Monthly Archives: November 2012

In review: Joost Augusteijn on Patrick Pearse

Joost Augusteijn, Patrick Pearse: the making of a revolutionary, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 428pp.

Patrick Pearse has not been very well-served by biographies.  Louis Le Roux’s life of Pearse in the 1930s was too weighed towards the hagiographic and Ruth Dudley Edwards’ 1977 effort was towards the revisionist hatchet-job end of the scale.  Sean Farrell Moran’s attempt to look into Pearse’s mind was simply bizarre and told us more about the peculiar workings of Moran’s own mind than it did about the 1916 leader.  Brian Murphy’s Patrick Pearse and the lost Republican Ideal (1991) is excellent, but not a biography.

Augusteijn’s book is the first new bio of Pearse in over 30 years and stands head and shoulders above Read the rest of this entry

Current top 20

Saor Eire – Marxist and republican

Politics and the rise of historical revisionism

The burning of the British embassy – 40 years on

The New IRA and socialist-republicanism in the twenty-first century

Women’s rights and the national struggle, 1916-1922

Interview with veteran socialist-republican Gerry Ruddy

Remembering Máirín Keegan, 1932-1972

A history of the Provisional Republican Movement – part one of three

The Easter Rising and the ‘blood sacrifice’

A history of the Provos – part three

Remembering Peter Graham, 1945-1971

Smashing H Block and republicanism today: an interview with F. Stuart Ross

Chapter 4: The Home Rule Crisis

Turf-cutters continue protests

Massacring miners: the ANC, the Provos and the lessons for the struggle in Ireland

Open Letter from O’Hara and Devine families to Adams, Morrison, Gibney, McGuinness, Hartley and McFarlane

Republicanism in the twenty-first century – report on a meeting

The changing nature of six-county society

Interview with Marian Price from early 2000s

A History of the Provos – part two of three


I’m still trying to catch up with things promised long ago.  Because I got so far behind with stuff I wanted to get up, I’m reluctant to make any promises re actual dates for stuff, but here is what is in the pipeline:

Review of the Augusteijn bio of Pearse (it’s turning into quite a lengthy review but it’s about two-thirds done)

Review of O Beachain’s book on Fianna Fail and the IRA up to 1973 (haven’t started yet but aim to this week)

Review of O Ruairc book on the battle for Limerick during the civil war (have begun)

Markievicz 1923 pamphlet on What republicans stand for (half done – thanks Nick!)


éirígí launch free northern paper

éirígí have produced, and begun distributing across the north, 40,000 copies of a free special newspaper, Poblacht no Oibrithe (Workers Republic).  The paper provides an in-depth analysis of the Stormont regime and that regime’s inability to deliver any meaningful or effective social, economic or political change to the Six Counties.

Ever since the six-county assembly at Stormont was revived by the British government in 2007, its members have loyally overseen the implementation of anti-working class policies and instigated far-reaching public service cuts at the behest of their Westminster masters. The Stormont executive has consistently demonstrated that it is both unwilling and unable to oppose the anti-working class agendas of, first, the British Labour Party, and, now, the British Tories.

Speaking as party members in Belfast commenced the distribution of the Poblacht na nOibrithe special edition, éirígí’s rúnaí ginearálta Breandán Mac Cionnaith said, “The party took the decision to publish this paper in order to break through what seems to be an unofficial and unwritten policy that is being operated in the Six Counties which prevents public criticism of the Stormont regime.

“This special edition of Poblacht na nOibrithe carries Read the rest of this entry

November 10 Dublin event to commemorate Vols John Monks and Bernard Curtis

Assemble, 2.30pm, Bluebell Shops; March to Bluebell Cemetery

On Saturday November 10, éirígí will hold a ninetieth anniversary commemoration in Bluebell, Dublin 12, for two local IRA Volunteers, John Monks and Bernard Curtis.

Volunteer John Monks of Nash Street in Inchicore was killed in action on the opening day of the Civil War during an IRA ambush on Free State troops at Red Cow, near Clondalkin. Volunteer Bernard Curtis of Canal Cottages in Bluebell was killed in action in a premature landmine explosion on the Old Naas Road at Bluebell on November 18th 1922. Curtis and his comrades were preparing an ambush on Free State troops when the landmine they were preparing exploded.

