Dan Breen

Conor Lynam with a poem on Dan Breen.

The man that went to the leviathan of resistance,
The British brought him there.
Tipperary and thoughts of freedom, to rid the cancer that multiplied throughout our land.
To bring those bastards where they had never been before.
Dinny Lacey and the bold that believed the impossible.
Forever footsteps that might lead to green and gold.
Checkpoints and cheeky confidence that brought you through.
Feared and forever a thorn on the British rose.
The hat, the suit, the unapologetic resistance.
Galtee mountains, green, surrounded by mist and imposters too.
To escape, march on and continue is Ireland.
They surrounded you, thought they caught you, but they couldn't.
You are and were the unbroken,
Crafted from crystal clear Tipperary streams.
The bogs, Turf and all of Irish land.
Tipperary and English terrorists,
Dan Breen never bowed down. 

➽Conor Lynam is a Dublin Republican


  1. So easy to romanticise from the distance and luxury of time.

  2. Barry, national resistance to imperialism is both old and new, past and present. But like a lot of conventional academics you no doubt have to mumble otherwise in your bid for tenure. Now where be your snarky remarks about the usual glorification of British state terrorists? Or is academic objectivity just another oxymoron in service to state power? Shocker that.

  3. "in service to state power"..........aka in service to 'the murder machine'.

  4. Very poor Barry,

    For someone who comes from the island, you have a very British take on anything Irish...

  5. Eoghan

    First of all, I have no position whatever in academia never mind tenure I could not secure funding for my PHD as my research are (Irish abortion politics) from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as it was not deemed appropriate for the ESRC's agenda of providing intellectual cover for UK PLC. I did not have the ("old boys") network nor the publications record to land me an a academic job. So your assumption about me "having to mumble" is contemptible on numerous grounds written once again by somebody who chooses to skulk behind the anonymity of a moniker. I have neither the time, energy or inclination to ask for an apology.

    Secondly, I have put on record on this forum my condemnation of British state actions such as Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy and the extra-judicial executions of Grew and Carroll. How dare you suggest that I in some glorify or connive in the glorification of "British state terrorists".


    Because I come from the island of Ireland does not mean that I have to abide by compulsory nationalism; particularly nationalist "murder machines" of the 1920s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or any future manifestation of such. Condemnation of such does not represent a "British take on anything Irish" especially as these campaigns were not supported by the majority of the "nationalist" people in whose name they were allegedly waged. My ethnicity does not define my political philosophy

  6. Barry, you won’t get an apology because me thinks you protest too much. I never said you glorified or connived in the glorification of British state terrorists. You have quoted me out of context which is to be expected. What I said was:

    “Now where be your snarky remarks about the usual glorification of British state terrorists? Or is academic objectivity just another oxymoron in service to state power?”

    By the way, where are your snarky remarks? Because I have never seen you here write any snide or sarcastic remarks about British state terrorism like you do about Irish resistance to it. Your bias is obvious and you’re entitled to it for what that’s worth. Like a lot of Irish people, you seem to identify more with your oppressor which may be something you have to do to survive.

    That said, I never said you had a job in academia, although you say you have a PhD, I simply said and meant that you are like a lot of conventional academics who hide behind claims of academic objectivity and neutrality to get or keep their jobs. Like you just did here, claiming you have been a critic of both British imperialists and Irish nationalists which of course makes you the neutral and (ahem) objective piggy in the middle.

    However, you’re either resisting or complicit. There is no safe middle ground because as Howard Zinn, a very unconventional academic, used to say: “You can’t be neutral on a moving train.” Finally note my name is Eoghan.

  7. Eoghan

    Your comment that "you're either resisting or complicity" is an illustration of the redundancy of binary thinking. i have always opposed the use of violence by all sides in the NI conflict be it nationalist and loyalist terror groups and the forces of the State. I make no apology for making "snarky remarks" about anyone who used and sought to justify the use of violence to advance their "political" ends. I wonder what in your opinion constitutes "Irish resistance": Omagh, Enniskillen, Bloody Friday, Claudy, Kingsmill, "The Disappeared".

