Random Ramblings from a Republican
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
  BBC: On This Day - 30 March 1979
Car bomb kills Airey Neave

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Airey Neave has been killed by a car bomb as he left the House of Commons car park.

The bomb, said to be highly sophisticated, exploded as Mr Neave began driving up the exit ramp shortly before 1500GMT.

Emergency services were on the scene in minutes.

The 63-year-old Conservative MP, known for his tough line on anti-IRA security, was taken to Westminster Hospital where he died from his injuries.

So far two groups, the Provisional IRA and the Irish Natonal Liberation Army, have claimed they carried out the killing.

It is not yet known when the bomb was attached to his car but investigators believe a timing device and trembler - which detonates the bomb through movement - were used to ensure the bomb went off as Mr Neave was leaving the Commons.

The area around Parliament Square was immediately closed as police began a full-scale search of the premises.

Despite increased threats to the safety of MPs not all cars are checked fully as they enter the car park.

Gilbert Kellard, assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said Mr Neave was aware of the dangers and was "happy and content" with his security.

Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher led tributes to Mr Neave saying: "He was one of freedom's warriors. Courageous, staunch, true. He lived for his beliefs and now he has died for them."

Prime Minister James Callaghan said: "No effort will be spared to bring the murderers to justice and to rid the United Kingdom of the scourge of terrorism."

The killing is thought to have been timed to coincide with the start of the election campaign which was announced yesterday.

Mr Neave was a close adviser to Mrs Thatcher, he led her campaign to become the Conservative Party leader and headed her private office. 
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
  Today, 24 years ago, Patsy O'Hara and Raymond McCreesh joined Bobby Sands and Francis Hughes on hungerstrike.

Chronology from CAIN - 1981
Patsy Bio from IRSM
Ray Bio from Larkspirit

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
  Today in Irish History - March 15th

1672 - The first declaration of indulgence suspending penal laws issued by Charles II

1852 - Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory, playwright, folklorist and co-founder of the Abbey Theatre, is born in Roxborough, Co. Galway

1974 - Two members of the Irish Republican Army were killed when a bomb they were planting exploded prematurely in Dungannon, County Tyrone.

1975 - Two members of the Ulster Defence Association were shot dead in the Alexandra Bar, York Road, Belfast, in an attack by the Ulster Volunteer Force. These killings were part of a feud between the two Loyalist paramilitary groups.

1976 - The IRA is linked to a bomb that explodes on a London Underground train; the driver of the train is shot dead while chasing a gunman who is believed to have detonated the bomb. Ten other people are injured.

1981 - Francis Hughes, an Irish Republican Army prisoner in the Maze Prison, joined Bobby Sands on hunger strike.

1982 - Alan McCrum (11), a Protestant boy, was killed and 34 people injured when the Irish Republican Army exploded a bomb in Bridge Street, Banbridge, County Down. An inadequate warning had been given.

1995 - The Ulster Democratic Party announced that a delegation would be attending the St Patrick's Day reception at the White House, Washington, despite the presence of Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin.

1999 - A prominent Irish civil rights solicitor, Rosemary Nelson, is killed by a Loyalist car bomb in Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

Wild Geese
Irish Culture and Customs 
Monday, March 07, 2005
  March 8th, 1903 - Charles Gavan Duffy, last of the Young Ireland leaders, is buried in Dublin: Glasnevin Cemetery.

Excerpt from Ireland Her Own by TA Jackson:

Duffy's Tenant's Right League

Charles Gavan Duffy, the only Young Ireland leader left at liberty in Ireland after the turmoils of '48, attempted to organise a constitutional agitation to secure the "three F's" (fixity of tenure, fair rent and freedom of sale). His Tenant's Right League met with considerable success in 1852, but was brought to nothing by the sabotage and desertion of a group known derisively as the Pope's Brass Band.

When Gavan Duffy restarted the Nation in 1850, he had to record, along with a widespread outbreak of "Ribbon" outrages, the progress of two distinct agitations for legislation to abate the rapacity of that new type of landlord which was emerging daily from the Encumbered Estates Courts. In the North, the agitation, led by Protestant and Presbyterian ministers, arose from a well-based fear that the new speculator-landlords would destroy (as under the new Act they could) the "Ulster custom" which gave tenants a property right in their improvements. Concurrently, in the South a group of public spirited young priests were agitating for the adoption there of the (imperilled) Ulster customs, as a reform.

Under the influence of the Nation, these distinct "Tenants' Protection Associations" came together and formed a Tenants' Right League. It had the support of the surviving "Repealers" in parliament; and of a number of English Radicals, such as Sharman Crawfurd and Poulet Scrope. It was agreed, all around, that a Land Act embodying the three F's would be a real gain. A call was issued urging voters everywhere to support only such candidates as would pledge themselves to give support to Tenant's Right Principles, which were defined thus:

"Rent must be fixed by valuation of the land; the power of raising rents at will, or of recovering a higher rent taht one so established must be taken from the landlord. The tenant must have a fixed tenure; he must not be liable to disturbance, so long as he paid the rent established by valuation. If he chose to quit, or could not pay he must have the right to the market value of his tenancy. Nothing shall be included in the valuation, or be paid under it to the landlord , on account of improvements made by the tenant in possession, or those under whom he claims, unless these have been paid for by the landlord in reduced rent, or in some other way."

**last part tomorrow. 
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
  March 1st marks the 24th anniversary of the day Volunteer Bobby Sands began his hungerstrike.

Stars of Freedom
by Bobby Sands

The stars of freedom light the skies,
Uncrowned queens of yesteryear,
They were born 'mid shades of royal hue',
From mystic wombs they did appear.

Silver gems that pierce the dark.
Heavenly virgins in disguise,
That stir the heart with love and flame,
And light great flames in all men's eyes.

Oh! star of beauty in nightly hue,
You have inspired bondsmen to kings,
And lit the ways of despairing folk,
From dreams to living things.

In the seas of time you float serene,
Oh! silver stars of nations born,
And you draw a tear to free men's eyes,
Through dungeon bars forlorn.

Oh! star of Erin, queen of tears,
Black clouds have beset thy birth,
And your people die like morning stars,
That your light may grace the earth.

But this Celtic star will be born,
And ne'er by mystic means,
But by a nation sired in freedom's light,
And not in ancient dreams.

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Ta ar la anois.

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