By Peadar O’Donnell ; first published in January 1963.
Was there a danger , if we called the the people back to the 1919 decision , that the government would take alarm at the threat of a new land war and hit the townlands harder than they could hope to withstand ? The case I made at the chapel gate was, maybe , the most advanced stand we could risk at that moment.
Nial Houston had an objection to it - there would be people who would defy the courts but who would not plead the poor mouth ; he himself , for example, would not like to stand up before the neighbours and ask them to help him against the bailiff on the ground that he could not meet the decree if he wanted to. If we were to encourage others to take their stand on high ground we would need a defence fund.
If a man lost a few head of cattle , a couple of his neighbours could put a value on them and the committee would then compensate him out of that fund . It was his belief that everybody on our side would willingly pay in one year’s rent and that the fund would last longer if we got hold of the seized cattle again and gave them back to the man who lost them or, if that was too dangerous , sell them and put that money back into the fund. The idea made sense to everybody at the meeting , and in time a very considerable defence fund was built up.
THE PETER BERRY PAPERS……. The Top Secret Memoirs of Ireland’s Most Powerful Civil Servant : Dirty Tricks, Election ‘69/ Spying on a Unionist Politician/ Keeping the (State) Taoiseach informed/ The Garda Fallon Murder/ Advice to Jack Lynch- ‘Fire the pair of them…’/ Vivion De Valera’s advice to O’Malley/ Rumours of a Coup D’Etat/ The Internment Plot, November 1970/ Secret Meeting with William Craig.
From ‘MAGILL’ magazine , June 1980.
” Early in November 1970 there was reliable , highly confidential police information that a hard core of 15 members of Saor Éire , who had already carried out murder and armed robberies of banks , were plotting to kidnap two persons, of whom I was one, to hold as hostage against the safety of Frank Keane who was awaiting extradition from London for the murder of Garda Fallon.
On the directions of the Minister I prepared a comprehensive memo for circulation to Government which set out the very serious situation and the various steps that might be taken to correct it. I gave him , separately, a covering note in which I had analysed the options and , two days later, on 13th November , I gave Mr. O’ Malley , in writing, my considered opinion as to the course that I thought should be followed - as it happened , my recommendation was not followed , then or later.
On Wednesday 25th November I informed the Minister , in writing , of urgent , highly confidential , police information that at a meeting of the Saor Éire hard core some days earlier my name had been specifically mentioned for punitive action. I informed Mr. O’Malley that the Commissioner, who had already prevailed on me to carry a gun - in the use of which I received police instruction - had strengthened the police protection on my house and had suggested that the plates on my wife’s and daughter’s cars should be changed , I told the Minister that my wife was under great mental strain and that I was reluctant to let her know of this new terrorism….”
THERE’S INAPPROPRIATE AND OFFENSIVE SPAM , AND THEN THERE’S WORSE……
As we all know , one of the hazards of being on-line and being ‘out there’ on the web is the constant bombardment received from trolls , chancers , weirdos and spammers. Bad enough to be repeatedly targetted by one or other of that type , but when an all-in-one weird chancer of a spammer-troll insists on repeatedly (over 100 times in the past week !) sending a ‘Queen Elizabeth the Great….’ -type ‘invite’ to an Irish Republican blog then it’s perhaps not being paranoid to assume that it’s coming from someone other than just your average spam bot. This is the spam deposit , in full , and unedited -
QUEEN ELIZABETH FOUNDATION,
COVE 2 HOWARD ST. NEW LONDON, CT 06320
UNITED KINGDOM, LONDON
In Honor of Queen Elizabeth the Great, the European Union Foundation (E.U.F.) and the African Union Foundation (A.U.F.) would love to inform You that in honor of her majesty Queen Elizabeth. you have been nominated
As a bonafide beneficiary to the sum of GBP650, 000.00(Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Great British Pounds).
The Queen Elizabeth foundation is a body or organization established to Enrich the poor, needy, retired, sick, lesspriviledge and also establishing And enriching personal individuals with skills to eradicate poverty in
USA, Europe, Asia and Africa and also to compensate all victims of scam and reimburse them back for there looses.
In accordance to the above mentioned money, be informed that this is not Associated with any form of lottery.
