Random Ramblings from a Republican
Patrick Pearse's Graveside Oration for O'Donovan Rossa
1 August 1915 at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin
It has seemed right, before we turn away from this place in which we have laid the mortal remains of O'Donovan Rossa, that one among us should, in the name of all, speak the praise of that valiant man, and endeavour to formulate the thought and the hope that are in us as we stand around his grave. And if there is anything that makes it fitting that I, rather than some other, rather than one of the grey-haired men who were young with him and shared in his labour and in his suffering, should speak here, it is perhaps that I may be taken as speaking on behalf of a new generation that has been re-baptised in the Fenian faith, and that has accepted the responsibility of carrying out the Fenian programme. I propose to you then that, here by the grave of this unrepentant Fenian, we renew our baptismal vows; that, here by the grave of this unconquered and unconquerable man, we ask of God, each one for himself, such unshakable purpose, such high and gallant courage, such unbreakable strength of soul as belonged to O'Donovan Rossa.
Deliberately here we avow ourselves, as he avowed himself in the dock, Irishmen of one allegiance only. We of the Irish Volunteers, and you others who are associated with us in to-day's task and duty, are bound together and must stand together henceforth in brotherly union for the achievement of the freedom of Ireland. And we know only one definition of freedom: it is Tone's definition, it is Mitchel's definition, it is Rossa's definition. Let no man blaspheme the cause that the dead generations of Ireland served by giving it any other name and definition than their name and their definition.
We stand at Rossa's grave not in sadness but rather in exaltation of spirit that it has been given to us to come thus into so close a communion with that brave and splendid Gael. Splendid and holy causes are served by men who are themselves splendid and holy. O'Donovan Rossa was splendid in the proud manhood of him, splendid in the heroic grace of him, splendid in the Gaelic strength and clarity and truth of him. And all that splendour and pride and strength was compatible with a humility and a simplicity of devotion to Ireland, to all that was olden and beautiful and Gaelic in Ireland, the holiness and simplicity of patriotism of a Michael O'Clery or of an Eoghan O'Growney. The clear true eyes of this man almost alone in his day visioned Ireland as we of to-day would surely have her: not free merely, but Gaelic as well; not Gaelic merely, but free as well.
In a closer spiritual communion with him now than ever before or perhaps ever again, in a spiritual communion with those of his day, living and dead, who suffered with him in English prisons, in communion of spirit too with our own dear comrades who suffer in English prisons to-day, and speaking on their behalf as well as our own, we pledge to Ireland our love, and we pledge to English rule in Ireland our hate. This is a place of peace, sacred to the dead, where men should speak with all charity and with all restraint; but I hold it a Christian thing, as O'Donovan Rossa held it, to hate evil, to hate untruth, to hate oppression, and, hating them, to strive to overthrow them. Our foes are strong and wise and wary; but, strong and wise and wary as they are, they cannot undo the miracles of God who ripens in the hearts of young men the seeds sown by the young men of a former generation. And the seeds sown by the young men of '65 and '67 are coming to their miraculous ripening to-day. Rulers and Defenders of Realms had need to be wary if they would guard against such processes. Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations. The Defenders of this Realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! — they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace
The Wild Geese Today
DOMNAIGH -- On Aug. 1, 1915, the funeral of Fenian Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa
was held before a huge crowd at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin. Rossa's body had been returned from New York, where he died June 30. He had been exiled by the British for his Fenian activities in 1871.
While in exile, Rossa had managed to alienate many of his former Fenian colleagues, including his good friend John Devoy
, with his uncompromising advocacy of violence to end British rule in Ireland. Perhaps his attitude was due in part to the harsh treatment he received in British prisons as well as scenes he witnessed while helping to distribute relief in his native County Cork during the Great Hunger
In the late 1870s, he organized the 'Skirmishing Fund,' which financed the infamous dynamite campaign in England. When he died in New York on June 30, 1915, he was estranged from most in the Irish republican movement, but his funeral would be one of the seminal events in the revival of the movement in Ireland. Patrick Pearse
gave an address at the graveside that day which has resounded with republicans down through the years; the final words of his oration provided them with one of their most enduring slogans: "Ireland unfree will never be at peace." [Editor's note: Interestingly, the world slogan derives from the Gaelic sluagh ghairm, or army cry, according to The Random House Dictionary.]
