ON THIS DATE (19TH OCTOBER) 277 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF THE MAN WHO URGED THE IRISH “TO BURN EVERYTHING ENGLISH EXCEPT THEIR COAL”.



“Burn everything English but their coal” – the ‘Hibernian Patriot’ [from the ‘Drapier’s Letters’ collection], Jonathan Swift (pictured), an Irish author and satirist (perhaps best known for ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ and for his position as dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin) was born in Dublin on the 30th November 1667 ; his father (from whom the ‘Patriot’ got his first name) was an attorney, but he died before the birth of his son.


As if that wasn’t misfortune enough, young Jonathan suffered from Meniere’s Disease and, between the bill’s mounting up and her sickly son, his mother, Abigail, found that she was unable to cope and the young boy was put in the charge of her late husband’s brother, Godwin, a wealthy member of the ‘Gray’s Inn’ legal society.


His position in St. Patrick’s Cathedral ensured that he had a ‘pulpit’ and a ready-made audience to listen to him, an opportunity he readily availed of to question English misrule in Ireland – he spoke against ‘Wood’s Halfpence’ and in favour of ‘burning everything English except their coal’ and, satirically, wrote a ‘modest proposal’ in which he suggested that poor children should be fed to the rich (‘a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled..’)!


In 1742, at 75 years of age, Jonathan Swift suffered a stroke, severely affecting his ability to speak, and he died three years later, on the 19th October, 1745 – 277 years ago on this date. He was buried next to the love of his life, Esther Johnson, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.


“It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death, should ever have been designed by providence as an evil to mankind” – Jonathan Swift.






‘TOMÁS MacCURTAIN COMMEMORATION…’


From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, April 1955.




In his oration, Domhnall O Cathain said –


“In his validictary address to the insurgent Volunteers on the Friday before the surrender, Pádraig Pearse wrote – ‘Justice can never be done to their heroism, to their discipline, to their gay and unconquerable spirit in the midst of peril and death..’.


As in all his writings, Pearse spoke not only for his own time and for the past but also for the future.


How full, how complete a description of the 16 men who went over the barrack wall in Omagh, how beautiful, how fitting an appreciation of the eight men in the court of ‘imperialist justice’. And to follow in the same strain with Pearse, if they did not win they had deserved to win, and like the Volunteers they had won a great thing.


The 1916 Volunteers had redeemed Dublin from many shames. The Armagh and Omagh Volunteers had pulled aside the veil, unloosened the drapery of words, had shown us all the light ; they had floodlit the path of freedom, had shown that there was but one way. They had shown that the staccato of the Thompson Gun was the most effective way of making the Orange junta sit up and take notice.


They did for Ireland what Ireland needed to have done for her. They did for Ireland what Ireland deserved to have done for her…”



(MORE LATER.)




ON THIS DATE (19TH OCTOBER) 102 YEARS AGO – BRITISH ‘HAMAR’ MISSES ITS TARGET.

British ‘Chief Secretary for Ireland’, Lieutenant-Colonel ‘Sir’ Hamar Greenwood (pictured, and short video here showing ‘the Hamar’ rewarding his troops in this country for the destruction they wrought while maintaining ‘law and order’) promised to put an end to republican “outrages” but that was just another outrageous false promise by the British!



In May 1920 the British Foreign Secretary, ‘Lord’ George Nathaniel Curzon, proposed vigorous ‘Indian measures’ to suppress the rebellion in Ireland and he and other British imperialist ‘gentlemen’ formulated a policy with that objective in mind. On the 9th August 1920, the British ‘Lords Commissioners’ announced that ‘Royal Assent’ had been granted for the following 14 items –

1. Overseas Trade (Credit and Insurance) Act, 1920.

2. Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920.

