M I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
1 „, • • • I • I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I • II Ill I I I I I l \ M I I I • (Hi I I I I I I I I I Mill \ r - ' p 3 & 5 p8 Desmond Greaves Summer illegal arms find at Buckingham School reports Palace P3 Reclaiming William Morris from the revisionists M I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I • llllllllllll I I I I I I I I I • I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Irish Democrat October/November 1996 • Price 50p Connolly Association: campaigning for a united and independent Ireland Irish prisoners Enda Finlay T HE BRITISH government faces another humiliating legal crisis with the news that more than 100 Irish prisoners may have been convicted on unreliable forensic evi- dence. Concern has been growing since it was re- vealed that the Home Secretary was reviewing the cases of 14 IRA prisoners referred by Professor Brian Caddy, who headed the inquiry into Britain's main foren- sic explosives laboratory. It has since emerged that a further 100 cases dating back to the early 1970s and 1980s could also be unreliable, thanks to now discredited ad- vice given by the Forensic Science Service to the Home Office. The problem that such a huge review of cases would pose for the Home Office is obvious. It is also certain that o Unsafe convictions: British justice in the dock once more the current Home Secre- tary will have to reconsider his initial re- action that "the chances that there has been a mis- carriage of justice are very small". The news was greeted with anger both-in Ire- land and in Britain. "The latest revelation shows the complete con- tempt for human rights shown by a regime that was more concerned with securing convic- tions than making sure they had the right people," said Connolly Association president David Granville. "The 'appalling vista' that Lord Denning tried to suppress is now ope- neing up before our eyes," said Mr Granville. "The Home Secretary must now act swiftly and decisively to release those prisoners wrongly convicted. "Conditions for many Irish prisoners in British jails actually worsened during the IRA ceasefire, underlining the British government's contempt justice and the Irish peace process," Mr Gran- ville said. Association to sue over 'police vandalism' T HE CONNOLLY Asso- ciation is to seek sub- stantial compensation from Lothian and Borders police after a senior officer admitted that they had de- stroyed an historic banner made by the great-grand- daughter of socialist labour leader James Connolly. The banner, which had never been seen in public, was confiscated by the Edin- burgh police in June 1993 during attempts to prevent a banned march organised to commemorate James Con- nolly in the city of his birth. A number of Association members, including London CA member Gerry Fennelly, were also detained at the time of the incident. The police have since claimed that they attempted to contact Mr Fennelly using the Metropolitan Police, but being unable to locate his current whereabouts in order to return the banner, had ordered its destruction. The admission by the Lo- thian and Borders Assistant Chief Constable, T Wood, followed lengthy corre- spondence between the As- sociation and the police, who had previously refused to say what had happened to the banner or a number of badges which were also con- fiscated. Commenting on the this latest development, Con- nolly Association general secretary Enda Finlay ac- cused the police of carrying out an act of 'gross and wan- ton vandalism'. "It is impossible to put a value on this banner and we will be seeking legal advice on how best to press our claim for compensation. It is utterly ridiculous for the police to say that they couldn't contact the owner given the fact that the Asso- ciation's name was promi- nently displayed, and that members of die Edinburgh branch of the Association were well known to the police at that time."
M I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
Text of M I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
1 „ , •
• • I • I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I • I I I l l I I I I I l \ M I I I • ( H i I I I I I I I I I M i l l \ r - '
p 3 & 5 p8 Desmond Greaves Summer illegal arms find at Buckingham School reports Palace
P3 Reclaiming William Morris from the revisionists
M I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I • l l l l l l l l l l l l I I I I I I I I I • I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I
Irish Democrat October/November 1996 • Price 50p Connolly Association: campaigning for a united and independent Ireland
Irish prisoners Enda Finlay
g o v e r n m e n t faces another h u m i l i a t i n g legal crisis with
the news that more than 100 Irish prisoners may have been convicted on unreliable forensic evi-dence.
Concern has been growing since it was re-vealed that the Home Secretary was reviewing the cases of 14 IRA prisoners referred by Professor Brian Caddy, who headed the inquiry into Britain's main foren-sic explosives laboratory.
It has since emerged that a further 100 cases dating back to the early 1970s and 1980s could also be unreliable, thanks to now discredited ad-vice given by the Forensic Science Service to the Home Office.
The problem that such a huge review of cases would pose for the Home Office is obvious.
It is also certain that
o Unsafe convictions: British justice in the dock once more
the current Home Secre-tary will have to reconsider his initial re-action that "the chances that there has been a mis-carriage of justice are very small".
The news was greeted with anger both-in Ire-land and in Britain.
"The latest revelation shows the complete con-tempt for human rights shown by a regime that was more concerned with securing convic-tions than making sure they had the right people," said Connolly Association president
David Granville. "The 'appalling vista'
that Lord Denning tried to suppress is now ope-neing up before our eyes," said Mr Granville.
"The Home Secretary must now act swiftly and decisively to release those prisoners wrongly
convicted. "Conditions for many
Irish prisoners in British jails actually worsened during the IRA ceasefire, underlining the British government's contempt justice and the Irish peace process," Mr Gran-ville said.
Association to sue over 'police vandalism'
THE CONNOLLY Asso-ciation is to seek sub-stantial compensation
from Lothian and Borders police after a senior officer admitted that they had de-stroyed an historic banner made by the great-grand-daughter of socialist labour leader James Connolly.
The banner, which had never been seen in public, was confiscated by the Edin-burgh police in June 1993 during attempts to prevent a banned march organised to commemorate James Con-nolly in the city of his birth.
A number of Association members, including London CA member Gerry Fennelly, were also detained at the time of the incident.
The police have since claimed that they attempted to contact Mr Fennelly using the Metropolitan Police, but being unable to locate his cur ren t whereabouts in order to return the banner, had ordered its destruction.
The admission by the Lo-thian and Borders Assistant Chief Constable, T Wood, fol lowed lengthy corre-spondence between the As-sociation and the police, who had previously refused to say what had happened to the banner or a number of badges which were also con-fiscated.
Commenting on the this latest development, Con-nolly Association general secretary Enda Finlay ac-cused the police of carrying out an act of 'gross and wan-ton vandalism'.
"It is impossible to put a value on this banner and we will be seeking legal advice on how best to press our claim for compensation. It is utterly ridiculous for the pol ice to say that they couldn't contact the owner given the fact that the Asso-ciation's name was promi-nently displayed, and that members of die Edinburgh branch of the Association were well known to the police at that time."
Rebuild the peace THl HNDof August 1996could havebeen the celebra-
tion of the second anniversary of the IRA ceasefire. Instead, in the last number of weeks there has been
speculation that a renewal of the 1994 ceasefire might be on the way, although when this is expected and what sort of ceasefire it will be, is not detailed. It would also be foolish to assume, as a result of the speculation, that a new IRA ceasefire is imminent.
Unfortunately an opportunity has been lost and in-stead of addressing and discussing all the issues that the ceasefire seemed to allow space for — Orange marches, policing, discrimination, prisoners and so on — the last two years have been bogged down on the issue of decom-missioning. The talks process has failed to get over this seemingly insurmountable hurdle.
In fact recent months have thrown up scenes that many of us had hoped had been buried in the black and white news coverage of the 1970s. The sight of Catholics being intimidated out of their homes and loyalist roadblocks following Drumcree, shattered the confidence and hopes of a great many people, especially the SDLP-voting middle-class. The magnitude of the damage done by this summer's marching season can only be guessed at. In business termsalonea recentestimateputitat£10million. What price the social and political damage?
One of the most obvious manifestations of the damage is the boycotting of businesses run by Orangemen that participated in Drumcree this year. Despite unionist pro-tests insisting that, "this sectarian campaign was orches-trated by Sinn Fein and another instance of their ethnic cleansing of Protestants", a recent article in the Irish News has revealed that the boycott was actually started by the Royal Black Preceptory as a response to nationalists refu-sal to allow a march through Roslea in Fermanagh last year, before the current Orange boycott.