    The fact is Eoghan the vast majority of Irish people throughout the island voted two decades ago to put any lingering justification for "Irish resistance" to bed by endorsing the Good Friday Agreement. Get used to it. Or perhaps you believe that the "Irish people have no right to do wrong".

  8. Barry,

    I stand over my views about you having a very British version of Irishness.

    Let's keep things in context. I have yet to read on this blog that Kingsmill was nothing more or less than a war crime. Would it have happened if the Glenanne gang were not going around and committing the same crimes on innocent Catholics like the Reavey and O'Dowd families hours before?

    If you scratch under the surface of Omagh you will find Mi5/6, Special Branch and FBI fingerprints all over it. Omagh was allowed to happed because it advanced a British Agenda.

    You can google or youtube Brendan Hughes thoughts on Bloody Friday and he held his hands up and said "We (PIRA) totally fcuked up that Friday, while we wanted to cripple the economic heart of Belfast, we didn't want any loss of life. Conversely when the British or NATO drops bombs on schools and hospitals and say "sorry, we fcuked up" basically most in the UK (deffo Britian) shrug their shoulders, wave a finger at their elected whoevers and ask them to be more careful next time...

    How many people have the UK helped to disappear under tons of rubble in Yemen by selling the Saudi's bombs? A lot more thatn the Provisionals ever did. Noone again is saying what they did was right, almost everyone today agrees the remains of the disappeared should be returned to their families and given whatever burial they want.

    The Got Fuck All in 1998 that people voted for that has yet to be delivered. Why are people today more segregated than before...At least half of the oxymorons that carve up Belfast carve up North Belfast. Kids still go to separate schools, generally don't mix, unemployment and poverty in parts of the North make some third world counties look like the Las Vegas strip. Indefinite detentions..(Tony Taylor was recently released after serving close to 1,000 days in prison because.....Well to be honest, no one knows the reason). Martin Corey when released basically had duct tape on his mouth. Then throw in why the UK gov refuse to hand over documents to the people of Birmingham and Guilford so they can have justice...At the minute they are under lock and key and wont be released anytime soon...

    I could go on Barry, but like the BBC quiz show...it is pontless at times debating anything with you. And I need to buy beer to watch Ronnie "The Irishman" O'Sullivan in today's snooker final....

  9. Barry, you’re the one being redundant and avoidant here once again thinking there is a safe middle neutral ground between British imperialism and Irish national resistance to it. Thereby requiring me once again to ask you: where are your snarky, snide or sarcastic remarks about British state terrorism like you have about Irish resistance (and or Irish terrorism) to it?

    Because you say that you “…make no apology for making ‘snarky remarks’ about anyone who used and sought to justify the use of violence to advance their ‘political’ ends”. But I have not asked you for such an apology since I agree you have the right to make such remarks about anyone as such. I have asked you for proof of your alleged evenhandedness here on TPQ for making such snarky, snide or sarcastic remarks for both the British occupier and the Irish occupied.

    I know you are a “critic” of the violence of both sides but me thinks you’re just a poser who can only resist being emotive for British occupation and rule in Ireland. For instance, can you give me an example of any violent resistance by the Irish against the British that you would have approved of? How about Michael Collins killing all those MI6 agents in Dublin? How about Tom Barry and Dan Breen’s killing of Black and Tans? How about the Provisional IRA’s Warrenpoint Ambush in 1979?

    And while we are on the subject do you think the Iraqi and Afghan people have the right to violently resist British and American occupation and rule in their countries? If so why and if not why not?

    That all said know I don’t think the Irish who voted for the so called GFA were so much wrong as just weak in the face of overwhelming military odds and threats by the British government at the time. There is something to be said for merely surviving and remaining to fight another day. Remember, despite your binary thinking, imperial rule and resistance to it can come in many shades and forms.

