Posted by Jim on September 19, 2014
Kings County Board President John O’Farrell announces “ A Night at the Races “ Benefit Sept. 27, 2014 for Frank Thompson County V.P. in the Knights of Columbus Columbus Council Hall 3051 Nostrand Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11229 at 7:00pm to aid in the medical costs that were incurred by our Brother. Frank has been involved with our organization for over 20 years and has aided numerous causes including the Great Irish Fair in Coney Island, the Round Tower Degree Team, the Commodore John Barry Memorial Fundraiser, the Freedom for all Ireland Christmas Appeal, the Toys for Tots, the Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. He has represented his County and as VP of Div. 12 at numerous AOH functions. He is a truly the epitome of a Hibernian. Please come down to the Columbus Council, which Frankie is also a 3rd Degree member, and lose some, or for that matter, win some money for our Brother Hibernian. $30.00 per person 10 races and 50/50s – food and open bar included in price Please contact the following Hibernians for Reservations, individual race sponsorships and head count before Sept. 15, 2014. Steve Kiernan – 917-886-8677 Mike Gaffney – 718-385-7195 Ed Velinskie – 347-210-1249 Anyone who can not make the races but still wishes to contribute, please contact the above Hibernians. Thank you
Posted by Jim on
Scotland is to remain under London rule after voters rejected
Thursday’s independence referendum by 55 per cent to 45 per cent.
With all of the 32 constituencies now declared, the Yes side has
1,617,989 votes and the No side 2,001,926. No wins by 55.3% to 44.7%
Turnout was close to 90 per cent in some areas.
Speaking as counting was concluding this morning, British prime minister
David Cameron warned pro-independence campaigners to cease their
activity and claimed the Scottish independence debate had been “settled
for a generation”.
He claimed there would be “no re-runs, no disputes” and now was time
“for our United Kingdom to come together and to move forward”.
Speaking on the steps of Downing Street, Mr Cameron said promises of
Scottish Home Rule made late in the campaign would be kept, but did not
say when. Those promises appeared to have a sharp effect on the final
outcome, with the ‘Yes’ campaign falling away from an overall majority
in the final days.
The strength of the ‘Yes’ campaign had forced the British establishment
into a ‘carrot and stick’ approach to Scottish voters, with promises of
devolution issued alongside warnings of harsh economic measures against
an independent Scotland.
Cameron spoke of complicated legislation and a need for “fairness” for
the English, the Welsh and the Northern Irish.
The result was confirmed shortly before 7am when the head of the No
campaign, Alistair Darling, said “the silent had spoken”.
An hour earlier, Scottish Nationalist Party leader Alex Salmond appeared
on a stage in Edinburgh amid international acclaim for his efforts in
advancing Scotland’s cause. He indicated he would continue to campaign
for independence. and hinted the Edinburgh assembly might seek another
referendum in the years ahead.
He also insisted that the pledges of greater self-government be
delivered by the Westminster parliament within months.
“Scotland will expect these to be honoured in rapid course – as a
reminder, we have been promised a second reading of a Scotland Bill by
March 27th next year,” he said.
“Not just the 1.6 million Scots who voted for independence will demand
that timetable is followed but all Scots who participated in this
referendum will demand that timetable is followed,” he said.
“Whatever else we can say about this referendum campaign, we have
touched sections of the community who have never before been touched by
politics, these sections of the community have touched us and touched
the political process.
“I don’t think that will ever be allowed to go back to business as usual
in politics again.”
In a rallying call, Mr Salmond urged the ‘Yes’ voters to reflect on how
far they had come.
“I don’t think any of us, whenever we entered politics, would have
thought such a thing to be either credible or possible,” he said.
“Today of all days as we bring Scotland together, let us not dwell on
the distance we have fallen short, let us dwell on the distance we have
travelled and have confidence the movement is abroad in Scotland that
will take this nation forward and we shall go forward as one nation.”
The following is the full count result:
Council Electorate Yes No
Aberdeen City 175,745 41.39% 58.61%
Aberdeenshire 206,486 39.64% 60.36%
Angus 93,551 43.68% 56.32%
Argyll & Bute 72,002 41.48% 58.52%
Clackmannanshire 39,972 46.20% 53.80%
C. nan Eilean Siar 22,908 46.58% 53.42%
Dumfries/Galloway 122,036 34.33% 65.67%
Dundee City 118,729 57.35% 42.65%
East Ayrshire 99,664 47.22% 52.78%
E. Dunbartonshire 86,836 38.80% 61.20%
East Lothian 81,945 38.28% 61.72%
East Renfrewshire 72,981 36.81% 63.19%
Edinburgh 378,012 38.90% 61.10%
Falkirk 122,457 46.53% 53.47%
Fife 302,165 44.95% 55.05%
Glasgow 486,219 53.49% 46.51%
Highland 190,778 47.08% 52.92%
Inverclyde 62,481 49.92% 50.08%
Midlothian 69,617 43.70% 56.30%
Moray 75,170 42.44% 57.56%
North Ayrshire 113,923 48.99% 51.01%
North Lanarkshire 268,704 51.07% 48.93%
Orkney Islands 17,806 32.80% 67.20%
Perth & Kinross 120,015 39.81% 60.19%
Renfrewshire 134,735 47.19% 52.81%
Scottish Borders 95,533 33.44% 66.56%
Shetland Islands 18,516 36.29% 63.71%
South Ayrshire 94,881 42.13% 57.87%
South Lanarkshire 261,157 45.33% 54.67%
Stirling 69,033 40.23% 59.77%
W. Dunbartonshire 71,109 53.96% 46.04%
West Lothian 138,226 44.82% 55.18%
Posted by Jim on September 18, 2014
Radio Free Eireann will discuss U2′s deal with Apple and the failure of the
Scottish independence referendum on Saturday September 20 at 1 pm New York
Harry Browne, the author of Frontman a very much unauthorized biography of
Bono, will talk to us about Apple’s deal to distribute U2′s new album
“Songs of Innocence” for free.
Angela McCormick, of the Scottish Radical Independence Campaign, will
discuss why the referendum failed and the Irish dimension in the campaign.
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.
Posted by Jim on
On Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 11am to 7pm on the majestic banks of the Hudson River at Peekskill’s Riverfront Green Park, the Sixth Annual Hudson Valley Irish Fest will celebrate the positive values of the rich Irish American culture and heritage alive in the Hudson Valley today.
Lineup for Main Stage 2014 Hudson Valley Irish Fest
11 am – Rising of the Moon Seisiun (led by John Mahon in a tribute to Jack McAndrew)
12 pm - Jameson’s Revenge (It’s a New York thing)
2pm – The Druids (The Rebel’s Return)
4pm – Black 47 (in their FAREWELL HVIF APPEARANCE)
5pm – Tim Murphy & Friends perform Firefighters Creed with Massed Pipe Bands
5:45pm – Mundy (Ireland’s Hitmaker Top single ‘Galway Girl’)
(During intervals on main stage, our area’s finest Pipe Bands and Step dancers will entertain the main stage area)
The 6th Annual Hudson Valley Irish Festival will feature performances by several top Irish recording artists and bands including Mundy, Black 47, Jameson’s Revenge, Mary Courtney, and Direct from Ireland, The Druids, special surprise artists and featuring Tim Murphy performing the stirring “Firefighter’s Creed.” Our area’s finest Irish step-dancers brought to us courtesy of Unateresa Sheahan Gormely (main stage) and Kelly- Oster Schools of Dance (Jack McAndrew Memorial Tent) and pipe bands will again entertain people of all ages.
Posted by Jim on September 17, 2014
I haven’t been in this much hot water since I made the comment, right after I arrived as your archbishop five-and-a-half years ago, that Stan Musial—my boyhood hero of my hometown St. Louis Cardinals—was a much better ballplayer than Joe DiMaggio!
Now I’m getting as much fiery mail and public criticism over my decision to accept the honor of Grand Marshal of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. According to the critics, I should have refused, due to the Parade Committee’s decision to allow a group of self-identified Gays of Irish ancestry to march in the parade with their own banner.
As with Stan Musial, I’ll stand by my decision. However, enough of you have courteously expressed some confusion and dismay, that, as your pastor, I owe you an explanation. Let me try.
For one, the decision to change the parade protocol was not mine. The archbishops of New York have never been “in charge” of the parade. Although my predecessors and I have always enjoyed friendly cooperation with the Parade Committee—and still do—and deeply appreciate the identity of the Parade as a celebration purely of Irish heritage, intimately linked to the Catholic Faith, we’ve never had a say in Parade policy or the choice of the Grand Marshal. Nor did we expect or want one!
So, in the current “brawl,” (they have been hardly rare in the Parade’s grand 253-year history!), I did not make the decision! You will recall that I in the past often expressed support for the former policy—that the only banners and identification to be carried was that the group was Irish—and that I found it logical and fair. To those who charged that the policy was “anti-Gay,” I often observed that no one person, Gay or not, was excluded from the parade. This was simply a reasonable policy about banners and public identification, not about the sexual inclinations of participants.
I did not oppose the former policy; nor did I push, condone, or oppose the new one. While the Parade committee was considerate in advising me of the change, they did not ask my approval, nor did they need to.
However, I admit that, for most folks, this is not the reason they are upset with me, and this brings us to point two. Many of you, while acknowledging that the decision to change policy was not mine, feel strongly that I should protest it, publicly condemn it, no longer support the Parade, and refuse the invitation to serve as Grand Marshal.
While a handful have been less than charitable in their reactions, I must admit that many of you have rather thoughtful reasons for criticizing the committee’s decision: you observe that the former policy was fair; you worry that this is but another example of a capitulation to an “aggressive Gay agenda,” which still will not appease their demands; and you wonder if this could make people think the Church no longer has a clear teaching on the nature of human sexuality.
Thank you for letting me know of such concerns. I share some of them.
However, the most important question I had to ask myself was this: does the new policy violate Catholic faith or morals? If it does, then the Committee has compromised the integrity of the Parade, and I must object and refuse to participate or support it.
From my review, it does not. Catholic teaching is clear: “being Gay” is not a sin, nor contrary to God’s revealed morals. Homosexual actions are—as are any sexual relations outside of the lifelong, faithful, loving, lifegiving bond of a man and woman in marriage—a moral teaching grounded in the Bible, reflected in nature, and faithfully taught by the Church.
So, while actions are immoral, identity is not! In fact, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, people with same-sex attraction are God’s children, deserving dignity and respect, never to be treated with discrimination or injustice.
To the point: the committee’s decision allows a group to publicize its identity, not promote actions contrary to the values of the Church that are such an essential part of Irish culture. I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching, but simply identifying themselves as “Gay people of Irish ancestry.”
If the Parade Committee allowed a group to publicize its advocacy of any actions contrary to Church teaching, I’d object. As Cardinal John O’Connor remarked, we do not change the Creed—and I’d add, the Ten Commandments—to satisfy political correctness.
In fact, the leaders of the Parade Committee tried to be admirably sensitive to Church teaching. They worried that the former policy was being interpreted as bias, exclusion, and discrimination against a group in our city, which, if true, would also be contrary to Church teaching. While they were quick to acknowledge that, in reality, the policy was not unfair at all, they were also realistic in worrying that the public perception was the opposite, no matter how often they tried to explain its coherence and fairness.
I found their sensitivity wise, and publicly said so.
If, in doing so, I have shown an insensitivity to you, I apologize.
I share the hope of the organizers that the March 17th parade will be loyal to its proud heritage of celebrating Irish identity, culture, and contributions—all a beautiful part of Catholicism— thus bringing this great community together in unity and festivity, and look forward to leading it as Grand Marshal.
Posted by Jim on September 14, 2014
The 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.
The Gramercy Ale House
272 Third Ave. (between 21st & 22nd St.)
New York, NY
Posted by Jim on
AOH DIVISION 5, WOODLAWN
• JUDGE WILLIAM MOGULESCU- Irish Civil Rights Lawyer
• RAY O’HANLON-IRISH ECHO Senior Editor
• TIM McSWEENEY- Vice President, New York State AOH
• JERRY COLLINS-McLean Ave Parade, Bajart Post Chaplain
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 3:00-7:00PM
RAMBLING HOUSE PARTY ROOM
Katonah Avenue & 236th Street
BRIAN CONWAY – BRUCE FOLEY
Grants for Irish History-Dancing-Music-Gaelic Games Awarded
FREE BUFFET • CASH BAR • $25 Donation
Tickets and Info 718.324.8726
Posted by Jim on
The AOH Nassau County Board is proud to announce that it will be hosting the 42nd Annual Nassau County Feis & Irish Festival on Sunday, September 21 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.
The all day event will feature Irish Step Dancing, Bagpiping, Traditional Irish Singing, Gaelic Football, Irish Vendors, Irish Art and Language, and much much more!
This year, the festival will honor Eileen Cronin, host of the Long Ireland Radio Show that is heard on WRHU-FM (88.7).
Music will be provided by Celtic Justice.
A Mass will begin the day’s events and will be celebrated at 11:00am.
The cost is $10.00 per person with children under 16 admitted for free.
For more information, please visit the festival website at: http://www.nassauaohfeis.com/
Or you can Call at (646)481-3347.
Posted by Jim on
The AOH will assemble at 9:30 AM at 51st St & 5th Ave with The Sister’s of Life and process in to the Cathedral prior to the Mass. The 10:15 Sunday Mass is usually celebrated by Cardinal Dolan.
NY County will host the Breakfast afterwards at Maggie’s Place. I think it was a great addition to the Mass last year and gave the Brothers a chance to socialize afterwards. Marty Whelan, owner of Maggie’s, a Hibernian, a good friend and his staff provided an excellent breakfast with their renowned hospitality. Marty opened up Maggie’s on Sunday last year just for the Breakfast for the Hibernians and is willing to do so again this year.
I stopped in to Maggie’s during the week and made preliminary arrangements for the breakfast with the manager and wrote it in their book for Sunday 10/05/14 at 11:30 AM.
We will do a buffet and have a cash bar. Cost will be minimal same as last year.
I will finalize the details with Maggie’s this week.
More information will follow. Please publicize the Mass and Breakfast to your members.
Thank You. Tommie Beirne, President New York County
“May Saint Patrick Bless and Protect You!“
Posted by Jim on September 13, 2014
Sinn Fein has accepted that the North’s political process is in serious
trouble following a call by the DUP for the St Andrew’s Agreement to
On Tuesday, the North’s First Minister, DUP leader Peter Robinson called
for the 2006 peace deal to be revised, saying it had always been a
short-term solution, and said the failure to agree a spending budget had
brought the situation to a head.
“We have now come against an issue that doesn’t allow us to hang on with
the present process at Stormont,” he wrote. “The present process cannot
survive the welfare reform issue.”
He urged the British government to get involved in fresh negotiations
and to include the extreme unionist parties in the talks.
He said Stormont’s ‘mandatory coalition’ of the five main parties, led
by the DUP and Sinn Fein, could not continue in its present form. He
described Stormont as dysfunctional and no longer fit for purpose.
“Unless we face and conquer the deficiencies in our arrangements, we
will not be the guardians of a process regarded as a splendid exemplar
to the world but rather we will become a cautionary tale, warning of the
dangers of drift and dithering,” he wrote.
Members of the power-sharing government at Stormont have been at
loggerheads over issues including dealing with the legacy of the
conflict, sectarian marches and how to spend the diminishing block grant
from the British exchequer.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams warned that a “negative political axis” was
trying to destabilise the situation at Stormont.
He said: “As everyone knows, the political process in the North is
currently in serious difficulty. A negative political axis is currently
seeking to undermine the Good Friday Agreement and turn back the clock
on the progress of recent years.
“We now have the ludicrous position of unionist leaders, who repeatedly
walked away from talks, asking for new talks.”
He added: “Unionist political leaders may hanker after a return to
majority rule in the North but that is never, ever, going to happen. The
Orange State is gone forever.”
Mr Adams reserved his strongest condemnation for the current British
Direct Ruler, Therese Villiers.
He said: “Rather than seek to bring them to their senses, the British
Government’s interventions to date have merely encouraged unionist
Last weekend, the 26 County Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie
Flanagan foreshadowed Robinson’s comments when he said the Stormont
parties had failed to deliver “a functioning assembly”.
“I regret that, while there has been great progress over the last 16
years in civic society, the quality of change in political engagement
has been less than many would have wished,” he said.
“The deadlock between Sinn Fein and the DUP is all the more unfortunate
because it does not reflect the vibrant economy and positive atmosphere
evident on the streets of places like Belfast.”
Responding to the Minister, Mr Adams said the Dublin government also
needed to “lift its game” in relation to the political process. He said
the comments were inappropriate for a minister for foreign affairs who
“should be conscious of his government’s responsibilities as
co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement.”
