ON THIS DATE (29TH SEPTEMBER) 93 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF JOHN DEVOY.

‘The most dangerous enemy of this country that Ireland has produced since Wolfe Tone..’ – ‘The London Times’ newspaper, describing John Devoy (pictured), and it was a hard-won accolade by the man, but one which he later renaged on…



I was born in County Kildare, just southwest of Dublin

The third child and second son of Elizabeth and William

The year was 1842, just before the hunger

My dad broke stones and worked the rails to keep us from going under.






Gone, gone, gone are the days of old

Go on, go on, into the fold.






I grew up on tales of the failed and bloody Irish rebellions

So when I was old enough I joined up with the Fenians

And when the British Army arrested me and charged me with treason

I went away to Americay to escape my death in prison.






Gone, gone, gone are the days of old

Go on, go on, into the fold.






I refused to sing “God Save the Queen” when I was just a boy

By birth an Irish rebel, by name, John Devoy.






Ahoooo, John Devoy, Oooooo.





From the slums of New York City, I started the Clan na Gael

All those years that we fought and bled, this time we couldn’t fail

So from Boston town to Frisco Bay, I crisscrossed this country

Raising funds to buy more guns to fight the foreign enemy

From these shores I will fight to my grave

John Devoy is my name and Ireland we’ll save

One day we’ll rise together, Erin go Bragh, Ireland forever.






Gone, gone, gone are the days of old

Go on, go on, into the fold.






I refused to sing “God Save the Queen” when I was just a boy

By birth an Irish rebel, by name, John Devoy.






Ahoooo, John Devoy, Oooooo.





Gone are the days we rest, go on into the west, go on, go on

Gone are the days we rest, go on into the west, go on, go on

Go on, go on, go on, go on

Go on, go on, go on, go on.






I was born in County Kildare, just southwest of Dublin

The third child and second son of Elizabeth and William

The year was 1842, just before the hunger…



(By James Moors and Kort McCumber.)

Truth be told, he may as well have gone ahead and sang ‘God Save the Queen’.


He died from natural causes, while visiting Atlantic City in New Jersey, USA, at the age of 86, on the 29th September, 1928 – 93 years ago on this date – having spent the last seven years of his life trying to sell the Treaty of Surrender to anyone he came into contact with. Thankfully, not everyone listened to him.


His body was brought back to Ireland and, in June 1929, Leinster House gave him a Free State funeral, following which he was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, in Dublin.




‘UNIONIST REACTION.’


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




Frank admissions that the raid was brilliantly planned and executed, thus revealing the IRA as a well-trained and highly disciplined force, was the Unionist reaction. This was followed by typical Unionist panic, thereby indicating their own undisciplined and insecure position.


The following is an extract from the editorial of the Unionist ‘Belfast Telegraph’ newspaper –


‘The bold, well-planned raid by the Irish Republican Army on the Armagh depot of the Royal Irish Fusiliers is disturbing for a number of reasons. It reveals that the IRA is still active, and that, on the evidence so far available, its capacity should not be underestimated because it can probably count, North and South, on the collusion of people with divided loyalties.


It is easy to say that the importance of this affair should not be exaggerated, but when the armoury of this depot can be cleared of rifles, guns and ammunition on a Saturday afternoon, it is more important that the public should be told the full details of how it happened.


Then, and not till then, will it be possible to form a fair judgement. That the IRA has been more anxious to give information than the authorities (sic) has created an unfortunate impression…’


(‘1169’ comment
– “..collusion…divided loyalties..” – typical weighted-words from this mouthpiece for unionist supremacy which, while appearing to clap republicans on the back for the Armagh operation, is actually looking for a soft spot to stick the dagger in.) (MORE LATER.)




ON THIS DATE (29TH SEPTEMBER) 123 YEARS AGO : EASTER RISING LEADER RELEASED FROM PRISON.

Tom Clarke (Tomás Séamus Ó Cléirigh) was born in a British military camp at Hurst Park in the Isle of Wight, on the 11th March 1858. His father was then a Corporal in the British Army but, like Tom’s mother, was Irish born.


A year later Corporal Clarke was drafted to South Africa where the family lived until 1865. Tom first saw Ireland about 1870, when his father was appointed a Sergeant of the Ulster Militia and was stationed at Dungannon, in County Tyrone.