*Tomorrow, text of Pearse's graveside oration
Sorry for the delay in material. Been busy with other projects. Hopefully something tomorrow!
Another former member of the IRA is harassed by the US Security forces.
Former IRA man to remain in US prison
By Sean O'Driscoll In New York
24 July 2004
A FORMER IRA member is to remain in a Pennsylvania jail after a judge refused to release him on charges of trying to disguise terrorism convictions on a US immigration form.
The family of 46-year-old Joseph Black expressed anger at yesterday's decision and said that the detention was totally unnecessary.
Court documents said that Black had been a member of the D Company of the Belfast IRA and that he served three years in prison in the 1970s for IRA membership and for a kneecapping.
The Pennsylvania judge ordered that Black remain in jail until US officials draft a pre-sentencing report on Black's crimes in Belfast and the reasons for his entry into the US.
It is likely that Black will be sent back to Ireland after the judge considers the report.
Black was arrested last Wednesday week after he flew into Philadelphia for his niece's wedding.
After initial questioning by the FBI's joint terrorism task force he was handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
He has travelled to the US with his wife and three children and had been expected to deliver a reading at his niece's wedding in Pittsburgh.
After yesterday's hearing, his US-based brother-in-law, Sean McClorey, said that the family had expected that Black would be either released or sent back to Ireland.
"This has cast a shadow over my daughter's wedding and compromised Joe's business back in Belfast.
"It is totally, totally unnecessary Mr McClorey said.
Mr McClorey said that his brother-in-law had not rejoined the IRA after his release from prison and had never shown any support for dissident republicans.
He accused the US authorities of using the case to grab anti-terrorism headlines.
Black has been charged with giving false replies on a US government form and with using other documents to make false claims to the US government.
The charges relate to a form filled out by all visitors to the US in which applicants are asked if they have ever been convicted of a terrorism charge.
Black is alleged to have claimed on the form that he had never been convicted on a terrorism charge.
**Stop the hypocrisy that the US government is showing towards Republicans trying to live their lives. Also see: http://www.freeciaranferry.com/
Joe Cahill dead at 84
‘I was born in a united Ireland,’
says Joe Cahill, ‘I want to die in a united Ireland.’
This life long republican was born in Belfast in 1920, at the height of the War for Independence
. And while he strayed from true republicanism in later life, his involvement and dedication to the cause for a united Ireland is undeniable. From an early age, he was prominent within the movement and was involved with such revered figures as Tom Williams
This man's involvement ranged from building-up the fledgling Provisional Mov't
, holding arms talks with Colonel Ghadaffi, as well as helping to mentor future Republican leaders McGuinness and Adams. Later, he would break from Sinn Fein
and support an Adams-McGuinness backed recognition of Leinster House and later of British authority.
He took part in the abortive IRA campaigns of the 1940s
and the Border Campaign of 1956-1962
. He spent over a decade in prison for Republican activity and never apologised for his opinions. He will certainly be missed by those in the Provisional movement and beyond.
On a side note, Tuesday's funeral is going to be a full traditional republican honour, according to Provisional Republican leadership. Whether this means that there will be a Provo honour guard present remains to be seen. It will be an interesting gathering, nonetheless.
I measc laochra na nGael a raibh sé.
Two Outlast Crisis Day
July 25, 1981
This week in the HBlock prison hospital at Long Kesh, the condition of Kieran Doherty TD
and Kevin Lynch
, the two leading hungerstrikers, reached a crisis stage, with both passing the sixty-one day mark.
Sixty-one days had become a psychological barrier - now broken - dreaded by the prisoners' supporters, with the previous deaths of Raymond McCreesh
, Patsy O'Hara
and Joe McDonnell
after that period of fasting.
Wednesday was Kieran Doherty's sixty second day on hungerstrike and Kevin Lynch's sixty-first. But on that day both men still remained conscious and were still holding down spring water. Nevertheless, both were expected only to survive a couple of days, and possibly only hours, if the intransigent British persisted with their HBlock death policy.
