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Friday, December 19, 2014

Radio Free Eireann will interview Martin Galvin and DeMeeko Williams of the Detroit Water Brigade at 1 pm New York time on Saturday December 20. Radio Free Eireann broadcast live every Saturday 1:00pm – 2:00pm at Rocky Sullivan’s 34 Van Dyke Street (at Dwight St.) in Red Hook Brooklyn (718) 246-8050

Posted by Jim on December 19, 2014

Martin Galvin has been attacked as a “dissident” republican after being named as an Aide to the Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The Detroit Water Brigade travelled to Dublin to participate in the 100,000 strong Dublin march against water charges at the invitation of Right 2 Water Ireland. In Detroit they are working to stop the city from cutting off people’s water.

Radio Free Eireann is heard on WBAI 99.5 FM and wbai.org on the web where
it is archived for 10 days..

 

This week we will be back home at Rocky Sullivan’s of Red Hook. Even before then
you can come to Rocky’s for the pizza and the best pint in New York

 

Rocky Sullivan’s of Red Hook, 34 Van Dyke Street in Brooklyn.

Come stop by Rocky’s for a pint and listen to the show live. Enjoy some good food and great people.

Unrepentant Finian Bastards

Remember Irish Republican Political Prisoners

Posted by Jim on December 18, 2014

PLEASE SEND CHRISTMAS CARDS TO IRISH REPUBLICAN POLITICAL PRISONERS

For tips on writing to IPOWs see http://www.irishfreedomcommittee.net/POWs/tips_for_writing.htm

IRISH FREEDOOM COMMITTEE POW LIST – DECEMBER2014

 REMEMBER THE POWs AT CHRISTMAS AND YEAR ROUND PLEASE SEND CHRISTMAS CARDS TO IRISHREPUBLICAN POLITICAL PRISONERS

Cards can be mailed in bulk envelope to prisons, separated into individual floor/landing groupings  (**Please message us for further information re: individual affiliation).  Individua lenvelopes are not recommended, as they may be confiscated.  Please print recipients’ name inside the cardalong with your own return address.

Open Letter from Martin Galvin

Posted by Jim on

New York’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade was a symbol of Irish achievement and traditions when such symbols were few. It was a beacon of hope for Irish freedom when such hopes seemed unattainable. As one who cherishes this parade, I was grateful and honored to be nominated as Aide to the Grand Marshal by BronxCountyAOH. Cardinal Dolan being Grand Marshal, made it more special. It is therefore disappointing that anyone should hype controversy by misrepresenting my beliefs and background.

It is certainly true that I support freedom for all of Ireland and have marched with banners and badges proclaiming “England out of Ireland!” These are fundamental principles of the AOH and St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The reporter need not have gone back years to get speeches in Ireland or America. Two weeks ago I spoke for Irish freedom in Tyrone remembering close friend and former Bronx resident Liam Ryan, one of the hundreds of British collusion murder victims. Why is it ‘controversial’ to want freedom for all Ireland?

It is also true that for almost twenty years I was one of the leaders of Irish Northern Aid and for fifteen years editor of the IRISH PEOPLE NEWSPAPER. Those who flooded the streets in front of British Consulates, filled legislatures for the MacBride Principles, and packed Irish-American Candidates Forums never got due credit. They made Ireland an American issue until leaders like President Clinton were willing to take the groundbreaking question from me about a visa for Gerry Adams. I take pride in what was accomplished working with the AOH and many Irish-American organizations. During those years the same pro-British propagandists that claimed top Republicans in Ireland were ‘mindless godfathers’, claimed that money we gave families of political prisoners was funding the IRA. Why should discredited British claims from so many years ago matter now?

It is finally true that after I led a 1983 American fact-finding tour which embarrassed the British, the Thatcher government tried to ban me from returning with a second tour in 1984.Sinn Fein leaders said we must not to allow this censorship ban to succeed and be used to silence other Americans. When I was called upon by Gerry Adams, the Royal Ulster Constabulary opened fire with plastic bullets. They murdered one man and

wounded scores more. Britain was condemned and put one man on trial for murder. After I was arrested alongside Martin McGuinness at Free Derry Corner in 1989 and shipped back under military guard, the British sent me a letter saying it had all been a mistake. Why should British murders or admitted mistakes be resurrected against my nomination today?

It is categorically untrue that I support armed actions today by any IRA or as your writer puts it, “denounce the Sinn Fein leadership as traitors.” The Irish Central’s own Nuzhound on December 14th reprinted an interview I gave the DERRY JOURNAL in Ireland. The headline, “Conditions do not exist for a return to violence” could not be clearer. That reporter bothered to speak to me before publishing. Readers of the Irish Voice may also recall seeing a full page of photographs of the October 26th Woodlawn AOH Awards Event, which was attended by some prominent American supporters of Sinn Fein. Why can Irish Republicans not respectfully disagree on some issues while working together where there is common ground?

I personally believe that the British did not intend the Good Friday deal as an open door to freedom for the six counties but as their chance to nail the door shut. Why is it wrong or controversial to point out British injustices and speak for new political strategies to overcome proven British bad faith?

As noted, I cherish the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and what it means to the Irish. I am grateful to Bronx County AOH for nominating me. I do not understand why my presence as one of the Aides to Cardinal Dolan should cause any controversy. Indeed it would only be controversial if we forgot there will be six counties represented in this parade who are still denied freedom in Ireland!

Slan

MARTIN GALVIN

Irish government accused of blocking Irish diaspora vote referendum

Posted by Jim on

Casey Egan

Despite longstanding promises that the Irish government would this week debate and decide on the question of a presidential vote for Irish living abroad, they have failed to do so.

Sinn Féin Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh criticized the government for failing the Irish diaspora again, by not following up on their commitment to implement the Constitutional Convention’s recommendation to hold a referendum on voting rights in Presidential elections for Irish citizens abroad.

Senator Ó Clochartaigh noted that the recently appointed Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan “has been traveling extensively, giving the impression that a decision on this was imminent. It is clear that he has failed to impress this on his Cabinet colleagues who have once more kicked these rights to touch.”

 “Sinn Féin had been advocating for these rights for a very long time and we would also like to see the debate extended to voting rights in Dáil & Seanad elections also,” he added in a statement. “We also need to address the issue of representation for the diaspora in the Seanad itself.”

According to globalirish.ie, a 2006 study of countries that allow their emigrants to vote included:

– 21 African nations

– 13 North and South American countries

– 15 Asian countries

– 6 Pacific countries

– 36 European countries.

Sixty-five of these countries allow for external voting for everyone, while about 25 place restrictions on it, based on such factors as to whether they intend to return permanently or how long they have been away. Citizens in the US can vote no matter how long they stay away, while citizens of Britain are disqualified after fifteen years away.

Some countries, like France, reserve seats in their parliaments for citizens who live abroad, while others vote in the constituency in which they used to live. Other countries only allow for votes in national or presidential elections.

Emigrant advocacy groups had been actively campaigning this week. We’re Coming Back is planning to hold a #toastforavote event on Friday, which already has almost 600 attendees.

 

The Irish Government has damaged the Peace Process

Posted by Jim on

From An Phoblacht Online – www.anphoblacht.com/contents/24645

LAST THURSDAY, the British Prime Minister engaged in the worst form of car-crash diplomacy, and his front-seat passenger was An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.

After nearly ten weeks of talks which at no stage became a real negotiation, the two leaders arrived. That, and the tabling of their joint paper, could have heralded the start of a negotiation but this was never the plan.

Over three weeks ago, Sinn Féin said all the indications pointed towards the ground being prepared for a predetermined British document, with an Irish Government sign-off.

It was apparent for some time that a ‘take or leave it’ paper was potentially being drafted, the core of which would include the imposition of welfare cuts; increased austerity; fewer Executive departments and fewer MLAs: as well as dilution of Haass; and no movement on outstanding issues from the Good Friday Agreement and other agreements.

Sinn Féin told the Irish Government before An Taoiseach came that a potential moment of opportunity did exist and that a comprehensive talks outcome should not be squandered with a setback.

They were reminded that wider community and republican confidence in the political process had been undermined, and that national leadership was required from the Irish Government. Power-sharing, equality, the all-Ireland agenda, adherence to the Haass proposals, Acht na Gaeilge, Pat Finucane inquiry, and Maze/Long Kesh project were all set out as necessary and reasonable requirements – that is, they are already agreed.

These issues are a litmus test of the Irish Government’s determination to ensure the national and democratic position mandated in referendum advanced; the British sought primacy for its own and unionism’s agenda.

Instead, the paper signed off on by the Irish Government supported the latter.

It went from being a partner in talks to becoming a cheerleader for austerity in the North and the rolling back of the Good Friday Agreement.

The Haass proposals last winter provided a road map for political stability. Had the British Government and unionism agreed then, we would have been able to tackle our economic challenges now from a better position. At that time, Sinn Féin compromised on all our positions regarding the past, parades, and identity and flags. So too did the SDLP and Alliance Party.

The two governments’ paper takes unionist rejection of the Haass proposals and compliance with British Tory austerity as its starting point.

Their paper is aimed at getting Sinn Féin to compromise again on the very compromises which the party made during the Haass talks as a means to encourage unionism to perhaps begin compromising!

That’s really what Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan meant when he demanded “tough compromises” from Sinn Féin on Monday. His intervention, and yesterday’s exchanges in Leinster House, are the warm-up for an inevitable blame game led by the governments. Expect to hear from the British soon.

The two governments’ joint strategy was about trying to jump-start a phoney negotiation, in reverse gear. It didn’t work, so David Cameron walked out.

Given this British administration’s track record, that type of stroke is no surprise. Its focus is the Westminster elections, and trying to keep the DUP sweet.

However, it is a disgrace for any Irish Government to play fast and loose with the political process.

It has now turned away from its commitments to the Barron Inquiry requirements on the Monaghan and Dublin bombings, the Pat Finucane inquiry, and the Ballymurphy Massacre independent panel.

The paper the Irish Government jointly authored has accepted the primacy of British national security interests over truth for Irish citizens.

