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The Voice of the Irish Republican Movement.
The Manchester Martyrs commemoration attracted the largest turnout for some years on Sunday, November 28, despite a bitterly cold wind. Debbie Grew of the Commemoration Committee welcomed supporters and the speakers to the Martyrs’ Memorial in Moston Cemetery, Manchester and said:
"This is the 132nd anniversary of the public executions of Philip Allen, Michael Larkin and Michael O’Brien -- the Manchester Martyrs -- who were hanged for their part in an attempt to rescue Irish Republican Brotherhood leaders, Captain Deasy and Colonel Kelly, from a prison van in the city in 1867. Their murders have been commemorated in one form or another at this monument ever since 1867."
The event had attracted crowds in excess of 1,000 in the past and this was an opportunity to re-establish its prominence and to celebrate the cause of Irish freedom for which they died.
After several floral tributes had been laid at the foot of the monument Marlene Anderson of the organising committee addressed the gathering and said that all Irish Republican organisations throughout history had the one objective of a 32-County Ireland. Len Brown-Keyes then read out the 1916 Proclamation as a reminder of "what we all stood for" and Bryan O’Hanlon, Republican Sinn Féin, Glasgow spoke about the words of the famous song, God Save Ireland, based on the Manchester Martyrs last words.
Debbie Grew welcomed the final speaker, Seán Richards, Chairperson of the John Whelan Cumann, Republican Sinn Féin, Liverpool with the words: "This is the first time a representative of Republican Sinn Féin has addressed this event since 1986. Together, hopefully, we can rebuild it." Members of the Joseph Fitzsimons/James McDade Cumann, Midlands also attended.
Seán said: "Whether or not the Martyrs were personally responsible for the death of Police Sergeant Brett during the escape bid is in doubt. But that for us Republicans is academic. There is no doubt that they were sound Republicans acting in a just cause. Following their arrest they were subjected to an anti-Irish press, perjured witnesses and a biased judiciary -- some things never change."
He went on: "Sadly, we are not able to mark their deaths by celebrating Irish national freedom. State murder and terror still occur as with the shoot-to-kill policy, and the victims don’t even get the ‘benefit’ of a rigged trial. Where we stand today hundreds and thousands have stood on previous anniversaries.
"The Manchester Martyrs would be astonished and disgusted at what is happening in Ireland today, that people who describe themselves as Republicans have accepted British rule and Partition in exchange for public office.
"Our interests are the same as the people of Cuba, Vietnam and Iraq, not with the British State, That State is busy engineering a showdown with POWs loyal to the All-Ireland Republic. There is a plan to abolish political status and this plan forms part of a hidden agenda which includes joining the British Commonwealth and the so-called Partnership for Peace. The British are already sowing the seeds of more conflict.
"We must stand our ground. The Irish people will see through this sham agreement, and when they do we will be here to give them the message of Allen, Larkin and O’Brien, who were never plagued by any doubts or uncertainties about what they stood for."
Bryan O’Hanlon led the singing of the National Anthem in Irish and he was joined by several young local people from Moston. It was noticeable how many young people there were at the commemoration and, as Seán Richards remarked at the conclusion of his address, "If the British are sowing the seeds of future conflict we are sowing the seeds of future victory. God Save Ireland."
Also on Sunday, November 28, Republican Sinn Féin members in Cork held their annual wreath-laying ceremony to the Manchester Martyrs at the National Monument in the Grand Parade in the city.
In atrocious weather the proceedings were chaired by Alfie Lane, Chairperson of the Mac Curtáin/Mac Suibhne Cumann of Republican Sinn Féin. A decade of the Rosary was recited as Gaeilge by Kitty O’Brien and a wreath laid by Johnny Byrnes.
The ceremony ended with the piper playing a lament and Amhrán na bhFiann.
Gaelgeoirí, Republicans and all concerned about the Celtic dimension were deeply saddened at the death on November 3 of Alan Heussaff, international secretary of the Celtic League. He was 78 and had been ill for a very short time.
Born in Brittany in 1921 and active in cultural movements as a youth, he joined the Breton National Party in 1938. In the wave of repression which followed WWII in the French State, many Bretons were forced to leave their country and settle in Ireland, among them Alan Heussaff.
The Breton community in Dublin became the focus inter-celtic organisation and a periodical, An Aimsir Ceilteach, was established in 1947. Later, in 1961 the Celtic League was formed as a pan-Celtic movement with branches in all six Celtic countries, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, the Isle of Man and Cornwall.