3. Restoration of Order in Ireland Act, 1920.*

4. Aberdeen Corporation Order Confirmation Act, 1920.

  1. Pilotage Orders Confirmation (No. 3) Act, 1920.

    6. Local Government Board (Ireland) Provisional Orders Confirmation (No. 3) Act, 1920.

    7. Ministry of Health Provisional Order Confirmation (Chesterfield Extension) Act, 1920.

    8. Mid-Glamorgan Water Act, 1920.

    9. Wallasey Corporation Act, 1920.

    10. Life Association of Scotland Act, 1920.

    11. Uxbridge and Wycombe District Gas Act, 1920.

    12. Exmouth Urban District Council Act, 1920.

    13. North British and Mercantile Insurance Company’s Act, 1920.

    14. Lever Brothers, Limited (Wharves and Railway) Act, 1920.

On the 19th October 1920 – 102 years ago on this date – the British ‘Chief Secretary for Ireland’, Lieutenant-Colonel ‘Sir’ Hamar Greenwood (who later threatened to resign his position if Westminster agreed to a ceasefire with Irish republicans before they had surrendered their weapons!) stated, re the British ‘law and order’ campaign in Ireland –


“The outrages against the police and military forces since the 1st January last, which I regret to say include the loss of no less than 118 lives, are as follows: police killed -100, military killed -18, police wounded -160, military wounded -66. There have been 667 attacks on police barracks, resulting in most cases in their complete destruction.


There has been an organised attempt to boycott and intimidate the police, their wives and relations. The hon. Member will realise that I cannot publish the steps that are being taken to cope with the campaign of murder, outrage and intimidation, but I can assure him that the means available to the Government for protecting all servants of the Crown in the discharge of their duties, and for bringing to justice those who commit or connive at outrages, are steadily improving.



The Royal Irish Constabulary is rapidly increasing in numbers owing mainly to the flow of recruits from ex-officers and ex-service men who served in the Army or Navy during the War. The effective strength of the Force is now higher than it has been for the last 15 years. In the last three weeks alone there have been 194 trials by Court Martial under the ‘Restoration of Order in Ireland Act 1920’, and 159 convictions. The Forces of the Crown are now effectively grappling with the organised, paid and brutal campaign of murder in Ireland..” (*The ‘Restoration of Order in Ireland Act’ was a ‘legal’ item through which the British could authorise, in Ireland, ‘the issue of Regulations under the Defence of the Realm Consolidation Act, 1914, for effecting the restoration and maintenance of order in Ireland where it appears to His Majesty in Council that, owing to the existence of a state of disorder, the ordinary law is inadequate for the prevention and punishment of crime, or the maintenance of order..’)


The British claimed that the ‘legal’ changes had been rendered necessary by the abnormal conditions which at that time prevailed in certain parts of Ireland, where ‘an organised campaign of violence and intimidation has resulted in the partial breakdown of the machinery of the ordinary law and in the non-performance by public bodies and officials of their statuary obligations…in particular it has been found that criminals (sic) are protected from arrest, that trial by jury cannot be obtained because of the intimidation of witnesses and jurors, and the local authorities and their officers stand in fear of injury to their persons or property if they carry out their statuary duties…’

The ‘Order in Council’ provided, among other things, for the putting into operation of many of the existing ‘Defence of the Realm Regulations’ for the purpose of ‘the restoration or maintenance of order, for the trial of crimes by Courts Martial or by specially constituted Civil Courts, and for the investment of those Courts with the necessary powers’.


Also, it was now to be allowed for ‘financial punishments’ to be implemented – the withholding from local authorities who refuse to discharge the obligations imposed upon them by Statute, financial grants which otherwise would be payable to them from public funds and for the application of the grants so withheld to the discharge of the obligations which the local authority has failed to fulfill, for the holding of sittings of courts elsewhere than in ordinary courthouses, where these courthouses have been destroyed or otherwise made unavailable and ‘..although the Regulations are not, in terms, restricted to any particular part or parts of Ireland, it is the Government’s intention that they shall not be applied in substitution for the provisions of the ordinary law in places where the judicial and administrative machinery of the ordinary law are available, and are not obstructed in their operations by the methods of violence and intimidation above mentioned…for instance, under the Regulations an ordinary crime can only be tried by a Courts Martial or by a specially constituted Civil Court, if the case is referred to the Competent Naval or Military Authority.


