‘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.