IRISH HISTORY SHORTS : FROM REGISTERING YOUR INTERESTS (!) TO PRESSURIED ‘COMPASSION’ TO A 16-YEAR-OLD…




On this date (23rd June) in the year…


…1704 : The British introduced (and enforced) a ‘Registration Act’ in Ireland which ‘obliged’ (!) all Catholic priests to register themselves as such, in a ‘court of law’, to deposit two £50 ‘of good behaviour’ sureties/bonds in what would now be described as an escrow account and to confine their activities to the area in which they were registered. Obviously, Westminster – itself full of dodgy characters – recognised kindred spirits when it came across them.

…1802 : Daniel O’Connell caused a scandal when he married his third cousin ‘on the quiet’ (or so he thought)!. He got married to Mary (O’Connell), thus upsetting family and friends, most of whom considered poor Mary ‘to be beneath him / out of tune with his heritage’, as she was not financially endowed, and rumour spread that she was only marrying him for the money, the likes of which would never happen today.


But the critics were compounded ; the couple enjoyed each others company to the extent that eleven children (or 12, or 13, depending on where you research the subject) were born to them, although only seven survived (four sons and three daughters) – some of the poor children died due to miscarriage while their siblings, who were born healthy, were taken by measles and whooping cough at an early age.


Mary died in Cork, in 1836, at 58 years young. Daniel was not the same man afterwards and never really recovered from her loss. Incidentally – again, depending on where you look – various dates are listed for their marriage (24th July 1802, 23rd January 1802) but it’s a lovely and poignant story and, while we wouldn’t agree, politically, with Daniel O’Connell, this aspect of the man is an honourable one.

…1919 : in Thurles, in County Tipperary, an RIC detective, Mick Hunt, who took great delight in ‘interrogating’ Irish republicans and made a name for himself by repeatedly destroying Irish Tricolours wherever he seen one, was shot dead by an IRA Volunteer, Jim Stapleton, from Upperchurch, in County Tipperary(pictured), with Volunteer James Murphy in support.

The RIC man was well aware that he was ‘of interest’ to the IRA and, despite the fact that, as an RIC detective, he could have worn civilian clothes to and from ‘work’, he mostly insisted on wearing his ‘old’ RIC uniform, such was his love for his ‘job’. He was wearing it when justice caught up with him.

…in 1921 : the IRA employed a mine to derail a British troop train between Adavoyle and Jonesborough, in County Armagh. The train was carrying ‘the King’s Armed Escort, the 10th Royal Hussars’ (pictured), back to the Curragh, in County Kildare, from the opening of the British-imposed ‘parliament’ in Stormont, in the Six Occupied Counties. Four soldiers and two civilian train employees were killed or fatally wounded, as were about fifty horses.


Some soldiers, not knowing where the enemy were, fired at civilians in surrounding fields, killing one farm worker, a man named McAteer. Local people were frog-marched by the enemy military to the scene and forced to bury the horses ; some time afterwards – still seeking revenge – the British rounded-up more local people and forced them, at gun and bayonet point, to dig up the remains of the poor animals and re-bury them.




…1922 : three (Catholic) civilians were shot dead by British troops and ‘Special Constables’ in Cushendall, in County Antrim, in revenge for the IRA killing (efficiently carried-out by Reg Dunne and Joe O’Sullivan) of British Field Marshal ‘Sir’ Henry Hughes Wilson (pictured), outside his Eaton Place house in London the previous day, as he returned there from a military service at the ‘Great Eastern Railway War Memorial’. He was shot six times by the IRA men.


The details of these so-called ‘revenge murders’ were not released by the British government until 1997.

…1939 : in a move to shore-up its political position as a ‘service provider’ for its parent parliament, Westminster, the Free State administration in Leinster House acted on its internment policy, in the territory it presumed to administer for Britain, which it brought into force on the 14th of that month – ‘In order to meet the situation created by the activities of the IRA, the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland (sic) passed the Offences against the State Act, 1939, which came into force on 14th June 1939…on 23rd June 1939, i.e. nine days after the entry into force of the Offences Against the State Act, the Government made an order under section 19 of the Act that the IRA, declared an “unlawful organisation”, be dissolved. About 70 persons were subsequently arrested and detained under Part VI of the Act…’ (from here.)


The ‘Act’ allowed for the internment without trial of those that the Free State ‘Minister for Justice’ deemed “dangerous to State security.” Considering that this State is morally and politically corrupt and beyond repair or tweaking, those that are a danger to it should be encouraged, not punished.



…1959 : Seán Lemass (pictured), an IRA poacher-turned-gamekeeper (in 1926), was elected as Free State ‘Taoiseach’ on this date, 23rd June, in 1959 ; ‘He was born on July 15, 1899, the second son of John Timothy Lemass, a hatter with premises in Capel Street. The family had strong Parnellite connections – his grandfather having been a member of that party on the Dublin Corporation. He attended the Christian Brothers’ school in Richmond Street and at the age of 15 he joined the Irish Volunteers – surprising in view of his father’s strong parliamentary party leanings.