Alan was a founder and first General Secretary of the League, a post he held for 25 years. He also established the inter-celtic quarterly journal Carn which has been produced now for almost 30 years and provides information on the Celtic scene both in English and in all the Celtic languages.
He learned Irish and spoke it fluently, marrying Bríd Ní Dhocartaigh from the Donegal Gaeltacht. Articles in Irish, English and Breton flowed from his pen. He compiled and completed a Breton-Breton dictionary, something which is not yet available in the Irish language.
Having lived in Dublin for 40 years, he moved to Seana-Gharrán, An Spidéal, Co na Gaillimhe on his retirement from the Meteorological Service in 1986.
Relinquishing his role as Celtic League General Secretary, he became International Secretary and was about to hand over these duties when he passed away.
Alan was a good friend of Irish freedom and of the Republican Movement down the years. He was always available to give advice and assistance to Republican Sinn Féin’s International Relations Bureau on all Celtic matters.
He and his wife Bríd attended the Galway launch of Dílseacht: The Story of Comdt-General Tom Maguire and the Second All-Ireland Dáil by Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, in June 1997.
At the removal from University College Hospital, Galway to Cill Éinne, An Spidéal, the attendance included Breton Yann Guiomard, Galway; Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, President, Republican Sinn Féin; Seán Mac an Iomaire; Caoimhín Mac Cathmhaoil; Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Cathaoirleach, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus Nollag Ó Gadhra, scríobhnóir agus stairí.
Ag an socraid go Reilg an Chnuic ar Shamhain 6, tar éis Aifrinn as Ghaeilge agus Briotáinis, bhí Stíofán Ó Móráin, Cathaoirleach, Oireachtas na Gaeilge; Pádraig Ó Snodaigh; Clíona Cussen agus Maitiú Ó Brádaigh, Coláiste an Chraoibhín; Seosamh Mac Muirí (Sligeach) Ollscoil Luimnigh i láthair.
Labhair Míchael Mac Aonghusa as Ghaeilge ag béal na huaige mar ionadaí ón gConradh Ceilteach. Thug Bernard Moffat (Mannin) óráid uaidh chomh maith as Béarla mar Rúnaí ar an gConradh Ceilteach.
Bernard Moffat said that although Alan Heussaff lived to see a measure of Home Rule in some Celtic countries, he believed the only future for all of them was as independent partners in a Celtic confederation. He recognised the value of the big issues without forgetting the small. Shortly before his death he was working on the issues of the arrests of activists in Brittany, campaigning against waveband re-allocations being forced on an Irish language radio station and promoting the rights of a Scottish child to be taught through the medium of Gaelic.
"Allan Heussaff may have died but the ideals he epitomised and the campaign for freedom within the Celtic countries that he and other founders of the Celtic League promoted will go on until that goal is realised.
"A tireless fighter for Celtic unity has passed from us, but his ideals live on," he concluded.
When Alan Heusaff stepped down in 1986 after 35 years as General Secretary of the League, he expressed a worry to Ruairí Ó Brádaigh that his work might not be carried on. He was reassured then on that point and lived another 13 years to see the Celtic League continue to be active and flourish.
Déantar comhbhrón ó chroí len a bhean Bríd -- trodaí calma í fhéin -- lena chlann mac agus a chlann iníon. Leaba i measc na Laoch Ceilteach ar Neamh go raibh ag a anam dílis.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to Republican prisoners in Limerick, Portlaoise, Maghaberry and Hydebank jails. From Líta Ní Chathmhaoil.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to Josephine Hayden, Political Prisoner, Limerick jail. From Peig and Paddy King, Dublin.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to Josephine Hayden, Political Prisoner, Limerick jail. From Líta Ní Chathmhaoil.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to all the Republican prisoners loyal to the All-Ireland Republic. From Tiny, Nora and all your friends in Limerick.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to my husband Tommy Crossan and his comrades in Maghaberry and Hydebank prisons. From his wife Anne and children, Belfast xxx.
