Random Ramblings from a Republican
Monday, November 24, 2008
  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." 
Sunday, November 23, 2008
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. 
Friday, November 21, 2008
Sunday, 21 November 1920
Michael Collins' Revenge on the Cairo Gang

In response to the IRA successes against the Tans, the British Gov't had formed secret paramilitary death squads to "help" the RIC, Black and Tans and Auxiliaries. In the latter part of 1920, British Intelligence in Dublin, including what was known as the 'Cairo Gang' - 18 senior British Intelligence officers, had collected information from an extensive network of informers around Dublin city. Such a nest of spies and assassins was obviously of great concern for Michael Collins and the IRA leadership.

So to counter this looming problem, the IRA carried out one of its most successful counter intelligence operations with the execution of British spies in Dublin. Possessing the names and addresses of these British agents, the IRA Intelligence Department under Michael Collins put in action an audacious plan to wipe them out. On Sunday, 20 November, IRA Volunteers drawn from 'the Squad', some affiliated with those who would be killed in the massacre at the GAA match at Croke Park that later in the day. The casualties included Jeannie Boyle, who had gone to the match with her fiancé and was due to be married five days later, and John Scott, who was 14 and so mutilated that it was initially thought that he had been savagely bayoneted. The youngest victims were aged ten and 11.

The operation was planned by several senior IRA members, including Michael Collins, Dick McKee, Liam Tobin, Peadar Clancy, Tom Cullen, Frank Thornton and Oscar Traynor. The operation began at 9.00am when members of the Squad entered 28 Pembroke Street. The first British agents to die were Major Dowling and Captain Leonard Price. Andy Cooney of the Dublin Brigade removed documents from their rooms before three more members of the Gang were shot in the same house: Captain Keenlyside, Colonel Woodcock, and Colonel Montgomery. As Keenlyside was about to be shot a struggle ensued between his wife and Mick O'Hanlon. The leader of the unit, Mick Flanagan, arrived, pushed Mrs. Keenlyside out of the way and shot her husband.

At 119 Morehampton Road, Donnybrook, not far from the scene of the first shootings, another member of the Cairo Gang, Lieutenant Donald Lewis MacLean, along with suspected informer T. H. Smith, and McLean's brother-in-law, John Caldow, were taken into the hallway and about to be shot, when McLean asked that they not be shot in front of his wife. The three were taken to the roof where they were shot by Vinnie Byrne and Seán Doyle. Caldow survived his wounds and fled to his home in Scotland.

Next, at 92 Lower Baggot Street, another member, Captain Newbury and his wife heard their front door come crashing down and blockaded themselves into their bedroom. Newbury rushed for his window to try and escape but was shot while climbing out by Bill Stapleton and Joe Leonard after they finally broke the door down. Newbury's corpse hung out of a window for several hours as the RIC waited to approach, fearing the body might have been booby-trapped.

Two key members of the Gang, Lt. Peter Ashmun Ames and Captain George Bennett, were shot and killed, following a short gun battle, after a sympathetic maid let their attackers into 38 Upper Mount Street.

Sgt. John J. Fitzgerald, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, also known as "Captain Fitzgerald" or "Captain Fitzpatrick", whose father was from County Tipperary, was shot and killed at 28 Earlsfort Terrace. He had survived a previous assassination attempt when the bullet only grazed his head. This time he was shot twice in the head. The documents found in his house detailed the movements of senior IRA members.

Meanwhile, an IRA unit led by Tom Keogh entered 22 Lower Mount Street to kill Lieutenant Angliss aka McMahon, and Lieutenant Peel. The two intelligence specialists in the Gang, McMahon and Peel had been recalled from Russia to organize British Intelligence in the South Dublin area. McMahon survived a previous assassination attempt when shot at a billiard hall. He was targeted for killing Sinn Féin fundraiser John Lynch, mistaken for Liam Lynch, Divisional Commandant of the 1st Southern Division. McMahon was shot as he reached for his gun.

Peel, hearing the shots, managed to block his bedroom door and survived even though more than a dozen bullets were fired into his room. When members of Fianna Éireann on lookout reported that Auxiliary Division were approaching the house, the unit of eleven men split up into two groups, the first leaving by the front door, the second leaving through the laneway at the back of the house.

At 119 Baggot Street, Captain G.T. Baggalley , who had been a member of military courts that sentenced IRA volunteers to death, was killed by a three-man IRA unit, one of whom was a future Fianna Fáil Taoiseach, Seán Lemass.

Some members had decided that they would be safer residing in hotels. Captains McCormack and Wilde were in the Gresham Hotel. The IRA unit gained access to their rooms by pretending to be British soldiers with important dispatches. When the men opened their doors they were shot and killed. A London Times listing for McCormack and Wilde doesn't list any rank for the latter, however.