The rights of Irish citizens in the North have been fundamentally compromised by this Irish Government’s actions. It has broken faith with the Good Friday, Weston Park, St Andrew’s and Hillsborough Castle agreements.

The joint paper presented in the Irish Government’s name is a setback for Irish national and democratic interests.

The politics of last Thursday/Friday were eerily reminiscent of the mid-1990s when the British Tories and Fine Gael were also in power.

This Irish Government has behaved with reckless indifference towards the fate of the political process in the North, and all because of selfish electoral interests in the 26 Counties.

Ballymurphy Massacre Families

Posted by Jim on December 15, 2014

John Teggart:

This has been a busy week for the families meetings with the
SDLP, SF and the justice minister and irish foreign affairs department
expressing our concern that inquests are under threat in the talks about
dealing with the past. We also protested outside Stormont house
yesterday where parties were holding talks on dealing with the past.
Families were demanding that inquests are not affected in money saving
measures and that all inquests are fully resourced and that they should be
funded by the British government outside the block grant. We are in
London today along with other campaign groups on international human
rights day to show the British government and British people that we have
rights too and that the British government needs to accept responsibility
for their actions and implement mechanisms for dealing with the past.

Families take ‘Footsteps’ campaign to London (opposite Downing St between 12 noon and 3pm)

Families who demand answers from the British government will take their
‘In Their Footsteps’ shoe campaign to Westminster to mark International
Human Rights Day this Wednesday 10th December.  The poignant ‘sea of shoes’ exhibition with over 150 pairs of shoes will
be displayed opposite Downing St between 12 noon and 3pm and highlights
the many lost and ruined lives due to the conflict. This is part of a bold
new campaign for truth, initiated by many bereaved families and those
injured during the conflict.

This latest Day of Action will see relatives and campaigners travel to the
heart of the London where they will collectively call upon the British
government to ‘Set the Truth Free’ about historic cases here. Campaigners
will also have an audience with MPs in the House of Commons at 5 pm.

The hugely emotional exhibition has shocked and moved audiences since its
inception earlier this year, drawing huge numbers to Days of Action in
Derry, Belfast and Dublin.

Families from all over Ireland have already thrown their weight behind it,
and are calling on other bereaved families to add to the ever-growing
collection of shoes as the campaign gathers momentum.

All the different groups, organisations and individual families who have
all donated shoes ask only for one thing – for the truth to be set free.
Campaigner Robert McClenaghan urged the public to get behind the campaign.

“Over 3,600 people were killed as a result of conflict here, and over
40,000 were seriously injured – and this initiative is open to every
single one of these families, no matter who they are if they agree that
effective independent mechanisms should be put in place. It’s a very
potent, very visual reminder of all we have lost and it gives ordinary
people an insight.

“We’re taking this campaign to London for International Human Rights Day
where we will let them know that London cannot wash its hands of
responsibility and must fund this part of the peace process in order for
people here to move on. This is one of the key issues we will be
highlighting during our Day of Action in Westminster.”

To get involved, show support or contribute shoes to this important
initiative, please contact:

The Pat Finucane Centre on 02871 268846 / Paul O’Connor 07989 323418 / Email info@patfinucanecentre.org;
Ciaran Mac Airt from the Mc Gurks Bar families on 077430 339633; or
John Teggert from the Ballymurphy Massacre campaign 07860 382930/ 07512166867.

Huge shock as Irishman Andy Lee wins WBO World Title in Vegas

Posted by Jim on December 14, 2014

James O’Shea

 

In a huge shock Andy Lee,30, from Limerick has become the WBO world middleweight champion after defeating his highly touted and undefeated opponent Matt Korobov in Las Vegas on Saturday night. The fight was shown live on HBO.

He becomes Ireland’s first world champion to win the title in the US since Jimmy McLarnin in 1934.

Lee was behind on points to his much more fancied opponent when he unleashed a barrage in the sixth round that stunned Korbov. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight.

The Limerick man was overwhelmed by his victory afterwards.

“It’s tough to describe this moment,” he said to the media. “I am a champion and I want to defend my belt in Ireland and I will fight the best in the world.

“I have to say a thank you to this man, my coach Adam Booth, who has done so much for me in the last couple of years – this title is for him before also for the man who made me Emanuel Steward.”

Steward coached Thomas Hearns, Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko before his death in 2012, had taken Lee, from Limerick, under his wing.

Lee was born in Bow, London, England to Irish parents. In 1998, his parents returned to Castleconnell, County Limerick, Ireland with their six children.

Lee had been boxing at the Repton Boxing Club in London from the age of eight and upon moving to Ireland, Lee and his brothers, Tommy and Ned, joined St Francis ABC in Limerick city where his boxing career took off.

Ireland’s Lee (34-2, 23 KOs), who was a 2004 Olympian, had lost a previous world title effort when defeated by then-middleweight champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in the seventh round in 2012.

Lee has won five fights in a row since, but was a relatively unconsidered fill-in for his opponent after another more lucrative fight fell through.

Royal family should be bowed and curtsied to in US says Irish American expert

Posted by Jim on December 10, 2014

by Patrick Roberts @ Irish Central

A leading Irish American etiquette expert thinks it would be just dandy if we all bow or curtsy to Prince William and Duchess Kate now they are in New York.

 

“Americans are not required to bow or curtsy (to the royal family) but they should do so out of respect, ” says Patricia Napier-FitzPatrick, who has a fashionably double-barreled last name. She was speaking to the New York Daily News.

According to her website, Napier-Fitzpatrick is an “internationally-recognized etiquette expert. She is certified in Etiquette and International Protocol, and Adult and Corporate Etiquette by the THE WASHINGTON SCHOOL OF PROTOCOL. Additionally, she is certified in Children’s and Teen Etiquette by THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF PROTOCOL(Caps are hers).

What FitzPatrick knows nothing about clearly is the PROTOCOL LEFT TO US BY IRISH AND AMERICAN HISTORY (Caps are mine).

 

Americans do not bow to royalty, they shake hands and greet in a friendly and open fashion any foreign-born folk who happen to style themselves as royalty.

The United States is a republic, as enshrined in the constitution where all are equal. We don’t do royalty over here much as FitzPatrick might wish otherwise.

FitzPatrick may remember the American revolution which was fought over this very issue. The words of the “Star Spangled Banner” may remind her.

“Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”

Not in royalty we trust, or bend the knee to. That is not the American way.

In 1908, in London, at the Olympics, Irish Americans Ralph Rose and Martin Sheridan announced “This flag dips for no earthly king,” when the US team paraded past the royal box. Nor should any American bow.

This policy is no reflection on the royal couple who have rescued the monarchy after years of titillation and terrible reviews, especially around the issue of Lady Di’s death.

But we are Americans. FitzPatrick might also remember her ancestral roots and the fight her forefathers over there put up to never have to bow or scrape to a queen, king, prince or princess.

Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, in a much later rendition of the right to be a Republic stated “No glass of mine was ever raised to toast a British queen.”

So FitzPatrick grow a pair, you are not a British ‘subject’ but an American citizen. Give the British royal family the respect they deserve but please no bowing and scraping.

Too many Irish and Americans gave their lives to ensure that you wouldn’t have to.

 

 

AS AN AMERICAN I BOW TO NO MAN NOR KING

 

To those who wish to bow to these people, please read the poem below written by Gerry McGeough

AOH – Upcoming Events and Announcements around the City

Posted by Jim on December 9, 2014

1) A Christmas Music Spectacular Saturday, Dec 20th, 2:00pm Doors Open at 1pm

New York Irish Center 10-40 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101 Tel: 718 • 482 • 0909

featuring Cathy Maguire, Musical Director Gabriel Donohue & an All-Star Ensemble in a joyous afternoon of holiday merriment. Donation Regular $22 Seniors, Student, Unemployed $15

 

2) Queens County AOH/LAOH  announces the selection of John Manning as Aide to the Grand Marshall of the Parade

Holiday Gathering Dec. 27 at 7:00pm

At Breezy Point Catholic Club

204-10 Rockaway Point Blvd

Breezy Point, NY 11697

$40.00 per

For more information and tickets, please contact Walter Cooper, Chairperson at 347-724-6438

 

3) Bronx County AOH  announces the selection of Martin Galvin as Aide to the Grand Marshal

and will be hoping to promote the parade theme of “England out of Ireland”

Woodlawn AOH division 5 will have its Installation and Christmas Party on December 18th at the Bajart Post 840 McLean AVE near Rory Dolan’s-the event is open to anyone interested in learning about the AOH today and will include a talk by me on my visit and how PEOPLE IN the north look to IRISH-Americans and groups like the AOH FOR SUPPORT FOR JUSTICE AND FREEDOM

 

4)Kings County AOH announces the selection of John O’Farrell as Aide to the Grand Marshall of the Parade

The Bklyn Bards Donal Nolan vocals + Kiernan Hamilton Guitar /vocals Irish songs and ballads Dec. 14 5:00pm at

Hunter’s Steak House 9404 4th Av BayRidge

Div. 35 will have its election of officers at 8:00pm followed by a Christmas Party on Dec. 16 at KOC Columbus Council 126 3051 Nostrand Ave. Marine Park

Div. 12 and LAOH Div. 22 will have its Christmas Party on Dec. 18th at the Greenhouse Café 7717-3rd Avenue · BayRidge Brooklyn NY 11209

 

5)Richmond County AOH announces the selection of John MacDonald as Aide to the Grand Marshall

 

6) New York County AOH announces the selection of Pat Brady as Aide to the Grand Marshall

NY County will have Christmas party after brief meeting 12/18 at 7:30pm at 263 Mulbery St south of Houston St. at Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral

 

7)Westchester County AOH announces the selection of Dan Dennehy as Aide to the Grand Marshall

 

8)Nassau County AOH announces the selection of Joe McDonald as Aide to the Grand Marshall

This Poem was written by Gerry McGeough in 1989 when he was being held as an Irish Republican political prisoner in Germany. He was inspired to write the piece after having learned about the assassination of fellow Tyrone Republican Liam Ryan by loyalist gunmen operating in collusion with British State forces in the North of Ireland. The poem was read today at an event commemorating the 25th anniversary of Liam’s death.