CHRISTMAS greetings to Mick Hegarty and all Republican POWs who support the All-Ireland Republic. From Johnny O’Brien, Cloughlara, Co Clare.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to all Republican prisoners at home and abroad. From Larry Cafferey, Co Kerry.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to all true Republican POWs who will not accept the Six or 26 Partitionist States. From Pat O’Shea, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS greetings to all Republican POWs loyal to the All-Ireland Republic, especially Josephine Hayden. From Nollaig Mac Riastáird, Quilty, Co Clare.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to all Republican POWs loyal to the All-Ireland Republic. From the Michael Keane Cumann, Clare.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to all Republican POW’s at home and abroad. From the Republican Movement, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to all Republican prisoners everywhere. From Republican Sinn Féin, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to all Republican prisoners especially Josephine Hayden in Limerick jail. From Joe and Nora Lynch, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS greetings to all Republican prisoners every-where. From Na Fianna Éireann, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS greetings to all POWs at home and abroad. From Mick Hanley, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS greetings to all Republican prisoners. From Mickey Finucane, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS greetings to all POWs at home and abroad. From Joe, Denise and Rachel, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to all POWs. From Christy Dunne, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS greetings to all POWs. From David Cleary, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to all the Republican prisoners. From a west Limerick supporter.
CHRISTMAS and New Year greetings to Mick Hegarty and his comrades in Portlaoise jail. From Shannon town and the lads in Ennis.
CHRISTMAS greetings to all Republican prisoners in Portlaoise jail. From Castleconnell Republican.
CHRISTMAS greetings to all Republican POWs. From Ger Bromell and Mick Ryan, Limerick.
CHRISTMAS greetings to all POW’s. From the Dromer Croom, Co Limerick.
Republicans at home and abroad were saddened to learn of the death on October 28 of Éamonn O’Doherty (1939-1999).
He joined the Irish Republican Army in 1958 in his native Carrick-on-Suir and contributed in no small measure to the Resistance Campaign.
In 1970 he went north and was attached to the South Fermanagh Battalion IRA and later became OC of the Fermanagh/Monaghan/Armagh area. During this period a number of large-scale engagements took place with the British Occupation Forces.
In 1973 he rose to the General Headquarters Staff and on the arrest of Séamus Twomey the same year he was appointed Chief-of-Staff until his own arrest and imprisonment in Portlaoise jail in 1974.
On his release he reported back to GHQ and after a year he was sent on a travelling mission and was later arrested in the United States and held for one year. He travelled extensively through-out the world for the Republican Movement.
Since 1986 he gave his allegiance to the ideals of Republican Sinn Féin and was not prepared to countenance giving legitimacy to Leinster House. Speaking to a leading member of the organisation at the time he called the Provisional defection a "greater treachery even than Collins and company". He published the illustrated book The IRA at War in 1985.
His funeral in Carrick-on-Suir on October 30 was attended by Republican Sinn Féin President Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, Vice-President Des Long, Ard Chomhairle members Geraldine Mac Namara and Michael McManus and a large contingent of people.
Tipperary Republicans included Donal Malone, Gearóid Ó Broin, JP McDonnell, Séamus Hogan and ex-POWs Ella O'Dwyer and Bill Meehan.
Also in attendance were Charlie and Carmel Murphy, Kevin Mallon, Uinseann Mac Eoin, Bob Keogh and Richard Behal.
On Friday, November 19 a Memorial Service for Éamonn was held in Manhattan, New York. The organisers were friends of Éamonn's including George Harrison, Terry O'Callaghan, Hugh O'Lunney, Frank Skuse and Frank Durkan. A tribute from Des Long was read out at the meeting.
Éamonn was a man of great honesty and integrity. The number of successful operations in which he was engaged against the British Occupation Forces is a testament to his meticulous planning. He would never recklessly endanger the lives of his comrades and was very cool under fire.
He was great company and had an engaging personality and a great dry wit. Never a man to "suffer fools gladly" he made a huge impression on everyone he came into contact with. He will be sorely missed by lovers of freedom in Ireland and throughout the world.
SAOIRSE extends deepest sympathy to his sisters, nephews and nieces.
There was a good gathering of Republicans in Valleymount, Co Wicklow on November 30 for the funeral of Tess Reilly, Holywood West, widow of the late Myles Reilly, who was a member of Neil Plunkett O’Boyle’s Column, 3rd Company, 2nd Dublin Brigade during the Civil War 1922/23 in north-west Wicklow.
Speaking at her funeral Pádraig Ó Baoighill, a long-time friend, spoke of Tess’s great characteristics, her kind disposition, her help to many Republicans who visited her house and her steadfast support to the very end, true to the basic Republican principles of Pearse and Tone.
Tess was true to the end and attended many Republican Sinn Féin commemorations to Neil Plunkett O’Boyle in Knocknadruce.
To her son Paddy, daughters Peig and Theresa, grandchildren and all the family our most sincere sympathy. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal!
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