Please reconfirm your information’s in our custody:
Your Full Names:
Country Of Residence:
Furthermore, your money would be remitted to you via ONLINE BANKING (SELF TRANSFER) into your account.
Details of ONLINE BANKING TRANSFER (your login) would be issued to you Upon response to this email, all you need to do is ensure you activate You’re Online Banking Account with the sum of $US150 and all necessary Details would be issued to you to enable you transfer your funds Online
Please do bear In mind I do repeat you would be required an account activation fee of $US150 if you know you can’t come up with the required fee please do disregard this EMAIL…
Once you activate your account these organization assures you that no Further fee would be required of you for whatever, because we are registered to W.B and I.M.F monetary unit.
Once more, Congratulation.
Mr. Anthony Perez.
Queen Elizabeth Foundation.
Naturally , as fully paid-up (!) members of “… the poor, needy, retired, sick, lesspriviledge….” class , who need to be ‘reimbursed for our looses’ , we almost fell over ourselves to do as requested - ‘confirmed our information’s in their custody’ and posted our credit card over to Mr Perez from which he will deduct our “…activation fee..” . Sure it’s a bargain at half the price. Furthermore , we felt even more assured that we were doing the right thing when we read that the ‘Foundation’ is “…registered to W.B and I.M.F monetary unit…” , an August body , to be sure , which is well-versed in looking after “…the poor, needy, retired, sick (and) lesspriviledge…” members of our society. After the ‘Foundation’ enriches us with our just desert , and we inevitably move up the social ladder to our proper class , we promise we won’t forget where we came from - we’ll check-in with you plebs from time to time , in between the polo and the cricket…..
CHOTAH AND HOWTH - A ‘NUGGET’ OF A CONNECTION , 98 YEARS AGO ON THIS DATE (1st AUGUST).
98 years ago - in July 1914 - the ‘Asgard’ made history in Howth , County Dublin , thereby inadvertently helping to draw interested historical eyes away from a similar episode which took place six days later , thanks to the brave efforts of a Dublin surgeon , a ‘Sir’ Thomas Myles .
“It was arranged for a consignment of arms from Germany to be smuggled aboard the yacht ‘Chotah’ , belonging to the Dublin surgeon , Sir Thomas Myles….”
(More here, and a detailed history of the man and his family can be read here.)
Whilst his heart , in the main , was in the right place , Mr. Myles also had to know his arse from his elbow (!) : “Once while on holidays in Co Clare, a surgeon was asked to see a sailor who had urinary retention from a urethral stricture. The surgeon went to the man’s cottage and got two strong men from the assembled crowd of locals to hold the man in the lithotomy position with his buttocks presenting over the half-door of the cottage. Having sharpened his penknife on a nearby stone, the surgeon plunged it into the man’s perineum producing a scream from the man, a gush of urine and gasps of astonishment from the watching crowd. Retiring to the local GP’s house, the surgeon, Sir Thomas Myles, ate a hearty breakfast….”
Whilst acknowledging that the man was not an out-and-out full supporter of the Irish Republican cause , it can be seen that his heart , head and conscience were troubled enough , on more than one occasion , for him to risk his life in furthering the objectives of the Movement. And , as Bobby Sands once said…..
Mr Myles had a comfortable lifestyle in ‘polite’ society but , unlike those today who enjoy such a lifestyle (or the majority of them , at least…) , he also had a sense of justice and an ability - and a ‘need’ - to act on same when the injustices around him seemed to be gathering pace. And Irish Republicans can appreciate people like that.
IN MEMORY OF A COMRADE…..
Not forgetting the other 21 Irish Republican hunger-strikers , but today I especially remember a man that I had the very good fortune to meet on numerous occasions when I wore a younger girls clothes : Kevin Lynch , who died on 1st August 1981 after 71 days on hunger strike.
The truth comes hard as the cold rain
On your face in the heat of the storm
And the stories I’m hearing would shock you
To believe that such deeds can go on
You can starve men and take all their clothing
You can beat them up till they fall
You can break up the bodies but never the spirit
Of those on the blanket…..
ENGLAND YOUR SINS ARE NOT OVER…..
Thanks for reading,