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Irish Workers Group member Frank Keane carrying the Irish tricolour, Dublin Republican activist from the 1950s-60s Eamonn Nolan carrying the Starry Plough. Butch Roche, who threw a cannister of CS gas into the chamber of the House of Commons in 1970, behind Keane holding the banner.
On the 21st August 1966 about 350 Irish exiles and rank-and-file British labour movement activists took part in an Irish Trade Union Defence Committee demonstration against the Irish Government’s anti-trade union legislation. The then Lemass government proposal that a strike could not be deemed official until a secret ballot was held and strike action agreed to by sixty-one per cent of voting members. The demonstration rallied at Hyde Park and marched to the Irish Embassy in Grosvenor Place where a picket was held. Speakers were Eamonn McCann, Michael Farrell, Liam Daltun and John Palmer.
The great Damien Dempsey is currently touring New Zealand. Last night I caught him at the Dux De Lux bar in Christchurch. For a review of the gig, see here: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/damo-does-the-dux-gig-review/
Dublin meeting: Carrie Twomey on the 1981 hunger strike and whether an acceptable British deal was on the table
A group of independent Dublin republicans have organised the meeting below for Carrie Twomey, author of 55 Hours, a step by step account of the negotiations between Brendan Duddy (“Mountain Climber”), Margaret Thatcher and Gerry Adams during of the Long Kesh 1981 Hunger Strikes. Her talk will be followed by a Q & A.
Using the timeline created with documents from ‘Mountain Climber’ Brendan Duddy’s diary of ‘channel’ communications, official papers from the Thatcher Foundation Archive, excerpts from former Taoiseach Garrett Fitzgerald’s autobiography, David Beresford’s Ten Men Dead, Padraig O’Malley’s book Biting at the Grave, and INLA: Deadly Divisions by Jack Holland and Henry McDonald, Danny Morrison’s published timelines, first person accounts and the books of Richard O’Rawe and Gerry Adams, the fifty-five hours of secret negotiations between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Gerry Adams’ emerging IRA leadership group are examined day by day.
In the run up to this period of communication, the IRA prisoners on protest issued a statement that made clear it would be acceptable to apply the demands they were seeking to all prisoners – in other words, the issue of special category status would be set aside or fudged. This broke the logjam; the impending death of hunger striker Joe McDonnell added urgency to communications seeking an end to the protest.
Saturday 5th of April @ 14:00hrs
The New Theatre,
This is an independently run event and ALL are welcome to attend. You can also watch the video of a public meeting on the subject at the Teachers Club in Dublin on February 22 featuring Richard Rawe whose book Blanketmen was the first major work to discuss the British offer and what happened to it; see here.
“Writing about the great events in Ireland (1913 Lockout-1916 Rising) Lenin described the Citizens Army as ‘the first Red Army in the World’ and remarked that the Irish workers had set an example for workers everywhere. Within a little more than a year of the events of the 1916 Rising a ‘similar body of armed men’ in Russia shook the world. Russian workers carrying rifles and wearing scarlet armbands appeared on the streets of St Petersburg and Moscow. Under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky the insurrectionary seizure of power was organised which led to the founding of the first Workers State. – Liam Daltun, The Irish Militant, May 1966.
Liam Daltun was born in February 1936 in Westmeath and moved with his family to Ballymun, Dublin in the 1950s. His first employment, for about two years, was in Gael Linn, an organisation founded to foster the Irish language. He spoke Irish with a perfection rarely found outside of the Gaaeltacht. Dalton was a particularly gifted linguist, as he also spoke French, Spanish, Italian and Russian.
His association with radicalism went back to his youth when, at 18 years of age, he joined the IRA in 1954. He later left the IRA and operated with the breakaway Joe Christle group (Saor Uladh) during the 1950s republican Border Campaign. The Christle group, including Dalton, blew up nine customs posts along the border in 1956. Around this time he was arrested in Dublin; his trial was held the next day. At a time when Irish republicans refused to recognise the authority of the courts, he Read the rest of this entry
Another piece featured on the blog has just reached 1,000 hits. It’s the first part of Liam O Ruairc’s three-part history of the Provos:
Starting at #1 and working downwards, the top pieces on the blog are:
Main speaker: Noel Hughes, local historian
14:00 @ The Cobblestone, Smithfield, Dublin, 15/03/2014
This event is free to the public. Bígí Linn.