|Original ticket for the November 21, 1920 ‘Great Challenge Match’ between Dublin and Tipperary |
at Croke Park. Fourteen innocent people were mown down indiscriminately by British Crown forces.
|Members of the IRA special service unit known as The Squad, or the 12 Apostles, established as a counter-intelligence and assassination gang in 1920. Depicts Gearoid O’Sullivan, Adjutant General, IRA, and members of GHQ Squad and Intelligence Department.|
|Worth a read|
|“For me … if I had the privilege of leading government I would be a taoiseach for everybody and I would act in a way to foster respect, reconciliation and understanding and never in a partisan way to give offence to anyone. If I were taoiseach there’s a set pattern of what the taoiseach attends and does not attend.”|
It should be remembered, the PIRA came about in armed defence of Catholic communities in December 1969. It followed an acrimonious split between republicans into the two factions known as the Provisional IRA and the Official IRA. Catholics were being treated as second class citizens by a unionist sectarian state. However, the powers that be in the southern jurisdiction did very little to protect those hard put upon Catholic communities. In fact, consecutive Freestate governments consciously turned their backs to the desperate plight of an under siege Catholic population in the wee six. The struggle for a free and independent 32 county Ireland was not on their agenda in any way shape form or fashion. The North was the gimpy awkward relative no one in the wider Freestate political family wanted to talk about. Many in the Freestate adopted the ostrich theory of political involvement and would have been delighted if the North had simply disappeared altogether. The SF President in saying what she did has offended many republicans. Do their opinions not matter anymore in her island of equals and respect? Where is the potential future head of state’s respect for republican victims of British shoot to kill violence and state murder perpetrated throughout the north since 1969?
We declare our allegiance to the 32 county Irish republic, proclaimed at Easter 1916, established by the first Dáil Éireann in 1919, overthrown by force of arms in 1922 and suppressed to this day by the existing British-imposed six-county and twenty-six-county partition states … We call on the Irish people at home and in exile for increased support towards defending our people in the North and the eventual achievement of the full political, social, economic and cultural freedom of Ireland - The first PIRA statement issued on 28th December 1969.
Many media outlets have correctly interpreted McDonald’s words as a political signal to the establishment. She would be inclined not to attend PIRA memorial events if and when she becomes Taoiseach of Ireland. This declaration made by the SF President comes amid the fallout of Sinn Fein MP John Finucane’s decision to speak at a “south Armagh volunteers commemoration” . In the past, in his role as Belfast Mayor, Finucane laid a commemorative wreath to honour those who died in the WW2 battle of the Somme in 1916. It was a gesture which received little, if any, reciprocation from unionism. Yet Finucane was lambasted for weeks leading up to the ‘South Armagh volunteers commemoration’ in Mullaghbawn by both unionism and the media for attending a commemorative event honoring fallen PIRA volunteers. It was an event which Mary Lou McDonald will refuse to attend when she becomes crowned Taoiseach of conservative middle class Ireland.
|Top picture shows Belfast Sinn Fein mayor John Finucane who joined with the British Legion to pay tribute to the fallen as the city marked the Armistice. Bottom picture is John Finucane speaking at an IRA commemoration in south Armagh.|
|Former RUC Chief Constable and current Garda Commissioner Drew Harris attending a memorial of Michael Staines who was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) and on its Supreme Council from 1921 to 1922. He served as Quartermaster General in the GPO during the 1916 Easter Rising and was later interned with his fellow insurgents at Frongoch internment camp. Staine’s served as the first Garda Commissioner before fascist Fine Gael’s Eoin O’Duffy took over in September 1922.|
|28 July 2005 – the Provisional IRA announced its members had “been ordered to dump arms.”|