What The Proclamation Means To Me – John Crawley

A piece by former republican prisoner John Crawley on what the 1916 Proclamation means to him. It featured in the website of the 1916 Societies.
The Proclamation

  • John Crawley, a member of the James Connolly Society Monaghan and IRA ex-POW who served two terms of imprisonment during the recent war in Ireland, with a short piece that first appeared in the July/August edition of our magazine.
The 1916 Proclamation is a call for the establishment of a government of national unity based upon the republican principles of popular sovereignty and democracy. It remains a primary frame of reference for many Irish republicans. 
The Proclamation outlines the classical republican position that ultimate sovereign authority resides exclusively within the Irish people. That ‘the unfettered control of Irish destinies’ must be ‘sovereign and indefeasible’. And it confirms the republican tradition of good government being constituted in the interests of the public welfare, guaranteeing ‘religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities’ to all citizens and declaring its resolve, ‘to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all its parts’. It positions national unity and democracy as core values calling for a ‘National Government, representative of the whole people of Ireland, and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women’. 
The Proclamation is a declaration of war. A call to arms by a republican leadership whose place in struggle lay resolutely at the tip of the spear. Not for them a dissembling negotiation with London as to how best reconcile Irish nationalism with British sovereignty but a determination forged in their life’s blood to seize the narrative and reshape the strategic environment in the exclusive interests of Irish democracy. 
It is also a template for peace. It identifies the root cause of strife in Ireland as the unjust and divisive occupation of ‘a foreign people and government’. In seeking to challenge and change this, in seeking to take the British gun out of Irish politics, it maps the way toward a permanent end to conflict. 
The exceptional republican leadership of 1916 led by example. They have been criticised by some for allowing a situation to develop whereby the British were able to dispose of them in one week. These men, however, were not engaged in rhetorical posturing in order to mobilise a base that may one day act as a service industry for their private political ambitions. Their republicanism was sincere and they accepted the inevitable consequences of their patriotism. They knew that true leadership is not about producing followers but about producing more leaders. They hoped their inspirational words and deeds would generate such a psychic shock in the body politic that the oppressed subjects of a province of the British empire would now struggle to become the citizens of an Irish national democracy. 
What would that leadership have thought had they known that one hundred years later their country would become ‘this island’ consisting of two states brought into being by British legislation? That the sovereign, democratic and united Republic declared in 1916, and endorsed by the democratically elected First Dáil, would morph into the Republic of 1949 in which British conditions and parameters constraining Irish democracy would become the accepted norm? That a contemporary leadership, claiming to be republican, would decide that Irish Unity can best be achieved by endorsing ‘Her Majesty’s constabulary’ as lawful authority and by internalising British constructs such as the Unionist Veto and the border poll? What would the signatories have made of the presumption that British legislation would pave the way to Irish freedom? 
What would they have made of crude attempts to forge Nationalist/Unionist alliances through sentimentalising joint First World War service in the very army that executed them? Or the notion that Irish Unionists are actually British despite the fact they don’t live in Britain and their ‘Britishness’ has been proven on many occassions to be conditional upon England underwriting a comfort zone of sectarian supremacy?
We can never say for sure what the signatories of the Proclamation would have thought but we can be fairly confident that when they entered the GPO that Easter Monday morning they had no intention of eventually ending up on the same payroll as the Crown forces shelling their positions. 
What we do know for certain today is what the 1916 leadership knew then. That freedom and democracy are not natural rights, they are political achievements.
So where does this leave Irish republicans as we approach 2016? By republicans we mean those that define Irish democracy by the aims and objectives of the 1916 Proclamation, those who define themselves, as Padraig Pearse did, as ‘Irishmen of one allegiance only’, those for whom equality under the Crown can never be judged an achievement. How do we in this generation develop a political campaign that will seize the narrative and reshape the strategic environment in the exclusive interests of Irish democracy today? 
The 1916 Societies believe the campaign for a national referendum on Irish Unity is a good start but that is only one suggestion. It is important that republicans realign, reenergise and reunite. Only then can we develop the community of purpose needed to devise strategies that will help bring the republican and democratic ideals of the 1916 Proclamation to the contemporary relevance they, and the Irish people, deserve.


