1916 is unfinished business

 “If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs. ” James Connolly

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One hundred years since the great rebellion of Easter week, we look back on one of the greatest chapters in recent Irish history with immense pride. In the same spirit as 1798, 1803, 1848, and 1867 the Army of the Republic took on the might of the cruelest empire in human history. The guiding hands of the rising were warriors and visionaries, with an unshakeable belief in the Irish Repubic. All of their efforts , their life’s work, was for the greater good, so Ireland could be the master of its own destiny. Like the pillars of the GPO,  their memory still stands tall, the heroic , Cú Culainn like deeds of those men and women continue to inspire the down trodden, the poor, and those who carry on the fight today. Betrayed many times in our history  at decisive moments by leaders, the leaders in 1916 showed true leadership and when they were executed in the stone breakers yard at kilmainham Gaol, to quote a British officer at the time, “they died like lions”.

Thomas Clarke

Thomas Clarke

The coming together of the various revolutionary forces in Easter week was a unique moment in our history and represented the most progressive minds Ireland had to offer. The Citizen army, the women’s movement, the volunteers nurtured by the old hand of the Fenian movement rose in Dublin to change Ireland for the better. Men and women ahead of their time. For six days they rattled the British empire to its core and sent shockwaves all over the world, inspiring other nations and oppressed peoples to take a stand. The noble stand taken by the kent family in Cork is a source of great inspiration to Cork republicans , like the rising in Dublin itself, out gunned and out numbered, it was a small but heroic assertion of the Irish Nation. Although left in a prison grave for 99 years, which typifies the free States attitude to the real message of Easter week and Republicanism in general, Thomas Kent was never forgotten by real republicans.

Unfortunately, Ireland today stands in stark contrast to what was fought for in 1916, Partitioned, Occupied  and betrayed at every hands turn by those who put themselves forward as our representatives,  our resources plundered by external forces, the children of the nation suffer poverty , homelessness and social exclusion, yet the proclamation declared they be cherished equally. The landlord class, the banks and unscrupulous employers, all prey on the vulnerable like parasites. Oh where , oh where  is our James Connolly ?

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The cultural , social, economic and revolutionary ideals personified by the men and women of Easter week have yet to be realised. The people have yet to become masters in their own country, the workers have yet to become masters of their own production and the Gaelic Nation has yet to be restored. Anyone who thinks that the ‘Irish question’ is settled is delusional, 1916 is unfinished business!

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Cork Volunteers’ Pipe Band No.5 in the series

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Jim Lane Socialist Republican and Revolutionary Part 3

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Neilus Cronin with the War Pipes

Below a great photo of Neilus Cronin of the Cork Volunteers’ Pipe Band with his War Pipes.

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Thanks to T for the photo.

 

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‘Socialist Republican Peoples Party’ Poster

“It is inevitable, as night follows day, that the marginalised and oppressed will retaliate. These actions may not be conscious political actions but they will certainly be directed at the force that they most clearly see as the enemy.”

No Justice No Peace

No Justice No Peace

A poster from the little known  Socialist Republican Peoples Party.  The SRPP were a small group of Cork city based activists who broke from Sinn Féin due to their change in direction around ’98/’99 who later went on to form the Rebel City Collective.

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Edward Walsh Plaque, Princes St.

Edward Walsh, Poet, School teacher and Young Irelander.

Below the Plaque on Princes St. to the Young Irelander Edward Walsh

Edward Walsh 1805-1850 Patriot and Poet and member of the Young Ireland Movement his writing drew deeply on the Gaelic Tradition, he died in this house..."

Edward Walsh 1805-1850 Patriot and Poet and member of the Young Ireland Movement his writing drew deeply on the Gaelic Tradition, he died in this house…”

John Mitchell in his Famous  Jail Journal  refers to secret meeting with Edward Walsh on Spike Island:

” 3oth.-My turnkey, who is desired to never leave me, I find to be good, quiet sort of creature. He is some kind of Dissenter, hums psalm-tunes almost under his breath, and usually stays as far away from me as our bounds will allow him. There is a door in the high wall leading to an other inclosure and as i was taking a turn though my territory today, the turnkey was near that door, and he said to me in a low voice – “this way sir, if you please”; he held the door open and i passed through, and immediately a tall, gentleman-like person, in black but rather over-worn clothes, came up to me and grasped both my hands with every demonstration of reverence. I knew his face, but could not at first remember who he was;  he was Edward Walsh author of “Mo Chraoibhin Chno”, and other sweet songs  and some very musical translations from old Irish Ballads. Tears stood in his eyes as he told me he had contrived to get an oppurtunity of seeing and shaking hands with me before i should leave Ireland. I asked him what he was doing at Spike Island, and he told me that had accepted the office of teacher to a school they keep here for small convicts a very wretched office, indeed, and to a shy sensitive creature like Walsh, it must be daily torture. He stooped down and kissed my hands. “Ah !” he said ” you are now the man in all Ireland most to be envied” I answered that i thought there might be room for difference of opinion about that; and then after another kind word or two, being warned by my turnkey, i bade him farewell and retreated into my own den.  Poor Walsh! He has a family of young children; he seems broken in health and spirits. Ruin has been on his traces for years, and i think has him in the wind at last. There are more content Galley slaves moiling at Spike than the schoolmaster. Perhaps the man really does envy me, and most assuredly i do not envy him”

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Plaques in Guagán Barra

The source of the River Lee

The source of the River Lee

DSC_0309DSC_0308The 1916 -1966 commemorative plaque at Coláiste Na Mumhan nearby Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh

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