Author Archives: Admin

1916, 2016: them and us

This first went up on the site back on April 28 this year; I’m putting it back up on the home page because it remains relevant.  I’ll be highlighting it continuously as long as I need to!

indexOne of the products of the end of the Provisionals’ armed struggle in the six counties and their signing up to, and enthusiastic participation in, an internal settlement there is that the kind of historical revisionism that was officially-backed from about the mid-1970s until the end of the 1990s has become outmoded.  The kind of nonsense delivered up by the likes of a would-be Sebastian Flyte such as Roy Foster is now surplus to requirements.

Instead, there is a new war over ‘1916 and all that’.  The southern establishment is much more relaxed about recognising and celebrating the importance of 1916 than they have been at any time since the explosion in the six counties at the end of the 1960s and start of the 1970s.  On the other hand, the establishment is vitally keen on tying the 1916 rebellion and subsequent war for independence into its own history.  They want to present the events of 1916-21 as finding their natural and logical conclusion in the establishment and development of the 26-county state.

Moreover, they want to show that this state and its population, or certainly its ruling elite, have ‘matured’ to the level of putting the old ‘enmity’ with England behind them.  ‘We’ can now recognise the ‘sacrifices’ made by Orangemen in the First World War and also commemorate men from nationalist Ireland who joined the British imperialist army and died on the slaughter fields of that war.  It’s all just part of Ireland’s rich and diverse Read the rest of this entry

éirígí calls for building of radical campaign against cuts in the 6 Counties

The following statement has been released by éirígí

stop-stormont-cuts-orange1In December 2010 Stormont agreed a budget that would see £1,500,000,000 (£1.5Billion) slashed from our public expenditure. They have implemented this budget without hesitation and wreaked havoc across working-class communities in the Six Counties, with one Stormont Minister commenting that, “It would be a good Christmas present for the people…”.

The Stormont coalition partners, Sinn Féin and the DUP, oversaw an economy where more than 100,000 people currently want meaningful work but cannot get it. 1 in every 4 young people aged 18-24 are without a job. 1 in every 5 children lives below the poverty line – this figure increases to 43% of children in West Belfast. Families struggle to pay for basic necessities such as food, heating or clothing. 21% of Pensioners also live in poverty. Nearly 40,000 households sit on housing waiting lists. They have closed the City Hospital Accident & Emergency department and the MS respite unit at Dalriada. Further closures are to come for minor injury units in Armagh, Whiteabbey and Bangor. Beds at the Mid-Ulster Hospital, Downe Hospital and Lagan Valley will be axed, adding additional strain across the board.

Not content, and in order to squeeze every remaining penny from the working class people of the Six Counties, Sinn Féin and the DUP are now in the process of Read the rest of this entry

PSF Paint Over the Miriam Daly Mural Yet Eulogise Arch Bigot Paisley

0cadcf36-4d2e-4b83-adb9-3fae155aae01_zps9d361eb3The piece below is reprinted from The Plough and the Stars blog, here; all I can add is my disgust that the Miriam Daly mural has been painted out of existence

No doubt the anti-revisionist message of the iconic Vol Miriam Daly memorial mural now painted over on Oakman Street, West Belfast today was lost on Provisional Sinn Fein on the very day they publicly eulogised arch-bigot Paisley, yet appear to be attempting to revise out the the role and memory of British death-squad victim, Irish Republican Socialist activist, Miriam Daly.

A local IRSP member approached those responsible asking why they were painting over the mural and was given the rather spurious excuse that there was ‘graffiti’ at the street level area of the mural.  The IRSP member stated that this hardly warranted the total erasing of the entire mural!

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The eyesore that has hastily replaced the Miriam Daly memorial mural. Not surprisingly, its message seems to reinforce individualism, alienation and powerlessness.

Miriam Daly, a respected academic, a leading co-founder of the then nascent RACs/H-Block/Armagh Committees was slain by an undercover British death-squad on the 26th June 1980, in the most horrific of circumstances.  The death-squad gunmen who callously murdered Miriam Daly, bound the mother of 3 and then waited at her home in Andersonstown, hoping to also murder her fellow IRSP and H-Blocks’ activist husband, Jim, who they were expecting to return from work. However, on that tragic day, June 26th 1980, Jim was in Dublin attending a German language course and it is assumed that when the British death-squad realised that he would not be returning, they shot Miriam dead before making good their escape.  The Daly children discovered their murdered mother when they Read the rest of this entry

3rd annual Frank Conroy Commemoration

Stewart Reddin (l), Frank Conroy (r)

Stewart Reddin (l), Frank Conroy (r)

by Mick Healy

The 3rd Annual Frank Conroy Commemoration was a huge success with a large crowd, including councillors Joanne Pender and Mark Lynch, attending the event at the Republican memorial in Kildare town, on Sunday 9 November.