There are also continuing concerns over the loyalist ceasefire, concerns which were obviously added to by the expulsion of Billy Wright, and the standing down of Mid-Ulster UVF with which he is identified. His championing by the accordion-playing-reverend, Willie McCrea was unpalatable as the reverend's renditions, as this was an individual who at the very least was supporting a return to killing Catholics by Loyalists. The INLA also continued to show everybody that they are still around and whilst observing a ceasefire of sorts, their current round of inter-necine violence has claimed many lives.
But despite all these concerns and backtracking, and nobody should doubt that enormous damage has been done, there is still hope, albeit very slim, that the peace process can be rebuilt. There is speculation about a renewed IRA ceasefire, an Irish-American delegation re-cently visited Ireland as they did in the weeks preceding the initial ceasefire. The SDLP and the UUP are apparently reaching an agreement over the issue of decommissioning and the new head of the RUC Ronnie Flanagan has been making more moderate noises than his predecessor.
Most importantly the more militant republicans have kept their powder dry in the Six Counties over this sum-mer's marching season. There is still however little move-ment on the transfer of prisoners, the marching issue continues to provoke very angry scenes. A number of other issues including the use of plastic and rubber bullets have not yet been addressed. If the peace process is to be rebuilt it will need to move towards an active agenda of change at a much quicker pace than heretofore.
The forthcoming Labour Party conference's main mo-tions on Ireland will focus on the need to rebuild the peace process and the role of the Labour Party in that reconstruc-tion. It is obvious that if the peace process is to be rebuilt, the Labour Party will have to come up with a better idea than bi-partisanship, which at best offered the illusion of being able to over-ride the unionist veto and at worst made the Labour Party as culpable as the Tories for the ending of the IRA ceasefire, o EF
M i DemocRAT BI-MONTHLY NEWSPAPER OF THE CONNOLLY ASSOCIATION Founded 1939. Volume 51, number 5 Editorial board: Helen Bennett; Gerard Curran; David Granville (editor); Jonathan Hardy; Peter Mulligan; Alex Reid; Moya Frenz St Leger. Production: Derek Kotz PUBLISHED BY: Connolly Publications Ltd, 244 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8JR, telephone 0171 833 3022. Email: [email protected] PRINTED BY: Ripley Printers (TU) Ltd, Nottin-gham Road, Ripley, Derbyshire, telephone 01773 743 621.
Greaves school success Summer school
THIS YEAR'S Desmond Greaves summer school, the eighth, continued to
build on the event's growing reputation as an important forum for left-wing political debate in Ireland.
Held in the pleasant sur-roundings of the Irish Labour History Museum in Dublin, the school remains at the fore-front of moves to challenge the 'anti-national' project at the heart of official and academic orthodoxy.
The school's success owes much to its ability to attract high-calibre lecturers.
This year they included the leading left-wing intellectual, Professor Terry Eagleton, who
spoke on the ideology of Irish studies.
Other sessions were led by educationalists Frankie Wat-son and Peter Collins, who op-ened a lively discussion about the teaching of history in Irish
schools throughout Ireland; Dr Christopher Woods, joint edi-tor of die forthcoming three-volume Oxford edit ion of writings of Wolfe Tone, on the relationship between leading United Irishmen Theobald
Wolfe Tone and Thomas Rus-sell; and Kevin McCorry of the Belfast-based Campaign for Democracy and Sean Farren of the SDLP on the Northern situ-ation. o More school reports, page 5
Irish President to unveil Wolfe Tone headstone
BROOKLYN'S Green-wood cemetery is to be the site of the first Ameri-
can bicentennial commemora-tion of the United Irishmen movement when Irish Presi-dent Mary Robinson unveils the restored headstone of The-obald Wolfe Tone's widow, Matilda, at a public ceremony on October 8.
President Robinson will be the guest of the Irish-American Labour Coalition and the New York History Roundtable.
Both organisations plan to mark the legacy of 1798 by rec-ognising the United Irish expa-triates who settled in New York, where they contributed to the development of Ameri-
can republicanism. Matilda Tone, who died in
1849, and her family were im-portant members of the pre-Famine New York Irish community whose leaders in-cluded prominent United Ir-ishmen such as Thomas Addis Emmet, William James Mac-Neven, William Sampson, Thomas CConor, John Cham-bers and Samuel Neilson.
Following the unveiling of the heads tone . Professor Nancy Curt in of Fordham University will deliver an ad-dress on Matilda Tone's role in the dissemination of the ideals of the United Irish movement following the death of her hus-band.
Councils face repair bills
TWO LOCAL councils hit by IRA bombs since the end of the ceasefire are
facing repair and clean-up bills of around £5 million as a result of uninsured damage to coun-cil property.
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Manches-ter City Council have been re-fused extra help from central government and are now fac-ing bills of £2 million and £3 million respectively.
Connolly Association update
Sheffield: Where Now for Peace in Ireland? with Kevin McNamara MP, Kevin McCorry, Campaign for Democracy, and Enda Finlay, Connolly Association. October 17,7:30 pm at Morrissey's The Riverside public house, Mowbray Street.
Liverpool: Desmond Greaves Memorial Lecture: Peter Berresford Ellis on the history of the Orange Order November 2,1.30 pm at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, 1 Abercromby Square.
London: Connolly Association Annual Conference (open session) Invited Speakers: Kevin McNamara MP, Eamon O Cuiv TD November 9, 10:30am in the Kennedy Room, Camden Irish Centre, NW1.
Irish population reaches new high Census
THE FIRST results of the 19% Census show that the 26-County population is
now 3.6 million, die highest since the foundation of the state in 1921 and a rise of 100,000 since the last census in 1991.
The increase has not crane about because Irish people are having more children. Irish fertility and birth rates have been falling for two decades, as people have fewer children than their parents, in line with general t rends in indus-trialised countries.
More women work outside the home, social and sexual at-titudes have changed. Most young Irish women nowadays
will have just two children, which is what is needed to per-mit each generation to replace itself, without natural growth.
The extra 100,000 are the re-sult of a high level of net immi-gration, more people returning or moving to Ireland, in con-trast to high levels of emigra-tion from the country in the 1980s and previous decades.
Ehiblin's population con-tinues to grow, as do those of o the r cities — Galway by enough to make it the fastest growing city in Europe. All but four counties show an in-crease, die losers being the bor-der counties of Longford, Leitrim, Roscommon and Monaghan.
If the 'peace process' pro-gresses to real peace, these bor-der counties may at last get their chance, for they have been hit by partition and its consequences for decades.
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I R I S H D E M O C R A T O c 2
Guidelines aim to tackle sectarian harassment at work
Civil rights Democrat reporter
MORE THAN one in ten people working in the Six Counties has experi-
enced sectarian harassment ac-cording to a recent survey on behalf of the Northern Ireland Fair Employment Commission (FEC).
The figures, which revealed that nearly a quarter of all cath-olic men and ten per cent of protestant men had been ha-rassed at work, were publish-ed to coincide with the launch of new guidelines for em-ployers aimed at tackling the problem.
The guidelines have won the endorsement of both the Confederation of British In-dustry in the Six Counties and
the Northern Ireland Commit-tee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.
ICTU has its own anti-secta-rian campaigning and educa-tional organisation, Counter-act.
FEC chief executive Harry Goodman said at the gui-delines' launch that the aim was to help employers create a safe and dignified working en-vironment where potential vic-tims could feel assured that problems would be dealt with seriously and sensitively.
"Of all fair employment issues, sectarian harassment is one of the most sensitive and difficult to deal with, very often because it is a hidden, unreported problem," Good-man said.
"But, reported or not, any behaviour that causes fear or apprehension to employees is totally unacceptable."
Trade unionist is victim of sectarian attack o The cost of representing the concerns of his members in the Ormeau Road bakery was very nearly life itself for former Transport and General shop steward Pearse McKenna, pic-tured above speaking at a workshop on sectarianism in the workplace in London recently.
Less than two months after raising the issue of displays of banned sectarian emblems with management Mr McKenna, one of a small number of catholic workers at the bakery, was shot in the back at close range by a masked gunman.
