EASTER 2023.




Easter 1916 Timeline –


‘07.55hrs – Sackville Street being blown to pieces. The centre of Dublin is unrecognisable this morning. Rubble is strewn everywhere. Burnt-out cars, trams, dead horses, human bodies, all matter of carnage fills the capital’s streets. British 18-pounders are booming once again. The rebel HQ is completely surrounded.


09.05hrs – As soon as the sun rose this morning the machine guns and sniper rifles returned to work. Throughout the night, armoured cars have been scouting around Jacob’s factory’s positions. With the sound of heavy fighting and artillery, and word coming down from the factory’s towers of huge fires on the north side of the city, the men of Jacob’s garrison must fear that it will not be long before their own position is assaulted by the enemy.





10.12hrs – South Staffordshires are on the march. Huge numbers of troops from the regiment have crossed the Liffey at Butt Bridge, before marching on to Gardiner Street, and making their way towards Bolton Street. The college there is thronged with hungry and increasingly desperate refugees from the growing chaos…’

(from here.)



Please only contribute to genuine Easter Lily distributors – not those who are ‘licensed’ by Leinster House or those who requested and received a ‘permit’ from Leinster House to distribute Easter Lilies.


Those in Leinster House are representative of the political regime that fought against, imprisoned and executed the men and women who fought and struggled (and still do) to implement the political ideals represented by the Easter Lily emblem.


Despite what those in Leinster House would have you believe, not one Irish republican campaigned, fought or died for this corrupt Free State, never mind to end-up applying to it for ‘permission’ to honour the men and women that it, and its parent administration in London, executed (see the ‘Offaly Sinn Féin’ pic, below)



After the British have completely left Ireland, politically and militarily, and the definite timeline from 1916 to that date is written, those reading it will then realise that the only part played in that scenario by the Stormont and Leinster House institutions was in delaying that achievement.


Irish republicans realise that, and have always done so.




ON THIS DATE (22ND MARCH) 52 YEARS AGO : ‘FÜHRER FAULKNER’ INSTALLED AS ‘PM’ OF AN OCCUPIED AREA.

“The British Ambassador called to see me at 11am this morning. He told me in strict confidence that he had received a message from the British representative in Belfast, Mr Ronnie Burroughs , who indicated that he had been informed by Mr Brian Faulkner that the latter is confident of securing the nomination to be the next Prime Minister of Northern Ireland (sic).


Mr Faulkner expects this to be approved about noon on Tuesday and that he will go to the Governor-General about 3.00pm….Mr Burroughs said that Mr Faulkner had assured him categorically that he would be prepared to implement the Downing Street Declaration and that there would be no going back on the policies relating to the B Specials, the RUC and reform.


He also indicated that he would not have anyone in his Cabinet who would not support his policies…in the course of the discussion which followed the Ambassador and I touched on the doubts held by the minority in the North on the sincerity of Mr Faulkner in relation to reforms…Mr Faulkner’s earlier right-wing tendencies did not inspire confidence…” (from this Free State document, dated 23rd March 1971, and marked ‘Secret’.)


Brian Faulkner was born in Helen’s Bay, in County Down, and was elected to Stormont as a Unionist MP for East Down in the 1949 election. He became ‘Prime Minister of Northern Ireland’ (sic) on the 22nd March 1971 – 52 years ago on this date – and chaired the first ever inter-party meeting held at Stormont.


However, nationalists were alienated by internment and Faulkner was ordered to hand over complete security control to London in 1972. He became Chief Executive of the new power-sharing executive in 1974, but resigned as party leader when the UUP rejected the proposed ‘all-Ireland council’ settlement by a majority of eighty votes. The executive came to an end as a result of a strike by the Ulster Workers Council (UWC), and Faulkner retired from active politics in 1976.


He died on the 3rd March 1977 at the age of 56 following a riding accident whilst hunting with the County Down Staghounds near Saintfield, County Down. He had been riding at full gallop along a narrow country road when his horse slipped – he was thrown off and killed instantly.


It was during his ‘Premiership’ that internment without trial was introduced, under the ‘1922 Special Powers Act’, on Monday, 9th August 1971, because, according to Faulkner – “Every means has been tried to make terrorists amenable to the law. But the terrorist campaign continues at an unacceptable level. And I have had to conclude that the ordinary law cannot deal quickly or comprehensively enough with such viciousness…”.


The British forces that enforced that ‘edict’ had a list of 450 people to be rounded-up, but managed to grab only 342 of them, all from the nationalist community, only two of whom were republican activists. No loyalists were ‘arrested’. Over the next four days, 24 people were killed in rioting and gun battles across the Six Counties and about 7,000 people had to flee from their homes.


