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Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

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  1. A volley of shots was fired, last Tuesday morning, by the IRA, at the funeral of Vol. Seamus "Chang" Coyle.
  2. A very noble and inspiring address, even for those who are not religious. Even though he starts out with fairly strident and partisan words, once he has his listeners attention, he introduces an extraordinarily inclusive ecuminism. Sadly, it was this expansiveness of thought that enraged the small minded "Islamic" fanatics, who have no understanding of religion, and only use it as a weapon to extend their private power and wealth. So much so, that they are ready to help the Anglo-Saxon crusaders to slaughter Muslim men, women and children in their tens of thousands. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh1FRupHwV4&feature=related
  3. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Chinese leader ignores Sarkozy

  4. Nicaragua and Libya : two cases of connivance and cant by toni solo and Jorge Capelan, March 17th 2011 Routine self-serving distortion of world events by the corporate and alternative media exists in symbiosis with a willfully deluded narrative of Western moral authority and superiority. That narrative feeds off the systematic hypocrisy and insane vanity of the Western Bloc political leaders in the countries of North America and Europe and their Pacific allies. Majority world opinion no longer accepts the ridiculous pretence to moral leadership of Western politicians. Only their brutal readiness to use overwhelming military power to get their geopolitical way gets them a pseudo-respectful hearing in international forums. The cases of Libya and Nicaragua, respectively, offer clear examples of the almost complete collapse of credibility of the Western Bloc political and media classes. No one familiar with the systematic, deceitful under-reporting and misreporting of events in Nicaragua over the last decade will take seriously for a second Western corporate and much alternative media coverage of events in Libya. As events unfold, what seems to be happening is that Western media in general are becoming more and more irrelevant except as propaganda sources of increasingly absurd false beliefs providing a spurious basis for imperialist intervention by the Western Bloc powers. The developing military aggression against Libya confirms the perfidious folly of Western Bloc neocolonial ambition. The Arab allies of that aggression are precisely the regional governments responsible for repressing democracy and human rights in their countries. Libya's government is one of the few Arab countries that has consistently and successfully applied a redistributive program to its economy in favour of the majority of the population. That is one of the reasons for the minority rebellion against the Libyan government, since at least some of the rebels seem to represent a clique greedy to get a bigger share of Libya's wealth for themselves. The Libyan government faces a rebellion from rebel forces who compensated for their self-evident lack of popular support with well-prepared armed violence and immediate calls for foreign intervention. That minority rebellion is supported by the same anti-democratic Arab regimes who have looked on with approval at the murderous repression of the Shia majority in Bahrain. It is hardly surprising that the much more broadly based African Union has explicitly opposed the imperialist aggression against Libya now under way. Similar double standards prevail in Latin America. President Barack Obama's upcoming visit to Brazil, El Salvador and Chile is likely to come to symbolize declining US economic and political influence in that part of the world. The official US government narrative is that its policies promote prosperity and democracy in the region. But its key allies have been corrupt, murderous, narcotics-ridden regimes of dubious legitimacy in Colombia and Mexico whose social indicators are among the worst in the hemisphere. Similar double-talk characterizes US and European Union relations with Nicaragua. The case of Nicaragua Misrepresentation and false reporting of events in Nicaragua is routine in the international corporate media. Omission of readily available data, factual errors, deliberate distortion, reliance for information on unrepresentative cliques, have all helped construct the Western Bloc media caricature of a country stifled by a corrupt, undemocratic government. Consistent affirmation of Nicaragua's dramatic social and economic progress by international organizations from the IMF to UNESCO to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to the Panamerican Health Organization is regularly written out of the media record. Events in Nicaragua are constantly reported from the point of view of a tiny, politically irrelevant elite who maintain undue influence by piggy-backing on right-wing political allies. Leading voices of that clique include the talented novelists Sergio Ramirez and Gioconda Belli, discredited former Sandinista leaders like Dora Maria Tellez, Victor Hugo Tinoco or Monica Baltodano, disingenuous journalists like Carlos Fernando Chamorro and his brother-in-law the politician Edmundo Jarquin. Jarquin is now a vice-presidential running mate for right-wing gerontocrat Fabio Gadea. As the program of the Nicaraguan government under President Daniel Ortega progresses, the corporate media caricature looks steadily more demented. Only people resolutely determined to deny the facts can rationally accept dishonest news reports on Nicaragua in the supposedly respectable international media. The same is true of most of the Western Bloc alternative media. Nor should that fact come as any surprise, given that the consumers of alternative media in Western Bloc countries share narratives that largely share parallel assumptions of innate superiority to those of their mainstream corporate counterparts. In the case of Nicaragua, the clearest example of that fact was the intervention by various intellectuals led by Noam Chomsky in support of a hunger strike by Dora Maria Tellez in 2008 protesting the loss of her party's legal standing. The intellectuals called on the Nicaraguan government to engage in "dialogue" with the country's opposition when the very opposition they supported were running an odious hate campaign including barely veiled incitement to assassinate President Daniel Ortega. Señora Tellez' protest was in fact part of a murky political manouevre to clear the path for a united right-wing candidacy in the crucial 2008 municipal election in Nicaragua's capital, Managua. Other leading progressive intellectuals have got things just as wrong as Noam Chomsky did. For example, James Petras said in 2009, "Nicaragua is little more than a liberal government in every sense of the word; the current Sandinista administration has not changed a single one of the economic policies of previous governments."(Pensar que Latinoamérica está encaminándose hacia la izquierda es una exageración triunfalista poco seria', Entrevista con Marcelo Colussi, Argenpress, 21/05/2008). Likewise, respected progressive economist Eric Toussaint describes Nicaragua as being among "the supposed 'left wing' governments that carry out a neoliberal policy and support the national or regional bourgeoisie in their projects" including among these the governments of "Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and the government of Cristina Fernández Kirchner of the Argentinean peronists. They are governments that favour big capital, dolled up with a few measures of social welfare. In effect, they gild the neoliberal medicine with social programmes." (La izquierda llega al gobierno pero no tiene el poder, Eric Toussaint, Rebelión, 21-04-2009) The absurdity of those positions taken by leading progressive intellectuals is self evident from even a superficial familiarity with the Nicaraguan government's programme since January 2007 which from the start has radically prioritized Nicaragua's impoverished majority. Successively, in January 2007, the Nicaraguan government cut the salaries of ministers and senior government officials by over 50%, joined the Cuban and Venezuelan led ALBA trade and development cooperation bloc, and reinstated free medical care and schooling, rights severely eroded over the previous 17 years of right wing neoliberal governments. Subsequently, from 2007 to 2009 the government has prioritized a radical investment program to promote small and medium sized agriculture. Nicaragua can reasonably expect to be self-sufficient in food production by 2015. That policy goes directly against conventional neoliberal wisdom which argues for small countries to satisfy food needs by importing food from rich country surpluses. The government's physical infrastructure policy similarly goes entirely contrary to grand neoliberal schemes like those originally formulated in the Plan Puebla Panama framework. Those plans prioritised big business needs and projected ambitious road communications running North-South and East-West across Central America. The Sandinista government by contrast has prioritized local road building programs to benefit local business and in particular the country's agricultural sector. Infrastructure investment has also prioritized small port facilities to support local fishermen and increase transport options for remote communities. To cope with persistent price inflation in food and energy prices, the Nicaraguan government operates a system of subsidised food outlets offering basic foods at well below market prices. Urban bus transport in Managua has been subsidised since 2007. Interurban public transport and taxi cooperatives throughout the country benefit from subsidies both for fuel and for tyres and vehicle parts. The overall result has been to hold down prices both for ordinary transport users and for small businesses. This month the government announced that it would increase the subsidy available to keep electricity prices from rising throughout 2011. At the end of 2006 the country's electricity generating capacity had collapsed, barely meeting 80% of national demand - which stood then at a little over 500 megawatts - and causing daily power cuts for a much as 12 hours at a time. Within 6 months the government had eliminated those power cuts. By the end of 2010 with funding from ALBA, bilateral development cooperation agreements, loans from various development banks and relatively small private sector investment, the country had installed generating capacity of almost 1000 megawatts. By 2015, the country aims to have reduced its dependence on oil fuel powered generating stations by 50% by promoting solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric power. By 2017 the country may well be self-sufficient in its electricity generating capacity. That massive effort to transform the country's energy matrix is unprecedented in the region and seemed unimaginable in 2006. Even this brief summary of key policies implemented by the Nicaraguan government makes the remarks made by Eric Toussaint and James Petras look completely foolish. It is long past time for the Western Bloc country intellectual managers who tend to control the production of news and information about international affairs to admit they have been hopelessly wrong about events in Nicaragua. They are unlikely to do so because they tend to share a similar neocolonial mindset to their counterparts in Western Bloc governments. The truth of that is very clear from Western analysis and coverage of events in Libya. The propaganda onslaught against Libya It seems undeniable now that events in Libya have served mainly to provide a mirror for observers in which to make out whatever image they choose to see. Concrete information has been very hard to get. Lies and rumours have been treated as facts. Inconvenient facts have been omitted and concealed. Hardly anyone in the Western Bloc propaganda media reported the lynchings and attacks against black Africans in the parts of Libya controlled by the monarchist rebels and their ad hoc salafist allies. But reports by Turkish and Somali people who have left Libya confirm that the rebels have murdered at least one hundred Africans in Libya while many thousands have suffered ill-treatment and abuse at the rebels' hands. Now the first black President of the United States has authorized US military attacks in support of groups of murderous racists and numerous salafist fighters who sympathise with Osama bin Laden. It remains to be seen how many innocent Libyan civilians will be blown to bits by Western Bloc bombing supposedly carried out to prevent the bombing of innocent Libyan civilians. Almost all progressive opinion in the Western Bloc countries has applauded the rebels without having the least idea what those rebels stand for or the prosperity that people in Libya have experienced over the last few years. Much progressive opinion has ended up on the same side as the same repressive Arab regimes that Western progressives allege they oppose. The opinion of the African Union has been largely ignored. Nor have many advocates of intervention paused to consider what might happen to women in Libya should a reactionary Islamic regime take power following the current Western Bloc miltiary intervention. In particular in their coverage of Libya, the Western Bloc corporate media have shown more clearly than ever that they are merely propaganda outlets for their respective governments. Likewise, highly regarded writers like Robert Fisk, Pepe Escobar and Rene Naba have pushed their own propaganda narrative demonizing the Libyan government without providing relevant context or offering an honest account of conditions in Libya for the country's people. The contradictions and hypocrisies thrown up by Western and Arab responses to events in Libya are obvious. Action is demanded in Libya but not in Bahrain, or the Ivory Coast, or Gaza, or Western Sahara. Western and Arab cynicism is complete. The response of the ALBA countries By contrast the ALBA countries have taken a very similar line to that of the African Union. Led by Cuba and Venezuela, the ALBA countries (including Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines) have insisted on fundamental principles of international law, non-aggression, territorial integrity and self determination. They too have called for a peaceful solution to the crisis respecting the basic rights of people in Libya. Nicaragua's statement to the UN on Libya was typical : "Nicaragua is enormously concerned at the loss of human life, of innocent civilians and in this case we deeply regret the loss of life in Libya, a country with which Nicaragua has maintained close relations. We trust in the capacity and wisdom of the Libyan people and their leadership, headed by Muammar Ghadaffi, to resolve their internal problems and find a peaceful solution in a sovereign way without interference or foreign military intervention, of any kind under any justification." On March 4th ALBA made a declaration proposing an international commission to mediate between the two sides and carry out humanitarian action to end the situation of civil war in the country. The ALBA proposal was received positively at the time by the Libyan government, by the Arab League and, with some reservations, by Russia. Once the Libyan government began to defeat the rebels, the Arab League then began calling for foreign military intervention. The day before the decision of the United Nations to expel Libya from the UN Human Rights Council, 65 civilians in Afghanistan were killed in bombing by NATO warplanes. A little earlier, 9 Afghan children were killed by NATO missiles. No NATO member of the UN Human Rights Council will be expelled either for those massacres or for the carnage of over a million Iraqi civilians dead and wounded by US and allied forces. Nor will any NATO country ever be subject to sanctions for these and innumerable other crimes committed in the name of democracy and civilization over the last few decades. Progressive people in North America and Europe have never - with the possible exception of the French suitcase carriers for the Algerian FLN - directly and unconditionally helped peoples struggling for liberation. They have always offered their solidarity conditioned by their own priorities and criteria. Progressive people in the Western Bloc countries often seem more afraid of political power in majority world countries than of the deeply corrupt elites that have betrayed their own societies to years of lower living standards and cuts in public spending in health care and education.. Those elites persist in massacring and starving the rest of humanity while steadily turning the screw harder and harder on their own peoples. Even so, progressive people in the Western Bloc countries have facilitated a democracy and human rights alibi for the rich country onslaught against Libya. It is only a matter of time before people in the majority world remind themselves that Frantz Fanon had it right. The self-serving cant of people in North America and Europe connives with the sadistic application of indiscriminate violence by those regions' governments. http://www.tortillaconsal.com/connivance.html