Posted by Jim on December 6, 2014

To the Fallen Heroes of Tyrone A Tribute

 

I

 

In the silent hours, we retrace the years

And remember them, with pride and tears

The fallen ones, who have gone to rest

Our gallant comrades, they were our best

 

II

 

They gave their lives, for cause and home

Defending Éireann, and green Tyrone

Against foreign might, and Saxon ways

They sacrificed, their golden days

 

III

 

Honour was theirs, and courage too

Withstanding the many, though they were few

They craved not laurels, nor sought they fame

In quiet dignity, they endured all pain

 

IV

 

Soldiers were they, who knew no fear

They gave their all, for the land they held dear

Some died together, others alone

But we guard them all, in bushy Tyrone

 

V

 

From heathery hills, to meadows of green

And deep wooded glens, to the lough water’s sheen

Their names are alive, their memories revered

And by traitors and foes, are eternally feared

 

VI

 

And they speak to us yet, though their voices are still

They speak to our hearts, and convey us their will

Comrades never despair, get confused or give in

It’s for Ireland we fight, and for Éireann we’ll win

 

VII

 

We shall never forget them, the brave and the true

But honour and praise them, for all they did do

We salute them with pride, for they were our own

Our comrades who died, Volunteers from Tyrone.

 

Former taoiseach John Bruton criticised for comments about Easter Rising

Posted by Jim on December 1, 2014

Former taoiseach John Bruton: the Kilmichael Ambush Commemoration was told at the weekend that his comments about the Easter Rising and the War of Independence marked the most extreme articulation of a particular view of Irish history.

by Barry Roche, the Irish News

 

Former Taoiseach, John Bruton has been accused of failing to recognise the context in which the 1916 Easter Rising took place when he said the rebellion was not justified and Ireland could have achieved freedom through the Home Rule Bill.

Historian and pamphleteer Jack Lane told the annual Kilmichael Ambush Commemoration in west Cork at the weekend that Mr Bruton’s comments about the Easter Rising and the War of Independence marked the most extreme articulation of a particular view of Irish history.

“It is mind-boggling to hear an ex-taoiseach condemn the founding fathers of this state of which he was a leader. Can you imagine a US president denouncing George Washington for their War of Independence or a French president denouncing the French Revolution?

“It is unimaginable and there was a lot more war and bloodshed in establishing these and other states than was the case here where overwhelming popular support for independence minimised the bloodshed,” he told the crowd of about 800 people who gathered at the ambush site.

The annual commemoration marks the victory by Tom Barry and members of the Flying Column of the West Cork Brigade of the IRA over a contingent of Auxilaries from Macroom in the War of Independence

Mr Lane of the Aubane Historical Society said that when Mr Bruton feels the need to claim that Easter 1916 and the War of Independence were misguided and seeks to promote that view, then it is necessary to examine very closely the merits of his arguments.

Mr Bruton had argued that Volunteers of 1916 should have trusted in the Home Rule Bill as it was on the statute and would have evolved into a republic and that there was therefore no need for war and bloodshed, he said.

However this view ignored the fact that the Home Rule Bill was immediately suspended and that volunteers of 1916 had for a period trusted in the Home Rule Bill as evidenced by Padraig Pearse sharing a platform with John Redmond in support of Home Rule in 1912.

However Pearse and others had changed their minds when they witnessed a very real rebellion against the British government’s plan for Home Rule when Tories and unionists “organised themselves to set up an alternative provisional government to prevent Home Rule” in 1912.

An illegal army, the Ulster Volunteer Force, was set up and arms were imported which led to the establishment of the Irish Volunteers “to support the government in implementing Home Rule – to assist in implementing the law not to break it as the UVF were planning to do.”

The British army supported this unionist rebellion with the Curragh Mutiny of 1914 when officers refused to enforce the law on Home Rule and the British government allowed all this to happen and conceded all along the line, he said.

Mr Lane said critics of the Easter Rising say that the organisers had no mandate but the same point could be made about the British government, as it failed to hold an election as it should have done in 1915 and instead did a deal to invite Tories and unionists into government.

“The unionists had their own army, with plenty arms, they had British army support and now they were in government. They had won and it was absolutely clear that Home Rule or any form of Irish independence was off the agenda,” Mr Lane added.

“There was no two ways about it. If that government had its way, we would still be waiting for Home Rule. It was already suspended on the day it was passed on 18th September 1914 and that is where it would remain.”

It is true that those who organised the Easter Rising had no mandate but neither had the British government nor had the unionists for their rebellion other than what they gave themselves. “There were no mandates all around,” he said.

Similarly, Redmond committed the Irish Parliamentary Party to a British war on Germany and Turkey without an electoral mandate as he never put to the Irish electorate that he would take Ireland into an imperial war if the empire gave him Home Rule.

“The Irish Volunteers decided that a rebellion was the only way to get the government to respond to what had been proved by the success of the Unionists and this is the political and moral case for the 1916 rebellion,” he said.

Unfortunately, this narrative had been twisted and was not articulated in either academia, the media or by mainstream politicians, which is why commemorations such as Kilmichael offered a valuable opportunity “to put the record straight about 1916 and the War of Independence”.

Martin Galvin gave this speech Nov. 29, 2014 at the Commemoration for Liam Ryan, his friend, in Ardboe, County Tyrone

Posted by Jim on

LIAM RYAN  

A chairde

Today we stand together. Family members and close friends, each with deep personal feelings and memories of Liam Ryan, stand alongside others too young to have known him. All of us can feel anger at his murder. Surely, it is murder when the vaunted British crown forces arrange killings by loyalist proxies and paid agents. It is murder, even when the murder victim was, like Liam Ryan a Republican, or like Michael Devlin in the company of a Republican, or as other families here know, the parent or aunt of a Republican. All of us can be angered by the British policy of murder cover-up. European Law says that the families of state murder victims have a right to justice. Britain deems such rights null and void when the victims are Republicans or justice means ending the one-sided immunity or impunity for British troopers or constabulary. Even today families of the victims are still denied justice, still denied truth, still stonewalled and still told lies. Even an Ombudsman or Coroner, who makes the mistake of actually trying to get truth, soon finds they will be denied the funds or documents to do it. All of us –and I do not want  to be misinterpreted as speaking about armed actions in the different conditions and circumstances of today-but we are not here for any sorry initiatives, not here to demean  his legacy  by  apologies –all of us are here to honor the memory of a true patriot with pride. There is today another ongoing round of talks. Last year’s Haas talks have become this year’s Hart talks. We frequently hear words like parity of esteem and equality. We will not accept a “parody of esteem” where we are expected to hide our grief, our anger, and our pride  in this brave soldier, lest we give offense to others who believe Republicans in Ireland are not entitled to such feelings. To understand Liam Ryan, first understand the times in which he lived. He was born before the British shifted from  one party Orange rule, to granting shared space tied to an immovable DUP anchor, where  every legitimate demand for justice, as Gregory Campbell so crudely said, can be treated  like toilet paper. Liam was born before civil rights marches. Because he was a Ryan from Ardboe, and where his parents sent him to Church and school, that was enough to mark him as suspect, second class and someone the six county state could best do without. They did their best to send this message with a whole system to deny nationalists jobs, housing, and gerrymander votes.  Just to be sure he understood, the crown forces would remind him when they met him on the road. It is easy to understand why when people speak of the beginnings of civil rights in the six counties, they speak of marches in Coalisland or Dungannon or the first housing sit- in by a Tyrone family. It was easy to understand why when British troopers proved they did not come to back civil rights but to impose Internment, and to shoot down those who got in the way at Ballymurphy, or protested in Derry, that Liam came to believe you would not never get civil rights from a regime ready to answer civil right protests with Bloody Sunday. He came to see that the injustices he lived under were no accident but were allowed by the British because they served British interests. He went to New York where I would come to know him. He found a new life where being a Ryan from Ardboe, did not count against him and indeed often counted for him. He found work with the power company Con Edison. He had sisters and cousins nearby. He found an apartment near Gaelic Park where he spent Sundays. He found Tyrone Societies and Clan na Gael. And who could have blamed him if he enjoyed this new life and put thoughts of Tyrone or the six counties behind him or perhaps attended a few protests outside the British Consulate or given some money for Republican prisoners. We would have been glad to get it. That was not Liam. You could take Liam Ryan out of Tyrone but never take Tyrone out of Liam Ryan. The struggle and injustices here were never out of his thoughts. His dream was always to live and raise a family in a Tyrone where the injustices he lived under were a thing of the past. He dedicated his life to help make that so. He worked in Clan na Gael and with Irish Northern Aid. He was one of those men and women from the six counties who were a constant inspiration and reminder to all of us.  They were the vanguard of everything we in America did to raise money for the families of political prisoners or to build American political support for Irish issues. He made his home a refuge and landing spot for others. There I would first come to hear of Gerry McGeough. He cannot be here because he is under threat of Internment by License. Gerry McGeough like Ivor Bell, or Seamus Kearney and others are living reminders that the British will go back 30 or 40 years and have no shortage of money to trump up charges against some Republicans. They then tell us there is no money to arrest the Bloody Sunday troopers, or give the Ballymurphy Massacre families an inquiry, or take any steps which threaten the blanket immunity or impunity for British troopers and constabulary. There I first met Lawrence McNally who would die alongside Liam‘s cousin Pete and Tony Doris. Their car was fired upon until it burst into flames. They still cannot get an Inquest. I remember asking why Lawrence had given instructions to be buried in Monaghan instead of Tyrone. I was told so that that so he could be buried and mourned without his grave and family being abused by crown forces. The next day I saw Pete Ryan’s family jeered and taunted about barbecues and barely let out of their homes to bury him. How right Lawrence had been. I even met John Crawley there on one occasion and Liam for once was wrong about John. He said we would not see John for a very, very long time. Then about six weeks later he rang and told me to turn on the news. There was John coming off the Marita Ann in handcuffs near the spot in Kerry where they caught Roger Casement. Sometimes when the struggle was at a high point and intense Liam would get very quiet. He would say he was wondering how things were with Pete or Jim referring to Jim Lynagh. He would say it with genuine concern and worry about those who were under great pressure. He had what I will describe as a great pointed sense of humor. He would tell jokes that had a great deal of subtle wisdom and insight behind them. As he was preparing to come back and open the Battery he was arrested in New York for sending weapons to the IRA. He faced a possible jail sentence. His lawyer, friends including myself pressured him to apologize as is customary in American courts. He told us he had done no more than one of his relatives who had helped Erskine Childers bring arms into Dublin for the Easter Rising. Finally he agreed to make an apology in the American court. Liam told the Judge that the only apology he wanted to make was to apologize to the IRA Volunteers who did not get the weapons. Judge Sifton who had no Irish connections but who presided over several Irish trials smiled and said that the Irish accused like Liam were unlike the criminals who came before him and let him go with unsupervised probation. He came back to Tyrone and opened the Battery. Whenever I would call and tell him I would be visiting Ireland he would always begin by saying” we will have you up at the Battery for a free drink.” I was banned from the north and the British had used my presence to attack a peaceful rally in Belfast. So we could meet in Dublin, or more likely Monaghan, but not in the Battery Bar in Ardboe, County Tyrone. When I met him he would always laugh that “it would do no harm to have the Brits watching for you on the road and you not coming, and add that maybe it will help someone on another road where no one is watching.” Once when he asked me to speak at a Clan na Gael Easter Commemoration. I asked what I should say. He joked that I should get up right after they read the Proclamation of 1916. Remind everyone that when those great Irish patriots were about to sign, six of them stood up. They said there was one among them who must have the honor of signing first, because he had suffered the most, waited the longest and worked the hardest to make that day possible. Remind them it was a Dungannon man Thomas Clarke. Ask why the indefeasible right to freedom vanishes before it got as far as Dungannon. Then tell them that now is no time for anyone to stand back. Tell them that people in the six counties are still suffering, waiting and working for the end of British rule and now  is the time when the exiled children in America should unite with people across Ireland to give them that freedom . He said it as a joke but it stuck with me as one of the best Easter speeches I ever heard. “We will have you up at the Battery for a free drink,” Liam joked when I telephoned him twenty-five years ago to say I would be traveling to Dublin for weekend meetings between the Irish Northern Aid executive and Sinn Fein leadership. “Our friends have been about this last week,” he continued.  It meant that the Royal Ulster Constabulary backed by British troopers had been patrolling heavily in the Ardboe area. He added, “I may be back in the Bronx with you but will say more when I see you.”  These words were ominous. For Liam to hint at leaving Ardboe meant that he was under serious threat which he would not talk about on a likely tapped telephone line, but would explain when we met. I would never see him again.  The following evening the crown forces which had been flooding the Ardboe area, would suddenly disappear.  At closing, as Liam Ryan stood by the door, a loyalist death squad would arrive at precisely the correct time and place.  Liam Ryan would be murdered as he attempted to slam the door shut and protect those patrons still inside.  It was taken for granted that the British crown forces had given the intelligence, cleared and shielded the arrival and escape of the murder gang. The RUC would eventually arrive, with smug smiles not bothering any pretense of sympathy, as they dismissed any chance that anyone might ever be caught or identified. There was a phrase often used on newscasts about incidents which had all the hallmarks of the IRA. Liam’s murder had all the hallmarks of a crown directed collusion murder. How could crown collusion in so many murders at such a high level of cooperation over so wide an area and so long a time continue without the knowledge and approval of the British at the highest levels? There is now another round of talks that is supposed to tell us agreed formulas and legal mechanisms to deal with past events like Liam Ryan’s murder. Shakespeare had a fictional character named Lady MacBeth who wandered at night trying to wash away the stain of murder. We have a character named Theresa Villiers who tries to wash away the stain of British shoot-to-kill and collusion murders by cutting off funds, denying inquiries and pretending that Britain needs agreement from the DUP before it can comply with International Law by giving us the truth. It did not work for Lady MacBeth and will not work for Lady MacBeth Villiers. I cannot speak of him without remembering that he was murdered because he wanted freedom for all of Ireland so deeply. Many hoped that the Good Friday agreement had opened the door to this freedom. It seems clear that the British saw it as a way to nail the door shut. We are less than 18 months from the centenary of the Easter Rising, and that pledge of freedom, which Liam Ryan always said should apply as much to Thomas Clarke’s county as anywhere else. You and the people across the six counties have suffered the most, waited the longest, and worked the hardest .You have it within to produce patriots like Liam Ryan who can inspire others thousands of miles away. Now is the time to push so that the freedom Thomas Clarke signed up for in 1916 for all of Ireland can finally make its way to Thomas Clarke’s county and to the rest of Ireland.

