John Claudius Beresford (pictured), was born in Ireland on this date – 23rd October – 253 years ago (1766), into a rich Tory-like family which, due to their favoured position in Irish society, ensured that young John received a top-class education in, among other such institutions, Trinity College, in Dublin.

Between the connections he made in Trinity and his family’s ‘position in society’, young John did well for himself – he was a banker, and was appointed as the ‘Inspector-General of Exports and Imports’ for the port of Dublin, while also earning a crust as a storekeeper, a renowned ‘taster of wines’ and he managed to squeeze-in his duties, for a year, as the ‘Lord Mayor’ of Dublin and as an MP for ten years. Such was his ‘skillset’, he also operated as an ‘Agent’ for the Derry branch of the ‘London Society’ business grouping and as one of the trustees for the ‘Linen Board’!

However, ever selfless as he was (!), when the Irish attempted to overthrow British misrule in their country, in 1798 – when our John was a then 32-years-young MP, Inspector-General, storekeeper and ‘taster of (fine) wines’ – he decided to fight alongside other like-minded miscreants and he took command of a gang of yeomanry/”military savages” in Dublin and used his ‘Riding School’ in Marlborough Street – his stables – as his base of operations : Irish ‘dissidents’, whether real or imagined, were dragged to the stables by Beresford and his thugs and tortured, including been flogged, for ‘information’. A sign, stating ‘MANGLING DONE HERE GRATIS BY BERESFORD AND CO’ was fitted to the torture chamber by the British savages and it quickly became known that it was no idle threat –

“Mr Beresford…tortured two respectable Dublin tradesman, one named John Fleming, a ferryman, the other Francis Gough, a coachmaker. The Nobleman (ie Beresford) superintended the flagellation of Gough and, at every stroke, insulted him with taunts and inquiries how he liked it…” (from here.) Indeed, one of his own, a ‘Lord’ Howick, actually complained to other British ‘establishment’ figures that “John Claudius Beresford (has) a name so terribly distinguished in the history of Irish persecution (but still) receives the open countenance and support of government..” and another Tory-toff, the ‘Duke’ of Bedford, admitted that Beresford ‘had a heavy hand’.

At 46 years of age (in 1812) – having allegedly suffered ‘financial difficulties’ – he sought yet another pensionable ‘job’ from his parliament in Westminster but was refused on the grounds that he already had “..a great pension (and) a place in addition would [not] go down with the public..”, and so he announced that he was ‘withdrawing from public life’. He died, aged 80, in 1846. Probably in comfort, and not in a stables.


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, December 1954.

“The enemy now is the age-old enemy – England, and England’s army of occupation in Ireland. Let there be no misconception in the mind of anyone, let it be clearly understood that the British army of occupation is not in Ireland for Ireland’s good or for the good of the Irish people.

Britain occupies our country because the ‘Northern Bridgehead’ is too valuable to her in time of war to be allowed slip easily through her fingers and the occupation and exploitation is as much to the detriment of the unionist population as the nationalist.

It is but right that this should be pointed out clearly to the unionists of every class and creed and an appeal be made to them, be they plain civilians, members of the RUC or of the B Specials, to stand aside and refuse to become embroiled in the conflict between the foreign forces of oppression and the volunteer soldiers of the Irish Republican Army. No Irishman of any creed, class or political persuasion has anything to fear from the IRA as long as he gives his first allegiance to our common Fatherland –

‘We are one at heart if you be Ireland’s friend,

Though miles apart our policies may trend,

There are but two great parties in the end.’

The Irish Republican Army has a carefully planned and progressive policy of opposition to the British occupation forces in the Six Counties and any type of aggressive military action in the 26-County area has been decisively ruled out of the scheme. All attempts to provoke unwise or precipitate action will be recognised as such and steadfastly ignored by those who know only one enemy, England, and who will refuse to be provoked into bringing discredit on the cause* which they serve…” (MORE LATER.)

(*’1169′ comment : just why it should be considered “bringing discredit on the cause” to defend yourself against Free State aggression is beyond us because, in our opinion, the Staters – military and political – are simply another anti-republican, pro-British militia.)


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.

“Most of the children in my area never even get the chance to think of what type of education they want. It’s a whole different world from those who grow up in an affluent background and those two worlds never meet.” How do we bridge this gap? “There is only one way to bridge that gap and that is by building a socialist state in this country.” How do we go about this? Will we not all turn into ‘commie bashers’, or should we keep ‘the Reds under the beds’, as we have been so often told? Tony Gregory expands ; “We must create an equal society and get rid of the privileges and wealth, currently in the hands of a minority.”

“It’s a matter of consciousness to create a more equal society and everybody plays a small part. It’s a very slow process and because we’re such a conservative people it will be slower here than elsewhere. We’ve been brainwashed into believing that what was going on in the socialist states was evil and bad, whereas the opposite was the case, the USA being the greatest tyranny in recent years. We must progress pragmatically and in a realistic fashion. Step by step.”

But where do we begin the ascent of this ladder? I continue to pry ; “The National Question has to be resolved before getting anywhere near to a socialist solution in Ireland. It would be a major step forward to get the British out of Ireland, that is one of the primary steps…” (MORE LATER.)


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1955.

Thomas Maguire, despite the sworn testimony of seven witnesses – for what that was worth – was reprieved at the request of a petition which read : ‘We conscientiously believe that the said Thomas Maguire is innocent of the crime of which he has been convicted.’ Yet three Irishmen were executed on the same evidence.

Nowadays we sometimes read of the ‘noble-hearted three’ ; this sentiment, however, forgets that four men were ready and willing to die for Ireland. Shall we all forget Edward O’Meagher Condon? Although he was not engaged in the rescue, by his own admission, he never denied his love for Ireland and his support for the Republican Movement of his day. He was reprieved because England feared that America might object to his hanging, as he was a citizen of that country. He was not martyred but it was he that startled the courtroom with his defiant cry of “God Save Ireland!”

Allen, Larkin and O’Brien said, as did Edward O’Meagher Condon, that they were proud to die for Ireland. They stated that although they took part in the rescue, not one of them carried arms, let alone shoot a policeman. On the 23rd November, 1867, these three gallant Irishmen gave their lives for Ireland… (MORE LATER.)

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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