William Morris Revisionists are at it everywhere, but
here NICK WRIGHT rescues William Morris from the clutches of those who
would deny the politics of this revolutionary and supporter of the cause
of Irish freedom
IN THE centenary of his death, the English crafts-man, des igner , political
leader and poet , William Morris is claimed by tempori-sing reformers as the precursor to Blairism!
Not only Ireland's history must be rewritten if the demon of revolution is to be exorcised. For a man who wrote in his mature years: "I call myself a Communist and have no wish to qualify that word by joining any other to it," the revisionist makeover of Morris sup-presses a revolu t ionary politics which encompassed, naturally, a practical engage-ment with the Irish question.
In 1886 he wrote " . . . the Irish (as I have some reason to know) will not listen to any-thing except the hope of inde-pendence as long as they are governed by England; no, not even to the most elementary propositions about the land, which concerns them most and nearest — they can see nothing else than an Ireland freed from that government."
Morris had in mind his re-ception by a Dublin audience of his lecture on the 'aims of art.'
He reports "One slip I un-wittingly made by mentioning Sackville Street, which is popularly know as OConnell Street, a name which the auth-orities refuse to accept.
"A great to-do followed this blunder, which on a hint from the chairman, I corrected with
all good will and was allowed to go on, with cheers." William Morris was republ ican by democratic instinct and de-veloped ideology.
His second trip to Ireland, in 1886, coincided with the Home Rule Bill and Glad-stone's speech, brought home the divisive character of relig-ious bigotry:
"I cannot help thinking that when Home Rule is estab-lished the Catholic clergy will begin to act after their kind, and try after more and more power".
HIS FIRST visit — an 1877 journey taken to advise the Countess of Charle-
ville at Tullamore, County Of-fal y, entirely for commercial purposes notwithstanding — had impressed upon him the poverty and degradation of rural life in landlord Ireland.
Discussing the class charac-ter of the government — in the January 14, 1888 Commonweal — he points out: "As the Eng-lish, Scotch and Welsh work-ing men became educated into friendliness and sympathy with die Irish peasant, so the middle class became educated into hatred of him.
"To them he is no longer now a romantic survival of past times of a rebellion made beautiful by distance, carrying about a preposterous senti-ment of nationality never to be
realised save as a flavour to a few old ballads sung to melan-choly ancient tunes, he is a working man asking for some of the property of the proprie-tary classes, and not too nice as to the means by which to estab-lish his claim."
What is remarkable about this passage is not simply its internationalism and working class politics but his clear sighted embrace of the modern world, of conflict and change, of struggle and progress.
This is a long way from the clouds of mysticism in which his admiring friends' cloak his views.
Morris thought the land question critical in Ireland:
"Home Rule for Ireland is not necessarily a revolutionary measure, but it will clear the ground for the sowing of the seeds of Revolution; and that all the more as the problem in Ireland is simpler than else-whe re , owing to it being chief ly an agricul tural country."
He linked Ireland's pro-gress to independence, indus-trial development and the rai lway and warned, pres-ciently, of the need to protect Ireland manufactures from the world market'.
"As Socialists, therefore, we are bound to wish the ytmost success to those who can at least see that it is necessary for Ireland to take her own affairs into her own hands, whatever the immediate results may be."
Cruiser in truth shock
CONOR CRUISE O'Brien has changed his mind on Orangeism. Now that he
has procla imed himself a unionist and thrown in his lot with Robert McCartney, he will surely find it uncomfort-able to be reminded of what he wrote nearly 30 years ago.
This extract from a piece by him in the New York Review of Books for 1969 was carried re-cently by An Phoblacht. Our readers may like to spread it around in the aftermath of Drumcree.
"When Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys commem-orate the victories of 1690, as they do each year in elaborate ceremonies, the message they are conveying is that of their determination to hold for prot-estants in Northern Ireland as much as possible of the privi-leged status which their ances-tors won under William of Orange. These are not, as out-siders suppose, comically ar-chaic occasions. The symbols are historical, the iconography old-fashioned, but the message is for the here and now.
"The ritual is one of annual renewal of a stylized domin-ance: 'We are your superiors; we know you hate this demon-stration of that fact; we dare you to say something about it; if you don't you ratify your own inferior status.' That is what die drums say."
disorder frequently char-acterised Pby delusions of
persecution and self-import-ance, an abnormal tendency to suspect and mistrust others.
Such features have marked out unionists from their very beginnings and were particu-larly prevalent during the Irish Home Rule crisis in the early part of this century. Then, as now, the loosening of West-minster's control over one of its parts was seen by British and Irish unionism as the be-ginning of the end for the United Kingdom and, at that time, for the Empire.
With Irish unionism's main strength concentrated in Ul-ster's six north-eastern coun-ties, British rul ing class pragmatism dictated that Northerners be used as a foot-hold for the British state in Ire-land. The aim: to defeat the Home Rule Bill. Partition was achieved by building an all-class alliance in the North whereby the landlords and magnates of industry and com-merce bound to themselves the protestant working-people and professional classes by ac-cording them preferential (ie discriminatory) treatment on the basis of their religion.
While not all protestants benefited, a majority did. The price was severance from their catholic working-class counterparts and the accept-ance of a rigid dependency, political and economic, on their 'superiors'. A syndrome — extant to this day — was born.
Westminster gave them Stormont, a 'protestant parlia-
ment for a protestant people', over a third of whom were catholic, allowing unionists to police and administer the terri-tory stolen from Ireland by means of superior military and economic might. Despite the built-in impermanency of this artificially contrived construc-tion, the pragmatic politics of un ion i sm ' s real imper ia l grand-masters at Westminster, Lloyd George, Bonar Law, Lord Birkenhead, Sir Edward Carson and Walter Long et al necessitated a six county stop
gaP-This arrangement required
the 'sacrifice' of 26 county unionists who had been an in-tegral part of the all-Ireland Irish Unionist Alliance.
Self-seeking no r the rn unionist supported this be-trayal of their 'southern' kin-dred with great fe rvour , providing one explanation for the neurosis of insecurity with which northern unionism re-mains encumbered.
The fact is that northern unionists hate and distrust everybody: northern nationa-lists (to say nothing of republi-cans), Irish governments (no matter how appeasing), British governments (which have done little — as yet—to under-mine them), British non-estab-lishment democracy (an aspect of 'Britishness' which they de-test), the Americans (except the 'Scotch' Irish whom they misrepresent), the Pope, and, with marvellous consistency, each other.
Not all of this can be put down to party political jocke-ying.
All this may help to shed
some light on the mayhem which Orange/unionist street violence subjected the North to during the summer, but it is far from being the full story. Six County unionism's undying fear of betrayal, its insecurity, manifested in its truculent marching season is merely symptomatic of something lying deeper : the fact that unionism is built on a monumental lie.
Any political formation which is sure of its own verac-ity does not display the touchi-ness, the nervousness, the bull-headed assertiveness, and sheer lack of tolerance univer-sally exhibited by the media 'personali t ies ' of nor thern unionism. Even Paisley's hu-mour is self-conscious and ghoulish. Unionist ideology seems to contort some individ-uals who might otherwise be personable enough.
TWO ASPECTS of the many-faceted lie on which unionism is based — and
from which all other aspects derive — cause unionists to convolute and invert reality: that northern protestants are not Irish; and that unionism is representative of democracy in Northern Ireland. Here we are discussing the ideology of unionism and not the con-sciousness or sentiment of in-dividual protestants, whose community forms my own background.
Util ising obfuscat ion, unionism has striven, with limited success, to sow
muddle-headedness and con-fusion among its adherents with regard to national ident-ity, mixing statehood and other things with nationality. Proto-fascist definitions have been—and are—used relying on spurious ethnicities (insofar as the present-day population is concerned) and equally spurious genetic/racial and other non-applicable criteria.
Yet, only a minority of mainly socially deprived prot-estants, the bottom rung of the all-class alliance, appear to be genuinely confused as to their correct national identity.
