ONE-THIRD PLAYGROUND, ONE-THIRD RIC MEMORIAL, ONE-THIRD BROWN-ENVELOPED APARTMENT BLOCK FOR A BUILDER BUDDY?

Another Moore Street fiasco in the making?


A Fine Gael political representative is currently flying a kite to gauge reaction/opposition to a proposal to build a playground for children on a 1798 graveyard.


The ‘Croppies Acre’ in Dublin, a memorial to the ‘Croppy Boys’ of the 1798 rebellion and believed to be where the men and women of ’98 were buried after being executed by the British is, unfortunately, being stared at, financially and for votes, by the Blueshirts.


This is probably why the political ‘powers-that-be’ allowed this sacred spot to fall into disrepair in the first place ie ‘..anything would be better than the drug den it has become..’ but those of us who see and appreciate more than a profit margin can hopefully nip this disgraceful proposal in the bud – please sign the petition against this folly and ask your friends, colleagues, workmates etc to do the same. We are up against political careerists who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Let’s try and educate them.





ON THIS DATE (13TH MAY) 101 YEARS AGO : “I THOUGHT I WAS A DEAD MAN. I HAD TO HOLD MY HEAD UP WITH BOTH HANDS….”

Seán Hogan (pictured, left), who was practically still in his teenage years when he was appointed as one of those in command of the ‘Third Tipperary Brigade’ of the IRA, a leadership group which became known by the British as ‘The Big Four’ – Dan Breen, Seán Treacy, Seamus Robinson and Seán Hogan.


Seán Hogan was born in Tipperary in 1901 and, at just 18 years of age, he took part in the Soloheadbeg ambush on the 21st of January in 1919, in which two Crown force personnel (James McDonnell and Patrick O’Connell) were killed as they drew their weapons. The British went all out to capture or execute those responsible and, on the 12th of May 1919, Seán Hogan was taken prisoner at a friends house, the Meagher’s, at Annfield, in Tipperary, and taken to Thurles RIC barracks to be held overnight, and then transported to Cork. The following morning – the 13th May, 1919, 101 years ago on this date – Seán Hogan was taken by a four-man armed British military escort to Knocklong train station and the five men got on board a train ; Hogan, who was handcuffed, was put sitting between RIC Sergeant Wallace and Constable Enright, both of whom were armed with revolvers, and Constables Ring and Reilly, carrying shotguns, sat opposite the three men.

Seán Hogan (right), thought to be about 20 years young when this photograph was taken.


An IRA unit, led by Seán Treacy, Dan Breen, Seamus Robinson and Eamonn O’Brien, and including Ned Foley, Seán Lynch, John Joe O’Brien, Ned O’Brien and Jim Scanlon (all from the East Limerick Brigade IRA) located the compartment where Seán Hogan was being held against his will and Seán Treacy and Eamonn O’Brien drew their revolvers and walked through the train to the compartment ; on entering same, they loudly instructed all present to put their hands up and called for Seán Hogan to make his way to them. RIC Constable Enright placed his revolver against Hogan’s neck, using him as a shield, but was shot dead as he did so, as both Treacy and O’Brien had fired at him (Eamonn O’Brien was to say later that they would not have shot Enright had he not attempted to attack Hogan) and Hogan, still handcuffed, took that opportunity to land a two-handed punch to the face of Constable Ring, who was sitting opposite him. Seán Treacy and RIC Sergeant Wallace were trading punches, as were Eamonn O’Brien and Constable Reilly, when one of the IRA men managed to take Reilly’s shotgun from him and smashed him over the head with it. He collapsed in a heap on the carriage floor. Constable Ring, meanwhile, found himself on the platform, having exited the carriage through a window, and withdrew from the area.

Seán Treacy and RIC man Wallace were still trying to get the better of each other, with Treacy telling Wallace to give it up as he was outnumbered and had lost his prisoner, but Wallace refused to do so. Both men were now grappling for Wallace’s Webley revolver and Wallace managed to get enough control over it to fire a shot, which hit Seán Treacy in the neck – in that same instance, IRA man Eamonn O’Brien fired at Wallace, killing him instantly. Treacy survived, and was recorded later as saying “I thought I was a dead man. I had to hold my head up with both hands, but I knew I could walk.”



Seán Hogan remained active in the struggle : he operated in Dublin, Kilkenny and Tipperary, was involved in the ‘French Ambush’ and was also heavily involved in raids on various RIC barracks and remained active until the Treaty of Surrender was being discussed, a ‘compromise’ which he was unable to support or condemn – he left the Republican Movement at that point and returned to Tipperary, to try and earn a living as a farmer. He couldn’t, and moved to Dublin where he got married and fathered a child, but the times were tough, economically, and he and his family could only afford to live in a slum tenement building in North Great George’s Street. He was suffering from depression at this stage and voiced disappointment that the Ireland he was living in was not that which he had fought for. He died, penniless, at 67 years of age, in 1968, and was buried in Tipperary town.