Captain Crawford narrowly escaped death after the IRA entered a guesthouse in Fitzwilliam Square where he was staying, looking for a Major Callaghan. On not finding their target, they debated whether or not to shoot Crawford. They decided not to shoot him as he was not on the hit list; instead they gave him 24 hours to leave Ireland, which he promptly did.

In the Eastwood Hotel the IRA failed to find their target, a Colonel Jennings, as he, along with Major Callaghan, had spent the night in a local brothel. Other targets who escaped were a Major Hardy, as well as a "Major King", a colleague of Hardy was missing when IRA assassin Joe Dolan burst into his room .

Two members of the Black and Tans, Cadets Garniss and Morris, were also killed. All in all, 8 members of the Cairo gang, and most of their top leadership were taken out. Michael Collins and his brain-trust had struck one of the more successful attacks in the history of Irish Republicanism up to the present time.

Tim Pat Coogan's The IRA & Michael Collins: a biography
Wikipedia: Cairo Gang
Ulick O'Connor's Michael Collins & The Troubles 
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
  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. 
Sunday, November 16, 2008
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.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
  I was bored (aka avoiding completing the notes for work tomorrow), so I figured I'd have a go at this little survey.

Ten movies you'd watch over and over:
Blazing Saddles, Dogma, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Animal House, History of the World: Part I, Taxi Driver, Snatch, Dazed & Confused, Office Space and Empire Records.

Nine people you enjoy the company of:
My mother, my grandfather, Hoppe, Sara, Dubby, my brothers, a few of my work mates and even a few of my clients.

Eight things you're wearing:
Contacts, A yellow t-shite supporting Spurs Saloon in Pittston, a perplexed look, a pair of tattered jeans, boxers, an undershirt, a stocking hat, and a pair of socks.

Seven things on your mind:
My caseload, student loan payments, exhaustion, what days to take off during the holidays, how to manage my money better, my brothers, my grandpa.

Six objects you touch every day:
computer, my keys, a lighter, a pen, snapple and myself

Five things you do every day:
swear in excess, read, take my vitamins ;) , working with severely mentally ill people and not sleep enough.

Four bands (etc) that you couldn't live without:
Jason Mraz, Eire Og, Wu-Tang Clan, and Neko Case

Three of your favorite songs at this moment:
Neko Case: "John Saw That Letter", Jason Mraz "Curbside Prophet", Blind Melon "Life Ain't So Shitty"

Two people who have influenced your life the most:
My granda, my mom and my girlfriend

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

Either my mother or m girlfriend. Tough choice
Friday, November 14, 2008
Historical Summary Account - The Funeral of '48 Rebel TB MacManus

Terence Bellew MacManus was born to a traditional Fermanagh family who immigrated from Ireland to Liverpool. He would return to Ireland in 1843 to join the Repeal Association and the Young Irelander Party. During the Young Irelanders' short uprising in 1848, MacManus joined Smith O'Brien and John Blake Dillon at Ballingarry, County Tipperary, where the only sustained combat took place. For his part in the Rising, he was sent to the British penal colony of Tasmania. Within two years of his arrival, he had his escape planned. He and a few comrades, including a future American Civil War hero, Thomas Francis Meagher escaped via a ship headed for the coast of California. Upon arriving in San Francisco, he settled in the large Irish community and lived out his days.

When MacManus died towards the end of November of 1860, the Irish community of San Fran, who had grown to respect and love this man, funded his trip back to the land he loved most: Ireland. His extended funeral procession was the most effective fundraising means imaginable at that time. Any town with a sizable Irish population demanded the funeral pass thru on its way to Boston.

These stops along the train tracks and dusty roads of rural America fed the Fenian Brotherhood and Clann na Gael with both funds and fresh recruits. The demand to hold memorials for this man in every town along the way was so great that it took nearly 10 months for his coffin to reach Boston harbour.

Arrangements for further processions once the body reached Ireland were made. The Church made a failed attempt to stop these memorials from happening, but the Fenian show of strength and support in Cork City was breathtaking and quashed any hope of shutting them down. Nearly the entire population of the city and surrounding areas showed up to be a part of this man's funeral procession.

The coffin then traveled north to Dublin, where the major procession had been planned. On November 10th, 1861, an estimated 200,000 people showed up for the final trip of the Young Irelander. 50,000 men marched in military formation while a greater number lined the streets. Included along the way were numerous stops to tell the tales of hallowed spots of great fallen Irishmen. These included the church in front of which Emmet was hanged, the house where Tone's body was prepared before its burial, and the house where Lord Edward Fitzgerald was shot.