It was here that Tom grew to early manhood, and his father wished him to follow in his own footsteps and join the British Army, but the ‘Old Woman’ (‘Ireland’) had already enlisted him in her own small but select Army, and at a time when prospects appeared most dreary, for the gloom of the so-called ‘Famine’ and the defeat of the Fenians still hung heavy over the land. Tom Clarke was sworn into the Irish Republican Brotherhood by Michael Davitt and John Daly ; he could have had no more worthy sponsors.

In 1880, at twenty-two years young, he emigrated to the United States where he joined Clann na Gael and quickly volunteered for Active Service in Britain. The ship he travelled on struck an iceberg and sank, but he was rescued and landed in Newfoundland. Resuming his interrupted journey, he reached London where he was soon arrested – he had been followed from New York by ‘Henri Le Caron’, a British spy. On the 14th June, 1883, at the ‘Old Bailey’, he was, with three others, sentenced to penal servitude for life.


For 15 years and nine months, in the prisons of Chatham and Portland, Tom Clarke endured imprisonment without flinching ; 15 years and nine months of an incessant attempt, by the British, to deprive him of his life or reason. This torture did not cease with daylight and recommence on the following day ; it was maintained during the hours of darkness when even the vilest criminal was entitled to sleep and rest. But Tom Clarke and his comrades got neither sleep nor rest.


Cunning devices for producing continuous disturbing sounds were erected over their cells – these are described in his book ‘Glimpses of an Irish Felon’s Prison Life’. The relentless brutality at length drove two of his comrades, Whitehead and Gallagher, hopelessly insane. With John Daly, they were released in 1896 ; Daly had been arrested a year after Tom Clarke, and had hitherto shared the same prisons with him ; though kept apart , they had managed to communicate with each other now and again. The release of his friend was a sore loss to Tom Clarke who, for a further two years, had to endure alone an even more intensified form of torture.

Released on the 29th September 1898 – 123 years ago on this date – he spent a short time in Limerick with his friend John Daly before returning to America where, in 1901, he married Kathleen Daly, John Daly’s daughter. With Devoy, he founded the ‘Gaelic American’ newspaper (pictured) and, as its Assistant Editor, worked in New York until 1907. Then he returned to Ireland and opened a newspaper shop at Parnell Street, in Dublin, where Padraig Pearse and other republican figures were amongst those who were frequent visitors, so much so that the venue became a meeting place for Irish rebels.


Padraig Pearse and his comrades sought the help of the man who had for so long been tested in the crucible of suffering and had been found unbreakable, and he didn’t fail them. In 1916, they repaid him by insisting that his should be the first signature to the Proclamation of the Republic ; it was the greatest day of Tom Clarke’s life, though well he knew it meant for him the end.


He was shot dead by the British on the 3rd May 1916, at 58 years of age. Of those years, only eighteen had been spent in Ireland, and most of the remainder of those years were spent in hardship. But he was man enough to have followed the road indicated by ‘the Old Woman’, and we were fortunate that he did.

(The above is an edited version of a piece we first posted here in 2004.)




ON THIS DATE (29TH SEPTEMBER) IN…

..1799 : Matthew Tone, a brother of Wolfe Tone, was executed “for treason” by the British following his capture at the Battle of Ballinamuck. He was a Captain in the French Army under General Humbert, and was hanged at Arbor Hill Prison in Dublin, and his body disposed of in ‘The Croppy Acre’.

—————————




..1920 : Two RIC ‘police officers’ were killed in an ambush of an enemy patrol outside Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary ; a four-person RIC patrol was ambushed at Killoskehan, near Borrisoleigh, and two RIC operatives, Terence Flood and Edward Noonan, were killed, and one of their colleagues, a ‘Constable’ Ferris, was wounded.

—————————

..1920 : Two RIC men were shot dead in John Ryan’s pub, in O’Brien’s Bridge, County Clare ; they were drinking in the pub when four IRA men entered and shot them dead. The two dead men were named as John Downey, aged 35, a native of Cork, who was killed instantly, and John Thomas Keeffe (/Keefe) aged 30, a native of County Clare, who died shortly after the attack from wounds received.