Alliance leader David Ford warned that devolution was in real danger of
collapse if the two governments don’t quickly convene new talks. Mr Ford
said it was no longer good enough to “passively encourage” the DUP and
Sinn Fein to work together. “The governments must now broker the
agreements we need if devolution is to be saved.”
SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell was scathing of Robinson’s call for
talks, and pointed to their walkout from a previous round of talks in
July over the parades issue.
“The first minister has much audacity in walking away from one set of
talks and now calling for another set of talks,” the South Belfast MP
Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said the “bad deal” negotiated by
the DUP at St Andrew’s was to blame for the current crisis. He said the
carve up between Sinn Fein and the DUP had become a “face off”.
“The very things Peter Robinson is complaining about are products of St
Andrew’s, which introduced the blocking mechanisms that have led to this
stalemate,” he said.
Another factor in the mix is the fear among the Stormont parties that
their plight may be overlooked amid the turmoil in London over
Scotland’s bid for independence. At previous times of crisis,
high-powered negotiations have been held in grand estates in Britain and
Ireland, and a return to high-profile ‘big house’ political negotiations
is being seen as a likely outcome.
Sinn Fein’s Martin Mr McGuinness was scornful of Mr Robinson’s
suggestion about involving the TUV and UKIP in talks. He warned the DUP
also wanted representatives of the loyalist paramilitaries and “elements
of the Orange Order” involved in discussions. However, he said he was
open to a new process.
“Sinn Fein is for negotiations and dialogue and we have been absolutely
clear that the British and Irish governments, as well as the US
administration are involved,” he said.
The Deputy First Minister complained about the First Minister’s
“counter-productive megaphone or media-based negotiations”, but was
optimistic of a resolution.
“We have overcome enormous challenges in the past by treating each other
with a degree of respect,” he said. With the support and engagement of
the two governments and the US administration I’m confident we can find
a resolution to our current difficulties.”
Posted by Jim on
Queens County will be hosting a Major Degree on Friday October 24, 2014. This Degree is being held at St. Rose of Lima Church Hall located at 130 Beach 84 Street, Rockaway Beach, NY. Candiates are being asked to report at 6-6:30 PM, and observers need to be their by 7:30 PM. Its going to be $20.00 for each candiate.
This Major Degree is going to be performed by the “Red Branch Knights Major Degree Team” of Queens County. For more information or questions, please contact AOH Queens County President John Manning at 917-589-0047.
Posted by Jim on September 12, 2014
“We will have you up at the Battery for a free drink,” Liam Ryan joked, mixing Tyrone wit and Republican spirit, at my news of traveling to Dublin for weekend meetings between the Irish Northern Aid executive and Sinn Fein leadership. The same British ban used as a pretext for the Royal Ulster Constabulary murder of John Downes during their attack on a peaceful rally in Belfast, would insure that we might meet in Dublin, or Monaghan, but not in the Battery Bar in Ardboe, County Tyrone.
“Our friends have been about this last week,” he continued. It was a sort of Republican speak or code, meaning 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. My friend, Liam Ryan, had spent years in New York saving hard earned dollars with a dream of going home to Ardboe and buying the Battery Bar on scenic of Lough Neagh. He had married happily and was the proud father of a young son. 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. One of the customers would also be killed by a rifle powerful enough to permanently scare the structure.
There would be little doubt that British patrols had help pick and pinpoint Liam Ryan for death. It was taken for granted that the British had shepherded and shielded the arrival and escape of the murder gang. The RUC eventually arrived, smug smiles belying any pretense of sympathy.
My friend had been murdered .His son would grow up without a father; his wife was heartbroken, his parents, brothers and sisters devastated.
Many in New York and beyond shared their sorrow. He had lived at 3805 Review Place in the Bronx, was a member of Clan Na Gael, supporter of Irish Northern Aid, Con Ed employee, frequent visitor to GaelicPark and involved with many Tyrone groups. He became an American citizen but never forgot Ireland or his hopes that one day his native Tyrone would enjoy the same freedom and economic opportunities that he had found in America.
An Independent Republican Commemoration is being organized by Liam Ryan’s family in Ardboe, County Tyrone for November 29, 2014, the twenty-fifth anniversary of his murder. We have been asked to organize short video interviews with many of those who knew and remember him, to be played in Ardboe as part of the commemoration.
Anyone wishing to participate should call 718-324-8726.
Slan, Martin Galvin
Posted by Jim on
Politicians have been expressing their sympathy to the family of Ian
Paisley, the former loyalist and unionist leader whose intransigence
and hatred of Catholics were world famous, but who also succeeded in
making peace on his own terms. He died this Friday morning.
A leader of hardline unionism for four decades, the ‘firebrand
preacher’, as he was known in the mainstream media, was being credited
today by unionists for an unflinching defence of the union with Britain.
For most nationalists, however, Paisley will be remembered for his
blood-thirsty tirades against the influence of ‘Popery’ and Irish
Catholics on both sides of the border.
‘NEVER, NEVER, NEVER’
The first Moderator of the schismatic Free Presbyterian Church,
Paisley’s early involvement in politics came with his the vigilante
‘Ulster Protestant Action’ (UPA) group in the 1950s. The group
advocated fundamentalist ‘Biblical Protestantism’ and aimed to defend
Protestant supremacy over Catholics, particularly in jobs and housing,
and defeat the remnants of the old IRA.
Paisley later established the paramilitary ‘Ulster Protestant
Volunteers’ in 1966 before forming the modern DUP in 1971. He went on to
establish another paramilitary group, ‘Third Force’, in 1981 and
another, ‘Ulster Resistance’, in response to the signing of the
Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985.
While he later moderated his supported for loyalist murder gangs, the
preacher’s speeches and sermons often included rabble-rousing,
bible-thumping rhetoric which fueled decades of sectarian killings.
Famously denouncing the Pope as the ‘anti-Christ’ at the European
Parliament, he once said of Catholics: “They breed like rabbits and
multiply like vermin”.
While nowadays cast as a peacemaker, Paisley saw the 1998 Good Friday
Agreement as his greatest challenge and worked to defeat it by
challenging his unionist opponent, UUP leader David Trimble, who had
He won the support of the majority of unionists and secured an
alternative peace deal in 2006, the St Andrews Agreement. He hailed
that deal as providing a ‘triple lock’ on political change in the north
of Ireland and blocking any practical role for the Dublin government in
The next year he was elected First Minister of the Six Counties.
Although he saw his mission to preserve the union with Britain as
essentially complete, Paisey continued to face criticism by loyalist
extremists for his decision to share powers with Sinn Fein at Stormont.
His good-humoured ‘chuckle brother’ appearances at Stormont alongside
Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander, continued to
provoke unrest within the party until he retired from the leadership of
the DUP in 2008. He was elevated to Westminster’s House of Lords
in 2010 as ‘Baron Bannside’.
Mr McGuinness today expressed regret and sadness at his passing.
“Over a number of decades we were political opponents and held very
different views on many, many issues but the one thing we were
absolutely united on was the principle that our people were better able
to govern themselves than any British government,” he said.
“I want to pay tribute to and comment on the work he did in the latter
days of his political life in building agreement and leading unionism
into a new accommodation with republicans and nationalists.
“In the brief period that we worked together in the Office of the First
and Deputy First Minister I developed a close working relationship with
him which developed into a friendship, which despite our many
differences lasted beyond his term in office.
“I want to send my sincere sympathy to his wife, Eileen, his children
and extended family.”
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said: “Ian was a big man. He had a big
“In my younger days I found him a very difficult character but we ended
up very good friends. He was a valuable character in the peace process.”
Mr Ahern said Mr Paisley’s latter years saw him pay a big price
politically and personally, in friendships and in his vocation to the
Free Presbyterian Church, after some of his associates of the previous
40 or 50 years deserted him.
“I grew to admire him. The more I got to know him, the more I grew to
like him,” he told Irish radio.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams also expressed deep shock and and sadness
at the death.
“There will be plenty of time for political analysis but at this point I
wish to extend my deepest sympathies to Ian’s wife Eileen and to the
Paisley family at this very sad time,” he said.
Paisley successor as DUP leader, Peter Robinson said he had been drawn
towards politics “by the strength of Ian’s message and by his charisma”.
“He provided firm and decisive leadership when unionism lacked it most
and when it needed it most,” he said. “His enthusiasm and sheer joy of
life was infectious and he could energise an audience like no other
person I have met before or since.”
A “long and glorious period” of history had now closed, he said, with
Paisley taking his place in history alongside “the greats” of unionism.
“Like Paul of old he can say, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have
finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up
for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge,
shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also
that love his appearing.’”
Posted by Jim on September 10, 2014
When 9/11 arrives, remember the living
They sacrificed their health. Photo by MATT MOYER
BY Richard Alles , James Slevin
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.
Posted by Jim on September 5, 2014
I often find myself thinking about my cousin Michael Brennan. He was a firefighter assigned to the Pride of midtown fire house in Manhattan. I first met him in 1990 soon after I arrived in New York City and was immediately impressed with his wonderful sense of humor and the way he made me feel truly welcome. He had the unique qualities of physical strength coupled with childlike gentleness. I sensed a good soul. Always jovial, he had a ready smile and a sharp wit. His greatest desire was to become a firefighter. When he finally realized his ambition his sense of pride was all consuming. He seemed to walk just a little taller and his stride appeared to be a little bit longer. On the morning of Sept.11 2001 he responded to the call of duty like so many of his comrades, and made his way back to Manhattan. Earlier, he had completed his previous night’s shift and was having breakfast with his mother and sister at home in Sunnyside, Queens, when the phone rang. The call was for Michael. He listened to the voice on the other end, hung up the phone, turned to his mother and said calmly, “Mom, I have to go.” He never came back home.
I stepped out from my apartment on a glorious August morning and was greeted by the aroma of the plants and shrubs in the flower beds that ran the length of the Avenue. The heady scent took my breath away, as it always did. The trees were in full leaf and the sun was warm. I waved to Jim the doorman and motioned for him to straighten his hat. Jim was a good doorman but had a habit of wearing his hat pushed back on his head and slightly tilted, which is a no-no for a Park Avenue doorman. As I walked to the corner I barely noticed the blare of the two way traffic or the impatient honking of the cab drivers as I stood there enjoying the moment. The low rumble of a Metro North train heading uptown underneath the Avenue barely caught my attention. I was thinking how fortunate I was to be living in that great neighborhood. The sanctuary of Central Park was not more than two blocks away and from the moment I stepped inside, the city disappeared, the noise faded and the magic would begin. I normally used the entrance beside the Metropolitan Museum and would make the Egyptian obelisk the first stop on my rambles.
Suddenly, my reverie was interrupted when I was grabbed from behind in a bear hug, lifted up in the air and told, “Aha! I’ve got you now you Irish Mick.” I knew right away that it was Michael as bear hugging was his favorite method of greeting. I would not have been surprised if he hugged real bears, he was burly enough and I am sure he had many opportunities to do so as he loved the outdoors lifestyle.
“Sorry to wake you up,” he said laughing and when he finally decided to put me down we talked for a while like old friends. He spoke about his uncle Joe who had recently returned to Ireland and we talked about our Irish heritage and of course women. I cracked an old, familiar joke about how ‘fast women and slow horses’ had always been my downfall and he roared laughing and added, “Don’t forget the bad whiskey.” Isn’t it strange the things that we remember later?
He always laughed at that joke even though I must have told it a hundred times. He was like that. We chatted for more than an hour and as he was about to leave I asked him a question that had been on my mind for some time but never got around to asking. I said, “Michael, of all the careers at your fingertips why on earth did you pick one of the most dangerous when you could have chosen the one that the rest of the family follows?” I was referring to the fact that many of his relatives, including me, were building managers. He paused for a split second, looked me directly in the eye and with matter of fact seriousness answered, “Cousin, maybe one day I will have to come into your building and carry you out.” His answer simple yet so profound, confirmed everything that made Michael one of those special beings we are fortunate to meet in this lifetime. He was one of those rare breeds who would, literally, lay down their lives to save others. He truly did lead by example and showed us all that actions do indeed speak loudest.
Three weeks after that black day in September, I was sitting on my couch with my daughter who was staying with me for a few days. The topic of conversation was Michael. His body had not yet been found and we were waiting anxiously for news. Ever since the dark, fateful day of his disappearance I kept a lighted candle on my coffee table. It was an old Irish custom meant to welcome home anyone parted from their loved ones. As we sat there talking quietly, a sudden blast of cold air swept across the room and extinguished the candle flame. Joanne and I noticed it at the same time and quickly looked at each other with open mouthed surprise. No more than two minutes later the phone rang. The voice on the other end informed me that Michaels’ remains had been recovered from the rubble of the twin towers.
I am so glad that I got to meet Michael and get to know him, if only for a few short years. If I hadn’t, I’m certain that it would have been one of those regrets my father had warned me about all those long years ago.
Posted by Jim on September 3, 2014
Cardinal Timothy Dolan comes on as grand marshal and NBC gay group march in St Patrick’s Day Parade.
Photo by: Irish Voice
by Debbie McGoldrick @ IrishCentral
A gay group of employees from NBC will march in next year’s New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade behind their own banner, a source with knowledge of the ongoing parade controversy has told the Irish Voice.
On Wednesday, September 3, at a reception at the New York Athletic Club, Cardinal Timothy Dolan will be named as the grand marshal of the 254th St. Patrick’s Day parade, set to step off on Tuesday, March 17.
In a historic move aimed at defusing the storm that erupted this year over the exclusion of gay banners in the march, the addition of a banner identifying gay NBC staffers is a compromise forged at the insistence of several New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee members, including Dr. John Lahey, president of Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, and Francis X. Comerford, chief revenue officer for NBC-owned TV stations.
NBC, the long-time broadcast home of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, was prepared to drop its coverage unless a compromise that resulted in the inclusion of a gay group was brokered.
The withdrawal of parade sponsorship last year by Guinness was also a huge factor in bringing about the change, according to a former grand marshal.
“Once an iconic company like Guinness showed it was standing up pretty much everyone else had to follow,” said the source, who revealed that Guinness had met with parade figures on several occasions since to help seek a compromise.
The NBC network has a large and visible presence on Fifth Avenue for the event, and a majority of committee officials and trustees are on board with the inclusion of gay NBC staffers in the line of march.
It is unknown whether this development will lead to a more widespread gay presence next March 17 – for example, if the NBC marchers will be accompanied by other participants who would also like to identify as gay.
This year’s parade was marred by sponsor withdrawals and politicians who refused to take part due to the ongoing exclusion of gay groups marching with their own banners.
Though the parade committee has for years steadfastly maintained the policy, it was freshly highlighted in February by new Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said he would not take part in the event unless gay groups could also march. He was the first mayor to boycott the parade since David Dinkins, who also protested the exclusion of gay groups and worked to broker a solution that ultimately never arrived.
De Blasio was quickly followed by a succession of New York politicians also opting out of the march, including City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who called for a council-wide boycott of the event and was more or less granted her wish as only a handful of the 51 council members took part.
More damaging for the parade itself was the withdrawal of long-term sponsors Heineken and Guinness.
“Guinness has a strong history of supporting diversity and being an advocate for equality for all. We were hopeful that the policy of exclusion would be reversed for this year’s parade. As this has not come to pass, Guinness has withdrawn its participation. We will continue to work with community leaders to ensure that future parades have an inclusionary policy,” a Guinness statement at the time said.
Though some establishments also chose to institute their own Heineken/Guinness boycotts in support of the parade’s policy against gay banners, a concerted effort has been in place behind the scenes since March 18 to broker a compromise acceptable to all interests in advance of next year’s march.
The consensus, according to several Irish Voice sources, was clear – a repeat of this year’s sponsor withdrawals and attendant negative publicity was unacceptable and clearly damaging to the well-being of the march from many standpoints, including financial, political and public relations-wise. It is also believed that another long-time parade sponsor, the Ford Motor Company, was prepared to end its financial support unless a compromise was put in place.
“Having to go through this year again in 2015? No way,” said one source. “It just couldn’t happen.”
For 19 years, John Dunleavy has been the chairman of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Dunleavy, 75, a native of Co. Westmeath, has been handily elected to the post by affiliated parade groups – AOH groups, county organizations – who vote every two years. He is next up for election in 2015.
“There’s no question that John is popular with the people who vote. He goes to every dance, every funeral and shakes every hand,” said an Irish Voice source.
“For a long time, he has done a great job organizing the parade. No one wants to take that away from him.
“But within the parade leadership, he has worn out his welcome. Times have changed, but John doesn’t want to change and it’s damaging the parade.
“It’s time for a new direction. How does the parade survive if we have all the same negative headlines as we had last year?”
John Lahey, the current committee vice chairman and parade grand marshal in 1997, and Francis Comerford, who held the same honor in 2012 and sits on the committee’s board of trustees, have led the effort to reach a compromise for next year’s event. Both executives are deeply committed to the long-term viability of one of the oldest and most famous parades in the world, say supporters.
