Christopher Thomas Ewart-Biggs (pictured), a British career diplomat and a ‘CMG’, an ‘OBE’, and an M16 ‘Senior Foreign Office Liaison Officer’, was appointed by Westminster to be the ‘British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland’ (sic) in early July, 1976.

Two weeks later he was assassinated in Dublin by the then IRA. He was 55 years of age, and died immediately after a 200lb land mine, which had been placed in a culvert about 320 yards from his house in Sandyford, in Dublin, exploded.

Four days after the death (pictured) of Ewart-Biggs, the then ‘Acting Ambassador’, a John Hickman, wrote in a memo to the ‘Northern Ireland Office’ (that is , the British political ‘Front Line’ in Occupied Ireland) that he could not imagine “..a better time than the present for the Irish government (sic) to bring itself to make some specific gesture of good-will towards Britain…”.

He then declared that – “..the biggest single benefit which we could expect to derive from the Irish people’s sense of shame and responsibility..” (!) would be an official decision by Leinster House not to pursue the state case at Strasbourg concerning the inhuman and degrading treatment of suspects being interrogated by British forces in the North-East of Ireland!

Mr. Hickman also toyed around with the idea of using the death of Ewart-Biggs as an opportunity to secure from Leinster House cross-border ‘rights’ for armed British forces ; that is, to allow those armed thugs to freely cross the imposed border whenever they wanted. But then the good ‘acting ambassador’ changed his mind, stating – “The overall benefit (of ‘cross-border rights’) would certainly not be comparable in political terms to the removal of the prospect of Her Majesty’s government being nagged and pilloried over the state case (ie the Strasbourg ‘Inhuman and Degrading Treatment’ case) for a long time to come..”

In other words – ‘We (Westminster) can get better value out of the death of our friend and colleague Ewart-Biggs by using it as a you-owe-us to convince Dublin to turn a blindeye to the way we abuse suspects in the North’.

Mr Hickman stated that, on July 22nd 1976, he told Garret Fitzgerald (Fine Gael, pictured) that “..there would never be a time when the inhibiting effects of public opinion on the Irish government’s (sic) freedom of action would be less than now.” Mr. Hickman then reported back to political officials in the ‘Northern Ireland Office’, stating – “As time goes on, the psychological opportunity to speak in specific terms (ie ‘to use the death of Biggs to get exactly what we want’) to the Irish government (sic) will pass. It might not be possible to indicate to them (Leinster House) that the onus is on them to respond to the present situation (that is, the death of Biggs) by making a significant political gesture.”

He was of the opinion that Leinster House would issue “..an agreed statement..” that “…(they) do not intend to take further action..” on any Strasbourg report into the ill-treatment of suspects and/or detainees by British forces in the North!

However, on hearing of Mr. Hickman’s intentions, an un-named ‘senior civil servant’ at Westminster’s ‘Foreign And Colonial Office’ voiced his unease over such a ‘deal’ : on July 28th, 1976, this ‘conscientious objector’ wrote in an internal memo : “To canvass the idea of a ‘bargain’, however tactfully and obliquely, on the lines adumbrated by Mr Hickman, would appear to be in bad taste, especially to the Irish who, if one may generalise, tend to treat death and funerals with more attention than we do.”

But the ‘Northern Ireland Office’ disagreed with their “in bad taste” colleague and, on July 29th, 1976, a meeting was held by the ‘NIO’ to discuss how ‘Her Majesty’s Government’ might best profit from the situation.

It was actually during that same meeting that word came through that Garret Fitzgerald (Fine Gael) had contacted Roy Hattersley (pictured), the then British Minister of State at the British Foreign And Commonwealth’ Office, to say that his administration might postpone the publication of the Strasbourg report, but ‘NIO’ officials were already having second thoughts about looking for such a postponement, fearing that the report would actually have a greater impact if it became known that they had tried to ‘hush it up’.

In the summer of 1976, Mr. Hickman reported back to Westminster : “Even the assassination of a British ambassador in Ireland has not been enough to persuade Irish opinion that the time has come to forget the past (sic- it’s still a live and on-going political issue in Ireland) and unite to destroy the common enemy..”

What he meant by ‘the common enemy’ was the IRA which, at the time, was indeed an ‘enemy’ of Westminster’s plans for and intentions towards Ireland, instead of the anti-republican militia which that organisation is today. Mr. Hickman added –“The goodwill passed as quickly as it came..”, meaning that Westminster had believed that the opportunity to ‘spin’ the death of Christopher Ewart-Biggs and make politicl capital from his death was always an opportunity for the asking at some stage.

In December 1976, the Leinster House administration (under Liam Cosgrave, Fine Gael, pictured) handed over a sum of £65,000 sterling to Westminster in ‘compensation’ in relation to the death of Ewart-Biggs, but the ‘NIO’ wanted more : British Officials insisted that the Dublin Administraton should also pay for the transportation costs incurred by its people in relation to travelling to Dublin in connection with the Biggs case!

Apparently, it never got that ‘claim for expenses’ from Leinster House – probably only due to misplaced paperwork or some such ‘innocent’ reason, as it’s not like those servile political parasites in that institution to say ‘No’ to Westminster!

Footnote : Britain invaded and occupied more than 56 countries, and murdered an estimated six million native people in those countries who resisted their ‘presence’. It is the opinion of this blog, and an opinion shared by true Irish republicans wherever they might be, that the only solution to that British presence is to remove it, by whatever means necessary. So-called ‘Treaties’ and/or ‘Agreements’ only prolong that vile presence, making the native lackies rich and ‘respectable’ in the process.