At that age he was actually too young to join the Volunteers, but he was admitted by the connivance of an active member, Pat Murphy, who was employed in his father’s shop. He joined ‘A Company’ of the 3rd Battalion of which De Valera was shortly afterwards to become battalion commandant. Lemass was appointed his personal aide. It was with some feelings of awe that he viewed Dev even then for “notwithstanding his queer appearance” he had enormous powers of personal magnetism…’ (from here.)


In 1916 he was spared execution, by the British, because he was only 16 years of age. Perhaps they saw in him something that was to manifest itself ten years later…?




‘AITHBHEOCHAINT NA GAEDHILGE…’


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




Sowing the seeds…


Despite the pessimistic reviews of the question by politicians, scholars and ‘cashmen’, who among us will not say that the past year has not vindicated a revival of the true spirit of nationhood from the seeds of which will spring an Ireland “not free merely but Gaelic as well”?


In Wolfe Tone’s Republic shall Gaelic Ireland fulfill her destinies. There is a revolution at hand and it is being powered by forces which are ever at work. And the outcome is inevitable.


‘An Treoraidhe’.


(END of ‘Aithbheochaint Na Gaedhilge’ : NEXT – ‘More English Than…’, from ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.)




NO RIGHT OF APPEAL…



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

By John Drennan.


From ‘Magill’ Annual, 2002.


Ireland and, indeed, ‘Magill’ magazine, expects all good journalists to play their part with weighty articles about the need for ‘hard choices’. In these hard times the ‘responsible journalist’ will be expected to warn the ignorant public that it would be “folly indeed” to increase taxation on corporate profits. That would act as a disincentive to industry and, er, depress the market.


What will be needed instead is ‘targeted spending cuts’ ; after all, only a fool would try to reform a rickety health service by investing more money in it. IBEC will also be seeking a ‘patriotic gesture’ from SIPTU, ICTU and the rest of the State-dinner-eating wing of the trade union movement. Something on the lines of a wages freeze, one would expect.



(‘1169’ comment – the trade union leadership in this corrupt State is honest in that, when bought, they stay bought. And, most of the time, that leadership can be ‘hired’, on a case-by-case basis.)


It’s the old ‘iron rules’ of economic recession you will notice. Higher profits for capitalists ‘energise’ the market and make us ‘competitive’ but, in contrast, higher wages for workers has a ‘depressing’ effect. Do you know what, Mr Haughey? Tw’ill be as if you never went away.


(END of ‘No Right Of Appeal’ ; NEXT – ‘What Is To Be Done? The Struggle In The 26 Counties’, from ‘Iris’ magazine, October 1987 [please note that that publication had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party].)




‘TALK, FORCE AND POLITICIANS….’

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


Silence Barrier Broken ;


Mr Costello, continuing his Ard Fheis address on partition, said that there was ignorance of and apathy towards the facts of the position even among the friendly disposed, and such a conspiracy of silence among those who controlled the forces of the Press in Great Britain and elsewhere abroad, there was a constant need for unremitting effort to state and restate our point of view so that the silence barrier might be broken.


Is there anyone who will deny that the 20 minutes of shots fired in Omagh did more to break ‘the silence barrier’ than the preceding 20 years of talk by successive Leinster House regimes?


Politicians Condemn Force ;


In spite of the overwhelming amount of evidence to prove that the actions at Armagh and Omagh did so much to spotlight the injustice of partition and cause so much concern to the Imperial parliament in London, and remains such a constant source of anxiety for the British occupation forces, Mr. Costello condemned both actions… (MORE LATER.)




‘STAYCATION’ OVER. NEED A HOLIDAY…!

And we’re back in Dublin, from our ‘Staycation’ in Wicklow. Or was it Meath? Doesn’t really matter, ‘suppose, as we had much the same weather where we were as we have now, where we are!


Dampish, cool breeze, dryish for the most part – same old, same old. But that’s Ireland for ya ; lovely scenery if only you had the weather to get out and enjoy it. And if only the cost of a ‘staycation’ wasn’t costing much the same as it would for a week in New York, our usual destination. But we’ll get going there again, and the sooner the better.


Anyway – it’s over, for now…and I know that’s no way to talk about a holiday (!) with, as well as the Girl Gang, your children and their children, but us girls need to let it rip once in a while (preferably in New York!) with none of our own kids or grandkids around to tell us to act our age, not our shoe size.


We ‘staycated’ between holiday homes in Wicklow and Meath and (mostly!) enjoyed the company and the area we were in and the locals that we met along the way, the weather wasn’t the worst, most of the shops were open, the pubs were ‘outdoor service’ only (better than nothing!) and the forest walks, the sightseeing and the accommodation was nice. The whole shebang was a bit on the expensive side, but that could just have been myself and the Gang constantly making comparisons between here and over yonder but…no, it wasn’t just us – it genuinely is expensive to take a break here, all things considered.

Still – we’re in Dublin now, trying to prise ourselves back into our familiar routines. And it’s nice to be back in your company ; thanks for dropping by ; appreciated!

Sharon.







About 11sixtynine

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