ON THIS DATE (3RD NOVEMBER) 99 YEARS AGO : FINANCIAL WARNING ISSUED BY DÁIL ÉIREANN.
On the 3rd November 1922 – 99 years ago on this date – Irish republicans loyal to the 32-County Dáil Éireann issued the following Proclamation –
‘Dated the 3rd November, 1922, the following proclamation was issued :
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND.
Whereas an unconstitutional and usurping Junta, set up at the dictation of the British Government and calling itself the “Provisional Government of Ireland,” is and has been pledging the credit of the nation without the sanction of Dáil Eireann, the Parliament and Government of the Republic, and contracting debts and liabilities in various ways, including the purchase of military supplies and war material, and is further seeking to create vested interests by filling vacant offices and making appointments to new offices ;
And whereas the so-called Provisional Government has been proclaimed an illegal body by the Government of the Republic ;
Therefore, it is hereby proclaimed and notified to all whom it may concern that all such debts contracted or to be contracted, and appointments made, or to be made, by the said Provisional Government without the sanction of Dáil Eireann, the Parliament and Government of the Republic, are, and shall be illegal, null and void, and will not be recognised by the State.
(Signed) Aibhistin de Staic (Austin Stack)
Minister for Finance.’
That junta is still here, in this Free State, and still operating from Leinster House in Kildare Street, in Dublin, and it’s still wreaking financial havoc in the part of Ireland that it claims to have jurisdictional control over.
Those who operate under its ‘writ’ are, for the most part, millionaire/extremely wealthy businessmen/women and/or so-called ‘landlords’, and have no empathy with the people they purport to govern over. We need a new beginning ; a ‘New Ireland’. The alternative is to continue to put so-called ‘new oil(faces)’ into a seized ‘engine’ (Leinster House) in the hope that it will ‘work’.
ON THIS DATE (3RD NOVEMBER) 206 YEARS AGO : BIRTH OF FLAWED IRISH PATRIOT JOHN MITCHEL.
A child, John, born to Mary Mitchel (née Haslett) and a Presbyterian Minister, John Mitchel (of Unitarian sympathies, who was once a member of ‘The United Irishman’ organisation) at Camnish, near Dungiven, in County Derry, on the 3rd November, 1815 – 206 years ago on this date – was to mature into the republican tradition that he grew up surrounded by.
Given the poverty that he witnessed on a daily basis and his father’s socialist outlook, John Mitchel (pictured) was soon working and socialising in republican circles, and counted William Smith O’Brien, Thomas Francis Meagher, Terence Bellew MacManus, John Martin, Pat O’Donoghue and Kevin Izod O’Doherty, among others, as his friends and comrades and, indeed, was imprisoned by the British with those friends. He differed with them, however, in his opinion of slavery (which he was in favour of and could see benefits in!) whereas the other men couldn’t.
He is on record for stating the following re slavery – “Be perfectly assured as I am that you (and the majority of the civilized nineteenth-century world) are altogether wrong on the whole question, and I absolutely right on it. And when any of your taunting friends ask you (as you say they do) ‘What do you think of Ireland’s emancipation now? Would you like an Irish Republic with an accompaniment of slave plantations?’ — just answer quite simply —Yes, very much. At least I would answer so.”
However : as one of the leaders of the ‘Young Ireland’ Movement, he established a newspaper, ‘The United Irishman’, in Dublin on the 12th February 1848 which brought him further to the attention of the ‘authorities’ who accused him of writing “wild and menacing words” ; the British shut his newspaper down and ‘arrested’ him, citing the ‘Treason Felony Act’ (of April 1848) and, in July that same year, the ‘Habeas Corpus’ condition (ie the ‘you-shall-have-the-body-present-in-court’ ruling) was done away with, meaning that any so-called ‘legal safeguards’ were gone.
John Mitchel was actually the first prisoner to be ‘tried’ in this manner, in Dublin’s Green Street Courthouse (in May 1848) and, as expected, he was shown no mercy ; he was sentenced to fourteen years transportation. He spent his first year of imprisonment in Bermuda before being sent to Van Diemans Land (Tasmania, pictured), which was a penal colony in Australia.
Meanwhile, back home in Ireland, the British had captured the other leaders of the ‘Young Ireland’ organisation and transported them to Van Diemans Land as well, to serve their sentences. John Mitchel was joined in prison by his comrades William Smith O’Brien, Thomas Francis Meagher, Terence Bellew MacManus, John Martin, Pat O’Donoghue and Kevin Izod O’Doherty, but supporters of the’ Young Ireland’ movement in New York, America, were watching those developments with interest.