Whether Dunleavy is agreeable to the NBC gay marchers “doesn’t really matter,” says one Irish Voice source.
“The reality is that there will be a gay marching contingent in the parade,” the source added. “There has to be.”
Asked if grand marshal Cardinal Dolan is aware of the plan, the source said, “He’s the grand marshal, so you would have to assume yes, he’s aware of what’s happening and he is okay with it.”
Posted by Jim on
by Sean McManus
Again the noted Belfast commentator pounds away at the core of the problem: negligence by the London Government and “Kenny’s complete indifference to the North.”
“No wonder Martin McGuinness renewed his appeal once again for Dublin and London to take the lead in driving political progress.
Fat chance with a British general election next May and David Cameron’s party falling asunder around him.
Add that to Enda Kenny’s complete indifference to the North and it looks as if ‘stagnation and absence of progress’ will continue to encourage people opposed to political dialogue.”
BRITISH POLICY IN NORTH HAS STEPPED BACKWARDS
Brian Feeney. Irish News ( Belfast). Wednesday, September 3, 2014
MARTIN McGuinness’s speech in Derry at the weekend had an eerie sense of déjà vu about it. His appeal to republicans opposed to the peace process to give up violence and adopt the political approach was an echo of many speeches John Hume made in the 1970s and 1980s to the republican movement including Martin McGuinness. McGuinness’s appeal will have as much effect as Hume’s 30 years ago: zero. Nevertheless it was a good speech which received much less attention than it deserved. It was more than just an appeal to give up a pathetic travesty of an ‘armed struggle’ devoid of popular support and wracked by internal disputes.
The core of the speech was a warning, again an echo of countless speeches Hume made, a warning that, in McGuinness’s words, “the real threat to the political institutions is stagnation and the absence of progress”.
Repeatedly in the 1980s John Hume used to warn the British government that Mrs Hacksaw’s[Maggie Thatcher] tunnel vision intransigence made matters here incomparably worse. Her refusal to address any of the fundamental problems tended to bolster support for the IRA who were able to say there was no route to political progress.
It wasn’t all Thatcher’s fault however. Anyone reading the recently released public records from 1985 can see clearly the reactionary role the Northern Ireland Office played. Overwhelmingly unionist in outlook, the NIO constitutionally is an emanation of the Home Office. Indeed the whole extravagant, Ruritanian playhouse at Stormont is just a twig on one of the large branches of the Home Office. The NIO permanent secretary is the grand panjandrum of Norn Irn[ Northern Irealand]. English civil servants seconded to the NIO always regarded the problem here are purely an internal UK one, an attitude that was manna from heaven for the local species of unionist civil servant.
It wasn’t until matters were taken out of the ambit of the NIO and transferred to the Cabinet Office that any progress was made. There’s absolutely no doubt the NIO would have put the kibosh on the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement. If they’d been involved there would have been no agreement. The Irish officials and Garret FitzGerald were able to persuade their British counterparts that the Anglo-Irish Agreement signed by both governments would prove the IRA wrong and that there could be political progress without armed struggle.
Until that point, as you can read in the official documents, any representation by the SDLP was rejected, even a request to remove the loathsome UDR from south Armagh. This was refused despite the fact records show senior civil servants and military officers knew the UDR was ‘heavily infiltrated’ by loyalist terrorists. For years they had known that up to one in six of the UDR was a member of the UVF or UDA. They were also fully aware of the RUC/UDR/UVF murder gang based at Glenanne in Co Armagh. Still, you couldn’t accede to any SDLP request in case it offended unionists. Vexation for nationalists didn’t matter.
What the deputy first minister didn’t say explicitly in his speech was that over the past four years we’ve moved back towards that position namely the British government regarding matters in the north as a purely British concern. Proconsuls appointed since 2010 have listed heavily in the direction of Unionism. The best recent evidence for such bias is that, incredibly, our clueless proconsul has given weight to the blathering about an inquiry into marching in north Belfast, a demand which appears to pay lip service to Billy Hutchinson and his close friends in the UVF.
Not even the mildest encouragement emerged from the NIO that dialogue with republicans about flags and marches and the past might be the only way forward for Unionism. No reference to the self-evident truth that Unionists are going nowhere without republicans.
No wonder Martin McGuinness renewed his appeal once again for Dublin and London to take the lead in driving political progress.
Fat chance with a British general election next May and David Cameron’s party falling asunder around him.
Add that to Enda Kenny’s complete indifference to the North and it looks as if ‘stagnation and absence of progress’ will continue to encourage people opposed to political dialogue.
Posted by Jim on September 1, 2014
by Irish Central
The latest opinion polls show a massive surge in support for Scottish independence in the forthcoming referendum – as unionist politicians in Northern Ireland step up their campaign in favour of the no vote
A vote for independence in Scotland could have major implications for Northern Ireland as the break up of the United Kingdom would mean that Northern Irish unionists would face far greater uncertainty as to their constitutional position.
The Irish Times reports that the latest YouGuv opinion poll suggests the gap between the yes and no sides is at its lowest ever.
Politicians from Northern Ireland have campaigned for both sides in Scotland, keenly aware of the implications for the North.
The new opinion poll shows support to stay within the United Kingdom at 47 per cent, the lowest figure yet in YouGuv polls with 53 per cent in favour of independence.
The paper suggests the new figures indicate the referendum will go down to the wire.
These new figures indicate a major drop in support for the No campaign which had enjoyed 62 per cent of the vote in the last poll with the Yes side on 39 per cent.
The report says figures have created much concern in the No campaign.
It has struggled to regain momentum following a TV debate between Labour’s Alistair Darling and the Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond.
Reacting to the latest results, YouGov’s top pollster Peter Kellner said: “Game on. YouGov’s latest poll puts Alex Salmond within touching distance of victory.
“Until one month ago, the No campaign held a steady lead of at least 16 points. It has now collapsed to just six. When I first saw the results, I wanted to make sure this movement was real. It is.”
Posted by Jim on
To the music of “The Rising of the Moon”
Who is Ireland’s enemy?
Not Germany, nor Spain,
Not Russia, France nor Austria;
They forged for her no chains,
Nor quenched her hearths,
Nor razed her homes,
Nor laid her altars low,
Nor sent her sons to tramp the hills
Amid the winter snow.
Who spiked the heads of Irish priests
On Dublin Castle’s gate?
Who butchered helpless Irish babes,
A lust for blood to sate?
Who outraged Irish maidenhood,
And tortured aged sires,
And spread from Clare to Donegal
The glare of midnight fires?
Who scourged our land in ‘Ninety-Eight,
Spread torment far and wide,
Till Ireland shrieked in woe and pain,
And Hell seemed fair beside?
Who plied the pitch-cap and the sword,
The gibbet and the rack?
O God! that we should ever fail
To pay those devils back.
Who slew the three in Manchester,
One grim November dawn,
While ’round them howled sadistically
The Devil’s cruel spawn?
Who shattered many Fenian minds
In dungeons o’er the foam,
And broke the loyal Fenian hearts
That pined for them at home?
Who shot down Clarke and Connolly
And Pearse at dawn of day,
And Plunkett and MacDiarmada,
And all who died as they?
Who robbed us of MacSwiney brave?
Who murdered Mellows, too,
Sent Barry to a felon’s grave,
And slaughtered Cathal Brugha?
Not Germany nor Austria,
Not Russia, France nor Spain
That robbed and reaved this land of ours,
And forged her heavy chains;
But England of the wily words
A crafty, treacherous foe
‘Twas England scourged our Motherland,
‘Twas England laid her low!
Rise up, o dead of Ireland!
And rouse her living men,
The chance will come to us at last
To win our own again,
To sweep the English enemy
From hill and glen and bay,
And in your name, O Holy Dead,
Our sacred debt to pay.
Posted by Jim on
by Bernadette Kelly
I was raised to be proud of my Irish heritage. But, looking back, I realize I learned very little about actual Irish history. For many Irish Americans, St. Paddy’s day celebrations were about all the connection we had.
One name I did hear growing up, from my grandfather, was that of James Connolly. But it was another 20 years before a friend in radical politics gave me a book by Connolly and I really discovered this man — someone any Irish American, or any human being, could be proud of.
James Connolly was born in 1868 to Irish immigrant parents in Edinburgh, Scotland. He died in 1916, executed by the British for leading the famous Easter Rising in Dublin. During his 48 years, he lived in Scotland, Ireland and the U.S. In all three countries, he devoted his life to fighting for the working class and all oppressed people.
Most Americans have never heard of James Connolly, even though he was deeply involved in one of the most active periods of U.S. labor and socialist history. Connolly was at the founding convention of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), along with Big Bill Haywood, Mother Jones, Eugene Debs and other radical luminaries. He saw international solidarity as an indispensable tool for labor to defend itself against capitalism.
Connolly was a man ahead of his times in many ways. His clear feminism is one of these.
During Connolly’s heyday, the battle for female suffrage was coming to a head in England, Ireland and the USA. In Ireland, many of the male nationalist leaders fighting to end English rule opposed suffrage, or refused to take a stand on it, because they feared alienating their supporters. Even some great movement leaders like James Larkin feared that women of the middle and upper classes would use the vote against the working class. In those days, the issue of votes for women, like abortion today, was too hot for some to handle.
But Connolly saw suffrage as a human right, regardless of how women chose to use it, and steadfastly supported it. In raising his voice for the vote for women, he never forgot that the working class was made up of two sexes, and that poor and working women needed this right far more than their better-off sisters. Said Connolly, “It was because women workers had no vote that they had not the safeguards even of the laws passed for their protection because these were ignored. They had women working for wages on which a man could not keep a dog.”
And this revolutionary not only thought that women should fight side by side with men, he actively encouraged it. As he said so eloquently, “None so fitted to break the chains as they who wear them, none so well equipped to decide what is a fetter.”
At that time, even more so than now, women speakers in the labor movement were a rarity. Once, after addressing a solidarity meeting for women textile workers, Connolly surprised his daughter Nora by announcing her as the next speaker. Nora had been laboring tirelessly behind the scenes for this cause, and her father obviously thought that if she was good enough to organize, she was good enough to speak.
Of the 220 members of Connolly’s Citizen Army who fought in the 1916 Easter Rising, 27 were women. That very fact sparked an irreversible radicalization in Irish women’s consciousness and expectations. An overwhelming British force crushed the revolt, and Connolly and several others were executed. Constance Markievicz, a unique female leader in the Citizen Army, was sentenced to life in prison.
Connolly’s commitment to women’s rights was part of the soul of that rebellion. This shines through in the “1916 Proclamation,” which declared a guarantee of equal rights for both Irish men and women as one of the aims of the Rising. For Connolly, Irish freedom from British rule and women’s emancipation were inseparable. As he put it, “Of what use to such sufferers can be the re-establishment of any form of Irish State if it does not embody the emancipation of womanhood. As we have shown, the whole spirit and practice of modern Ireland, as it expresses itself through its pastors and masters, bear socially and politically hardly upon women.”
As the nationalist movement in Ireland became more conservative, Connolly fell out of fashion, and for decades many of his writings remained unpublished. But now, happily, you can find them on the web — including the stirring chapter “Women’s Rights” from his book The Reconquest of Ireland (at www.marxist.com/women&marxism). And many of his books, such as Labour in Irish History, are still in print.
Connolly wrote about Irish history because he knew that both lessons and comfort could be drawn from the stories and struggles of those who went before us. If you want help understanding these “interesting times” we live in, my advice is to become acquainted with Connolly. It beats the heck out of drinking green beer.
Posted by admin on August 29, 2014
ADAMS – Irish America Key to securing First Ceasefire
This week marks the 20th anniversary of the 1994 IRA cessation. The Ireland of the early 1990s was a very different place. Political censorship and exclusion was the norm. Successive Irish governments worked with British governments in pursuing a negative agenda which merely fed the cycle of discrimination, resistance and conflict.
Unionist leaders, supported by elements of the British and Irish establishments, opposed any dialogue between the British and Irish governments and republicans.
However, by early August 1994, despite continued conflict there was a feeling among republican leaders that we were driving forward an historic process of change. This had been years in the making. Indeed if we go back to when Fathers Alec Reid, Des Wilson and I started our discussions, over a decade had passed.
Progress on developing the peace process had been made behind the scenes in meetings with John Hume.
These later emerged as the Hume/Adams initiative. There was also progress with the Irish Government. Martin McGuinness and I had given the IRA our assessment that there was a convergence of views between Sinn Féin, John Hume and the Irish Government on a range of issues.
We had achieved agreement on a number of important points. There was an acceptance that Partition had failed; there could be no internal settlement within the Six Counties; the Irish people as a whole had a right to national self-determination; there could be no unionist veto over discussions or their outcome and any negotiated settlement required fundamental constitutional and political change. We also agreed that there were practical matters of immediate concern to nationalists in the North including parity of esteem, equality of opportunity and equality for Irish culture and identity.
The Irish Government had given written assurances that in the event of an IRA cessation, it would end its marginalisation of the Sinn Féin electorate and that there would be an early public meeting between Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, John Hume and myself. In order to show that change was imminent, we worked to develop public manifestations of support for an alternative approach which might convince republicans to back a cessation.
Irish America was key to this. The peace process was also now on the agenda of the Clinton Administration. A powerful group of Irish Americans had committed to campaign in the US for an end to visa restrictions for republicans; establishment of a Washington office to inform the US media and public on the peace process; to lobby for investment in the North and for the US to act as guarantors of any agreements entered into. The fledgling Clinton administration had indicated positivity.
Events were now moving quickly. We had asked for a visa for Joe Cahill to travel to the US to brief Irish Americans of developments. This would test the Clinton Administration’s commitment to the peace process. Fr Alec, US Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, her brother Senator Ted Kennedy and Taoiseach Albert Reynolds spent long hours lobbying for a visa for Joe Cahill.
On Sunday August 28th John Hume and I issued another joint statement making clear that agreement threatened no one. It was followed that evening by a statement from Albert Reynolds who said an historic opportunity was opening up and the British had a responsibility to respond on demilitarisation and inclusive all-party talks.
On August 29th, in the face of strident British opposition, visas were granted to Joe Cahill and Pat Treanor to travel to the US. This demonstrated there would be a strong international focus in support of the Irish side in negotiations with the British.
I reported to the Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle that the final pieces of the jigsaw were coming together but we understood the ultimate decision on a cessation rested with the IRA.
Martin McGuinness and I went to meet the IRA leadership again. Martin said the Hume/Adams initiative had given people hope, that more nationalists saw republicans making a real effort to build peace, that Irish nationalism was reasserting itself and that Sinn Féin was growing in strength.
We made it clear that the struggle wasn’t ending and given that the political commitments made were multilateral and public that there was a better chance of delivery than with previous cessations. We argued that it was an opportunity to test the British governments’ desire for peace and to reach out to unionists, who we had been meeting at civic, community and religious level for some time.
I made clear that it was a high-risk strategy but that we had commitments from John Hume, the Irish Government and Irish America was willing to play its part. We could set in place a process which created the conditions for a just and lasting peace and from there build a pathway to a new all-Ireland republic of equals. A formal proposal was put to the meeting and the IRA’s Army Council voted to give the process a chance.
At 11am on 31st August, the IRA announced “a complete cessation of military operations”. As hundreds of people arrived for an impromptu rally at Sinn Féin’s offices at Connolly House in Belfast cheering their approval, I was struck by the awesome responsibility of it, with the hopes and aspirations of so many pinned on us delivering.
The IRA cessation opened up the space for the development of the peace process. Enormous changes have come as a result of that decision by the IRA leadership. It was quickly followed by the loyalist ceasefire. It has had profound effects on politics in Ireland and in the relationship between Ireland and Britain.
People rightly remember the great political highs of the past two decades, be it the achievement of the Good Friday Agreement, the St. Andrews and Hillsborough Agreements, the decision of Ian Paisley to share power or the decision by the IRA to leave the stage.
However, none of these or the other fundamental, political, social and constitutional changes which have been effected over the course of the peace process would have been possible without the difficult and risk-laden work undertaken by Albert Reynolds, Fathers Alec Reid and Des Wilson, John Hume, the Sinn Féin leadership and others such as Martin Mansergh, Seán Ó hUigínn, Niall O’Dowd, Ken Newell and Harold Good in the years before the 1994 cessation.
Twenty years on there is an urgent need for the British and Irish governments to tackle outstanding issues bedevilling the political process in the North and which threaten the progress that has been made. The Taoiseach would do well to emulate the approach adopted by the late Albert Reynolds.
Posted by Jim on August 25, 2014
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Posted by Jim on August 19, 2014
Eamon Delaney @irishcentral
The United States is presently engaged in a humanitarian military mission in Iraq. Meanwhile, in Gaza, the US has been intensely involved in diplomacy to end conflict, while at the time supporting and arming Israel. It’s a tricky combination. But there is one place where US foreign policy has been entirely uncomplicated and well received and where it doesn’t involve any guns or planes. And that is, Ireland.
