ON THIS DATE (27TH OCTOBER) 9 YEARS AGO : WORLD-WIDE PROTEST HELD FOR IRISH POW’S.
‘On Saturday 27th October 2012, there were some 16 protests in 11 countries on three continents such as New York, Sydney, Rome, London, Rome, Manchester, Toronto, Paris,Glasgow, Hamburg, Colorado, Darmstadt, Dusseldorf, Magdeburg, Utrecht or Goteborg, as well as in Dublin, Galway and Lurgan in Ireland, in support of Irish republican political prisoners…’
‘Vienna/Hamburg – German police forces broke up a vigil outside the Lithuanian Consulate on Saturday, October 27 (2012). The vigil was organised by Irish republicans of the ‘Maghaberry Awareness Group St. Pauli’ to demand the release of Irish republican Michael Campbell who is held in a Lithuanian jail. October 27 was the International Day of Action for Irish republican prisoners 2012…
…about 50 local anarchists and Chechen socialists joined Irish republicans at a candlelight vigil at the Lithuanian Consulate at Grosse Bahnstrasse in the Altona district of Hamburg, Germany. The vigil lasted less than 30 minutes when it was broken up by German police forces threatening the arrest of all participants. The police said the protest was threatening the property of the Lithuanian Consulate..’ (from here.)
I scratched my name and not for fame
Upon the whitened wall;
“Bobby Sands was here”, I wrote with fear
In awful shaky scrawl.
I wrote it low where eyes don’t go
T’was but to testify,
That I was sane and not to blame
Should here I come to die..’
Pictured : Saturday, 27th October, 2012, at the Spire in O’Connell Street, Dublin.
As with any other liberation struggle, there will, unfortunately, be political prisoners as a consequence of that struggle. We have had thousands of our men and women imprisoned by the British and also by the Staters, and we still have men and women imprisoned today by both of those entities.
And, as long as Westminster continues to claim jurisdictional control over any part of Ireland, it is guaranteed that Irish republicans will continue to have their family members and/or their political comrades imprisoned. The only way to ensure that that doesn’t happen is for Westminster to withdraw, politically and militarily, from Ireland. And that can’t happen soon enough.
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.
The following appeared in the editorial of ‘The Northern Whig’ newspaper –
‘The manner in which this ‘expedition’ was carried out suggests no small ability in planning and suggests further that a period of greater activity by the IRA is ‘in orders’.
These and all the other implications of the raid are no doubt very present to the mind of these in authority who are responsible for the security of this part of Ireland and the United Kingdom (sic), and for the moment the matter may be left there. (END of ‘Unionist Reaction’ ; NEXT – ‘The Exiles ‘Rubbed It In’ ‘, from the same source.)
ON THIS DATE (27TH OCTOBER) 116 YEARS AGO : GUINNESS FAMILY HEIR BORN.
On the 27th October 1905 a child was born in London into the then 146-years old Guinness business family, which had its hands in a lot of different pies – banking, politics, a religious ministry and, of course, the brewing of various alcoholic drinks. The child, Bryan Walter Guinness, became a lawyer, a poet, a novelist, a politician, a soldier, a ‘socialite’ (!) and a company director.
He was the eldest child in a family of two boys and one daughter, born to Walter Guinness and Evelyn Erskine, and was said to prefer reading and writing rather than anything more active, a trait, perhaps, of having suffered through a childhood bout of poliomyelitis. His studies paid off for him when, at 25 years young, he was ‘called to the English Bar’ but quickly realised that it wasn’t the career for him – he made up his mind to leave on finding out that the clerk in the company he worked for wasn’t putting any work his way as she didn’t believe that he needed the money, because he came from a rich family!
Diana Mitford/Mrs Guinness/Lady Oswald Mosley..!
He was a married man by then, having settled down with a Miss Diana Mitford in 1929 (she was six years younger than him) but, within three years, the marriage was on the rocks – his Missus had thrown caution to the wind and was openly cavorting with a known fascist, Oswald Mosley, with whom she moved in with in early 1933, divorcing poor Bryan a year later.