Those American supporters appointed one of their men, Patrick James Smyth – who had fought well in Ireland during the 1848 Rising and was lucky enough to have escaped to America after its collapse – to travel to Australia to effect a rescue of all or some of the imprisoned rebel leaders. It was now the year 1853 ; John Mitchel and the other six ‘Young Ireland’ leaders had been in prison for five years and were by now being allowed out on parole on a regular basis on condition that they give their word not to escape.
P.J. Smyth had arrived in Australia and had arranged to meet John Mitchel in a hotel outside the town of Hobart ; the two men met, as arranged – they had not seen each other in five years and, in his book ‘Gaol Journal’, (pictured) John Mitchel described that first meeting, of how he approached a man outside the hotel and asked him was his name Smyth ; “He (Smyth) turned upon me suddenly ; clearly he thought it was a detective, thought that he had been traced all the way to the very spot where he was to meet us – that he was a prisoner and all was over. I hastened to undeceive him, for he looked strongly tempted to shoot me and bolt..”
The two men talked of how Mitchel could escape from Australia ; his people in New York had supplied P.J. Smyth with a list of ‘Young Ireland’ sympathisers in that part of Australia who were willing and able to assist in John Mitchel’s escape, and a plan was devised.
On his return to prison, John Mitchel requested a meeting with the prison guv’nor and, in early June, 1853, told him that he was no longer willing to give his word that he would not, in future, attempt to escape. However, at his request, he was allowed out of the prison once more, in mid-July 1853, and was then spirited away by P. J. Smyth and local supporters, who took him to the docks area where a ship was preparing for a voyage to America. He was smuggled on board for the harrowing trip and, in late November 1853, he arrived in New York.
It was the following year (1854) that John Mitchel wrote his book about his five years in prison and, even today, that book, ‘Gaol Journal’, is considered to be one of the best works about prison life to be put on paper.
He died, at 59 years of age, on the 20th March 1875, in his parents house at Dromolane, in Newry, which incorporates Counties Down and Armagh ; the lifestyle forced on him by the British took its toll on his health, and he suffered from severe bouts of asthma and had lost weight, leaving him in a weakened state, physically. But he died fighting for the same Cause – Irish freedom : in the year he died he was twice elected to the British Parliament, from Tipperary, on a platform of ‘the Irish question’, tenant rights and free education, but was twice denied his seat by the British establishment because he was ‘a convicted felon’.
A statue (pictured) to the man was erected by the people of Newry and is located at John Mitchel Place, an extension of Newry’s main street, ‘Hill Street’.
‘First when I joined my comrade men, it being in fortytwo,
those things that’ll follow after I will plainly tell to you.
He raised the standard of Repeal, and gloried on the deed,
and he vowed to heaven he’d never rest, until Ireland would be freed…‘
‘THE EXILES ‘RUBBED IT IN’ ‘.
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, July, 1954.
There was a touch of devilment in the procession held by the Wolfe Tone Cumann of Sinn Féin through the principal streets of London on Sunday, 13th June (1954).
With the Sunday papers that morning carrying banner headlines about “the daring IRA raid on Armagh Barracks” etc, a body of Irishmen, headed by the Tricolour, parading down Edgeware Road, by Hyde Park and the Marble Arch, in front of Buckingham Palace and on to Trafalgar Square, did seem like ‘rubbing it in’.
Even the steady downpour could not damp their enthusiasm, which was taken up by their many fellow-countrymen who, seeing the procession pass, eagerly joined in, to show their delight at the morning’s good news!
(END of ‘The Exiles ‘Rubbed It In’ ‘ ; Next – ‘Tyrone After-Mass Meetings’, from the same source.)
ON THIS DATE (3RD NOVEMBER) 101 YEARS AGO : CAREER BRITISH OPERATIVE SHOT DEAD.
On the 3rd November 1920 – 101 years ago on this date – an RIC member, a Sergeant Patrick Fallon, was shot dead by the IRA in Ballymote, in County Sligo ; that same night the Auxiliaries and their colleagues in the British Army attacked the village of Ballymote and a number of business premises, houses, hay barns and the ‘Ballymote Creamery Company’ were burnt beyond use.
In a damage limitation exercise, local newspapers published reports claiming that the damage would have been much worse if it was not for the actions of the local RIC, naming District Inspectors Russell and MacBrien. It was reported that if it wasn’t for the actions of those two RIC members not a house in Ballymote would have survived.
Over the following few weeks, four local Sinn Féin halls were also attacked and a Mr. Michael Gray was arrested for the killing of RIC man Fallon and, at a trial in Belfast, he was convicted of the killing after making a ‘confession’.
Mr. Fallon was from Tuam, in County Galway, and had joined the RIC on the 1st May, 1891 (badge number 55021). He operated for the Crown in his RIC uniform in Donegal and Sligo and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1912 and was of the opinion that he would make it to the ‘Head Constable’ position before too long.