From its crucial involvement in the breakthrough IRA ceasefire of 1994, the US has retained a low key, but often intense, involvement in the struggling but generally successful Northern Ireland peace process. And it is a completely bipartisan commitment.
George Bush sent Richard Haass to Ireland as his special envoy and in 2013 Haass returned to chair crucial talks between Unionists and Nationalists in trying to achieve a lasting settlement of the issues that still divide them. The talks ended unsuccessfully in December 2013.
Not only is the Haass process an important part of the political scene, it might be the only show in town. The Irish and British governments are now so hands-off that it is left to the Yanks to try and resolve those crucial ‘final issues.’
The Haass talks process was the first time that neither government got directly involved in such negotiations, and in the end this was probably part of its failing. At the final hurdle, the Unionists rejected a reasonable template for dealing with parading issues and this caused the talks to collapse.
And there was nothing more that Haass could do, especially since the Dublin government is unwilling to put serious pressure on the Unionists and now appears more preoccupied in dealing with Sinn Fein as political threat in the South rather than as the nationalist co-partner of government in the North. Such a complacent and cynical attitude will have dangerous consequences.
Last week, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said that the Northern Ireland peace process is under its greatest threat since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. It is a dramatic claim, but one with very valid points. Apart from the impasses over commemoration of the past, contentious parades and the fudged NI welfare bill (which, in fairness, is Sinn Fein’s doing) there is a serious lack of any empathy from the Unionist side for the entire partnership to actually work or grow. Fearful of their radical fringe, the Unionists have taken a completely minimalist approach to a unique cross-community agreement that is supposed to be organic.
Compounding the problem is the withdrawn attitude of the two governments. David Cameron’s British Government appears sublimely indifferent and even hostile to the Northern peace process and the Irish Government seems to have just switched off, preoccupied as it is with the South’s economic problems.
The mentality in the South is that ‘the two sides are in Stormont together, so we can ignore it.’ But this is the very opposite of what was supposed to happen, after 1998, certainly from a Sinn Fein or even Irish Government perspective – that is, when the latter actually had a view on the situation. And the North hasn’t bedded down. Far from it, and the psychological withdrawal of the two governments, Irish and British, is partly to blame for that. Almost every week now there are new rows about political identity, flags and parades as well as attacks on Orange halls and GAA clubs. Sectarianism is deep-rooted and both sides play to their tribal base.
The unique coalition of SF and the DUP will not work unless there is constant pressure by the two governments acting as guarantors for the post-conflict arrangement. This is especially necessary when the relationship has gone cold and the two partners are barely talking to each other.
But it is hard to see the new Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan tackling the current Unionist stubbornness. Indeed, it is significant how few of the current Irish cabinet have dealt directly with Northern Ireland. Do they even believe in an ‘Irish dimension’ any more or in the constitutional nationalist position which is long held by the Irish State and which has always been distinct from that of Sinn Fein? Or do they think that any such national approach is now ‘outdated’ and will only in fact aid Sinn Fein, which they see as an electoral enemy?
Certainly, it seems odd that, in terms of negotiations, the US government appears to show more involvement, commitment and imagination on Northern Ireland that does the Irish government. Which these days is a rarely trumpeted and uncostly success story for US foreign policy, and one which is to the credit of both Democrats and Republicans alike.
* Eamon Delaney is a Dublin-based journalist and former diplomat.
Fr. Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. BOX 15128
Washington, DC 20003-0849
Posted by Jim on August 13, 2014
by Mike McCormack, National A.O.H. Historian
On September 13, the Ancient Order of Hibernians celebrates one of the major holidays of their Order – Commodore John Barry Day. It is not a day unique to that Order, for it has been commemorated on the American national calendar more than once. There were even statues erected in his honor back in the days when Americans remembered with gratitude the contributions of this dedicated man. Today, too few remember his deeds! The American Heritage dictionary doesn’t even list his name, and his statue which stands in front of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, serves as a platform for pigeons unnoticed by passers-by. It is truly unfortunate that so few remember this remarkable and courageous man, for during his lifetime, Barry gave so much to America, and at a time when she needed it most. It has even been said that had it not been for John Barry, the American Revolution would have been lost. Dr. Benjamin Rush said in his eulogy at Barry’s graveside, “He was born in Ireland, but America was the object of his devotion, and the theater of his usefulness.” Yes, Commodore John Barry was born in Ireland; in Tacumshane, Co. Wexford to be specific, in the year 1745. He grew up with a great love for the sea, and while still a young man, he emigrated to the Crown colonies in America. By 1760, he was employed in a shipbuilding firm in Philadelphia and in 1766, at the age of 21; he went to sea as Captain of the ship, Barbadoes. The young Irishman seemed destined for a prosperous career in the colonies, but his integrity and sense of justice led him to risk all in a dangerous venture. In 1775, years of smoldering unrest erupted in open rebellion as the American colonies openly declared their independence from the Crown. As England prepared to regain control of the situation, the colonies formed the Second Continental Congress to establish a military force, and defend their recently declared independence, but experienced men were hard to find. Captain John Barry, an early champion of the patriot cause, promptly volunteered his service. With nine years experience as a sea-going Captain, and five successful commands to his credit, the young Irishman was quite warmly welcomed, and given command of a ship under the authority of the Continental Congress., On Dec 7, 1775, eight months after the first shots were fired at Lexington; Captain John Barry took the helm of a new 14-gun vessel aptly named, Lexington. He quickly trained a crew, and began the task of supplying and supporting Washington’s ground forces. On April 7, 1776, just four months after he had taken command, Captain Barry provided a necessary boost to the moral of the continental forces just as he would do so many times when it was needed most: he captured the British ship, Edward, and her cargo – the first American war prize. On June 6, he was given command of the new cruiser, Effingham, and captured 2 more British ships. In spite of Barry’s successes, the war was not going well for the Americans: Philadelphia was in the hands of the British; the British Navy had bottled up the Delaware River; General Benedict Arnold had betrayed West Point, and gone over to fight for the British; and Washington’s troops were in dire need. A victory was essential to boost their sagging moral. Barry captured an armed British vessel when ammunition was scarce, and a supply ship when food was at a premium, then he came to Washington’s aid when the leader was planning to cross the Delaware. He organized seamen and joined the land forces which crossed the river in boats supplied by Barry’s friend, Patrick Colvin. Barry was held in such high esteem that, after the Delaware crossing, and the subsequent victories at Trenton and Princeton, in which he served as an aide to Washington, Lord Howe made a flattering offer to Barry to desert the patriot cause. “Not the value or command of the whole British fleet”, Barry replied, “can lure me from the cause of my country which is liberty and freedom.” On January 5, 1778, while the Delaware was occupied by the British fleet, Barry organized the famous Battle of the Kegs, in which small kegs loaded with explosives were sent floating down the river at the British ships and fired upon, exploding them and throwing the British into a panic. In addition to commanding naval operations for the Continental Congress, Barry supervised the building of their ships. In command of one of those ships in 1781, when Washington was again in need, Barry captured four important British vessels. Washington personally thanked him for the boost it provided, and sent his fearless Captain back into the fray. During a confrontation on May 28, 1781, Barry was wounded and taken below. Subsequently, his First Officer informed him that the battle was going against them, and Barry ordered that he be carried back on deck. When the British demanded his surrender, Barry defiantly refused and sparked his crew to victory. The wounded Captain returned with yet another prize. The last sea battle of the American Revolution took place on March 10, 1783, as Barry was returning with a shipload of gold bullion from Havana, and was set upon by three British ships. The resourceful Captain engaged and destroyed one, and outdistanced the other two, returning with the precious cargo which was used to establish a National Bank for the new nation. Even after the war, this tireless seaman assisted America by transporting Virginia tobacco to Holland to repay America’s war debts. Far from the war at sea, Barry also assisted at the Federal Convention held in 1787 to adopt the new constitution. It seems that there were a minority who were opposed to the adoption and absented themselves from the convention, preventing a quorum from being formed. Barry organized a group called The Compellers,’ and physically forced enough of the seceding members back to form a quorum. The vote was taken, and the constitution was finally approved. People cheered and church bells rang as Barry scored another victory – this time over indifference. In recognition of his vast experience and dedication, Washington demonstrated Barry’s immense value to the new nation when, on June 14, 1794, he sent for the popular naval hero to form and train a class of midshipmen, who would then be commissioned as Ensigns, and form the nucleus of a new American Navy. Barry himself was named the ranking officer, and granted Commission No. 1. Commodore Barry died in Philadelphia on September 13, 1803. 195 years later, I had the tremendous honor of delivering a memorial speech at the base of his statue in Wexford harbor in which I extended the thanks of this generation of Americans for his contributions to establishing our nation. Commodore John Barry had many firsts in his remarkable career, from being the first to fly the new American flag in battle to escorting America’s famous ally, General Lafayette, back to France, but the first that he should always be remembered for is his position as Father of the American Navy.
Posted by Jim on August 9, 2014
“Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead! Those words from Monty Python’s movie THE HOLY GRAIL came to mind when it was reported that the late Labor Party icon Tony Benn did not support an independent Scotland. This despite the fact that the former member of Parliament never stated as much while alive. His brother David produced a letter to that effect. How desperate the English aristocracy must be to roll out this post-mortem declaration!! Apparently the faint-hearted ‘endorsement’ of United Kingdom unity by President Obama failed to take hold with the Scottish electorate. His press conference remark that “…the US prefers “…a strong, robust and united Britain” was followed by the afterthought disclaimer that this issue, of course was “…a choice for the Scottish people.” These latest political stunts brought to mind British author George Orwell’s description of political language. He claimed it “…is designed to make lies truthful, murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
The forces now mounted against Scotland’s independence emanate from all those who have a preference for the status quo and something to lose if change, however gradual, is undertaken. These are the financial and media institutions and military and intelligence services. All of these are infused with British hereditary privilege, wealth and power. It is less than 100 years since this same array of opposition forces fought against freedom for Ireland. Even back then the British would regularly produce letters, usually forged, claiming something that would serve their political purpose. Even after the colonial ties from 26 counties were severed in 1922, the British manipulated Ireland’s political, social, economic and cultural spheres. To this day it promotes division in Ireland North and South. Their failed attempt in the Boston College tapes affair to smear Gerry Adams and to derail his re-election was but the latest example of their mendacity. Expect London to direct the same tactics at Alex Salmond and other Nationalist leaders prior to the referendum.
England threw their media weight around in 1999 to try and derail Ireland’s conversion to the Euro Zone currency. Catastrophes of biblical proportions were predicted. As long as Ireland’s currency was linked to the British pound, Britain could control or initiate financial and economic actions that were, if not necessarily harmful to Ireland, gave England’ banks and companies advantages. The Irish voters then, like the Scottish voters today, were not sure how the conversion would work. Irish voters were reasonably certain the break from England would bring greater transparency and prosperity. And so it did.
All of the fears being stoked by media pundits like Bagehot of the ECONOMIST magazine claiming if there is a YES vote “…a cataclysmic secession “…, have precedents in Britain’s efforts to inflame anti-Irish and anti-Catholic hatred amongst the unionist/loyalist population. After all a united Ireland would be a greater competitive threat than one afflicted with partition. A Bradford University Professor named Gallagher did his part to spread the fear and smears by referring to the Scottish National Party “…and its Radical allies.” You know those people who advocate for a new structure of government, a Bill of Rights or a more equitable distribution of resources.
One newspaper quoted a publican in Portpatrick , Scotland as fearful of the loss of the British Army as if the sleepy village was under some imminent invasion! An English editorial, claiming to speak for America, stated that the U. S. would take revenge if nuclear silos were ordered removed from an independent Scotland. At stake was nothing less than the vanity of the British political establishment and their “major world power” delusions. If the Scottish voters were to address that issue, I hope they would recommend to London that a missile silo might be more appropriate for Margaret …May her memory be blessed… Thatcher’s constituency of Finchley!!
While an independent Scotland may present challenges, in the end it will be Scotland in the 21st century determining what is best for them, and not Whitehall and England’s fossilized colonial bureaucracy. Think of the possible revelations as the transfer of records begins! I mean, of course, those records that the British have not destroyed or found ‘missing.’ This has been the case with police and MI-5 records in N. I. ever since devolution there. England may be spying on the Scottish people the way they have been spying and eavesdropping on the Irish people. The PRISM system used under contract for the U. S. National Security Agency to spy on Americans, may well be used domestically. Remember British Subjects of the Queen have no rights to privacy as do American citizens. Lastly, Scotland might learn it was illegally deprived of financial aid from London. Bishop Cahal Daly in N. I. learned the Catholic schools had been deliberately cheated out of aid payments for decades. The same might be true of tax receipts. There is a reason London has been reluctant to fully disclose corporate tax receipts emanating from Northern Ireland and that very same reason may apply to those tax dollars from Scotland.
Mark well these words. The final push to keep Scotland under the Royal lash will include –in addition to the dirty tricks and media scams… the appeal to patriotism, the last refuge of a scoundrel. At a time of World War I memorials it is worth remembering the words of Alan Brydon’s song Calling Doon the Line. Remembering those who lost their lives in that slaughter is as important as remembering why they did so. Scotland’s brave did indeed “rally roon the pipers tune” but “the victory claimed would disguise the shame.” This is one American’s wish that the Scottish people will vote in this referendum to dance to their own tune!!
Michael J. Cummings
12 Marion Ave
Albany, New York 12203-1814
Michael J. Cummings, a native of Springfield, Mass., is a graduate of St. Anselm’s
College (B. A., 1968) and New York University (M. P. A., 1970). A member of the National Boards of the Irish American Unity Conference (IAUC,1996-2013), the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH,2001-2008), and the Irish Northern Aid Committee (INAC, 1988-1996), he served six National Presidents of the AOH, 5 National Presidents of the IAUC and two National Chairman of INA primarily in public relations capacities. He is the only person to serve on the national policymaking bodies of all three major Irish American organizations. He also served on the Commission on Peace and Justice of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
Cummings has appeared on American, English and Irish television and radio and his commentary and letters and those of the Presidents have appeared in major American, Irish-American, Catholic print media. He is a frequent columnist for the weekly IRISH ECHO newspaper. He has been married to Nuala Hogan, a nurse and native of Ireland, for 40 years and resides in Albany, New York . They are the parents of five children and two grandchildren.
Posted by Jim on
Former taoiseach John Bruton is on a crusade to revive Redmondism in
Irish politics and to denigrate the men and women who gave us the
Proclamation of the Irish Republic and the 1916 Rising.
Last month Mr Bruton said in London that the Rising damaged the Irish
psyche. The other day he said it was “completely unnecessary” and that
any State commemorations of the Rising should not “retrospectively
The basis for Mr Bruton’s argument is his claim that the placing of Home
Rule “on the statute book” by the British government in September 1914
was enough to make the Rising and the struggle for Irish independence
If only our ancestors had the wisdom and insight of Mr Bruton; if only
he had been there to tell them the error of their ways. Mar eadh.
Mr Bruton thinks Home Rule “on the statute book” was so great an event
that the Irish Government should commemorate it next month. So let us
examine exactly what happened in Westminster in September 1914.
The Home Rule Bill, providing for an extremely limited form of
devolution for Ireland, within the UK and British Empire, was at its
Against this bill, the British opposition Conservative and Unionist
Party waged an unrelenting campaign.
The Tories had seized on the issue of Home Rule as the most effective
weapon to use against the Liberals.
Leading members of the British landed aristocracy and senior military
figures avidly supported threats of civil war if Home Rule was
implemented. This culminated in the arming of the Ulster Volunteer Force
and the anti-Home Rule mutiny by British army officers at the Curragh.
Under that pressure, the Liberal government and John Redmond agreed in
principle that Ireland should be partitioned rather than have North-East
Ulster included under Home Rule.
In September 1914, with the war just weeks old, the Liberal government
pulled one of the greatest strokes ever attempted by a British
government. It enacted the Home Rule Bill but suspended it until the end
of the war when an amending bill would be passed to provide for
In return for this, John Redmond pledged the lives of tens of thousands
of young Irishmen to the British war effort and embarked on a recruiting
campaign for the army.
Roger Casement described Home Rule “on the statute book” as “a
promissory note payable only after death”.
James Connolly called it “a carefully staged pantomime to fool
nationalist Ireland” and said that, in return, Redmond’s party would
“send forth more thousands of Irish men and boys to manure with their
corpses the soil of a foreign country”.
And in a phrase that still echoes today, Connolly declared: “Yes, ruling
by fooling is a great British art — with great Irish fools to practice
Connolly and Casement were correct in their prediction. It is estimated
that well over 30,000 Irishmen died in the First World War. The exact
number will never be known. A great number of them were induced to join
up by Redmond’s promise of Home Rule for Ireland and by Edward Carson’s
promise of no Home Rule for Ulster.