Mr. Faulkner was said to be ‘distressed’ when it was brought to his attention that he had been referenced in a song which lauded a prison break which took place on the 17th November 1971, when he would have been only beginning to build his political career in Stormont – nine IRA prisoners escaped from Crumlin Road Prison in Belfast (which, between it and Long Kesh, housed more than 700 IRA prisoners at the time) with the use of rope-ladders!


The nine were Thomas Kane, Seamus Storey, Bernard Elliman, Danny Mullan, Thomas Fox, Tom Maguire, Peter Rogers, Christy Keenan and Terrence ‘Cleaky’ Clarke and all of them escaped in two cars which were waiting for them on the near-by Antrim Road :

OVER THE WALL.


In Crumlin Road Jail all the prisoners one day

took out a football and started to play,

and while all the warders were watching the ball

nine of the prisoners jumped over the wall!






Over the wall, over the wall,

who would believe they jumped over the wall?

over the wall, over the wall,

It’s hard to believe they jumped over the wall!






Now the warders looked on with the greatest surprise

and the sight that they saw brought tears to their eyes,

for one of the teams was not there at all

they all got transferred and jumped over the wall!






Now the governor came down with his face in a twist

and said “Line up those lads while I check out me list,”

but nine of the lads didn’t answer at all

and the warder said “Please Sir, they’re over the wall.”






The ‘security forces’ were shook to the core

so they barred every window and bolted each door,

but all their precautions were no use at all

for another three prisoners jumped over the wall!






Then the news reached old Stormont, Brian Faulkner turned pale

when he heard that more men had escaped from his jail,

said he – “Now we’ll have an enquiry to call, and we’ll get Edmund Compton to whitewash the wall.”



‘Führer Faulkner’ began his ‘premiership’ of an occupied area on this date – 22nd March – 52 years ago.






‘THE YALTA AGREEMENTS…’

From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, April 1955.


The world and its people were sliced and stabbed at Yalta and the peoples of America, Russia and the British Empire had no voice, no power to stay the ruthless hands of the killers.


If we in Ireland have a message for the peoples of these countries it is this – beware of the power you give your leaders ; make them responsible to you for all their acts, let there be no secret agreements in time of war or in any international crisis. Our duty, whether we be Irish, American, English, Russian or Chinese, is to love one another and not to hate.


It is the desire of all men (sic) to live in peace and, if leaders do or say anything which would inspire hate for other races or peoples, away with them – they are not leaders but demagogues lusting for power.



(END of ‘The Yalta Agreements’ ; NEXT – ‘Mutual Goodwill!’, from the same source.)







ON THIS DATE (22ND MARCH) 44 YEARS AGO : IRA ASSASSINATE A BRITISH ‘AMBASSADOR’ IN THE NETHERLANDS.

“…we have carried out bombings and shootings in Germany over the last two years as well. Last Spring we executed Sir Richard Sykes. He was involved in intelligence gathering against our organisation but he was also a leading propagandist in the same way as Peter Jay* was in America. Sykes was also the man who conducted the investigation into our attack on the British ambassador to Dublin, Ewart Biggs. Richard Sykes was a very important person and what that attack, and others, have shown, is the IRA’s capability to operate abroad and against the enemy, not the host country, and gained our struggle attention there…”


– the reply given to journalist Ed Maloney by an IRA spokesperson, on being asked why the IRA had killed ‘Sir’ Richard Sykes (pictured), as printed in ‘Magill’ magazine, September 1980, eighteen months after Sykes had been assassinated. (*More here, re Peter Jay and what the IRA thought of him…)


‘The Guardian’ newspaper, too, was of the opinion that the man in question (…a ‘decorated war hero..’) was more than just a run-of-the-mill ‘career politician’ – ‘Sir Richard, who would have been 59 in May, was rated as one of the “high flyers” of the British foreign service, coming up through a series of posts that took him to China, Cuba and embassies that are “listening posts” for the Soviet block.


In his last posting before going to The Hague he was one of the six senior officials at the FO (Foreign Office). His division was concerned with defence, arms and security, and it can be presumed he held responsibility for day-to-day links with the intelligence services..’(from here).


