‘ISSUED BY THE ARMY COUNCIL, ÓGLAIGH NA hÉIREANN, NOVEMBER 1954…’
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, December 1954.
“The task is too great a one to be left to the young men in the Six Counties and it should be an insult to the generation which has learnt with pride of the gallant fight made by their fathers and uncles (‘1169’ comment – ..and mothers and sisters etc) over thirty years ago to be told now that there was no place for them in the line of battle and that while their blood brothers in the six occupied counties fight for freedom that they should stay at home and depend on the ‘elected representatives’ of our day to beg for some measure of freedom from the enemies of our country.
The issue is clear and the recent statements of the politicians have made it clearer ; it is now for the plain people to make their decision. They can chose to follow the advice of the ‘elected representatives’ of our day who, for thirty years, have done nothing and now declare with a shameful unanimity that they are prepared to do nothing, or they can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those who are showing the wisdom of Padraig Pearse’s words when he spoke of that miracle which ripens in the hearts of young men* – the seeds sown by the young men* of a former generation. (*’1169′ comment – and women.)
Attempts will be made to misrepresent the ideals and policy and to cast doubts on the wisdom of those who proclaim the old truths and give allegiance to the old cause. Already attempts are being made to stampede the people by starting rumours of civil war and internal disturbance in the 26 Counties. Let no one be deceived by the calculated calumnies of those whose only policy is to stay in power. Let no one fear for one moment that those who are pledged to fight for the freedom of Ireland will raise their hand against any fellow Irishman..” (MORE LATER.)
By Seán O Donáile, from ‘USI News’, February 1989.
The name ‘Tony Gregory’ (pictured) was virtually unheard of outside Dublin before 1982 when he was elected as an independent TD (sic) in Dublin Central, a post he still holds. He made national headlines with the famous ‘Gregory Deal’ in the same year when, in return for his support, the Fianna Fáil Government pumped £76 million into the redevelopment of inner city housing. In a frank interview with Seán O Donáile, Tony Gregory muses on the subjects of Dress, Politics, Drugs, Aids, Education, Emigration, the National Question, an Ghaeilge and the Millennium.
Seamus Costello, founder of the INLA, was a major influence on Tony Gregory – “His whole involvement in the South was based on community and trade union bodies, organisations, tenant groups, social agitation etc, and a view that a military struggle against military targets was necessary in the North.” Costello was assassinated in 1975 (by the organisation now called ‘The Workers Party’) and his portrait occupies pride of place in Tony Gregory’s office.
Even the most conservative estimates put the number of drug addicts in this country at 4,000. Between Jervis Street (Beaumont), the Rutland Centre and Coolmine, there are a total of 87 beds available for the treatment of addicts here. Heroin abuse is a major problem in Gregory’s constituency – “The problem with heroin is that it affects the poorest areas of inner city flats and places like Tallaght and Ballymun. The government never responds to problems that affect areas like that, in any major way. You only have to examine the recommendations of the ‘Task Force’ that they set up several years ago – most of the recommendations have still not been implemented. Even by their own criteria, they are not doing enough. They never do.”
On the other hand, in co-operation with communities, the Garda Drug Units have been extremely successful in dealing with a lot of the heroin suppliers (‘1169’ comment – more than one way to agree with that claim). Without the CPAD (Concerned Parents Against Drugs), however, there would be a far more serious heroin problem today. As regards cannabis, though not a scientist, I can say that the vast majority of heroin users in my area have never been on cannabis before that.”
Tony Gregory reckons that for obvious reasons the AIDS problem will escalate “..but unfortunately we will all keep our heads in the sand until it becomes very serious.” Reliable surveys have shown that 1% of all inner city youths enter third level colleges, compared with 45% in the Dublin 4 area, and Tony Gregory was surprised that the figure was “so high” for his area (!) – “One could name the people from the inner city who have gone on to third level education. This is simply one aspect of an unjust society where the privileged get all the opportunities and the people in the centre of Dublin, or Cork, or any other city, get nothing. The government attempts to whitewash over these inequalities with pious statements such as ‘Education for All’ but if you’re a child growing up in Sheriff Street, I don’t think you’re going to look to the government to help you get an equal footing in life..” (MORE LATER.)
‘THE NOBLE-HEARTED FOUR (OR ‘THE MURDER MACHINE’)’.
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1955.
Manchester, in 1867, was the scene of one of the saddest and yet most memorable incidents in the Fenian era. Here, the escape of two Fenian leaders amazed the world and the subsequent tyrannical action of the English Government angered Irishmen everywhere. Two well-known Fenians, Colonel Kelly and Captain Deasy, were ‘arrested’ in Manchester and, after being remanded in custody, they were transported to Salford Prison, about two miles from the court, with a few common criminals and a heavily-armed guard.
As the van approached a railway arch – now known locally as ‘Fenian Arch’ – which spans the road about a mile from the court, an armed man ordered the police guard to halt. Immediately, a group of about thirty men, some of them armed, swarmed round the van to rescue their Fenian comrades. The keys of the van were held by a police sergeant inside the van and, on discovering this, one of the rescuers fired into the lock but the bullet passed through the door and struck the policeman who had been watching the scene through the keyhole.
With the sergeant dead, one of the occupants of the van passed the key out to the Irishman. Thus, the rescue being completed, the Fenians withdrew and disappeared. British ‘justice’ then demanded its revenge, and on the next morning sixty Irishmen had been arrested indiscriminately. Finally, after all the men had been brutally treated, five were found ‘guilty’ – William Philip Allen, Michael Larkin and Michael O’Brien (who were executed), Edward O’Meagher Condon and Thomas Maguire… (MORE LATER.)
SOMETIMES ‘MULTITASKING’ IS JUST ONE TASK…
And it will be, for us, over the next week or so – this Sunday coming (the 13th October 2019) will find this blog crew and the raffle team in our usual monthly venue on the Dublin/Kildare border, running a 650-ticket raffle for the Cabhair organisation ; the work for this event began yesterday, Tuesday, 8th October, when we started to track down the ticket sellers and arrange for the delivery/collection of their ticket stubs and cash and, even though the raffle itself, as stated, will be held on Sunday 13th October, the ‘job’ is not complete until the following night, when the usual ‘raffle autopsy’ is held. The time constraints imposed by same will mean that our normal Wednesday post will more than likely not be collated in time for next week (16th October) and it’s looking like it will be between that date and the Wednesday following same before we get the time to put a post together. But check back here anyway – sure you never know what might catch our fancy between this and then..!
Thanks for reading, Sharon.