  1. Harping on about the Proclamation is akin to battle re-enactment activities.

  2. I thought this was a great piece.

    Larry the same can be said for reawaking any historic declaration .
    Draw a line under history or just Irish history?

  3. if you want to live that far back in the past take the vote away from women then. For a starter.

  4. Larry,

    Was that an unintentional pun harping we could harp on about the future but that is not possible as it doesn’t exist apart from in theoretical physics.

    You may need to go temporarily blind, deaf, and dumb, as that 1916 past is going to be very present running up to the anniversary.

  5. The sham fight at Scarva is an annual event. Irrelevant, but annual just the same. It doesn't hold any answers for present, real problems either.

  6. What are you like young Hughes! The Proclamation is more than an historical document and remains a template for political change in Ireland of the type we surely all hope to see. I thought John's piece was excellent at joining those two narratives - as was Nuala's before it. The thrust of the exercise is to demonstrate how republicanism and the principles it embodies are not a thing of the past but are here in the now. People all over Ireland are returning to a republican analysis, even if they don't immediately realise it. The project of the Societies is not to recreate a by-gone time but to move into the 21st century offering a credible and progressive route forward for those still intent on securing Irish freedom. I don't understand why you think we should just give up! The social struggle of the Irish people is tied up with the British occupation of our country - fixing one while ending the other can go hand-in-hand ya know and that is surely what we must be about. No-one wants to re-enact the Easter Rising, what republicans hope to achieve is to take all that's good from our past - our principles and noble tradition - and figure out how this can be applied to the situation in modern Ireland. A worthy project - surely you agree! By the way it's a pity you never got up for Liam's commemoration, I know you'd have appreciated it. John spoke as part of the event and his speech touched on so much I know will be of interest to you. I'm sure Mackers wil carry it when I get it formated and sent on. Keep an eye out for Galvin's speech as well, it'll be on our website from 10 this morning and I'm sure Tony will carry it too

  7. Sean Bres

    If you are serious about republican principles as intended in 1916 then you must surely listen to Robert on here who said the tricolour will never (NEVER, NEVER!...I assume) be acceptable to Prods because it is identified with the IRA and all the 'terrorism' inflicted upon his munity by that outfit. That is the reality that those in 1916 would not have foreseen and if they had, then republicans were and ARE cynical in pandering to the notion of an RC /Prod/Dissenter philosophy whilst knowing it is a no go agenda to Prods.

    Maybe the problem is simple … it’s the flegs...S. Africa designed a new fleg when Nelson was released into a retirement of luxury by the whites there. That defused everything in a blink. It must have been all about Nelson as it is all about Adams here. SF seem to be doing all the talking on these global tours of theirs ...bull root Adams is in Palestine now. Maybe they should take some advice themselves instead of just passing on Whitehall's agenda to their numerous hosts....A new fleg for norn iron instead of unionists endlessly waving the butchers apron in taigs faces would sort it all out and the 1916 proclamation would be defunct…end of.

  8. bull root Adams is in Palestine now

    I think he's blocked from entering...

    Adams blocked..

  9. Someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning lol... either that or you ain't had your Weetabix!

  10. "The project of the Societies is not to recreate a by-gone time but to move into the 21st century offering a credible and progressive route forward for those still intent on securing Irish freedom."

    Larry if you get a chance will you enquire of Sean Bres what exact freedoms the 'average citizens' will have that they do not currently enjoy?

    What exact restrictions and curtailments will citizens of all traditions in the North and the South be freed from?

    How will the new freedoms be superior to older ones?
    What are the anticipated 'down-sides' to the change process? And what strategies are in place to address any 'de-railers'?

    And does any proposed outcome advantage outweigh the inherent process risks?

    I like you Larry and most rational thinking people will need these idealistic nominalisations and abstractions presented in hard concrete terms (with firm costings too) so that then we might be able to consider whether they're credible and evaluate if worthy to be called progressive ... only then.

  11. What are you currently studying Larry?

  12. Studying Derry + the Battle of the Atlantic in WW2 Fionnuala and how the IRA wanted 'twinned' with Hitler's Nazis. A political trait SF continue to uphold in earnest today; I suspect you would agree?