It is, of course, necessary for the project that a few of union-ism's top, university educated, people should engage in fan-ning the flames of this particu-lar fire, causing some protestants to think that they are the targets of 'ethnic cleans-ing'.
The resulting anger of such protestants is understandable. At least some of the new politi-cians associated with the loyalist paramilitaries have de-clared themselves 'wised up' to this kind of cynical manipu-lation.
Otherwise, sheer dishon-esty is in play. Take this example. Gregory Campbell of the DUP, Mr Paisley's leading spokesman in Derry, at-tempted to explain to a TV in-terviewer the imperative behind the Apprentice Boys in-sistence upon parading along the entire walls of Derry when they knew it was only a small section of the route that gave offence to their nationalist neighbours.
He was unable to admit that
the offending section was the whole point of the parade and that, having demonstrated who were 'the people' by forc-ing a route through it, he could happily forego the non-offend-ing portion. He tried another tack, claiming that "..they (the nationalists) are trying to make us more Irish". Not wishing to compound foolishness, he didn't deny his Irishness be-cause he was talking to a net-work with a predominantly English audience.
It is only within Ireland that unionists engage in unsustain-able definitions of nationality in the secure knowledge that sections of the ruling elite in the twenty six counties affects to take them seriously.
FOR UNIONISTS to admit, without qualification, that they are Irish (although
many admit qualified Irish-ness) would be to deprive Brit-ish colonialism of its sole argument justifying its inter-ference in the internal affairs of Ireland.
National minorities (and, since different concepts — sec-tarian and otherwise — are in-volved here, it is not clear that protestants would be defined as such) have rights. None of which confers a legitimacy in opting out of the nation viz UN General Assembly Resolution 47/135, 1992, entitled 'Decla-ration of the rights of persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious and linguistic mi-norities'.
The second key aspect of unionist self-delusion is the not ion that i t represents democracy in the North. It is the remnant upholder of Brit-ish colonialism in Ireland and to suggest that it is democratic is a contradiction in terms.
Unionism's role is in safe-guarding the largely English ruling-class hegemony over government in the North . Right-wing Toryism, the father of Northern Ireland unionism in modern times, is both the enemy of true democracy in Ireland and of the common people of Britain itself. It is antipathetic to the national rights of the Welsh and Scot-tish people and uses its hege-mony over them too to strengthen itself in the face of English people. Economically, it 'rips off' all the nationalities without distinction.
The legacy bequeathed to the peoples of Britain by the likes of Carson, Long and their associates, which is ultimately responsible for the present-day frictions, was the anti-democratic Stormont regime which imposed itself for 50 years before Westminster was forced to prorogue it and re-place it with the even more draconian direct rule.
Neither section of the com-munity in Northern Ireland possesses one iota of govern-mental power, not Trimble, Paisley or Hume, although its speaks volumes of the former two that they have been condi-tioned to not even want self-government
It is fashionable in some quarters to rubbish the idea that Northern Ireland is a col-ony. However, Long's bio-grapher, John Kendle, explains with great clarity why the old
Tory and his accomplices es-tablished the unviable entity:
"Most Englishmen, particu-larly those in high office, con-sidered Ireland theirs by right of conquest. To accept the ex-istence of a national alternative would be to impugn English sovereignty. The majority found this unacceptable, and Long was no exception."
Based on such a monumen-tal perversion of reality, is it any wonder that unionism is constantly in fright of being found out and consigned to the dustbin of post-colonial his-tory? When it feels threatened, as it does with some justifica-tion at the moment, its aggress-iveness and obduracy becomes most glaring. The summer par-ades acted as a barometer measuring its inability to coun-tenance any political change. These 'traditional' events rose in number from 1,731 in 1986 to 2,581 in 1995, an increase of 48 per cent accompanied, they would have us believe, by a commensurate increase in piety and church-going.
ON THE political plane, intransigence takes a form which even Mr Mo-
lotov's 'nyet' could not equil in its day. For unionism to allow one dunk is to flirt with the danger of seeing the whole gerry-built edifice fall away. Thus, its immovable position has been succinctly put by Paisley (and you wont see Trimble drifting far from it) ig-noring the aspirations of the other 40 per cent of the com-munity: o Ulster (sic) to remain firmly within the United Kingdom; o The removal of Dublin's claim (sic) over Ulster; o No role for Dublin in Ul-ster's affairs; o Democratic and account-able structures of government for Ulster (not understood as self-government, rather fancy titles and perks for top union-ists, without responsibility); o 'IRA-Sinn Fein' and all 'ter-rorists' made to hand over their illegal weaponry and dis-mant le their terrorist machines (widely accepted as only achievable in the context of a political settlement which Mr Paisley's demands would make impossible); o The principle of consent and self-determinat ion for the people (code for unionists) of Northern Ireland to be fully established. (How can a politi-cal party exercise national self-determination?); o No negotiations on the basis of the Downing Street Decla-ration and the Framework Documents.
Why did he fail to mention The Anglo-Irish Agreement? Is there something in it he likes? Another striking omission is even a tokenistic commitment to the concept of 'parity of es-teem'.
David McKittrick was wrong when he said that David Trimble, Paisley's part-ner at Drumcree, had reverted to a more primitive form of unionism. The truth is that unionism has never moved away from its pristine form. It is both unchanged and un-changeable, at least until some progressive British govern-ment refuses to preserve it.
I R I S H D E M O C R A T O c t o b e r / N o v e m b e r 1 9 9 6 p a g e 4
DESMOND GREAVES SUMMER SCHOOL
School offers vital lessons in theory and practice
Following another highly successful
Desmond Creams Summer School
the Irish Democrat reports on
contributions hy Terry Eagleton
(pictured above) and Kevin
McCorry (below) on the 'Ideology of Irish Studies'and
'The Way Forward for the North'
a iPENING HIS erudite Icritique of the role of "liberal humanism And
postmodernism in , Irish studies, Oxford University professor Terry Eagleton agreed that Irish history had become "ensnared in potent mythologies" from which it
needed to be severed. However, contrary to ac-
cepted orthodoxies, it was those created by "liberal hu-manism, pos tmodern plu-ralism, Eurocentr ism, multinational cosmopolitan-ism, ideologies of progressiv-ism and modernisation" to which he referred.
Deconstructing Irish na-tionalism had become fashion-able in some quarters, and could enhance job prospects, he argued. Deconstructing liberal humanism or postmod-ern pluralism, on the other hand, would probably not.
Stressing the need for a more appropriate term than 'revisionist' he reminded his audience that "the greatest en-terprise of historiographical revisionism in Ireland" had been carried out by nationa-lists who had rewritten with "breathtaking boldness from below" the imperialist version of events.
'Middle-class l iberal ' would cover much of what was regarded as 'revisionist' he suggested, arguing that "the middle-class liberalism shared by a large number of Irish historians and cultural commentators today is more hopelessly myst if ied than unionism and nationalism ever were."
"Just consider the ridicu-lousness of it. Here are good decent women, committed to the values of justice, freedpm, tolerance and the like, who ac-tually believe that all of this could be achieved without the most shattering transforma-tion of the existing world sys-tem.
'"No Surrender' and 'Up the Gael' may be symptoms of irrationalism. But what could be more insanely unreason-able, more unhinged from the workaday world, than to im-agine that justice, freedom, re-spect and autonomy could be negotiated in anything like the measure in which we require them, from a world of wea-pons, commodities, drugs, tor-ture, famine a n d exploitation?"
Such misconceptions arose as a result of the parochialism of most Irish historians, he ar-gued, "a state of mind which may itself be among other things symptomatic of the very post-colonial existence whose existence some of them deny."
Liberal humanism detests violence, except perhaps when it comes to Dunkirk, the Gulf or the Malvinas, celebrates in-d iv idua l liberty and sup-ports a socio-economic system which makes a mockery of it, praises pluralism but is scru-
pulous about who it allows to its seminars, and is generally every bit as much an ideology as Seventh Day Adventism."
