Random Ramblings from a Republican
Sunday, November 28, 2004
  My computer is not working correctly, and I don't think I can get thru a post without it screwing up. So I will have to work on the Kilmichael post another time. Sorry all.

Saturday, November 27, 2004
  *I plan on having something original for tomorrow on the Ambush at Kilmichael, 28 Nov 1920, but for now. Here is the song lyrics.

The Boys of Kilmichael

Oh forget not the boys of Kilmichael
Those brave boys both gallant and true
They fought with Tom Barry's bold column
And conquered the red, white and blue

Whilst we honour in song and in story
The memory of Pearse and McBride
Whose names are illumined in glory
With martyrs that long since have died
Oh forget not the boys of Kilmichael
Who feared not the ice and the foe
Oh the day that they marched into battle
They laid all the Black and Tans low

On the twenty eighth day of November
The Tans left the town of Macroom
They were seated in Crossley tenders
Which brought them right into their doom
They were on the high road to Kilmichael
And never expecting to stall
'Twas there that the boys of the column
They made a clear sweep of them all

The sun in the west it was sinking
'Twas the eve of a cold winter's day
When the Tans we were eagerly waiting
Sailed into the spot where we lay
And over the hill went the echo
The peal of the rifles and guns
And the smoke from their lorries bore tidings
That the boys of Kilmichael had won

The battle being over at twilight
And there in that glen so obscure
We threw down our rifles and bayonets
And made our way back to Granure
And high over Dunmanway town, my boys
They sang of the brave and the true
Of the men from Tom Barry's bold column
Who conquered the red, white and blue

There are some who will blush at the mention
Of Connolly, Pearse and McBride
And history's new scribes in derision
The pages of valour deny
But sure here's to the boys who cried, Freedom!
When Ireland was nailed to the mast
And they fought with Tom Barry's bold column
To give us our freedom at last

So forget not the boys of Kilmichael
Those brave boys both gallant and true
They fought 'neath the green flag of Erin
And conquered the red, white and blue 
Thursday, November 25, 2004
  Contemporary sources regarding the tragedy of the Manchester Martyrs

William Phillip Allen spoke in his own defence:
"No man in this court regrets that death of Sergeant Brett more than I do, and I positively say, in the presence of the Almighty and ever-living God, that I am innocent, aye, as innocent as any man in this court. I don't say this for the sake of mercy; I want no mercy - I'll have no mercy. I'll die, as many thousands have died, for the sake of their beloved land, and in defence of it. I will die proudly and triumphantly in defence of republican principles, and the liberty of an oppressed and enslaved people. Is it possible we are asked why sentence should not be passed upon us, on the evidence of prostitutes off the streets of Manchester, fellows out of work, convicted felons - aye, an Irishman sentenced to be hung when an English dog would have got off. I say positively and defiantly, justice has not been done me since I was arrested. If justice had been done me, I would not have been handcuffed at the preliminary investigation in Bridge St. and in this court of justice has not been done me in any shape of form.
. . . .
I feel the righteousness of my every act with regard to what I have done in defence of my country. I fear not. I am fearless - fearless of the punishment that can be inflicted on me . . . My name, sir, might wish to be known. It is NOT William O'Meara Allen. My name is William Phillip Allen. I was born and reared in Bandon, in the county of Cork, and from that place I take my name; and I am proud of my country and proud of my parentage. My lords, I have done."

A short poem written in a letter by Michael O'Brien to his brother:
"Far dearer the grave or the prison,
Illum'd by one patriot name,
Than the trophies of all who have risen
On liberty's ruin to fame"

The last declaration of Michael Larkin:
"I am not dying for shooting [Sergeant] Brett, but for mentioning Colonel Kelly's and Deasey's names in the court. I am dying a patriot for my God and my country, and Larkin will be remembed in time to come by the sons and daughters of Erin. Farewell, dear Ireland, for I must leave you, and die a martyr for your sake. Farewell, dear mother, wife, and children for I must leave you all for poor Ireland's sake. Farewell, uncles, aunts, and cousins, likewise sons and daughters of Erin. I hope in heaven we will meet another day. God be with you. Father in heaven, forgive those that have sworn my life away. I forgive them and the world, God bless Ireland!"

A poem that appeared in The Nation following the execution of the "noble hearted three":
Let the echoes fall unbroken;
Let our tears in silence flow;
For each word thus nobly spoken,
Let us yield a nation's woe;
Yet, while weeping, sternly keeping
Wary watch upon the foe.