  5. by Sean Conin We do not seek to make this country, a materially great country at the expense of its honour in any way whatsoever. We would rather, have this country poor and indigent, we would rather have the people of Ireland eking out a poor existence on the soil; so long as they possessed their souls, their minds, and their honour. This fight has been for something more than the flesh-pots of Empire. -Liam Mellows (1895? - 1922) On Friday morning, April 28, 1916, the wounded James Connolly reviewed as Commandant General of the Irish Republican forces the situation on the fifth day of the insurrection. In the course of the despatch he said that Captain Mellows "fresh after his escape from an English prison, is in the field with his men." The young Liam Mellows commanded the Republican forces in Galway, the only county outside of Dublin to respond to the Rising. Mellows's presence had much to do with that. He was a member of the I.R.B., organiser in Galway for the Irish Volunteers, and very determined. Galway city was loyal, the County Inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary reported to Dublin Castle; it was not in sympathy with Sinn Fein or the Volunteers and "recruited very largely, for the (British) army." Matters were different in Athenry, an old Land League stronghold. "There is always trouble there," County Inspector E. M. Clayton told the Royal Commission on the Rebellion. "They became so expert with and accustomed to firearms that the teaching 'to rise with arms' did not shock them. They glided quietly into the new condition of affairs." The energetic Mellows was arrested in March, 1916, and deported to England on April 2. This blow to the Rising in the West was remedied during Holy Week when his brother Barney and James Connolly's daughter Nora crossed to Staffordshire. Barney changed places with Liam who then proceeded to Dublin - via Glasgow and Belfast - disguised as a priest. He stayed at St. Enda's school in Rathfarnham where he received his orders from Pearse and Connolly, and travelled to the West on Good Friday. The confusion over the conflicting mobilisation instructions affected Galway like every other area and wasn't straightened out till Monday evening when Pearse sent a message saying, "Dublin has acted 12 noon today." Mellows's men were depending on the And for arms. They hadn't enough weapons and ammunition to seize an R.I.C. barracks. Nevertheless they cut rail and telegraph lines, blocked roads, attacked Clarinbridge and Athenry police barracks and occupied the village of Oranmore until troops arrived from Galway; Mellows with a small party covered the withdrawal. Athenry was reinforced by 200 extra constabulary; the Volunteers routed a patrol that tried to push out from the town. A thousand Marines landed in Galway city and Naval sloops conducted firing exercises from the bay to intimidate the people. On Wednesday the Volunteers took over Moyode Castle near Ballinasloe. It was a poor defensive position and on Friday they pulled out amid reports that Crown forces were preparing an attack. The Volunteers marched to the Clare border with the intention of linking up with whatever other Republican forces might be still in the field. But on Saturday morning a priest arrived at the new encampment with the news that Dublin was in flames. He advised the Volunteers to disband. Mellows argued against this: he wanted them to fight on as a guerrilla force; but he was outvoted and the Volunteers went home. Subsequently they were rounded up and transported to England and some who did not join the Rising shared their fate. "We had hardly any guns or ammunition," Mellows said of the short campaign. "I had to send many of them home. I never knew the blackness of despair until then." With two companions Mellows went on the run in Co. Clare. No one was in arms there, they quickly discovered; but they were given food and shelter and managed to avoid arrest. Mellows's name cropped up during the inquiry into the rebellion. County Inspector P.C. Power of Kilkenny said his area was quiet until MacDiarmada and Mellows - he called them "John McDermott and "William Mellows" - held meetings there sometime before the Rising. "What has happened to Mellows?" Justice Shearman asked. "Mellows is on the run, too, with a good many more," replied County Inspector Clayton. "He is somewhere in Ireland," said Major Ivor Price, Director of Military Intelligence for Irish Command, who before the war headed the Crimes Special Branch of the R.I.C. "I hope we shall see him some day." At Christmas, 1916, Mellows escaped to America aboard a British munitions ship sailing from Liverpool. Liam Mellws was one of the young organisers who built Na Fianna Eireann, the movement founded in 1909 by Constance Markievicz and Bulmer Hobson "to train the boys of Ireland to fight Ireland's battle when they are men," as a 1914 manifesto declared. He rode around the country on a bicycle, organising the Fianna and - after November, 1913, - training the Volunteers. Without the Fianna there would have been no Volunteers, Pearse said; and without the Volunteers there would have been no 1916. Fianna boys dragged a trek-cart from Dublin to Howth on Sunday morning, July 26, 1914, to meet the Asgard. The return journey was harder for the cart was loaded with rifles and ammunition boxes. At Clontarf a line of soldiers with fixed bayonets barred their path. The boys ran down a side road with their trek-cart which later they took to Madame's house, not the safest place in the circumstances. Next day Liam Mellws shifted the cargo to safety with the aid of Nora Connolly and some Fianna girls, who sat on the weapons as they were removed by cab, and a couple of Volunteers. In New York, Mellows went to work in the office of the Gaelic American and as an organiser for the Friends of Irish Freedom. The F.O.I.F. was a Clan front Organisation founded in the Spring of 1916 at the first Irish Race Convention. Four months after Mellows arrived in America, the United States declared war on the Central Powers. The Gaelic American was banned from the mails, a severe blow to a publication depending on subscriptions for sales. As a political exile from Ireland Mellows was under constant surveillance. When he spoke at meetings of the Irish Progressive League - the only Irish American group to stand out boldly for Ireland during this period - Secret Service men would sit in the audience. He once opened a meeting at the Irish Carmelite hall on East 29th Street, New York, with these words: "What will you say when your grandchildren ask you what you did in this great war to free small peoples? Will you tell them you were engaged in New York City holding down the unarmed Irish, and with revolvers trying to silence their claim to be free?" Mellows's constant aim was to return to Ireland. When Dr. Patrick McCartan arrived in the Summer of 1917 for the I.R.B. as "envoy of the Irish Republic" he nearly succeeded. McCartan carried a message for President Wilson signed by 26 prominent officers of the Irish Volunteers, including Eamon de Valera and Eoin Mac Neill. "We the undersigned who have been held in English prisons and who have been dragged from dungeon to dungeon in heavy chains, cut off since Easter Week, 1916, from all intercourse with the outside world, have just had an opportunity of seeing the printed text of the message of the United States of America to the Provisional Government of Russia: we see that the President accepts the aims of both countries 'the carrying of the present struggle for the freedom of all people to a successful conclusion'," the message began. When Wilson refused to see him, McCartan decided to go to Russia. But it was wartime and he could not travel openly. Joseph McGarrity got seaman's papers for McCartan and Mellows, who hoped to reach Ireland from neutral Holland. McCartan shipped out first. He was seized at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Mellows was arrested in New York and lodged in the Tombs prison. Both were interrogated at great length by the Secret Service. An alleged Mellows "confession" was leaked to the press. The following account is from the Philadelphia Evening Ledger of October 27, 1917: According to government officials who grilled Mellows several hours following his arrest, he admitted that he frequently met Cohalan, (Jeremiah) O'Leary and Devoy and that they talked of matters prejudicial to the best interests of this country and her allies. These meetings, according to Mellows, were held at the Murray Hill Hotel and the Maennercher Hall on the East Side (of New York). "General" Mellows was charged with conspiring to bring about a rebellion in Ireland and pleaded guilty to the charge when arraigned before Commissioner Hitchbrook. He was held in 7,500 dollars bail and so far had been unable to procure a bondsman. When Mellows was taken to headquarters of the Secret Service in the custom house he was put through a thorough questioning by William J. Flynn, chief of the Secret Service. His every move in this country was inquired into, and naturally Mr Flynn wanted to know, who his associates were and the matters discussed when they met in conclave. According to a transcript of this testimony which. came to light, Mellows attended several meetings at the Murray Hill Hotel last winter when Justice Cohalan, Devoy and O'Leary were present. Cohalan, a New York politician, was the most important member of the Clan after Devoy. He was a bitter foe of President Wilson, and although a Democrat had publicly opposed the leader of his party in the 1916 elections. He believed the administration was seeking to destroy him because of it. Jeremiah O'Leary, American-born like Cohalan, published the satirical weekly Bull which Washington considered pro-German. Devoy said the Secret Service manufactured the Mellows "confession" to implicate himself and Cohalan in a non-existent plot. He insisted that Mellows had not been abandoned by the Clan. He had been left in the Tombs for a reason. "They wanted him released on bail so as to use him as a bait to entrap others," he wrote in the Gaelic American "in the desperate hope that they could frame up a conspiracy case." Mellows may not have appreciated such reasoning. Most observers believed that the man who was making the decisions for the Clan was not the aged Devoy but Cohalan. Others came to Mellows's aid and he was freed from prison; the case was not disposed of until May, 1919, when Mellows and McCartan were fined 250 dollars each for using false seaman's papers. The Tombs incident left a bad taste. The breach between Mellows and Devoy widened. Cohalan and Devoy had tried to coerce Mellows into taking out "first citizenship" papers "to save myself", he told Mrs. Hearn of Westfield, Mass., in 1920. In the same letter he charged that when Ireland was "facing disaster and death " in 1918, Cohalan and Devoy had done nothing. He had only contempt for "the structure that battens on the work and sacrifices of the people at home", Mellows wrote. And he asked: "How dare the old man talk of 'the young men at home' in view of the treatment meted out to the young men who came over since 1916, and were not a bit different from those left behind?" The 1918 charge had to do with the the second Irish Race Convention held in New York in May of that year. Cohalan went to great lengths to assert the "Americanism" of the gathering and his speech was spattered with declarations of loyalty. McGarrity barred federal agents from the hall. Mellows delivered a powerful plea for Ireland in the course of which he denounced the "German plot" roundup of Irish Republican leaders. He said: There are times ahead for Ireland which are going to try the people of Ireland as they have never been tried before, and are we going to sit here and keep our mouths shut? We all feel these things too deeply now any longer to conceal the truth. A wrong is going to be perpetrated on Ireland the like of which even the British government never conceived before. They have stated that they discovered a German plot, in order that they might thus alienate the sympathy of the people of America from Ireland. They could then turn around and do as they liked in Ireland, while the world looked on and laughed . This wrong that is going to be done in Ireland is a terrible thing. Conscription at the hands of the British government is a crime, not alone against the Irish people, but against the whole civilised world. And I say that America, by its silence on the question of Ireland's independence, has been and is still, until it speaks out, tacitly acquiescing in England's domination. If there is blood shed in Ireland, if our men and boys and women and girls are slaughtered, the fight will not alone be that of the men, but the women will take part in it also. This time the fight will be for the preservation of the very life of the Irish nation. If there be bloodshed in Ireland, the blame of that bloodshed will rest not alone on the British government, it will rest on America, unless America speaks out on behalf of Ireland. The Draft Board of New York city sent Mellows a questionaire, which he returned unanswered on January 10, 1918, giving these reasons: "First, because I am an Irishman and have devoted all my humble efforts since I came to the use of reason to help free my country from the tyrannous domination of England." He said, he would have no connection "under any circumstances with the