Isn’t it strange then that Mr Bruton is so worried that honouring the
men and women of Easter 1916 would retrospectively justify violence when
he has nothing to say about the role of Redmond and his party in sending
tens of thousands of Irishmen to fight Germans and Austrians and Turks
with whom Ireland had no quarrel? Was John Redmond not a man of
violence? It is hugely important that we remember these events as a
nation on our own terms.
It is right that those Irish people who died in the First World War and
those who survived it should be remembered. Their families have every
right to honour their courage.
But this does not mean ignoring the fact that Ireland, as a submerged
nation within the UK, was carried into the war without any say in the
We should look at the war from an Irish point of view. It was a war of
empires ruled by privileged elites who cared little for the lives of the
millions they threw into battle.
The Irish experience of the war up to 1916 was one of the factors that
led to the Easter Rising. And after the Rising and the executions and
repression that followed, many Irishmen who had fought in the British
army rejected that army for good. Some of them joined the IRA.
The notion that Britain had fought “for the freedom of small nations”
was exposed as hypocrisy when Britain refused to recognise the First
Mr Bruton does no service to the memory of the Irish dead of World War
One by denigrating the men and women of Easter 1916.
I suspect that behind Mr Bruton’s Redmondite crusade is a fear, not of
violence, but of the Proclamation.
You see, the Proclamation enshrines principles and commitments to
equality and Irish sovereignty that still challenge the privileged in
our society. It is a commitment to a rights-based society in Ireland
with equality for all our citizens.
That is why the Proclamation should be at the centre of all our
celebrations and commemorations of the great national and international
event that was the 1916 Easter Rising.
Posted by Jim on July 16, 2014
Posted by admin on July 13, 2014
Donald Clarke. Irish Times. Friday, July 11, 2014.
Here’s a question. Is the festival of stomping, shouting and sunburn currently being endured in parts of Ulster the only such patriotic celebration that doesn’t have a name? In Sydney they enjoy Australia Day. German Unity Day has been a holiday in that country since 1990. And so on. But the Ulster Protestant celebration is always simply “the Twelfth”.
How appropriate. This is a locale so devoted to austerity that – as evidenced this week – its bakers refuse to provide Bert and Ernie cakes for gay weddings. The non-conformist sects have always shunned frivolous decoration. There the event sits. Its well- scrubbed face is unadorned by make-up. Its blouse and tights are modest. Nothing so idolatrous as a name defies its ruddy purity.
A great deal has changed in the North over the past 20 years. The Twelfth has, however, remained largely the same. Continuing a conversation that has been going on since the time of the Trilobites, the Parades Commission was, this year, asked to decide whether the Orange Order could bark its way past the Ardoyne in north Belfast.
The commission said it couldn’t. The unionists sulked. Various politicians sighed. Meanwhile, the second Ice Age enabled the evolution of certain larger land-based vertebrates.
Yet the Orange Order and its satellite bodies will keep paying lip service to modernisation. The most hilarious manifestation of this urge occurred in 2008 when – catching up with a cultural phenomenon that emerged in the US between the world wars – a special committee devised a superhero to represent the Order’s aims and philosophies.
“There were many strong entries such as Sash Gordon, Sashman and the Boyne Wonder,” David Hume, the Orange Order’s director of services, said in a statement that immediately rendered all satire irrelevant.
They eventually settled on “Diamond Dan the Orangeman” but, sadly, the campaign fell apart when it was revealed that Dan’s image had, without proper authorisation, been plucked from a digital library. The proposed Orangefest faltered.
Fun for all the family?
The Twelfth does sound like fun for all the family. After pounding about the Province in clothes ill-suited to the summer months, you get to stand in some awful field and listen to lectures from red-necked clerics whose theological beliefs make the Witchfinder General seem like Hans Küng. Still, there doesn’t really seem much chance that the Twelfth is, any time soon, going to become this island’s version of Mardi Gras.
You can dress it up however you like, but the event remains profoundly entangled with exclusion and bigotry. “Today defending Protestantism is not so literal as it was in 1795,” the Orange Order says on its website. Yet it remains an organisation that does not welcome Roman Catholics (or their spouses). Good luck flogging that to a modern secular tourist constituency.
This is not to suggest, of course, that all Orangemen are dreadful people. Earlier this week, Dan Keenan, writing in this newspaper, addressed the challenges for Orangeism.
Neanderthal and archaic
The Rev Mervyn Gibson, Orange Order chaplain, in the course of a very civil conversation, made a comment that got to certain issues rarely addressed outside Ulster. “There are those who condemn the Order, they say it’s too working class, it’s archaic, it’s Neanderthal, it’s got a knuckle-dragging image,” he said.
They do say that. They say it within Northern Ireland. And many of those who say it were raised as Protestants. We can debate whether the Order is still fighting a religious war. But it is certainly fighting a class war, and not in the way that many Southerners might think.
Visit the leafy glades of middle-class south Belfast this week and you will discover a virtual ghost town. Along the residential avenues of the Malone Road and within the chi-chi eateries of the Lisburn Road, a soothing torpor reigns.
It is some time since these parts of Northern Ireland were Protestant enclaves. Indeed, more than 10 years ago, a Unionist politician guiltily told me: “Some of my less enlightened colleagues refer to it as Vatican City.”
But the mass exodus on “Twelfth Week” has gone on for as long as anyone living can remember. Urban middle-class Protestants in Northern Ireland have never had much time for all that marching, lemonade-drinking and empty bellowing. Seek the barristers and doctors on July 12th and you need look to the golf courses of Florida, Andalucia and Donegal.
The wealthier Northern Ireland gets, the less keen its citizens will be on irritating the blameless shopkeepers of the Ardoyne. It’s a slippery sort of argument. The Order is as much at risk from snobbery as it is from enlightened inclusivity. Oh well. You take your allies wherever you find them.
Posted by Jim on May 12, 2014
The Following Letter was sent on behalf of the Irish Republican Brotherhood to Justice Susan Denham of the Provisional Irish State Government on September 7th 2012
Regarding the European Stability Mechanism Treaty and Other Related Issues
Dear Justice Denham,
How dare you attempt to trespass into jurisdiction of the Sovereign Republic of Éire.te;ire.
You have no right to hear a sovereignty case before the Four Courts. All Sovereignty matters can only be heard in The Óglaigh na hÉireann Court in McKee Barracks Dublin and it is mandatory in that circumstance that all cases be heard under the 1916 Proclamation.
The Sovereign Republic of Éire, Dáil Éireann Courts and The Óglaigh na hÉireann Court are owned by the people of Éire and are the property of the People who gave the Irish Republican Brotherhood the mandate and to establish the Sovereign Republic of Éire, Dáil Éireann and the Dáil Éireann Courts.
You and the judiciary do not recognise, acknowledge or respect the State that was founded by the Irish Republican Brotherhood under the direct authority of the people which was ratified on the 21st of January, 1919 in the Cabinet room in the Mansion House Dublin under the thirty-two county election of 1918 from GHQ Vaughans Hotel Dublin.
Dáil Éireann sat later in the day in the Round Room and conducted the business with regards to the affairs of the Irish State, the Sovereign Republic of Éire.
The Irish State has no other authority but that which was granted to it by the Irish People of the Nation of Éire who accepted that all Authority came from God as defined in the 1916 Proclamation and as ratified in the 1918 Thirty-Two County Elections.
You and the judiciary do not recognise, acknowledge or respect the foundation document of this State under the Authority of the people of the Nation derived under God; the 1916 Proclamation of Poblacht na hÉireann, our Sovereignty and our Constitution Bunreacht na hÉireann that could only have derived its continuing authority from the 1916 Proclamation which was written by the Irish Republican Brotherhood for the Irish People/Citizens and State in Vaughan’s Hotel, 29 Parnell Square, Gramby Row, Dublin. More specifically I refer to;
Article 4 “the name of the State is Éire”
Éire denotes the 1918 thirty-two County elections in Ireland;
Article 5 “Ireland is a Sovereign independent democratic State”
All Sovereignty coming from God, through the People to the State.
Article 12 “there shall be a President of Ireland, Uachtaráin na hÉireann”
In keeping with that mandate the President, having the authority and responsibility to restrict the powers of the Oireachtas which was imposed by King George V of England in 1922 is thereby obliged to represent the people against the Government and particularly so when the government is a provisional one as is the case with our country.
Article 12 was written for the President of the Irish Republican Brotherhood who holds the ‘Thirty-Two-County’ mandate of the Sovereign office of the State of the Sovereign Republic of Éire and is Head of State.
To be a member, TD or a minister of Dáil Éireann it is mandatory to have and hold a thirty-two County mandate. To be a member of the Oireachtas as imposed by King George V of England needs a twenty-six county mandate. There is no member of Dáil Éireann in Leinster house today.
I refer your attention to a book, ‘De Valera’s Constitution and Ours’, edited by Brian Farrell and published by Gill and MacMillan for Radio Teilifís Éireann in 1988, – Constitutional Making; page 23,
“This arose in January 1922 after the Dáil by a narrow vote accepted the Treaty. De Valera resigned; Griffith was elected as Head of the Dáil Government and Collins Head of the Provisional Government established under the terms of the Treaty in fact although the formal existence of two Governments was contentious and confusing.”
Following that time Éamon De Valera and others who sat in Leinster House were using the mandate of the first and second Dáil Éireann using the ‘system’ of Leinster house. The Oireachtas ‘system’ was imposed by King George V in 1922 as a sham Provisional Government.
The Oireachtas is not a State; it is a ‘Corporation’ by royal assent to make Ireland remunerative to the Crown of England. The changes that were made to the Constitution of Ireland in 1922 in the Shelbourne Hotel Dublin by Michael Collins were not done in accordance with the democratic mandate and were therefore not valid. Collins had resigned from the Irish Republican Brotherhood and Arthur Griffith was elected as Head of the Dáil Government and was also President of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and Head of State. According to the same book ‘De Valera’s Constitution and Ours,’ Collins gave the committee involved with the invalid modifications to the Constitutional texts their terms of reference. It is well established by the documented historical fact from that time that, by coercion or otherwise, Michael Collins was forced to return an improvident Treaty document by the Crown of England which gave King George V the unconstitutional claim to counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Tyrone, Fermanagh, and Derry as well as 25% of the shipbuilding of the world, 80% of the linen trade, the heavy industries and the right to maintain his Crown forces to protect the assets he had been given. The Treaty by its nature had to ultimately be put to a referendum before the Irish people to become binding but by subsequent devious tactics the people of Éire were denied their Right to make that crucial decision by the houses of the Oireachtas which had been appointed to protect the Crown interests and the negotiations were subverted to prevent the enactments of our Nation as defined in the Irish Proclamation of 1916. That was not legal, valid or bone fide.
Michael Collins later claimed that at the last minute Lloyd George had threatened the Irish delegates with a renewal of “terrible and immediate war” if the Treaty were not signed by the Irish, but this was not mentioned in the Irish memorandum as a threat against the Irish delegates, but as a personal remark made by Lloyd George to Robert Barton, which was clearly meant to reflect the reality of the measure of the blunt force being applied which turned the negotiations into just another military tactic against the Irish. Barton later noted that:
“At one time he [Lloyd George] particularly addressed himself to me and said very solemnly that those who were not for peace must take full responsibility for the war that would immediately follow refusal by any Delegate to sign the Articles of Agreement.”
The actual Treaty was not, and could not have been signed in England by the Irish delegates as they were not given that authority to do so. It is also notable that the British delegates also did not have the mandate to sign the treaty. In fact, Arthur Griffith spoke in the Dáil on 14th December, 1921 to say;
“Now the British Ministers did not sign the Treaty to bind their nation. They had to go to their Parliament and we to ours for ratification.”
What was signed by the delegates during the negotiations in England was an agreement to have an agreement which had to be discussed and agreed by Dáil Éireann and more importantly had to be put to a decision by the people of the Irish Nation by referendum. Michael Collins was later to be implicated by the British propagandists and their Irish collaborators in the Oireachtas to suggest the he had unilaterally signed the improvident Treaty with the foreign oppressors but the facts are that when they returned, Collins and Griffith brought the details of the treaty, which included British concessions on the wording of the oath and the defence and trade clauses, along with the addition of a Boundary Commission to the Treaty and a clause upholding Irish unity. The final decision to sign the Treaty was made unilaterally by the Oireachtas in private discussions and was finally signed at 22 Hans Place, London on 5 December, 1921.
The Crown’s Oireachtas which had been appointed by King George V under his control by the Government of Ireland Act 1920 alleged that Michael Collins and the other Irish delegates had concluded negotiations by signing the Treaty when they were ‘unauthorised’ by the Irish people. However, it was the Oireachtas that made the unconstitutional decision to betray the will of the Irish people at 2.20am on 6 December, 1921.
The record shows that Michael Collins had set the record straight and unveiled the truth.
Dáil Éireann – Volume 3 – 14 December, 1921
DEBATE ON TREATY
MR. MICHAEL COLLINS (MINISTER FOR FINANCE): “The original terms that were served on each member of the delegation have not been read out. The thing has already taken an unfair aspect and I am against a private session. I have no particular feeling about it. I suggest that a vital matter for the representatives of the nation, and the nation itself, is that the final document which was agreed on by a united Cabinet, should be put side by side with the final document which the Delegation of Plenipotentiaries did not sign as a treaty, but did sign on the understanding that each signatory would recommend it to the Dáil for acceptance.”
The malicious intent of the Crown and its agents to infect Ireland with a false and ungodly Treaty has without doubt promoted the current economic, moral and ethical condition of our Nation. King George V had no right to interfere with Ireland in 1922 and nor did his representatives in the Oireachtas have any mandate from the people to subsequently concoct their version of an Irish Constitution where, for example, they included Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Constitution of their Saorstát Éireann to try to make Ireland remunerative to the Crown of England and from that time, to substitute the Authority of God in defiance of the Irish Proclamation with the English monarch. This action was invalid in 1922 and remains permanently invalid today and all subsequent documents that emanated from this travesty could never become valid.
The further changes made to Bunreacht na hÉireann in De Valera’s 1937 Constitution were also clearly invalid as it was voted on by the Citizens of only 26 Irish counties when it has to be a thirty-two county mandate to implement the decrees of our 1916 Proclamation.
From then on the Oireachtas has continued to impose even more amendments and legislation on the Irish people in continuity of the fraud that, by its very source, is null and void. King George V had no right to interfere with the legal and constitutional matters of Ireland in 1922 albeit unbeknownst to the people of Ireland and neither did the Crown or its subjects in the Oireachtas have a right to attempt to hand Irish Sovereignty over to the European Union, particularly as it was, again, without the full knowledge, and therefore full consent, of the people of Ireland.
The existing Standing Orders of the Oireachtas are stated as having been adopted by Resolution of the “Provisional” Parliament set up by King George V on the 11th of September, 1922 just 20 days after Michael Collins was shot. I will show how subsequent amendments to those Standing Orders further benefited the Oireachtas against the People of Éire further on in this document.
The records also show that Michael Collins was the Finance Minister of the ‘Provisional Government’ from the 26th of August, 1921 until the 22nd of August, 1922 and yet this provisional establishment has denied the existence and authority of Dáil Éireann and thereby the independence of our Nation since that time. Both the Civil Service and the politicians in the Oireachtas have consistently held contempt for the Irish Proclamation and Dáil Éireann in direct contradiction to the mandate given by the people. Furthermore, the Mahon Tribunal Report, compiled by your own Judge Mahon has confirmed the existence of corruption and illegality by politicians of the Oireachtas, as when referring to the Oireachtas he said, “Politicians are corrupt.”
It is notable also that the actions of the Civil Service in Ireland, of which the Judiciary and the Court Service are members, have consistently contradicted the intention of the Irish Proclamation as it persistently refers itself to and complies with the regular interference of the foreign Crown in the affairs of the Irish Nation.
The Oireachtas has purposely redefined the word “birthright” from its original purpose of providing for the rights of our future generations to a misleading understanding of the word to suggest that our future generations could achieve their Sovereign Natural Rights under God only ‘if’ they were allowed to be born in direct contradiction to our Christian ethos. This point is particularly evident in our Proclamation when it refers to the ‘birthright’ of future generations as those who need our care and protection in becoming our future leaders and benefactors. Our God-fearing principles are exemplified by our ancestral, traditional and accepted understanding of the way we asserted that we “…cherishing all the children of the nation equally…” understood the value of all past, present and future generations, irrespective of their stage of life.