The bigotry of the Unionists in Northern Ireland is no joke

Posted by Jim on November 29, 2014

MORE ON THE IGNORANCE, LACK OF MANNERS AND BREEDING, OF GREGORY CAMPBELL.
CAMPBELL— IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT — IS THE FORMER “ CULTURE MINISTER “!
IN ANY DECENT COUNTRY CAMPBELL WOULD HAVE HAD TO RESIGN AS A PUBLIC FIGURE. HE WOLD HAVE BEEN SHAMED OUT OF OFFICE. BUT IN NORTHERN IRELAND, UNIONIST POLITICIANS STRENGTHEN THEIR BASE BY INSULTING CATHOLICS— JUST LIKE SEGREGATIONIST POLITICIANS IN THE DEEP SOUTH USED TO SHORE UP THEIR BASE BY SHOWING CONTEMPT FOR AFRICAN-AMERICANS.

The bigotry of the Unionists in Northern Ireland is no joke
Niall O’Dowd @niallodowd November 28,2014

Gregory Campbell from the DUP is a former culture minister. His actions this week have been scary.Photo by: Irish Voice
Sometimes when you see the hatred some Unionists have for their Nationalist neighbors and their traditions up close it is a scary sight.

Gregory Campbell from the Democratic Unionist Party is a former culture minister in the Northern Irish government.

In that job he had clearly encountered Nationalist culture, from fellow Derry man Seamus Heaney to Field Day (which currently has a play on Broadway) to the West Belfast Festival. So surely he understood that it was a dynamic and extraordinary culture that has won Nobel Prizes, not to mention world accolades.

Instead of being proud of that and sharing that culture widely in the new Northern Ireland, Campbell has adopted the Bourbon motto that he will learn nothing and forget nothing.

His new attack on the Irish language is bigoted, saying essentially that he would wipe his backside with the Irish Language Act if given the opportunity.

“On behalf of our party let me say clearly, and slowly so that Caitríona Ruane and Gerry Adams understand, we will never agree to an Irish Language Act at Stormont and we will treat their entire wish list as no more than toilet paper. They better get used to it,” he said.

This is a man first to the ramparts when his beloved Orange marches, pure walking bigotry, are rerouted away from Nationalist areas, a man who will rail at the slightest hint of an insult against his beloved and deeply sectarian Orange culture.

Yet he cannot see, except like a Cyclops out of one eye.

When he deeply insults the Nationalist culture he sees no harm in that or no blowback reflecting on his own bigotry.

But surely his party leader, Peter Robinson, would admonish his colleague, call for his resignation even, given the crass and bile filled nature of the attack?

Not at all. Not even likely.

Robinson’s response to the BBC was equally telling:

“Lighten up will you? It’s a party conference and it was a bit of comedy in the middle of it; let’s get on with some real business.

“If all that you have out of the whole of the party conference is to question me about that, then there are better things I could be doing with my time.”

One wonders what his response would have been if a SDLP or Sinn Fein member had talked about wiping their backside with an Orange flag or a Union Jack. The outrage can only be imagined.

Dominic Bradley, Irish language spokesman for the Nationalist SDLP, was appalled and said it best. Campbell’s remarks were “beneath contempt and reflect more on his own narrow-minded mentality and his unwillingness to move forward.”

He added, “Peter Robinson’s attempt to trivialize these remarks clearly shows the tensions within the DUP. It remains to be seen if Mr. Robinson has the remaining leadership clout to face them down.”

It’s a sad day yet again in Northern Ireland where bigotry is treated as a joke.

> Fr. Sean Mc Manus
> President
> Irish National Caucus
> P.O. BOX 15128
> Capitol Hill
> Washington, DC 20003-0849

Irish government warns undocumented not to return home at Christmas

Posted by Jim on November 26, 2014

by James O’Shea @irishcentral November 24,2014

Fears that some undocumented Irish will be stranded at home if they return for the holidays.
Irish immigration groups and Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan are warning Irish immigrants who are undocumented not to return home for Christmas as the Obama executive order documents will not be available until spring 2015 at the earliest.
In a tweet on Sunday Minister Flanagan stated:
Kieran O’Sullivan, a counsellor at the Irish Pastoral Centre in Boston told the Irish Times that undocumented returning home for Christmas would be making a major mistake.

“I’ve heard from people who are thinking of going home to Ireland for the holidays and family events,” he said.

“We have issued a general note of caution on such travel and the point we want to make is that anyone about to leave the USA should first speak to an immigration attorney.

“Leaving the US carries great risk if an individual does not consult an experienced immigration attorney,” said the pastoral center.

In order to travel to Ireland undocumented would need the Employment Document Authorization (EDA), which will be given out by the Obama administration after background checks and a cleared application.

With that in hand they will need advanced parole, given on humanitarian grounds when the person can show difficult circumstances back home such as an illness or funeral. The rules covering advanced parole will also be issued next year.

At this point there is no definitive date for the issuance of the EDAs and the advanced parole documents, but experts say it will take at least nine months if not longer.

To qualify for the EDA undocumented must prove that they have:

– have a U.S. citizen or LPR (Legal permanent resident) child as of November 20, 2014
– continuously resided in the United States since before January 1, 2010
– are physically present in the United States on November 20, 2014 and at the time of applying
– have no lawful immigration status on November 20, 2014.

Undocumented immigrants with questions can contact centers run by the Irish Apostolate USA, which is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Ocean City, Milwaukee, Baltimore, San Diego and Chicago for more information.
> Fr. Sean Mc Manus
> President
> Irish National Caucus
> P.O. BOX 15128
> Capitol Hill
> Washington, DC 20003-0849
> Tel. 202-544-0568
> Fax. 202-488-7537
> sean@irishnationalcaucus.org

Progress seen in 1916 commemorations

Posted by Jim on November 22, 2014

A video and website that was used by the Dublin government to launch its
programme for the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising are set to be
scrapped following a public outcry.