"The real difference be-tween revisionists and their critics sometimes strike me as being less about nationalism or colonialism than about class — a concept which liberal hu-manists occasionally have some difficulty in grasping, as Chicano grape pickers on the whole do not."
Speaking about the difficult subject — at least for most of those attending the Greaves school — of postmodernism, he argued that it forged 'a curious cross-breed' with libe-ral humanism, ideologically underpinning much of what currently constitutes Irish studies.
Yet despite the obvious an-tagonisms, Irish postmodern-ism had more in common with 'Irish romantic nationalism', particularly a tendency "to construct history backwards" from current political interests. "Like romantic nationalism too, it is much enamoured of the regional and the particular, and shares many of its anti-en-lightenment prejudices."
Yet liberal middle-class Irish historians were largely ig-norant of either postmodern-ism or their part in it, he said.
'Northern democracy' holds the key
|T? E PEACE process
should be rebuilt around a politics for a Northern
democracy,", Kevin McCorry -4 of the Campaign for Democ-\ racy told the Greaves School.
• Addressing the question of A 'The Way Forward for the j l North', he said this could be
based on driving a wedge be-I tween the British government I and intransigent unionism and \ between intransigent union-
ism and loyalists prepared to contemplate an accommoda-
i tion between nationalism and ^ unionism, and on depriving
Britain of its political support in the North.
One of the consequences of Drumcree was that middle-class unionists were able to re-establish their dominance within unionism, he argued: "Nevertheless, perceptive unionists recognise that the Northern Ireland unionist case is becoming more and more ex-pendable to British policy."
The response from Trimble's party has been an at-tempt to redefine unionism: "The party believes that the drift towards a united Ireland can only be halted by closer links with those sections of the British establishment which
subscribe to the line that any change in Northern Ireland's constitutional status would have a domino effect on the rest of the United Kingdom."
Their 'integrationist' ap-proach was a rejection of any accommodation between na-tionalism and unionism, he said.
Lessons could be learned from the Civil Rights approach which succeeded in politically mobilising nationalists in the North, winning international support for civil-rights de-mands and dividing unionism.
Democracy remained the key, he said: "Although the Orange state is gone, the Orange mentality has been re-produced in the period of di-rect rule from Westminster.
A programme of demo-cratic rights would "open the way for political reconciliation between many present-day unionists and their fellow na-tionalist countrymen, thereby winning a majority in the North for reunification over time".
Such an accommodation must: o be open to the development towards a united Ireland; o rule out an internal settle-
ment — either within a Six-County or UK context; o require that nationalists and unionists have the maximum legislative and administrative powers, o and include an Irish dimen-sion expressed politically by the establishment of meaning-ful North/South institutions with a capacity for evolution, over time, in an all-Ireland di-rection
The replacement of the RUC by an unarmed police service acceptable to both com-munities; the elimination of all forms of discr iminat ion against nationalists; linguistic rights for the Irish language; an
amnesty for those imprisoned as a result of the conflict, and general reforms in civil and criminal law to reflect the prin-ciples of equality of treatment and parity of esteem should also be included in a pro-gramme of democratic rights
"The task in the period ahead is to build a politics which is capable of mobilising what could be described as a Northern democracy. In the immediate period such a politics would seek the re-es-tablishment of the peace pro-cess, the completion of demilitarisation, the release of prisoniers, and seek support for the idea of a broadly accept-able police service. It would stress the idea of a common civic identity in place of secta-rian division and strife, and strive for social and economic development."
"A politics for a Northern democracy can form the basis of a new political initiative which should have resonance for those in the peace move-ment, the trade unions and community groups, and those political parties which seek a way forward towards com-munity reconciliation and pol-itical and social progress."
JOHN MURPHY'S KEYWORDS
What causes inflation?
INFLATION IS always caused by governments. When the supply of government legal tender — that is the money, paper currency and credit which enables people to buy and exchange goods and services — in-creases more rapidly than the actual volume of such
goods and services themselves, it means the currency is being inflated.
As governments, either directly or through a state cen-tral bank, control the amount of cash and credit in an economy, governments cause inflation by printing excess money. Inflation is not just price rises. Prices are always going up and down relative to one another as supply and demand for things change, as well as the labour costs of making them.
Foreign travel and computer prices have fallen in re-cent years. Beer and footwear have gone up, while every-one has noticed how house prices first soared and then slumped over the past decade.
But there can be no general increase in the price of everything unless the government deliberately expands the money supply beyond what is needed to cover in-creases in real output. If there is five percent economic growth in a particular year, it means the real volume of goods and services grows by that amount.
But if, at the same time, the Bank of England expands the money and credit that can be offered for those items by, say, 20 percent, more money will be offered for the same quantity of real things, so the price of everything will rise.
Who benefits from inflation? Borrowers for one. If prices rise so' that the pound in one's pocket buys less every year, people can repay their debts in a depreciating currency, less valuable than the money they borrowed.
As governments are the biggest borrowers of all, infla-tion enables them to pay off the domestic element of the national debt at the expense of those fool enough to lend them money. It is robbery, of course, but of a half-hidden kind, for it takes people time to realise that the extra paper money they have is buying them less and less.
Who loses? Those who lend money rather than bor-row, so that inflation penalises thrift. But inflation affects huge numbers besides lenders and borrowers. If there is a general price rise because the government has printed excess money, some people are better placed to protect themselves than others.
Best placed are the strong and the well-organised, the big finns in i monopoly or semi-monopoly position, which are able to pass on rises in their costs through higher prices to the public. And well-organised workers in strong unions who are in a good bargaining position.
Mass unemployment has got rid of inflation, by
strengthening the power of big capital and
weakening that of labour The losers are the weak and unorganised: small firms fac-ing severe competition; those in weak trade unions or who are not organised at all; people living on fixed in-comes, such as pensioners, who have no bargaining power whatever to raise their incomes, and more gen-erally, people living in 'third-world' countries who face inflationary price rises for their imports, and who are un-able to compensate by demanding by demanding more for their primary products and semi-manufactures.
During the great inflation boom of the 1970s and '80s prices increased three-fold in most western countries. Money wages also grew, but by no means evenly, so that people were differently affected. Lenders generally were robbed for the benefit of borrowers, inequality grew be-tween strong and weak — and the 'third world' was robbed wholesale as the 'terms of trade' the quantity of exports needed to buy the same volume of imports, moved decisively against it.
Inflation is no longer a problem foi advanced capital-ism. Mass unemployment has got rid of i:, by strengthen-ing the power of big capital and weakening that of labour. Why inflation became an obsessive problem for capitalism, despite the way governments can benefit from it, we shall look at in the next issue.
I R I S H D E M O C R A T O c t
A gem from a decolonisinq intellectual G E R A R D C U R R A N reviews Transformations of Irish culture by L u k e G i b b o n s , Field Day Essays, Cork University Press, £14.95 pbk.
LUKE GIBBONS belongs to that group of writers/his-torians/critics, which in-
c ludes Salman Rushdie , Edward Said, C L R James, and Ireland's Declan Kiberd and Seam us Deane, who describe themselves as decolonising in-tellectuals'.
This rather clumsy phrase describes their efforts to de-scribe life and art in both pre and post-colonial situations.
They resist the constant ef-forts to distort and denigrate their respective nationalisms. In Ireland there is a constant battle against unionist histo-rians, revisionist writers like F S L Lyons, Moody, Conor Cruise O'Brien and Roy Foster, and journalists like Kevin Myers and Fintan O'Toole.
Originally published be-tween 1983 and 1995, this col-lection of essays outlines the
history of an increasingly un-inhibited debate in Ireland about a range of social, politi-cal and cultural issues pre-viously 'brushed under the
carpet'. The essay Synge Country
and Western: the myth of the West in Irish and American culture, is part icularly interesting. A
copy of the Keating picture The men of the West shows a group of Aran-type men with guns. The picture and Synge's Play-boy erf the western ivorld, and his work on the Aran islands, de-pict an uninhibited, primitive people relatively untainted by capitalism.