The families of both have been constantly at their bedside thru the week, having been provided with rooms in the H-Block prison hospital. By Wednesday, Kieran Doherty was so weak that at times he was unable to talk to his visitors, although, despite pains in his ears, he could still hear and understand fully anyone talking to him. But he was unable to move from his bed and was in constant pain, especially in his legs.
By the beginning of this week, Kevin Lynch's weight had fallen to 6stone 10pounds, he was feeling severe pains in his eyes, was suffering with mouth ulcers and his legs were giving him serious trouble.
The physical condition of Kevin, one day behind Kieran on the hungerstrike, was by Wednesday, very similar. Although Kevin has been slightly stronger than Kieran throughout the hungerstrike, this week he weakened drastically and was not expected to live much longer than Kieran, maybe even not outlasting him.
Meanwhile, the physical condition of the other six hungerstrikers is also steadily weakening, but none of them are as yet at a critical stage.
, next in line on the hungerstrike, will, by Saturday, be on his 48th day of fasting. He has lost 2stone 5pounds and is suffering weak spells. Paddy Quinn, 41 days on hungerstrike this Saturday, is already having trouble with his eye muscles, is having dizzy periods and at times finds it impossible to sleep, which is increasing his feeling of weakness. He had by last Monday suffered a weight loss of 2stone.
, who by Saturday will have give 34 days without food, has been continuing to vomit water, a dangerous sign. His weight had fallen from 9stone 9lbs at the start of the hungerstrike to 8stone 1 pound by Wednesday, and he is now in the prison hospital with the other advanced hungerstrikers.
, who reports feeling cold and weak, will be 27 days on hungerstrike this Saturday. His weight has fallen to 9 stone, a loss of 1stone 7pounds. He is still in his HBlock cell but is expected to be moved to the prison hospital within the next few days.
, 16 days on hungerstrike this Saturday has been subjected to petty harassment by the warders, when on Tuesday, they disrupted a family visit on the pretext that something was been smuggled in. Pat's wife was taken from the visiting box and not allowed to return to see him. By Tuesday, after only twelve days on hungerstrike, Pat had already lost 11pounds.
Matt Devlin, who joined the hungerstrike to replace Martin Hurson
on Wednesday week, had after only a week lost 9 pounds in weight. By Saturday he will be eleven days on strike.
From the Wild Geese Today: http://www.thewildgeese.com/
This week in Irish history:
On July 19, 1798, after months of begging and cajoling by Theobald Wolfe Tone, the French Directory finally authorized the sending of French troops to Ireland to aid the rising there. Since the death of his friend, Gen. Hoche, the previous September, Tone had lost some of his influence with the French. Tone and others must have known the chances for success had probably slipped away through endless delays; most of the members of the United Irishmen had already risen up and been defeated. Napoleon had set sail on his Egyptian adventure -- he would later admit he should have gone to Ireland instead. A plan was devised to send small numbers of French soldiers in numerous expeditions and help prop up the Irish resistance, which in truth, even then was nearly crushed. Gen. Jean-Joseph Humbert would command the first French force of some 1,100 men.
Irish Republican Bulletin Board (IRBB)
The Irish Republican Bulletin Board (IRBB) is one of the most popularIrish Republican forums on the internet. We welcome all views as longas they adhere to the rules of the forum. The board is maintained byNa Fianna Éireann and can be accessed at the link below.
Recently added are Gaeilge and Irish History forums for those interested to learn and participate. Check out this growing forum.
Six Dead, Two Critical
Saturday, July 18th, 1981
Last Monday morning, at 4.30 am, Tyrone Blanket man Martin Hurson
became the sixth political prisoner to die on Hunger-strike in the Long Kesh H-Blocks, after forty-six days without food. The suddenness of Martin Hurson's death, coming only five days after that of Joe McDonnell, was a shock to all given that two other hunger-strikers, Kieran Doherty
and Kevin Lynch
, had been almost a week on the fast ahead of Martin.
Martin's health, since he was moved to the prison hospital on June 24th, had been deteriorating much quicker than that of his comrades or of the previous hungerstrikers, Throughout the hungerstrike, he had found great difficulty keeping down the required five pints of water each day.