The church again tried to quell this open spurning of its authority and refused to allow the body to rest in any church or to give the dead man any funeral rites. But Father Patrick Lavelle, a previously secretive Fenian, defied Archbishop Cullen and openly performed the funeral ceremony. It was dark by the time MacManus' coffin was laid in the ground in Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery.

This funeral helped to cement in the minds of many the true case for Irish independence from Britain. It also helped to expose the large amount of support at home and abroad for the cause of Irish nationalism. It was very much akin to the funeral of Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa.

The quote below taken from The Wild Geese website:

"I think it no exaggeration to say that the funeral seems to me to be something in its kind unparalleled, or, at least, only to be compared with the second burial of the great Napoleon. But, in the last-named pageant, the power and resources of a great nation were called into action, while the MacManus funeral was the unaided effort of a populace trampled on or expatriated."

-Fenian Thomas Clarke Luby 
Monday, November 10, 2008
Padraic Pearse

*from the Wild Geese

Perhaps on Nov. 10, 1879, at 27 Great Brunswick St., Dublin, as the mother and father gazed down at their newborn son, they had a vision of what his future held. That may explain why they named him Patrick Henry Pearse. Their son would grow to be the very embodiment of the words of the American patriot Patrick Henry, whose name he bore, who uttered in the Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775: "I know not what course others might take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" Indeed, these words would have formed a very proper epitaph on the gravestone of Pearse, the leader of the Easter Rising 1916.

Like many other uncompromising Irish rebels, Pearse was not of pure Irish blood; he was the product of a mixed English-Irish marriage. His father was a monumental sculptor and an Englishman, his mother was a native of County Meath. Pearse began his life-long study of the Irish language at age 11; perhaps his strident nationalism was a byproduct of his study of the language that the British had tried so hard to destroy over the centuries.

After graduation from Royal University of Ireland he was called to the Bar, but he never practiced. He joined the Gaelic League in 1895. In 1908, along with friends Thomas MacDonagh, Con Colbert, and his brother William, Pearse founded an Irish language school called St. Enda's at Cullenwood House in Rathmines, outside Dublin. Their school prospered, and in 1910 they moved it to The Hermitage, Rathfarnham, where Robert Emmet had courted Sarah Curran. The school operated until 1935, run eventually by Pearse's mother and sister, but none of the four founders of the school would see that day all four would be executed within five days of each other in May 1916.

Through these years Pearse was writing a great deal of prose and poetry, some in Irish and some in English, much of which was published after his death, and contributing articles to Arthur Griffith's newspaper, The United Irishman. He was becoming more and more radical in his outlook on Irish nationalism, evolving from a supporter of Home Rule to a republican. In 1913, he was one of the founders of the Irish Volunteers, a native Irish militia that would evolve into the Irish Republican Army. Later the same year Pearse joined the secretive Irish Republican Brotherhood.

In February 1914, Pearse traveled to the United States seeking money from the Irish-American community for his school and for the Irish Volunteers. He made contact with Joseph McGarrity and former Fenian John Devoy, who helped him on both counts. In July 1914, in the famous Howth gun-running incident, the Irish Volunteers obtained weapons and ammunition. The organization now had the weapons and financial support it needed to consider the military action that many of them, including Pearse, believed necessary to end British rule in Ireland. "There are many things more horrible than bloodshed," Pearse had once written, "and slavery is one of them." In the militants' view, the circumstances were now rife for action, with the republicans possessing organization and weapons. Pearse felt ready to strike for his dream.

In the summer of 1915 the body of Fenian Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa was brought home from New York for burial. At Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery, Pearse delivered one of the most famous graveside orations in the long history of the Irish revolutionary movement. His speech stirred the Irish nation.

"But I hold it a Christian thing, as O'Donovan Rossa held it, to hate evil, to hate oppression, and hating them, to strive to overthrow them," said Pearse. "... Life springs from death; and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations." Pearse's clarion call to armed revolt reverberated through the length and breadth of Ireland. On April 24, 1916, words became action.

*Part 2 continued on the Wild Geese site

Saturday, November 08, 2008

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Friday, November 07, 2008
November 6th, 1649
Death of Owen Roe O'Neill

Eoghan Rua Ó Néill, anglicised as Owen Roe O'Neill, left Ireland as one of the "Flight of the Earls" in the 17th century. During his time away from his homeland, he fought in the service of the Spanish in the Netherlands during the Eighty Years War the French. Colonel O'Neill led a garrison of Spanish soldiers against the French at the siege of Arras in 1640.