armed forces of the American government which by its silence on Ireland acquiesced in England's occupation." He added: "I am a citizen of the Irish Republic, proclaimed at Easter, 1916, which has the allegiance of the overwhelming majority of the people of Ireland, but which this country has not yet recognised. I owe allegiance to one country only - Ireland - and the cause of Irish freedom, which is the cause of God." Cohalan and Devoy barred Mellows from addressing further public meetings. When Mellows threatened to resign from the Gaelic American the quarrel was patched up. But the differences continued. He told Nora Connolly in a letter dated September 14, 1919, that a "campaign of the most vile and vicious slander started which has lasted to the present time." His efforts to halt the conscription of young Irishmen were opposed by Cohalan. "I was ostracised everywhere from almost everything," said Mellows. Liam Mellows was elected for two constituencies in the December, 1918, general election: North Meath and East Galway. When the First Dail met they entered his name on the roll in Irish, Liam 0 Maoiliosa, and wrote "ar dibirt ag Gallaibh" after it. Meanwhile the deputy for North Meath and East Galway was without a job in America. He left the' Gaelic American at Christmas, 1918, hoping to go to California; but the court case prevented that. He went to work on the docks as a casual labourer before getting a teaching job at the school run by the Irish Carmelites in Manhattan. The Clan sponsored a meeting in New York on January 5, 1919, to congratulate the Irish people on the great election victory of Sinn Fein in December. Cohalan using the Wilsonian catchcry stressed Ireland's right to self-determination. He said nothing about an Irish Republic. Mellows on the other hand declared that the Irish people "have exercised so far as lay within their power, the right of self-determination, and they have determined that Ireland shall and must be free and independent." Next night the Irish Progressive League, meeting in the same location (the Central Opera House), expressed "the determination of the Irish in America to uphold the new Irish Republic and to insist that it be permitted to work out its own destiny without British interference." Mellows was one of the speakers. Another speaker was Norman Thomas, future leader of the American Socialist Party. Cohalan was annoyed by the rejection of his leadership and the self-determination formula, and a split along ideological lines was evident. Then on January 21, Dail Eireann held its founding meeting. The Republic proclaimed in 1916 was ratified and the radical Democratic Programme - which was to influence Mellows a great deal - adopted. Cathal Brugha, as Priomh Aire (Prime Minister), in a message to America urged the Irish there to work for "international recognition of the Irish Republic." The third Irish Race Convention opened in Philadelphia on February 22 and Cohalan trotted out his self-determination resolution once more despite the efforts of McGarrity, McCartan and Mellows to substitute demands for recognition of the Irish 'Republic. Mellows was not exactly a welcome guest. Indeed he only learned of the convention through the newspapers. Among the honoured guests was the conservative Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore and Cohalan did not want any radical speeches while his eminence was listening. So he asked Mellows to speak on the first day when the Cardinal was absent; Mellows refused. Because McCartan would not speak for the self-determination resolution he too was denounced as a dangerous character by Cohalan. "As for me, I'm beyond redemption," Mellows told Nora Connolly in the letter already quoted. "Am looked on as wild, hot-headed, undisciplined - liable to get movement into trouble - dubbed a Socialist and Anarchist." During the big flu epidemic of 1919, Mellows fell ill and almost died, he told Nora Connolly. What worried him most was that he had only three dollars - then worth 12 shillings - which was hardly enough to bury him. He told the writer -John Brennan" (Mrs Sidney Czira), one of the Gifford sisters of Dublin, then living in New York, that "the doctor who attended him said something about his illness being brought on by hunger and privation." He started to work too soon, collapsed at the famous meeting in New York when President Wilson on the eve of his departure for the Peace Conference at Versailles refused to meet a delegation of Irish-Americans unless Cohalan withdrew, and suffered a relapse. Joe McGarrity took him to Philadelphia and afterwards to Atlantic City where the sea air did wonders for his health. Harry Boland arrived in America in May, 1919, as the representative of the I.R.B. and President de Valera followed a couple of weeks later, His law case settled, Mellows planned to return to Ireland. But Boland got sick and he had to take his place as organiser of De Valera's schedule. During the 18-months mission to America, Mellows was De Valera's advance courier to the many cities visited on the continental tour. On December 7, 1919, he wrote Mrs. Hearn of Westfield, Massachusetts, from Albuquerque, New Mexico: "I'm delighted to have got the chance of seeing Arizona and New Mexico. I always wanted to see these historic spots. It is so wonderful to be down among the Indians. I'm Indian-mad these days but regret time does not permit me to stay to learn all about them ... "I'm going to El Paso tonight, thence to San Antonio and Houston and on to New Orleans." Mellows sided with De Valera in the split with Devoy and Cohalan and on March 9, 1920, wrote Mrs. Hearn: "How often I laid awake at night unable to sleep because of the indignation I feel burning into my very soul. And yet the thought comes how futile when the real enemy requires all our hatred. And I pity C. (Cohalan)." On September 1, 1920, as Terence MacSwiney was fasting in Brixton Prison, Mellows wrote to Mrs. Hearii's son John: "Oh dear! how small we all appear in the face of this terrible tragedy. How little indeed are the ambitions that have brought the movement into such a pass here compared with the great principles for which MacSwiney is giving up all." Of this period, the American poet A. M. Sullivan has written: I recall Liam Mellows, a quiet but spunky bantam with the pure fire of idealism burning in his veins. He pictured the youth of Ireland rising to the phantom call of Cuchulain and in his heart was the strict code of the Fianna. He was a fighter, but chivalrous in action and pious as a knight seeking the Holy Grail. As these visitors (Mellows and Boland) wandered from city to city, I read and reread a mixed wonder and dismay in their eyes. They marvelled at the spontaneous response of the American Irish, and blushed at the crass manner of our political leaders . . . They revitalised a dormant pride of race in thousands of Irish Americans. When Mellows returned to Ireland at the end of 1920, he joined the general headquarters staff of the I.R.A. as Director of Purchases, with responsibility for procuring arms and equipment for the fighting forces. He was returned to the Dail as deputy for Galway at the general election of May, 1921. In May, 1921, Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson told the British Cabinet "that in my opinion unless we crushed the murder gang this summer we should lose Ireland and the Empire." He added that Gen. Sir Neville Macready, commander-in-cmef in Ireland, "absolutely backs my contention that unless we knock out the Sinn Feiners this summer we shall lose Ireland." Wilson thought one last effort should be made to destroy the resistance of the I.R.A. Instead, Prime Minister Lloyd George proposed negotiations and in December the Treaty was signed. During the long debate in Dail Eireann on the Treaty, Liam Mellows spoke once. It was on January 4, 1922, and he followed Eoin O'Duffy, later commissioner of police for the Free State and leader of the Blueshirt movement. He made his position clear at the start: ". . .I stand definitely against this so-called Treaty and the arguments in favour of acceptance- of compromise, of departing from the- straight road, of going off the path, and the only path that I believe this country can travel to its freedom." The Republic existed by the will of the people, Mellows continued. And he quoted Lloyd George's statement of April, 1920, that if the people of Ireland were asked what they would accept they would reply: "We want independence and an Irish Republic." The elected representatives of Ireland had declared in favour of independence, the British Prime Minister told the House of Commons. Men had given their lives for the Republic; men were hanged for it; men were in jail; and people had suffered. It was a living, tangible thing. "There was no question of making a bargain over, this thing, over the honour of Ireland, because I hold that the honour of Ireland is too- sacred a thing to make a bargain over," Mellows said. "We are told this is a question as between a document referred to as No. I and Document No. 2. At this moment there is only one document before this House, and when that is disposed of, as I do hope it will be disposed of in the proper way, then we will deal with any other documents that come up in the same way if they are not in conformity with the Irish Republic." "Let's face facts as we did so often during the last few years. We are not afraid of the facts. The facts are that the Irish Republic exists. People are talking today of the will of the people when the people themselves have been stampeded as I know because I paid a visit to my constituency. The people are being stampeded; in the people's mind there is only one alternative to this Treaty and that is terrible, immediate war. During the adjournment I paid a trip to the country and I found that the people who are in favour of the Treaty are not in favour of the Treaty on its merits, but are in favour of the Treaty because they fear what is to happen if it be rejected. That is not the will of the people, that is the fear of the people. The will of the people was when the people declared for a Republic... Mellows called the Treaty "a new Coercion Act". Its function was to destroy the existing Irish Republic. They did not want peace with surrender or peace with dishonour. The Treaty would not bring peace. Under the Treaty the Irish people would be committed within the British Empire, something they had always opposed. "The British Empire represents to me nothing but the concentrated tyranny of ages," he added . ..... It means to me that terrible thing that has spread its tentacles all over the earth, that has crushed the lives out of people and exploited its own when it could not exploit anybody else. That British Empire is the thing that has crushed this country; yet we are 'told that we are going into it now with our heads up. We are going into the British Empire now to participate in the shame and the crucifixion of India and the degradation of Egypt. Is that what the Irish people fought for freedom for?" And then: We are told damn principles. Aye, if Ireland was fighting for nothing only to become as most of the other rich countries of the world have become, this fight should never have been entered upon. We hoped to make this country something the world should have been proud of and we did not enter into the fight to make this country as the other countries, where its word was not its bond, and where a treaty was something to be struggled for. That was not the ideal that inspired men in this cause in every age, and it is not the ideal which inspires us today. We do not seek to make this country a materially great country... After you get the Free State what will you take on hands, and what do you mean when yoa talk of something next? The Government of the Free State will, with those who support it now liking it or not, eventually occupy the same relationship towards the people of Ireland as Dublin Castle does today, because it will be the barrier government between the British and the Irish people. And the Irish people, before they can struggle on will have to do something to remove that Free State government. That I think, has been the history of this country most of the time, as it is the history of most countries that go the way now urged by those who support the Free State. If the Free State is accepted and put into operation it will provide the means for the British government to get its hold back again... We placed Ireland upon a pedestal for the first time in the history of this country. For the first time in the history of this country we had a government established by the directly declared will of the people. That government rested upon the surest of all foundations and placed Ireland in a position it was never in before, since its subjection. Ireland was put forth to the world as a headlight, as a beacon beginning to shine for all time to guide all those who were struggling. The whole world was looking to Ireland for a lead. This downtrodden, this miserable country, as some of you called it, was, during the last few years, the greatest country in God's earth... It has fought a fight that will ring down through the ages, and maintained itself well against all the tortures and inflections that a foreign tyranny knows so well how to impose. It maintained its way up to this stage, and now, not through the force of the British government, not because of the weight of the British armies, but through the guile of the British government and the gullibility of ours we are going to throw away the Irish Republic. Somebody talked about facts. These are facts. We are told that we must have unity. Yes, we want unity, and had unity in Ireland during the last few years, but we had it only on one basis - the basis of the Republic. Destroy that basis and you cannot have unity . His final word was: 'We stand, some of us, where we always stood, and despite all that has been said in favour of this Treaty we mean to continue standing where we stood in the past. Whatever may happen, whatever the road may be in front of us, we intend, with God's help, to travel it. The time will come yet - I hope it will come soon - when those who are going to depart from the straight road will come back to it. Then we will be together to the end of this fight. I am sorry to inflict such a long statement upon the Dail. It was not my intention to do so when I stood up, but ideas keep coming to your mind, probably, when you feel so keenly on a matter which represents the ideals for which one has struggled and fought, the ideals for which one is prepared to do the same again, but for which one is not prepared to compromise or surrender no matter what the advantages may be." When Mellows finished his speech at 1.30 p.m. the Dail adjourned for an hour. The next speaker was Desmond FitzGerald, future Free State Minister for External Affairs. He said he agreed with practically every word of Mellows's speech except his interpretation of the Irish Republic. FitzGerald believed the Republic was a means to an end, "one of the weapons used in fighting for the freedom of our Country". Its aim, in the words of the 1919 Declaration of the First Dail, was to promote the common weal and it seemed to him the Treaty would do just that. FitzGerald was a member of the Cabinet that decided to put Mellows to death just 11 months later. The