On Sunday 12th July, the H-Block information Centre in Belfast reported that Martin's inability to drink water was causing him to hallucinate and to lose coherence in his speech. On Sunday night, Martin's family were called to the prison hospital just hours before his death. The death of Martin Hurson, coming two weeks earlier than might have been expected has disproven the assessment that prisoners are not in danger of death until around the 60 day stage of the hungerstrike.
Already, Michael Devine
, after only 23 days on hungerstrike on Tuesday, is experiencing similar problems to those of Martin. He is not able to drink sufficient quantities of water and is vomiting that which he manages to swallow.
Last Wednesday, July 15th, the H-Block Information Centre revealed that the condition of Kieran Doherty, then on the 55th day of his hungerstrike, was rapidly deteriorating. He slept little on Tuesday night due to constant vomiting and on Wednesday had difficulty carrying n a conversation and is very weak. His eyesight is also weak, and he had lost 3stone 7pounds since the beginning of his hungerstrike.
Kevin Lynch, one day behind Kieran on the hungerstrike, was unable to talk by Wednesday and is moved around the hospital in a wheelchair. He too is sleeping badly, if at all, due to sickness. He has lost 2stone 7pounds since the start of his fast. Kevin is suffering from severe pains in his back and hips, and feels the cold acutely as a result of the heating in his H-Block hospital cell having been turned off.
, who on Saturday is 34 days on hungerstrike, had been experiencing severe pains in his chest, while Thomas McElwee
who is 41 days without food on Saturday, has for over a week been suffering bad headaches. He has lost 2stone 1pound.
had lost 12pounds in weight by Tuesday, when he was on his 16th day of hungerstrike.
And Pat McGeown
, who began his fast on Friday week, July 10th, suffered a nosebleed twice during his first few days of his fast, last weekend.
As Martin Hurson was buried in County Tyrone on Wednesday 15th July, another blanket man from the same county, Matt Devlin
, took his place on the eight strong hunger-strike, to the death if necessary.
Statements regarding the recent Proscription of the Continuity IRA and Republican Sinn Fein in the United States
The National Irish Freedom Committee
July 14 2004
The National Irish Freedom Committee
(NIFC) is an U.S. based organization with no foreign principle. It's primary objective is to promote the Eire Nua (New Ireland)
program here in the U.S. Another of its objectives is to lend financial support through Cabhair in Ireland to the dependants of Eire Nua activists who are being harassed and marginalized by the authorities in both parts of Ireland for promoting Eire Nua. A third objective of the NIFC, is to promote our Irish-American cultural heritage here in the U.S.
The authors of Eire Nua, who happen to be members of Republican Sinn Fein
have been denied entry visas by the U.S. government since 1976. This policy has severely hampered the promotion of Eire Nua in here in the U.S. It has left the American public with the impression that their is no alternative to the British authored Good Friday Agreement (GFA)
Despite this arbitrary visa policy, the NIFC will continue to promote Eire Nua as a viable alternative to the GFA.
It regrettable that Republican Sinn Fein (RSF), the oldest political party in Ireland, whose members were the authors of Eire Nua, are now deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. It has a chilling effect on the exercise of the freedoms that we hold sacrosanct and casts a cloud on the sacrifice of those who died to preserve those same freedoms.
US State Department McCarthyism
Republican Sinn Féin, Teach Dáithí Ó Conaill, 223 Parnell Street,
Dublin 1, Ireland
Statement by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, President, Republican Sinn Féin
Republican Sinn Féin is a separate and distinct political organisation dedicated to the national liberation of Ireland. It has no military wing nor is it the political wing of any other organisation.
The US State Department, which has been notoriously pro-British over the decades, in its current report says that Republican Sinn Féin is an alias for the Continuity IRA. This is a blatant misrepresentation and an attempt to brand a long-standing Irish Republican organisation as a candidate for the latest bout of McCarthyism under the cover of
the recent Patriot Act
enacted since September 2001.
It also seeks to repress legitimate opposition to the Stormont Agreement
and the promotion of the Eire Nua (New Ireland)
alternative to it. The President of Republican Sinn Féin has been banned from the USA for over 30 years and other leading members have been likewise excluded in recent years.
This repression and misrepresentation will not deter our members from their political activities at this time or in time to come.
Gerry Kelly and Bobby Storey save Brits from beating?