An eyewitness to the Manchester men's funeral procession in Dublin:
"The procession took one hour and forty minutes to pass the Four Courts. Let us assume that as the average time in which it would pass any given point, and deduct ten minutes for delays during that time. If, then, it moved at the rate of two and a half miles per hour, we find its length, with those suppositions, would be three and three quarter miles. We may now suppose the ranks to be three feet apart and consisting of ten in each, at an average. The total number is therefore easily obtained by dividing the product of 3 1/2 and 5280 by 3, and multiplying the quotient by 10. This will give as a result 61,600, which I think is a fair approximation to the number of the number of people in the procession alone."
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
  **here's a reprint of an older piece I wrote, because it is time appropriate.

Manchester Tragedy - 23 Nov 1867

On the 11th of September Colonel Thomas Kelley along with his fellow Fenian, Captain Timothy Deasy were arrested in Manchester by the city police for loitering. They were soon identified as leaders of the Fenian movement in Dublin and remanded for trial a week later. On the way from the police barracks to Bellvue Prison, the van (a black Maria horse drawing carriage) carrying the men was intercepted by a group of armed Fenians. These men held up the van and scared off the police escort, leaving only the sergeant locked in the van with Capt. Deasy and Col. Kelley. This police officer was unintentionally killed when the Fenians blew the lock off of the door of the van.

During the escape from the city, four of the rescue party sacrified themselves to throw the police off the trail of the two high ranking Fenians. These men were arrested on the spot and charged with the killing of the sergeant. Their names were William Phillip Allen, Michael Larkin, Michael O'Brien, and Edward O'Meaghar Condon.

Despite all the efforts of the Fenian's counsel, Ernest Jones, the court found the men guilty of murder and they were all sentenced to death. Condon's sentence was overturned because of the fact that he was an American citizen. He served a short prison term and was deported to the US. The other three were set to be hanged on the 23rd of November 1867 despite the fact that none of them fired the unlucky shot that killed the police sergeant.

In the week following these executions, there was widespread horror and protest. Even people who were against the actions and methods of the Fenian movement, such as '48 rebel John Martin, spoke out against this injustice. Great funeral processions marched thru the city and long streams of people followed the men's coffins thru the streets. These mass funerals and events with the Land League focused the minds of the popular masses on the injustice of English rule in Ireland.

Out of this incident came one of the most famous songs about freedom. "God Save Ireland", penned by TD Sullivan remained the adopted national anthem of the Irish people until the Soldier's Song took its place after Easter Rising of 1916.

Contemporary Document

*Tomorrow: Bits from speeches and eyewitness accounts of contemporaries of the Manchester events.
Monday, November 22, 2004
The Horror of the Tans

Bloody Sunday - November 21st, 1920

On hearing news of Michael Collins early morning attacks on the backbone of Dublin Castle intelligence, representatives of the Tipperary and Dublin football teams met to discuss their match. They understood the risk of reprisal attacks by the Black and Tans and also that Croke would be a likely target. With this in mind, the football teams still decided to go ahead with their match.

As a crowd around nine thousand occupants watched a GAA match at Croke Park, Dublin, the Auxillaries surrounded the playing grounds. The initial intention of the commander of these troops was to search the crowd for weapons and arrest suspected Republicans known to be in the area.

Suddenly, according to first hand accounts, the Tans flanked by regular RIC pulled up and lorries and opened up into the crowd. The firing lasted for more than ten minutes while the crowd ducked and swarmed out, frantically attempting to escape the murderous hail of bullets. When it was all over, fourteen civilians lay dead in and around the stadium, 63 wounded. More would later die from the wounds received that day.

The dead included 3 children and a pregnant woman. One of the children, a 14 year old, received multiple bayonet wounds. Also murdered was Tipp footballer Michael Hogan, who gives his name to "Hogan Stand" in Croke Park. A young Wexford man who was attempting to whisper an Act of Contrition into the Hogan's ear as he slipped away was also shot dead.

This slaughter was not the end of the terrible day's bloodshed. Shortly before midnight the RIC kicked in the doors of IRA officers Dick McKee, Peadar Clancy and Conor Clune in Dublin. They were taken to Dublin Castle and interrogated. When it was apparent that they were going to tell the peelers absolutely nothing, they were summarily executed in the guard-room.