Dail on January 7 approved the Treaty by a vote of 64 to 57. The Treaty split the Cabinet, the Dail, the Volunteers and the country. On, March 26 the anti-Treaty Volunteers held a convention in the Mansion House with 211 delegates attending. Mellows presided. The convention repudiated Dail Eireann and the pro-Treaty headquarters, and reaffirmed the allegiance of the I.R.A. to the Republic. A resolution adopted unanimously said of the I.R.A.: That it shall be maintained as the Army of the Irish Republic, under an Executive appointed by the convention. That the Army shall be under the supreme control of such Executive which shall draft a constitution for submission to a convention to be held on 9th April. When the convention reassembled on April 9 it adopted a constitution setting up an Executive of 16, which appointed an Army Council of seven and a Chief of Staff. Mellows was named secretary of the Army Council; Liam Lynch was appointed Chief of Staff. On April 13 the Executive set up headquarters in the Four Courts and 120 men of the Dublin Brigade garrisoned the law building by the Liffey. Next day, as secretary of the Army Council, Mellows wrote to Dail Eireann setting out "the conditions upon which the Council is prepared to discuss measures by which the unity of the Army might be attained". These conditions included recognition of Dail Eireann as the only government of the country; no elections until the threat of war with England had been removed. Following up on this initiative of Mellows, which was also pressed by Harry Boland, Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins signed a pact on May 20 calling for a panel of candidates, a coalition government, and an Army Council of eight - four Republicans and four Treatyites - to control a reunified I.R.A. The object of the pact was to halt the drift to civil war. Mellows was a member of the Army Council of eight which had a brief life indeed. The pact collapsed on the eve of the poll. Six days after the vote Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson was assassinated in London by two Irishmen. Both Volunteers were closer to Collins than to the men in the Four Courts, with whom they bad no connection, but the British government decided to act against the latter anyway. Lloyd George ordered General Macready to attack the building on June 25. A few hours later he rescinded the order, demanding instead that the Provisional (Treatyite) government carry out the assault. There was a delay of a few days while the Dublin authorities marked, time. Then at dawn on June 28 the bombardment of the Four Courts began. The shelling signalled the start of the Civil War. The Four Courts in flames, the garrison surrendered at midday on June 30 over the strenuous objections of Liam Mellows; He believed they should continue the resistance to the end. The prisoners were taken to Mountjoy Jail. In his book "There will be Another Day" Peadar O'Donnell writes: "In the angry mood of the thronged cefls in Mountjoy Jail the prisoners instinctively turned to Meflows as the one among us who must, somehow, be able to explain how the Republican Army could permit itself to be overrun by much weaker military forces and why certain men of courage, hitherto devoted to independence, should choose to enter on a road of struggle to overthrow the Republic and raise on its ruins a parliament which rested on the penal British Government of Ireland Act 1920." In response to these questions and the news from outside, Mellows wrote his "Notes from Mountjoy Jail". Addressed to Austin Stack the letters were not intended for publication. But they fell into the hands of the Treatyite authorities and were released to the newspapers "under scare, and of course Communist, headlines," as O'Donnell puts it. In fact Mellows's intent was to rally the people behind the Republic. As O'Donnell remarks, in "The Gates Flew Open": "It was just the bare outlines of his thoughts on a social programme. It is a matter of regret that no fuller statement of his views had been secured while there was yet time." The first letter, dated August 25, 1922, is in response to one smuggled in by Stack. It continues under a number of headings: General situation: We are as much in touch with this as the "newspapers" and "Poblacht" and Bulletin" permit. I am strongly of opinion that the Republican political and military outlook be coordinated. No doubt this has been done, but I mention it because during the past six months we suffered badly because responsible officers in their desire to act as soldiers, and because of an attitude towards "politicians" acquired as result (in my opinion) of a campaign directed towards this end by old G.H.Q. Could only judge of sitz. in terms of guns and men. Even from a military point it ought to have been apparent to such men that every situation and advantage - no matter of what nature - should be availed of to gain victory. However, I am not going to write an essay on this. Naturally we are thinking hard here though this place and atmosphere is not conducive to thought. However, the net result of my cogitations are: - 1. A Provisional Republican Government should be set up at once even if it is unable to function, or to function only in a most limited way. This to be done apart from the question of the Dail. The Advt. in today's paper re Postponement of Dail is inserted by Provisional Government. The impression the press and the Prov. Govt. want to create is that the next Dail is the "Provincial Government" called for by the terms of the Treaty. If at meeting of Dail this is not cleared up and it is accepted that it is a "Provisional Parliament" and not the Government of the Republic - then the necessity of a Pro. Repub. Govt. is more urgent. 2. The Programme of Democratic Control (the Social Programme) adopted by the Dail, coincident with the Declaration of Independence, January, 1919, should be translated into something definite. If the great body of the workers are to be kept on the side of independence, this is essential. This does not require a change of outlook on the part of Republicans or the adoption of a revolutionary programme as such. The headline is there in the Declaration of 1919. It is already part of the Republican policy. It should be made clear what is meant by it. Would suggest, therefore, that it be interpreted something like the following, which appeared in the Workers' Republic of July 22nd last:- "Under the Republic all industry will be controlled by the State for the workers' and farmers' benefit. All transport, railways, canals etc. will be operated by the State - the Republican State - for the benefit of the workers and farmers. "All banks will be operated by the State for the benefit of industry and agriculture, not for the purpose of profit-making by loans, mortgages etc. That the lands of the aristocracy (who support the Free State and the British connection) will be seized and divided amongst those who can and will operate it for the Nation's benefit etc." Regarding the last paragraph in above programme - land - it is. well to note that the I.R.A. Executive had already taken up the question of the demesnes and ranches and had adopted a scheme for their confiscation and distribution. This scheme was mainly the work of P.J.R. (P. J. Ruttledge). See E. O'M. (Ernie O'Malley), Tomas O Deirg and P.J.R. about this. In view of the unprincipled attitude of the Labour Party, and because of the landless and homeless Irish Republican soldiers who fought against Britain, it might be well to publish this scheme in whole or in part. We should certainly keep Irish labour for the Republic; it will be possibly the biggest factor on our side. Anything that would prevent Irish Labour becoming imperialist and respectable will help the Republic. As a sidelight on Johnson, O'Brien, O'Shannon & Co. it will interest you to know that when they called on us in the Four Courts last May they (particularly,Johnson) remarked that no effort had been made by the Dail to put its Democratic programme into execution. In our efforts now to win back public support to the Republic we are forced to recognise whether we like it or not - that the commercial interests so-called - money and the gombeen men - are on the side of the Treaty, because the Treaty means Imperialism and England. We are back to Tone - and it is just as well - relying on that great body "the men of no property". The "stake in the country" people were never with the Republic. They are not with it now - and they will always be against it - until it wins! We should recognise that definitely now and base our appeals upon the understanding and needs of those who have always borne Ireland's fight. Even though the decision of the election of 1918 stands; even though the Declaration of Independence remains a fact; even though the election of 1921 reaffirmed that Declaration; even though the election of June 1922 was an "agreed election" at which no issue was put or decided; yet, because of the interpretation put upon it by the Treatyites (and used broadcast by the British) it is essential that the Republic be once again reaffirmed by the people by vote as soon as possible. When that may be no one can tell, but we cannot look too far ahead. In the meantime the Prov. Republican Govt. should endeavour to "carry on". 3. (a) Propaganda. Imperialism. What the rejection of it by Ireland means. What its acceptance by Ireland means. This should be fully explained. What imperialism is, what Empires are - what the British Empire is - its growth. How it exists and maintains itself - Colonies (Irish Free State as a Colony) - India. How oppression and possession of it is essential to maintenance of BE, Money, Trade, Power etc. (Curzon on India) - extracts from Roger Casement's articles "Ireland, Germany and Freedom of the Seas" published first in Irish Review 1913 or '14. What Ireland's connection with Imperialism (however much the apparent material gain) means to her future - No use freeing Ireland to set her up as a State following in the footsteps of all the rotten nations in Europe today - what Ireland's spurning of Imperialism means, etc. etc. (Work of the Republic, to show it was - and is - a Reality. This is an antidote to the hypocrites who now pretend that it never existed; some pamphlets have already been published by direction of Dail last year, showing how Republic functioned. Courts, -land settlements, etc., decrees. These were sold for 6d. each I think. They could be reproduced or used again. The Bulletin published by D/Publicity all through war up to signing of Treaty does, I think, contain heaps of data. © Hierarchy: Invariably wrong in Ireland in their political outlook - against people in '98. Frs. Murphy (2) Roche, Kearns excommunicated by the then Bishop of Ferns - against Emmet: "condemning outrage" - against Young Ireland "Godless young men"; support of Sadlier and Keogh - against Fenians-. Dr. Cullen, Bishop Moriarity "Hell not hot enough nor eternity too long enough"; against "Plan of Campaign" - against Sinn Fein (early days when it was milk and water) - against Irish Vols. -, support England in European War 1914 - morally to blame for the deaths of thousands of Irish youths in France, Flanders, Mesopotania, Gallipoli, Macedonia, etc. Nothing can condone this: European war a hideous holocaust on altar of Mammon; a struggle between Europe for power - Irish Hierarchy blood guilty; Hierarchy against Easter Rising 1916, denunciation of Pearse etc. (Pearse the great example of Christian idealism.) Hierarchy only opposed Conscription when forced to do so by attitude of people. Against I.R.A. during Terror. Bishop Cohalan's excommunication decree of December 1920. Hierarchy's abandonement of principle, justice and honour by support of Treaty. Danger to Catholicism in Ireland from their bad example - their exaltation of deceit and hypocrisy, their attempt to turn the noble aspect of Irish struggle and bring it to level of putrid politics, their admission that religion is something to be preached about from pulpits on Sundays, but never put into practice in the affairs of the Nation, their desertion of Ulster etc. "Scelig" (J. J. O'Kelly) could, I think, do the above best. Excuse changes of writing. I had to get the above copied by someone else from a letter I am sending to Sighle, lest anything should happen this one. I will close up now, but will continue ideas on propaganda and other things tomorrow. Mellows's second letter (dated August 29) sets forth additional arguments why the Republicans should establish a Provisional government without delay. The British, he said, would continue "to make use of Irishmen as long as the latter can be duped or dazzled by, the Free State idea." He adds: "For the British to calumniate Republicans and belittle their cause by besmirching them is one thing; but for F.S. (and supposed potential Republicans) to do it is another - and different, and worse. thing. Because the British will not use British arguments to cloak their actions, but Irish ones 'out of our own mouths,' etc. Therefore an object - a target - must be presented for the enemy (F.S. or British) to hit at - otherwise it becomes a fight (apparently) between individuals. Hence the necessity of getting the Provisional government established at once." In the same letter Mellows said the public should be told of De Valera's work in America, then under attack by the Treatyites; and suggested publication of a life of Cathal Brugha: "the underlying theme should be principle - a word that at one time meant everything to (and conveyed everything of) the I.R.B." He urged Republicans to concentrate on the youth of Ireland: "Fianna never got proper help or encouragement. Fianna ideal can save future. The reason for so many young soldiers going wrong is that they never had a proper grasp of fundamentals. They were absorbed into movement and fight . .. not educated into it. Hence no real convictions." Finally, he wondered if the time was not ripe for developing closer ties with the independence movement in India. Mellows's third and final letter (September 9) was the shortest. A few days earlier the pro-Treaty deputies elected in June had met as the Third Dail. "The F.S. have shown by Saturday's performance that it was the Provisional Parliament provided for by the terms of the F.S. Act, and not the Third Dail that met. Therefore the question arises at once - where is the government of the Republic? It must be found, Republicans must be provided with a rallying centre, and the movement with a focussing point." And finally: "The unemployment question is acute. Starvation is facing thousands of people. The official Labour Movement has deserted the people for the flesh-pots of Empire. The F,S. attitude towards striking postal workers makes it clear what its attitude towards strikes generally will be. The situation created by all these must be utilised for the Republic. The position must be defined. FREE STATE - Capitalism and Industrialism - Empire. REPUBLIC - Workers - Labour. The Publicity Department of the Provisional (Free State) Government released the letters on September 22, 1922, with a covering note saying that "the new Republican programme is to be dangled before the eyes of the landless men, the unemployed, the thousands of people whom starvation is facing, so that the situation may be 'utilised for the Republic.' In the