  13. Frankie ... Adams blocked? I thought he didn't drink, but preferred to snigger at those with drink issues. Quite a position to adapt for someone with his family background and history. Rather revealing I'd say.

    Sean Bres

    was that your reply/ Enery Joyous and meself both none the wiser then.

  14. Larry,

    Why would it hold any answers reenactments are theatrical and some folk enjoy them I don’t know anything about them.

    Why make the proclamation an irrelevancy it is a significant document in Irish history. I am sure the Brits would agree with you as they won the Battle in 16 but ultimately lost the war as the significance of the proclamation shall always be a thorn in the side of the crown, the people they can beat but they can’t defeat the principle.

    In 2016 it should be nailed on Stormont’s door and on every sellout office in the land north and south.

    Concede the proclamation to the irrelevant dustbin and concede that national flag anything else we should surrender to accommodate the English. Perhaps we should ask for more oppressive laws, more poverty and unemployment and in a gesture of our appreciation to our masters we can toss in the Free-State and fly the Union jack all over the land and in a final act of unity we can all join the conservative party.

    London will always make sure we have plenty of problems either serious or artificial division by distraction. On a bright note the Scots exposed that the union is not all it is cracked up to be bog roll sales in England were at an all time high fretting at the thought of losing their beloved Scots but for the now the kingdom is safe and aul Britannia can sleep easier knowing the thistle is growing healthy in the backside of the lovely English garden. The Scots may not be too pleased when the English decide to shite on them but that’s politics.

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  16. bres, hav you guys got a website for the 1916 societies. id rather not have to wade thru shite to find out what ye are at. ireland will never be free because we have more wankers than any other country.

  17. Tain Bo
    You rightly point out the difficulties with the state of the union. The UK is heading for a more informal federalist model. Soon the only ties will be Queen, pound and foreign policy. Maybe the 26 would consider joining to secure the 32 state? A sort of Home Rule 2 only this time without the shadow of the "infallible" church to frighten us unionists. The way the free staters welcomed our Queen to the Dub I'm sure there would be many takers.

  18. Peter,

    I will do a wee bit a head scratching on your valid suggestion it deserves more than a quick answer.

  19. Grouch, the 1916 societies have web site hosted by a company in Paris in the 13th Arr... I think the company is called Gandi..

    I'm starting to come around to how they (1916-ers think). Tony Catney speaking Octoboer 10th 2013 and the crux of what he's saying needs to spread... He talks about R.I.P.A before it (RIPA) hit the headlines earlier this year... He also knows how imperfect they (1916-ers) are, isn't looking to infringe or take away membership from any of the Irish republican groups.. He simply ask's Irish Republicans to unite under one voice for one vote... And for various groups to stay as you are in their local communities to work on local issues (the people on the ground in Nationalist/Republican circles know the local issues)...

    The Ali G interviews Tony Catney mentioned...

    Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act They (powers that be) now use R.I.P.A to snoop on journalist's to get at their sources among other things...

  20. Frankie,

    TC spoke at length to me about the dangers of RIPA last year in Belfast. He was arguing in the context of SF having been completely outmanoeuvred on the policing question by the British.

  21. Anthony,

    When I read up on R.I.P.A and started to watch this year how it's being used.. Short version is I found it frightening....

  22. @ peter.
    Who is the Queen?
    When King Richard was "disappeared" under a Leicester Car Park all those centuries ago. There was no DNA sciences back in the day.
    Now there is and they have tested it.
    Seems like he shares no DNA with the imposter Saxe Coburg sitting in Buck Palace as we speak.
    Seems like the only Queen you can count on is Freddie Mercury.
    Gerry Adams was more right than he'll ever know with his B**tard remark.
    Ya couldn't make it up.
    All bow down to the Forklift Driver!!!!

  23. You are right about Gandi hosting our site Frankie, how did you know that out of interest? In terms of your reply earlier Larry I did not respond as I didn't see much point! The idea of changing the flag in the Six Counties and then hey presto we're all in the one-boat and heading for a golden shore is the kind of stuff I soon expect to hear from the like of Decky Kearney and not yourself. Thankfully, I've a fair idea you're on the wind (as usual), either that or you really have lost the plot!

