Random Ramblings from a Republican
Friday, December 26, 2003
The questionably historical account of Bertie Murphy of Castleisland

Bertie Murphy was seventeen years old when he was shot by the Free State amadans at the beckon of the Crown. During the war against the Black and Tans, Bertie's mother tried like hell to keep him at home and in school but he'd hear nothing of it. He was all for the ideal of the thirty-two county Republic and joined na Fianna Eireann.

His superior officer in the Fianna, "Hickey," joined the Free Staters "Army" and Bertie took his place as Captain of the Fianna in his area. Eventually, after the outbreak of the Civil War, Hickey came after his former comrade. Using some of the training he received along with his knowledge of the area, Bertie evaded the Free State lackies for nearly six months.

One day in September of 1922, he was walking with his rifle on his shoulder down a bohereen in Dysart by himself when he came upon a patrol of Staters. He was taken prisoner and the bastards threatened to shoot him on his mother's doorstep while she watched.

As they passed by his mothers home, he signaled her to go inside the house to prevent the terror the heartless shites had promised. What she saw as they passed was her son beaten and pale. His face was bruised and his hands were tied behind her back. The Free Staters with Hickey amongst the pack of traitors took him to the local hotel and kept him captive. His mother was allowed to visit him there.

The next morning Bertie's mother heard word that the Free State soldiers had taken her son to Scartaglen to remove a barricade that was feared booby-trapped. In a frenzy, Bertie's mother rushed to the local IRA contingent and pleaded with them to confirm or deny the danger of that specific road block. The officers present promised her that he would be fine if he removed that blockade.

A friend of Berties later saw him walking down a road near Scartaglen with a heavy bag on his back. He was taken from there to the Great Southern Hotel, a recently converted barracks. There were a number of other prisoners in the guard-room with him, a number of whom knew him personally.

traveling with the traitor Hickey and his consort of Irish traitors, Bertie was drug along like a worthless sack of garbage. Eventually, the group encountered an ambush and Hickey took his chance to seek his twisted notion of revenge on Bertie. He grabbed the young man by the throat and threw him down a set of steps. He proceeded to fired numerous rounds into Bertie's body which lay crumpled at the bottom of the flight of steps.

Bertie lived long enough to be given his last rites by the local priest. When the Free State authorities submitted their report of the incident it read: "killed in the ambush in Brennan's Glen." This was just the beginning of a long and terrible history of Free State injustice and brutality amongst Republicans.

*this is a paraphrasing of a piece of Dorothy MacArdle's Tragedies of Kerry of 1923 
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Ta ar la anois.

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