—————————




..1920 : Four (Catholic) civilians were killed by British soldiers firing from a military truck during disturbances on the Falls Road in Belfast ; street riots had broken out following the shootings of three Sinn Féin men on the 26th September. The four men who were shot dead were Robert Gordon (18), Thomas Barkley (32), James Shields (19) and William Teer (30). At the coroner’s inquest into their deaths, it was stated that the British Army had been “justified in firing on the crowd”. Those armed British thugs are still in Ireland, and still causing riots ; shooting’s like the above could happen again – the only way to ensure that they don’t is to remove the British armed presence.



—————————




‘WHAT IS TO BE DONE? THE STRUGGLE IN THE 26 COUNTIES…’

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.)


Right from Arthur Griffith’s refusal to back the workers in 1913* and de Valera’s slogan that ‘Labour Must Wait’**, in 1918, militant workers have never seen Sinn Féin unequivocally take their side in the class struggle for any length of time. That militant working-class tradition needs to be brought back into the direct political arena, but Sinn Féin may not be the best vehicle for doing it.


In recent times, long-term unemployment has weakened the traditional trade-union-based working-class consciousness, but it has been replaced to some extent by the growth of community consciousness in working-class areas, and that has already begun to express itself in the electoral field with, for instance, Tony Gregory’s success in Dublin’s Inner City.


And there has been another major development in recent years that challenges the whole establishment set-up, and which threatens to shake up all the parties of the left as well, and that is the growth of feminism ; neither of these currents are going to dissolve themselves overnight into Sinn Féin, and women republicans in particular are only too well aware that Sinn Féin, like most long-established political groups, has a fair distance to go before it can win the full confidence of **militant feminists…


(‘1169’ comment
: Arthur Griffith refused to help because his movement was “national not sectional”, and he went on to describe the food ships sent by British trade unionists as an “insult”. He was wrong on both counts.// ** de Valera was of the opinion that obtaining a socialist Ireland was not as important as obtaining a British military and political withdrawal. Like Mr Griffith, he, too, was wrong. In our opinion, both choices compliment each other.// ***It is not necessary, nor has it even been, for a woman to be a “militant feminist” before she can support republicanism. The real agenda at play here, by the author of the article, is an attempt by him to pave the way for republicanism to be distracted from its core objective into one of putting more time and energy into other issues rather than republicanism. A typical trot ploy.) (MORE LATER.)




ON THIS DATE (29TH SEPTEMBER) 222 YEARS AGO : JAMES NAPPER TANDY HANDED OVER TO THE BRITISH.

Liberte! Egalite! Fraternite! Ou La Mort! ( (Freedom! Equality! Brotherhood! Or Death!). Unite Indivisibilite De La Republique!


‘(On the) 7th April 1801, the trial of United Irishman, James Napper Tandy (pictured), began. He stood trial for treason. He had been a member of the United Irishmen and was one of the leaders of the failed Irish Rebellion of 1798. Tandy actively encouraged young Irish people to follow the example of the French peasants, and uprise against their rulers with force. He was in the process of building an army when his actions came to the attention of the British government.


He was forced to flee Ireland and spent time in France, where he met with Theobald Wolfe Tone and other United Irishmen. They gathered support from the French military and returned to Ireland intent on leading a rebellion. However, they struggled to gain support. In their absence, the British had quashed the Irish ambition that an independent republic could be achieved using military force. Tandy again had to leave Ireland, through fear of arrest, and sailed all the way around the north of Scotland to avoid landing on English land.


British forces intercepted him in Hamburg, Germany, and Tandy was returned to Ireland to stand trial for the treasonable landing on Rutland Island, off the coast of Donegal. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death, but his life was spared after a personal plea from French leader Napoleon, and Tandy was allowed to leave to live out the remainder of his life in France. Tandy was given a huge funeral in Bordeaux (and) is mentioned in the old folk song, ‘The Wearing of the Green’, which tells the story of the struggle faced by the Irish people under British rule in the early 19th century…’ (from here.)




On the day Castlebar was liberated – August 27th, 1798 – James Napper Tandy, a Dublin man, born in 1739, sailed from Dunkerque with 270 French Grenadiers and a large quantity of weapons, powder and artillery, on board the corvette ‘Anacreon’, reputed to be the fastest vessel in the French Navy.