In 1923 King George V and the Oireachtas made Dáil Éireann an illegal assembly and therefore Dáil Éireann has never sat in Leinster House in accordance with the 1918 thirty-two county election. The facts are that you and the judges are not appointed by Dáil Éireann. You were appointed by the Oireachtas under English control to tacitly, covertly and illicitly impose ‘English Common Law’ in the four courts into areas of jurisdiction that are explicitly denied by the Irish Proclamation. This was verified by the welcoming speech of Mary McAleese, whose qualifications include being a barrister under the Crown’s BAR, to the British Queen when in 2011 she said;
“It has been a fascinating two way street with Britain, bestowing on Ireland our system of Common Law, Parliamentary tradition, Independent Civil Service and gracious Georgian Architecture…..”
All political power in Éire is inherent in the People. Our Proclamation ensured that our Government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit of our People and not the other way round. Only the people of Éire have the right to alter or reform matters related to public policy at their behest, and only when the public good may require.
The thirty-two county Elections were a clear declaration of our will to remain an independent Nation. Our people trusted that those elected would carry out that decision and to create the necessary three branches of government; each with intentionally limited powers, as a safeguard against the potential of abuse; the Legislative to create laws, the Executive to carry out those laws, and the Judiciary, designed to hold all government in check should it reach outside its remit, the remit being the Constitution. And, of course, regarding the Justice System of which you hold responsibility, the People – in the forum of the jury. Most importantly, the People are not a part of the three branches of government, but are rather the Sovereign which the three branches of government serve. Therefore, there are no powers of government that can overrule the consent of the governed. If it does, it is not government, but rather usurpation, as also described in our Proclamation. History has shown that any such wrongful seizure or exercise of authority opens the door for revolt against such tyrants when posing themselves as “government,” as the Proclamation manifestly states;
The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people.
It is indisputable that the Oireachtas has combined with others to subject our People against their free will to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving their unauthorised assent to their acts of pretended legislation.
Further issues emphatically show how this usurpation has damaged our Nation. It is clear from the use of the word “deem” in the originating Constitution, Saorstát Éireann, most clearly seen at Article 40, that a Bill can be CONSIDERED lawfully enacted only when it has been passed by either House of the Oireachtas and accepted by the other.
SAORSTÁT ÉIREANN Article 40.
A Bill passed by either House and accepted by the other House shall be deemed to be passed by both Houses.
“Passing” means that the register of votes cast by the members shows a simple majority of votes indicating “Aye” as opposed to the number indicating “No”.
Article 40 in Saorstát Éireann is repeated exactly and verbatim in Bunreacht na hÉireann at Article 20.3 when referring to money Bills, budgets and votes of confidence.
BUNREACHT NA HÉIREANN Article 20.
3 A Bill passed by either House and accepted by the other House shall be deemed to be passed by both Houses.
However, in Article 25 of Bunreacht na hÉireann this definition of what “deemed” means is changed and the use of the word “deemed” is the one that has been employed as being sufficient to enact legislation. This time there is no explanation of what it means and a constructionist interpretation would allow it to mean that a Bill could either be “passed” or “deemed” meaning by default passed.
BUNREACHT NA HÉIREANN Article 25.
1. As soon as any Bill, other than a Bill expressed to be a Bill containing a proposal for the amendment of this Constitution, shall have been passed or deemed to have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, the Taoiseach shall present it to the President for his signature and for promulgation by him as a law in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
This deceptive amendment to the previous unambiguous wording, without reference to the relevant Articles in Saorstát Éireann or Article 20 of Bunreacht na hÉireann has allowed the use of misleading statements in Standing Orders to the point where it is accepted as procedurally correct and custom and practice for there to be a complete absence of the recording of a vote for or against a piece of legislation* by each of the TDs and Senators who have been elected to represent their constituents. (* with the possible exceptions on money Bills, budgets and votes of confidence where a piece of legislation is not at issue)
The distinct unwarranted alteration from the original Saorstát Éireann – Article 40 text that falsely empowered the Oireachtas to secretly create legislation which was never explained to, or decided on, by the People of Éire although it radically altered the power structure within our Nation. It is a deplorable indictment of the contempt of the Oireachtas for our Sovereignty. It is also clear from the wording in Saorstát Éireann that the false interpretation in Bunreacht Na hÉireann is not just incorrect but is invalid. This deception further sets us apart as the only democracy in the world where there is no publicly available record of how each Member of Parliament voted for each Bill proposed.
What is worse for Éire is that, being a Constitutional Republic, any proposed amendment to the Constitution must be passed by the Government BEFORE it can be lawfully put to the people for them to exercise their Sovereign powers. However, and notwithstanding the usurpation of the Sovereignty of the People as vested in Dáil Éireann under the categorical conditions of the Proclamation, the last numbers of referendums, including those on amending the Constitution to incorporate Treaties declared to have been required by membership of the EEC/EU have been deemed to have been passed by the Oireachtas – without being passed by a majority in one house of the Oireachtas before being put to the people. This has nullified the European Treaty Bills claimed to have been passed by the Oireachtas in any circumstances.
Dáil Éireann has never ratified the EEC Accession Treaty or the EU Accession Treaty nor has Dáil Éireann ever borrowed any Euro currency from the EU or the EU Central bank. It was the Oireachtas that has borrowed the EU currency from the European Union.
The contradictions in the fraudulent position taken by the Oireachtas on these issues are rife!
- • Could Dáil Éireann have ratified any such agreements when Dáil Éireann has not sat since 1922?
- • When or where was the State founded?
- • On what specific annual date might we celebrate our independence?
- • What Bunreacht na hÉireann are you and the judges using in the four courts if any?
- • Can you confirm in your reply when and where was the Bunreacht na hÉireann that you and the judges are using in the four courts was written and ratified?
President Michael D. Higgins when he was inaugurated in Dublin Castle said that Bunreacht na hÉireann would be 75 years old this year which is a blatant lie. Bunreacht na hÉireann is 93 years old and was written by the Irish Republican Brotherhood in GHQ Vaughans Hotel Dublin and ratified on the 21st of January 1919 in the Cabinet Room in the Mansion House Dublin under the 1918 thirty-two County elections as well as the 1916 Proclamation, the very foundation document of the State, the Sovereign Republic of Éire.
I asked Enda Kenny to not hand over the Sovereign Seal of Dáil Éireann to Michael D. Higgins in Dublin Castle. However it was you Justice Denham who illegally and fraudulently handed over the Sovereign Seal of Dáil Éireann, the ancient Biblical and sacred symbol of our Sovereignty, the psaltery with 12 strings in AD 2011 to Michael D. Higgins at Dublin Castle. The Sovereign Seal and Harp used by the State, Dáil Éireann and the Dáil Éireann courts are owned by and are the property of the Irish Republican Brotherhood who holds them in trust for the People/Irish Citizens.
Therefore, can you explain where you as Chief Justice are getting your Sovereign authority from to hand over our national Sovereign Seal or even to hold a court in the four courts?
The European Union presidency returns to the Sovereign Republic of Éire on the 1st of January, 2013. The Irish people have only a Provisional Government that does not have the right to sit at the EU table as a Provisional Government. Ireland’s Sovereignty is unique because it does not rely on a man-made construct but comes directly from God and therefore could never be compatible with any other man-made authority and yet our people were not informed that the Oireachtas had set about damaging that definitive position by contriving the illusion of our integration with other peoples who do not have same Sovereign authority and are actually subservient to their respective states in a blatant attempt to fetter the control of Irish destinies, which remain sovereign and indefeasible. Without our Sovereignty we are unable as a Nation to establish the concord with other nations as prescribed in the Preamble of Bunreacht na hÉireann which you have sworn to uphold.
The Irish Republican Brotherhood has made this position very clear to Enda Kenny and the Provisional Government as well as to Herman Achille Van Rompuy the president of the Council of the European Union, that if the European Union comes here on the 1st of January, 2013 it shall be deemed an act of war until Dáil Éireann has ratified the EEC Accession Treaty and the EU Accession Treaty in a thirty-two county referendum by the Sovereign Citizens, the Irish people of the Nation.
We have had 90 years of corruption and maladministration by the Provisional Government who have fraudulently aligned us with European Union member states without informing our people of the potential compromise of our Sovereignty. Dáil Éireann can no longer tolerate the connivances and undue interferences of the Oireachtas whether the wrongs done were carried out knowingly or unwittingly by its members. It is time to have an Irish Sovereign led Government in its rightful order and time for the Crown’s Oireachtas to stand down and be abolished.
Are we as a Nation expected to tolerate a denial of a Sovereign Government by King George V and his successor Queen Elizabeth II of England or by any similar oligarchy?
The so-called Sovereign debt imposed by the Crown’s Irish Provisional Government is in fact the responsibility of the Crown of England Queen Elizabeth II, the British Government and the unfortunate British taxpayer and not the Irish people whose resources and wealth continue to be plundered.
Enda Kenny is the only Provisional party leader sitting at the European table in the European Parliament. Enda Kenny has wrongly and fraudulently claimed to be the Taoiseach of Dáil Éireann and that his party founded the State. He is not, he is the chairman of the Oireachtas and subject and servant to the crown of England and to his Queen.
The Oireachtas does not have the right to appoint a judge or a member of the judiciary or a member of Dáil Éireann. This could occur only by means of a valid thirty-two county referendum. The Oireachtas seems to be basing its false and undemocratic claim on some unprecedented form of illusory squatter’s rights for 90 years.
The Tricolour, the flag of the State of Ireland that flew over the GPO in 1916 and that is on all State buildings, is owned and is the property of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The EU flag should not be elevated beside the Tricolour until Dáil Éireann has ratified the EEC Accession Treaty and the EU Accession Treaty.
Enda Kenny is not a member of Dáil Éireann; he is a member of the Oireachtas. Michael D. Higgins was never a member of Dáil Éireann; he was a member of the Oireachtas and he is president of the Oireachtas and therefore he is subject to and servant of the Crown of England Queen Elizabeth II. Michael D. Higgins is illegally and fraudulently claiming to be Head of State. Article 12 of Bunreacht na hÉireann was written by and for the Irish Republican Brotherhood and is for the president of the Irish Republican brotherhood who is Head of State of the Sovereign Republic of Éire and holds the thirty-two county mandate.
After 90 years of corruption and maladministration by the Provisional Government which has bankrupted the State and caused immeasurable harm to the Nation the country is now at its lowest ebb since 1916. The Oireachtas ‘must’ be abolished immediately. The Provisional Government is incapable of governing the State of the Sovereign Republic of Éire. The Provisional Government should be abolished as its ruination of our Nation is exactly what the Oireachtas was designed for by King George V and the British Government to hold Ireland remunerative and subservient to the Crown of England.
You Susan Denham, the Judiciary, Enda Kenny and the Provisional Government are in denial of the fact that the Oireachtas was ever only a Provisional Government. Only a Sovereign Government has the right to issue licences, collect taxes, make appointments and appoint members of the Judiciary. It is mandatory for the Sovereign Citizens as people to be governed by a Sovereign Government.
Signed and Sealed this day 7th September Anno Domini 2012 under the Sovereign Seal of the Sovereign Republic of Éire.
However, there are many in the legal fields who work diligently for the greater good of humanity. They strive, against the odds, to bring into existence a more equitable system of justice. They labour tirelessly on behalf of their clients, and do not succumb to the expediency of the moment. They represent the proud standard bearers of a profession that has, to a great extent, lost its way.
William James McGuire
President of the Irish Republican Brotherhood
President of the Sovereign Republic of Éire
Keeper of the Sovereign Seal of the Sovereign Republic of Éire
Head of State of the Sovereign Republic of Éire
Posted by Jim on May 1, 2014
The killing of a widowed mother of 10 has been hanging over Gerry Adams for 40 years. His arrest is a calculated gamble to clear his name—and began with the Obama Justice Department.
It was, nearly everyone agrees, one of the most cold-blooded and pitiless killings in Northern Ireland’s 30-some years of bloodshed and conflict.
Now, 42 years later, it threatens to place Gerry Adams, the man most responsible for ending the IRA’s brutal violence, behind bars for murder and put the Obama Justice Department in the dock for endangering a prized monument to American diplomacy and peace-building.
On a cold December evening in 1972, 37-year-old Jean McConville, a recently widowed mother of 10 young children, was with her family in their cramped apartment in Divis Flats, a working-class housing project on the edge of Catholic West Belfast, when the door was forced open and a gang of masked young women burst in and dragged her away.
Her crying children were left to fend for themselves for weeks, begging and stealing food, until eventually the local social services were alerted to their plight and they were sent to foster homes. The children were never to be reunited again as a family.
Their mother’s fate was worse. The women who burst into her flat were from the female branch of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which had been fighting the British army and government for two years to reunite Ireland and achieve full independence from Britain. West Belfast, and the Divis Flats in particular, was one of the IRA’s toughest strongholds.
The IRA women had come for Jean McConville because they believed she had been acting as an informer, passing on low-grade intelligence to the local British army barracks about local members of the IRA. A small radio transmitter had been found in her apartment, and she had been arrested by the IRA and admitted her involvement.
But a local IRA commander had given her one last chance. Brendan Hughes, a veteran IRA activist, told this writer that he had given McConville “a yellow card,” a soccer term that means another offense would result in “a red card,” or an ejection. But in the IRA’s case, “a red card” always meant death.
McConville’s family and the vast coterie of supporters who champion her cause bristle at the accusation, pointing out that a mother of 10 would hardly have time to gather intelligence on the IRA. Instead they say she was killed for giving aid to a wounded British soldier and that local people disliked her because she had been a Protestant until marrying her Catholic husband, when she converted. An inquiry headed by the Police Ombudsman, a sort of referee figure, came down against the informer allegation.
Whatever the truth, the IRA claimed to have evidence that McConville had ignored the “yellow card” warning and had resumed her treacherous activities.
What happened next, according to Hughes, sealed her fate. In the fall of 1972, the IRA in Belfast was commanded by Gerry Adams, regarded inside the IRA as the brightest strategic mind in the organization. He was also, Hughes said, a man who was very media savvy.
If the British put Adams on trial, his hardline opponents’ accusations of naiveté or selling out will be justified and the peace process will be seriously undermined.
A meeting was held of the top IRA leaders in Belfast with only one item on the agenda: what to do with McConville. Those present agreed that the penalty for informing had to be death. The only point of dispute was what to do with her body. Normally the IRA advertised the execution of traitors; the dead bodies of informers would be left in the open, “thrown in the street,” as the phrase had it, as a warning to others tempted to go down the same road.
But admitting that the IRA had killed a widow and mother of 10 was a potential public relations disaster. The media would be appalled and the British delighted. Much better, some IRA leaders argued, to kill her and hide the body, bury it in a secret grave, South American-style, so no one would ever know what had really happened—except the IRA leaders themselves.
The decision came down to “disappear” McConville. Hughes, who also gave the same testimony to Boston College’s oral history archive, said Adams agreed with the order.
And so McConville, believing she was in the hands of a Catholic charity and safe from the IRA’s vengeance, was taken across the Irish border by members of a special IRA unit called “The Unknowns,” so called because the authorities were unaware of their existence.
The unit was, according to Hughes, answerable to Adams, the Belfast commander. And so, Hughes said, the order to disappear McConville came ultimately from Adams.
McConville was taken to Dundalk, a small town just across the Irish border, held for a few days and then taken to a lonely beach at Carlingford Lough, one of Ireland’s most picturesque spots. At the edge of an already excavated grave a single bullet was fired into the back of her head and she fell lifeless into the hole. There she lay until 2003, when a member of the public walking the beach noticed a bone sticking out of the sand.
One of “The Unknowns” who had ferried McConville to Dundalk was Dolours Price, a strikingly attractive member of a renowned Belfast IRA family. Price had joined the IRA in 1971, inspired by an aunt who had been blinded and who lost both hands in an accidental IRA explosion in 1938. Dolours Price would later gain infamy as the leader of a bombing team that devastated London in 1973.
Arrested and imprisoned, she then embarked on one of the lengthiest hunger strikes in British prison history, during which she was force-fed so often she developed life-threatening anorexia and nearly died. Released from jail, she left the IRA, married the movie star Stephen Rea, and had two sons, settling down in an affluent part of Dublin.
But she never lost her Irish Republican beliefs. When Adams concluded secret negotiations with the British, U.S., and Irish governments that resulted in an IRA ceasefire and the acceptance by the IRA’s political wing, Sinn Fein, of the existence of Northern Ireland along with government posts for Adams’s colleagues, Price sensed betrayal.
She had ferried more than McConville to secret graves, and the burden of what she had done took its toll. Like Hughes, Price was interviewed for the Boston College archive, but she kept silent about McConville. When Hughes’s interviews were made public, however, she decided to break her silence and gave a number of newspaper interviews claiming that Adams had ordered McConville to be “disappeared.”
It is these two sets of interviews that form the core of the case against Gerry Adams, that the architect of the IRA’s peace strategy was an Irish Pinochet, responsible for the “disappearing” of innocent victims.