  10. Eoghan

    Basically I do not have to justify myself to you. There is no British Empire anymore and no need for "Irish nationalist resistance to it." not that there was ever any justification for it in the first place Peter Brooke made it clear IN 1991 that Britain "had no selfish or strategic interest" in NI.

    I have no time for militant nationalism of any sort nor do I look forward to the likes of you "surviving and remaining to fight another day". I say go take a running jump and stick your redundant ideology where the sun does not shine.


    I do not disagree with much of your last post. I have triple citizenship identities: Irish, British and European. As I have before, my ethnicity does not define my politics and certainly does not require me to agree with armed "freedom struggles" past or present.

    Enjoy the snooker.

  11. Eoghan - reword your comment - the last line. It is abuse and of no relevance to the discussion.

  12. Anthony - motive is always relevant and allegiances, witting or unwitting, fair game, i.e. lay down with dogs get up with fleas. And if you look back you'll see I have said same about Adams and McGuinness. But in the interest of moving the ball forward here, here you go.

    Barry - you are confused or intellectually dishonest.

    I just wanted proof of you being evenhanded with your snarky remarks.

    And clearly you can’t provide me with any.

    Nor would you answer my other simple questions here.

    So, you’ve been busted as the piggy-in-the-middle poser you are.

    But not to worry, you have unwittingly provided me all the proof I really need. LOL!

    By the way, if there is no British Empire anymore then why is the British Army still in their “former” colonies of Iraq, Ireland and Afghanistan?

    Hint - it ain't because their interests are benign

    Or because they have no strategic interests in these resource rich places.

    Or because they (perfidious Albion) say they don't have any.

    And what about all these other places too?

    The fourteen British Overseas Territories

    Consider these questions rhetorical because I don’t expect honest answers from you.

    It's enough for me that you have outed yourself.

  13. Eoghan,

    Neither Adams or McGuinness write here under their own names, have faced the same attack time out of number, are public figures who don't get the same level of cover, having often accused people of the same type of thing. The blog has to exercise a duty of care to those writers who put ideas out in their own name. It has no obligation to defend their opinions but to protect their character from abuse.

  14. Anthony - Even when their opinions are manifestations of their character? I get it's your blog so it's your rules but no one should come on here if they can't take it in like they dish it out.

  15. Eoghan - none of us know that. It can also be a case of ascribing characteristics to someone for the purposes of smearing them. Your argument was quite plausible and you had no cause to resort to gratuitous snark.

    It is my blog but I try to make sure it is open to everybody who has something to say rather than a name to call. You had plenty of good stuff to say so there was nothing whatsoever for you to gain by calling him a name. And we all fall foul of it at some point, and find ourselves playing the man rather than the ball. Best to tweak it before it develops a momentum of its own.

    He is upfront with his identity - "Eoghan" isn't on the same level and not susceptible to abuse to the same degree. So there is an obligation to protect his character from smear rather than protect his ideas from robust probing.

  16. Anthony - Thank you for your explanation! But just so we are all clear here, I didn't call him any names in that last line of mine you objected to here. And while I will concede it was a snark, we will just have to agree to disagree that it was gratuitous. I had a cousin from Kerry, he has since passed, who was a native Irish speaker and a lover of all things Irish except Irish Republicanism past or present. Like many he was an Irish Provincialist who would argue that like Hawaii being in the US, Ireland should be in the UK "...because we'd all be better off." And then he'd laugh about not being a British Tory or in MI6 but that he should bill them for services rendered in Ireland. As you can imagine we disagreed a lot. And I would ask him if he ever talked to any Hawaiians about being better off in the US because the few I knew were Hawaiian Nationalists and still sore about the US overthrow and takeover of their country from 1893-1895. My cousin would say no but it's obvious they're better off and just ingrates. And so it goes.