Stewart Reddin (Stoneybater and Smithfield Peoples History Project) introduced Kildare historian and author James Durney.  Durney spoke about the search that located Conroy’s birthplace in Kilcullen. Conroy died in 1936 while fighting with the International Brigade defending the Spanish Republic.

He was born on 25 February 1914, in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare.  His parents were Michael Conroy (born in Co. Laois) and Catherine Farrell (born in Co. Dublin).  They were married in Dublin South in 1908.  Michael Conroy was a baker by trade and moved his family to Co. Kildare, probably for employment reasons, as there was a large bakery, O’Connell’s, operating in Kilcullen.

Durney said, “Frank Conroy, a former IRA volunteer and a member of the Communist Party, left for Spain on the Dun Laoghaire-Holyhead ferry on 13 December 1936 with about twenty-five other Irish volunteers of the International Brigade, including Republican Frank Ryan.  Within days six of them would be dead including Conroy.”

Spanish civil war historian Harry Owens was the main speaker at the commemoration.  He noted “that socialist Fr O’Flanagan (a relation of Ming Flanagan, MEP) who read the prayer that opened that first independent Irish Parliament, also stood here in Kildare in 1935, one year before the Spanish civil war, when he inaugurated this monument to seven workers shot Read the rest of this entry

Interview with republican veteran George Harrison

g-harrisonTwo months before George Harrison died, he gave a lengthy interview to the Rustbelt Radical blog.  Rustbelt has a lot of really good stuff on it, and I thoroughly recommend the site.  The person behind it is an American Mid-West marxist.  Please do go and listen to the interview – here’s how Rustbelt Radical describes George Harrison:

George was an immensely humble and decent man, belying all the media images of an IRA gun runner. Immediately at ease as we had cake and coffee served to us, the 89 year-old gave us recollections of a long life well lived in a room full of manifestations of those memories. Pictures of hunger strikers, of Bernadette McAliskey and her children hung on the wall, posters and papers from the movement were on the tables. His nurse and friend Prissy was there, along with her daughter, and it is Prissy’s voice you will hear at the very end of the interviews describing the beautiful relationship the two of them had and his impact on her.

In this lengthy interview George talks about Read the rest of this entry

Frank Conroy commemoration, Nov 9, Kildare Town

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Blog plans and you. . .

imagesI had hoped, now that I’m unemployed, to have more time for the blog, but it’s amazing how the day fills up with other work.  Also, until a day ago, my only means of accessing a computer and the internet was by walking over the hill to the little port library which has five computers for public use.  Now, however, I have a laptop, although I currently can’t really afford to hook up to the internet.

Anyway, I have been thinking quite a bit about the future of this blog.

It did occur to me to wind it up, and offer anything I wanted to write about Ireland to the éirígí site, as some time ago I became a member of Clann éirígí and have been heavily involved in producing the Clann’s bulletin.

However, the site has a core group of readers and it does argue some politics of its own: for instance, I support a woman’s right to choose on abortion and I think that should be the party position.  I also think that the left-republican groups should form a united committee to plan for Easter 1916 events.  I think it would be bordering on criminal if each group simply organises its own events.

Imagine 1916.  Pearse leads the Irish Volunteers out one day in one place.  Connolly leads the ICA out another day in another place.  The two movements never speak or co-ordinate.  Crazy, huh?  Let’s hope that the left-republican groups don’t adopt such an approach to commemorative events, especially for the 100th anniversary.

Well, let’s not just hope; let’s argue for an ard comhairle of representatives of the various organisations to organise national events and, at local level, comhairle ceantair or cúigí to organise district or regional events.

Anyway, back to the blog and you.

As well as Read the rest of this entry

Seamus Costello Memorial Committee commemoration

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éirígí in Derry

éirígí now has a ciorcal (local branch) in Derry.  Its first public event took place last Friday night (October 10), with several dozen people coming along to hear a panel of speakers on internment.

The speakers included Francie McGuigan and Kevin Hannaway who were interned without trial in the early 1970s and also tortured by the British Army.

Sitting Belfast city councillor Angela Nelson spoke about being interned in her youth in the early 1970s, while éirígí’s Stephen Murney spoke about his recent imprisonment.

As well as relating their own experiences, speakers dealt with what has and hasn’t changed in the north of Ireland since the civil rights movement of the late 1960s and the subsequent beginning of armed conflict.

Francie McGuigan suggested that a bunch of names had changed – internment is now ‘detention’ and ‘remand’ and the names of the individuals and parties running Stormont have changed, for instance, but the fundamental system remains.  Kevin Hannaway suggested that the fight was worth it, but was also far from over because real freedom had not been achieved.

Seamus Costello commemoration

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