Apparently, during Monday's outbreak of violence in North Belfast
, Provisional Sinn Fein members Gerry Kelly MLA
and Bobby Storey, with members of the Provo Police, pleaded with the rioters to calm their tempers and not to cause harm to a huddled group of a dozen British soldiers who were encircled by the crowd.
This is hypocrisy at its worst. In the 1970s, these long-time, high-ranking PIRA members would have been throwing stones and bricks right alongside these angry nationalists. But now, after NOTHING HAS CHANGED
, they are suddenly pro-Brit?
The Brits are still occupying Ireland; the only difference is that they now have a mandate from the Provisionals to do so. The Pro-Brit "nationalist" MLAs receive their British paychecks and accordingly help fortify the British position in Ireland.
There were actually whispers after this ridiculous incident of "list making" on the part of the Provos. Taking the names of the people defiant of Mr. Kelly's wishes. The truth about this is not known, nor should this claim be taken as truth; I don't recommend spreading this rumour, but its worth taking in. (I doubt that these people will be sent commendations from the Provo leadership.)
It's one thing to decide that your fight is no longer sustainable, but to do a complete 180 degree turn and actually aid
those you were killing only a decade previously is just complete casuistry.
I do understand the fact that were the rioters to have seriously harmed the Brit soldiers, there would have been repercussions both by the RUC/PSNI and the occupying forces; but the fact remains that these people were expressing their anger towards occupation and hypocrisy; and they should have been allowed to continue their expression unheeded; especially by the Provo Police
. These people were unjustly put under siege all of Monday so a bunch of Orange bigots in their pretty sashes could take their anti-Catholic march thru a Catholic neighbourhood.
I also understand the situation involved a number of women and children. But most of those children were no younger than Kelly and Storey would have been when they picked up their first brick to throw during a riot.
While riot situations are out-of-hand at best
, they are an expression of the opinion of the people as a group, a community. These people are furious at being subjected to the flat-out sectarian nature of Orange-ism and viewed attacking the occupying soldiers as a justified means to outlet this anger.
IRA Volunteer Martin Hurson
Edward Martin Hurson
was born 13th September 1956 in Cappagh near Dungannon in South Armargh as the 8th of nine children to a traditional Catholic farming family. Growing up in the predominantly Catholic and nationalist area of Tyrone, Martin experienced the feeling of close-knit communities and of national pride.
He was a fun-loving typical country boy who was very close with his siblings. A devout Catholic and a generally quiet person, everyone remembers Martin as a hard-working and likeable man. He lived a relatively innocent youth; away from the every day British repression. He would not experience the horror of this terrorism until he was nearly 20 years old.
He met the love of his life, Bernadette Donnelly, in the winter of 1975 at her sister's wedding in which Martin was the best man. She would later be a key figure in the hungerstrike campaigns in 1981.
In the spring of 1976, the RUC began to set up what the called "Regional Crime Squads" which were really just crack units of the sectarian
police force. Their primary mission was to ensure that convictions were made for all unsolved republican operations in their respective areas. Their only responsiblity, as then Deputy Chief Constable Ken Newman
is quoted as saying, was to "clear the books"
and "get results."
Martin was arrested in East Tyrone and taken to the Omagh RUC barracks on 11th November 1976. He was brutally tortured
for two days and nights. Beaten beyond any description that could do justice, Martin received repeatedblows to the head and back and was slapped, punched and kicked by multiple RUC officers. Men in adjoining rooms heard his terrible screaming. To avoid anymore of the terrible beatings, he signed documents that admitted his involvement in numerous republican operations in the East Tyrone area.
He was then transferred to Cookstown barracks where he filed a complaint about the treatment he received in Omagh. He was again beaten and threatened
to state that the documents he signed at Omagh were valid. Under great duress, he did so.
Martin was charged along with five other young men for a landmine explosion that occurred at Galbally in November 1975. He was able to beat this charge but the ensuing list of charges were ridiculous. They included: IRA membership, possesion of the landmine that caused the Galbally explosion, conspiracy to murder, and causing an explosion in Cappagh in fall of 1975. The Brits hadn't one shred of physical evidence to support their claims but Judge Rowland ruled that Martin's statements made at Omagh were enough to satisfy him. He chose to ignore
the reports by prison doctors that documented the extensive beating Martin took at the hands of the "police."