Synge was especially inter-ested in the people of the west-ern seaboard, whose lives were to be threatened by both British and Irish commercialism.
Gibbons points out that Synge's playboy, the una-bashed hedonis t Christy Mahon, was the exact opposite to the stereotype American cowboy hero: invariably puri-tanical, an upholder of the law, and shy about women.
While respectable women in the American western were largely decorative figures, the heroine in Synge's Playboy is, by contrast, an initiator of ac-tion.
Gibbon's essay on the de-portation of Jimmy Gralton ex-plains how Gralton's dance hall, where neither subversive nor licentious behaviour oc-curred, attracted the wrath of Fianna Fail, the Church and conservative sections of the IRA.
They had to get rid of a man
who was exposing the myth of the satisfied rural community without poverty or unrest.
Yet he was successfully hid-den in the area for five months, demonstrating a considerable level of local support.
De Valera wanted to 'paper over' the scandal of poverty and landlessness in the rural areas, and the whole affair led directly to a split in the IRA and the founding of the Repub-lican Congress.
It is impossible in a short review to pay adequate tribute to the richness of the material in this excellent collection. His essay on the social influence of television which demonstrates haw a television serial, The Riordans, originally screened to increase mechanisation on farms, and The Late Late Show became important forums for discussing taboo subjects like rape, adultery and birth con-trol, and helped to remould public opinion.
Other essays deal with the feminist interpretations of the heroine in Irish film and exam-inat ion of new a reas of prejudice and racism through a study of Irish history.
This book should be on the curriculum of all Irish studies courses.
Penitence preceeds politics... MOYA FRENZ ST LEGER reviews Pardon and peace by Nicholas Frayl ing, SPCK, 171 pp, £10.99 pbk.
AN ENGLISHMAN at the heart of the British estab-lishment has identified
the missing element in the struggle for a solution to Ire-land. He is Nicholas Frayling, Canon of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.
In this book he calls for the British publicly to acknow-ledge and repent for 800 years
cimated the Irish people and their culture.
This eminently readable paperback, the product of years of reflection upon the in-tractable problem of Ireland, records the writer's intensely personal experience of his own involvement.
A theological student on holiday in Ireland in 1976, Ni-cholas Frayling was in a pub when a landmine exploded be-neath a car in Dublin killing its occupant, British Ambassador Sir Christopher Ewart Biggs.
Unable to make a discreet exit, he was persuaded by the other men to stay, and for the next four hours listened to the story of Ireland. He left the pub
changed. In 1994 the author, spent
four months in Northern Ire-land l is tening to repre-sentatives from all sides of the conflict. His book records some illuminating conversa-tions, and the 44-page appen-dix, Outline of Irish History, provides the ideal easy refer-ence for those without an ency-clopaedic knowledge.
Monsignor Denis Faul is quoted: "Until the British re-pent for what they have done, and make amends for what they have done, there will never be peace in Ireland." Penitence precedes politics. I cannot recommend this book too highly.
A rebel account of Easter 1916 David Granville reviews Dublin's burning: the Easter Rising from behind the barricades by W J Brennan-Whitmore, G&M, £9.99 pbk.
IT SEEMS quite remarkable that when Brennan-Whit-more's account of the Easter
Rising was first submitted for publication, shortly after its completion in 1961, it was re-jected by at least one leading Irish publisher on the grounds that it was too controversial!
It is therefore with consid-
erable thanks to Gill and Mac-millan that they have finally made Dublin's burning, almost certainly the last memoir by a participant in the Rising, avail-able to a wider audience.
A journalist by profession, Brennan-Whitmore ga ined valuable military experience as a member of the Royal Irish Regiment in India before re-turning home where he joined Sinn Fein, the Gaelic League and the Irish Volunteers.
As a general staff officer he was first based in the GPO be-fore being sent to command the Volunteer posit ion in North Earl Street, which he held for 72 houis before being forced out by British artillery.
Although critical of Con-
nolly's policy of adopting a 'static defence', based on the Labour leader's belief that the British would not use artillery against the rebels, it is clear that he greatly admired Con-nolly for his military skills, his strength of character and his dedication to the cause of Irish freedom — although not for his socialism.
In addition to an analysis of the military aspects of the Ris-ing, Brennan-Whitmore 's vivid and clear-headed ac-count, written without ran-cour, includes many interesting observations of his fellow combatants, the people of Dublin caught up in the re-bellion and even the British enemy.
Miscellany, myth, ethics, religion and some poetry R U A I R I O ' D O N N E L L reviews How the Irish saved civilisation by Thomas Cahill, Hodder and Stoughton, 246pp, £6.99.
SOMETHING OF a mixed bag: a miscellany of his-tory, myth, re l igion,
ethics, some strange Gaelic pronunciations and poetry. Most importantly, it gives too little space to its central issue, The Golden Age.
Occasionally, one suspects that the text has lost, or gained, in translation. For example, we are told that, during his escape from Ireland Patrick was re-fused passage on a ship.
The sailors later relented, and "even offered (him) their nipples to be suck<xi" (page 103). He refused — and who wouldn't?
Far worse, my own Clann Conaill may well take offence at reading twice that their new kings were required to copu-late with a white mare.
Cahill hazards his credi-bility here as his source was
Geraldus Cambrensis, a 12th century 'black propagandist', a professional liar on the sub-lime scale — the sort still em-ployed in ' the ou tpos t of empire'.
On the other hand, the book mentions the Synod of Whitby. The topics discussed there were later developed to schis-matic proportions. "For Angli-cans die clash proves there was an indigenous 'British' church that preceding Roman inter-ference."
This argument was some-thing of a non-starter as the Gaeil rightly considered the points of divergence, includ-ing Irish tonsures and the cal-culation of the date for Easter celebrations, too tr ivial to cause a rift with the Holy See.
The book contains some in-teresting insights. For instance Freud thought that "The Irish were the only people who could not be helped by psycho-analysis".
I am also grateful to the author for the quotation, orig-inally from Horace, which h o e is adapted, libe. Uy translated, and taken out of context, but which should serve as the modern exile's motto: "Cae-lum non animos mutant qui mate transeunt" "They who cross the sea, change their hori-zon— not their souls".
A gripping novel of struggle in the docks
ENDA FINLAY reviews The price of a cigar by Peter Wood, Anchor Books, £9.95 pbk. (See offer below).
THIS BOOK tells the story of the London Dockers' strike of 1889. Twenty
dockers, half of them Irish, un-able and unwilling to accept their terrible conditions, low wages and poverty decide to strike.
Peter Wood's novel vividly captures the courage and con-viction of the strikers and the huge personal price some paid to win the 'dockers' tanner, was huge.
Their perseverence, in an episode of labour history sec-ond in importance only to the general strike of 1926, helped transform trade unionism in Britain.
The story is told through the lives of die main protagon-ists, and details the effects of the strike on their lives.
Wood captures the twin emotions of the strikers: des-peration on the one hand and hope for a better future on the other.
Reading this book whilst the Liverpool dockers' strike persists underscores its relev-ance.
An excellent book, a must for all those interested in the history of the labour move-ment and beyond.
Special offer o The price of a cigar is avail-able to Democrat readers for just £5.95 including post and packing. Cheques, payable to Anchor books, should be sent to Anchor House, 54 Whi-teadder Way, London E14 9UR. Allow 28 days for de-livery.
The Four Provinces Bookshop FOR BOOKS and pamphlets on Irish history, politics and literature and a wide range of Irish lan-guage material.
The Four Provinces Bookshop, 244 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8JR, telephone 01718333022.
Open 10am-4pm Tuesday to Saturday.
I R I S H D E M O C R A T O c t o b • r / N o v • m b • r 1 9 9 6 p a g e •
( IRISH SONGS
The Grand Oul' Dame Britannia
The satirical tradition which is of immense antiquity in Irish literature was continued by Sean O'Casey whose "Grand Oul' Dame Britannia" was published in James Connolly's Workers' Republic. John Redmond, referred to in the song, was the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, which had pledged Irish men and resources to the English war effort.
