‘PRISONERS ON BREAD AND TEA IN MOUNTJOY’ …….
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .
Liam Gleeson told the Court - ” We are not ashamed of our actions and activities that are the causes of our being here today - indeed we consider it a great honour and a great privilege to have tried in some small way to free our country of the Imperial forces of occupation. We are sorry that we are being tried by fellow-Irishmen . We think it a great tragedy , Irishmen putting Irishmen behind bars and England laughs at us .” (’1169…’ Comment ….now we have Irishmen calling on other Irishmen to report political objectors to the British police!)
” We have been sentenced for unlawful possession of arms . We don’t think it an unlawful act to use arms against our enemy , England . We don’t require ‘Firearms Certificates’ to fire on members of the forces of occupation in the Six Counties . We are not breaking the peace , we are attempting to restore peace - a just peace based on justice for everyone . England has broken every pact and treaty we made with them . They have no word , they have no honour , when dealing with us . They have shown an utter disregard for the continued demand of the Irish people for freedom .
But there is one thing they fear and dread - young Irishmen with guns in their hands ready to fight for the freedom they demand .”
[END of ‘’PRISONERS ON BREAD AND TEA IN MOUNTJOY’]
(NEXT : ‘MR. BOLAND IS ASKED TO EXPLAIN’ : from the same source)
If women were not prepared to subordinate themselves totally to a definition of the revolutionary struggle they had no part in shaping , they were classed as diversionary , divisive , or just plain silly .
The theme of the book is summed up by the author’s assertion that feminists were criticised for ‘putting the interests of their sex before that of the nation.’ No contemporary feminist can miss the parallel with their own frustration in getting male organisations to recognise the need to give parity to women’s issues . The book provides an illuminating reversal of the usual stereotype of women’s political orientation and activity . When offered the opportunity , women threw themselves into the revolutionary struggle , shared the sacrifice and the danger , and provided a radical analysis based upon their own experience which deepened the struggle , redefining and enlarging it .
Yet men who called themselves revolutionary felt themselves threatened by this . Their vision was too narrow to comprehend the importance of the women’s issue ; and their innate conservatism and dominance allowed them to make women toe the line , or even to disband their organisations . The book , in short , is an account of potential unrecognised talents and of talents abused…….
There are varying opinions as to whether Charles J. Haughey’s suspicion of the press is the chicken or the egg , but either way it will always be with us . Most journalists have by now developed their own individual ways of handling it - some opt for confrontation , most for sycophancy . But there will always be the newcomer who will rush right in as though this were some kind of regular politician . At times like this you tend to feel a tinge of sympathy even if the guy does work for ‘The Sunday Times’ !
All this makes writing about Charlie Haughey a fairly hazardous business : Dublin is a small town and sooner or later you are going to run into the rough edge of his tongue . Many journalists have already learned this lesson and in this campaign there has been a noticeable reluctance on the part of most to get into an eyeball-to-eyeball situation with ‘The Boss’. Vincent Browne tried it at the launch of the Fianna Fail manifesto and was , incredibly , shouted down and ’shushed’ by other hacks in the room !
There is another reason why it is dangerous to write about Charles Haughey and it is that pretty much nobody knows anything of any great substance about what he is really like . This may probably be because this is the way Charles J. Haughey likes it or it may be because there is little of any great substance behind the myth of this man…….