They landed near Burtonport, County Donegal, on September 16th, 1798 but, on hearing of General Humbert’s defeat at Ballinamuck, they withdrew. On September 21st, 1798, the ships captain landed Napper Tandy at Bergen in Norway, from where, en route to France by land, he arrived in Hamburg, then a neutral state, on November 22nd, 1798.

It was there that Napper Tandy was arrested and protracted extradition proceedings followed ; the British arrogantly demanded that he be handed over for ‘trial’ – eventually, after many legal delays – and on strength of the ‘evidence’ of a tout, Samuel Turner – James Napper Tandy was handed over to the British Minister in Hamburg, ‘Sir’ James Craufurd, on the 29th September 1799 – 222 years ago on this date.


But French retribution was swift ; they re-called their ‘charge d’affaires’ and Consul in Hamburg immediately. Hamburg’s representatives in France were given 24 hours to quit their residences and eight days to leave the country. This all coincided with the return of Napoleon Bonaparte from Egypt and his assumption of power as First Consul of France.

A letter from the Senate of Hamburg to the French, which set out their (Germany) reasons for extraditing James Napper Tandy was returned unopened. The German administration then communicated personally with Napoleon Bonaparte (pictured), whose reply was devastating, and which he published for the edification of the public – “You have violated hospitality, a thing that would not happen among the barbarous hordes of the desert..” He then promptly ordered trade sanctions (which were not lifted until April 1801) on payment of a fine of 4,500,000 Francs.


Napper Tandy was sentenced to death at Lifford Court, in Donegal, and May 4th, 1801, was fixed as the day of execution. A reprieve was granted until May 28th, and, on May 12th that year, his execution was postponed indefinitely. By 1802 the long war between France and England was coming to an end, and negotiations for peace were under way : ‘Lord’ Cornwallis, the ‘Lord Lieutenant’ who had taken personal command against General Humbert’s army in 1798, was the Chief British negotiator and Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, was the Chief French negotiator.

The signing of the Peace Treaty of Amiens (signed on March 25th, 1802) was delayed when the First Consul instructed his brother to demand that the British comply with one further condition – “General James Napper Tandy must be released from prison and restored ‘au sein de la France’ – to the bosom of France..” and, on the night of Sunday, March 7th, 1802, James Napper Tandy was quietly released from prison and put on board a ship for France ; on March 14th of that year he landed in Bordeaux to military and civic receptions. He died there, from dysentery, at 63 years of age, as an Irish patriot, on the 24th August, 1803.



‘O Paddy dear, and did ye hear the news that’s goin’ round?

The shamrock is by law forbid to grow on Irish ground!

No more Saint Patrick’s Day we’ll keep, his color can’t be seen

For there’s a cruel law ag’in the Wearin’ o’ the Green.






I met with Napper Tandy, and he took me by the hand

And he said, “How’s poor old Ireland, and how does she stand?”

“She’s the most distressful country that ever yet was seen

For they’re hanging men and women there for the Wearin’ o’ the Green…” ‘





ON THIS DATE (29TH SEPTEMBER) 49 YEARS AGO : BORN INTO A FENIAN FAMILY BUT DIED AS A FREE STATER.

On the 11th April 1878, a daughter, Kathleen (pictured) was born in Limerick into a well-known and respected republican family, at the head of which sat Edward and Catherine Daly.


‘The man of the house’ worked in the timber business. Her uncle, John Daly, was as well known in republican circles as was her father, and was imprisoned with a man who, despite the fact that he was twenty years older than Kathleen Daly, was to marry her in later years.


That man was Tom Clarke, who was born in a British military camp at Hurst Park in the Isle of Wight, on the 11th March 1858. His father was then a Corporal in the British Army but, like Tom’s mother, was Irish born. A year later Corporal Clarke was drafted to South Africa where the family lived until 1865. Tom first saw Ireland about 1870, when his father was appointed a Sergeant of the Ulster Militia and was stationed at Dungannon in County Tyrone.


To cut a long story short, on the 14th of June, 1883, at the ‘Old Bailey’, Tom Clarke was, with three others, sentenced to penal servitude for life. For 15 years and nine months, in the prisons of Chatham and Portland, he endured imprisonment without flinching ; 15 years and nine months of an incessant attempt, by the British, to deprive him of his life or reason.