Och! Ireland, sure I'm proud of you-Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia, To poor little Belgium tried and true, Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia, We've closed your ear to the 'Shinners' lies, For you know each Gael that for England dies Will enjoy Home Rule in the clear blue skies, Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia.
Oh, Casement! Damn that Irish pig, We'll make him dance and English jig. But Redmond's here — the good and great, A pillar of the English state. Who fears to speak of '98?
The Castle's now an altered place, It's the drawing room of the Irish race. John Redmond to the throne is bowed 'Mid a frantic cheering Irish crowd. Sure its like the days of Shane the Proud.
For Redmond now Home Rule has won. And he's finished what Wolfe Tone begun. Yet rebels through the country stalk, Shouting '67 and "Bachelors Walk"; Did ye ever hear such foolish talk?
Ye want a pound or two from me! From your oul' Hibernian Academy! Don't you know we've got title Huns to quell, And we want the cash for shot and shell. Your artists! — Let them go to hell.
Old Ireland free once more This is a good song when the going gets weary. The peace process falters. What the various loyalist paramilitaries will do next seems in the lap of the gods. The Orangemen get on Radio 4 talking about their civil liberties. Let's recall the old days in song, and fill the whiskey glasses.
Last night I had a happy dream, though restless where I be: I thought again brave Irishmen had set old Ireland free.
id how excited I became when I heard the cannon's roar, O gradh mo chroidhe, I long to see Old Ireland free once more.
It's true we had brave Irishmen as everyone must own, O'Neill, O'Donnell, Sarsfield true, Lord Edward and Wolfe Tone, And also Robert Emmet who till death did not give o'er, O gradh mo choidhe, I long to see Old Ireland free once more.
Now we can't forget the former years, they're kept in memory stii, Of the Wexford men of' 98 who fought on Vinegar Hill, With Father Murphy by their side and the green flag yaving o'er, 0 gradh mo chroidhe, I long to see Old Ireland free nee more.
Allen, O'Brien and Larkin died, their country set free. And some day yet brave Irishmen will make die Saxon flee: Both day and night they'll always fight, until death they'll ne'er give o'er — O gradh mo choidhe, I long to see Old Ireland free once more.
Monto There is no explanation for this song by George Hodnett in most song books. Monto is supposed to be a Red Light district in Dublin in the days during the British occupa-tion. It seems it was located in Ringsend. Members of the aristocracy were known to frequent such places. Some of the words are reminiscent of the Gilroy satirical cartoons which showed little respect for prime ministers or royalty. The Dubliners used to sing it with great gusto.
Well, if you've got a wing-o, Take her up to Ring-o, Where the waxies sing o, all day. If you've had your fill of porter And you can't go any further, Give your man the order: Back to the Quay!
CHORUS: And take her up to Monto, Monto, Monto, Take her up to Monto, langeroo — To you!
You've heard of the Duke of Gloucester, The dirty old impostor, He got a mot and lost her, up the Flurry Glen, He first put on his bowler, And he buttoned up his trousers, And he whistled for a growler And he says 'My man'
Take me up to etc.
You've heard of the Dublin Fusileers, The dirty old bamboozileers. They went and got the childer, one, two, three. Oh, marching from the Linen Hall There's one for every cannonball, And Vicki's going to send them all, O'er the sea.
But first go up to etc.
When Carey told cm Skin-the-goat, O'Donnell caught him on the boat, He wished he'd never been afloat, the filthy skite, It wasn't very sensible To tell on the Invincibles, They stood up for their principles, Day and night
And they all went up to etc.
Now when the Czar of Russia And the King of Prussia, Landed in the Phoenix Park, in a big balloon, They asked the policemen to play The wearing of dte green' But die buggers in the depot Didn't Know die tune.
So they both went up to etc.
Now the Queen she came to call on us, She wanted to see all of us, I'm glad she didn't fall on us, she's 18 stone. 'Mister Milord the Mayor', says she, 'Is this all you've got to show me?' 'Why no ma'am, there's some more to see, pg mo thin.
And he took her up to etc.
Music books at the Four Provinces Bookshop
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Songs of Belfast £330; Where songs do thunder, £6.99; The words of 100 Irish party songs (Four Volumes) including golden oldies from The auld triangle to The Red Rose Cafe, old favourites from Danny Boy to The fields of Atheray, £2.75 each volume; The Troops Out songbook, £2.95; 100 Irish ballads with words music and guitar chords. £6.95; Ceolta Gael, £2.75; Love songs of the Irish, £3.99.
PETER MULLIGAN'S PEEPSHOW
Orange marches, internment and torture PROTESTING FUNDAMENTALISTS —"There is a widespread sense that at Drumcree Protestants finally showed their determination not to be pushed around At Drumcree, the Orange Order, in close asso-ciation with the Ulster Unionist Party, demonstrated a new strength. Any government will in future have to think twice before embarking on a course which might incur Orange wrath, and get the roads blocked and barricaded again." David McKittrick writing in the Inde-pendent on Sunday. NB: We will look with interest at how the British government handles the Orange marching season next year.
A LITTLE GEM "Detectives want to hear from any-one who might have been 'phoned by a man with a French, American or Irish accent between June 1 and July 15 interested in renting a garage." Press release issued by the Anti-Terrorist Squad at the height of the Derry blockade. (The Independent)
POLITICS AS HISTORY — During 1971 the IRA cam-paign of violence reached a crescendo and the government of Northern Ireland, after consulting the UK government, decided to exercise the power of intern-ment under the Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act 1922.
In April of that year a secret seminar took place in Belfast between senior British intelligence officers from the English Intelligence Centre and members of the RUC Special Branch to discuss the 'five techniques' of inter-rogation and the location of interrogation centres. Palace Barracks would be the main interrogation centre. The first round-up took place on August 9,1971 when 342 men were arrested. By November of that year over 980,000 were detained. Over 3,000 received interroga-tion while 14 were selected for the full treatment
The security forces decided to use the opportunity to torture selected Individuals in an effort to obtain infor-mation and to send a message to the dissident community. The methods of interrogation included keeping the detainee's heads covered with black hoods; subjecting them to continuous and monotonous 'white' noise; depriving them of sleep; depriving them of food and water; making them stand facing a wall with legs apart and hand raised. Following complaints by the Irish government and Amnesty International amongst others a committee of inquiry was set up to investigate the charges of torture.
Three Privy Councillors (the Parker Committee) were then asked whether the authorised methods of interro-gation should be changed. Two members, a former Conservative Cabinet minister and former Lord Chief Justice, concluded that information was obtained by such methods of interrogation and recommended that there should be little change but that a doctor should be present.
A minority report by Lord Gardiner, a former Labour Lord Chancellor, held that the interrogation methods had never been authorised. "If any document or minister had purported to authorise them, it would have been invalid because the methods were and are illegal by the domestic law and may also have been illegal by interna-tional law," the minority report concluded. The government accepted Lord Gardiner's report and aban-doned the interrogation procedures. However, those who had taken part in illegal acts which amounted to torture were protected by the state.
"As our country has had her freedom and her nationhood taken from her by England, so also our sex is denied emanci-pation and citizenship by the same country. So therefore, the first step on the road to freedom is to realise ourselves as Irishwomen — not as Irish or merely as women, but as Irish-women doubly enslaved and with a double battle to fight."
o Countess Maridevicz writing in SaannBraann on suffrage issues.
I R I S H D E M O C
ANONN IS ANALL: THE PETER BERRESFORD ELLIS COLUMN
Every UK passport, every Act of Parliament displays a false claim
Illegal arms find at Buckingham Palace
THE DEMAND for the Irish state to abandon Ar-ticles 2 and 3 of its con-
stitution, which assert the territorial integrity of the whole island of Ireland, its is-lands and territorial seas, con-tinues to be stridently made by unionists.
There is some scuttlebutt that the Dublin government, for the sake of 'progress and good relationships in the peace talks', may actually put the matter to a referendum.