A British government effort to subpoena the interviews held in the Boston College archive has worsened Adams’s dilemma. The archive, begun in 2001, gave interviewees a promise that their memories would stay secret until they died, but a legal loophole created by an international treaty gave the British access to the trove. After nearly three years of legal battles, last fall several other interviews were handed over to the police in Northern Ireland. In March the police moved, arresting Ivor Bell, Adams’s closest confidant in 1972, in effect his No. 2, and charged him with aiding and abetting the McConville killing.
The arrest reignited a firestorm of speculation and controversy over Adams’s role. If Bell had been involved as the police alleged, then what role did the No. 1 play? As the firestorm raged, Adams issued a challenge to the police: “If you want to question me about McConville, then here I am. I will be happy to answer your questions.”
On Wednesday, Adams surrendered himself to the police for interrogation in what is undoubtedly the biggest gamble in his political life.
The McConville allegations have been like a monkey on his back for the best part of a decade. His party, Sinn Fein—Irish for “We Ourselves”—is well placed to enter government in Dublin at the next election, but his opponents have a potent weapon to use against him: his alleged role in the disappearance of McConville. He badly needs to throw the monkey off his back, and that explains his extraordinary move in giving himself up to the police.
It is a calculated gamble. Two of those who claim he gave the order to kill McConville, Hughes and Price, are dead. (Hughes died in 2008, Price in January 2014.) And anyway, their evidence is hearsay and can’t be used to charge, much less convict, anyone.
So if Adams can hold out for the days of interrogation that lie ahead, there is a good chance he can come out of police custody, declare himself an innocent man who answered police questions truthfully, and finally throw the monkey off his back.
There is much more at stake than just Adams’s freedom and reputation, however. He was the principal architect of the IRA peace strategy; without him the IRA would never have been maneuvered out of violence. If the British put him on trial, his hardline opponents’ accusations of naiveté or selling out will be justified and the peace process will be seriously undermined.
In all of this, the role of the Obama Justice Department has escaped the scrutiny that it deserves. The road to Adams’s arrest began in May 2011, when the DoJ served subpoenas on Boston College on behalf of the British government without conducting due diligence.
In an affidavit to the Boston District Court justifying the subpoena seeking Price’s interview with the college, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz cited a Belfast Sunday newspaper report that claimed to have heard Price’s tape admitting her part in McConville’s death.
But Price never mentioned the McConville killing in her interview for the archive, and a moment’s reflection would have revealed as nonsensical the idea that a Belfast newspaper, the equivalent of a supermarket tabloid in the United States, would be allowed access to such a secret, well-protected archive held by one of the country’s most prestigious colleges. The police in Northern Ireland pulled the wool over Ortiz’s and Attorney General Eric Holder’s eyes, and they did not even notice.
The peace process in Northern Ireland is a monument to American diplomacy. Without the efforts of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, it is doubtful whether a power-sharing government would be in Belfast or whether IRA guns would not only have been silenced but destroyed. The peace process is testimony to the fact that with enough effort, jaw-jaw can prevail over war-war.
Posted by Jim on
Mr Adams is being questioned in Antrim. (© Pacemaker)
It comes after deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness blamed the “dark side” of policing for the timing of his party leader’s arrest in the run-up of the European and local council elections.
Mr McGuinness said: “People who could be described as former republicans (are) targeting the Sinn Féin peace strategy and targeting the leader of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams.
“It has been disappointing to see the efforts of some of those people together in consort with the dark side within policing.”
But David Cameron said: “There has been absolutely no political interference in this issue.”
“We have an independent judicial system, both here in England and also we do have one in NI. We have independent policing authorities, independent prosecuting authorities. Those are vital parts of the free country and the free society we enjoy today.”
Gerry Adams is currently still in custody at Antrim PSNI Station where he is being held as part of the investigation into the 1972 abduction and murder of west Belfast mother Jean McConville.
Mr Adams presented himself voluntarily to the station on Wednesday night where he was then arrested and questioned under caution by detectives from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch.
UTV understands he is being questioned under the Terrorism Act 2000 and can be held for 48 hours before police need to apply to the courts for additional time to continue their interview.
Mr Adams has always denied having any part in the murder.
Martin McGuinness went on: “I view his arrest as a deliberate attempt to influence the outcome of the elections that are due to take place in three weeks’ time, north and south on this island.
“That raises very serious questions around why that is the case and what is the agenda.”
Meanwhile the DUP leader and First Minister Peter Robinson has come out in support of the PSNI in the actions they have taken in the McConville murder investigation.
He explained: “I would suggest it would be political policing if the PSNI had not questioned those that were deemed to have been involved in any way.
“It strengthens the political process in Northern Ireland for people to know that no-one is above the law, everyone is equal under the law and everyone is equally subject to the law.
“I commend the police for the action they have taken. They must have known that by taking this step they would be criticised from some quarters but it is my duty as First Minister, as it is for others that have taken up ministerial office, to give their support to police and the rule of law.”
© UTV News
Posted by Jim on
Over three days in August 1971 eleven people were killed by British troops in the Ballymurphy area
By Niall McCracken
THE British Government has rejected calls for an independent probe into the deaths of 11 civilians shot by British troops in Ballymurphy in August 1971.
In a letter sent to the families who were bereaved in the west Belfast shootings, the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers refused the calls on the grounds that it would not be in the public interest.
In a statement the Ballymurphy relatives, who had pressed for an investigation by an independent panel similar to that which examined the Hillsborough football tragedy, said they were devastated by the decision:
“We, the Ballymurphy families, are shocked and outraged at the British Government’s response, particularly in light of the support which has been rightly provided in the Hillsborough case which includes supporting the legal costs of inquests.
“We have led our campaign for truth and justice in a dignified but determined manner and deserve the opportunity to have the innocence of our loved ones proven.”
The families added: “Our legal representative, Padraig Ó Muirigh is considering a judicial review against the decision by the British Secretary of State to refuse the establishment of an Independent Panel.”
The relatives gathered together this morning to receive a letter confirming the decision. In the letter the Secretary of State said “the balance of public interest does not favour establishing an independent review”.
In a statement the Secretary of State added:“I would like to reiterate my deepest sympathy and condolences for the families who were bereaved in August 1971. I am aware that this decision is not the outcome the families had hoped for. Having met them – and other families affected by other incidents throughout the Troubles – I know that the passage of time does not ease the pain and hurt felt about the loss of loved ones.
“I am willing to meet with the Ballymurphy families and their representatives again, if they wish.”
In recent years the families have been campaigning for an inquiry similar to the model used to examine the Hillsborough football disaster of 1989 which would review all documents relating to the deaths of their loved ones.
In a previous interview as part of The Legacy series professor Phil Scraton, a key architect of the Hillsborough Model, said he believed it could be used to examine controversial killings from the Troubles.
An independent panel was appointed to look at the 96 deaths which occurred as a result of a stadium crush during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield.
In contrast, the Bloody Sunday Inquiry cost £191 million and following the publication of Lord Saville’s report the Prime Minister, David Cameron, publicly stated that there would be no more “open-ended and costly inquiries”.
But the panel model is seen as faster and more cost effective than other public inquiries and, after it was successfully used in the Hillsborough tragedy, the Ballymurphy families campaigned for a similar panel to be funded by the British and Irish governments.
Earlier this year the Irish Government backed the families’ campaign and in March the Taoiseach Enda Kenny raised the issue with Prime Minister Mr Cameron during a meeting at Downing Street.
However the Secretary of State’s letter marks the British Government’s first public confirmation that it would not help fund the panel.
“NOT IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST”
John Teggart describes eye witness accounts of how his father was shot in Ballymurphy in August 1971 /
Over three days in August 1971 eleven people were killed by British troops in the Ballymurphy and Springhill area in West Belfast. Ten of the victims were shot dead, while another was wounded and died of a heart attack.
Eleven families lost loved ones and a total of 57 children were bereaved.
Mother of eight Joan Connolly was among the civilians shot dead by the Parachute Regiment. Eyewitness accounts compiled by the families detail how she was shot in the face when attempting to aid an already injured man.
Further accounts detail how local parish priest, Father Hugh Mullan, approached an injured man waving a white baby grow and was fatally shot in the back when returning to safety.
The events unfolded hours after the government introduced a policy of internment – the controversial detention of paramilitary suspects without charge or trial.
At the time army officials claimed troops opened fire in response to shots from republican paramilitaries – though this was rejected by the bereaved.
Families of the victims say the case raises serious questions over the human rights record of the army in Northern Ireland.
Graphic accounts of the events in Ballymurphy have been recorded . Speaking to The Detail before the Secretary of State’s decision was announced, John Teggart recalled how his father was killed.
“One of the eyewitness accounts, that saw my father get shot, said his body bounced with every bullet,” he said.
“That’s 14 bullets passing through his body from a distance of 50 yards across the road.
“I was 11 years of age at the time and we have been campaigning ever since.”
A number of investigations into the event have proved unsatisfactory for the bereaved families and they have taken their campaign for an independent investigation to Europe.
Legal representatives of the Ballymurphy families have openly questioned the fitness of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET), after the UK’s top policing watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, found it had serious shortcomings. It said the way the HETreviews deaths caused by soldiers was not sufficiently independent.
The shootings in Ballymurphy took place six months before Bloody Sunday in Derry where thirteen people were shot dead when British paratroopers opened fire on crowds at a civil rights demonstration.
In November 2011 the Ballymurphy families welcomed the Attorney General’s decision to re-open inquests into the deaths but raised concerns about the limitations of an inquest to investigate “the context, circumstances and aftermath”.
In June 2012, the former Northern Ireland secretary of State, Owen Paterson, turned down the campaigners’ request for a full public inquiry inquiry saying it was “not in the public interest”.
Today Ms Villiers repeated this position and said she did not believe a Hillsborough-style review would “provide answers which are not already in the public domain or covered by existing legal processes”.
In recent years families have been lobbying both the British and Irish governments for the appointment of an independent panel to instead examine all documents relating to the deaths of their loved ones.
Its focus would include the investigation of the role of the British Government, British Army, criminal justice agencies such as the RUC, the Coroner’s Office and the significance of the media.
In a previous article as part of The Legacy series, The Detail interviewed Queen’s University professor Phil Scraton who was a prominent member of the panel tasked with looking at the circumstances and aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster.
Professor Scraton believes killings from the Troubles could be investigated using the same model of inquiry and he is one of the proposed members of the seven member Ballymurphy panel put forward by campaigners. Other proposed members include civil rights lawyer Gareth Pierce and former police ombudsman Nuala O’Loan as chair.
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.”
Posted by Jim on April 13, 2014
Posted by Neil F. Cosgrove in The Wild Geese
While the rest of Europe plunged into darkness with the fall of the Roman Empire, the light of learning and western civilization was kept flickering in Ireland, preserved in the monasteries established by the followers of St. Patrick. However, it would only be a matter of time before the “light” attracted the unwanted attention of those more interested in plunder than learning. A period of warming weather and a population explosion in what we now know as Scandinavia combined to unleash upon Europe a terror the likes of which had never been seen before: the Vikings.
In 795, the Viking attacks on Ireland began with the sacking and burning of a monastery on Rathlin Island . Hit and run raids along the Irish coast would continue for the next forty years. The Viking tactics changed however in 837; sixty Viking longboats appeared in the river Boyne while another sixty appeared in the river Liffy and began to raid inland and plunder the great monasteries such as Clonamacnois. In the winter of 841-842 the Vikings wintered in Ireland at a defensive position they had established: Dublin. The Vikings were now no longer raiders, they were occupiers and colonists. The Vikings began building fortified towns, longphorts, near the sea which was the source of their strength. These Norse settlements would be the basis for the future Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Wicklow, Limerick and Stangford. The drawback to these settlements for the Vikings is that they provided fixed targets for the Irish to attack. The result was the establishment of a chaotic and often violent status quo, with Viking Jarl and Irish Chieftain making and breaking alliances as part of ongoing power struggles in both communities
One of the contributing factors to the success of the Viking invasion was that the Ireland of that time was made up of dozens of small kingdoms and competing kings and chieftains. Brian was the younger son of Cennedi (Kennedy), the King of the Dal Cais of north Munster, what would be equivalent to modern County Clare (“Boru” was not a family name, but a cognomen given after Brian’s death; either a reference to “Béal Bóruma” a fort where his family held sway or the Gaelic “bóruma” meaning “of the tributes” indicating a powerful lord to whom homage was to be paid.). The Dal Cais had recently risen in power due to the strategic position of their lands straddling the river Shannon, which combined with knowledge gained from Norse tactics allowed them to become a formidable military force. Brian’s older brother, Mathgamain, succeeded to the kingship of Munster and successfully captured and sacked the Viking settlement of Limerick. Mathgamain success was short lived; he was betrayed by supposed allies and murdered. Brian avenged his brother’s death and assumed the throne of Munster.
For the next twenty years Brian would increase his power with a vision of becoming Ard Ri, “High King “of a united Ireland. The title of Ard Ri was an ancient one, that had long been held by the O’Neill’s of Ulster, but it was more honor than substance, with the minor kings giving or withholding support as suited them. This was to change with Brian. In 999 Brian captured Dublin, the last of the Viking cities yet to fall under his control. Brian became High King in name and fact with the submission of the then current High King, Malachy the II, in 1002.
The next decade was a period of relative peace and prosperity in Ireland. Under Brian’s protection, the plundered monasteries were rebuilt. It is said that Brian sent emissaries abroad in an attempt to acquire and return treasures and artifacts that had been taken from Ireland. Relative peace and stability gave rise to a new golden age of Irish culture.
However, such a Golden Age would not last long. In an attempt to consolidate his power through reconciliation, Brian had allowed Sitric, the Viking King of Dublin, and Mael Mordha King of Leinster to retain their positions after swearing fealty to Brian. Combining forces along with Viking allies that had been recruited by Sitric from the Orkney Islands Sitric and Mael Mordha decided to challenge Brian at Clontarf, located outside of what was then Dublin, on Good Friday April 23, 1014. What resulted was one of the largest and bloodiest battles of the Dark Ages. The battle swayed back and forth throughout the day when finally Brian’s forces gained the advantage. The result was a slaughter ; Sitric and Mael Mordha killed and many of the Orkeny Vikings drowning as they attempted to flee in panic to their Longships as the tide was coming in. Out of an estimated force of 6,500-7,000 Vikings who fouht that day nearly 6,000 were killed; such was the magnitude of the route by Brian’s forces, However, in winning the battle the Irish had also lost heavily; Brian’s son and grandson were both killed in the battle. Legend says that Brian, now an old man in his seventies, was killed by a fleeing Viking who found the old man at prayer for his lost son, grandson and in honor of Good Friday. Without Brian’s strong leadership and the succession of his house in shambles, Ireland rapidly reverted to the disjoint and feuding kingdoms that had preceded Brian’s reign.
Legends says that Brian Boru drove the Vikings out of Ireland. Brian’s victory at Clontarf did mark the last time the Vikings would attempt a major landing in Ireland, but the Norse of the longphort’s had been in Ireland for generations and had become, and would continue to be, an integral part of Irish Society. At the same time the descendents of Vikings that settled in France, the Normans whose name was a corruption of “Norse Men“, invaded Ireland 55 years later and would begin another conquest of Ireland. One wonders what might have been the result if Brian Boru’s united Ireland had been able to persist longer, could the Normans have conquered a united Ireland rather than playing minor kings off against each other as events transpired.
It would be equally wrong to view the end of Brian’s High Kingship at Clontarf as a hollow victory that brought to an end Brian’s vision of a unified Ireland on that Good Friday 1014. It was memories of the Golden Age of Brian’s reign that would keep alive the vision of Ireland’s nationhood in the face of conquest and oppression; that would inspire the volunteers who rose in Dublin on Easter Monday 1916, not far from where Brian had asserted Ireland’s right to sovereignty 900 years before, and set Ireland once more on the path of independence and unity. On another Good Friday, 984 years later, 10 April 1998, the light of the promise of a free, peaceful and united Ireland was lit again with the Good Friday agreements. Despite the winds of politicians and voices of division that light continues to flicker and we must nourish and protect that small flame of freedom until all of Ireland bask in the light of freedom as it was in the time of Brian Boru.
Posted by Jim on
Gerry McGeough – 2011 Conviction Unsafe
Aiden Carlin Solicitor has welcomed the UK Supreme Court’s decision to grant Gerry McGeough leave to Appeal his case.
Commenting on the announcement, Aiden Carlin said: “In addition to the new headline facts disclosed about Gerry McGeough’s case, there are important aspects of European and domestic law which say his conviction is unsafe. Not least, the evidence adduced at Gerry McGeough’s trial from an alleged asylum application made 30 years ago in Sweden. The receipt of such evidence at his trial was a breach of common law rules and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. EU law recognises the need for a common policy of protection for asylum seekers yet in Gerry McGeough’s case this was repeatedly ignored.”