Instructions will be issued by the Irish Executive to ensure that such cases will not be referred to the Competent Naval or Military Authority except where the prevalence of actual threatened violence or intimidation has produced conditions rendering it impracticable for them to be dealt with by due process of ordinary law…’



Greenwood stated the above, as mentioned, on Tuesday, 19th October 1920 – 102 years ago on this date – and, the following day, a young (19 years old) IRA Volunteer, from Fleet Street in Dublin, Kevin Barry (pictured), became the first person to be tried by court martial under the new ‘Restoration of Order in Ireland Act 1920’ which,among its other trappings, allowed for the suspension of the courts system in Ireland (bad and all as that system was) and the establishment of military courts with powers to enforce the death penalty and internment without trial.


On the 10th December 1920 martial law was proclaimed in counties Cork, Kerry, Limerick, and Tipperary and, in January 1921, this order was extended to include Clare and Waterford. The ‘ROIA’ was widely used by the British against Irish republicans and, indeed, was used as a ‘tool’ to impose censorship on the media of the day, an imposition which was challenged, sometimes succesfully so – in 1921, a ROIA court-martial convicted the proprietors and editor of a Dublin newspaper for violating ROIA press regulations. At the end of the trial, a military detachment acting without a written order from the military court arrested the defendants and conveyed them to a civil prison.


The prisoners petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus on the ground that a transfer from military to civil custody based merely on oral statements of anonymous soldiers was unlawful.

The Crown argued that since the defendants were subject to military law, they could be moved from military to civil confinement without a written order. Finding this contention to be “quite untenable,” the King’s Bench put on record its desire “in the clearest way possible to repudiate” the doctrine that a civil prison could detain a king’s subject without proper written authority : “To sanction such a course would be to strike a deadly blow at the doctrine of personal liberty, which is part of the first rudiments of the constitution.” Moreover, the court-martial’s failure to issue an order left the civil jailer “without the protection of any written mandate” and therefore exposed to the risk of a lawsuit.


Declaring that there was “no vinculum or bond of union between the military and the civil custody,” the King’s Bench issued the writ of habeas corpus. Ostensibly protecting the liberty of civilians against overreaching by the British Army, the court equally protected a civil institution from subordination to military command.



Today, the British and their political colleagues in Stormont and Leinster House are still attempting to use ‘laws’ of that nature, and media censorship, to destroy Irish republicanism. But it didn’t work then and won’t work for them today, either – we are in this for the long haul!




ON THIS DATE (19TH OCTOBER) 21 YEARS AGO : FINAL ARRANGEMENTS MADE FOR FREE STATERS TO ‘HONOUR’ AN IRISH REPUBLICAN.

“Fight on, struggle on, for the honour, glory and freedom of dear old Ireland. Our hearts go out to all our dear old friends. Our souls go to God at 7 o’clock in the morning and our bodies, when Ireland is free, shall go to Galbally.


Our blood shall not be shed in vain for Ireland, and we have a strong presentiment, going to our God, that Ireland will soon be free and we gladly give our lives that a smile may brighten the face of ‘Dear Dark Rosaleen’.


Farewell! Farewell! Farewell!”


– the last words of Limerick (Ballylanders) IRA man Patrick Maher, 32 years of age (pictured), to his comrades.

He was hanged by the British administration in Ireland on the 7th June 1921 for his alleged involvement in the rescue of Tipperary IRA man Seán Hogan, even though he was not involved in that operation.


Thousands of people (including his mother and sister) had gathered outside Mountjoy Jail in Dublin in protest against his execution, but to no avail (it should be noted that at the time, Munster and a small part of Leinster were under British ‘martial law’ and those executed there were shot as soldiers, but Dublin was under civilian law and that is why those executed in Mountjoy were hanged).


Patrick Maher and his comrade Edmond Foley were executed in Mountjoy jail, Dublin, on the 7th of June 1921, after being charged with the ‘murder’ of two RIC men (Peter Wallace and Michael Enright) – he strongly protested his innocence but, even though two juries failed to reach a verdict, he was convicted (by a military court martial) and sentenced to death.