Why is it that the Dublin government, nor, indeed, any of the nationalist parties, have ever demanded that the British government and monarchy cease making territorial claims over the whole of Ireland?
No, I am not referring to the territorial claims over the Six
Counties but the constant and visible territorial claims over all 32 counties.
Can it really be that people are unaware of such claims? Most people in the United Kingdom encounter the claim every day. '
Every Uni ted Kingdom passport has the claim embla-zoned on it; every time the United Kingdom parliament passes an act it prints the claim; every time UK civil service de-partments write letters the claim is on the letterhead; on every United Kingdom em-bassy and consulate throug-hout the world the claim is boldly there — yes, even on the British embassy in Dublin, and every time the Queen sallies forth in her royal car, the asser-tion is there that Ireland (not
just part but the whole) is part of her dominions.
The Arms of Ireland stand forth, quartered, in the Royal Arms. And the Royal Arms are not personal arms but a king-dom's claim to sovereignty and therefore these arms assert a claim, moral or de jure, to sovereignty over all Ireland.
The Arms of the Kingdom of Ireland were first recorded in the Wijinbergen Roll, a French armorial register, in the late 13th and early 14th cen-turies. These arms, a golden harp on a blue background, were attributed as belonging to the native 'King of Ireland', not to the Anglo-Norman 'Lord of Ireland', which was the title then borne by the English kings. In the Treaty of Windsor of 1175, Henry II and his heirs
were recognised as holding 'lordship' over Irish kings.
As the ancient symbol of an independent Ireland, the Arms of Ireland were reasserted by Ireland on regaining inde-pendence as its badge of state-hood.
This 'Azure a Harp Gold stringed Argent', the legend-ary Harp of Tara, had been adopted by Henry VIII when he became the first English monarch to assume the title 'King of Ireland'. The arms were quartered within the Royal Arms.
From Henry VIII all the English sovereigns have borne the Arms of Ireland quartered with those of their other pos-sessions.
When, in December 1936, Albert, Duke of York, suc-ceeded his brother Edward VIII, as George VI, he was legally entitled to bear the Arms of Ireland because the Free State was then part of the Commonwealth and George VI was thereby King of Ireland.
However, when George VI died in 1952 and was suc-ceeded by Elizabeth II, things had changed. The Irish Con-stitution of 1937 had paved the way for a period of a 'diction-ary republic' and the republic was confirmed by referendum and declared in January, 1949.
Elizabeth II did not, there-fore, succeed as 'Queen of Ire-land', but as queen over only six counties in northeast Ulster which constituted her 'King-dom of Northern Ireland'.
The Arms of Ireland was, and is, used by the Irish Re-public and internationally rec-ognised. The Great Seals of Office, of the President, the Taoiseach and so on, bear these arms.
AT NO time has the Irish President, the Dublin government, nor even
the Office of the Chief Herald of Ireland, in Kildare Street, Dublin — who should know about these matters — pro-tested to the English Queen and her government over the continued misuse of the Arms of Ireland nor demanded , under international heraldic usage, that she remove the third quartering — Ireland — from her Arms.
How supine can one get? The English Queen, at least, was conscious of the newly emerging Commonwealth and of the need to adjust to the complex relationship with the Commonwealth. In 1960 she had a new personal device de-signed to be carried at Com-monwealth meetings when the Royal Arms were considered 'inappropriate' . Obviously, Irish sensitivities do not matter as much as Commonwealth ones.
Of course, if she wants to assert some role in Ireland, then the United Kingdom sovereign is perfectly entitled at this point in time, under her-aldic usage, to replace the Arms of Ireland with the Arms of 'Northern Ireland'.
Note that I do not say the Arms of Ulster, of which she is not sovereign, as a third of Ul-ster comes within the Irish state, but with the Arms of her Kingdom of Northern Ireland — her state is called 'The
United Kingdom of Great Bri tain and Northern Ireland'.
But perhaps the English Queen is personally unhappy at using the arms borne by her unionist government which for over 50 years discriminated against so large a number of her subjects? Perhaps she, wisely, sees those Arms as a badge of shame rather than one of honour and that is why she clings to the heraldic asser-tion that she is 'Queen of Ire-land'?
Let me make it clear that the Royal Arms are not the English Queen's personal or family arms. Her family arms are, of course, those of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, a branch of the house of Saxony. She does not bear these arms mainly because the re-named House of Windsor wishes to consider itself as English and not German.
The Royal Arms which she bears are called, in heraldic terms, 'Arms of Dominion', and refer to the territories the sovereign rules de facto or claims to rule de jure divino. The Royal Arms assert a real and moral claim to sovereignty. That is why the use of the Arms of Ireland within them is an affront to all Irish citizens. Every time the Royal Arms are used in this form, Elizabeth II is claiming moral or de jure
Isn't it about time the Irish
Chief Herald's Office
stopped ignoring its
duty? sovereignty over all Ireland.
It is high time that this pres-umption was abandoned by the English Queen and her government.
In heraldic terms, of course, it can be argued that the Royal Arms have degenerated into Arms of Pretension, that is a symbol borne to claim sover-eignty, title or office over a ter-ritory without actual possession. Edward III in 1337 claimed to be King of France and quartered the Arms of France in his Royal Arms. It was not until 1801 that the Arms of France were removed from the Royal Arms of Eng-land.
THE ENGLISH are as fond of precedents for such procedures as they are of
using heraldic symbolism. Therefore, there is a clear precedent for her change of heraldic status. All English sovereigns from the reign of George I until the death of Wil-liam IV bore a quartering of the Kingdom of Hanover in their Royal Arms. If you are in Du-blin, look up on the old Parlia-ment House — now the Bank of Ireland — where you may
still see the Hanover Arms quartered in the Royal Arms. When William IV died and was succeeded by Victoria, she acquired the English Crown but not that of Hanover. Ha-nover had Salic Law, which in Germany excluded females from dynastic succession, and William IV was succeeded by his younger brother Ernest Au-gustus, Duke of Cumberland. Queen Victoria was therefore obliged to abandoned the use of Hanover ' s Arms in the Royal Arms.
SURELY THIS mat ter , which is a matter of inter-national heraldic law, for
nations do hold their symbols of statehood jealously as mat-ters of honour, should have been sorted out by die Chief Herald of Ireland as early as 1949? The office of Chief Her-ald of Ireland came into being in the current form in 1943 when the previous office of the Ulster King of Arms split be-tween Dublin's Chief Herald's Office and the office of Norroy and Ulster King of Arms in London, with heraldic juris-diction over the Six Counties. So plenty of time for that office to learn the job! The lack of protest on this matter causes the Irish Chief Herald's Office to be brought into disrepute and ridiculed throughout the world. This then humiliates the Irish Presidency and State.
I find it rather curious how successive Irish heads of state and governments are always seen to be jumping backward somersaults to appease their English neighbours, as if in a state of constant apology to them.
When President Mary Ro-binson visited England re-cently her Protocol Office offered no objection to her being called "The Irish Presi-dent' when she met the Queen of the United Kingdom, of Great Britain and Northern Ire-land, to smooth any problems about the Queen's claims over the Six Counties. Anyone deal-ing in semantics will tell you that "The Irish President' is not the same as 'President of Ire-land'. The late President Ken-nedy was often referred to as 'The Irish President' but he never claimed to be 'President of Ireland'!
Presumably Mrs Robinson drove up to Buckingham Pa-lace in her official car bearing the Irish Arms. Did Mrs Robin-son, sworn to uphold the dig-nity of the Irish State, have any reservations at seeing, on the gates of Buckingham Palace, the Royal Arms bearing the Irish Arms quartered, assert-ing the Queen's sovereignty over her and the state she is supposed to be head of? Or, indeed, as she sat down to the official banquet, did she re-mark at the menu card bearing that same heraldic assertion?
Isn't it about time the Irish Chief Herald's Office stopped ignoring its duty, and the Irish President and Government climbed off their collective knees and started to make pro-tests about this insult to the Irish state and its people? Or is it still a case of when someone in the British government sneezes, someone in the Dail blows his or her nose?
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