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Annual Easter Rising Commemoration – 12pm – Waverley Cemetery Bronte.

This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Ireland’s first hunger strike martyr Thomas Ashe.

Ashe from Lios Póil in the County Kerry Gaeltacht was a member of the Gaelic League, Irish Republican Brotherhood and GAA. He commanded the Fingal battalion of the Irish Volunteers during the Easter Rising.

On the 8th May 1916, Ashe and Eamon de Valera were court-martialed and sentenced to death. Both sentences were commuted to life, and Ashe was sent to a variety of English prisons. While in prison he wrote the poem “Let Me Carry Your Cross for Ireland, Lord”.

Thomas Ashe was released from jail in June 1917 under the general amnesty which was given to republican prisoners. Upon his release he returned to Ireland and began a series of speaking engagements. In August 1917, after a speech in Ballinalee, Longford, where Michael Collins had also been speaking, he was arrested and charged with “speeches calculated to cause disaffection”. He was sentenced to one year’s hard labour in Mountjoy Jail.

Ashe, along with Austin Stack, who was also in Mountjoy demanded to be treated as prisoners-of-war. Having been deprived of a bed, bedding and boots Ashe went on hunger strike on 20th September 1917. On 25th September 1917 he died from pneumonia, which was caused by force-feeding by the prison authorities. He was 32 years old.

From the smouldering embers of Easter Week 1916 the death on hunger strike of Ashe produced a flame. A flame which an empire failed to extinguish, which treachery could not subdue, which today burns its way through hypocrisy and coercion – a living flame.

With many thanks to: James Connolly.

 

Relative of 1916 Rising Hero contests unjust conviction for highlighting the case of the Craigavon Two

Friday 24th March will see IRPWA member Brian Murphy challenge his public order conviction and his 2 months suspended sentence when he appears at the Circuit Court at the Central Criminal Courts, Parkgate Street, Dublin.1

Brian was arrested following his lone protest at a 26 County State ceremony in Grangegorman cemetery, Dublin on May 25th, 2016 to ‘commemorate’ British soldiers killed suppressing the 1916 Easter Rising.

During his peaceful protest, Brian was assaulted by the Canadian Ambassador to the 26 counties, Kevin Vickers. Brian’s protest which included highlighting the continued persecution and plight of imprisoned republicans including the case of the Craigavon Two (www.JFTC2.com), became headline news all over the world, both online and in mainstream media particularly in Canada. The actions of the Canadian Ambassador amplified Brian’s protest beyond anything he had expected and the 26 county state sought draconian retribution as a result of being embarrassed, with their reformist agenda around the centenary commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising exposed.

The embarrassment caused to the state highlighted their contempt for the republican heroes of 1916 and their continued attempts to criminalise the republican struggle whilst cosying up to British imperialism which continues to occupy the north of Ireland dividing the Irish nation by force.

In challenging his conviction Brian will maintain his right to protest this event to which he had received a formal invitation and that his actions on the day were not ‘criminal’ unlike those of the Canadian Ambassador who has never been brought to task for his unwarranted aggression.

It is the view of both Saoradh and the IRPWA that Brian’s conviction and the harshness of his sentence were politically motivated, the right to peacefully protest has been set aside by the state as witnessed in cases such as Brian’s and in the case of the Jobstown water protest. Saoradh and the IRPWA stand in solidarity with Brian and wish him the best of luck in overturning this contrived conviction.

With many thanks to: 

Today in Irish History Thomas Whelan was Executed 14 March 1921

Thomas Whelan, originally from Connemara, was 22 when he was hanged. He left home at 18 to work at Broadstone train depot in Dublin and while there joined A Company, 3rd Battalion, Dublin Brigade.

He was hanged with Patrick Moran for his alleged part in the Bloody Sunday morning operations on 21 November 1920. In a single morning, the IRA executed 14 British Intelligence officers – all members of the infamous Cairo Gang. In retaliation, the Black and Tans later that day opened fire on spectators at a GAA match in Croke Park, killing 12 spectators and wounding over 100.

Thomas was charged that along with James McNamara and Michael J Tobin, he had killed Captain T Bagally at Baggot Street. The high-profile nationalist and later final Governor General of the Free State, Tim Healy, refused to defend them.

There was alibi evidence that Thomas was attending mass in Ring at the time but that information was not relayed to the court. His counsel told the court: “The boy was a weekly communicant and not the class of man that murderers are made of.” Thomas was sentenced to death, although James Boyce was acquitted.

An application to the Lord Lieutenant for a reprieve was turned down on 2 March while another Volunteer, Edward Potter, was granted a reprieve.

Thomas told a nun who visited him: “I have just told my mother that just as a priest starts a new life at ordination, so on Monday I will start a new life that will last forever.”

In a message to his friends he said: “Give the boys my love. Tell them to follow on and never surrender. Tell them to pray for me, especially ‘Dev’s Own’, and I will pray for them. Tell them I am proud to die for Ireland.”

With many thanks to: Easter Rising War of Independence and Irish Civil War History.

Remembering today Oglach Kevin Barry, born 20th January 1902. Executed on this day 1st November, 1920 in Mountjoy Jail, Dublin.

KEVIN BARRY

Kevin Barry was 18-years-old when he was hanged in Mountjoy Jail on November 1st 1920.

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Kevin Barry, 1902-1920 - Executed by British armed forces 1920.

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Watch the video below and have a listen to the song:
http:// https://m.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DjG6D7-PAIKI&h=UAQFOwcNc&enc=AZMSRnVz291sRcLzm6oohnpNIbRfrervDyw5r2nYxpSJ1hpJjPv66MgjWgLTdadGZGu83JvvHMPXfiOtGRsMj-hmtPIAj4km-ePKyHS-8NgX1RD5sfuqtBZRxKi-6ec4WNw77VvYLtm4koav2m2IXx1A1tZ_hVPTnTjAUF92t05waSwMi1U-Bi975exm5_8oo88&s=1

With many thanks to: Ireland Long Held in Chains Stair agus Cultûr na hÉireann:

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