He inherited the British title ‘2nd Lord Moyne’ and a seat in the so-called ‘House of Lords’, having served his country (!) in the ‘Second World War’ as an officer in the ‘Royal Sussex Regiment’ but, before his ‘adventures’ on the battle field, he had become a director in the family brewing business and, after his ‘wartime’ jollies, he was appointed as a vice-chairman of the company, and stayed in that position for 30 years, retiring in 1979.
He died on the 6th July, 1992, at 87 years of age, in Biddesdon House, Wiltshire, England, and is buried in Ludgershall, also in Wiltshire. By the sound of him, he would have supported the Guinness family anti-republican/Irish position, so we won’t be raising a glass to him..!
THE NOT SO IRISH NEWS…
Rita Smyth examines the editorials of the Northern newspaper, ‘The Irish News’, for the first six months of 1987.
Her analysis shows how the paper reflects the political attitudes of the Stormont Castle Catholics (who dominate the SDLP*) and the conservative values of the Catholic Hierarchy, especially Bishop Cahal Daly.
(From ‘Iris’ magazine, October 1987.)
(‘1169’ comment – *…and who now fill the ranks of other Stoop-like political parties in Stormont and Leinster House.) From ‘IRIS’ magazine, October 1987.
The ‘Northern Ireland’ of ‘The Irish News’ editorials is one which most ordinary people who actually live in the nationalist areas would be hard put to recognise, although we’ve certainly heard it all before.
According to ‘The Irish News’, almost all of the grievances of the anti-unionist population have been alleviated. Catholics and nationalists are no longer second-class citizens ; equality and justice, if not completely realised, are certainly around the corner. Loyalist ‘extremists’ have come to the end of the road and are increasingly isolated from the mainstream of the unionist population. The main obstacle to peace/stability/justice/equality/prosperity and ‘a normal society’ is the evil/futile/senseless/immoral violence perpetrated by the IRA and other ‘men of violence’.
We need to break from our backward-looking ‘tribal’ allegiances and look to the bright prospects of a new modern European identity, in reconciliation and ‘brotherhood’. This new political ‘reality’ has come about through the signing of ‘The Hillsborough Treaty’ and sooner or later the ‘extremists and begrudgers’ on both sides will have to come to terms with these new ‘facts of life…’
(‘1169’ comment : how ironic is it that that “main obstacle..” speech is now shouted at Irish republicans by those who used to have it shouted at them!)
ON THIS DATE (27TH OCTOBER) IN…
..1673 : a British ‘Proclamation’ was imposed in Ireland which banished Catholic bishops and priests and ordered the closure of Catholic churches and schools. This was in keeping with the ‘Penal Laws’.. ‘…for disarming Catholics and prohibiting foreign education (which) were the result of a definite policy which existed in Ireland from the time of the Williamite war. This policy was built upon a previous tradition of English statutes and Irish proclamations. The pressure for this policy came not only from Irish Protestants, but also from English ministers and from the crown. And the prime motive was security of the Protestant interest…’ (from here.)
It was, again, the ‘Protestant interest’ that led, 100 years ago, to the partition of Ireland, the spawning of the Six-County occupied area of Ulster and the on-going struggle in this country, today, to right that wrong.
..1919 : In accordance with a previous decree of the then 32-County Dáil Éireann for which Teachtaí (Members of the Irish Parliament) and officials swore their allegiance to the 32-County Irish Republic, the Teachtaí and Officials in attendance signed the Oath of Allegiance to Ireland – the 32-County entity, not the then soon-to-be 26-County Free State.
On Wednesday, 27th October 1920, Kevin Barry was informed that he will be hung the following Monday, 1st November. The Governor of Mountjoy Prison, Charles Arthur Munro, received an order from British Army General Macready telling him to carry out the sentence, and Kevin Barry was hanged in Mountjoy Jail on the 1st November, 1920.
..1922 : Michael Scanlon, a Primary school teacher and Officer Commanding of the Fourth Kilmallock Battalion, IRA, East Limerick Brigade, and Tadhg Crowley, ASU Adjutant, were ‘arrested’ by British forces in Laurencestown, Kilmallock. On the journey to William Street Barracks in Limerick, Michael Scanlon availed of an opportunity to escape his British captors and jumped from the lorry. He made his way to a ‘friendly house’ in Thomas Street, where he laid low.