Martin was sentenced to twenty years
for possession of landmines and conspiracy to commit murder. An additional 15 years
was added for the IRA membership charge and five more
for an explosion that he had no part in. Martin appealed his conviction, but was denied, still a retrial was scheduled.
In this trial, the Omagh statements were ruled inadmissable in the court but the Cookstown statements were accepted. This was a complete contradiction seeing as both sets were signed under heavy pressure. Martin's sentence was not even shortened and he went to Long Kesh and straight onto the blanket. In prison, the British brutality did not end for Martin. He was beaten on a number of occasions and was one of the POWs repeatedly singled out for forced bathing during the no-wash protest.
At the end of May 1981, Martin joined the hungerstrike following Brendan McLaughlin's withdrawal due to a severe stomach ulcer that immediately threatened his life after only 3 weeks on strike. Already weakened from spending the last 5 years in and out of prison, Martin's condition deteriorated rapidly and after only 45 days refusing food, he died on July 13th.
Martin Hurson's death hit the Irish people especially hard coming so shortly after Joe McDonnell's
death and after only 45 days
on protest. His body just could not take anymore abuse and he left this world as an unbroken
Irishman. He and his comrades had shown that the British policy of criminalisation was a farce. This was proven again and again by the resolve of the blanket men and the hungerstrikers as well as by the large amount of votes received by prisoners in both Free State and Six County elections.
The British policy of criminalisation was wrong then and will never be right. Do not
let Republican POWs be treated as common criminals.
Martin Hurson bio on Ireland's Own
Irish Political Status Committee
Nora McCabe: murder by the RUC - 8 July 1981
*thanks to Fitz at the Yahoo Group One_Ireland for reminding me of this
Nora McCabe was shot-dead by the RUC on the 8th July 1981 at 7.45am as she left her home in Linden Street off the Falls Road for the corner shop to buy cigarettes. It was also the morning that Joe McDonnell
died on hunger strike.
The RUC denied any involvement in the shooting of Nora and also denied being in the vicinity of Linden Street that morning. An RUC investigation into her killing found that Nora died as a result of a blow/strike to the head by an instrument as yet unknown carried out by a person/s unknown. This finding was arrived at despite a number of eyewitness accounts stating that the RUC shot her with a plastic bullet at point blank range from one of two passing RUC armoured personnel carriers patrolling the area.
As a result of this 'investigation' and no cause of death firmly established or culprit/s apprehended, Jim received a date for an inquest into Nora's death scheduled for November 19th 1982. Pat Finucane was the legal representative for the McCabe family and shortly after the killing of Nora he was approached by a Canadian TV documentary/film crew who had been making a programme at the time of Nora's death. They handed Pat a video, which they said related to the shooting. Ironically this encounter took place during an international tribunal into the use of plastic bullets and their affects. This had been sponsored by local human rights activists (now with RFJ) and chaired by Kadar Asmal.
The inquest into Nora's killing opened on November 19th 1982. It heard evidence from several anonymous RUC members identified only by letters with the exception of James Crutchley. He was the most senior RUC member in West Belfast at the time and was on patrol with the two vehicles alleged to have fired the fatal shot. All RUC witnesses, including Crutchley, told the court that they were never near Linden Street and that they had only fired two plastic bullets while on patrol that morning. These they said were to disperse a crowd of rioters who had set up barricades in an attempt to obstruct their patrol and that they fired only when petrol bombs had been thrown. There were also numerous references to hijacked and burning vehicles, the road being strewn with beer barrels and debris. This contradicted civilian testimony.
After hearing evidence Pat Finucane
introduced the film footage as new evidence. The court was immediately adjourned without viewing the evidence and on instruction from the DPP a senior member of the RUC, Insp Entwistle, was dispatched to Canada to interview the filmmakers.