Taking from his military leadership experience gained serving with the Spanish, O'Neill returned to Ireland in 1642 with a force of 300 battle hardened soldiers to force the English out of his homeland. The war he started is today known at the Irish Confederate War. At the outset, the campaigns led by O'Neill were wholly unsuccessful until 1646 when he received supplies and trained soldiers from the Papal, Giovanni Battista Rinuccini. Using these resouces, O'Neill routed the Scottish Covenanter Army commanded by Major General Robert Munro at the battle of Benburb in June of 1646.

O'Neill's victory was short-lived, as members of the Catholic army made treaties with Ormonde. This crushed O'Neill's spirit and he lost his drive to repel Royalist forces any longer. Later, in 1648 he made attempts to regain leadership and link with the armies of the parliamentarians in the north, but had little luck. When Cromwell arrived in August of 1649, O'Neill once more linked with Ormonde and the Catholic confederates, with whom he prepared to co-operate more earnestly in an effort to repel the overwhelming and heinous forces of Cromwell's army.

Before, however, anything was accomplished by this combination, Owen Roe died on 6 November 1649 at Clough Oughter castle in Co Cavan. Some believe he was poisoned by the English, though this has never been proven. It is generally accepted that he died of a disease acquired during his warring days in the Netherlands. He was buried in the dark of the night at a nearby Francisican monestary in Co. Cavan.

INFO: http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/biog/oneill.htm

  'I met with Napper Tandy and he took me by the hand
Saying, how is old Ireland? And how does she stand?
She's the most distressful country that ever yet was seen;
They are hanging men and women for the wearing of the green!

-- From the lyrics of "The Wearing of the Green" 
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Napper Tandy

*From the Wild Geese

On November 9, 1791, James Napper Tandy convened the first meeting of the Dublin United Irishmen. Tandy had been a member of the Volunteers, who helped force the formation of Grattan's parliament in 1782. Earlier in 1791, Tandy had assisted Theobald Wolfe Tone and Thomas Russell in the formation of the United Irishmen and became the secretary for the Dublin branch. In 1793, he was forced to flee to the United States to avoid arrest for also being a member of the Defenders. He traveled to Paris in 1798, anxious to participate in any French assistance to an Irish rising. There he was appointed a general by the French government, but came into conflict with many of the other United Irishmen already there, including Wolfe Tone.

While in France, Tandy boasted that he could set Ireland ablaze with revolution with only a handful of French troops. The French took him at his word and sent him off to Ireland with 370 Grenadiers, aboard a corvette on the same day that Hubert's larger force won their famous battle at Castlebar. Tandy's actions in life had, for the most part, been admirable thus far, but the next part of his life reads like some bad comic-opera. Landing at Rutland Island off the coast of Donegal, Tandy distributed a proclamation to the people hoping to incite them to rise up. Tandy drank to excess that evening at the home of the local postmaster (who happened to be an acquaintance of his), and it was said that he had to be carried back to the ship, which set sail again that morning.

Tandy would later be arrested in Hamburg, Germany and delivered to the British, who tried him and sentenced him to death. But they did not execute him, perhaps because there was some question whether they had violated international law in seizing him. He was released and sent back to France. He died in Bordeaux on August 24, 1803. He would later be immortalized in the song "Wearing of the Green." 
Monday, November 03, 2008
  The Connaught Rangers and the Death of James Daley
2 November 1920
From The Wild Geese

On Nov. 2, 1920, James Daley was killed by a British firing squad in India. Daley had been one of the leaders of the so-called "India Mutiny," but had not been among its instigators. The mutiny began May 28, 1920, led by Joseph Hawes at Wellington barracks in Jullundar, India when 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.

As word of more and more British violence against the Irish people spread among the troops, they had begun to question the morality of wearing the uniforms of the same army that was terrorizing families back home. The mutiny soon spread to Ranger detachments in Solon and Jutogh. Daley was stationed at Solon and helped lead the action of the mutineers there. Two would die in Solon during a brief confrontation. Eventually, 61 Rangers were convicted by courts martial and 14 sentenced to death. All but one of those condemned men had their sentences reduced. James Daly of Tyrellspass, County Westmeath, was the only one shot. The Connaught Rangers would not survive much longer than Daley; in 1922 the regiment was disbanded after the signing of the Anglo-Irish treaty that created the Irish Free State. In 1970, James Daley's body was brought home and buried at Tyrellspass. Among those in the guard of honor at the reinterment ceremony were five of Daley's fellow mutineers: Joseph Hawes, James Gorman, Eugene Egan, Patrick Hynes, and William Coote 
Sunday, November 02, 2008
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. 
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Ta ar la anois.

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