The ‘Ireland In History’ blog had this to say about him : “The Ambassador was a noted security expert and at the time there was much initial speculation in the Netherlands and in Britain that other groups under suspicion at the time (including Palestinians and Iraqis) could have targeted him. He was appointed to the job in June 1977 after a two year posting as a Foreign and Commonwealth Office deputy under-secretary in London. He was an acknowledged expert on security affairs and had been a diplomat in Cuba, Peking and Washington. Ironically he was responsible for an internal report on the safety of British diplomats following the assassination by the IRA in 1976 of the British ambassador to Dublin, Sir Christopher Ewart-Biggs…’ (from here.)


The British Government, as expected, put a ‘diplomatic spin’ on the death of ‘Sir’ Sykes and those like him – “Today we honour the memory of 18 courageous men and women whose lives tragically were cut short in service to our country and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.


We owe them a great debt of gratitude and we pay tribute to their memory, to their important work and to their undoubted bravery…and I thank you for the contribution that you have made to the service of our country overseas..this ceremony is also a moment to take pride in the Foreign Office and all it represents..it is a great honour to lead an organisation that makes such a unique and irreplaceable contribution to the United Kingdom..etc etc..” but Richard Sykes and those like him were the ‘Cairo Gang’ equivalent of their time and were dealt with as such.


Mr Sykes ended his ‘diplomatic’ career on the 22nd March 1979 – 44 years ago on this date.




‘ROUGH JUSTICE…’



From ‘Magill’ Annual, 2002.



These same brave people were also urging all people present at the meeting to do the very same but the response, alas, was a consenting mumble from the crowd.


‘Wigmore’, never adverse to a spot of bandwagon-jumping, welcomes suggestions from readers of other Irish citizens who could be marched to the nearest lock-up in such a wonderfully direct fashion.


The best suggestion will receive a fashionable police night-stick tastefully decorated with a recurring anarchist motif. Answers on a recycled postcard, please…



(END of ‘Rough Justice’ ; NEXT – ‘Though The Heavens May Fall’, from the same source.)




ON THIS DATE (22ND MARCH) 182 YEARS AGO – IRISH ABROAD ORGANISE TO LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER. SORT OF…

This piece is in relation to one particular aspect of travelling abroad that was more prevalent in previous times than it would be now (a risk reduced thanks to modern technology, I’d like to believe..)


Myself and my friends have landed in New York many times and, apart from being a wee bit merry jet-lagged (!) we were comfortable in ourselves and in our surroundings and were always met on the ground by our friends, colleagues and comrades, but we could easily picture what it would have been like for our ancestors :


‘…on arrival passengers usually made their way to the city to find boarding houses where there was a good chance the remainder of their money would be swindled. The Irish and other immigrants faced numerous abuses such as ‘illusive advertisements, crooked contractors, dishonest prospectuses’ and ‘remittent sharpers’ when they arrived in America. The ‘Irish Emigrant Society’ was founded in 1841 (on the 22nd March that year – 182 years ago on this date) by a group of New York Irish to combat issues such as these.


In December 1848 the Emigrant Society advised emigrants that as soon as their ship came into harbour she would be boarded by an agent of the Society, who would offer them sound and honest advice. But, they warned, the ship would also be boarded by a large number of ‘runners’ – conmen, who would make it their business to attract them to the boarding houses that employed them.


They should be careful not to accept help from them as their ploy was to promise good quality board at low prices, but when they came to leave the house an exorbitant fee would be demanded. They would threaten not to hand over luggage unless this fee was paid and violent scenes might often ensue.

The Society warned that many persons, some of Irish birth, had set up offices in the city where they claimed to be agents for railroad and steamboat enterprises. These crooks sold tickets which purported to entitle the holder to travel to specific destinations but which were worthless.


To protect emigrants from such frauds various measure were introduced in New York in 1848 including the construction of reception centres and the licensing of steam boats to take emigrants from the quarantine to the landing piers. Boarding houses were also required to display their prices in English, Dutch, German, Welsh and French. Immigrants who survived the ordeal of the crossing now had to decide where to settle in America…’ (from here.)


‘…the story of the Irish Emigrant Aid Society founded in 1841 begins in the 1830s when the volume and character of Irish immigration to the United States changed dramatically. We often think of large-scale Irish immigration to America as beginning with the Famine (sic – it was an attempted genocide, by the British ‘Establishment’, against the Irish) in 1845, but it was already well under way by then, with some 200,000 Irish arriving in New York in the 1830s alone.