The news has spread through Ireland and spread from shore to shore

Of such a deed, no living man has ever heard before

From out a guarded carriage mid a panic stricken throng

Seán Hogan, he was rescued at the station of Knocklong



When a guard of four policemen had their prisoner minded well

As the fatal train sped o’er the rails, conveying him to his cell

The prisoner then could scarce foretell, of hearts both brave and strong


That were planning for his rescue at the station of Knocklong



The shades of eve were falling fast when the train at last drew in

It was halted for an hour or so by a few courageous men

They sprang into the carriage and it did not take them long

‘Hands up or die’ was the rebel cry at the station of Knocklong



King George’s pampered hirelings, they shrivelled up with fear

And thought of how they placed in cells, full many a Volunteer

Now face to face with armed men, to escape, how they did long

But two of them met with traitors deaths at the station of Knocklong



From Sologhead to Limerick, such deeds as these were never seen

And devil a tear was ever shed for Wallace of Roskeen

They did old England’s dirty work and did that work too long

But the renegades were numbered up at the station of Knocklong



Now rise up Mother Erin and always be of cheer

You’ll never die while at your side there stand such Volunteers

From Dingle Bay to Garryowen, the cheers will echo long

Of the rescue of Seán Hogan at the station of Knocklong.
(From here.)





‘SINN FÉIN POST-ELECTION STATEMENT…’


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, June, 1955.



“The results, gratifying as they are, must strengthen the determination of our people to continue the effort to establish and maintain the sovereign independence of the Irish nation.


In this spirit, Sinn Féin will pursue the course it has set itself and, in pursuing that course, we seek no quarrel with Irishmen and any quarrel that may eventuate will certainly not be the responsibility of the Sinn Féin organisation. We wish to thank very sincerely all those people, whoever they may be, who helped the Six-County election campaign in any way. We could not have hoped for anything like the success it has achieved without their fine support ;


Who fears to rally to Sinn Féin,

or nationhood deny,

heed not what hostile Press proclaims,

with “splinter party!” cries.



For duty to your country calls

to you, from shore to shore,

that freedom for all Ireland be

for Sinn Féin to restore.






Who fears to march on with Sinn Féin,

upholding Ireland’s right,

as did the men of ’98,

united side by side.



They gave their all for country’s cause,

against the common foe –

in tribute to their memory

united, stand once more!
(by Micheal O h-Aonghusa.)



(END of ‘Sinn Féin Post-Election Statement’ ; NEXT – ‘American Items Of Interest’, from the same source.)





ON THIS DATE (13TH MAY) 168 YEARS AGO : ‘LADIES LAND LEAGUE’ FOUNDER BORN.

Anna Catherine Parnell, pictured, was born ‘Catherine Maria Anna Mercer Parnell’ on the 13th May, 1852 – 168 years ago, on this date – at Avondale House in Rathdrum, County Wicklow. She was the tenth of eleven children of John Henry Parnell, a landlord, and Delia Tudor Stewart Parnell, an Irish-American woman (the daughter of Admiral Charles Stewart of the US Navy).


Anna and one of her sisters, Fanny, worked with their brother, Charles (Stewart Parnell) in agitating for better conditions for tenants and, on the 31st January in 1881, the two sisters officially launched a ‘Ladies Land League’ which, at its full strength, consisted of about five hundred branches and didn’t always see eye-to-eye with its ‘parent’ organisation, the ‘Irish National Land League’.


In its short existence, it provided assistance to about 3,000 people who had been evicted from their rented land holdings to assist and/or take over land agitation issues, as it seemed certain that the ‘parent’ body was going to be outlawed by the British and, sure enough, the British Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, introduced and enforced a ‘Crimes Act’ that same year, 1881 (better known as the ‘Coercion/Protection of Person and Property Act’) which made it illegal to assemble in relation to certain issues and an offence to conspire against the payment of rents ‘owed’ which, ironically, was a piece of legislation condemned by the same catholic church which condemned the ‘Irish National Land League’ because that Act introduced permanent legislation and did not have to be renewed on each political term.


And that same church also condemned the ‘Ladies Land League’ to the extent that Archbishop McCabe of Dublin instructed priests loyal to him “..not to tolerate in your societies (diocese) the woman who so far disavows her birthright of modesty as to parade herself before the public gaze in a character so unworthy of a Child of Mary…” – the best that can be said about that is that that church’s ‘consistency’ hasn’t changed much over the years, and that it wasn’t only a religious institution which made an issue out of women being politicised – ‘In the year in which the Ladies’ Land League was formed, Ireland was first mentioned in the 15 January 1881 issue of the ‘Englishwoman’s Review’. Tellingly, this was a report headed ‘Women Landowners in Ireland’ (and) there was also a small report of a ‘Catholic Charitable Association’ being formed ‘by a number of Irish ladies for aiding the families
of poor or evicted tenants’.