For Ireland to ‘Move On’, politically, Westminster will have to ‘Move Out’.


By Margaret Buckley.

From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.

Rossa, his wife, and their two daughters were welcomed at Queenstown (Cobh) by members of the ‘Celtic Society’ and ‘Inginide na h-Éireann’ (of which I, Margaret Goulding, was President) and escorted to a house in Blackrock which we had rented and furnished for their reception.

Mr. and Mrs. O’Donovan-Rossa lived there and he took up his job with the Council. They were constant visitors to our rooms in Great Georges Street (now Washington Street) taking part in our debates, lectures etc. We were all young, and were glad and proud to have the opportunity and privilege of learning from their more mature and personal experiences of Irish history. The two girls returned to America and eventually prevailed on their parents to re-join them.

Thus, until we marched behind his coffin to Glasnevin, we had only our loving memories of a great man.

(END of ‘O’ Donovan Rossa’ ; NEXT – ‘The Break Of Armagh : A Suggestion By A World-Famous Poet’, from the same source.)


On the 21st July, 1973, two IRA members who were carrying-out an operation met untimely deaths when the device they were transporting exploded prematurely, killing both of them.

Alphonsus Cunningham and Pauline Kane (pictured) both 21 years of age, died together on the Causeway Road in Newcastle, in County Down. Alphonsus was from the nearby town of Annalong, and Pauline was from Castlewellan, in that same county.

As we stated, above, the British will have to move out of Ireland, politically and militarily, before other people of the same high calibre as Alphonsus and Pauline can ‘move on’.


Two Irish rebels (one Catholic, one Protestant, not that it matters) were hanged side-by-side at Blundell Hill, Edenderry, for their parts in the 1798 Rising : Anthony Perry has been described as ‘a Protestant gentleman of independent fortune, liberal education, and benevolent mind..’, and Fr. Mogue (‘Moses’) Kearns is said to have been a deep-thinking man who hailed from ‘an ordained stock of Catholic farmers’.

They had placed themselves to the forefront of the Rising in Wexford in that year and Anthony Perry was known to have been captured previously by the British, and tortured by them (‘pitch-capped’, among other injuries), to the extent that he was fearless in battle and purposely goaded enemy soldiers to take him on.

Both men somehow survived the Rising but were captured by British forces at Clonbolloge, in County Offaly, on the 18th July 1798, and taken to Edenderry, in that same county.

They were hanged together on the 21st July, 1798 – 223 years ago on this date – and the British disposed of both bodies in the one grave, in Monasteroris Cemetery, just outside of Edenderry.

‘Poor Wexford stripped naked, hung high on a cross,

With her heart pierced by traitors and slaves,

Glory-o, glory-o, to her brave sons who died,

For the cause of long down-trodden men…’
(from here.)


The following article was solicited by ‘IRIS’ from a political observer in the 26 Counties. The article – whose author, John Ward, is not a member of the Republican Movement – is aimed at provoking discussion within (P)Sinn Féin.

From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.

(‘1169’ comment – please note that ‘IRIS’ magazine had, at that time, recently morphed from a republican-minded publication into a Trot-type mouthpiece for a Leinster House-registered political party.)

The working-class swing to Fianna Fáil in order to oust Garret Fitzgeral should be a passing phenomenon ; the populist shamsters of Fianna Fáil have now shown what side they are on with a vengeance and are out-Thatchering Thatcher and out-brutalising Bruton with their near genocidal onslaught on the working class.

Next time out a lot more working-class voters will know better than to put their trust in Charlie Haughey, and they will hardly turn for relief to Alan Dukes and his Blueshirts or Des O’Malley’s privateering dole snatchers*. The conditions are there for at least a modest swing to the left at the next outing, but will that swing benefit (P)Sinn Féin? On the basis of the last election, it does not look very likely. It seems more likely to go the the ‘Workers Party’, who narrowly missed getting a couple more seats, or even to the clapped-out coalition fodder of the ‘Labour Party’.

The ‘Labour’ crowd, now that they have been spurned by Fine Gael, will dress themselves up in fake left policies again and try to pretend that they were never part of the coalition government that started this onslaught on the poor, and even workers who refuse to be conned by either MacGiolla, de Rossa or Spring, are as likely to stay at home as to come out and vote for (P) Sinn Féin. But why…?

(*‘1169’ comment – Council, Corporation and State [Leinster House] elections will always be contested by a variety of political parties and the electorate will always have a so-called ‘choice’ of which particular brand of ‘new/different oil’ they now want to try in the seized engine that this political system is. But, regardless, that ‘engine’ still won’t work.)



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

The foreign press, films, games, dancing etc, and the whole shadow of a foreign power are leaving their mark. When we have released the political grip on us we shall be left crushed and broken, and – Mothers of Ireland – it is then that we shall need the greatest men and women of pride and spirit and justice to carry out the tremendous task of building up our economy, and trade and restoring the language and culture that are quickly being so surely sapped out of us.

Please God, that tremendous task will need to be taken on by the children of today. So let their first stories be of Ireland and its splendid heroes, and let their first song be the melodies of the Gael, so that they will be in a position to reject the damaging foreign customs and pastimes because they have something purer and more beautiful to take their place.

One day I was discussing singing, with a girl, who had herslf a very sweet singing voice. We talked about parties and singing at parties…


Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics. and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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