The commemoration will assemble at 2.30pm at Bluebell Shops before marching the short distance to Bluebell Cemetery where both volunteers are buried.

Speaking from Bluebell, éirígí Dublin City Councillor Louise Minihan said, Read the rest of this entry

Kildare anti-home taxes meeting

8pm, Thursday, November 8

Derby House

Kildare Town

speakers: Clare Daly TD, Joan Burton TD

further info: or phone the Kildare campaign: 086 265 6897

Blog news

I’m currently reading Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc’s riveting little book  The Battle for Limerick City, the first work in a projected series by Mercier on the military history of the civil war.  I’ll get a review up when I’m done.  (As an aside, Liam Lynch’s role in Limerick was absolutely appalling – he really was the architect of republican defeat there, as well as in general in the war.  But more on that when I do the review!)

Reading it made me do a google search on Pádraig and I came across some very interesting stuff.  Here’s a good little piece by him about the recent attempt to whitewash and celebrate the old RIC:

I’m still well behind, however, with reviews of the Augusteijn bio of Pearse and the Ó Beacháin book on Fianna Fail and the IRA up to 1973.  However, at least I got up the review of Ireland’s Credit Crunch at long last. . .

Turf Cutters counter state lies

by Mick Healy

On October 2011 Luke Ming Flanagan TD and PRO for the Turf Cutters and Contractors Association (TCCA), noted that “the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht , Jimmy Deenihan, had signed the EU Birds and Natural Habitats Directive which banned turf cutting while the matter was still in negotiation.”  He added that this ban occurred despite a compromise proposed by the TCCA whereby 80 per cent of 53 bogs in special areas of conservation would not be cut.

One year on and the Dublin government is continuing it’s offensive  against the turf cutters.

Following an extraordinary meeting of the TCCA in Birr Co. Offaly this year the group issued a strong statement disputing Read the rest of this entry

No to austerity – Dublin protest, Nov 24

George Gilmore on the Belfast Outdoor Relief struggle of 1932

I should have got this up a couple of weeks ago.  Early-mid October marked the 80th anniversary of the Belfast Outdoor Relief struggle, which united Protestant and Catholic workers in the city, if only for a brief time.  It gave a glimpse of what is possible, but it is also an historical rarity.  There is a bit of a tendency on the left to forget just how rare it was.  Such ‘forgetting’ also serves the purpose of imagining that purely economic issues are all that is needed in the six counties to unite workers, thereby reinforcing a downplaying of the national question.  But Protestant workers are not so easily fooled.  As Costello understood, you can’t bullshit them; you have to try to talk to them about the national question as well as socio-economic issues.  Anyway, the piece below is by left-wing republican George Gilmore, a former leader of the IRA and a founding leader of the socialist-republican movement Republican Congress.  I’ve extracted it from his pamphlet The Irish Republican Congress, the 1978 reprint by the Cork Workers Club (the first version of Gilmore’s pamphlet was published in 1935 and he expanded it in the late 1960s).

George Gilmore, c1978

Republican leaders have always – and with sincerity – claimed the United Irishmen of 1798 as their political forbears.  Bodenstown has, since Tone was buried there, been the place of pilgrimage for every party and organisation seeking the support of the nationalist population, and still, since 1798, no republican leadership has succeeded in finding a foothold on the common ground upon which the United Irish movement was built.  Of high ideals and of courage and integrity there has been no lack, but people who have been reared scowling at each other from hostile camps do not respond to high ideals, and courage and integrity are common in both camps, but form no link between them.

It was left to the Belfast government, in October 1932, to achieve something that republican leaderships had only been able to dream of.  Confident in what seemed an unassailable position, it allowed popular excitement to be switched away from party shibboleths – from ideals, high or low – and to focus upon the facts of life.  In that year of unprecedented unemployment and acute poverty it treated with contempt a demand for improvement in the starvation-level wages paid on relief schemes and met mass demonstrations of unemployed with mobilisations of police and military, and, within a week, the streets in every working-class district in Belfast were barricaded against Read the rest of this entry