The video including cameos from British Prime Minister David Cameron,
English queen Elizabeth Windsor and internet companies such as Google
and Facebook, but made no mention whatsoever of the signatories of the
Proclamation of the Irish Republic in 1916.

“Embarrassing unhistorical sh*,” was how Diarmaid Ferriter, the UCD
historian and 2016 Government advisor described it.

The website, which featured sections which had been (badly)
machine-translated into Irish, also appeared destined for an electronic
bin. It featured a message informing visitors that it is “temporarily
under-going maintenance and will be back up running as soon as
possible”.

Officials at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht were
ordered by minister Heather Humphreys take the website offline to allow
“experts” to resolve a number of “outstanding issues” with it.

Meanwhile, the 1916 Relatives Association, which is understood to
represent around 850 descendants of the men and women who fought, are
hoping for a turnaround in government policy to end their boycott of the
government’s plans for 2016.

The association’s Belfast-based spokeswoman Una McNulty, whose
grandfather Peadar and great-uncle Michael McNulty were in the Four
Courts garrison, said that despite tensions she remained hopeful the
centenary could still be “worthy of the men and women who died”.

“The government underestimated how important the centenary is to the
people of Ireland. They need to open up the channels of communication
with relatives and with the Irish people all over Ireland. We would like
to work with the government in partnership,” she said.

Ms McNulty said the association was keen to hold meetings on both sides
of the border to listen to people’s ideas, adding: “People care deeply
about this issue and we need to keep knocking on the door until the
government listens to us.”

Sinn Féin will pursue full recognition for Irish emigrants in US – Adams

Posted by admin on November 21, 2014

 

Speaking today following last night’s announcement by President Obama of changes in how the US Government deals with undocumented immigrants, Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD said: “Over the past number of years Sinn Féin has raised the issue of the estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish in the United States. Their absence is felt in communities and families across Ireland.

“I welcome the announcement by President Obama as it will bring relief to some,

“However I am concerned that the majority of undocumented Irish will not benefit from these limited changes.

“Many of these people have been forced into economic emigration since 2007, due to the economic mismanagement of successive Fíanna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour governments

“Undocumented Irish workers contribute to the US economy and community. This should be recognised and their futures secured. Today is another step in the right direction but there is further to travel.

“We will continue to work with the parties in the US Congress, and the recently appointed US ambassador, to ensure full recognition is given to those Irish living and working in the US.”

Bloody Sunday 1920: new evidence

Posted by Jim on

The events of Bloody Sunday, 21 November 1920, are generally regarded as having marked a decisive turning-point in the military struggle between the British forces and the IRA, the military wing of the underground Dáil government. Three separate but connected events occurred on Bloody Sunday. First came the killings by Michael Collins’s ‘squad’ of twelve British Intelligence agents in their Dublin suburban homes that morning; two auxiliary policemen were also killed. In the afternoon came the killing by  British forces of fourteen civilians—including a Gaelic footballer, Michael Hogan, who was playing for Tipperary that day—at Croke Park. Finally, in the evening came the arrest and killing (in somewhat murky circumstances) of two high-ranking Dublin IRA officers, Brigadier Dick McKee and Vice-Brigadier Peadar Clancy. In all, 30 people died within fifteen hours on that fateful day in Dublin.
The assassinations of the British Intelligence officers virtually crippled the intelligence operations of Dublin Castle. Bloody Sunday also marked an emotional turning-point in the War of Independence and has gone down as a central event in nationalist history. Although thousands were in attendance at Croke Park that day, the exact events which led to the killings have never been conclusively proven, with each side contradicting the other. The only public statement issued by the authorities was one hurriedly drafted by Dublin Castle, blaming the IRA for shooting at Crown forces when they arrived to raid Croke Park. No authoritative account from the British side had ever been published. Now, after almost 83 years, the official British record of a military inquiry, known to have been carried out in lieu of an inquest on the fourteen Irish fatalities but held in camera, has recently become available in the British Public Record Office at Kew. It finally enables rival accounts to be compared.

The court of inquiry and inquest

The file contains the proceedings of the military inquiry held at some time before 8 December 1920, and probably at military headquarters, Parkgate, Dublin. The documents now released contain no date or precise location. The inquiry was held in camera under the Defence of the Realm Act. The personnel of the three-man inquiry were Major R. Bunbury, president, Lieutenant S.H. Winterbottom of the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers and Lieutenant B.J. Key of the 2nd Worcester Regiment. There are two different versions of the proceedings; one is handwritten and the other typed, but the contents are practically identical. Evidence was given by over 30 witnesses—depending on which set of documents one relies on. The details of the identities of the witnesses were generally withheld, although they were mainly from the RIC and the auxiliaries. In the case of a handful of Dublin Metropolitan Police witnesses, one has no problem in identifying the force to which they belonged. Uncharacteristically, one is even named and his rank specified.
In addition to the main inquiry there was also a separate one, again ‘in lieu of an inquest’ (under the Restoration of Order in Ireland Act), into the deaths of fourteen civilians at Croke Park—John Scott, James Matthews, Jeremiah O’Leary, Patrick O’Dowd, Jane Boyle, William Robinson, Thomas Hogan, James Burke, Michael Feery, James Teehan, Joseph Traynor, Thomas Ryan, Michael Hogan and Daniel Carroll. In all these cases evidence was given by relatives who had identified the bodies and by doctors who had received and examined them in Dublin hospitals. Documents relating to this second inquiry have also been released, showing that the verdicts were, predictably, death from bullet wounds in most of the cases, with heart failure listed as the cause of death in the remaining cases. The descriptions make grim reading. In the inquest on the death of Thomas Hogan, Dr Patrick Moran of the Mater Hospital stated:

‘Thomas Hogan was admitted to this hospital at 4pm on November 21st. There was a small round wound 3⁄8 inch in diameter under the spine of the right scapula. There was a large round wound one inch in diameter just beneath the acromion process in front. This was apparently an exit wound. There were two other small wounds a quarter inch in diameter one inch above acromion process, and about an inch apart. These might have been caused by bone splinters. On admission the patient was bleeding profusely, and was in a state of severe collapse. The right arm was amputated on Monday, 22nd November. The shoulder joint was found to be completely disorganised. The head of the humerus was completely severed from the shaft and about 2 inches of the shaft was shattered. The auxiliary border of the scapula was also shattered. A small piece of nickel casing was found in the region of the shoulder joint. Gas gangrene set in after the operation and the patient died at 12.30 on November 26th. Death was in my opinion due to toxaemia following gas gangrene following gunshot wounds.’

There are undoubtedly difficulties in taking on board such material. Because the sittings of the main inquiry were held in camera, no witness had any legal representation and there appears to have been no cross-examination. There was only one exception to this routine. After five military witnesses and three ambulance men had been heard, i.e. between witnesses 8 and 9, two lawyers briefly addressed the court. James Comyn BL said that he was led by Michael Comyn KC (his brother), that they appeared for the family of Jane Boyle (a 26-year-old woman killed at Croke Park) and wished to produce witnesses. However, Michael Comyn KC told the court that because the inquiry was ‘held behind closed doors’ he would not take part in the inquiry, and led his party out.

The verdict

On 8 December 1920 the verdict of the court of inquiry, whose proceedings were destined to be kept secret for over 80 years, was issued. The court found that during a raid on Croke Park on 21 November 1920 by a mixed force of RIC, auxiliary police and military, firing was started by unknown civilians, either as a warning of the raid or else to create a panic, and that the injuries to dead civilians were inflicted by rifle or revolver fire from the canal bridge by the RIC, some of whom fired over the crowd’s heads, others of whom fired into the crowd at persons believed to be trying to evade arrest. It also found that the RIC firing was carried out without orders and in excess of what was required but that no firing came from the auxiliary police or the military, except that soldiers in an armoured car (at the St James’s Avenue exit) fired a burst into the air to stop the crowd from breaking through and out of the ground.
Appended to the inquiry report is a copy (marked ‘Secret and V. Urgent!’) dated 21 November 1920 of the (unsigned) order given by a brigade major, Infantry Brigade, to the RIC and containing details of the operation planned to take place that day at Croke Park. The ground was to be surrounded and pickets placed at specified points, e.g. on the railway and at the three known exits. One infantry platoon was to be kept in reserve and at 3.15pm two (army) armoured cars would meet the mixed RIC and auxiliary police at Fitzroy Avenue (opposite the main entrance). A quarter of an hour before the end of the match a special intelligence officer would warn the crowd by megaphone that anybody trying to leave other than by the exits would be shot, and that all males would be stopped and searched.
The opinion of the competent military authority (dated 11 December 1920), which convened the court of inquiry, was:

(i) that it agreed with the court findings [summarised above];

(ii) that the first shots were fired by the crowd and led to the panic;

(iii) that the firing on the crowd was carried out without orders and was indiscriminate and unjustifiable, with the exception of any shooting which took place inside the enclosure.

This opinion was signed by Major-General G.F. Boyd, commanding officer, Dublin.
Because much of the evidence at the court of inquiry is at variance with accounts given by Irish survivors (including at least two of the 30 footballers involved), the credibility of this inquiry, published so long after the deaths of all involved on both sides, must be open to challenge. However, the withholding not only of the identities of witnesses (all also presumably dead) but also of the identities of the forces (other than the Dublin Metropolitan Police [DMP]) to which they belonged presents difficulties to any challenge more than 80 years after the event. Nevertheless the inquiry cannot be discounted as it offers the only known piece of official documentation for one of the most important events in modern Irish history.

Who fired first?