This torture did not cease with daylight and recommence on the following day – it was maintained during the hours of darkness when even the lowest criminal was entitled to sleep and rest. But Tom Clarke and his comrades got neither sleep nor rest – cunning devices for producing continuous disturbing sounds were erected over their cells, and these are described in his book ‘Glimpses of an Irish Felon’s Prison Life’. He was released in 1898, aged 40, and spent a short time in Limerick with his friend John Daly before returning to America where, in 1901, he married Kathleen Daly, John Daly’s daughter : she was 23 years of age, he was 43.

“Great God! Did I ever think I would live to see it, to see men who were the bravest, now fooled that this Treaty means a realisation of our highest ideals..” – Kathleen Clarke (Daly), speaking about the ‘Treaty of Surrender’ – but that was ‘then’, as they say, when she was anti-Treaty, to the point that she had been imprisoned in Dublin Castle, in late 1916, by the British administration for her republican activity, and was entrusted, by her husband, in early 1916, to hold on to £3,100 of IRB funds to relieve distressed republicans, as the man knew he might not survive the Easter Rising but wanted to leave some financial assistance for the families of those who might die with him – within days of his death, she had set up the ‘Irish Volunteer Dependents’ Fund’.


She was a judge in the Sinn Féin courts, worked practically full-time on the production of the IRB newspaper, ‘Irish Freedom’, was president of the central branch of Cumann na mBan and was a confidant of the supreme council of the IRB before the Easter Rising, trusted with all available contact details, plans and timing for same, should the known leadership be rounded-up by Westminster.


However, it is known that, after the Treaty, she contacted Michael Collins and told him she would support that Treaty because, she opined, it offered “the machinery to work out to full freedom”, probably the same reason she turned up at the Four Courts in June 1922, after it had been taken back by Liam Mellows and his men from the British-backed Free Staters, and stated to the republicans that what they were doing was “a challenge to Mick Collins and I know Mick well enough that he’ll only accept that challenge until such time as he can get an army together and kick you out of here. Are you going to wait for that..?”.


But, two years after her plea to republicans not to challenge the Free Staters, she travelled to America on a fundraising tour for republican prisoners but (another ‘but’!), two years after that fundraising tour, she assisted de Valera in establishing the ‘Fianna Fáil’ party and was ensconced in the Free State system either as a ‘TD’, a ‘Senator’ and a ‘Lord Mayor’ for Dublin during the years 1921 to 1927, 1928 to 1936 and 1939 to 1941.


She is on record for stating that, in her opinion, Roger Casement “made a fool of himself” by seeking military assistance from the Germans and that he knew nothing about Ireland!


In 1965, she left this country and lived in Liverpool with her son, Emmet, where she died on the 29th September, 1972, aged 94 – 49 years ago on this date. Leinster House gave her a State funeral, and buried her in Deansgrange Cemetery, in Dublin.


As we have said here before – ‘put not your trust in princes’.




‘LETTERS FROM OUR READERS.’

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


‘The Editor,

United Irishman.

Dear Editor,

I have been interested in the problem of Ireland, so I am writing this letter which I hope you will print.

The occupation of Northern Ireland
(sic) by the British invaders has effected the whole of Ireland.

And for the last 400 years the British invaders have ruled a peace-loving country like Ireland ; those invaders have persecuted, murdered and robbed the Irish people. What misery the Irish people have been through very few people outside Ireland know or understand.

People today outside Ireland take Britain’s word for it that the people of Northern Ireland
(sic) want British rule. This is just how the British Government fools the world.

But sometime the world will know about Ireland’s fight for independence, and brave Irishmen
(sic) will not have died in vain for their beloved Ireland. St Patrick rid Ireland of snakes. Ireland needs another St Patrick to rid her of British snakes. The IRA are doing a fine job in the cause for a united Ireland and I don’t think that the IRA can ever be repaid as they will deliver the whole of Ireland from the British invader.

This is God’s cause and Ireland’s cause. I end now with ‘Erin go Bragh’!

Yours sincerely,

Kenneth Theodore Telly,

CRE 183 Britts Road,

Cincinnatus Town,

Karachi 5,

Pakistan.’




(MORE LATER.)

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,


Sharon.






























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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