Exactly one year later the inquest was re-convened. Inspector Entwistle told the court that the authenticity of the tape was genuine. The footage in turn was played to the court. It showed a picture somewhat different to that described by the RUC witnesses. There were no sign of rioters, barricades or hijacked vehicles. The road was clear. Most significantly the last couple of minutes, shown from a fixed position, focused in on two RUC armoured vehicles travelling countrywards along the main Falls Road. As they approached the junction of Linden Street and the Falls Road both vehicles slowed up. The lead vehicle surged to the right and across to the opposite side of the road towards Linden Street then abruptly stopped. A loud bang was heard. A puff of smoke was clearly visible from the right porthole of the RUC vehicle. It sped off followed by the second vehicle. Nora McCabe, mother of three children the youngest just 3 months, lay on the pavement. Local people gathered and some attempted to administer first aid. The footage remained until an ambulance arrived which took Nora to the nearby RVH. Nora died later the next day.
The jury found that Nora McCabe was completely innocent and that there was no legitimate reason for firing a plastic bullet. At the inquest Jim McCabe also waited for the DPP to announce that proceedings against the RUC both for killing Nora and committing perjury would commence.
A spokesperson for the DPP told the court that a decision had been taken not to prosecute. An outrage followed and Yorkshire TV showed the footage in a First Tuesday documentary in 1984 entitled 'Who Killed Nora McCabe'. Following this over 70 British MP's signing an early day motion calling on the then British Home Secretary Douglas Hurd to hold a public inquiry. He refused and in response to a question from Labour MP Joan Maynard 3 weeks later about the RUC members involved said; 'The 11 police officers in the patrol are still serving in the RUC. Three have been since been promoted: one to Assistant Chief Constable, one to Chief Inspector and one to Sergeant.' The Assistant Chief Constable was James Crutchley. The British Queen also subsequently decorated him.
Pat Finucane was to say that if justice were not delivered in this case, given the compelling evidence, then it would not be delivered in any other case.
Approximately 31,000 plastic bullets
were fired during May, June and July of 1981 claiming 7 lives including Nora's. 3 of those killed were school children Carol-Ann Kelly 12, Julie Livingstone 14 and Paul Whitters 15. In total 17 people, 8 of them school children, have been killed by rubber and plastic bullets. Inquest juries have found that all have been killed in non-riot situations.
Volunteer Joe McDonnell
Joe McDonnell was born September 14th, 1951 in Lower Falls as one of eight kids to a large Catholic family. Growing up in Lenadoon housing estate, he gained a reputation as a tough but lovable character.
He was interned in 1972 in the prison ship Maidstone
and later in Long Kesh. Upon his release he joined the 1st battalion of the Belfast Bridge. He was active with the A Company which ran most of its operations in the area of Rosnareen in Andersonstown. As a Volunteer, Joe is remembered by his comrades as being cool and collected at all times.
Joe worked as a upholster, making furniture whilst not in prison. He made furniture for all the neighbourhood bars as well as for his family. He loved his work and especially the city of Belfast. He also enjoyed playing with his three children, teaching to swim and playing football with them.
He was arrested after an operation which intended to burn down a high level furniture store as an economic target. A shoot-out with the RUC and British Army ensued in which two soldiers and two republicans were wounded. Among the four he was arrested with was Bobby Sands
. A single revolver was found in the car and all four men were sentenced to 14 years.
He determination is shown by the fact that while he is remembered as a loving father and husband, he did not once don a prison uniform in order to be granted visitation rights. He was on the blanket from the day he entered prison until the day he began hungerstrike.
He was imprisoned in H-5 and acted as the scorcher (shouter of the news) for his wing. He yelled any updates from his block out the window to the adjoining H-block.
A father of two and a veteran of internment from the early 1970's, Joe fittingly volunteered to take his friend Bobby Sands' spot on the hungerstrike when he died. He died 61 days later on July 8, 1981.
He was a genuine person with a great sense of humour who cooly set about completing any mission he had as a Volunteer. He was retracted at times but was no stranger to laughter and friendship. He was sadly missed by his friends and family as well as his comrades and neighbours.
God bless his soul.
Ballad of Joe McDonnell
Hungerstrike Commemorative Project (recently updated)
Again, the Wild Geese
does is better than I can: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/dates.html
DEARDAOIN -- On July 8, 1770, Mary Ann McCracken
-- patriot, philanthropist and sister of United Irish martyr Henry Joy McCracken --
was born in Belfast. Mary Ann was the fiercely independent daughter of a Presbyterian sea captain.
With her sister, Margaret, she started a small muslin business while only in her late teens, unheard of for women at that time. She and her family helped revive interest in the Irish harp by founding the Belfast Harp Society.