  24. Sean Bres

    I hate it when a plan doesn't come together. You're too wise already!

  25. Larry,

    Mike Tyson said everybody has a plan until the first punch in the face

  26. AM

    All in the best possible distaste!

  27. Peter,

    The union has been in decline since and before Thatcherism. Now that the gun has been silent or at least sidelined as the paramilitary old firms still have a lot of pull in the puppeteers club of Stormont.

    That aside we get to pay more heed to London which now meows like a cat compared to when it roared like a lion.

    The union is being held together by wood glue and string the Scots exposed the deep fissures in the union and that was no landside for the English but a close call.

    The English dangled a gold painted carrot on that one as we know they can only renege or at best cough up far less and hope the Scots don’t catch on to the fact they were swindled.

    I don’t think there is much more than foreign policy, the queen is just a remnant of kingdom lost , the pound has a bad case of the delirium tremens, and foreign policy is not much more than letting the fools govern themselves as a courtesy as direct rule is more expensive.

    MI5 will quietly direct the political traffic flow as usual with the understanding that the grand old days of yore are no more.

    With the paramilitaries sidelined people are noticing “the old lie” is now being replaced with the new lie.

    In our wee political world London pulled a fast one and created an elitist class of politicians from formerly working class backgrounds that cater to the middle class and politely tell the lower class we hear and understand your problems although we chose not to listen or do much of anything to help.

    With the usual promise if things don’t work out so well we will call you to do the fighting for us.

    As for the leaders in the 26 I trust them about as much as I trust London they like London drain the blood of the people and sell it on any market they can the natural ploy of keeping the masses weak and slaves to corrupted systems.

    The 26 for the now are content to leave us orphan Irish alone they fear the northern hordes and both they and their English counterparts understand well that wee in the 6 are not so pliable.

    The unionists have always lived with the English dagger at their back and the slightest hint of pressure, that loyalty to them rightly disappears and we Irish usually end up on the receiving end as unionists believe the English rose would never stab anyone in the back.

    A sort of Home Rule 2 only this time without the shadow of the "infallible" church to frighten us unionists.

    There is a bit of humour in that perhaps the unionists of old convinced themselves that we would all have to bow down and kiss some popes arse kingdoms and castles only work now in the form of video games.

    Back then the unionist elitists may have been more frightened at the prospect of losing their coins and other financial interests, crying wolf calling on the “god fearing” working class to if necessary fight and die to protect the elitists wealth in London banks?

    That is not the case today as to the south we are basically irrelevant and to the east we are a financial burden the bastard orphan children of north always followers, never leaders.
    Home rule 2 is not a bad idea, let’s face it the London umbilical cord is putrid and in a state of decay and in time will naturally detach itself.

    Stormont will keep us moving forward by going in reverse, Beowulf’s Grendel is the sectarian monster and Stormont is the Mother but in this case we have to toss in another dragon as the free-state is just as bad as London.

    It is not something that I hear much about we would be greater fools to walk blindly into a UI, if we can’t obtain a healthy political balance of power and equality in either house then we may as well return to do what both governments prefer we do fight ourselves over nothing.

    In our time it is the giant corporations that rule which are more likely to influence and buy governments to their bidding for them.

  28. Tain Bo
    Thanks for your reply. I think you guessed I was being a little facetious in my original post. As I get older my implacable opposition to Ui is waning. In 81 at the time of the Hunger Strike the 26 was a basket case with rampant unemployment and emigration, the two most powerful men were Haughey and O'Faigh. Unionists would have fought to the death to avoid coupling with that state, but still the RA insisted on a UI. Those conditions no longer exist and peace has facilitated me to spend time in the 26. I feel the absolute positions of republicanism and unionism are waning. Many of today's kids don't hate the English with the passion of their parents.
    Home Rule 1 was a rather missed opportunity. I think catholics underestimated how much protestants loathed the old religion. Now, as recent history has unfolded, the catholic church has lost its grip on the south and the presbyterians on the north as the young avoid church like the plague. If there is to be a UI the south will have to offer something to ease unionist concerns. Might ditching the Euro for Sterling or rejoining the Commonwealth be some of the olive branches offered? How would republicans react? We of these islands share so much history, culture and values, surely we can find a way of co-existing in peace and with respect for our neighbours. The constitutional situation in these islands is fascinating and fluid. Where will it end?