history of politics few things can be more callously unscrupulous than this programme." The "Notes from Mountjoy Jail" shows Mellows to be the most clear thinking and far sighted Republican leader of the Civil War period. But his programme was not adopted and the Civil War ended in defeat. His proposal for a Republican government took shape on October 25 when De Valera formed a 12-man Council of State and the Army of the Republic. pledged it allegiance. Mellows's other suggestions were ignored; the Democratic Programme of the First Dail remained a dead letter. Peadar O'Donnell suggests that in the circumstances of the time, Mellows's proposals were doomed. Had they been raised at the March-April general army convention of the I.R.A., he suggests, the subsequent discussion would have given reality to the letters from Mountjoy. According to O'Donnell, "Mellows was a great Fenian who saw the poor as the freedom force of the nation; as Tone did." He was not a radical Socialist or a Communist, as the Free State authorities charged at the time. On December 7, 1922, two Treatyite deputies were fired on in Dublin and one of them, Sean Hales of West Cork, was killed. Next morning at 9 o'clock, Mellows, Rory O'Connor, Joe McKelvey, and Dick Barrett were executed by firing squad: in reprisal, it was announced officially, for the shooting of Hales. There was no trial. Executions take place at dawn. These were delayed because the prison chaplain kept pressing for postponements because Mellows would not accept the Hierarchy's pastoral condemning the Republicans and was denied absolution in consequence. "I believe with the old Gaels, who dies for Ireland has no need of prayers," Mellows said. In the end the chaplain backed down by using a stratagem. "Are you sorry if you've done wrong?" he asked. "Of course I'm sorry for any wrong I've done," Mellows replied. And that satisfied the chaplain. The killing of the four was a Cabinet decision. They were chosen, it was said, to strike terror in the Republicans. Each man represented a province, it was also said: O'Connor, Leinster; Barrett, Munster; McKelvey, Ulster; and - as in 1916 - Mellows stood for Connacht. The killing of Mellows was a black day for Ireland, Dr. McCartan told Joe McGarrity in a sad letter when the news came out. McCartan had refused to vote for or against the Treaty after the long Dail debate, but accepted it and indeed worked with those who set out to operate it. In New York a memorial meeting was held at the Irish Carmelite Hall on December 14. Father Peter E Magennis, head of the order, paid tribute to his old friend. Mrs Muriel MacSwiney, widow of Terence MacSwiney, delivered the address. "Rather than that they should turn imperialist, I'd prefer to see them both dead," she said. Hannah Sheehy Skiffington wrote in the Irish World of December 16, 1922: "He was but 27 and his mind had broadened and deepened through suffering, through silent concentration and through various experiences. He had lost his boyish exuberance and his merry spirits, had grown sadder, but had retained his serenity as of yore. He of all men might have taken James Connolly's place - of late especially he had moved along the paths trodden by Connolly. We have lost in him one of the greatest of our generation. We shall not took upon his like again."
  6. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Fidel Castro (full movie)

  7. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Any ideas for the forum?

    Sub sections will be very difficult when you have every title in two languages.
  8. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Britain Destroyed Records of Colonial Crimes

    Britain destroyed records of colonial crimes Review finds thousands of papers detailing shameful acts were culled, while others were kept secret illegally Ian Cobain, Owen Bowcott and Richard Norton-Taylor The Guardian, Wednesday 18 April 2012 Hanslope Park, where the Foreign Office kept a secret archive of colonial papers. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments, an official review has concluded. Those papers that survived the purge were flown discreetly to Britain where they were hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive, beyond the reach of historians and members of the public, and in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain. The archive came to light last year when a group of Kenyans detained and allegedly tortured during the Mau Mau rebellion won the right to sue the British government. The Foreign Office promised to release the 8,800 files from 37 former colonies held at the highly-secure government communications centre at Hanslope Park in Buckinghamshire. The historian appointed to oversee the review and transfer, Tony Badger, master of Clare College, Cambridge, says the discovery of the archive put the Foreign Office in an "embarrassing, scandalous" position. "These documents should have been in the public archives in the 1980s," he said. "It's long overdue." The first of them are made available to the public on Wednesday at the National Archive at Kew, Surrey. The papers at Hanslope Park include monthly intelligence reports on the "elimination" of the colonial authority's enemies in 1950s Malaya; records showing ministers in London were aware of the torture and murder of Mau Mau insurgents in Kenya, including a case of aman said to have been "roasted alive"; and papers detailing the lengths to which the UK went to forcibly remove islanders from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. However, among the documents are a handful which show that many of the most sensitive papers from Britain's late colonial era were not hidden away, but simply destroyed. These papers give the instructions for systematic destruction issued in 1961 after Iain Macleod, secretary of state for the colonies, directed that post-independence governments should not get any material that "might embarrass Her Majesty's government", that could "embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants or others eg police informers", that might compromise intelligence sources, or that might "be used unethically by ministers in the successor government". Among the documents that appear to have been destroyed were: records of the abuse of Mau Mau insurgents detained by British colonial authorities, who were tortured and sometimes murdered; reports that may have detailed the alleged massacre of 24 unarmed villagers in Malaya by soldiers of the Scots Guards in 1948; most of the sensitive documents kept by colonial authorities in Aden, where the army's Intelligence Corps operated a secret torture centre for several years in the 1960s; and every sensitive document kept by the authorities in British Guiana, a colony whose policies were heavily influenced by successive US governments and whose post-independence leader was toppled in a coup orchestrated by the CIA. The documents that were not destroyed appear to have been kept secret not only to protect the UK's reputation, but to shield the government from litigation. If the small group of Mau Mau detainees are successful in their legal action, thousands more veterans are expected to follow. It is a case that is being closely watched by former Eoka guerillas who were detained by the British in 1950s Cyprus, and possibly by many others who were imprisoned and interrogated between 1946 and 1967, as Britain fought a series of rearguard actions across its rapidly dimishing empire. The documents show that colonial officials were instructed to separate those papers to be left in place after independence – usually known as "Legacy files" – from those that were to be selected for destruction or removal to the UK. In many colonies, these were described as watch files, and stamped with a red letter W. The papers at Kew depict a period of mounting anxiety amid fears that some of the incriminating watch files might be leaked. Officials were warned that they would be prosecuted if they took any any paperwork home – and some were. As independence grew closer, large caches of files were removed from colonial ministries to governors' offices, where new safes were installed. In Uganda, the process was codenamed Operation Legacy. In Kenya, a vetting process, described as "a thorough purge", was overseen by colonial Special Branch officers. Photograph: The National Archives Clear instructions were issued that no Africans were to be involved: only an individual who was "a servant of the Kenya government who is a British subject of European descent" could participate in the purge. Photograph: The National Archives Painstaking measures were taken to prevent post-independence governments from learning that the watch files had ever existed. One instruction states: "The legacy files must leave no reference to watch material. Indeed, the very existence of the watch series, though it may be guessed at, should never be revealed." When a single watch file was to be removed from a group of legacy files, a "twin file" – or dummy – was to be created to insert in its place. If this was not practicable, the documents were to be removed en masse. There was concern that Macleod's directions should not be divulged – "there is of course the risk of embarrassment should the circular be compromised" – and officials taking part in the purge were even warned to keep their W stamps in a safe place. Many of the watch files ended up at Hanslope Park. They came from 37 different former colonies, and filled 200 metres of shelving. But it is becoming clear that much of the most damning material was probably destroyed. Officials in some colonies, such as Kenya, were told that there should be a presumption in favour of disposal of documents rather than removal to the UK – "emphasis is placed upon destruction" – and that no trace of either the documents or their incineration should remain. When documents were burned, "the waste should be reduced to ash and the ashes broken up". Some idea of the scale of the operation and the amount of documents that were erased from history can be gleaned from a handful of instruction documents that survived the purge. In certain circumstances, colonial officials in Kenya were informed, "it is permissible, as an alternative to destruction by fire, for documents to be packed in weighted crates and dumped in very deep and current-free water at maximum practicable distance from the coast". Photograph: The National Archives Documents that survive from Malaya suggest a far more haphazard destruction process, with relatively junior officials being permitted to decide what should be burned and what should be sent to London. Dr Ed Hampshire, diplomatic and colonial record specialist at the National Archive, said the 1,200 files so far transferred from Hanslope Park represented "gold dust" for historians, with the occasional nugget, rather than a haul that calls for instant reinterpretation of history. However, only one sixth of the secret archive has so far been transferred. The remainder are expected to be at Kew by the end of 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/apr/18/britain-destroyed-records-colonial-crimes
  9. Those Laboratory Mice Were Children By Karlos Zurutuza One among an unusually high number of children in Basra fighting leukaemia. FALLUJAH, Iraq, Apr 13, 2012 (IPS) - At Fallujah hospital they cannot offer any statistics on children born with birth defects – there are just too many. Parents don’t want to talk. "Families bury their newborn babies after they die without telling anyone," says hospital spokesman Nadim al-Hadidi. "It’s all too shameful for them." "We recorded 672 cases in January but we know there were many more," says Hadidi. He projects pictures on to a wall at his office: children born with no brain, no eyes, or with the intestines out of their body. Facing a frozen image of a child born without limbs, Hadidi says parents’ feelings usually range between shame and guilt. "They think it’s their fault, that there’s something wrong with them. And it doesn’t help at all when some elder tells them it’s been ‘god’s punishment’." The pictures are difficult to look at. And, those responsible for all this have closed their eyes. "In 2004 the Americans tested all kinds of chemicals and explosive devices on us: thermobaric weapons, white phosphorous, depleted uranium...we have all been laboratory mice for them," says Hadidi, turning off the projector. The months that followed the invasion of Iraq in 2003 saw persistent demonstrations against the occupation forces. But it wasn’t until 2004 when this city by the Euphrates river to the west of Baghdad saw its worst. On Mar. 31 of that year, images of the dismembered bodies of four mercenaries from the U.S. group Blackwater hanging from a bridge circulated around the world. Al-Qaeda claimed the brutal action - and the local population paid the price for Operation Phantom Fury that followed. According to the Pentagon, this was the biggest urban battle since Hue (Vietnam, 1968). The first crackdown came in April 2004 but the worst was in November of that year. Random house-to- house checks gave way to intense night bombings. The Americans said they used white phosphorus "to illuminate targets at night." But a group of Italian journalists soon gave documentary evidence that white phosphorus had been just another of the banned weapons used against civilians by the U.S. troops. The total number of victims is still unknown. In fact, many of them are not born yet. Abdulkadir Alrawi, a doctor at Fallujah hospital, is just back from examining an intriguing new case. "This girl was born with the Dandy Walker syndrome. Her brain is split in two and I doubt she’ll survive." As he speaks, the lights go off again in the whole hospital. "We lack the most basic infrastructure, how do they want us to cope with an emergency like this?" According to a study released by the Switzerland-based International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in July 2010, "the increases in cancer, leukaemia and infant mortality and perturbations of the normal human population birth sex ratio in Fallujah are significantly greater than those reported for the survivors of the A-Bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945." Researchers found there had been a 38-fold increase in leukaemia (17-fold in the Japanese locations). Reputed analysts such as Noam Chomsky have labelled such conclusions as "immensely more embarrassing than the Wikileaks leaks on Afghanistan." Samira Alaani, chief doctor at Fallujah hospital, took part in a study in close collaboration with the World Health Organisation. Several tests conducted in London point to unusually large amounts of uranium and mercury in the hair root of those affected. That could be the evidence linking the use of prohibited weapons to the extent of congenital problems in Fallujah. Other than the white phosphorus, many point to depleted uranium (DU), a radioactive element which, according to military engineers, significantly increases the penetration capacity of shells. DU is believed to have a life of 4.5 billion years, and it has been labelled the "silent murderer that never stops killing." Several international organisations have called on NATO to investigate whether DU was also used during the Libyan war. This month the Iraqi Health Ministry, in close collaboration with the WHO, will launch its first study ever on congenital malformations in the governorates of Baghdad, Anbar, Thi Qar, Suleimania, Diala and Basra. Sandwiched between the borders of Iran and Kuwait, Basra sits above massive oil reserves. The population in this southernmost province has suffered fighting much more than any other region: from the war with Iran in the 1980s to the Gulf War in 1991 and the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. A study by the University of Baghdad pointed out that cases of birth defects had increased tenfold in Basra two years before the invasion in 2003. The trend is still on the rise. Basra Children's Hospital, specialising in paediatric oncology, opened in 2010. Funded with U.S. capital, this facility was initiated by former U.S. first lady Laura Bush. But like the hospital in Fallujah, this supposedly state-of-the-art facility lacks basic equipment. "The X-ray machine spent over a year-and-a-half stored at Basra port due to an administrative dispute over who should pay port fees. Our children would die as they waited for radiotherapy treatment that did not come," says Laith Shakr Al-Sailhi, father of a sick boy and director of the Children's Cancer Association of Iraq. "The waiting list for treatment in Baghdad is endless and time is never on the side of the patients," says Al- Sailhi from the barracks that host his NGO headquarters next to the hospital. "Besides, these children's diseases also lead to economic ruin of their families. Those who can afford it pay up to 7,000 dollars in Syria or up to 12,000 dollars in Jordan for treatment. The cheapest option is Iran, with rates at an average of 5,000 dollars. "Today, families are flocking to Tehran for their children to be treated. Many of them are sleeping in the streets because they can't afford to pay a hotel room." http://ipsnews.net/n...p?idnews=107424