The central point in dispute was that of who fired first. Common to all reports is that the firing started at the south-west corner of the ground (that is, the corner where Jones’s Road crosses the Royal Canal). Was the government claim that their forces were fired on first true? There were undoubtedly IRA men in the grounds that day. At the time there was considerable overlap between membership of the IRA and membership of the GAA. It is certainly not out of the question that shots could have been fired at the Crown forces. If that was the case, it was obviously an extremely irresponsible act.
The alternative theory is that the RIC and auxiliaries raided Croke Park in reprisal for the attacks of that morning. Such reprisals were becoming common. Balbriggan had been sacked in September. Less than three weeks after Bloody Sunday Cork city felt the brunt of such a reprisal. These were mainly unofficial, but little was done by high-ranking officers to discourage their men, who felt justified in exacting revenge on a population protecting what they regarded as a ‘murder gang’.
The inquiry is by no means conclusive but it does shed some light on a number of points. Several of the RIC witnesses contend that the firing began from inside the ground, presumably by armed spectators, before any Crown forces had entered. Admittedly, down the years this allegation has occasionally been made, and Tim Pat Coogan’s biography of Michael Collins could be said to accept it as valid by implication. But precisely how this allegation, even if true, justified the shooting dead of at least fourteen unarmed civilians (including two young boys and a 26-year-old woman), as well as the wounding of scores of spectators, by the mixed force of police and military is not explained in the inquiry’s conclusions. Indeed, the court of inquiry found the shootings to be unauthorised and far in excess of what was deemed appropriate even if the Crown forces were fired on first. The documents now released also reveal that a total of 228 rounds of small arms ammunition were fired by the RIC (including auxiliaries) and that the army machine-gun at the St James’s Avenue exit fired a total of 50 rounds.
Of those who admitted to firing rounds, one member of the Crown forces was especially graphic:

‘On November 21st 1920 I was in the second lorry of the convoy to Croke Park. The lorry halted just over the canal bridge. I saw no civilians on the bridge. There were some civilians in the passage leading to the turnstiles. I got out and went to the turnstiles as quickly as I could. As I got to the turnstiles I heard shots. I am certain they were revolver shots, a few shots fired quickly. They were fired inside the field. I tried to get through the turnstiles and found that they were locked. When getting over them a bullet hit the wall convenient to my head. This was the wall on the right hand side inside the archway and splinters of brick and mortar hit me in the face. It could not have been fired from outside the field. As I got inside I landed on my hands and feet. I saw young men aged between 20 and 25 running stooping among the crowd, away from me between the fence and the wall. I pursued and discharged my revolver in their direction. My duties were identification of persons. I was in plain clothes having a Glengarry cap in my pocket for identification by my own men if necessary. Having been fired at I used my own discretion in returning fire. I aimed at individual young men who were running away trying to conceal themselves in the crowd. I used a .450 revolver and service ammunition. I chased them across the ground nearly to the wall on the east side. I then saw that a number of people were going back towards the main gate by which I came in. I rushed to that gate and took up my position outside to try and carry out my duties of identification. I stayed there until the ground was cleared, that is about an hour and a half.’

Many of the RIC witnesses stated that when the first of their members got out of their lorry a group of civilians, ranging in number from 3–4 to 8–9, who were at the start of the passage from the canal bridge down to the canal entry turnstiles and who appeared to be acting in concert, turned and ran at speed through the turnstiles. Some of the party, it was alleged, fired back in the direction of the men dismounting from the lorry. It is this alleged engagement between armed IRA men and the raiding party that is at the core of apportioning blame for the deaths at Croke Park.
Among those backing up this version of events was the eighth witness, who states:

‘On 21st November I was in the first car of the convoy detailed to go to Croke Park. Immediately we came to the canal bridge on the rise overlooking the park I observed several men rushing back from the top of the bridge towards the entrance gate of the park. I observed three of them turning backward as they ran and discharging revolvers in our direction. Almost immediately the firing appeared to be taken up by members of the crowd inside the enclosure. At this time the members of our party were jumping out of the cars. Most of them rushed down the incline towards the entrance gate.’

DMP evidence

The first and second DMP witnesses were on Jones’s Road near the canal bridge. Neither reported seeing any civilians who could have threatened the Crown forces, nor did they report any shots being fired outside the ground. The first DMP constable called stated that shortly after 3.30pm about fifteen lorries of military and RIC arrived at the canal bridge entrance. The occupants of the first car ran down the passage leading to the football grounds. He stated that he did not know who started the firing but he reported that a military officer came running up to the bridge and said ‘What is all the firing about, stop that firing’. The third DMP officer was on duty further down Jones’s Road, outside the main entrance to Croke Park. He gave evidence concerning a separate group of RIC who arrived at the main gate:

‘On Sunday 21st inst. I was on duty outside the main entrance to Croke Park in Jones’s Road. At about 3.25 p.m. I saw six or seven large lorries accompanied by two armoured cars, one in front and one behind, pass along the Clonliffe Road from Drumcondra towards Ballybough. Immediately after a small armoured car came across Jones’s Road from Fitzroy Avenue and pulled up at the entrance of the main gate. Immediately after that, three small Crossley lorries pulled up in Jones’s Road. There were about ten or twelve men dressed in RIC uniforms in each. When they got out of the cars they started firing in the air which I thought was blank ammunition, and almost immediately firing started all round the ground.’

On the face of it, the DMP evidence differs from other Crown forces witnesses on the crucial question of who fired first. Since they might be expected to corroborate the evidence of other forces, their testimony may be the most significant of all that given to the inquiry.

Evidence of spectators

The evidence of two of the three spectators who gave evidence to the inquiry, one of whom is easily identified (see below), is of interest, since it too is in conflict with the bulk of the evidence from the RIC, auxiliaries and military. Witness 9, who appears to have accompanied to the game Jeremiah O’Leary (killed), stated that the first shooting came from the canal bridge, and that it came from auxiliaries (‘men in RIC caps and khaki trousers’). According to this witness, the officer in charge  at the bridge (probably from the first lorry to reach the bridge) also wore this uniform and had a bonnet, i.e. a Glengarry cap, peculiar to the ‘Auxies’.
The next witness (no. 10) described himself as manager of Croke Park. Although also unnamed, this was Luke O’Toole, general secretary of the GAA, who resided beside the canal bridge. He told of how, from a low mound, then on the site of the recently demolished Nally Stand (to which he had moved from a seat in the stand when firing began), he saw firing commence at the canal end. Of all the statements known to have been made after Bloody Sunday, this is believed to be the only one made by a GAA official to the British authorities. However, O’Toole died suddenly in 1929, long before any statements from the Irish side were ever made, either to Irish newspapers or to the Military History Bureau.
The shooting at Croke Park lasted only a matter of minutes, yet almost 83 years later the events of that day are still emotive and controversial. The overall findings of the military inquiry, now released, must be viewed with some suspicion. However, contained within its pages is much new information on this event.

Tim Carey is former Administrator of the GAA Museum and is currently writing a book on the history of Croke Park. Marcus de Búrca is author of The GAA: a history.

COMMODORE BARRY RESEARCH PAPER

Posted by Jim on November 17, 2014

Commodore Barry Club of Brooklyn
P. O.  Box 090-824
Brooklyn, NY 11209
www.commodorebarryclubbrooklyn.org
info@commodorebarryclubbrooklyn.org
Mary Nolan, President
718-833-3405
PRESS RELEASE
by Brian Kassenbrock
Director of Public Relations
718-748-0624
kassenbrock@verizon.net
COMMODORE BARRY RESEARCH PAPER
The Commodore Barry Club of Brooklyn, Inc. is pleased to announce an opportunity for undergraduate college students who are interested in researching Irish American history and the contributions of Irish Americans to the United States. The Club is calling for these students to submit a five to eight minute research paper of about one thousand words on the theme of the accomplishments of Commodore John Barry. In particular, the writer will address the problems that Barry faced in his time and how he solved them.
The contest will begin on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 and will end on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.  Entries shall be submitted electronically to the above cited website, “Contact Us” page during that time frame.
The first prize will be five hundred dollars ($500), the second prize two hundred fifty dollars ($250) and the third prize one hundred dollars ($100).
A blind jury of educators who have participated in past educational presentations will be the judges.
The prize winners will be asked to deliver their papers at ceremonies at Commodore Barry Park, located at Flushing Avenue and Navy Streets in downtown Brooklyn tentatively scheduled for 11 AM on Thursday, March 12th and to be our guests for a luncheon which will follow.
Each paper shall use the following format:
Name of Student:
School Affiliation:
Email:
Phone:
Postal Address:
Title of Paper:
Text of Paper:
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact us through the website or by phone.   We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Live Traditional Irsh Music at Gramercy Ale House. This week featuring Denny McCarthy

Posted by Jim on October 5, 2014

gramercyhouse_trad-session

gramercy-seisiunThe Gramercy House, a new pub in the location formerly The Copper Door, presents the Gramercy House Seisiun, NYC’s newest Irish traditional seisiun.  It kicked off on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 and will continue weekly every Wednesday at 7pm.
Open to ALL musicians/singers and/or folks who may just want to listen, they plan to feature some of NY’s best trad Irish musicians.
Opening night featured John Walsh (guitar), Andrew McCarrick (flute) and Denny McCarthy (fiddle) of Jameson’s Revenge.
To keep up to date on upcoming seisiuns, join the Gramecy Seisiun group on facebook.
7pm
at:
The Gramercy Ale House
272 Third Ave. (between 21st & 22nd St.)
New York, NY
(212) 260-1129

 

We shall never forget

Posted by Jim on September 10, 2014

            When 9/11 arrives, remember the living
Home page image

They sacrificed their health. Photo by MATT MOYER

In a little more than a week, we will mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Here in New York, the names of those killed in the attacks will be read aloud by their family members, friends and coworkers. Across the country, Americans will gather at memorials to honor the memories of those who died.

As a nation, we rightly resolved to never forget the attacks. But the truth is, we haven’t entirely kept that promise.

What many Americans may not know is that as the nation recovered, a public health disaster was just beginning to unfold. Thousands are sick because of the attacks, as well as the rescue and recovery operations that continued for months afterward.

In the days approaching this Sept. 11 and on the day itself, we ask Americans to remember all the victims of that terrible day — those who lost their lives, and the thousands of living victims who are sick and dying from illnesses and injuries, some of which have taken years to fully manifest.

We all know the outlines of the story. After 9/11, Americans from all 50 states rushed to Ground Zero to help in any way they could. Thousands of people worked in extremely hazardous conditions, often without proper protective equipment.

