CONTAMINATED EASTER LILY’S –
Please be careful where you get your Easter Lily’s from, as Free State fraudsters are attempting to distribute State licenced (!) versions of the Lily.
And no – this is NOT an April Fool’s joke!
ON THIS DATE (1ST APRIL) 99 YEARS AGO…
‘In 1917, Sean Corcoran called on me and requested me to
organise a company of Volunteers and a Sinn Féin Cumann in Bohola. I arranged for a meeting to be held in Staunton’s workshop in Bohola. Sean Corcoran attended the meeting and about 40 young men joined the company. I must state here that they were as fine a bunch of lads as could be found anywhere. Two names were proposed for the position of company captain, mine and P.J. Clarke. I was elected by a substantial majority. P.J. Clarke was elected 1st Lieut. Tom Carroll, 2nd Lieutenant; John Clarke, adjutant and Joe Colgan, quartermaster. A Sinn Féin Cumann was also formed at the meeting and I was elected secretary…’ (from here.)
‘On 1 April 1921, Sean Corcoran, O/C of the IRA’s East Mayo Brigade, was shot dead by British soldiers after a short gunfight at Crossard crossroads (6 km north of Ballyhaunis). A high cross marks the spot where Corcoran died. Later that same day, a member of the British Black and Tans was killed by a sniper. In retaliation, the Black and Tans executed Michael Coen, a man who was later believed not to have taken part in fighting of any kind. A monument to Coen was placed on the Cloonfad/Galway road from Ballyhaunis…’ (from here.)
‘Commandant Sean Corcoran has been shot dead by a policeman during a routine search at Crossard, Ballyhaunis. Prior to the fatal shooting the District Inspector went into a house to search it with a party of men. Two policemen were ordered to remain on the road outside. While the search was in progress one of the policemen saw two civilians coming along the road towards him, each pushing a bicycle. There were two members of the Argyles and Sutherland Hylanders with the policemen. When the policemen saw the civilians approaching him he took his bicycle and called on one of the Hylanders to come with him. They then mounted their bicycles and went to meet the civilians. The civilians were walking together and appeared to be conversing. As they approached one of the civilians was about ten yards in front of the other. The policeman passed the first man and told the second man to halt. The man, Sean Corcoran, drew a pistol from his pocket and fired at the policeman. The policeman returned fire with his revolver and Corcoran fell fatally injured. Heavy fire was then opened on the police and military. They took cover. The firing lasted about ten minutes and the attackers ran away. Corcoran’s fellow traveller is said to be seriously wounded. He is Michael Mullins son of a local teacher. The ‘Freeman’s Journal’ say “little hope is entertained” for his recovery, but local sources say he is not that seriously wounded…’ (from here.)
‘1921 Apr 1. Received a First class favourable report for his conduct at Crossard Co Mayo Ambush. Sean Corcoran, O/C of the East Mayo Brigade, was shot dead by British soldiers after a gunfight at Crossard crossroads (6 km north of Ballyhaunis).
Tom Waldron, Crossard, Co. Mayo says – “Seán was killed as he was walking uphill, away from Crossard Crossroads with Commandant Maurice Mullins when a Crossley Tender of Black & Tans came over the rise in front of them. Corcoran drew his revolver while Mullins, who was unarmed was unable to react. The Tans opened fire killing Corcoran and wounding Mullins who was then captured and taken to Ballyhaunis RIC Barracks.”
The Argyll & Sutherland Highlander’s ‘War Diary’ of the 2nd Battalion Operations while based in Claremorris reported it was their Troops accompanied by RIC who shot and killed Seán Corcoran after he had opened fire on them from behind a ditch/wall. Corcoran died instantly and his body was brought to a nearby school…’ (from here.)
‘Following the killing of Constable Stephens in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo (see 29th March) , armed and masked men enter the house of Volunteer Michael Coen at Lecarrow outside Ballyhaunis. He is dragged outside and badly beaten before having his throat cut with a bayonet. His body is left some 120 yards from his house where his father finds it the following morning…’ (from here.)