  10. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Caption Competition

    Caption Competition: Enda Kenny and Michael D. Higgins at Free State 1916 Commemoration at GPO, can anyone think of a suitable caption?
  11. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Uprooting the Iraqi State

    Uprooting the Iraqi State A picture shows a view of Firdous square, where the statue of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein used to stand, in the capital Baghdad on 9 April 2012. (Photo: AFP - Ahmad Al-Rubaye) By: Serene Assir Published Friday, April 13, 2012 The final part of this series goes to when when the groundwork was laid in order to build the system of death. In order to build the fractured framework of a new Iraq, the old state structure had to be destroyed. “On 11 April 2003, a number of Iraqi scientists and university professors sent an SOS e-mail complaining that American occupation forces were threatening their lives,” read a statement submitted in February 2012 by a dozen NGOs to the UN Human Rights Council. “The appeal stated that looting and robberies were taking place under the watchful eye of occupation soldiers...The e-mail also noted that occupation forces had drawn up lists of the names, addresses, and research areas of the Iraqi scientists to assist them in their harassment tasks in light of the anarchy that existed after the occupation.” More than nine years have gone by since that appeal was sent out. But the suffering of Iraq’s academics and professionals only worsened, persisting after the withdrawal of US troops in December 2011. One set of professionals after another was targeted, and with each individual who was killed, kidnapped, forced to flee, or otherwise pushed permanently out of the public sphere, a fragment of Iraq’s collective memory and capacity to rebuild was destroyed. The targeting of academics and professionals began as soon as the occupation’s policy of so-called de-Baathification became official in April 2003. With the purposeful dismantlement of Iraq’s public institutions, about 15,500 scientists, researchers, professors, and teachers were made jobless, and thereby marginal and unprotected. Years on from the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority’s (CPA) decision, the targeting continued. The De-Baathification Myth Before the invasion, 72 percent of jobs in Iraq’s public institutions were held by women.While the destruction of the Iraqi middle class began on the basis of alleged de-Baathification, what it did was lay the basis in one clean stroke for the destruction of the Iraqi state. Doctors, teachers, engineers, and other qualified Iraqis who worked for the state were forcibly marginalized, and turned into easy targets for killing. The killing began, at the hands of multiple criminal groups, including militias and death squads. Some of the groups involved had ties to the Iraqi regime installed by the US occupation. Others took advantage of the occupation’s disregard for the welfare of Iraqi society to conduct their crimes. And over time, the motive for targeting professionals has developed to include violence against professionals not only for political and economic reasons, but also for “moral” reasons. The fate of women with careers perhaps shows this development most clearly. Female professionals were instantly turned into victims of the new order imposed by the occupation. Before the invasion, 72 percent of jobs in Iraq’s public institutions were held by women. As soon as CPA chief Paul Bremer passed order number 1, which banned all public sector employees with any alleged links to the Baath Party from ever being employed by the state again, many became jobless. Then, with the mushrooming of extremist militias under the occupation’s eyes, women found it increasingly difficult to find work, or even go out onto Iraq’s streets, without being threatened with kidnapping or rape. The philosophy of militias with an extremist view on religion, unsurprisingly, was unfavorable towards women in the workplace. While successive US administrations have claimed to be fighting extremism, they have in fact given it fodder and helped it to grow. As such, women professionals like Hana Ibrahim, a veteran Iraqi journalist-turned-refugee in Syria, were unable to continue doing their work, because of direct threats against them. But neither the occupation authorities nor the Iraqi officials who came to power following the invasion have ever conducted any meaningful investigation into the plight of professionals or academics, as the joint statement submitted to the UN Human Rights Council highlighted. Indeed, men and women with qualifications including doctors, teachers, scientists, journalists, university professors, artists, and engineers were among the first victims of a system that seems to have been created in order to destroy Iraq’s institutions. They were the people with the qualifications and capacity to help rebuild a post-war country. Without them, no nation would survive. The occupation regime referred to as de-Baathification was in reality a destruction of the secular state.Among the occupation’s victims was Omar al-Kubeissy, once one of the country’s most prominent cardiologists. He was forced to flee Iraq in 2005, when medical doctors of multiple fields became target of a threat campaign. At that time, letters started arriving at doctors’ offices in clinics and hospitals, warning them that either they stopped working, or they would be killed. “But the threats haven’t stopped,” said al-Kubeissy, who has dedicated much of the past seven years of his life to campaigning for Iraqi doctors’ rights. “Now, it’s the male gynecologists who are being threatened. I’ve received news from at least 22 gynecologists and obstetricians, who said they had received messages saying that either they should stop treating women, or they will be killed.” Al-Kubeissy currently resides in Jordan, which hosts approximately 450,000 Iraqis according to government estimates. Angered by the latest wave of threats against his peers, he said that “what is most shocking is the fact that Iraqis have been practising modern gynecology for more than 100 years. And yet, the Iraqi Ministry of Health has done nothing to protect professionals.” A fortnight ago, when a doctor friend of al-Kubeissy faced an attack in the southern city of Basra by members of an unknown militia, “the ministry’s only response to him was: ‘These things happen.’ What kind of ministry is that?” With no protection from violence, few professionals were willing to speak publicly concerning their plight. Instead, they faced the impossible dilemma of staying in Iraq and facing the consequences, or flight. “Some say doctors should arm themselves to go to work,” said al-Kubeissy. “As a doctor, the notion of carrying a weapon is disgusting.” As with the recent campaign against “emos,” threats directed against Iraq’s gynecologists seemed to part from an extremist reading of Islam by militias with varying degrees of ties to the post-invasion political system. Part of the problem, as highlighted by the cardiologist, was the lack of government protection for people facing a direct threat. Another side to it was the proliferation under occupation of a plethora of anti-modern militias, that helped terrorize and subdue the population. What the occupation regime referred to as de-Baathification was in reality a destruction of the secular state. One major effect of numerous waves of violence against doctors has been the destruction of Iraq’s once state-of-the-art medical system. “People with all kinds of illnesses are unable to seek proper treatment in Iraq,” said al-Kubeissy. “Electricity cuts prevent operations from working. Complex diseases like cancer – which have increased since the start of the occupation – cannot be treated properly if you don’t have the right staff. People with money to travel out of Iraq for treatment do so regularly. The rest just suffer.” Opening the Gates of a Brain Drain But it was not only the medical doctors who suffered. As early as 2007, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that 40 percent of the country’s middle class had fled Iraq, with most seeking refuge in neighboring Syria and Jordan. Without the right to work in either country, many face a long-term crisis imposed by their condition as refugees. “In Syria, we have Iraqi engineers working as waiters, because that’s the only kind of job they can find on the black market,” said Ibrahim, herself exiled in Syria since 2006. With the “brain drain” of Iraq’s qualified professionals deepening steadily since 2003, questions arose over who would rebuild the country’s institutions. For those remaining in Iraq in spite of the dangers posed by merely practising a profession, the threat of death remained very real even after the withdrawal of US troops in December 2011. Direct military occupation may no longer be necessary – or possible. But there is a big difference between resisting military occupation and transforming a political system.Under direct military occupation for nine years, Iraq was the world’s bloodiest country for journalists. By the start of 2012, 346 Iraqi media workers had been killed, according to an international network of anti-war activists, artists, and intellectuals, the Brussells Tribunal. By October 2010, the same organization had documented the killing of 449 academics of multiple disciplines. As a result of the violence, “the Iraqi education system, once the showcase of the Middle East, has virtually collapsed...One in five Iraqis between the ages of 10 and 49 cannot read a simple statement related to daily life,” according to the 2011 Ghent charter in defense of Iraqi academia. One of the most worrying aspects of the degradation suffered in Iraq has been its pervasiveness. The US may have withdrawn its troops. However the violence suffered by the population as a whole, and specifically by the country’s professionals, was so generalized that it perhaps was no longer necessary to enforce the system through a direct military presence. “Iraq today is like living in the dark ages,” said al-Kubeissy. “The militias are running the country, and dictating how people should live their lives. Violence and death are everywhere.” Eliminating the State With the threat of partition still looming over the Iraqi nation, powerful militias still actively operating in an atmosphere of impunity, mass death still characterizing daily life, and the dearth of public services pushing new generations further into sectarianism and miseducation, the question of how free Iraq really is in the aftermath of the US military withdrawal is an open one. The system that the US created, clearly, remains in place. Direct military occupation may no longer be necessary – or possible. But there is a big difference between resisting military occupation and transforming a political system, a difference that is not lost on many Iraqis, some of whom are steeped in efforts to organize civil resistance against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s regime. Still, as with multiple societies that have suffered colonial oppression and division from the top, there is a long way to go before Iraq can truly celebrate liberation. For those who took part in anti-war demonstrations in 2003 and look forward to progress, rather than watch out for any militaristic fanfare, it may be a good idea to watch for smaller, yet more powerful indicators. It may be that the real celebrations will be held by children, when literacy levels start to inch back up again, or when women feel safe enough to go back to work, or when refugees returning to Iraq from neighboring countries can genuinely say they are glad to have gone back to their homeland. For now, that day has yet to come. http://english.al-ak...ing-iraqi-state
  12. Russian warships heading for Syria: Russian military source A Russian soldier is seen on Smetlivy warship (file photo) Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:35AM GMT A high-ranking source in the Russian defense ministry says several Russian warships are on their way to the Mediterranean Sea to guard Syrian coasts for the foreseeable future. “A decision has been made to deploy Russian warships near the Syrian shores on a permanent basis,” the state-run RIA news agency quoted the source as saying on Friday. The source added that the Russian destroyer Smetlivy, which is patrolling waters off Syria now, will be replaced by another warship from Black Sea Fleet in May. The official says several warships are on their way to the Mediterranean. In January, a large Russian navy flotilla led by an aircraft carrier arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean to show Moscow's solidarity with Damascus. Russia has voiced support for Syria against continued pressure from Western countries and some Arab states to destabilize the crisis-hit Middle Eastern country and topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Moscow says Syria’s crisis should be solved through negotiations, rejecting military intervention to end the unrest. http://www.presstv.ir/detail/236138.html
  13. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    IRA Tribute - Support from Serbia

  14. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Caption Competition

    My head comes over all strange when I have to stand here pretending to care about these Irish rebel traitors, when I could be licking the lovely arse of Her Britannic Majesty. And what is this little grey leprachaun doing walking up the road?
