ON THIS DATE (9TH SEPTEMBER) 98 YEARS AGO : FIRST FREE STATE INSTITUTION ASSEMBLES.
An election was held in the 26-County so-called ‘Free State’ on the 16th of June, 1922, in which the Staters won 58 seats and republicans won 35 seats. On the 9th September 1922 – 98 years ago on this date – a political assembly was held in Leinster House in Dublin which described itself as ‘the Third Dáil Éireann’ and which was boycotted by republicans. Within weeks, that political assembly adopted a ‘Constitution of an Irish Free State’ and defined itself as comprising ‘an Oireachtas, a Dáil, a Seanad and a King’ as its constituent parts.
The ‘King’ it made itself available, answerable and subservient to was ‘King’ George V, aka George Frederick Ernest Albert, who was listed in the ‘Who’s Who’ of its day as ‘King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India.’ This was the first Leinster House/Free State political institution of which, to date, thirty-one have been spawned. It is not the ’33rd Dáil’, as it is sometimes mistakenly described, as the two political institutions which were up to then in place were 32-County bodies.
The Leinster House assembly is, in fact, a product of Westminster – assembled, promoted and supported by that London institution to assist in implementing British political and military policy in Ireland, similar to its sister administration in our occupied six counties, the ‘Stormont Parliament’ ; it is one of three institutions of ‘Government’ (Westminster, Stormont and Leinster House) which, working hand-in-hand, purport to legislate for an Ireland forcibly partitioned by an alien power. Irish republicans have unfinished business in relation to that subject.
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, June, 1955.
Principles, Methods and Subjects…
6. Methods of Learning, Reading and Studying ; exhaustive analyses of subjects or objects carried out individually.
7. Training in memory, concentration and sense observation.
8. Re-approach to history and geography as one – not as a sequence of names and dates, but as a living record of race movements, characteristics and achievements, their cultures and customs.
9. Study of native and continental languages by non-grammatical methods during early stages.
10. Study of nature ; animal, vegetative and geological forces. (MORE LATER.)
ON THIS DATE (9TH SEPTEMBER) 46 YEARS GO : ‘THE CLONAGH AFFAIR’ ACKNOWLEDGED.
The title, ‘Clonagh Affair’, is in reference to the ‘Irish Industrial Explosives’ factory, Clonagh, Enfield, Co Meath (pictured), in relation to which questions were asked if explosives from within this State were used in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings?
‘..in an interview with ‘Magill’ magazine, Garrett Fitzgerald said he personally had no knowledge of Captain (Patrick) Walshe’s efforts to stem the flow of explosives to subversive elements. He was unaware that a fellow minister had been apprised of the situation in mid-April 1974 pertaining to the Clonagh factory and that the Taoiseach of the day, Liam Cosgrave, was personally aware of the situation at the factory by at least 9th September 1974.
He expressed surprise at learning that Colonel (James K) Cogan had felt the need to seek an urgent meeting with Cosgrave to discuss the deteriorating situation at the factory – “You would have thought,” Garrett Fitzgerald said, “the government, having been informed, would have done something about it.” While expressing the opinion that this was an interesting line of inquiry and should be pursued he did not, however, accept that the Irish government (sic) knew about the situation at Clonagh before the British Army. He said – “They may or may not have reacted adequately to concerns about security but that doesn’t mean that they knew or believed that explosives were actually leaking out. You wouldn’t expect any government to allow that to happen if they thought that…”
The above paragraph is from an article entitled ‘The Clonagh Affair’, a report on which starts here. Free State Army officer, Colonel James K Cogan, described in a 1984 affidavit what he described as “..a scandalous and criminal lack of security..” at the factory and it was also Cogan who described the Clonagh affair as “..the greatest scandal in the history of the Irish state..”
Fear was expressed “..that the State’s neglect, and in particular the loss and destruction of large amounts of documentation relating to the investigation of the bombings, reflected an active cover-up of the crimes…not merely (was) a large amount of documentation lost or destroyed but it is not even possible to discover what these documents were. This extreme carelessness makes it very difficult for the State to criticise, as it should, the failure of the British authorities..” (from here.)