A British Military Court of Inquiry was held into these killings and it found that the men died because of "bullet wounds fired by members of the Auxiliary Division, RIC, in self-defence and in execution of their duty - i.e., in preventing the escape of deceased party, who were in their lawful custody." This was typical British bureaucratic shite, and was to be expected from the occupying imperialists.

Saturday, November 20, 2004
  *Part 2
History of the Irish Citizen Army
by RM Fox

The Starry Plough

Other men - and there are many - might be spoken of, but I will name only two. One is Councillor William Partridge, who in the dark days of 1913 displayed lion-hearted courage in the industrial struggle. He stood against victimisation, corruption, violence - all the powers which endeavoured to quell his spirit. No matter how hard the blows, he was never beaten to the ground, and his voice was always heard encouraging and championing the oppressed. In the 1916 struggle he fought and was imprisoned. The following year, broken in body - but never in spirit - he returned home to die.

The last man I will speak of is Captain Robert de Coeur. His stretch of service extends from the days of the 1913 strike - when his enthusiasm initiated the Fintan Lalor Pipe Band - up thru 1916, when he served in Stephens Green, to the Civil War period when - though far from strong - he took the field again in Dublin. He died years later, after a lingering illness, but old Citizen Army men have a special affection for his memory. So far as the living are converned their lives are a part of the texture of the story.

Among the Citizen Army women, Countess Markievicz stands out not only for the deep impression she made on the Citzen Army and nation but because, from the first, she was loyal to the struggle of the workers. She stood with them in the darkest days and fought with them in the days of glory.

One of the rank and file women - Rosie Hackett - recently showed me the step-ladder leading to the roof of Liberty Hall, and the door which several girls, led by Helena Molony, barricaded in 1917, when they unfurled their scroll in honour of Connolly.

A final word. In treating of the events, struggles and controversies of those fateful years, my aim has been to eliminate ephemeral happenings and tell only what has a direct bearing on the activities of he Army, the way it shaped its course thru the sea of trouble circumstance. In tracing the rise and proress of the Army it is necessary to cut away whatever might obscure a view of that forward match.

These men and women of the Citizen Army were workers - chiefly manual workers. The girls worked at sewing or in factories, a workroom and started for some of them at Liberty Hall. Men were carters, clerks, factory hands, occupied in foundries, on building work and in all the various ways of earning a living. Neither in education nor in oppurtunity had they any advantage over their fellow-workers. And those who know the labour conditions of Dublin in 1913 will realise what this means.

Yet , when the time came, these men were willing to drop their hammers and hods, to quit their factories and foundries and march out with guns in their hands to face disciplined and mechanised troops. Women workers marched with them. These civilian soldiers staked their lives for a dream of freedom. When men and women are ready to do this it is surely a sign that human freedom can never be crushed.
Friday, November 19, 2004
  Today in Irish history: November 19, 1913, Irish Citizen Army is founded.

History of the Irish Citizen Army
by RM Fox

The Starry Plough

This history of a pioneer Labour force made up of workers - men and women - in Dublin, is a fragment of history, torn from the life of our times.

All the time I have felt the deepening conviction that the real strength of these men and women was there belief in human freedom and dignity. It is this which gave them the courage to march forward against starvation, imprisonment and ridicule. Underlying all their efforts is that steady rhythm of liberty. In their march through history they are pioneers of human liberation.

"What is it that distinguishes them from their fellows?" I have asked myself continually, as I talked with these men and women. It is simply that the pulse of liberty beats more strongly in their blood.

When I speak of this history being a fragment I do not mean that care has not been taken in its gatherings, in its writing. But I do mean that in the stormy days of which it treats no one could hope to record every deed that is worth recording. Many acts as daring as any spoken of here were carried out by Citizen Army men and women, and I would wish them and others to take what is recorded here as typical of the whole. I have not attempted to pick out individuals but - in the main outline - to tell the story of this workers' force.

Under the banner of the Starry Plough, names do gleam out. James Connolly, the leader, square shouldered, resolute, persistent and reliable, strides through this story until that day in 1916 when, badly wounded, he was carried out to be shot. In his life and activities he was the soul of the Citizen Army. When he died the Army was left leaderless. But in difficult days of chaos and defeat, the Army rose again, holding to its beliefs with the same passionate sincerity that marked its leader.

