The year 1953 started, politically, in Ireland, with Sinn Féin declaring, to great applause from republicans and other socially-conscious people, that it intended to contest all 12 constituencies in the Occupied Six Counties in the next Westminster-organised election, an announcement which encouraged republican supporters, and other workers, to just not meekly accept ‘their lot’, as dictated to them by the then Stormont and Leinster House ‘elite’.

Within weeks of that announcement up to 10,000 State civil servants marched down O’Connell Street in Dublin demanding a just wage and proper working conditions and, weeks later – following that earlier street protest – 500 unemployed men and women marched to, and protested outside, the Leinster House institution in Kildare Street. Again, weeks after that protest march, approximately 1,000 unemployed people staged a sit-down protest on O’Connell Bridge for about 20 minutes, causing traffic mayhem in the city centre and further afield. The people had, once again, found their voice and were not afraid to use it.

Meanwhile, in England, the ‘toffs’ and some of the working class were delighted with themselves because their ‘queen’, Elizabeth, was ‘Crowned’ (ie ‘coronated’) on the 2nd June, 1953 (following her accession in February the previous year) and this ‘royal’ act was making news around the world, in newspaper coverage, television and on the so-called ‘newsreels’ showed in cinemas.

But not in Dublin ; cinema owners in that city unanimously decided not to show the film of the English ‘queen’s’ coronation in London, having read the political and social situation correctly – most people were either in low-paying jobs or on the dole, and were angry about it. A blatant display of such ‘royal’ wealth, it was felt, would annoy an already angry population in the State to the extent that cinema owners and management had voiced concerns for the safety of themselves and their venues should such a screening take place. So the exuberant ‘show’ was not screened.

That ‘no show’ incident reminded us of a very much ‘show’ incident which had taken place almost ten years before that, also cinema-related ; in April 1943, IRA man Jimmy Steele participated in what became known as ‘the Broadway Cinema operation’ on the Falls Road in Belfast when armed IRA Volunteers took over the cinema and stopped the film while Jimmy Steele went on stage and read a statement from the IRA Army Council. The nights entertainment for the packed cinema was finished off by the reading the 1916 Proclamation from the stage.

And ‘Credits’ to all involved for both of the above-mentioned actions!


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

Sowing the Seeds :

These are the unsung, unpraised and unpublished optimists, confident of victory, as opposed to the much-publicised, loud-mouthed, money-grabbing pessimistic politicians and public men who have been recipients of the germs propagated by the occupation forces, and who have consequently contaminated the Irish Nation.

This disease may be contained but not remedied until righteous men (sic) have driven out the British forces and have made our land ‘a nation once again’.

Tráth Cainnte Thart :

An t-Eireannach go bhfuil ‘misneach ina chroidhe agus neart ina chuisleanna’, an duine go bhfuil cúspóir an Phiarsaigh aige – sin an fior ‘fíor-Ghaedheal’. Tá tráth na cainnte thart. Tá an obair práinneach agus caithfear é dhéanamh gan tuilleadh moille – Eire do shaorú agus Eire do Ghaolu… (MORE LATER.)


Why the media consensus on a broad range of issues is increasingly disturbing.

By John Drennan.

From ‘Magill’ Annual, 2002.

It was around this time of year that many of us who did not tie the comfortable liberal line wondered what kind of intellectual and moral milieu we now, as a people, inhabit but, happily, it’s not all bad news. Some would see the totality of this year’s mind-boggling journalistic hypocrisy, with its wilful ignorance of fact and history, its bullying demagoguery, its quasi-fascistic branding of opponents, its narrow-minded agendas cloaked so lightly in a cape of pluralism, as a depressing thing.

When it comes to the dominant role of the wonderful oligarchy of Joe/Marian, Questions and Answers, Dot Com Dunphy and the sister/Fintanhood of ‘The Irish Times’ – otherwise known as Twee, Tweedledumb, Tweedledumber and Tweedledumbest, and not nesessarily in that order – we are more optimistic.

You see, now that we’re entering a world recession, and an abortion referendum, the need for our old pal ‘responsible journalism’ will be greater than ever… (‘1169’ comment – responsible journalism, for the most part, doesn’t exist in this State, in or on any of the mainstream platforms. Those in charge of, and working in, those platforms, are paid wordsmiths/hired pens who will propagandise any issue, to any extent, if the price is right, but they’ll do that, as well, the following day, for the opposing side, again if the price is right. We live (exist) in an Orwellian society, in that regard.) (MORE LATER.)


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

“There is something to be said for the point of view that talk about partition achieved little..” said Mr J. A. Costello, Leinster House leader, at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis in Dublin last month.

Even to gain an admission of this fact from Mr. Costello is sufficient proof that he is not convinced that partition will fall in front of oratory.

800 Years of Evidence ;

Of course there is something to be said for the point of view that talk about partition achieved little – there’s a great deal to be said, not the least important of which is 800 years of history. In that 800 years of British occupation, talk did nothing. Just plain nothing. It did nothing to remove a single British soldier from this country.

Magennis Confirms ;

Not only is there “..something to be said for the point of view that talk about partition achieved little..” , but having regard to the statement of Mr. W.B. Magennis, acting leader in Stormont, “that the Government of Northern Ireland (sic)is not prepared to discuss partition, a matter which has been finally determined..” it would appear that there is a good deal more to be said for the point of view that talk about partition “will achieve little”.

Talk Necessary To Educate ;

It will be conceded that there is need for some talk on the subject of partition not, mind you, in order to persuade the British garrison to clear out, but to remind ourselves of the continuing injustice of the division conquest, so that it may not become an everlasting reality because of our apathy or ignorance.

Still, talk can do little more than educate us as to the evil of partition and it is only when such education finds expression in a positive action against the occupation forces, as it did at Armagh and Omagh, that talk will have borne fruit. Education will teach us how to be free but it will never of itself free us… (MORE LATER.)


We’re a bit late posting today as we’re located in either Wicklow or Meath.

Can’t be Dublin, ’cause we left there last Saturday for a very-quickly-organised staycation (all 15 of us!) and we’re using a laptop (with dodgy wi-fi!) to ‘broadcast’ from.

Some of us will be back in Dublin this coming weekend (12th and 13th June) for the annual Wolfe Tone/Bodenstown Commemoration, which is being held on Sunday, 13th and, immediately afterwards, will be heading back to Wicklow (or Meath?) to continue the ‘fun’.

We won’t be posting here next Wednesday (16th) and, providing we won’t need bail money, we should be back to what passes for normal around here by the following Wednesday, 23rd.

Meanwhile, some advice – keep saving your few bob and your time for a proper holiday : these stay-at-home ‘holidays’ can be expensive and use up valuable time-off that could be better spent abroad (like New York, for instance!) but we owed the grandkids a break and, enjoyable as it is most times to be in their company, sometimes girls just wanna have fun!

Thanks for reading ; see you on the 23rd,


About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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