Monthly Archives: March 2013

Niall Farrell recalls Gibraltar executions

untitledThe following letter from Niall Farrell appeared in the Irish Times on Thursday (March 28):

A chara,

Some things seem never to change: 25 years since the Gibraltar killings and the only reference we find in The Irish Times is a preview of a London play setting out how the British establishment would prefer the shootings to be remembered. All other cultural events marking the anniversary are ignored: from a play on the life of my sister Mairead Farrell to the re-publication in e-format of the epic satirical poem on those shootings, Gib: A Modest Exposure by a Scots academic, the late Jack Mitchell. Mark Hennessy (Weekend Review, March 23rd) uncritically presents a hackneyed thesis in the play placing the blame for the killings on IRA “doves”, who wanted the three hardliners killed. Unsettling for the British lawyer playwright no doubt is that the European Court of Human Rights didn’t see it that way. It found the British government guilty of the “unlawful killing” of the trio, who were unarmed – something your report fails to make clear. The report attempts to dilute that powerful verdict by noting the Strasbourg court did not grant “compensation” to the families – nothing could have compensated my elderly parents for the loss of their only daughter.

What should stand centre stage 25 years on, is Read the rest of this entry

éirígí Easter Rising events

Main Dublin Commemoration
2.30pm, Easter Sunday, March 31,
Assemble at Phibsboro Shopping Centre
Before Parade to Glasnevin Cemetery.
Main Speaker: Cathaoirleach éirígí Brian Leeson
(Followed by social night in Lloyds Pub, Amiens Street)
1pm, Easter Monday, April 1,
Assemble at Junction of Falls Road and Whiterock Road
Before Parade to Milltown Cemetery
Main Speaker: éirígí Councillor John Dwyer
1. Public Talk on the 1916 Rising in Dublin.
7.30pm, Monday, March 25,
Kilmore West Community Centre, Coolock.
2. 1916 Walking Tour
1pm, Good Friday, March 29,
Starting at the James Connolly Statue beside Liberty Hall.
3. Mount Street Bridge Commemoration
2pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Mount Street Bridge.
4. Bluebell Commemoration
3.30pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Meet at Bluebell Shops for walk to Bluebell Cemetery.
County Down & Armagh
1. Wreath Laying Ceremony
10.30am, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Egyptian Arch, Newry.
2. Wreath Laying Ceremony
11am, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Derrybeg Monument, Newry.
3. Wreath Laying Ceremony
11.30am, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Barcroft Monument, Newry.
4. Wreath Laying Ceremony
12pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Barley Lane Monument, Newry.
5. Wreath Laying Ceremony
12.30pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
St Mary’s Republican Plot, Newry.
County Kildare
Wreath Laying Ceremony
2pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
1916 Monument, Maynooth.

County Meath

Wreath Laying Ceremony
3pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Oldcastle Cemetery.
County Offaly
1. Wreath Laying Ceremony
2pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Manchester Martyrs Monument, Birr.
2. Wreath Laying Ceremony
3pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Barnes / McCormack Monument, Banagher.
County Tipperary
1. Wreath Laying Ceremony
12pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Banba Square, Nenagh.
2. Wreath Laying Ceremony
1pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
Damer House, Roscrea.
County Wexford
1. Wreath Laying Ceremony
7pm, Good Friday, March 29,
Grave of ICA Vol. James Corcoran
Askamore Cemetery, Gorey.
2. Wreath Laying Ceremony
7pm, Good Friday, March 29,
IRA Plot, St Stephen’s Cemetery, New Ross.
County Wicklow
Main County Commemoration
12pm, Easter Saturday, March 30,
1798 Monument, Castle Street, Bray.


EU warmongers go home

EUPeople’s Movement
EU warmongers go home!
Dublin Castle
Monday, 25 March 2012, 1:00 p.m.
Assembly point to be announced.

Information about the EU’s inter-parliamentary conference on Common Foreign and Security Policy is available here.

The Miriam Daly mural


by Irvine Forgan

There is a painting by Klee called Angelus Novus. An angel is depicted there who looks as though he were about to distance himself from something which he is staring at. His eyes are opened wide, his mouth stands open and his wings are outstretched. The Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet. He would like to pause for a moment so fair, to awaken the dead and to piece together what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has caught itself up in his wings and is so strong that the Angel can no longer close them. The storm drives him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before him grows sky-high. That, which we call progress, is this storm.  – Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History (2003, Ch. IX)

Political activity, however professional or well intentioned, can only be fruitful if based on a correct analysis of the problem it confronts. Most people accept that the present flurry has as its objective the attainment of peace: but few have openly examined whether what is desired is the sullen quiet achieved by repression and dissimulation or creative lasting peace based on justice and understanding.  – Miriam Daly – the Irish Times 17th January 1975.

On the gable end of a row of terraced houses in Oakman Street, off the Falls Road in West Belfast, is a well-known mural. Painted in August 1996, the writing — History is Written by the Winner – Miriam Daly—appears above a complex image comprising the open book of Irish history, a mask labelled Revisionism and the female face of a personified Ireland, labelled Truth.[i]  Against the skyline a helicopter is seen ratcheting overhead. Miriam Daly lectured at Queens University, Belfast. She was a founding member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP) – the political wing of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) – of which she became chairperson, leading the party for two years. She was murdered on the 26th June 1980 at age 51. Her body bound hand and foot and with five bullets in her Read the rest of this entry

New Peadar O’Donnell Society: a few comments


How about some recognition for Nora Connolly who was actually right in the dispute in Republican Congress?