  15. Hospital conditions here are 'third world' Consultant Dr Altaf Naqvi By Niall O'Connor Tuesday April 03 2012 YOUNG doctors are being driven out of Ireland as the health system is driving them towards nervous breakdowns, it was claimed today. Experts say that bullying and physical fatigue are widespread, while conditions in Iran and Saudi Arabia are much better. Dozens of newly qualified doctors are being forced to work 36-hour shifts straight due to the major shortage of frontline staff, the Herald has learned. Two senior doctors have today spoken out about their fears that the enormous workload will impact on the physical and mental health of their junior counterparts. Consultant Dr Altaf Naqvi has told of his fears that junior doctors will suffer "nervous breakdowns" due to the conditions in hospitals across the country. Dr Naqvi -- who has worked in our health system for almost 30 years -- has for the past few months been privately contacting junior doctors to gauge their views of the Irish health system. His findings, revealed in the Herald today, paint a shocking picture of Irish hospitals. Junior doctors who spoke to Dr Naqvi said: They felt they were being discriminated against for specialist positions. They are looking to leave the country as don't feel they have a future in Ireland. They are sometimes required to tend to seven times more patients than they can manage. Many are struggling to cope with the stress and some have suffered nervous breakdowns. Speaking to the Herald today, Mr Naqvi warned that morale among young doctors -- both Irish and from overseas -- is at "rock bottom". "I have worked in other countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia but conditions are far worse here," he said. "Doctors -- both national and from overseas -- are on the verge of nervous breakdowns, things are at crisis point," he added. Limerick-based Dr Naqvi said he is speaking out as others are "too afraid to do so". "I'm listening to junior doctors. The Irish are saying -- we are leaving, why would we stay here when we can work in hospitals in Canada or Australia. They are so stressed. Doctors in hospitals here, both Irish and non-national, are on the verge of nervous breakdowns, things are at crisis point. "I have worked in Iran but doctors are treated much worse here. There is bullying. There is discrimination. Morale is at rock bottom." He added: "This country is losing its best and brightest doctors. The Irish health system will soon hit a point where doctors do not want to work here anymore -- it is in crisis already but unless there is a change in direction things will just hit rock bottom." Dr Naqvi's warning comes as the Irish Medical Organisation said that junior doctors were being forced to work 36-hour shifts. The admission was made by leading medical expert Dr Mark Murphy, who warned that the long shifts are having a "detrimental impact" on doctors' physical and mental condition. "Our organisation is extremely concerned about the tremendous amount of pressure on junior doctors. We have witnessed a large number working 36 hours straight. "But there's little point in us keep making these statements. The HSE and the Department of Health has to act. At our upcoming AGM, we are calling on both bodies to agree to carrying out a formal occupational health analysis of every single NCHD [junior doctor] in Ireland." The HSE has unable to provide a comment in time for going to press. hnews@herald.ie - Niall O'Connor
  16. Just another day in the Irish economy as €1.5bn is paid over by State-owned bank to unsecured, unguaranteed bondholders April 10, 2012 by namawinelake Back in antebellum America, it was common for negro slaves to avoid marrying a spouse from the same plantation for a very poignant reason – no man or woman wants to see their beloved raped, humiliated, beaten or whipped before their very eyes, it’s more than can be borne, and for that reason slaves often married slaves from neighbouring or distant plantations to avoid the reality of their powerlessness in protecting their beloved. And on Sundays, a day of rest in slave-era America, when husband and wife might meet up, the scars or tears would be acknowledged but ignored. Such was the life of a slave as described by a former slave Frederick Douglas – there’s a free online book of his life here. In Ireland our mass media seems to be adopting a similar attitude towards the repayment of unguaranteed bonds at State-owned banks – “shure, if we can’t do anything about it, why meidhir people with the unavoidable”. That’s why last May 2011, when €200m was paid at Anglo to unsecured, unguaranteed bondholders, there was scarcely a peep from the media – Laura Noonan at the Independent was the honourable exception. It was different in November last year and January this year when the whole country was aware that billions were being paid over to unsecured unguaranteed senior bondholders at Anglo, or IBRC as it is now known following its merger with Irish Nationwide. But tomorrow, we will pay out €1.5bn and there has nary been a peep. Here are the details: Who: AIB, which is 99.8% owned by the State and which has so far cost €20.7bn to bailout How much: €1,500,000,000 (€1,500m or €1.5bn) When: tomorrow, 11th April 2012 What: “Unsecured”, that is, not secured against specific assets, “unguaranteed”, that is not covered by the September 2008 guarantee or its extensions, senior bonds at AIB which were originally issued on 11th April, 2007. The ISIN number is XS0294958318 Maybe the mass media is consciously trying to spare our feelings, believing there is nothing that can be done. After all, AIB is one of the two pillar banks and despite costing us €20.7bn to date, along with the EBS which is now merged into it, it’s dead money, we’ll never see that again, so why bring up the subject which will only cause pain. Frederick Douglas ran away several times from his “owner”, was caught, was dreadfully punished, eventually escaped to the North where he learned his alphabet by pretending to mock white children, boasting he knew more letters than they did, and when the white children sang out their ABCs, Frederick wrote them down and practised them and eventually the man became a writer of some note. His story is inspiring even if the passage of 200 years has not dulled the graphic savagery meted out to enslaved people. So whilst the Irish Times, IN&M, Communicorp, Alan Crosbie and RTE spare your feelings, tomorrow at 5.15pm, the communities of Ballyhea and Charleville – who have held weekly bank bailout protests for 59 weeks, details/photos here – will again come together, on the library plaza opposite the Charleville AIB branch to protest at the payment. http://namawinelake.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/just-another-day-in-the-irish-economy-as-e1-5bn-is-paid-over-by-state-owned-bank-to-unsecured-unguaranteed-bondholders/
  17. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Comedy Club Friday 13th April

    A typical night at Ned Keenan's
  18. Venezuela's minimum wage set to become highest in Latin America SOURCE Mérida, 9th April 2012 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s national minimum wage is to increase 32.25% in 2012, announced Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday. In a televised address from Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Chavez explained that the wage rise would take place in two phases. On 1 May the minimum monthly salary will increase by 15%, from 1,548 bolivars (US $360) to 1,780 bolivars (US $414). Then on 1 September the wage will increase a further 15% to 2,048 bolivars (US $476), a net rise of 32.25%. The wage increase means that in dollar terms Venezuela will have the highest minimum wage in Latin America. Including legally guaranteed monthly food tickets, currently valued at 977 bolivars (US $223), the wage rise will represent a gross minimum income of almost US $700 for formally employed workers in Venezuela. The measure also looks set to rise above inflation, at 27.6% in 2011 according to the Venezuelan Central Bank. With net inflation of 3.5% in the first three months of this year, the government is currently on track to meets its target of 20 – 23% annual inflation for 2012. Chavez stated that the wage increase will cost the Venezuela state 20,055,678 bolivars (US $4,664,000), which will be paid for with oil income and taxes. “This leap forward in favour of the workers forms part of the project of redistribution of national income to achieve substantive equality,” he said. The increase will benefit 3,903,408 public sector workers, as well as private sector workers and Venezuela’s 2,500,000 pensioners through the social security system and new “Greater Love” social program. The Venezuelan president also cited figures which demonstrated that the number of workers receiving the minimum wage in the country’s formal economy had fallen from 65% in 1999, when his administration entered office, to 21% in 2010. According to Venezuela’s National Institute of Statistics, unemployment was 9.2% for February. Of those employed, 41% work in informal employment, down from 55% when Chavez entered office. In 2011 the minimum wage increased by 26.5%. “Every year without fail the [bolivarian] Revolution has decreed an increase in the minimum salary, as a way of solidly constructing social justice. It is one of the reasons why Venezuela is the country with the lowest indicator of inequality in this continent,” emphasised Chavez in his address. The Venezuelan head of state also outlined advances in drafting the new Labour Law, which is expected to be passed by presidential decree on 1 May. Chavez said the law will contain provisions for a new Social Benefits Fund, which will guarantee that money destined for benefits payments to workers is not diverted to other ends. The Fund will be supported by Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA, through a new body PDVSA Social, which will receive 4% of PDVSA dividends. Reactions Venezuela’s pro-government umbrella union the National Union of Workers (UNT) indicated that the 32.25% wage increase is close to their own suggested rise of at least 33.59%. UNT coordinator Marcela Maspero stated that the rise does not solve all issues regarding salaries in Venezuela. “It is necessary to do more to give workers a salary that allows them to live with dignity and cover basic material, social and intellectual necessities,” she said. Alternative news website Aporrea drew attention to the issue of salaries above minimum wage, as it was not announced whether they would also see similar increases as part of the rise. Venezuela’s business federation Fedecamaras criticised the salary increase as “an isolated measure” that would not raise citizen’s buying power in the context of an “adverse climate against private investment”. The wage increase comes among various government policies to guarantee living standards and combat inflation in Venezuela, including the introduction of regulated prices for 19 basic household and bathroom items on 1 April this year. http://lizzie-phelan...-to-become.html
  19. Six men have been "arrested" in Derry after a republican rally to commemorate the Easter Rising was held at a cemetery in the city this afternoon. Six men have been arrested in Derry after a republican rally to commemorate the Easter Rising was held at a cemetery in the city this afternoon. The men are being taken to the Antrim Serious Crime Suite for questioning. At the ceremony, the Real IRA vowed to continue to mount attacks on the Brit occupation forces in the occupied six counties. After wreaths were laid at a Republican plot in the graveyard, a masked man read a statement, claiming that the Real IRA would continue the attacks. He said British interests and infrastructure would be targeted. The man claimed there was only one IRA and said there would be more violence in Northern Ireland. While no arrests were made, a police helicopter monitored the rally, which was organised by the 32 County Sovereignty Movement. Similar threats - to kill colonial constables - were made by a man in paramilitary uniform at this event last Easter. That came less than a month after the PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr was killed in a bomb blast in Omagh. The Real IRA has claimed responsibility for the executions of two British soldiers at Massereene Barracks in Antrim in March 2009. Earlier this month two men were "convicted" of executing Constable Stephen Carroll in March 2009. His killing was claimed by the Continuity IRA. http://www.rte.ie/ne...ity-forces.html
  20. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Mumia Abu-Jamal exclusive to RT

    Full interview. RT has become the first TV channel in the world to speak to former journalist and Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal since he was removed from death row in January. Abu-Jamal will spend his life behind bars for killing a police officer in 1981. Considered by many to be a flagrant miscarriage of justice, the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal has gained much attention worldwide. The defense claimed Abu-Jamal is innocent of the charges as the testimony of the prosecution's witnesses was not reliable. For decades, supporters have rallied behind him.
