in the vicinity of the bridge before being put back into the field by its owner. (Copied from a recent edition of ‘The Evening Herald’ newspaper.) [‘1169’ comment – reminds us of this…!]
‘DID THEY PLEDGE FOR YOU?’
Mitchel, 1848 –“I have acted in all this business, from the first, under a strong sense of duty. I do not repent of anything I have done, and I believe that the course which I have opened is only commenced. The Roman, who saw his hand burning to ashes before the tyrant, promised that three hundred should follow out his enterprise. Can I not promise for one – for two – for three – aye, for hundreds..?”
O’Callaghan, 1954 –“As a soldier of the Irish Republican Army I am honoured to be allowed to play a small part in the object of that organisation. This is a great privilege and I am delighted to have done what I have done. It is a great weight off my shoulders that I will be rewarded by God for service to my country and also that my place in the ranks of the IRA in which a vacancy will be caused by my imprisonment – it is a great pleasure to know that that vacancy will be filled ten-fold by more Irishmen in the near future!” (END of ‘PEELER’ and ‘PLEDGE’. Next – ‘THEIR ONE QUEEN’, from the same source.)
ON THIS DATE (10TH APRIL) 152 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF AN IRISH POET, ARTIST AND MYSTIC.
George William Russell (‘AE’) was born on April 10th, 1867 – 152 years ago on this date – in Lurgan, County Armagh. He made his living as a poet, an artist and a mystic, and was a leading figure in the Irish literary renaissance of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was during a proof-reading session by one of his assistants that he adopted a new pseudonym, ‘AE’, when his then pseudonym, ‘AEon’ (meaning ‘life/vital force’) was mentioned by the proof-reader.
He became friends with the poet William Butler Yeats when the two of them were attending the ‘Metropolitan School of Art’ in Dublin – both men were interested in the occult and mysticism, and also shared an interest in the Irish language. To supplement his income, ‘AE’ Russell worked in the accounts department in a drapery shop but left that position to work with, and in, the agricultural business. At 27 years young, in 1894, he published his first work, ‘Homeward : Songs by the Way’ and it was during those years in the editor’s chair that he published his ‘Collected Poems’, in 1913 and 1926.
And it was also during those same years that Terence MacSwiney, the Commanding Officer of the IRA, died, on the 74th day of his hunger strike, in Brixton Prison, in England, on the 25th October in 1920, a death which inspired ‘AE’ Russell to pen the following tribute –
‘See, though the oil be low more purely still and higher
The flame burns in the body’s lamp! The watchers still
Gaze with unseeing eyes while the Promethean Will,
The Uncreated Light, the Everlasting Fire
Sustains itself against the torturer’s desire
Even as the fabled Titan chained upon the hill.
Burn on, shine on, thou immortality, until
We, too, have lit our lamps at the funeral pyre;
Till we, too, can be noble, unshakable, undismayed:
Till we, too, can burn with the holy flame, and know
There is that within us can triumph over pain,
And go to death, alone, slowly, and unafraid.
The candles of God are already burning row on row:
Farewell, lightbringer, fly to thy heaven again!’
George William Russell (‘AE’) died on the 17th of July, 1935, in Bournemouth, Hampshire, in England, in his 69th year.
FUND-RAISING, EASTER COMMEMORATIONS AND ‘STAYCATION’…
We do want to take a vacation
NYC Traffic jams are not a frustration
No bed bugs with our fine accommodation
And no bad food with adulteration.
We’ll stay here for our vacation
But we’ll miss the airport humiliation
And the lost luggage aggravation
With no hidden charge in summation..!
(From here, tweaked a bit!)
We won’t be posting here next Wednesday, 17th April 2019, because, as you read this, we are two days into rounding-up the 650 tickets which have been distributed since last month for the usual monthly raffle (this one is for the Cabhair organisation), which will be held on Sunday, 14th April next and – more bad news here for ya (!!) – we won’t be posting on Wednesday, 24th April either, as we’ll be helping out in the background with various Easter Commemorations between when the raffle ends for us – on Monday evening, 15th April – and the weekend following that Monday, which is Easter weekend. And we won’t be in Dublin, anyway, on that Wednesday (the 24th), because, immediately following the main Easter Commemoration in Dublin (Easter Monday, 22nd April – assemble at the Garden of Remembrance at 1.45pm, from where the parade will leave, at 2pm, for the GPO) myself and the four girlfriends will be heading off for a two-week break but not, alas, to our usual destination, New York. All five of us couldn’t manage the timing for a month-long (or longer!) visit to that extraordinary city, and we are all fully in agreement that the two-week timing that worked for all five of us just simply wasn’t long enough for a holiday in NYC – to go there, knowing that we only had two weeks, would annoy all five of us, so we have decided to ‘go local’ instead.
Myself and the rest of the ‘Girl Gang’ will be accompanied during our two-week ‘break’ (!) by between about eight and fifteen kids of various ages (our children and our grandchildren, girlfriends/boyfriends of same etc!) and, so far, we have booked one ‘away-job’- a two-day overnighter, in County Wicklow (for eleven of us, God help us!) – and two trips to a holiday home owned by one of our number in County Meath (thirteen of us going!). Other than that, we’ll be visiting Stephens Green, the zoo in the Phoenix Park, the playgrounds in Corkagh Park and a few other as-yet unplanned outings. We’ll make our own craic, no doubt, but it’ll be rather more refined than what the five of us get up to in NYC, where we have free rein, no husbands, kids, grandkids etc to restrain us – and BY GOD do we need restraining sometimes (?!) over there!
I’ll probably still post a few bits and pieces on ‘Facebook’ and/or ‘Twitter’, but the ‘1169’ crew are taking a break ; this will be our last post here until at least the middle of May 2019 but, if it’s any consolation to ya, I’ll bring you back a stick of rock. If the kids and grandkids leave us alone for long enough to do a bit of ‘retail therapy’, that is…!
Thanks for reading, Sharon – we’ll be back in May, after our break!