He was known as a ‘jobsworth’ and his zeal had brought him to the attention of the local IRA who considered him to be “..a very dangerous enemy (who) had gone out of his way to harry men who were active and on the run…(his) daughter was also actively engaged in doing intelligence work..”
He had marked himself for execution and, at an IRA Battalion meeting on the 1st November, 1920, two IRA men, Pat Coleman and Jim Molloy, were tasked with the job.
On Wednesday, 3rd November 1920, as the RIC man was ‘on duty’ at a market fair in Ballymote, he was approached by the two IRA men and ordered to put his hands up and surrender. Instead, he went for his gun but was shot dead before he could use it. He was 49 years of age, and had wasted the last twenty-nine of those years working in Ireland for the Crown.
Michael Gray, of Ballinlough, County Roscommon, who had not been involved in Fallon’s killing, was nevertheless convicted of it in June 1921. We are unable to find out what his sentence entailed.
ON THIS DATE (3RD NOVEMBER) IN…
..1917 : Conor Cruise “I am glad to be an ally of Paisley’s in the defence of the Union…“ O’Brien, a Free State Establishment figure, was born. More info about him on the web, we’re sure.
..1920 : Five members of the IRA – William Meagher, Jack Hackett, Paddy Whelehan, Bill Kelly and Joe O’Brien – had identified a pub in Cloughjordan Village, in Tipperary, as a regular haunt for the local RIC men.
Whelehan, O’Brien and Kelly went into the bar and as soon as one of the RIC members spotted the guns being produced he bolted out the back door. But another RIC man, William Maxwell (24), wasn’t quick enough and was shot dead.
On the 3rd November 1920 – after an initial arson attack on the ‘Athlone Printing Works’ by Crown Forces on the 16th October – they returned to finish the job and completely destroyed the building and printing presses. That printing works operation was where ‘The Westmeath Independent’ newspaper was printed, a ‘paper which was strongly critical of the actions of the Crown Forces.
..1920 : in the early hours of Wednesday, 3rd November, 1920, IRA men from the Charleville Company moved in on a deserted and empty RIC barracks in Milford, County Cork, with the intention of destroying it. When one of the IRA men, Paddy O’Brien, from Liscarroll, Cork, approached the door of the ’empty’ building.. ‘..it was suddenly opened and a Tan fired at Paddy, shooting him in the face..’ A brief gunfight followed ; what was the outcome, and how was it set-up that the barracks appeared to be empty? Enlarge the accompanying graphic and get your answers..!
..1922 : Tom Powell and his East Mayo Anti-Treaty IRA unit are captured in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo ; various sources cite this event, but we are unable to find further information on it. We did, however, come across a Tom Powell, Fianna Fáil, who was born in 1892 and who died in 1971. He was a teacher who, in 1927, contested for, and won, a Leinster House seat for those renegades that year but lost it in 1933. Could very well be the same man, as many republicans were misled in the 1920’s and, indeed, in every decade since then. And those type of people are still being politically misled today.
..1922 : Republicans attack Free State General Richard Mulcahy’s official residence adjoining a military barracks in Portobello, Dublin. A grenade was thrown into the house and a gunfight ensued before his guard was reinforced and the attack was beaten back with the loss of one IRA man.
..1922 : Three Free State soldiers were killed when the car they were travelling in crashed, due to speeding, at the North Wall in Dublin. A civilian, Edward Kavanagh, also died in that car accident.
..1922 : Liam Lynch arrived in Dublin and established his HQ in Tower House, Santry – the home of Mr and Mrs Michael Fitzgerald and Misses Nora, Kit and Nan Cassidy. The house had a secret room which had been specially built to accomodate several people and equipment such as weapons, boxes of documents, typewriters etc.
..1922 : In a robbery on the Post Office in the Rotunda, Dublin, an IRA ASU got away with £2,133.
..1922 : The IRA blew up the bridge at Meanus between Killarney and Killorglin in County Kerry. At least 65 bridges were damaged during this period by the IRA, as they were used more by Free State forces than they were by the IRA.
..1922 : An eight-man patrol of Free State soldiers was attacked at Sallins railway station in County Kildare and one soldier, Private Francis Crampton, from Swordlestown, Naas, County Kildare, was killed. The IRA had attacked the North Signal Box at Sallins Railway Station, County Kildare ; they were cutting phone and telegraph lines near the Signal Box when they were surprised by a patrol of Free State Army troops and, in the ensuing exchange of fire, one Free Stater was killed.
..1932 : Birth in Rooskey, Co Roscommon of Albert Reynolds, Free State politician and businessman, Fianna Fáil leader and State ‘Taoiseach’ from 1992 to 1994. The less said, the better…
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.
