Category Archives: Free State in 1920s and 1930s
A few weeks back I was going through a load of old books I have packed away, looking for some novels to lend to a friend. I came across an old Iris Murdoch novel, set in the week leading up to the Rising, that I’d bought and read several decades ago. I couldn’t remember any of it, so decided to read it again, especially as I was going to a tiny town at, literally, the end of the world for a break from care-giving. The novel is The Red and the Green and it was published in 1965.
It’s a bit of a mixed bag as a novel. There’s middle-aged Aunt Millie, who wants to bonk all her nephews (well, it is Iris Murdoch!) and most of the characters seem rather self-obsessed (well, again, it is Iris Murdoch); however it is quite sympathetic to the Rising. Most of the characters either take part in it or become sympathetic to it later (as revealed in the brief postscript set in 1938).
Anyway, one of the characters is called Pat Dumay and, although he admires Connolly most, he’s a young officer in the Irish Volunteers. His younger brother, 14-year-old Cathal, is not very impressed with the Volunteers and, instead, hangs out at Liberty Hall with the ICA.
Pat is determined Cathal won’t take part in the Rising because he’s too young. But Cathal is determined to take part, steal’s a rifle from Pat and heads down to Liberty Hall on the Saturday night. At this point the Rising is still set for Sunday. Pat goes down to Liberty Hall, finds Cathal outside with his rifle, grabs back the weapon and starts dragging Cathal home. However a group of Volunteers and ICAers, with Connolly at the front, are just returning to Liberty Hall and Connolly is looking very pissed off. Other Volunteer officers tell Pat he should come back into Liberty Hall to hear what has happened. The novel then picks up after this meeting at Liberty Hall and has this to say:
What had happened in the last two days in Dublin Pat had by now largely discovered. On Tuesday a rumour had reached Bulmer Hobson that an armed rising was planned for Easter Sunday. He went at once to MacNeill, who was still of course the nominal head of the Volunteers, and in the early hours of Good Friday morning he and MacNeill visited Pearse, who had Read the rest of this entry
A commemoration of Frank Conroy will take place in Kildare town on Sunday December 16th 2012. Frank Conroy came from Fair Green, Kildare town and was an IRA activist who fought with the working class against the fascist Blue Shirts in Kildare and Dublin during the 1930s. Like many Republicans he joined the Republican Congress and Communist Party. Conroy volunteered to fight with Republican leader Frank Ryan in the International Brigade to defend the Spanish Republic against Franco. Organisations attending the commemoration include éirígí, Workers Party, Workers Solidarity Movement, Tus Nua, the Communist Party and Anti-Fascist Action. Main speaker at the event will be Harry Owens.
Time and date: Republican Monument, Kildare town centre (Market Square), Sunday 16 December, 1 pm.
Organised by the Frank Conroy Commemoration Committee.