As usual in this corrupt and gombeen-ran State, satisfaction has not been obtained and justice has not been served.
ON THIS DATE (9TH SEPTEMBER) 106 YEARS AGO : “TO PREPARE THE PUBLIC MIND FOR THE GREAT EVENT THAT WAS TO COME”.
No. 25 Parnell Square (pictured ; known then as Rutland Square) – the headquarters of the ‘Gaelic League’ (or Conradh na Gaeilge, founded in 1893 by Douglas Hyde) and the ‘seat’ of the 1916 Rising. On the 9th September 1914, a top-level meeting was held there, in the library, by republican representatives at which a decision was made to challenge the British writ in Ireland.
“Tom Clarke, Pádraig Pearse and Seán Tobin represented both the Volunteers and the IRB, which Pearse had recently joined. Griffith represented Sinn Féin, Jim Connolly represented the Labour movement and the Citizen Army, and I was there as a volunteer and also as Gaelic League Secretary. This was the first decisive arrangement between the Citizen Army and the Volunteers, for instance, and one of the decisions we took at the meeting was that each of us would undertake to do our utmost to strengthen both of these organisations” – the words of one of those in attendance at that historic meeting, Seán T Ó Ceallaigh. Amongst others present was Tom Clarke, Seán Mac Diarmada, Joseph Plunkett, Pádraig Mac Piarais, Thomas MacDonagh, Éamonn Ceannt, James Connolly, Arthur Griffith and William O’Brien.
Speaking in New York in 1926, Ó Ceallaigh declared that the Rising was “a coldly and deliberately planned affair” and he points to this meeting as the moment when the intention to rise during the War was first agreed upon by a group representing “all shades of advanced nationalist political thought in Ireland who pledged themselves and their organisations to do all in their power to carry on the agreement arrived at and to prepare the public mind for the great event that was to come…at that meeting it was decided that a Rising should take place in Ireland if the German army invaded Ireland ; secondly, if England attempted to enforce conscription on Ireland and thirdly if the war were coming to an end and the Rising had not already taken place, we should rise in revolt, declare war on England and when the conference was held to settle the terms of peace, we should claim to be represented as a belligerent nation…”
In 1964, Ó Ceallaigh stated re that meeting – “It was Tom Clarke who proposed the meeting to me and who asked me to fix a safe house to hold it in. The Castle detectives were very active at this time. Virtually every speech I ever made, for instance, since I became a member of Dublin Corporation in 1906, was carefully noted, as I learned later following the Rising. Every member of Sinn Féin, the Volunteers , the Gaelic League, the Fianna, was followed by G-men. We were all quite used to it and, of course, took much pleasure in ‘ditching’ our shadows when we most wanted to.”
Had such a meeting took place today in that venue, the ‘G-Men’ and ‘shadows’ would have found it even easier to spy and tout on republicans as representatives of Leinster House and British rule in Ireland now have two offices in that Square….
‘WHY ARE WE TURNING A BLIND EYE TO PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS WHO HAVE A PROPENSITY FOR VIOLENCE…?’
By Mairead Carey.
From ‘The Magill Annual’, 2002.
“Man Sought To Limit Time In Hell By Killing” was the headline over a report explaining how a paranoid schizophrenic killed a 13-year-old girl under the delusion that “…he had to kill three people to get three sections of 12 minutes off a 36-minute torture session in hell.” The young girl died on 14th April 1996. Three months earlier, her killer had been released from St. Columba’s Psychiatric Hospital in Sligo.
The face of Brendan O’Donnell stands out from the others. The young County Clare man who killed Imelda Riney, her three-year-old-son Liam, and Father Joe Walsh (believing that the priest was going to christen the devil’s baby son) was found guilty of their murders but ended his days in the Central Mental Hospital. He died from an overdose of an anti-psychotic drug being taken for the mental illness the jury found he did not have ; his was in fact a ‘personality disorder’ which should have required long-term care and rehabilitation. But this would have been expensive.