He was one of ‘The Forgotten Ten’ IRA Volunteers (Kevin Barry, Patrick Moran, Frank Flood, Thomas Whelan, Thomas Traynor, Patrick Doyle, Thomas Bryan, Bernard Ryan, Edmond Foley, and Patrick Maher) – Kevin Barry was executed in 1920 by the British and the other nine men were put to death in 1921. All ten were buried in the grounds of Mountjoy Jail in Dublin, where six of them were placed in the same grave.


On Sunday, 14th October 2001, nine of those men were reinterred in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin by representatives of a 26-county state in an ‘official’ ceremony and, on Friday, 19th October 2001 – 21 years ago on this date – this state made the final arrangements to do the same for the tenth man, Patrick Maher, who was reburied in his home parish of Glenbrohane in Limerick (at the request of his family) on Saturday, 20th October 2001.


Both reinterments were carried out by a state which none of the ten men were fighting for – a 26-county free state – as the objective of the republican campaign – then (1920/1921) and now (2022)- was and is for a free Ireland, not a partially-free Ireland.


And, to add insult to injury, the then Free State ‘minister for justice’, John O’Donoghue, was the ‘official figurehead’ present, on both occasions, during which he delivered the graveside orations.


Irish republicans are looking forward to the day when those moral and political misappropriations can be corrected, in much the same manner that an English ‘queens’ presence and aura in the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin was corrected by Irish republicans in 2011.





‘THE BRITISH STORY…’



Roy Foster (pictured) in the British media.


By Barra Ó Séaghdha.




From ‘Magill’ Annual, 2002.



Jonathan Freedland on Roy Foster – “To make his point, he merely has to walk to the pub at the end of the street. It’s Auntie Annie’s Porter House, Irish-themed from the Celtic typeface sign above the door to the Guinness served behind the bar, and the perfect illustration of Professor Roy Foster’s latest bugbear ; the reduction of Irish history to theme-park kitsch.”


Freedland explains that ‘The Irish Story’ is not another history of Ireland but a history of Irish history, before formally introducing his interviewee ;


“Roy Foster, the Carroll Professor of Irish history at Oxford and constantly cited as the greatest Irish historian of his generation, is ittitated at a trend he’s noticed in the last decade, a lapse back into an old Irish habit – reducing the complexity of history to a cosy fairytale.”


Foster’s irritation at pseudo-Irish pubs, tacky theme-parks and sentimentalised autobiography (Frank McCourt and Gerry Adams are prime targets in his new book) will be shared by readers right across the spectrum of cultural politics. Because such irritation is shared by many of us, however, we will not – unlike his interviewers in ‘The Times’ and ‘The Guardian’ – be reeling in admiration at Foster’s apparently lonely stance on these matters…


(MORE LATER.)




ON THIS DATE (19TH OCTOBER) 109 YEARS AGO : DEATH OF A GREEN-HEARTED LOYALIST.

Emily Lawless, pictured (aka ‘Emily Lytton’), the writer and poet, was born on the 17th of June, 1845, in Ardclough, County Kildare and was educated privately.

War battered dogs are we

Fighters in every clime;

Fillers of trench and of grave,

Mockers bemocked by time.






War dogs hungry and grey,

Gnawing a naked bone,

Fighters in every clime –

Every cause but our own.
(Emily Lawless, 1902 ; “With the Wild Geese”.)

She was born into a politically mixed background, the eldest daughter and one of eight children (‘Sir’ Horace Plunkett was her cousin).


Her father was ‘Titled’ by Westminster (he was a ‘Baron’) even though his father (Emily’s grandfather) was a member of the ‘United Irishmen’.


Her brother, Edward, seems to have taken his direction from his father rather than his grandfather – he held and voiced strong unionist opinions, wouldn’t have a catholic about the place and was in a leadership position within the anti-Irish so-called ‘Property Defence Association’.