Mary Ann was a supporter of Henry Joy's United Irish activities and may have helped him form many of his ideas regarding social reform and Catholic emancipation. Mary Ann worked hard to get a pardon for her brother in 1798, and even attempted to arrange an escape. When both these efforts failed, she accompanied Henry Joy to the gallows.
After her friend Thomas Russell, in whom Mary Ann may have had a romantic interest, was executed for his United Irish activities in 1803, she withdrew from Irish politics.
Much to her credit, however, Mary Ann did not become a bitter recluse -- she devoted most of the rest of her life to helping the poor and supporting the anti-slavery movement. She also contributed to Dr. Madden's famous 7-volume history of the United Irishmen. Mary Ann died in 1866 at the age of 96.
*a bit late on my part. Tá brón orm.
from The Wild Geese: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/dates.html
Rebellion of the Connaught Rangers
LUAIN -- On June 28, 1920, at Wellington barracks in Jullundar, India, 350 Irish members of the famous Connaught Rangers regiment of the British army, laid down their arms and refused to keep soldiering as long as British troops remained in Ireland. The mutiny soon spread to Ranger detachments in Solon and Jutogh. The leader of the rebellious Rangers in Solon was James Daly
. While the Rangers at Jullundar, including Daly's brother, had not attempted anything beyond refusing to soldier, at Solon, Daly led a nighttime raid on the armory in an attempt to recover the arms they had voluntarily turned in that day. During that confrontation Daly shouted to the officers guarding the munitions, "If you want to know who the leader is, I am, James Daly, number 35025 of Tyrellspass, County Westmeath. Two of the mutineers were killed that night -- Patrick Smythe and Peter Sears. Eventually 61 Rangers were convicted by courts martial and 14 sentenced to death. James Daly was the only one shot, on Nov. 2, 1920. Daly remains the last soldier executed by the British army for a military offense.
Revolutionary Woman: Kathleen Clarke
Kathleen Daly Clarke was born in Co. Limerick in 1878 into a family with strong Republican tradition. Her uncle was John Daly, of Fenian fame and her brother Edward
who was a key player in the Easter Rising.
She was politically active in republican circles and was soon acquainted with long time Republican Thomas Clarke.
Married in 1901, they left Ireland soon after for America. They returned to Ireland in 1907, when Kathleen became an active participant in the Cumann na mBan.
It was not long before she was a key figure in that organisation which helped to raise funds for the Volunteers. She also played a big part in the planning of O'Donovan Rossa's famous funeral.
As a guard against the arrest of the members of the Army Council of the IRB, Kathleen was given access to the information discussed at Council meanings. In the unlikely case that all members of the Council were arrested, the rebellion could go on without them because she was privy to all the going-ons of the leadership.
After both her husband and her brother were executed by British firing squads, she was interred in Dublin Castle. Shortly after being released she suffered a miscarriage. Her support for an independent Irish Republic never faltered amid tragedy and she continued her activism. She was again arrested in 1918 in the mass arrests regarding the sham "German Plot."
As a member of the Dail in 1922, she voted against the Treaty of Surrender, walking out with the rest of the Fianna Failers. She believed 26 counties was not what her husband and brother were dedicated to and gave their lives for. She is quoted as saying: "Great God! Did I ever think I would live to see it; to see men who were the bravest, now fooled that this 'Treaty' means a realisation of our highest ideals?" I believe it is safe to say that the most recent treaty of surrender (1998) would be just as despicable to this dedicated Republican woman.
It was not long before Kathleen was at odds with the De Valera regime, as he and his cronies seemed to have no respect for women in his government.
In 1939, Kathleen Clarke was the first woman elected Lord Mayor of Dublin City. Her first act as Mayor was to deny the William III mayoral chain and demand a new chain that was not linked to British Royalty. Her second act was to remove a painting of the dead Queen Victoria from the Mayoral Mansion. She claimed she could not get a wink of sleep while that painting hung in her place of residence.
Kathleen Clarke died in 1972 in Liverpool. She was given a deserved "state" (too bad it was the "Free" State) funeral and was buried in Dean's Grange Cemetery. She is a shining example of the wonderful women who are often neglected in the wide scope of Republican history.