  29. Peter

    you should stand for election to the Dail as an independent; I'm not kidding!

  30. Peter
    England is the basket case.
    Why do you insist on Ireland joining the pound FFS.
    Ireland is in the EU..up to it's gills. Joining the pound isn't even on the agenda.
    Indeed I have heard that when the Euro was close to collapse the USA was going to let Ireland join the Dollar. I believe this was an official offer from Uncle Sam..It would make more sense from an Irish Point of View.
    The Brits are ready to walk out of the EU.
    Time for you to recognise the new realities which are:
    Ireland has kissed goodbye to the Uk cesspit forever.
    In Europe Ireland has very little in common with the Brits.
    BTW you also need to reassess your attitute a bit further to the Free State.
    And this is what you need to think about A) Ireland has one strategic industry.
    That is agriculture.
    Say, whatever you like about any other aspect of the Free State but in the service of that MOST important industry they have played a blinder.
    They showed complete COMPETENCE over both BSE and Foot and Mouth.
    What did the Brits do? How did they fare out?
    Well the French banned British beef.over BSE
    And all those Orangey farmers were well HAPPY to brand their cows as Fenian Steak rather than Fresian Steak.
    So what does this prove?
    The Brits care about dodgy Arms dealers and the Banker Class.
    How much have you got of that in the Wee Six?
    Well you have Ulster Bank..The Bank that was LAST in the queue to get fixed whenever it's London parent Natwest computers fuck up..Which has been at least TWICE this year denying customers access to their accounts.
    So this post has proved the Brits don't care about their farmers. Ireland does.
    This will make the difference.
    You've been lied to by your Big House Unionists.
    Time to think for yourself.
    And to help u out What did the Brits do to their shipbuilding? aircraft? Motor and motor cycle industries???
    clue They all suffered from their very own case of BSE.
    Pray tell..Why the heck Ireland would touch any of that dreadful record with a barge pole?

  31. Larry
    Get my snout in the southern trough? Sounds like a plan! But I'm not an independent, I'm still a unionist.

    Wow, did I touch a nerve? I refered to the south as a basket case in 1981, not today obviously. From partition to 81 net migration was negative almost every year; recession after recession; a strong and active IRA; a corrupt PM and a an uber-gael cardinal; not a great deal to attract unionists, eh?

  32. Peter.
    You touched a nerve about using the pound.
    It wouldn't suit Ireland.
    I have no objection to the term basket case applied to the Free State and/or Britain.
    20 years ago I had a job travelling to Europe and back.
    After seeing a little piece of mainland Europe, Antwerp, Parts of Holland, Hamburg in Germany. Bilbao in Spain. Rouen in France. I can say I saw the promised land.
    Ireland and England are just kips..the cities anyway.
    If I could learn a language..I'd live there and leave the cares of these islands for somebody else.
    Coz as far as I can see their both sh*teholes. England the worst coz the Irish Free Staters just copied them.
    So the Brits get it in the neck from me.
    And yes Ireland is a basket case today.
    Euro 200 Billion of debt.makes it so.
    As does the fact that in other to maintain the standard of living it has got..It needs to export 120 Billion per year.
    It does this I think.But only 20 BILLION is Irish goods from Irish owned business.
    The lowest ratio in the "developed World"
    So Yes Basket case it most certainly is.

  33. Peter

    There are no shortage of Unionists in the South here. Letterkenny is majority Prod and there are countless castle taigs in and out of FG who would gladly rejoin the Commonwealth not to mention NATO. We are effectively in both but best not to enlighten the republican element for fear of awakening their Neanderthal two brain-cells once again. Sure all our best youth are in the commonwealth and rendition flights and US Troop carriers are the greater part of traffic out of Shannon airport. Someone putting their case as you do would surprise more than a few down here with the positive reaction I believe.