Perhaps this ‘in-house’ political confusion, mixed between staunch unionism and unionism with sympathies for Irish nationalism/republicanism, coupled with the ‘whisperings of shame’ that Emily was a lesbian and was having an affair with one of the ‘titled’ Spencer women, was the reason why her father and two of his daughters committed suicide.

She wrote a full range of books, from fiction to history to poetry, and is best remembered for her ‘Wild Geese’ works, although some of her writings were criticised by journalists for its ‘grossly exaggerated violence, its embarrassing dialect and staid characters..’ – ‘The Nation’ newspaper stated that ‘she looked down on peasantry from the pinnacle of her three-generation nobility..’ and none other than William Butler Yeats declared that she had “an imperfect sympathy with the Celtic nature..” and that she favoured “theory invented by political journalists and forensic historians.”


But she had a great talent :

After Aughrim :

She said, “They gave me of their best,

They lived, they gave their lives for me ;

I tossed them to the howling waste

And flung them to the foaming sea.”




She said, “I never gave them aught,

Not mine the power, if mine the will ;

I let them starve, I let them bleed,

they bled and starved, and loved me still.”




She said, “Ten times they fought for me,

Ten times they strove with might and main,

Ten times I saw them beaten down,

Ten times they rose, and fought again.”




She said, “I stayed alone at home,

A dreary woman, grey and cold ;

I never asked them how they fared,

Yet still they loved me as of old.”




She said, “I never called them sons,

I almost ceased to breathe their name,

then caught it echoing down the wind

blown backwards, from the lips of fame.”




She said, “Not mine, not mine that fame ;

Far over sea, far over land,

cast forth like rubbish from my shores

they won it yonder, sword in hand.”




She said, “God knows they owe me nought,

I tossed them to the foaming sea,

I tossed them to the howling waste,

Yet still their love comes home to me.”

She considered herself to be a Unionist although, unlike her brother, she appreciated and acknowledged Irish culture (or, in her own words – “I am not anti-Gaelic at all, as long as it is only Gaelic enthuse and does not include politics..”) and, despite being ‘entitled’ to call herself ‘The Honourable Emily Lawless’, it was a ‘title’ she only used occasionally.


She spent a lot of her younger days in Galway, with her mother’s family, but it is thought that family tragedies drove her to live in England, where she died, on the 19th of October 1913 – 109 years ago on this date – at the age of 68, having become addicted to heroin. She is buried in Surrey.


Emily Lawless, 1845-1913.




‘FORTH HIS BANNERS GO…’



Jer O’Leary (pictured) has become bannermaker to the radical and labour movement. Brian Trench reports on the growing recognition of his art.


From ‘Magill’ magazine, May 1987.



It was in John Arden’s and Margaretta D’Arcy’s ‘Non-Stop Connolly Show’ in Liberty Hall in 1974 that Jer O’Leary first took up his imposing Jim Larkin stance. Since 1977, he has done it in half-a-dozen productions of James Plunkett’s ‘The Risen People’.


Jer O’Leary had also been painting as well as acting, winning two art competitions organised by the ITGWU. Encouraged by the union’s late general secretary, Michael Mullen, O’Leary applied his skills to posters and then to banners. Union banners which usually spend very long periods in storage had been much in evidence in the tax marches of the late 1970’s.


Jer O’Leary approached his banners with the demands of the street in mind – “I always felt that the old union banners were too intricate for the street ; I purposely used stark black and white images on a colour background to make more impact…”



(MORE LATER.)




ON THIS DATE (19TH OCTOBER) 33 YEARS AGO : BRITISH ESTABLISHMENT AGREE THAT ‘THE CONVICTIONS ARE UNSAFE AND UNSATISFACTORY…OUR POLICE OFFICERS MUST HAVE LIED…’ (Page 22, here.)

On the 19th October 1989 – 33 years ago on this date (after serving 15 years in prison)– the ‘Guildford Four’ – Gerard Conlon, Patrick Armstrong, Carole Richardson and Paul Hill – are released from prison in what is considered to be one of the biggest-ever miscarriages of justice in Britain.