“We turned our backs on Brendan O’Donnell,” says the head of the Psychiatric Nurses Association, Des Kavanagh. “We discharged him from hospital on the grounds that nothing else could be done. He went into the woods in County Clare and stayed there until he killed people. The system turns its back on people like him. We wait for them to offend, and let the courts deal with them.”
A full ten years before Brendan O’Donnell emerged from the woods around Mountshannon to kidnap Imelda Riney and her young child, the then Health Minister Barry Desmond launched a major report into the future of mental health care. Institutions were to be closed, and the focus was to shift from custodial to community care. There were two great advantages from the politician’s point of view – it made progress on the liberal agenda while at the same time making huge savings. As a consequence, there are 2,000 fewer nurses working in psychiatric care today. Bed numbers have been cut dramatically. Patients are now forced to queue in Accident and Emergency wards, and in some units a patient must die before a bed becomes available… (MORE LATER.)
ON THIS DATE (9TH SEPTEMBER) 100 YEARS AGO – SHOT ELEVEN TIMES IN THE STOMACH BY AN RIC MAN.
‘The lorries full of armed men tore down the road from Renmore and the shooting began. The first shots sounded like machine gun fire followed by dreadful screaming. This was when Sergeant Fox shot young Seamus Quirke. Quirke was taken from his lodgings in the New Dock and shot through the stomach eleven times. He crawled on his hands and knees from the lamppost on the quay where he was shot to the door of his house. The screaming was the background to all the horrors of the next five hours until the poor boy died at dawn. Fr. Griffin was sent for and stayed with him until he died…’ (from here.)
Ireland, Galway, 1920 : IRA Volunteer Seamus Quirke (christened James Augustine Quirke), a Cork man, was staying at a house in the docks area in Galway and was active in the on-going fight against the Black and Tans. The day before he was tortured to death by an RIC Sergeant named Fox, who operated from the RIC barracks in Eglinton Street in Galway (that is, on September 8th 1920) a driver for the Tans, a man named Edward Krumm, had visited the houses of the few friends he had in the area and drank as much alcohol as was offered to him in each house, before going for a nightcap in a near-by pub.
He was boasting about how handy he was with a weapon and, as proof, he started shooting at bottles he had placed on a wall – ‘..reports that the constable (Krumm) pulled his gun from its holster and ran amok, forcing the (IRA) volunteers to intervene in order to stop him killing or injuring nearby civilians. In the record there is one witness report that suggested Krumm had intentionally opened fire on civilians, which would cause an incident that would give the ‘Black and Tans’ a pretext for bloody reprisals on the Irish population of the city…’ (from here.)
This activity caused alarm to local IRA men as they had made plans for that night which didn’t include an armed and drunk Tan drawing attention to them, and action was taken against him :
‘…Tom Hynes, the local IRA Intelligence Officer, heard of this and sent his brother Michael to warn any IRA Volunteers that an armed man seemed to be preparing to create trouble. The Volunteers were in the habit of going to the local train station every night to meet the train, watch the British troop movement, collect dispatches and meet Volunteers from other districts, and this night they were also going to collect arms from the Longford area. Krumm and a companion went on to the platform by the gate on the arrivals side. The Volunteers warned the men arriving with the Longford guns, and the train stopped for a moment outside the station while they went out by the signal box with the guns. The train came into the station and as the passengers started to go out the gate Krumm drew his gun and made as if to shoot into the crowd…’ (more here.)
It should be noted that Father Michael Griffin (mentioned, above) was himself, within weeks, to fall victim to the same thugs that had butchered Seamus Quirke –
– ‘..about midnight on Sunday 14th November 1920, Fr Griffin was lured from the presbytery by British forces directly, or someone aiding them. He was taken to Lenaboy Castle where he was questioned. After being interrogated, he was shot through the head and his body was taken away by lorry and buried in an unmarked grave at Cloghscoltia, near Barna…on 20th November 1920 his remains were discovered by a local man, William Duffy, while he was attending cattle…’ (from here.)