A British Army search party, assisted by local RIC operatives, located Michael Scanlon and shot him ; he died from his wounds a short time later and is buried in Castle Jane Cemetery, in Limerick. A commemorative plaque on Thomas Street bears his name, as does a monument in Munroe, in North-East Limerick.
..1922 : William ‘Billy’ Myles Junior (pictured), a carpenter, who had joined Na Fianna Éireann in 1917 and was an IRA soldier with the 9th Battalion of the 1st Kerry Brigade, was on duty at an outpost situated at Tonevane, Curraheen, near Castlegregory, in County Kerry, when an attack by Free Staters took place and, in an attempt to capture one of the Staters, he was shot dead. One of the Staters, a Private Nagle, also died in that engagement.
On the 27th of October in 1922, James Foley, an IRA Volunteer with the Mid-Limerick Brigade, was shot dead at Dock Road. It was claimed by the Staters that he was ‘attempting to escape’ when he was shot.
He served from 1916 with the Irish Volunteers and the IRA and stayed true to the Cause. He was born in 1885 and at the time of his death was employed as a van driver with the ‘Imperial Bakery’ company of Sarsfield Street, Limerick.
Newspaper accounts of the events of Foley’s death report that James Foley was shot dead after three men called to his home in New Street, Limerick ; at about 9.45pm the three men, dressed in trench coats, called to his home and demanded he accompany them. He told his wife he would only be away a few minutes but she never saw him alive again.
..1922 : an IRA column at Glen Farm, Ballyheigue, County Kerry, was surrounded by armed Staters ; one man from the IRA unit, John Lawlor, volunteered to try and hold them off long enough for his comrades to make good their escape which, thanks to his efforts, they do. But the IRA man was captured and, finally, executed by the Staters four days later.
..1922 : the ‘Irish Volunteer’ organisation held a convention in Dublin to coincide with the Sinn Féin party Ard Fheis. At the convention, Éamon de Valera was elected as President, Cathal Brugha as chief-of-staff, Michael Collins was made Director of Organisation and Richard Mulcahy was made Director of Training. About 250 people were in attendance – hundreds more would have been present but they had been interned by the British.
..1971 : David Tilbury (29) and Angus Stevens (18), both members of the British Army, were killed by the IRA during an attack on their observation post in Rosemount, County Derry.
..1971 : RUC member, Ronald Dodds (34), was shot dead by the IRA near Toome, County Antrim.
..1971 : David Powell (22), a member of the British Army, was killed by a landmine planted by the IRA at Kinawley, County Fermanagh.
27th October 1980 – Beginning of a Hunger Strike by seven republican prisoners in the ‘H Blocks’ at Long Kesh. They are later joined by three female prisoners at Armagh Prison to protest at the ending of special category status.
One of their key demands was that they should be allowed to wear their own clothes rather than prison uniforms. The republican prisoners viewed themselves, rightly, as ‘prisoners of war’ and were refusing to be treated, as they saw it, as ‘ordinary criminals’. This protest was called off on the 18th December, 1980, and it marked an escalation of the campaign which was to see a larger more serious hunger strike take place in 1981.
..1982 : three RUC members were killed when the IRA detonated a land mine as the RUC patrol passed near Lurgan, County Armagh, as they went to investigate a robbery.
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.
THOMAS P. BUTLER :
The death occurred on November 13th last (1954), at Miami, Florida, United States, of Thomas Patrick Butler.
Born in Dun Laoghaire, he joined the Republican Army at an early age and was interned in the Curragh in 1923.
After he had undergone a hunger-strike he was released, in poor health, from the effects of which he suffered for the remainder of his life. He was a brother of Sister M Aquinas Butler, Indiana, formerly of Cumann na mBan.
MÁIRE MEAGHER :
On February 18th last (1955) the death took place at her residence at 3 Georges Quay, Dublin, of Máire Meagher.
Máire was a founder member of Inghinidhe na hÉireann and was a sister of Sighle Meagher who has had a life-long connection with the Republican Movement. (MORE LATER.)
Thanks for the visit, and for reading,