Their convictions in 1974 for the Guildford pub bombings of that year were quashed at the Old Bailey in London on the 19th October 1989. All four had been falsely accused of the attacks on two pubs in which five people died and more than sixty people were injured. ‘Confessions’ were obtained by the use of torture and attempts to appeal the convictions were unsuccessful – the British establishment and its police force wanted ‘those responsible’ (and/or those whom it could somewhat plausibly present as being responsible) caught and for ‘justice’ to be done.


‘After the incredulity and then the euphoria of release from jail, the four people who had served 15 years for the Guildford pub bombings in 1974 had to find a life. Three are now married with families but the years of adjustment have been painful…the only thing that mattered was when Lord Lane, the lord chief justice, pronounced those magic words: the convictions of Gerry Conlon, Carole Richardson, Paul Hill and Paddy Armstrong were unsafe and unsatisfactory…”


Gerry Conlon punched the air in defiance and ran the wrong way down the street. Just like a confused animal, his lawyer thought. Conlon was then 35…Richardson, 17 at the time of her arrest, was shocked and weak at the knees. She and her former boyfriend, Armstrong, disappeared separately out the back. She just wanted to hide. Hill was taken to Crumlin Road prison in Belfast and bailed two days later…theirs was the first of the momentous Irish miscarriage of justice cases which convulsed the criminal justice system and led to a rare royal commission.


The crisis of confidence was encapsulated in one of Lord Lane’s concluding remarks: “The officers must have lied…” (from here.)


“Officers” of that same calibre (albeit in a different uniform), answerable to a similar political establishment as mentioned above, are still in a powerful position in the north-east of this country (and, indeed, are not confined to that area) and are still willing and able to frame innocent people for their objective of securing the British military and political presence in Ireland.



As we stated on this blog on the 5th October last – ‘Westminster didn’t care who was found ‘guilty’ once they satisfied the gutter press and it’s readership that ‘justice had been served’, and they continue with that policy to this day – ‘The Craigavon Two’, Brendan McConville and John-Paul Wootton, are the ‘Guildford/Birmingham’ etc examples of ‘British justice’ in Ireland today.’ The only long term solution is to end that presence and flush out the contaminants left behind.




ON THIS DATE (19TH OCTOBER) IN…



…1610 :

One of our English ‘rulers’ who was somewhat less cruel to us than others in his social circle was born on the 19th October 1610, in Clerkenwell, in London.


James Fitzthomas Butler was 51 years of age when he was announced as the ‘1st Duke of Ormond, KG, PC’ and ‘Lord High Steward’ of England ; he was by then already a Lieutenant-General in the English Army and was a ‘land owner’ in Ireland.


He had spent a small fortune over the previous decades ‘in royal service’ and, now as a ‘Duke’ and ‘High Steward’, he was awarded large grants and a one-off payment of £30,000, all of which, apparently, kept him and ‘his’ estates in Ireland ticking-over but, overall, his losses still exceeded his gains!


During his political ‘career’ in Ireland he was in Office as ‘Lord Lieutenant of Ireland’ three times and, by the (anti-Irish) standards of the day, he was said to be somewhat less cruel than other ‘Irish masters’.


He died in the Kingston Lacy mansion in Dorset, England, on the 21st July, 1688, and was buried on the 4th August in Westminster Abbey. Incidentally, his wife, Elizabeth, died four years earlier (in 1684) on the same date as her husband, the 21st July.


If this short piece wasn’t about British imperialism in Ireland, that would almost be romantic!



======================================



…1751 :

A boy born in Dublin on the 19th October 1751 – Charles Edward Saul Jennings (pictured) – took a leaf from his Da’s book and took a title from his Da’s heritage. Sort of!


His Da, Theobald, from Polaniran, in Tuam, County Galway, was a doctor, and his Ma, Eleonore (Jennings, née Saul, aka ‘Lady Eleonore’) was the daughter of a rich Dublin distiller and, indeed, that may have given her husband, Theobald, the notion that he, too, should be ‘titled’.