Solicitor Aiden Carlin concluded: “There is a clear momentum now to have Gerry McGeough’s 2011 conviction quashed because of material non-disclosure on a spectacular scale and errors in law during his trial and Appeal. We trust his UK Supreme Court hearing later this year will be another step in that direction.”
Posted by Jim on March 28, 2014
Below is an article by SF MLA Gerry Kelly on “the new beginning to policing…fair and impartial, free from partisan political control”. Interesting, Mr Kelly, since the majority of arrests, incarcerations and interments without trial has been due to the PSNI/RUC’s relentless pursuit of republicans on alleged offences dating back to the troubles post Good Friday Agreement. Mr. Kelly goes on to say…”with the PSNI replacing the RUC in 2001”. Did you say, “Replacing the RUC”? Don’t you mean replacing the RUC’s name with the name PSNI in order to protect the guilty? This may be an old cliché, but it still holds true – ‘a rose by any other name is still a rose’ Mr. Kelly.
“The GFA, which created the political architecture to facilitate a peaceful and democratic path to the re-unification of our country”…Mr. Kelly, there is nothing “democratic” about republicans still being pursued, arrested and interned without trial. The illegal detention of Marian Price, Martin Corey, Stephen Murney and the highly publicized arrest, trial and incarceration of Gerry McGeough on 32 year old charges to name a few, was far from democratic. In fact, it was down right undemocratic and it happened on Sinn Fein’s watch, as they were now part of the “new policing structures and accountability in the last 6 years”.
While Mr. Kelly’s article below practically applauds the PSNI/RUC and suggest we here in America should embrace them with open arms, the PSNI/RUC continue their relentlessly pursuit of republicans while the security forces are left unscathed, unprosecuted and protected by the British government, DUP and Sinn Fein in spite of the part they played in the murder of innocent Catholics through acts of collusion with loyalist death squads during the same time period as those republicans who have been or are being arrested right now on alleged offenses dating as far back as 1972.
Mr. Kelly says that “Given such a scenario, protests against joint PSNI-GARDA participation in an event such as the St. Patrick’s Day parade-a manifestation of Irishness and Irish culture-is unwarranted and has been met with a degree of surprise and nonchalance by the nationalist and republican community in the North of Ireland. Oh, really? If that was truly the case, Mr. Kelly, you wouldn’t have taken the time out of your busy day to write this article and have it distributed throughout America by Friends of Sinn Fein USA if you really believed that. Secondly, no one protested the GARDA. They protested the PSNI/RUC.
In reading this article over a few times, I believe I am starting to understand the real reason behind why Mr. Kelly wrote this article in the first place. It certainly wasn’t to tell us that “the protests were met with a degree of nonchalance in the north”. No, there is more to it. Reasoning tells me that the PSNI/RUC invite by the parade committee and the tweets by Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness supporting the PSNI/RUC marching in the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade ignited a rather large flame under the majority of Irish-Americans who support the cause of Ireland’s self-determination and were outraged by this stunt.
You see, prior to the PSNI/RUC marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade and post GFA, the media, the British government, and now Sinn Fein, have been able to demonize those who think and speak outside the box. Good people, with good intentions, who have been involved in the cause of Irish freedom and the re-unification of Ireland for more than 20-30 years, who dare to question, criticize or challenge some of Sinn Fein’s policies are labeled “dissidents”. A buzz word deliberately used to most likely alienate them from the heard. However, this time, Sinn Fein can’t label us ALL dissidents because too many of us, from all different Irish-American groups, including solid supporters of Sinn Fein, spoke out in protest against the PSNI/RUC marching in an Irish Catholic parade. Therefore, Sinn Fein is now trying to explain away why they supported the invite to begin with and I see this article as nothing more than a form of “damage-control” and trying to keep us Irish-Americans in our place.
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.
Posted by Jim on January 28, 2014
Just before he died, Daniel Cassidy released a pioneering book that begins to prove how American slang has a root in the Irish American urban experience.
As usual, snoots would rather fall on the side of error than to end the kibosh on ascribing Irish origins to any aspect of Anglo-American society.
Ireland has a native civilization older than England or France, and it has out-proportioned contributions to modernist culture, but it is more usually described as derivative rather than an originator of trends. Despite stubborn refusal, “jazz” and “poker”, “moolah” and “spunk” all derive from Irish Gaelic, which was used in New York by the Irish like Yiddish and Spanglish was used later-on in the city.
Some dismiss these theories without any real understanding of the Irish Gaelic language. They existentially must disallow the language had mixed with English – jerks without the knack to dig it. Others dismiss the theories in loyalty to academia’s wine and cheese status quo, and don’t wish to seem too maverick, or too “street,” like Cassidy who had an unabashed Brooklyn accent. There’s an element of snobbery involved in the outright refusal many swells have for this working stiff’s tome.
Cassidy was among those who have begun to case the hidden history, anyway, and show how gambling slang, underworld lingo, street gang terms, street-wise cant, merchant code and political jargon in New York City is teeming with Irish Gaelic that melted into American English.
Fellow politically-minded academics present English history and culture as being spic and span of Irish influence, and so ignore impulsively, both Irish American slang-smiths in the modern period and Irish Gaelic teachers who taught the early Medieval English how to read and write. They prefer to label Irish words in English as unknown, or originated in more swank cultures like Latin or French. It’s basic prejudice on the side of the common hegemony, rooted in ignorance.
This is a small taste compiled from Daniel Cassidy’s boss book, “How the Irish Invented Slang”, and from Niall Ó Donaill’s “Foclóir Gaeilge-Béarla”.
We don’t normally exclaim “Gee whiz” or “Gee whilikers” anymore. We associate such talk with a classic time in New York, when Irish Gaelic was the secret language of the slums, an Irish Gaelic word which means ‘s slom é, or “it’s bleak.” In the slums it was common to hear Irish people say Dia Thoilleachas, Gee Hillukus, which became Gee Whilikers, and means the “will of God.” “Gee” is the approximate pronunciation of Dia, or the Irish word for God. “Holy cow” means Holy Cathú or Holy Cahoo or Holy Grief. “Darn” is another Gaelic exclamation. In Irish you say daithairne ort, which means, “darn on you” or “misfortune on you.” Gee whiz comes from Dia Uas or Geeuh Woous which means “noble god.”
Irish love words were once all over pop songs pumped out from Tin Pan Alley. “Mother Macree”, or mother of my heart, was a huge hit from those early days of pop. A big name in early popular theater, was Irishman Dion Boucicault who wrote ‘The Streets of New York”, and included lots of Gaelic in the titles and dialogue of his blockbusters.
Irish pet names like peata, or pet, are still current, as is báb or bawb, which is babe today.
Love songs were published as sheet music for people to sing to at the piano, and it was commonplace to hear Irish pet names like Avourneen, Mavourneen, Acushla, Agrah and other lovely words like that
The Irish were pioneers in pop culture, and they littered American popular entertainment from Mother Macree to Huckleberrry Finn with snippets of their language.
If you want to cully support, you’re calling on your cuallaí, or friends to help you. In modern Irish, collaí has the sense of being carnal or sexual.
If you want to gather people together you make a ballyhoo about the gathering, which in Irish is bailliú, and pronounced like ballyhoo. You might use a slogan in your ballyhoo to promote the gathering, as slogan comes from slua ghairm, the yell of a crowd or a battle-cry. Ballyhoo entered the language at the circus, where Irish people would use slogans to make ballyhoo about a new show everyone should come out and see. Buddy is another Irish Gaelic word, which comes from the Irish expression, a vuddy, or a bhodaigh, which means something like “pal.” The root of the word bhodaigh is strangely, bod, which is the Irish word for penis, and pronounced like bud.
Speaking of body parts, the Irish put their Gaelic mark all over the stiff, or corpse, which comes from the word staf or “big guy.” If someone has their snoot in the air, they’re acting like snoots, which comes from the Irish expression snua aird or when someone appears to be on high, and is acting like a swank swell with his nose in the air.
Swank is the Irish word somhaoineach or “valuable” in disguise. Swell is the word sóúil or “luxurious” dolled up to suit the English speaker. If you kick a rich guy in the can, you’re kicking him in his ceann which is the “extremity” of a thing, and also “head,” which is at the other end from the tail end.
Dogs comes from do chos your feet. The vulgar word for the vagina, pussy, isn’t so bad, it just means pus or pouty lips in Irish Gaelic. It’s a descriptive term, and not insulting. Mug, however, is insulting, and the common phrase “ugly mug” comes from the word muic, which means pig.
Irish Gaelic was a secret language in Éire, which was once an Ireland riddled with foreign spies, and so it was a language to keep the copper (the catcher, the thinker) from catching on. Cop comes from ceapaim, and means “I catch, think etc.” You try to keep the cop from figuring out your racket, or your reacaireacht, your “dealing, selling or gossiping.”
Just like the word bailiff came from the Gaelic word baille for bally or homevillage, the word in New York for the cop on the beat, was the ceap on the béad, the protector on ill-deeds.
Another kind of Big Shot is the racketeer, who can be a cop or a goon – glommers collecting grift – official or underworld. There’s little difference when you boil it down between official thieves and illegal ones, and the Irish knew this, observing the most organized acts of criminality enacted by a dolled up British state, exploiting and criminalizing their own civilization. Big Shot is the Irish word for chief in disguise: seoid, meaning “jewel” or figuratively, “chief.”
Racketeer is also related to the Irish word reachtaire which was the title for the money-taking administrator at a colonial big house or at a church office back in Ireland. On the streets of New York, the racketeer has translated the duties and strategies of the colonizer into street crime rackets for himself–the oppressed learn the methods of oppression better than anyone.
A word that should be brought back is “joint” for place or establishment or room. It’s a word that instantly conjures an entire world of old New York. It comes from the Irish word for protection or shelter, a place with a roof, such as in the root of the Irish word for penthouse, díonteach or jeent-ock.
If you want to ditch a joint, and skedaddle in a jiffy, because some dick has copped on to your whereabouts, you want to de áit a díonteach or de-place a joint, and sciord ar dólámh or make an all out slip in a deifir in a “hurry,” because some dearc or “eye” or PI, has ceaptha or thought or caught on to your whereabouts.
Eugene O’Neill was another huge name in early American pop culture. His plays were also high art, but riddled with Irish themes and language. His favorite word for money was jack, which is a straight-up glom from the Irish tiach, or money or purse. A guy with a jack-roll, was a guy with a wad of cash, spoondoolies or dollars, rolled up. Spoondoolie is one of those old slang words that got resurrected recently in video games, along with Simolions, the currency of Sim City, an urban planning computer fantasy. They’re weird English takes on Irish Gaelic expression for a big pile of money or suim oll amháin.
Not everyone is hip to the process where words in one language get misheard and pronounced differently in the new language. In Irish if you want make sure someone understands your meaning, you say, Diggin tú? It’s a normal phrase you hear at the end of sentences all the time. In America, An duigeann tú? Became Diggin you? or You dig? It takes a certain knack to understand how closely related the concepts and sounds of tuig and dig are to each other.
Most scholars go by their goofy hunch, that tells them that Irish Gaelic is some dead language no one ever spoke. In fact, it was the first language of most Irish Americans that came here in the big flood of Irish after the famine, when that famine adversely targeted Irish-speaking areas first and foremost, sending Irish speakers to America before anyone.
In the anti-Gaelic mind, Irish language is a queer idea, and way too vast a thing to even engage – easier to kill it than to incorporate it into an academic’s repertoire of reference. The academic makes this decision usually because he or she is already burdened with three centuries of censorious English state propaganda about the meaning and origin of Anglo-American civilization, which did not come about like their poets’ tell us it did.
Another reason Irish Gaelic is neglected as an original source for American slang, is because a lot of the street slang that the Irish made up, relates to a world of vice and crime, some Irish would prefer did not exist.
There is shame associated with the destruction of native Irish Gaelic civilization, because the Irish lost their literature and institutions with the victory of the British Empire over their native government. They were impoverished, and took up crime in some instances. The Irish share with Black people and Jews, an urban legacy in America that is not squeaky clean, but rather dirty, like life is dirty when you have no money.
Having street smarts is one way to look at the world realistically, and not be duped by those who would double cross you to take your jag on the personal level or your natural resources on the imperial one. Those who first come to the city as hicks or boobs, come with the law of hospitality firmly entrenched in their hearts, only to awaken from such kindness by the cruelty of urban America. It’s dangerous to be a dork or ninny in the dog eat dog world. That’s why there are so many words for the person-preconditioning, the person before he develops the cop-on that accompanies an ambitious life post-nincumpoop to make it in New York.
One way to wake up is to get slugged in the face and have your jag jacked. The Fighting Irish is a common aptronym that describes the occupation of many a brawler that had to whale on an opponent to survive or climb the ladder leading out of the rat race.
As an organized people, they were sparring with the much better organized establishment. The Irish bickered with the WASP elite until the established order in New York broke down, reformed the sweatshop system of labor in Victorian Anglo-American society, and conceded to the unions and political machines the rights and benefits that created the middle class from the working class that the establishment would have been happy to see slaving away in sweatshops to this day. Instead, the Irish organized and fought for a conception of America that yielded working people an American Dream, a chance to climb out of the slum and into a middle class job and lifestyle.
Lace curtain Irish is a term that describes the middle class Irish who climbed out of the slum into the spic and span homes of the American dream. They left behind a time in American cities when the Irish were smack dab in the middle of street life, theater, pop entertainment and politics. The swells from the WASP tradition who owned the banks and institutions of American society tried everything to defame and prevent the Irish from joining their swank ranks, but that ended, or so the story goes, when JFK broke the barrier that separated the WASP from the Irish, and went from Harvard to the White House, key bastions of the establishment’s institutional power.
One of the ways the Irish got there was by giving up their jazzy speech for the snazzy touch that remade them into crackers and honkies. Although it’s commonplace to describe the Irish today as white establishment members, par excellence, they come from Irish Gaelic roots that put them in the middle of New York street life. We’re comfortable enough now where we can re-engage that original condition, and reclaim for ourselves a key position in the history of American pop entertainment, language and culture.
Taken from the article originally published in 2010.
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
Posted by Jim on December 17, 2013
113-117 Donegal Street
Belfast, Northern Ireland
BTI 2GE November 28, 2013
BELATED TRUTH ON MRF
Fergal Hallahan was more right than he imagines (25th November) about the derision accorded anyone with the temerity to accuse Britain of deploying a Military Reaction Force of plain-clothes British troopers who gunned down unarmed nationalists using non-military weapons.
During my years as both editor of the IRISH PEOPLE weekly American newspaper and National Director of Irish Northern Aid, I was tasked with presenting such facts to the American public and especially Congressmen.
The contention we Republicans repeatedly made was that the crown had sent out the MRF, and later wiped British fingerprints from their killings by shifting from the MRF to having the shots fired by loyalist proxies. This tactic had obvious advantages, including avoiding British Army casualties like those inflicted by the IRA at the Four Square Laundry. It allowed the British plausible deniability. Collusion in murders carried out by loyalists could be denied outright or blamed on a cadre of crown force bad apples, no matter how much targeting intelligence, agent control or safe passage the British had supplied.
Britain’s answer to these charges never changed. British officials would declare, self-righteously that “Her Majesty’s government” would never stoop to deploy such a unit. The British Army “yellow card” rules were sacrosanct, they scoffed, and this code was rigorously applied whenever British troopers opened fire. These sanctimonious British denials were believed by the public, politicians and journalists to the extent that this hand-picked death squad remained largely unknown to the public.
Panorama’s programme,”Britain’s Secret Terror Force” proves that Republicans were right about Britain’s deployment of a terror force, the MRF. It proves that those high-ranking British officials who denied that the crown would stoop to such tactics were either deliberately misled by the crown or deliberately misleading others on the crown’s behalf. Members of this British terror squad have no worries that they will face justice for killing unarmed Irish civilians like Daniel Rooney or Patrick McVeigh. They freely boast of their misdeeds, for the television cameras, confident that they enjoy a selective immunity and impunity, not granted Republicans like Gerry McGeough, Seamus Kearney or John Downey.
We Republicans were right about the MRF and just as right about Britain’s tactical shift from the MRF terror force to doing their ‘dirty war’ work through loyalist proxies. Must we await another Panorama documentary before people face the facts about Britain’s complicity with loyalist killers in collusion murders? Must we wait to see members of British forces who directed collusion murders congratulating themselves in televised interviews?
Slan, MARTIN GALVIN
Posted by Jim on November 15, 2013
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 River 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.
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.”
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:
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.
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.
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
Posted by Jim on September 22, 2011
Posted by Louise Sullivan on
Posted by Louise Sullivan on
Posted by Jim on September 21, 2011
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.
Posted by Jim on June 20, 2011
Posted by admin on
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 – ?
Posted by Louise Sullivan on June 20, 2010
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
Posted by Louise Sullivan on