‘The Irish Times’ newspaper, issue dated 17th November 1920, published the following piece – ‘Responding apparently to a ‘sick call’, the Rev. Michael Griffin, junior Roman Catholic curate for the parishes of Bushy Park and Barna, Galway, went out on Sunday night in the company of three men, who are said to have worn trench coats. He disappeared as completely as if the earth had swallowed him. All efforts to trace his whereabouts have so far proved futile. A civilian search party is putting forward every effort to find some trace of the missing clergyman…’ and, on the 27th November 1920, the same newspaper reported – ‘..later in the night, by the light of a lantern, the water-logged soil was dug up. Beneath two feet of the peaty soil the dead body of Father Griffin was found. He had a bullet wound on the right temple…’
Whether they murder, kill or execute an IRA Volunteer or a priest, the British government and its armed or unarmed representatives are not welcome in Ireland and never will be.
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, November 1954.
‘The Irish Press’ newspaper replies to the published ‘Letter To the Editor’ from John Lucy, Lieut. Col. OBE, The Royal Ulster Rifles, Roynane’s Court, Rochestown, Cork.
‘Irish Press, 20-10-1954…
The fact that there are British forces of occupation on Irish soil is an act of aggression, an act of war, by England, on the Irish Nation. Any Irishman who joins England’s forces is a deserter and a traitor to the Irish Nation.
That is quite logical, simple, easily understood. Whether that deserter serves England in Egypt, Kenya, Palestine or elsewhere is beside the point ; in effect he (sic) relieves another of England’s soldiers for service in Ireland against the Irish people and therefore he is directly responsible for, and partner to, England’s crimes against the Irish Nation.
Let us face the facts squarely : let us not get lost in maudlin sympathy. These young Irishmen (sic) serving in England’s forces, whether active or reserve, are merely hired bandits in the pay of the greatest gangster organisation this world has seen and whether they are shot in India, in Egypt, in Kenya or in Ireland, they are entitled to no sympathy and should get none.”
(‘1169’ Comment – Oh to have a voice like that in what passes for ‘newspapers’ today, instead of the ‘polite/PC’ political garbage that they print. So-called ‘journalists’ today are honest in that, when bought by the political ‘establishment’, they stay bought.)
(END of ‘He Objects’. NEXT – ‘The Republican Position ; Statement issued by Óglaigh na h-Éireann and Sinn Féin’, from the same source.)
ON THIS DATE (9TH SEPTEMBER) 101 YEARS AGO : ABSENCE OF INFORMERS ANGERS BRITISH FORCES.
“…the people of Fermoy lived on the (British) military. Otherwise they would live by taking in each other’s washing..” – part of the excuse uttered by anti-republican elements in an attempt to gloss over the thug-behaviour of British forces regarding the incident in question, as reported in ‘The Auckland Star’ newspaper (pictured, left) on the 11th of September, 1919.
This particular incident began days previous to the date mentioned in our headline – on Sunday, 7th September , 1919, the date usually recognised for the first planned, organised and co-ordinated IRA attack against British forces in Ireland since the 1916 Rising. During the Black and Tan war (which started on the 21st January, 1919) IRA units attacked Royal Irish Constabulary (the RIC – a British ‘police force’ in Ireland) barracks on a regular basis to ‘relieve’ them of their weapons, which were then used against them.
The commander of an IRA Brigade, Liam Lynch (Cork No. 2 Brigade) , realised that he could use the frequency of IRA attacks on the RIC to his advantage ; by mounting a surprise attack on those that were endeavouring to protect the RIC – the British Army. He contacted IRA General Head Quarters to seek approval for this as yet untried ‘twist’ to an old plan, but the leadership thought it unwise to proceed with the action and turned him down ; at the time, the IRA attacks on RIC barracks’ were obtaining the desired results – extra weapons for the IRA with a minimum of casualties : ‘if its not broke , don’t fix it’, was the thinking behind the refusal.
But Lynch persisted ; the other IRA Volunteer in charge of the Cork No.2 Brigade, Michael Fitzgerald, was convinced that Lynch’s idea was sound, so both men put together a plan of attack which they intended to take back to GHQ. On the strength of that plan and with both Lynch and Fitzgerald insisting that it would work, they got the go-ahead for the operation.