So when the family moved to Tonnay-Charente in the south of France in the mid-to-late 1700’s, the Da continued to practice as a doctor and, in order to improve his customer base (!) declared himself to all and sundry to be the ‘Baron of Kilmaine’, and was accepted in posh French society as such!


Charles Edward had a rebellious streak about him and soon found an outlet for it in the French Army, where he rose to the rank of General – he supported the revolutionaries in France and Ireland (he was a devoted friend to Theobald Wolfe Tone and a close confidant of Napoleon I, and was described as the only officer Bonaparte ever trusted completely) and had, by then, already accepted his Da’s ‘title’ and was known among his military comrades as the ‘Baron of Kilmaine’ and/or ‘Brave Kilmaine’.


He helped to secure the financial well-being of Matilda Tone and her children after her husband was killed by the British and, such was his standing in France, he was appointed military governor of Switzerland in 1799, when he was only 48 years of age, but had to resign from the position because of health issues.


He died in Paris on the 11th of December, 1799, and was buried with full military honours, leaving behind his wife, Susanne (née Kirchmeyer) – the couple had no children, so the ‘title’ died with him.



======================================



…1919 :

At about 2am on Sunday morning, 19th October 1919, 23-year-old ‘Dublin Metropolitan Police Constable’ Michael Downing (pictured), a farmer’s son from Adrigole on the Beara Peninsula in County Cork, was ‘on patrol’ and crossing a road near High Street in the Liberties area of Dublin, walking towards a group of men on that side of the street.


As he got nearer to the men, one of them pulled out a revolver and shot him dead.


The men were IRA Volunteers and were tending to an arms dump that the ‘Constable’ was (inadvertently) walking towards. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.



======================================



…1920 :

On the 19th October, 1920, British Crown Forces stormed into a pub in Turloughmore, in County Galway and dragged a number of men out of the premises and flogged them by the side of the road, and in the nearby villages of Corofin and Cummer, on consecutive nights, men were taken from their beds, stripped and flogged by the roadside.


This issue was raised in Westminster on the 21st October but, as expected, British politicians attempted to cover-up for the offenders, their military colleagues in Ireland, by claiming that republicans in stolen British Army uniforms were responsible! –


‘Mr. T. P. O’CONNOR (by Private Notice) asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether his attention has been called to the statements in several newspapers that on Saturday night last two lorries of uniformed men seized Thomas and Martin Feeney at the village of Corbally and flogged them with a rope, and assaulted one of them in addition with a rifle; whether on the same night at the town of Corofin Patrick Raferty was also flogged; whether on Sunday evening a number of young men were stripped and were whipped and otherwise assaulted on the road; whether a young man named Michael Welby and a young woman named Miss Glynn were shot and wounded at the village of Cummer by the police on the same occasion; and whether an inquiry will be immediately instituted and the persons guilty of these floggings and other assaults will be brought to justice…?’


The pathetic ‘they-flogged-themselves-Sir!!’ absurdity can re read here, if you can stomach it.



======================================



…1921 :



In the run-up/ prep work for the signing of the ‘Treaty of Surrender’ (which was signed by the Free Staters and the British on the 6th December 1921) a number of meetings were held between the Staters and Westminster political and military representatives.


One such meeting was held on the 19th October, 1921, to discuss financial issues regarding ‘repatriable financial assets’ ie ‘because of your actions we spent this amount and you have to pay us back’. The British reps stated that the fledging Free State entity ‘owed’ Westminster £153 million sterling for “debt and pension charges” incurred during the British visit to the State (!!) but the Staters – masters at fumbling in greasy tills – replied that, on the basis of past over-taxation “since the Union” (!!) and retardation of the Free State’s industrial and commercial development, the charge to Westminster should be about £3 billion sterling!


That was of course a bluff by the Staters, and it was called by the British (who knew the ‘strength’ of their new allies) – a ‘compromise’ arrived at was that ‘Article 5’ of that Treaty would contain an agreement that ‘…the Free State was required to pay a fair and equitable share of the UK public debt and war pensions..’ and that ‘settlement’ was worked through by both entities involved.