The addition of the phrase “It is distinctly understood that the society shall take no part whatever in political agitation..” reveals the disapproval felt by the journal for those engaged in that agitation *. The formation of the Ladies’ Land League was then noted : ‘In anticipation of Government action against local branches of the Irish National Land League, arrangements are being made for the establishment of a Ladies’ Land League throughout Ireland. Such a movement has already been organised in America, where Mrs Parnell, the mother of the Member for Cork, is the President, and Miss Fanny Parnell and Mr John Stewart, the sister and brother of Mr Parnell, MP, are acting as organisers. The Irish movement will be led by the wives of the local leaders of the existing league, and will devote themselves to the collection of funds…’ ** (from here).


* / ** – That periodical was assembled and edited by, and for, middle-class women of the day (late 19th/early 20th century) and, while it did cover and promote economic independence for women, occupation outside of the home for women, the need for better educational facilities for women to enable and encourage women to seek employment in ‘the male professions’ ie politics and medicine, it was truly of its day in that it was felt to be a bridge-too-far to call for women to take to the streets for the right to be more than ‘just’ fund-raisers. In short, the authors were, in effect, confining themselves to be further confined.


In October 1881, Westminster proscribed the ‘Irish National Land League’ and imprisoned its leadership, but the gap was ably filled by the ‘Ladies Land League’ until it was acrimoniously dissolved on the 10th August 1882, 19 months after it was formed. Anna’s brother, Charles, died in 1891 and, somewhat disillusioned with the political society that she lived in, she moved to the south of England and went by the name ‘Cerisa Palmer’. On the 20th September in 1911, when she was living in Ilfracombe in Devon, England, at 59 years of age, she went for her usual daily swim but got into difficulties. Her plight was noticed from the shore but she was dead by the time help arrived. She was buried quietly in the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church in Ilfracombe, in the presence of just a handful of strangers.





FIT TO PRACTISE…?

As social work in Ireland reaches a landmark, Phil MacGiolla Bháin argues that the profession is flawed beyond salvation.

From ‘Magill’ magazine, July 2002.


The current child protection system is largely premised on the ‘fact’ that children are, ordinarily, at risk from the nearest available male, usually the father. The fact – yes, fact – that children are now and always have been statistically more at risk from the mother is ignored.


If social work were a profession like law, medicine or teaching, then there would be a thriving private practice. Social work’s professional services are only in demand from the State and from organisations that carry out operations on behalf of the State. The idea of a private individual soliciting the services of a social worker to provide a service to them is, quite frankly, bizarre, disordered and mad.


It was stated in ‘The Irish Social Worker’ last year (Vol.19, No. 2-3) that the health board-run child protection system was falling to pieces ; social workers are apparently voting with their feet and leaving in droves. This is excellent news. The system cannot be patched and covered up – it must be put permanently and verifiably beyond use. The structure is unsound and it cannot be repaired or renovated. It must be knocked down and a new one built from the ground up. (END of ‘Fit To Practise?’ NEXT – ‘Kicking Against The Pricks’, from the same source.)





‘EITHNE NIC SUIBHNE’.

From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, November 1954.

The Republican Movement has lost a very good friend and a constant enthusiastic worker in the death of Miss Annie McSwiney (Eithne Nic Suibhne, pictured). In particular, this newspaper has lost a real helper, regular contributor, one of our very first subscribers and a constant critic whose criticism was always constructive, vigorous always, sometimes almost sharp, but inspired with the desire to help us, to guide us, the better to serve the Cause she loved so well.


In some accounts published in the press after her death the impression is conveyed that she had ceased to take any active part in political or national affairs for many years. That this impression is false can be easily shown, but no better proof is required than to quote from a letter written by her on the 14th October, the day before she died, to the Secretary of this newspaper and received here at the same time as the news of her death was being announced.


The main purpose of the letter was to acknowledge receipt of copies, sending of annual subscriptions for friends and giving names of others who would take the newspaper, and some instances of her active help and co-operation. The letter continues – “I was wishing I could contact you (by phone) and ask if you would get some striking demonstration (organised) to show these 13 nations of the (World) Ploughing Organisation that their insolence (in insisting that the two puppet States in Ireland be treated as separate countries)…all these people come to our land and one after another they insult us and no one ever says a word. No wonder the insults are on the increase…” (MORE LATER.)



Thanks for reading – Sharon and the ‘1169’ team. Stay safe, and ‘play’ safe. Or at least don’t be as reckless as the old you. Or, if you must be, don’t get caught!




About 11sixtynine

A mother of three and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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