    I agree with Ozzie that the south has always copied England. Just painted the post boxes green and hung rosary beads around them in revenge for all the pain we suffered at the hands of empire under the false fleg of religion. If the country was rid of Orange marches and those nationalists living in 1916 it could possibly move forward. But sure they are all democrats...but only after they succeed in attaining a victory by KO. Not going to happen.

    I agree with Ozzy about leaving this place behind. Teaching abroad gave me the incentive to get a degree to go back abroad again and do it right. But alas my 'oriental-dream' (wife) likes it here. We may opt for Spain... but only if I can convince her. My heart is not here that is for sure.

  34. Henry Joy

    That region is Irish friendly, but the down side is the political empathy there, hardly an 'escape the crap' zone! Andalucía, Seville perhaps. Or coastal,Valencia.

  35. Larry
    Loyalist obsession with parading is so maddening. Our Britishness is best seen in the NHS, they don't defend it with the same vigour as the right to wave a flag.
    I lived in Madrid from 2005-2011. It is a wonderful city and I go back regularly to watch the mighty Atletico. You would do well to check it out.
    I was being facetious in my posts. The serious point to it is that if there is to be a UI we will be showered with love and gifts to ease the taking of the pill. How far will the 26 go to sugar said pill? I suspect there are many anglophiles in FG who would love to cosy up to the old empire again. If Scotland negotiates a pound, queen and foreign policy only deal with England, might the 26 be tempted to negotiate something similar to unite the island? I'm just surmising as I don't know the south that well.

  36. Viva Andalusia!

    Seville's a bit of a roasting pot though. Old Malaga has almost as much charm, and 'que no ha visto Granada ha visto nada!'

  37. a lot of basques think the irish are weak as they dont speak irish. one politician said whats the point in getting ur territory back but not ur language. that was before we ditched articles 2 and 3 and gave all our resources/sovereignty away. wonder what he thinks now. anyway larry, wherever u end up, you will always have the freedom of saordonia. and if u do end up in basque, i hope you speak the kings spanish to them as much as possible.

  38. Whichever part it may end up being I can only play the hand I was dealt, and teach the Queens English. (learn em te spake rite) unlikely to be in Basque region. Prefer to cleanse my head of politics if the move comes to fruition. Madrid an option, have a Spanish amego there. Hit the coast every August for a month; had considered that Peter, just maybe too big and impersonal being the capital? But nothing happening either way til after my PHD.

  39. Grouch

    Saerdonia might be too much culture for me....OD material.

    Henry joy

    Andalucía has a big pull factor, simply for the change.

  40. Peter,

    it was well placed subtlety and giving our brand of politics which we take more serious than a heart attack subtlety is often missed and translated incorrectly but a wee bit of tongue in cheek provides levity in the gloomy world of politics.

    In 81 I would have no bother holding your coat and you could have at them Haughey was an embarrassing villain so no support or sympathy from me I would have gladly bought you a celebratory drink upon your return. Anyway, the unionist never paid much attention to the free-state crooks when they made the slightest noise the English response was to twist their testicles and politely remind them to not get so lofty in English affairs that always quickly silenced them. I would call them a republic but hold no respect for the free-state leaders.
    There is little distinction between the house of London and the house of Dublin there are and were plenty of other models of democracy they either chose to copy the Brit system or the Brits made sure there system would be the model for the free-state.

    Indeed, unemployment and migration was rank but the north and the rest of the union suffered the same. Which odd enough Wilfred Owen was exposed to the same poverty and desperation his own people were suffering, long story but roughly it disturbed him so much he developed a great distain for the Church of England. I will elaborate on that on Beano’s article this human waste was long before he went to the trenches.

    Roughly at the same time period the Carson brigade were gearing up feeding on papist nightmares but the same elitists didn’t give a toss about protestant poverty and unemployment in Ulster.
    Much the same way you point out unionist would rather demand they get to march and completely ignore the serious social problems that affect both trenches.

    Indeed, a possible missed opportunity but a more recent missed opportunity was the failure of pre-troubles republicans to make a concerted effort to exploit the government in the free-state and get as many pro UI people elected which in turn would have given the provo campaign an extra backbone.