As they labored, the site smoldered, and rescue and recovery workers breathed in a toxic stew of chemicals, asbestos, pulverized cement and other health hazards released into the air when the towers fell.

The dust cloud that so unforgettably rolled through lower Manhattan after the attacks settled in homes, offices, buildings and elsewhere — exposing tens of thousands more to the same toxins.

Thirteen years later, more than 30,000 9/11 responders, as well as survivors of the attacks and area residents and workers, have an illness or injury caused by the attacks or their aftermath, and over two-thirds of those have more than one illness.

Many are disabled and can no longer work. They are suffering from a host of chronic diseases: asthma, obstructive pulmonary disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease, to name but a few.

Medical research has identified more than 60 types of cancer caused by 9/11 toxins. At least 2,800 people have been diagnosed with cancers caused or made worse by the aftermath of the attacks, a number that is sure to grow in the years to come.

More than 800 New York Fire Department members and more than 550 New York Police Department personnel are struggling with serious 9/11-related illnesses, many of them cancers, and have had to retire from their jobs for health reasons.

That is in addition to the more than 70 firefighters and 60 NYPD officers who have died from their 9/11-related illnesses.

Memorials and monuments to our losses continue to be built across the country in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and elsewhere. This outpouring of commemoration — not just in metal and stone, but in solemn ceremonies and prayer vigils, stair climbs and other events — is important to the American spirit. It is a source of comfort for those who lost loved ones and shows that the nation truly remembers those who lost their lives.

But sadly, there is still little mention that 9/11 is, on a daily basis, impacting the health of thousands of living Americans every day. That needs to change.

This Sept. 11, as Americans gather to honor and remember those who lost their lives that day, we are calling on the organizers of these memorials — governors, mayors, city councils and neighborhood and civic groups throughout America — to recognize the living victims of the attacks as well.

As your town or neighborhood holds a 9/11 remembrance, we hope you will remember and mention the thousands who struggle every day with illnesses or injuries caused by the attacks. These heroes need your support, too.

Alles is national legislative director with the Uniformed Fire Officers Association. Slevin is vice president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. Both are members of the 9/11 Health Watch board of directors .

 

 

We shall never forget
We shall keep this day,
We shall keep the events and the tears
In our minds, our memory and our hearts
and take them with us as we carry on.

Timeshare for Sale or Rent 10 mins. from Disney and Universal in Celebration Florida

Posted by Jim on August 25, 2014

AOH member has advised us that their timeshare is for sale or rent in Mystic Dune 5 Star Resort. The two bedroom condo sits on PGA alternate Golf course with screened in porch opening on course. The Resort is 10 mins. away from Disney Gate and Universal. Condo can sleep 8, has full Kitchen, washer/dryer, dinning room, huge living room with big screen TV, Master Suite has separate bath with whirlpool tub. Resort has 5 pools, offers miniature golf, basketball, tennis and fitness center. Country Club has fully stocked Pro-Shop, light snacks and sandwiches, full Restaurant offering 5 Star menu and Conference and Banquet Hall. The cost to buy Deeded Condo is $11,000.00 per Unit. The cost to rent is $1,000.00 per Unit per week. Anyone wishing more information on these properties contact Jim@BrooklynIrish for forwarding info.

Cushendall killings : Villagers call on Britain to apologise for sectarian killings

Posted by Jim on April 30, 2014

Residents of a quiet Antrim seaside village have used the 83rd anniversary of the sectarian murder of three local men to call on the British government to apologise for its role in the slaughter.
On June 23, 1922, a British army and Special Police battalion entered Cushendall, singled out three young nationalists and dragged them up an alley, where they were shot dead.
The murders of John Gore, John Hill and James McAllister were in reprisal for the IRA murder the previous day of Field Marshal Henry Wilson — the man who ordered the pogroms against Northern Catholics throughout the early 1920s.
Wilson was shot dead in London by the republicans Reggie Dunne and Joseph O’Sullivan, who had served in the British army during World War I. Both men were later hanged.
A subsequent British government inquiry into the Cushendall killings dismissed claims from soldiers and police that they had been fired upon first.
The English official FT Barrington-Ward, who headed the investigation, concluded: “No one except the police and military ever fired at all.”
Medical reports revealed powder burns on the dead bodies, indicating the victims had been shot from close range.
However, the then Northern unionist government, led by Ulster Unionist James Craig, rejected the findings and held its own inquiry into the shootings.
The Northern government dismissed all the evidence given by residents of Cushendall implicating the British army and police and accepted the soldiers’ claims that they had been fired upon first.
After the killings, Britain’s Liberal government — at the behest of TP O’Connor, the Westmeath-born MP for Liverpool — threatened to publish the findings of Barrington-Ward’s inquiry.
However, the Liberals were replaced at the next election by the Conservative Party, which was more sympathetic to the Ulster Unionist administration.
One of the first acts carried out by the new Tory government was to place the details of the Barrington-Ward inquiry under the Official Secrets Act, barring it from view for 50 years.
Historian Michael Farrell best explains the cover-up in his book Arming the Protestants.
He writes: “O’Connor was told that the British government had commissioned the report only because British troops had been involved.
“The Northern government showed no concern to discipline its forces and stamp out reprisals and seemed oblivious to the effect this must have on the Catholic population. The British coalition government made only a very feeble effort to get Craig’s government to take action. Their Conservative successors did nothing at all.”
Barrington-Ward’s report was again due to be made public in 1972 but publication was delayed for a further 25 years because of the Troubles.
It was not until 1997 that the people of Cushendall became fully aware of the horror that had occurred in the village on June 23, 1922.
Sinn Féin councillor Oliver McMullan has led the calls for the British government to apologise for its role in the three murders.
He said: “These were innocent men killed by British troops in cold blood.
“The British government’s own inquiry ruled that the only people to open fire in Cushendall that night had been the military.
“If the then Northern government was satisfied that the soldiers had been fired upon first, why were the circumstances surrounding the shootings covered up for 75 years?
“The people of this village are owed an apology.”
Relatives of John Gore, John Hill and James McAllister still live in the north Antrim area, as do the families of two other men wounded on the night, Danny O’Loan and John McCollum.
Two Cushendall men whom the Special Police falsely accused of opening fire on the military and prompting the murders were forced to flee to the United States, fearing for their lives.
Several other nationalists in the village, including Oliver McMullan’s grandfather, were threatened by the Special Police with death.
Mr McMullan said a British government apology would go some way to lifting the shadow of the murders that has hung over his village for close to a century.
He said: “A few years ago, locals clubbed together and put up a plaque commemorating the lives of John Hill, John Gore and James McAllister.
“Their needless deaths are something we always have in the back of our minds.
“It was certainly the biggest sectarian murder ever to occur in Cushendall and one of the worst in the Glens area.
“An apology won’t bring them back but it at least will give some comfort to the families of those murdered.
“The British government should recognise the role its forces played in what were nothing more than sectarian state killings.”

From James Connolly’s “Songs of Freedom”

Posted by Jim on March 12, 2014

We Only Want the Earth

“Be moderate,” the trimmers cry,
Who dread the tyrants’ thunder.
“You ask too much and people By
From you aghast in wonder.”
‘Tis passing strange, for I declare
Such statements give me mirth,
For our demands most moderate are,
We only want the earth.

Our masters all a godly crew,
Whose hearts throb for the poor,
Their sympathies assure us, too,
If our demands were fewer.
Most generous souls! But please observe,
What they enjoy from birth
Is all we ever had the nerve
To ask, that is, the earth.

The “labor fakir” full of guile,
Base doctrine ever preaches,
And whilst he bleeds the rank and file
Tame moderation teaches.
Yet, in despite, we’ll see the day
When, with sword in its girth,
Labor shall march in war array
To realize its own, the earth.

Rocky Sullivan’s kicking off Irish language Classes every Tuesday at 7:00pm

Posted by Jim on January 10, 2014

Tuesday, January 21st
At 7:00 p.m., we’re kicking off a new
Irish language beginners’ class
then a new,
more advanced class
takes over at 8:00 p.m., to be followed by our
set dancing class at 9:00 p.m.
and our weekly trad seisiun at 10:00 p.m.

34 Van Dyke Street (at Dwight Street) Brooklyn, NY

718-246-8050

 

The Brooklyn Irish

Posted by Jim on November 15, 2013

Posted on November 4, 2013 by

Although Irishtown had been known as Brooklyn’s most recognizable, infamous waterfront neighborhood for Irish immigrants in the mid 1800s, it was the city’s long waterfront property that stretched both north and south of Irishtown that was heavily settled by the Famine Irish. In truth, Irishtown could only be seen as the capital amidst the long stretch of Brooklyn waterfront neighborhoods facing the East thp-merseyRiver and Manhattan.

By the census year of 1855, the Irish already made up the largest foreign-born group in New York. This constituted a dramatic shift in the ethnic landscape of Brooklyn. In just ten years, the amount of Irish-born inhabitants had jumped from a minimal amount, to 56,753. Out of a total population in Brooklyn of 205,250, its newly arrived Irish-born inhabitants made up about 27.5%.

The impact of such a large amount of immigrants in a short period of time may be difficult to imagine, but it must be remembered that these newly-arrived were not only all from one ethnic background, but they were also terribly destitute, bony from intense starvation, malnourished, disease-ridden, uneducated and untrained people that came from an outdated medieval agrarian community. On top of all of this, at least half of them did not speak English and instead spoke Gaelic and were landing in a culture that was traditionally hostile to their form of religion: Catholicism.

digging for potato during famine

Famous sketch from the 1840s of an Irish mother digging with her children desperately to yield a crop in time to save their lives.

The Great Hunger in Ireland of 1845-1852, or what is commonly, if not erroneously called the “Potato Famine,” caused over 1.5 million (if not more) Irish tenant farmers to flee for lack of food.

“Few newcomers had the resources to go beyond New York and therefore stayed for negative reasons,” said Ronald H. Bayor and Thomas J. Meaghan in their book, The New York Irish. “Most… had no other options… The best capitalized Irish immigrants were those who did not linger in New York, but went elsewhere, making New York and other harbor cities somewhat atypical of the rest of Irish America.”