  21. Cúchonnacht Ó Dálaigh

    Brón ar an mbás: Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, Leader of Sudanese Communist Party

    Sudanese Communist Party Looks for a New Leader A Sudanese mourner holds a poster of Ibrahim Nugud, late leader of Sudan's Communist party, as people gather for his funeral in Khartoum on 25 March 2012. (Photo: AFP - Ashraf Shazly) By: May Ali Published Sunday, April 8, 2012 Following the death of Secretary-General Muhammad Ibrahim Nugud two weeks ago, Sudanese Communists are facing the challenge of preserving the unity of their party. Khartoum – Secretary-General of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) Muhammad Ibrahim Nugud passed away in London two weeks ago, where he was being treated for brain cancer. After more than 40 years at the helm of one of the oldest Communist parties in the Middle East, he had become a symbol of resolve and temperance. Among the crowd of supporters and admirers that flocked to Khartoum to commemorate the life of the Communist leader was his high-school classmate, Popular Congress Party (PCP) leader Hassan al-Turabi, who came to pay his last respects to a man who was exhausted by years of searching for democracy and social justice. However, it appears that the loyalty of this Islamist leader for his childhood friend did not spare him the ire of the Communist party, who began to heckle him as he stepped to the podium at the eulogy. The sheer number of supporters in Nugud’s funeral shows that the Communist party is a force to be reckoned with.They repeated chants of “Oh Khartoum, rise against the military and the kaizan [nickname for ruling party].” The leader of the opposition PCP advised the comrades of the deceased leader Nugud not to succumb to in-fighting following the death of their leader. He said Nugud’s passing should be a cause for unity and not division. Al-Turabi said that there is no need to fear for the future of the Communist party. It is an organized party which is not based on inheritance like the other traditional parties in which positions are passed from father to son. The Sudanese Communist Party distinguishes itself in Sudanese politics by being free from the ills of tribalism and regionalism that govern many of the other parties. Yet, this does not prevent speculation surrounding the future of the party. Internal divisions that threaten the unity of the leftist party have been public since its fifth convention in 2009. Nugud had planned to step down and make way for new blood. But the sharpness of the divide between the leading candidates to succeed him, al-Shafi Khidr and Suleiman Hamid, forced him and the members of the central community to backtrack. Nugud was reelected to the position of Secretary-General. Observers saw this development as simply a postponement of an inevitable conflict over succession, and perhaps the party’s sixth convention slated for 2014 would provide the space for such a battle. However, the sheer number of supporters in Nugud’s funeral shows that the Communist party is a force to be reckoned with. The Sudanese Communists have a chance to rally around their deceased leader and even reincorporate some factions that had previously splintered off. A source in the SCP told Al-Akhbar that when Sudanese Communists realize their many misfortunes, it will motivate them to unify within the mother organization once again. Meanwhile, despite speculation over who Nugud’s successor will be, SCP members have thus far maintained silence and secrecy in their actions. It suggests that the selection of Nugud’s successor could be going smoothly. Despite their great loss, the apparent stability within the central committee of the party suggests that everything is under control and the party’s affairs are being organized and agreed upon with a fair degree of consensus. Since Nugud’s death, the members of the central committee have been involved in continuous meetings carried out in complete secrecy, the latest of which took place last Friday. the number of candidates for a new general secretary is down to two: Suleiman Hamid and Muhammad al-Khatib.The party’s constitution stipulates that the central committee has the right to nominate the party’s next head in the event that something should happen to its leader before the party’s sixth convention is held in 2014. According to leaks from within the committee, the number of candidates for a new general secretary is down to two: Suleiman Hamid and a member of the central committee from the workers of the city of Atbara in north Sudan, Muhammad al-Khatib. Observers indicate that a new secretary-general will most likely be named during the next meeting of the central committee, who are likely to meet in one month since the members of the committee are dispersed throughout Sudan and abroad. In the first public message following the funeral, SCP Spokesperson Yusuf Hassan assured members of the party who came from various provinces of Sudan and abroad that the party would remain united and committed to the revolutionary plan laid-out by the late secretary-general. Likewise, the central committee confirmed that the party’s decisions would be implemented democratically, institutionally, and through collective leadership as stipulated by the party’s constitution. However, the similarity between the majority of the Sudanese parties in rallying around a historic leader have not dispelled concerns about the unity of the Communist party and its ability to carry on. This is what political analyst Kamal al-Jazouli indicates as well, pointing out that Nugud left behind a deep intellectual inheritance with regard to the country’s political issues. Jazouli said that Nugud had his own special way of thinking and methods tied to his personality. The leadership of the Communist party must contemplate this legacy and whoever will succeed Nugud must try to understand these methods and styles. Likewise, Jazouli expressed his belief that many colleagues and students of Nugud are conscious of this and will continue to carry on with their movement. This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition. http://english.al-ak...ooks-new-leader
  22. Obituary : Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud By Ahmed El Zobier March 24, 2012 — Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim Nugud, the Secretary General of the Communist Party died on 22 March 2012, at age of 82 in London after long struggle with illness. He had suffered from brain tumor that was become difficult to remove surgically. Mr. Nugud was born in 1930 in Al Qitaina town south of Khartoum, and studied at Hantoub high secondary school, during his school period his colleagues including the late Sudan’s president Jaafar Numiri and the current Popular Congress Party leader Hassan al Turabi. He was admitted to Khartoum University in early 1950s, but dismissed for his political activities and then completed his studies in Czechoslovakia. Nugud has been involved in politics since the early 1950s and has spent almost all his political career working underground. Following the Aboud regime (1958–64) he was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1965. He was appointed general secretary of the party after the failure of a counter coup d’état by communist officers in 1971, as result its leader Abd al-Khaliq Mahjub executed by Numiri’s regime. He then went into hiding from 1971 to 1985, and was arrested in 1989. In 1990 he was released under house arrest until 1994 and then again went into hiding till 2005. After the 1985 uprising, the party introduced this new political leader for the first time in a rally at Khartoum University; many people admired his political humor, wit and self-effacement. Mr. Nugud was elected as Member of Parliament in 1986 representing Al Amarat & Aldiem constituency in Khartoum. His parliamentary performance was mesmerizing and amusing and people still remember his first statement about the Sudan budget, when he dissected with endearing Sudanese proverbs and anecdotes the proposed budget by Al Sadig Al Mahadi’s Government. He is known to be a pragmatic and shrewd political operator. To his credit this veteran political leader proved to be an astute political survivor and is largely responsible, and of course with his party colleagues, for the Communist Party still being an integral part of the country’s political map. Although suffering from an ever-dwindling membership since 1989 the Party has earned the respect of the Sudanese in general and the other Sudanese political parties. The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) that was founded in 1946, despite the elements remain one of the two most influential in Africa along with the South African Communist Party. Many political leaders paid their respect to Mr Nugud, Kamal Omer from the Popular Congress Party described him as one of the greatest political leaders in Sudan, he pointed out that the secretary of the Communist Party through his wisdom was able to forge special relationship with the leader of the Popular Congress Party Dr. Hassan al-Turabi since the days of high secondary school, he managed in the last few years to reduce the hostility between the Islamists and the Communists, despite their ideological differences. Al Sadiq Al Mahidi, the Umma party leader said that Nugud’s departure left the country in desperate need for his wisdom. The National Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson describes him as a national figure that had contributed to the course of national struggle. The Democratic Unionist Party leader Ali Hussanien said he will be remembered as the champion of the oppressed. The communist party announced yesterday that in 9 am on Sunday morning, the funeral procession will move from his home to the Communist Party headquarter office in Khartoum (2) and from there followed by a silent procession to Farouk cemetery to bury his body. In personal note, I had interviewed Mr. Nugud for Sudan Tribune back in 2007, I was struck by his down-to-earth humility, the ability to distill complex ideas into simple explanations. His sense of Sudanese political history was unparallel, as someone witnessed the darkest and tragic moment of his party’s history in 1971 he remained hopeful. His answers were always papered with anecdotes enveloped in his unique endearing sense of humor. May his soul Rest in Peace. The author is a Sudan Tribune journalist. He can be reached at ahmed.elzobir@gmail.com http://www.sudantribune.com/Obituary-Mohamed-Ibrahim-Nugud,42021
  23. PFLP: Abed Rabbo-Beilin meeting aims to undermine Palestinian rights The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued a statement on April 7, 2012 denouncing the meeting between Yossi Beilin and member of the PLO Executive Committee Yasser Abed Rabbo, saying that this meeting takes place in the framework of the so-called “Geneva Initiative” (that aims to undermine Palestinian refugees’ right to return) and the state with provisional borders, and is yet another attempt to reduce the political demands and minimize the Palestinian national situation. The Front noted that this meeting is yet another trial balloon, aimed at dragging Palestinians once more into futile negotiations with the occupation state and the pursuit of bilateral “solutions” under the reference of the United States and amid ongoing war crimes, settlement building, and attacks against the Palestinian people. The Front warned that such meetings consolidate the fragmentation on the Palestinian national scene and are a failed attempt to cover up the failure of negotiations and the so-called “International Quartet’s” refusal to compel the occupying power to implement international law and UN resolutions, holding the occupation state immune from any accountability while it engages in flagrant violations and disregard of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Front reiterated once more that neither such meetings nor the machinations of the Quartet will undermine Palestinian rights to sovereignty, self-determinatio, and return. The Front called upon political and social forces to take action and for the PLO to make clear that such meetings are unacceptable and harmful to our people and our cause. http://pflp.ps/english/2012/04/pflp-abed-rabbo-beilin-meeting-aims-to-undermine-palestinian-rights/