‘Sean Corcoran, O/C East Mayo Brigade IRA killed near Crossard, six miles outside Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo. He was walking with Maurice Mullins when they run into a joint RIC/British Army patrol which was searching a house. Corcoran is shot by Constable Bernard Fitzpatrick and Mullins is captured. Fitzpatrick is awarded the Constabulary Medal and RIC DI Wilkins, of Claremorris, received a Favourable Record Citation…’ (from here.)
‘Peadar O’Donnell, O/C 2nd Donegal Brigade (which included east Donegal, Inishowen and Derry City) arrives in the city and mobilises the IRA. One group is sent to attack the RIC Barracks on Lecky Rd., and this results in the death of an RIC man. (Constable Michael Kenny). Another group is sent to the attack the Strand Road RIC Barracks. A third group (including Séamus McCann) is sent out in pairs – one of these spot an RIC sergeant (Sgt John Higgins) on the Creggan Rd. and he is shot dead. (A British private, J Whyte, is killed when a weapon is accidentally discharged.) The casualties for the night are two members of the Crown Forces killed and four wounded. Two civilians are also wounded in cross fire. O’Donnell and McCann leave Derry the next night and, despite the fact there was little by way of retaliation from the RIC for these killings, there was much bad feeling in the Derry IRA because of O’Donnell actions which is made known to GHQ. Some time later, the IRA in Derry city was made an independent battalion and no longer part of Donegal 2nd Brigade…’ (from here.)
‘Hugh Corry (or Duffy), an army pensioner from Rockberry, Co. Monaghan, is found dead with a notice saying “Spies and Informers Beware”. He may have been a B Special…’ (from here.)
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, December 1954.
Sinn Féin National Collection In Cork : during the collection, now in progress, the police have, in Ballincollig, Cobh, Mallow and Fermoy, attempted to stop proceedings and demanded the names of our collectors. We congratulate the members of the Brian Dillon Cumann on their stand in Mallow and Fermoy, and take this opportunity to thank all those who have already subscribed for their generous response both in the city and county.
Cork Sinn Féin Concert : A concert will be held in the Opera House under the combined auspices of all the City Cumann at 8pm on Sunday 12th December (1954). We appeal to all Cork republicans to give this venture their full support. Prominent artists are being engaged and an enjoyable evening’s entertainment is assured.
Sinn Féin Public Meeting in Waterford : Arrangements are being made to hold a public meeting in Broad Street, Waterford City, at 8.30pm on Saturday night, 11th December. Speakers from Cork City will address the meeting and the Cork Volunteers Band will attend.
Glasgow Sinn Féin – Sinn Féin Connolly Cumann, 150 Gorbalo Street, Glasgow : The juvenile dancing competitions organised by the cumann have been a tremendous success. The young competitors from all parts of the city maintained a high standard throughout the competitions. The thanks of the committee are extended to all those who participated in these competitions, also to those who gave their services as adjudicators. A successful concert was held in aid of the republican prisoners, and the cumann are making a new drive for the Republican Prisoners Association… (MORE LATER.)
ON THIS DATE (1ST APRIL) 98 YEARS AGO : ‘REVENGE MURDERS’ BY CROWN FORCES.
‘1922 – The ‘Arnon Street Massacre’ took place in Belfast. Five Catholic civilians were assassinated on Arnon street by uniformed Police after the IRA killed a Constable.
On the evening of April 1, RIC constable George Turner is patrolling the Old Lodge Road when he is killed by a sniper.
About ten police officers in Brown Square Barracks, upon hearing of Turner’s murder, take a Lancia armoured car and begin touring nationalist areas. When they dismount their vehicle, witnesses hear them shouting “Cut the guts out of them for the murder of Turner.” Their first victim is John McRory who lives on Stanhope Street, just across the road from where Constable Turner had been shot. The police break into his house and shoot him dead in his kitchen. In Park Street, Bernard McKenna, father of seven, is killed while lying in bed. Finally, the police arrived at Arnon Street.