    As you say the Ra insisted on a UI but they can’t take the entire rap for that one the extremist unionist blunders forced the birth of the Provos and the Provos were just as busy shedding the Marxist element by any means establishing its more traditional conservative identity.

    When the Brits arrived that had the same attitude as the soldiers going off to the Great War, we’ll go in and mop up the place and be home in time for Christmas dinner and a wee bit a pudding. That could have been the case but they were naïve and made many blunders that added fuel to the fire guaranteeing the long war was now on the agenda. This was reinforced with Operation Motorman a pointless invasion and a bluff (I can’t recall which thread but I penned a lengthy piece on that blunder) one that would escalate the tensions and obviously with more boots on the ground only meant more visible targets.

    I suppose on the upside it provided employment and kept the security industry healthy many reservists held down a regular job and made a bit of extra cash part time in the security services and the entire industry that supplied the security industry f done well.

    I doubt we underestimated how Protestants despised the Mick religion I think on that score the Protestants didn’t understand how much resentment people had against our own RCC and its nonsense, granted there were and still or those who follow that system. I escaped that lark as my Father had no interest in religions and despised sectarians for any quarter.


  41. contd...

    I can’t blame the young for making the better choice and abandoning those traps, plus they have a lot more interesting things to do than we had watching Pot Black Snooker on a black and white telly.

    No sympathy from me for the RCC church getting sidelined by the people long overdue a Papal flag is a foreign flag and I hold no allegiance to Rome. Speaking of flags and the waste of money over the ridiculous issue why don’t we fly both rags over all government building with a white flag above them to remind us we are supposed to be seeking peace. As for the OO and their unshakeable right to march as it is their culture why don’t they just agree to walk past contested areas in complete silence and then fire up the drums when out of earshot again that would save some money and solve the issue?

    We could ditch the euro for the Yen since they are the number one global market. I am not for the EU as in that just our geographical location alone makes us the arsehole of Europe plus the English Channel and the Irish Sea separated us and we evolved slightly different than the rest of Europe.

    How stable is the commonwealth no guarantee there that Scottish attempt for independence might catch on and people may decide they don’t wish to pay taxes as the reality is England is no longer a super power.

    I think the olive branch was extended the day the guns went silent the reality is our war was/is with London. A, UI does not mean we accept the government of the Free-State it means we scrap that useless cesspit and establish the rightful and just system of government for all the peoples.
    As I told my friend Wolfsbane I am loyal to Ancient Ulster and still have a beef with the free-state for occupying 3 of the 9 counties so I have a beef with London and Dublin.

    The only thing preventing us from getting along is ourselves we tend to ignore the fact that large areas are dominated by one or the other the politicians prefer that.
    Integrated communities would be a start and if we have to fight then why not fight for more important issues, fair housing, health, integrated schools to give the younger generations a chance.
    The war is over in one sense but the social war remains as we are stuck in our trenches. Maybe one day the people will wise up and we won’t have former generals posing as politicians if we remain slaves of the past we will never create a free present or future.

    Sorry about the lengthy rant but I am sure you have twigged on that I tend to rattle on.

  42. Peter

    I agree with Tain Bo regarding the likes of Haughey and the awful corruption of the Free State. FF gave the country a needless civil war, Haughey and the shameless wee gangster Bertie Ahern. However in the 1980s it was polarisation at the time and who were the loyalists to condemn RCs for the likes of O'Faigh when the likes of Paisley topped the poll endlessly? Not to mention the false fleg of religion that had facilitated 800 years of land grab and discrimination here. Many RCs believed O'Faigh to be too tame at the time.

    Britain certainly brought a lot of wonderful things into the world and there is much good to be admired. But for me most of it came from the bottom up. Poor people in factories created the trade unions and the labour movement. If you look back even to the chartists the Irish immigrant community played a huge role. I'm proud of that. The labour party after WW2 created a better society and a national health service. The welfare state is a credit to any nation. All such things, came from the bottom up. Then we have the joyous and endless spectacle, that wonderful habit of the English inventing new and globally popular sports only to become endlessly embarrassed at everyone else beating them at said sports. Where would any of us be without that constant in our lives to brighten our days?