Before 1830, the majority of Irish immigrants were Protestants from Ulster. More often than not, they arrived with some capital and, equally important, marketable occupational skills. But starting in the 1830s, as the agricultural crisis that would later ‘blossom’ worsened, more and more of the Irish who arrived in the U.S. in the 1830’s and ’40s were poor, unskilled Catholics. Whereas only 28 percent of Irish immigrants arriving in 1826 were unskilled labourers, the number hit 60 percent in the 1830s and kept rising to more than 80 percent by 1850…


One of the most pervasive threats to immigrant well-being addressed (by the Irish Emigrant Society) were the legions of con men and crooks descending upon unsuspecting immigrants. Many of them worked for boarding houses that charged extortionate rates and saddled immigrants with hidden charges.

Others offered fraudulent money exchanges or sold bogus tickets for steamers and trains heading west. Worst were the pimps who steered unsuspecting Irish women to brothels. Sadly, as the Society’s annual reports state, these men often used their ethnic credentials — a good Irish accent or, better still, the ability to speak Irish — to ensnare their fellow Hibernians. An eyewitness account by an Irish priest in the 1850s explains the typical scenario –


“The moment he landed, his luggage was pounced upon by two runners, one seizing the box of tools, the other confiscating the clothes. The future American citizen assured his obliging friends that he was quite capable of carrying his own luggage, but no, they should relieve him — the stranger, and guest of the Republic — of that trouble.


Each was in the interest of a different boarding-house, and each insisted that the young Irishman with the red head should go with him…not being able to oblige both gentlemen, he could oblige only one ; and as the tools were more valuable than the clothes, he followed in the path of the gentleman who had secured that portion of the ‘plunder…’


The two gentlemen wore very pronounced green neckties, and spoke with a richness of accent that denoted special if not conscientious cultivation ; and on his (the Irishman’s) arrival at the boarding-house, he was cheered with the announcement that its proprietor was from “the ould counthry,” and loved every sod of it, God bless it…” (from here.)


I’m sittin’ on the stile, Mary,

Where we sat side by side

On a bright May mornin’ long ago,

When first you were my bride;

The corn was springin’ fresh and green,

And the lark sang loud and high –

And the red was on your lip, Mary,

And the love-light in your eye.






The place is little changed, Mary,

The day is bright as then,

The lark’s loud song is in my ear,

And the corn is green again;

But I miss the soft clasp of your hand,

And your breath warm on my cheek,

And I still keep list’ning for the words

You never more will speak…





On a bright May mornin’ long ago,

When first you were my bride;

The corn was springin’ fresh and green,

And the lark sang loud and high —

And the red was on your lip, Mary,

And the love-light in your eye.






The place is little changed, Mary,

The day is bright as then,

The lark’s loud song is in my ear,

And the corn is green again;

But I miss the soft clasp of your hand,

And your breath warm on my cheek,

And I still keep list’ning for the words

You never more will speak…
(from here.)




FUNDS AND FINE GAEL’S LEADER…



Michael Lowry has so far been the focus of media attention about Fine Gael fundraising.


But the party’s current leader, Enda Kenny (pictured), hosted a £1,000-a-plate dinner two days before the second mobile phone licence was awarded. And other guests say that one of the bidders for that licence was in attendance.


By Mairead Carey.


From ‘Magill’ magazine, January 2003.



In the early 1990’s, Fine Gael was on the verge of bankruptcy but, by the time it came to power in 1994, its financial position “had much improved and was manageable”, according to John Bruton.


In response to questions raised by Vincent Browne about the party’s remarkable financial recovery, he wrote – “When Fine Gael unexpectedly entered government in December of that year, I advised ministers to be scrupulously fair and proper in their dealings as ministers. I asked them to protect themselves and their office from anything that could be open to misrepresentation or suspicion.


In fact, I think I actually said something like “Do not ever do anything that you would not want to see on the front page of ‘The Irish Times’ “.


Bruton told ‘Magill’ that he could not recall the function in the Conrad Hotel and would therefore not comment on whether it was appropriate to have competitors for government projects at such an event. He also said that the name ‘Mike Smith’ meant nothing to him…



(MORE LATER.)

Thanks for the visit, and for reading,



Sharon and the team.

We won’t be here next Wednesday, 29th March 2023 ; we’re off again to Galway, this time for two weeks, but this time it’s just meself and the Girl Gang – no children, no grandchildren, no neighbours, no work colleagues, no set routine etc, just the five of us, free to do as we want.


Imagine the havoc that we’re gonna cause…!


We’ll be back in April, but can’t yet say on what date ; we have an open-ended arrangement with the local Garda Barracks … eh… hotel that we’re staying in so as we can extend our stay if we want to.


‘Cause when the five of us get a taste of freedom, there’s no stoppin’ us…!


See yis all in April – slán anois!











About 11sixtynine

A mother of three (and a Granny!) and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
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