Another name, which is like a star on the folds of its flag, is Michael Mallin, Connolly's alert and efficient Chief of Staff, He, too, died as he would have wished, facing the enemy when the reckoning came in 1916. Yet it is not his death that his comrades of the Citizen Army remember but he gay and lovable personality. Mallin, who had always a word for his men, who knew so well how to evoke that personal loyalty which made them ready to go through fire and water - this man with smiling eyes and a manner of oiled unobtrusive efficiency. Gentle and artistic, he loved to play on his flute when he brought his men back from a route march. So his image remains, unshattered by the firing squad.

*Section 2 of this introduction tomorrow
Thursday, November 18, 2004
  Sorry for the lack of extensive articles lately. Here's some brief history

Today in Irish History:

1873 - A three-day conference began in Dublin to establish the "Home Rule League". It was to be the predecessor of Isaac Butt's Home Government Association.

1922 - The court martial of Erskine Childers begins

1926 - George Bernard Shaw refuses to accept his Nobel Prize money of £7,000. He said: "I can forgive Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize."

1989 - The Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a landmine killing three British Army soldiers near Mayobridge, County Down. The soldiers were members of the parachute regime

1997 - There were riots in Lurgan and Armagh following the arrest of Colin Duffy, then a prominent Republican based in Lurgan. [Duffy had been charged with assault following a fracas involving Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers in the town.]

1999 - US senator George Mitchell makes his last report into the Good Friday Agreement; he urges the IRA to set its representative to discuss disarmament on the same day the new power-sharing government is formed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004
  November 17th, 1922

After the expiration of the amnesty offer on the 15th, the Irish Free State begins execution of Anti-Surrender Republicans that will end in the deaths of 75 men.

Take it down from the mast, Irish traitors,
It's the flag we republicans claim,
It can never belong to free staters,
For you've brought on it nothing but shame.

Why not leave it to those who are willing,
To uphold it in war and in peace,
To the men who intend to do killing,
Until England's tyrannies cease.

You have murdered our brave Liam and Rory,
You've slaughtered young Richard and Joe,
Your hands with their blood is still gory,
Fulfilling the work of the foe.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Enniskillen Atrocity - 8 Nov 1987

Just before 11am on the day of the Remembrance Day parade in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, a large Provisional IRA bomb exploded in the town centre, killing 11 people and injuring more then 60. This blunder was another stepping stone to the Provisional abandonment of the armed struggle; as Gerry Adams claimed another atrocity would undermine the value and integrity of the armed movement.

Initial press reporting claimed that the attack was purely sectarian, but later the IRA admitted it had been targeting the British colour guard marching in the memorial parade. Either way, it is unforgivable and badly planned. It had to be obvious to those involved that civilians would be killed and severely hurt in this action, but on it went. 10 civilians and an RUC reservist lay dead, all Protestants.

The fact that amateur film of the bombing was published is just fuel to the flames of the fury of the Protestant community and world opinion. Innocent people died and the press had film of it, all fingers pointed at the Provisional IRA.

At this time, the Anglo-Irish Agreement had been drafted for over two years, and secret talks between Gerry Adams and the British had been ongoing. Gerry was forced to denounce the bombing in public statements and try to save face for the Provisional Mov't. Regardless, communities forced the Stoops to refute their support for Sinn Fein council members and Provo public opinion took a huge hit.

Loyalists intent on retaliation were stopped by the words of victims' families. They wanted no retribution for the murders. And none would be immediately taken by the loyalist paramilitaries.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004
  Passing on down the long line of blogs...

I got this partially off of Broom of Anger and followed the Broom's link to SheilaOMalley.com to collect the rest. I was bored (aka avoiding abnormal psychology course work), so I figured I'd have a go at it. Tomorrow I will do the Remembrance Day piece (I PROMISE!), since tonight isn't looking productive.

Ten movies you'd watch over and over:

Full Metal Jacket, Army of Darkness, Life of Brian, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Animal House, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Taxi Driver, Snatch, This is Spinal Tap, Dazed and Confused.

Nine people you enjoy the company of:

Brianna, Shuck, Rachel, my mother, my grandfather, Trish, Ashley, Krystle, Nate

Eight things you're wearing:

contacts, patchouli oil, a perplexed look, a pair of tattered jeans, boxers, an undershirt, an old red and black sweater (ala Freddie Krueger), and a pair of socks.

Seven things on your mind:

course work, loan payments, exhaustion, my ongoing cold, whether or not to go north for the upcoming weekend, the impending end of the semester and scheduling for spring.

Six objects you touch every day:

computer, kettle, toothbrush, lighter, guitar, pen.