    The British talk of the trans Indian railway and the fact it is functional yet. But neglect to mention it was built because donkeys and camels couldn't get the loot out of the place quick enough! The medical facilities and schools in India are a tribute to GB...and in fairness the British recognise the standard which has been maintained post independence by accepting medical graduates into the NHS direct from India.

    Perhaps (as Michael Caine may have said) 'Not a lot of people know this' but the Irish were moving very fast up the ranks of the British civil service in India and were on track to become a majority within it before the break up of Empire. Unfortunately, like I say, the good stuff usually came from the bottom up rather than from a benevolent fair minded elite at the top.

    "The war is over in one sense but the social war remains as we are stuck in our trenches. Maybe one day the people will wise up and we won’t have former generals posing as politicians if we remain slaves of the past we will never create a free present or future".

    Tain Bo nailed it there regards things locally today I think. The 1916 societies I understand and respect but fear there's nothing new to come of it and should they get a head of steam up they will I fear elect for violence only to help a delighted loyalist unemployed community back to full employment at top dollar again. Hardly revolutionary thinking.

  43. Tain Bo
    Rattle on all you like. I think this site is used by many to 'think out loud' and find reason in your ideas.

    Politics north and south is beyond a joke now, sadly depressing. Good luck with your PhD. I doubt I'm going to get funding so probably won't get to do one.

  44. BBC uses RIPA terrorism laws to catch TV licence fee dodgers in Northern Ireland

    By Adrian Rutherford – 16 January 2015
    The BBC is using anti-terror spy laws to trap licence fee dodgers in Northern Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

    It has invoked the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to catch viewers evading the £145 charge.

    The Act, which regulates the powers of public bodies to carry out surveillance and investigation, was introduced in 2000 to safeguard national security.

    But a series of extensions mean it can now be applied to investigate minor offences, including not paying the licence fee.

    The BBC confirmed its use of RIPA in Northern Ireland after enquiries from this newspaper.

    (Just wait until the new anti whatever laws are being cooked up after events in Paris... Within 18mths they'll be arriving on a door step near you 'cause you put the wrong type of rubbish into the wrong coloured bin.. Remember you heard it here first)

  45. Who polices the officers spying on reporters?
    Forces are using the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act - RIPA - to spy on journalists

    By Paul Connolly – 10 October 2014
    Concern is growing across the UK about a little-known practice the police have used to spy on journalists. It has emerged that various forces have deployed against reporters, or are suspected of doing so, a piece of legislation that, in my opinion, should really only be used for anti-terrorism and organised crime purposes.

    The law is the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), and it is had a tangled history. RIPA supposedly regulates the powers of public bodies to carry out surveillance and investigation and also covers the interception of communications such as emails and phone calls. Most people don't know that councils, for example, have powers to look into your background, and so the law, not unnaturally, has become known as a snoopers' charter as it has opened the door to some rather surprising investigations.

    Incidentally, RIPA applies in Northern Ireland, and the PSNI and Secretary of State also have its powers at their disposal. What may be less well-known is that First and Deputy First Ministers also have powers under RIPA...........

    GCHQ views data without a warrant, government admits
    James Ball
    The Guardian, Wednesday 29 October 2014

    British intelligence services can access raw material collected in bulk by the NSA and other foreign spy agencies without a warrant, the government has confirmed for the first time.

    GCHQ’s secret “arrangements” for accessing bulk material are revealed in documents submitted to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the UK surveillance watchdog, in response to a joint legal challenge by Privacy International, Liberty and Amnesty International. The legal action was launched in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations published by the Guardian and other news organisations last year. The government’s submission discloses that the UK can obtain “unselected” – meaning unanalysed, or raw intelligence – information from overseas partners without a warrant if it was “not technically feasible” to obtain the communications under a warrant and if it is “necessary and proportionate” for the intelligence agencies to obtain that information.

    BigBrother watch

    In June 2014 it was revealed that messages sent via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are classed as “external communications” even if they have been sent between UK citizens. This means that there is no need to apply for a warrant before collecting the information.