The waterfront neighborhoods of antebellum Brooklyn was such a place. These neighborhoods of mostly English Protestants and old Dutch aristocracy were quickly overwhelmed by these Catholic “invaders” crippled by diseases, starving and with a legacy of rebelliousness, secrecy, violence and faction fighting within their fiercely communal cooperations. In short, these great numbers of Brooklyn immigrants were in no way interested in assimilating into the incumbent Anglo-Protestant culture.

Since 1825 and the opening of the Erie Canal, Brooklyn had begun to boom as the New York Ports along the Hudson and East Rivers now had access to the great and rising cities in the midwest and beyond.

A color drawing from 1855 looking west toward Brooklyn's Navy Yard. Just beyond it in the area that looks shaded was "Irishtown." The New York Times described it in an 1866 editorial thusly, "Here homeless and vagabond children, ragged and dirty, wander about."

A color drawing from 1855 looking west toward Brooklyn’s Navy Yard. Just beyond it in the area that looks shaded was “Irishtown.” The New York Times described it in an 1866 editorial thusly, “Here homeless and vagabond children, ragged and dirty, wander about.”

Soon, New York become the busiest port city in the world. There was labor work to be had in Brooklyn, in the manufacturing and loading and unloading of goods to be sent around the country and around the world.

Brooklyn was broken down into wards at that time, and although much of the population lived along the waterfront, there were plenty of other neighborhoods inland that were heavily populated by the English and Dutch before the Great Hunger. But the newly arrived Irish immigrants did not go inland, they stayed along the waterfront where the labor and longshoremen jobs were.

One neighborhood in particular gained fame, though it is not as much known today as it was then:

Irishtown.

Fifth Ward

The Fifth Ward from an 1855 Fire Insurance Map, where Brooklyn’s Irishtown is located by the Navy Yard. It was called Vinegar Hill (from the 1798 rebellion in Ireland) even before the Great Hunger.

Located in the old Fifth Ward, Brooklyn’s Irishtown never gained the kind of infamous popularity that Manhattan’s Five Points garnered (as I previously wrote about in Code of Silence), it was nonetheless the center of the immigrant, working class slums and the brawling, closed-off culture of the wild Irish.

Located on one side next to Brooklyn’s Navy Yard that built ships and on the other side with the ferry companies connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan across the East River, Irishtown was centrally located.

Although Irishtown was the face of Brooklyn’s Irish community, it did not even have the distinction of having the most amount of Irish-born (which exclude American born of Irish stock) in it during the 1855 census. The dock and pier neighborhoods of Brooklyn were not just in the Fifth Ward, they were spread from the waterfront in Williamsburg north of Wallabout Bay all the way down to Red Hook and the Gowanus Canal.

During this time, there are three other wards that outnumber Irishtown in total Irish-born of the 1855 census. Cobble Hill, the Fulton Ferry Landing and southeast of the Navy Yard, north of Fort Greene Park. The brownstones of Brooklyn Heights are still considered mansions for the rich Brooklyn landowners at this time, but later will be divided and subdivided for the working class Irish.

The densest area of Irish-born is obviously from the Navy Yard, both  inland and on the water to the Fulton Ferry Landing, but surprising numbers existed in the north along the Williamsburg waterfront and south in Cobble Hill, Red Hook and the Gowanus Canal. In fact, 47.7% of the total population of Red Hook in 1855 is Irish-born.

  • *Census for the State of New York for 1855 (Ward#, area, Irish-born residents)
  • Ward 1 (Brooklyn Heights 2,227)
  • Ward 2 (now known as DUMBO 2,967) 
  • Ward 3 (East of Brooklyn Heights 1,964) 
  • Ward 4 (south of DUMBO 2,440) 
  • Ward 5 (Irishtown 5,629) 
  • Ward 6 (Fulton Ferry Landing 6,463) 
  • Ward 7 (Southeast of Navy Yard, north of Fort Greene Park 6,471) 
  • Ward 8 (Gowanus 1,717) 
  • Ward 10 (East of Cobble Hill 6,690) 
  • Ward 11 (West of Ft. Greene Park, south of Irishtown 4,985) 
  • Ward 12 (Red Hook 3,332) 
  • Ward 13 (East of Navy Yard where current Williamsburg Bridge is 2,036) 
  • Ward 14 (North of Williamsburg Bridge along waterfront 4,314) 
  • In these wards, Irish-born constituted 32% of Brooklyn’s total population

In fact it is Brooklyn’s most famous Irish-American toughs, the White Hand Gang that originated not in Irishtown, but in and around Warren Street in Cobble Hill and Red Hook at the beginning of the 20th Century.

So, it is right to assume that masses of Famine Irish landed and settled around the more famous neighborhood of Brooklyn’s Irishtown, but it is the general waterfront area from Williamsburg down to Gowanus, in the pier neighborhoods of the fastest growing port and industrial areas of the city where the majority of them settled. In fact, of the 56,753 Irish-born in Brooklyn in 1855, about 51,000 of them lived in the waterfront neighborhoods.

0002989

Long before Ellis Island took in immigrants, Southern Manhattan’s Battery Park did. After disembarking there, many Irish immigrants took the ferry to Brooklyn or moved from the slums of Manhattan to the Brooklyn waterfront for the jobs on the docks and piers there.

And they just kept coming, well after the famine ended. With connections in Brooklyn, Irish-born brought their extended families and friends to New York over the coming years, funding new passages to the city helping keep the Brooklyn working class Irish poor for many years to come.

By 1860, Brooklyn was the largest city in America with 279,122 residents, a large portion of which were either Irish-born or of Irish stock as it is still some years ahead of the considerable amounts of Jewish and Italian immigration to Brooklyn later in the century.

By the census of 1875, the population of Irish-born in Brooklyn jumps to 83,069. In 1880, the U.S. census, which counted both place of birth and parents’ birth place as well, estimated that one-third of all New Yorkers were of Irish parentage. By 1890 as Brooklyn neighborhoods were expanding east and south, the amount of people with Irish stock is at 196,372.

AOH Kings County Board meeting 4th Monday of the month at 8:00PM in the Baile na nGael 2750 Gerritsen Ave. B’klyn 11229

Posted by admin on June 1, 2013

 

Meetings to be held in the Baile na nGael on 2750 Gerritsen Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11229 on the last Monday of the month at 8:00pm unless otherwise indicated.

 

All County Board members and all Division Presidents and Vice Presidents are required by County By-Laws to attend County Board meetings. All Division Officers should attend and all members are invited to attend. Current Travel cards are required for entry to meetings, those, that can’t attend a meeting, should notify the County President or Vice President at least 24 hrs in advance.

 

County Officers are as follows:

President: John O’Farrell Div. 35

Vice President: Frank Thompson Div. 12

Recording Secretary: Steve Kiernan Div. 12

Financial Secretary: Tom Crockett Div. 35

Treasurer: Randy Litz Div. 22

Standing Committee: Mike Gaffney Div. 35

Marshall: Jim Healy Div. 12

Sentinel: Joe Glynn Div. 19

 

We hope that all members of the A.O.H. in Brooklyn work as tireously for this Board as they have for the past Boards.
Slainte, Jim Sullivan, Immediate Past President Kings County and N.Y. State District Director

AOH Div.19: No report given

Posted by Jim on September 22, 2011

LAOH Div. 6: no report on next meeting

Posted by Louise Sullivan on

LAOH Div.22: no report given for next meeting

Posted by Louise Sullivan on

AOH Div.22: No report given

Posted by Jim on

Division 21 Breezy Point/Rockaway Beach(AOHRBNY21.org): Membership meetings are held on the last Tuesday of every month at the Knights of Colombus 333 Beach 90th St.,Rockaway Beach NY. Meetings start promptly at 8:00pm.

Posted by Jim on September 21, 2011

Contact: for prayers or announcements of fundraisers, etc. please contact Jim@BrooklynIrish.com or Louise@BrooklynIrish.com

Posted by admin on July 7, 2011

Pray for the following people and their families: The people and children who suffered with the aftermath of  the Hurricane Sandy and the floods that it brought (Midland Beach, South Beach, New Dorp, Sheepshead Bay, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, Breezy Point, Rockaways, Broad Channel and Long Beach), the courageous people of the Short Strand section of Belfast, political prisoner Martin Corey. If anyone wants to have us remember a loved one in our prayers, contact us at Jim@BrooklynIrish.com.

AOH Div. 12 (aohdiv12bklyn.org) : Meeting are held on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 8:00 PM in the K of C # 1251 Dongan Council 8122 5th Ave. (718)745-9175 Bay Ridge – All members should attend

Posted by admin on June 20, 2011

Division 12 Elected Officers are:

President – Kevin Mahoney

Vice- Pres. – Frank Thompson

Recording Sec’t – Steve Kiernan

Financial Sec’t – Tim O’Shea

Treasurer – Tom MacLellan

Marshall – ?

Sentinal – ?

LAOH Div 19 : Next meeting will be ? @ 8:00 PM at 2750 Gerritsen Ave.(718) 891-6622) Brooklyn, NY 11229 if available

Posted by Louise Sullivan on June 20, 2010

LAOH County Board Meetings: All County meetings will take place on the 2nd Wed. of each month at 2750 Gerritsen Ave. B’klyn, NY 11229 (718) 891-6622. There has been no notification of the next meeting.

Posted by admin on

Have a Happy Summer. Don’t forget the Coney Island Great Irish Fair in September

 

President – Joanne Gundersen Div 22

Vice Pres – Judy Rose Div 22

Rec Sect – Rose Coulson Div 22

Treasurer – Mary Hogan Div 6

Historian – Katherine Keane Div19

Miss&Char – Bridie Mitchell Div 6

Cath Act – Tricia Santana Div 19

Mist Arms – Margaret McEneaney Div 19

Sentinel – Ann Marie Bendell Div 19

AOH Div. 35: Meetings the third Weds. of each month at 8:00 pm in the K of C #126, Columbus Council (718)336-8117, located at Quentin Road & Nostrand Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11229

Posted by Louise Sullivan on