Five things you do every day:

swear in excess, read, take my vitamins ;) , cook, play guitar badly.

Four bands (etc) that you couldn't live without:

Nirvana, Rolling Stones, River City Rebels, Teenage Girls

Three of your favorite songs at this moment:
The Stranglers: "Golden Brown", The Verve: "The Drugs Don't Work", River City Rebels: "The System".

Two people who have influenced your life the most:

My granda and my friends as a general group.

One person who you love more than anyone in the world:

That question is too tough and vague to answer.
Monday, November 08, 2004
  November 8th, 1998 - Provos promise decommissioning

Provisional Sinn Fein pledges to approach the Provisional IRA about decommissioning weapons. In hopes of making themselves elibigble for a partitionist legislature, Adams and Company were willing, and have, sacrificed the defence of the nationalist people.

Pressure was increased after the press played up a minor decommissioning event by the LVF. This consisted largely of 9 rusty guns and sad looking ammunition, from reports.

After 6 years, it hasn't advanced Provisional Sinn Fein's position very much. The occupied Six are still under direct British rule, after failed attempts at co-existing with unionists in government. Power-sharing has consistently failed over the last 30 years and this experiment has not been any different.

The Key difference this time is the fact that the nationalist people are minus tonnes of weaponry for their own defence. And this is unforgivable.

November 8th, 1987
Remembrance Day Bombing - Enniskillen

Sunday, November 07, 2004
  Broke 10,000 visitors yesterday! And approaching the one year mark for the weblog.

Tomorrow will be a more substanced post. Re: November 8th, 1998, Provos promise to decommission weapons essentially in exchange for a promise of a Stormont assembly in which they would be included. Also, rememberance of the terrible tragedy at Enniskillen November 8, 1987.  
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Provisional Sinn Fein accept Leinster House - 2 Nov 1986

Sixteen years ago, on 2nd November 1986, a group led by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness voted to recognise the legitimacy of the Leinster House. Abstentionism ended for Provisional Sinn Fein. Those who stood with the ideals of Sinn Fein sided with Daithi O Conaill and Ruairi O Bradaigh and walked out of the 1986 Ard Fheis. About 100 major Provisional supporters walked out right along with those men.

This was a path started that has led to sitting in Stormont and the acceptance of the GFA. This is something projected following the Anglo Irish Agreement of only a year prior to this decision to drop a long standing Republican principle. Concession after concession has put hundreds of Republican weapons in concrete and not put Ireland a step closer to being united. There are still great divisions amongst the people of the Six Counties and this is not going to change any time soon.

The next step is for Sinn Fein to join the policing board, followed by sitting in Westminster. A long line of principle breaking decisions that have not gained a significant thing. There is no power-sharing, there is nothing that can be considered a step closer to a United Ireland. It's all been for shite.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
  If you are religious, please pray for America. This vote is important. If you are American, get out and vote FFS. If you are not religious, please pass on your good wishes to a good outcome of today's election. Hope for the best. The best for the world and the best for America as well. Blessed be everyone.
Monday, November 01, 2004
  from Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft

"Samhain - Greater Sabbat

This is the time of year for getting rid of weaknesses (in the old days the cattle least likely to make it thru the winter wouldvbe cut from the herd and slaughtered). Coveners should bring into the Circle with them a small piece of parchment on which they have written down weaknesses or bad habits they would like to lose. "

From A Witches' Bible

"The eve of 1st November, when the Celtic Winter begins is the dark counterpart of May Eve which greets the Summer. more than that, 1st November for the Celts was the beginning of the year itself, and the feast of Samhain was their New Year's Eve, the mysterious moment which belonged to neither past nor present, to neither this world nor the Other. Samhain is Irish Gaelic for the month of November; Samhuin is Scottish Gaelic for All Hallows, 1st November.
. . . . .
"A sense of psychic eeriness, or at the turn of the year - the old dying, the new still unborn - the Veil was very thin. The doors of the sidh-mounds were open, and on this night neither human nor fairy needed any magical password to come and go. On this night, too, the spirits of dead friends sought the warmth of the Samhain fire and communion with their living kin. This was the Feile na Marbh, the Feast of the Dead, and also Feile Moingfhinne, the Feast of the White-Haired One, the Snow Goddess. It was "a partial return to primordial chaos . . . the dissolution of established order as prelude to its recreation in a new period of time", as Proisnias mac Cana says in Celtic Mythology."
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Ta ar la anois.

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