This is the perspective which the Irish establishment would have us accept. Underlying all the moral appeals and pleas for reconciliation is an assessment which has abandoned any hope of Irish unity and independence. The goal to be achieved is the integration of a section of the Catholic middle class in the administration of the Six-County statelet.
For this to be possible, it is necessary to convince the majority of nationalists living here that things really aren’t so bad and in any case more is to be gained by gathering the crumbs from Britain’s (and the EEC’s) table than continuing to struggle for national integrity and freedom*.
The political key to realising this perspective is to make the Hillsborough Treaty stick. What it represents is not a ‘framework’ for a new society based on equality and mutual respect for the two traditions ; it represents a ‘political solution’ which not only has abandoned hope of a British withdrawal, but in fact requires the continued British presence, in the guise of joint British-Irish structures, to guarantee the position of Catholic business and religious interests…
(*‘1169’ comment – that middle class has long been bought by Westminster ; the situation here is that both the SDLP and (P)SF are administering British rule in the Six-Counties, in return for financial gain, seats, soup and crumbs from their guv’nor’s table.)
ON THIS DATE (3RD NOVEMBER) 101 YEARS AGO : ‘THE BATTLE OF BALLINALEE’.
On the 3rd of November, 1920, a large contingent of armed British forces, comprising the RIC and the British Army – at least 11 lorry-loads of them, approximately 900 men in total, including local operatives – drove into the small town of Ballinalee, in County Longford, seeking revenge for the recent shootings of two of their number, RIC ‘District Inspector’ Philip St John Howlett Kelleher, who was shot dead in the bar of the Grenville Arms Hotel, Granard, County Longford, and ‘Constable’ Peter Cooney (who operated mostly in plain clothes) was shot dead at Clonbroney Chapel by Frank Davis of the Longford Brigade IRA.
‘DI’ Kelleher was in Longford under orders to “..take action against the IRA and clean up the area..(I) was sent to Longford to spill blood and that blood would be spilled..”, and ‘Constable’ Cooney would have been one of his ‘assistants’ in attempting to do so. It actually transpired that ‘DI’ Kelleher was being monitored in the bar by IRA men who were not aware that the man was only minutes away from being executed by their republican comrades!
A gun battle ensued between the Crown forces and an IRA Flying Column (the ‘Rose Cottage Lads’!) of about 300 fighters from the Longford Brigade which, at the time (ie before he later turned on them) was lead by Seán MacEoin (a republican ‘poacher’-turned-Free State-‘gamekeeper’) –
‘..MacEoin decided to protect both Granard and Ballinalee, as both places were equally likely to be attacked by the Tans. He placed Seán Murphy in charge of a group to defend Granard, while he himself took on the defence of Ballinalee. At about 11pm that night, eleven or twelve lorries of Black and Tans and Lancers descended on the town of Granard. Initially, they fired bullets through shop windows on Main St but, fortunately, there were very few people left in the town.
They then proceeded to loot shops and set fire to buildings, causing total devastation. The regular RIC were as culpable as the Tans, by pointing out houses with Republican connections. House after house was set ablaze, while the IRA, who were charged with defending the town, offered no resistance. The Anglo Celt of the following Friday described the total destruction of the town…’ (More here).
‘The Battle of Ballinalee took place during the Irish War of Independence on 3 November 1920. The Irish Republican Army (IRA), led by Seán Mac Eoin, drove a force of British Army and Royal Irish Constabulary from the village of Ballinalee in County Longford. The 900 British troops hoped to burn the town as a reprisal, but were defeated by about 300 IRA volunteers…’ (from here.)
Seán MacEoin, a blacksmith by trade, was very close to Michael Collins and became Chief of Staff of the Free State Army, from which position he manoeuvred his way into a Leinster House ‘job’ as a Fine Gael minister in a Kildare Street-based administration.
Before he took the soup, he was captured by the British (he was still fighting against them at the time) in March 1921 and sentenced to death, but was eventually released from prison after Collins threatened to break off treaty negotiations with London unless he was freed. MacEoin seconded Arthur Griffith’s motion that the Treaty of Surrender should be accepted.
‘Friends in Low Places’ springs to mind…
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, March, 1955.
JAMES P. WHITE :
The death took place on February 16th last (1955), as a result of a motor accident, of James P. White, Los Angeles, California, United States.
Born in County Clare in 1892, he went to America in 1910 with his parents. A staunch republican all his life, his death is keenly felt in the many Irish societies of which he was a member. Solemn Requeim Mass was offered for the repose of his soul in Saint John’s Church, Los Angeles.
The remains were interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, where an oration was delivered by Denis J Shea of the ‘Peter Murray Irish Republican Club’, of which the deceased was a founder member.
Go ndeinidh Dia trochaire ar anamna na marbh.
(END of ‘Obituary’ : NEXT – ‘Redemption’, from the same source.)
Thanks for the visit, and for reading,