Incidentally, the Staters continue to believe that they owe various British ‘Lords’ and ‘Dukes’ money, and they continue to pay them!



======================================



…1921 :



While the Staters were capitulating, politically and militarily, to Westminster – see above – on the 19th October, 1921, religious capitulation was also taking place.


It was on that same date that Pope Benedict XV sent a telegram to the English ‘king’ George V rejoicing at the resumption of the ‘Treaty of Surrender’ discussions, instead of telling him that he and his ilk should get the hell out of Ireland, politically and militarily.


The English ‘king’, delighted to have received such a ‘thumbs-up’ from that Pope, wrote back saying that he hoped that “…a settlement may initiate a new era of peace and happiness for my people..”. That “new era”, your kingship, won’t materialise in Ireland until the British military and political presence has left the country for good.



======================================



…1922 :


Two Free State soldiers died on the 19th October 1922 ; Private Michael M Bailey, 20 years of age, was born in Wales and was stationed in Portobello Barracks in Dublin, in the Transport Division of the FSA.


He was in a convoy which was travelling to Naas in County Kildare when a sniper shot him dead.

Two State troopers, a Sergeant Clarke and a Sergeant-Major Sean O’Suillivan (who was only 17 years of age) came across a crowd of people outside a shop on Corporation Street, in Dublin city centre.


They wanted to disperse the crowd but they wouldn’t move anywhere so Sergeant Clarke fired a warning shot into the air, but the bullet rebounded off a wall and hit the young Sergeant-Major, killing him. We presume the crowd then left the scene.



======================================



…1922 :



On Thursday, 19th October 1922, Aghadoe House (pictured) in Killarney, County Kerry, was burned down by the IRA, to ensure that it would not be used as a base by the Free Staters. It was rebuilt three years later.


In 1870, 97% of the 32 Counties of Ireland was ‘owned’ by English ‘landlords’ and the ‘big house on the hill’ (the ‘landlords’ residence)was availed of by English troops and militia as a base from which to secure their presence, and those vermin were welcomed in by the owners. When he was the IRA Chief of Staff, Liam Lynch issued a directive that “all Free State supporters are traitors and deserve the latter’s stark fate, therefore their houses must be destroyed at once…”, and that order was followed with gusto by the rebels, as the ‘landlords’ were hated in their community by the majority.



======================================



…1923 :


On the 19th October, 1923, a State ‘Criminal Investigation Department’ (CID) operative named Thomas Fitzgerald was killed, following an armed robbery in a factory in Castleknock, Dublin. A Free State soldier, William Downes, was later hanged for killing Fitzgerald –


‘At 8am on Monday, 29 November 1923, William Downes climbed the scaffold in Mountjoy and became the first man executed by the Irish Free State… it is ironic then that the first man to climb the scaffold would not be an ‘irregular’ or opponent of the new State. Downes was in fact a pro-Treaty soldier.


At 5pm on 19 October 1923, Superintendent F O’Driscoll of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) received a phone call from the Castleknock Candle Factory. The CID was an armed police force which dealt with crime during the Civil War period and the panicked caller told him that his premises had just been robbed by armed raiders…’ -More here.



======================================



=======================


=======================



Only back after our absence last week […bet ya never even noticed..] and we have to excuse ourselves again for next Wednesday, 26th October 2022 ; we have a christening and a funeral to attend over the weekend and early next week and, although one event is obviously more sombre than the other, both will end up in a pub, where we’ll reacquaint ourselves with old friends, colleagues and comrades, and make new ones, as ya do!


We’ll be back ‘on air’ on Wednesday, 2nd November 2022 and, if ya want, you can catch-me-if-you-can on ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’.


Oh, and by the way – we sourced three cabins in Waterford for the now-37 of us that are heading off on a ten-day break in November. The six of us that’ll be sleeping in the vans and cars at night are the lucky ones…!


Thanks for the visit, and for reading!



See y’all on the 2nd November next.


Sharon and the team.












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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.