William Spallen, who lives at 16 Arnon Street, has just returned from the funeral of his wife who had also been killed in the conflict. His 12-year-old grandson, Gerald Tumelty, witnesses his death – “Two men came into the room, one was in the uniform of a policeman. They asked my grandfather his name and he said William Spallen. The man in plain clothes fired three shots at him. When I cried out he said ‘lie down or I will put a bullet into you.'” Tumelty says the killers then take £20 that his grandfather had to pay for his wife’s funeral.
The attackers then use a sledgehammer to break into the house next door, where they find Joseph Walsh in bed with his seven-year-old son Michael and his two-year-old daughter Bridget. Joseph Walsh is bludgeoned to death with the sledgehammer while Michael Walsh is shot and dies from his wounds the next day. Another son, Frank, is shot in the thigh, but survives. Later that evening another Catholic, John Mallon, is shot dead in Skegoneill Avenue.
The unionist press, the Belfast Newsletter and Belfast Telegraph, condemn the killings but do not identify the killers as police. The Dublin-based Irish Independent writes that “never even in the worst state of terror in the west and south has the state of affairs which now prevails in the Northern capital been experienced.” Michael Collins sends an angry telegram to Northern Ireland Prime Minister James Craig, demanding a joint inquiry into the killings. No such inquiry is set up…’ (from here.)
ILLEGAL ARMS : IN BAD COMPANY…
A man suspected of being one of the world’s biggest dealers in illegal weapons was a director of two companies based in Ireland.
By Annamarie Comiskey.
From ‘Magill’ magazine, July 2002.
Civil war between the government forces and revolutionaries in Sierra Leone for the past 11 years has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands more displaced as refugees in neighbouring countries. Both sides of the conflict have been ably supplied with weapons from rogue arms dealers, despite the UN arms embargo.
Sophisticated military technology is not needed – the fighting is on the grounds, face to face. Kalashnikov rifles are the weapon of choice and easy hardware for a dealer to get his hands on in Eastern Europe. Leonid Minin allegedly sourced his supplies from stockpiles managed by corrupt military officials who were left to their own devices after the Soviet military was split up.
There is no evidence that Minin brokered arms deals from Ireland, but this could become a new area to exploit here when the latest UK legislation on arms exports comes into effect ; the bill aims to control the activities of arms brokers by making them register, but this only applies to British arms brokers based in the UK. Nothing would stop a broker crossing the Irish Sea to trade from here instead… (MORE LATER.)
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, November 1954.
Another striking feature is the effect that recent events have had on the people – they have responded to the generous sacrifice of these men, their nobility of character, their purity of purpose ; their selflessness has struck the Irish heart and in one voice they are acclaimed by all. Not now a tacit acceptance that somehow they are right, but a whole-hearted applauding of their sentiments and actions.
Again old men are heard to talk of deeds that were done ‘in their day’, to show that they too once grappled with the ‘conqueror’ in open combat. Younger men square their shoulders, proud of the mettle in their generation, and they come to volunteer their services, considering it a privilege to give. And the still-younger make secret vows that they, too, will be soldiers of Ireland – and this is good, for they, too, will be needed soon.
Ireland lives on, her people step with a more bouyant step and a new manliness, eyes flash with a new awakening, a great spirit is abroad. We wait and hope with a trembling expectancy, we pray that in God’s name it will not be necessary for a sacrifice of the blood of the few who are bravest, before all the fighting men and women of Ireland shake off the torpor and join the Republican Movement. We want to strike together and at once in the same cool deliberate way of which we have been shown in this great example.
(END of ‘Resurgence’ ; NEXT – ‘The Epic Of The Water Tower’, from the same source.)
Thanks for reading – Sharon and the ‘1169’ team. Stay safe!