Below is a statement announcing the establishment of the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum; underneath it are some initial comments of mine; there is an article on the blog, here, about the first meeting referred to in the opening paragraph of the statement

Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum

This month a group of socialist and republican activists from a variety of backgrounds throughout Ireland came together in Dublin to establish the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum. The concept of the forum arose from a series of seminars that in turn had their origin in a symposium on “Republicanism in the Twenty-First Century” hosted by the Communist Party in September last year.

The aim of the forum is to promote the ideas of socialist republicanism, as best expressed by James Connolly, Liam Mellows, and Peadar O’Donnell. The forum is named after Peadar O’Donnell in recognition of his outstanding role as a union organiser, republican soldier, author, enemy of fascism, friend of the worker and small farmer, committed socialist, and lifelong activist for peace and against imperialism.

At a time when our people are being ground down daily by the brutalities of the bankrupt capitalist system and the inability of the two failed states in Ireland to provide any solution to their problems, the Peadar O’Donnell Forum believes that the time has come for a decisive break with the present system—or, as Connolly so memorably put it, to set about the reconquest of Ireland.

All Ireland is under the domination of Read the rest of this entry

Brigadista Ben Murray commemorated in Aughnacloy


Eugene McCartan delivering speech at the unveiling

Below is the speech delivered by Eugene McCartan of the CPI at the unveiling in Aughnacloy of a memorial to Ben Murray, a member of the International Brigades who died in Spain in 1938, fighting fascism; thanks to Steve McCann for passing on the text and pic

Comrades and friends.

First of all I would like to thank Eddie O’Neill and his comrades for the invitation to address you today,  at this unveiling of a memorial to Ben Murray,  who died “ in the heroic stand on the banks of the Ebro river” in 1938.

Ben Fredrick Murray was born on the 19th of July 1895 in Enniskillen.  His family lived outside Aughnacloy, Moy Bridge, Co Tyrone, the son of an RIC man, reared in the Methodist tradition.

Ben was only 15 when he emigrated to Canada.  Like tens of thousands of young men enlisted to fight in the First World War as part of the Canadian Army, that barbaric inter-imperialist slaughter, a war to re-carve up the world between the victorious imperialist powers.

Ben was clearly affected by what he experienced during that war but also with events in Russia and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.  He joined the Communist Party of Canada and set up his own local communist newspaper, living and working in Montreal until his return to Ireland in 1933.

On returning he joined the Revolutionary Workers Groups an all-Ireland network of revolutionary workers’ organisations,  which came together to form the reconstituted  Communist Party of Ireland.

Ben was both a thinker and a doer.  On his return he threw himself into Read the rest of this entry

Belfast Easter Rising parade – a chance for unity in the spirit of 1916

imagesThis year the Easter Rising commemoration organised in Belfast by éirígí in conjunction with the Irish Republican Martyrs Commemoration Committee and which usually takes place in Milltown Cemetery will be preceded by a parade along the Falls Road.  The parade will start from James Connolly’s former family home, close to the junction of the Falls and Whiterock Roads.  éirígí has already erected a party banner by the junction to advertise the parade and, over the next few weeks, will be hand-delivering 15,000 full-colour four-page brochures to doors across the city.

All this is very much to be welcomed and is a sign of the growth of éirígí in Belfast.

Hopefully, however, this parade Read the rest of this entry

The Re-Imaging Programme in the six counties

by Irvine Forgan

“Our theatre critic Peter Crawley, writing in today’s paper of Friel’s portrait of lives ‘suspended between memory and hope, a misty past and uncertain future. . .’ could be describing the way many young people now see themselves. In truth, if we are redefining ourselves – our Irishness – at the moment, it is unfortunately largely in a discourse dominated by the negative. We are not Greeks. We are not Icelanders. We are not rich. We are not the citizens any more of a vibrant, confident state, but of a broken polity. We are no longer the masters we believed ourselves to be of our own fates, but hapless players of hands dealt to us by others, by huge uncontrollable forces beyond our understanding.”                                                           —The Irish Times, editorial of 17th March 2010.

A mural appeared in 1998 on the gable end of a house on Tavanagh Street in the mainly protestant Village area of Belfast. The iconography in this mural is a representation of Iron Maiden’s Eddie figure carrying a rifle, but no flag, with the scythe-carrying reaper in the background. Surrounded by the crests of the UFF and UDA and the writing —Ulster Freedom Fighters The Village, Donegall Rd, Ormeau Rd, Roden St, Lisburn Rd, Sandy Row” — it was located alongside an adjoining wall bearing the following message: —Through the lonely streets of Ulster, the Reaper come’s to call, he travel’s from town to city, right down to Derry’s wall. When the UFF they call him, to come and join the fight, he say’s if the bullet doesn’t kill them, they’ll surel’y die from fright. So when you’re in your bed at night, and hear soft footsteps fall, be careful it’s not the UFF and Reaper come to call.


Loyalist mural – Iron Maiden’s Eddy

Homi Bhabha’s term ‘grotesque mimicry’ is an appropriate classification of the representation in this mural. As part of his foundational analysis of colonial discourse and the emergence of ‘inappropriate’ colonial subjects, Homi Bhabha (1994) argues that the racial stereotype gives access to an identity that is predicated as much on mastery and pleasure as it is on anxiety and defence, that is to say it is a form of Read the rest of this entry

Revised date for Dublin Lockout event Down Under

Please note the revised date for the Dublin lockout event in Christchurch (New Zealand).  It is on March 23, not March 16 as was advertised on an earlier version of the poster below.

1913 Dublin Lockout. . . Down Under