It had been observed that a party of up to twenty armed British soldiers, stationed in Fermoy Barracks in Cork , marched to Mass each Sunday morning to the local Wesleyan Church, about half a mile from their barracks. At that time, Fermoy was a stronghold for the British Army and one of the last places where the British would expect an attack. The IRA plan was to carry-out just such an operation. A number of sites in which to dump the liberated weapons would be needed and these were sourced and secured ; two cars would be required to transport the goods out of the area quickly and that, too, was arranged. Finally, a method to stop those in pursuit of the escaping cars was required and obtained and, on Sunday, 7th September, 1919, the plan was put into action ; twenty-five IRA Volunteers, including Liam Lynch and Michael Fitzgerald, took up position around the Wesleyan Church gates in Fermoy.
The IRA men mingled with the people at the church gates and in the grounds. At the same time, other IRA men were preparing to topple two trees across the road at Carrickbrack, outside Fermoy, the agreed route of escape for the IRA cars. The IRA unit at the Church received word at about 10.45am on that Sunday morning that fifteen armed British soldiers, led by a Corporal, had minutes beforehand left their barracks and were marching towards the Church for 11AM Mass, as per usual ; as the British marched from the road onto the footpath to enter the Church grounds they were surrounded by the IRA Unit, most of whom were armed – some of the Volunteers were only there to load the captured weapons into the cars. Liam Lynch shouted at the British patrol to surrender, telling them that it was just the weapons that they were after this time, and not the soldiers. The British were stunned and surprised to find themselves in that position, and a number of them went to fire their rifles but the IRA men fired first and, in a brief but bloody gun-battle, four British soldiers fell to the ground – one was dead, the other three were badly wounded.
The shooting ended there – the British surrendered and were relieved of their rifles – fifteen in all – which were loaded into two waiting cars. The Volunteers loading the rifles into the cars got in themselves and both vehicles sped off towards the Lismore Road. Their comrades who were covering the now-disarmed British patrol inched away and withdrew from the area. Within fifteen minutes the British had filled two trucks with armed troops and were driving at top speed on the Lismore Road, minutes behind the two cars they were chasing. When the two IRA vehicles passed the town of Carrickbrick, the IRA men at the side of the road toppled the two trees which they had weakened earlier that morning. The trees fell across the road, blocking it, and the IRA lumberjacks made off across the fields. The two British Army trucks skidded to a halt at the road-block and spent a number of minutes trying to move the trees, but couldn’t, so they drove back to try and find a side-road which would take them around the blockage and back out onto the Lismore Road ; they failed there, too! By this time, the rifles had been stashed in the pre-arranged dumps. The operation was successful.
For the rest of that day (Sunday, 7th September, 1919) , and up until evening fell on the following day, hundreds of British troops, in trucks and on foot, raided the nearest towns and practically imposed martial law on the population in their search for the rifles and the IRA men responsible for the operation. Shops, houses and other buildings were searched, and people were stopped, searched and questioned as to their knowledge of events.
No-one knew anything, and the British went back to barracks on early Monday evening (8th September, 1919) , empty-handed. However, that was not the end of the matter ; at about 8pm that Monday, hundreds of British troops stationed in the area were sent into Fermoy town-centre to make the locals pay for their silence. People on the street were pistol-whipped, shops were broken in to and looted and pubs were thrashed. The British troops spent at least two hours on the wrecking spree and then went back to base, having threatened all and sundry that unless they received the information they were looking for by end of business on the following day – Tuesday, 9th September, 101 years ago on this date – – they would ‘call’ again, on Wednesday 10th, to make more ‘inquiries’. But not one person contacted them with information on the IRA attack so, not convinced that they had made their point, the British officers sent the same number of their troops out on that Wednesday (10th September, 1919) to terrorise the population again.
But this time the IRA were monitoring the situation, and hundreds of civilians, armed with shovels, hammers, sticks and stones etc, were waiting in Emmet Street for the British troops. Following many skirmishes and standoffs, the British troops returned early to base, having been pushed back by people-power, and had to accept the fact that not only were they not getting the information they demanded but that they were not wanted in the area nor, indeed, in the rest of the country. And they remain unwanted here today.
Thanks for reading – Sharon and the ‘1169’ team.