THE mass escape of 38 PIRA prisoners from the Maze Prison, near Belfast on September 25 1983 in which a prison warder was stabbed to death, is detailed in previously confidential files. Like many files in this year’s releases, that relating to the prison escape is partially closed to 2069.
The official report claims that Gerry Kelly (Old Baily bomber), one of the PIRA escapees and now a Shame Fein MLA, shot a prison guard in the head. Confidential reports prepared for the Secretary of State Jim Priors shed new light on the event and the role of a British military guard at the prison. In a report on the events of that dramatic Sunday, penned the following day, W J Kerr, director of prison operations in the North of Ireland, described how at 16.45 hours he was informed of ‘an incident at the Maze’. He immediately proceeded to the prison where he ‘was informed that H7 Block had been taken over by armed prisoners who had hijacked the kitchen lorry and had proceeded to the main gate.’ There follows a diary of the events on that Sunday. The day began normally with prisoners unlocked for breakfast and exercise. At 11.15 Fr Rooney, the Catholic chaplain, celebrated Mass in the H Block with 54 prisoners in attendence. Dinner was served at 12.15 hours after which all prisoners were returned to their cells. Suddenly at 14.45 hours prisoners in H Block 7 overpowered staff on duty and took control of the block. Various weapons were used including guns.
The prisoners commandeered the prison meals delivery van and 38 prisoners forced the prison officer driver to drive the van from the block through segment gates one and eight to the prison main gate. The escapees then overpowered the staff on duty at the gate and, although eventually the alam was raised, they managed to get out of the prison proper. The prisoners at this point disappeared and fled in different directions.’ Among the prisoners in H7 were Gerry Kelly, aged 30, (the present Shame Fein MLA for North Belfast) and Brendan ‘Bic’ McFarlane who had been a spokesman for the hunger strikers during the 1981 Hunger Strike. Kelly had been convicted at Winchester in 1973, along with Marian Price/Mc Glincy and Dolours Price (The Price Sisters) and Hugh Feeney, for setting off car bombs in London. In all he had made four previous escape attempts. McFarlane (then 31), described in the file as ‘a PIRA leader deeply involved in the organisation’ was sentenced to five life terms for the 1975 bombing of the Bayardo Bar on the Shankill Road in which five people died. The sequence of events at the prison began when prisoner Mead overpowered a senior officer while ‘Prisoner Storey entered the principal officer’s office carrying a gun and pointed it at the senior officer’s head.’ Storey then took charge, “forcing the officer to answer the telephone in a normal manner”. Meanwhile, other officers were being overpowered and tied up throughout the H Block. “Officer Leak was in the toilet when he heard two shots. He left [to see] Prisoner 58 [Gerry Kelly] pointing a pistol into the control room. “Kelly turned the gun on Leak and forced him into the officers’ tea room. Leak was tied up and hooded. Kerr added at this point: “This would establish that prisoner Kelly shot officer Adams who was on duty in the control. It is not clear if the control grille was locked before Mr Adams was shot.” As the IRA inmates gradually seized control of the wings they approached the inner gates where ‘Bic’ McFarlane told the prison guard that he had been “sent to clean the sentry box”. The officer was then overpowered by armed prisoners. Meanwhile, officer McLaughlin was on duty as kitchen van driver and at 15.25 hours had passed through the lock gates of H Block to deliver afternoon tea. “As officer McLaughlin started to unload the meal from the van, prisoner Storey put a gun to his head and forced him into the medical inspection room.
“Whilst there he was threatened by prisoner [Gerry] Kelly who told him to do as he was told or he would be ‘blown away’.” McLaughlin was then forced to drive the van from the block to the main gate through the inner gates. According to the report the van proceeded through the first gate unchallenged to a parking lot where most of the uniformed prisoners ddisembarked. At the main gates they seized the controls and got outside. However, Kerr stressed, the staff in the Tally Lodge “resisted strongly and in the ensuing affray one officer was stabbed and died shortly afterwards. “By this time the alarm had been raised and two officers sitting in their cars outside the gate drove into the area, blocking the exit.” In the resulting melee 10 escapees were captured including a man called Murray who was wounded by an army sentry in a watch-tower. At the time of the report on 26 September, 21 inmates remained “unlawfully at large”. In his conclusion, Kerr highlighted a number of aspects of the PIRA escape which gave him concern. In particular, the fact that the inmates were in possession of firearms suggested that they and their supporters outside were able to breach the security measures at the Maze. He was particularly alarmed at the ease with which prisoners were able to gain access to the secure entrance into the blocks and the main gates. He also questioned how the escaping prisoners were allowed to drive a hijacked vehicle through two inner gates without being challenged and why five officers in H Block 7 were permitted to be off their posts at the same time. Claims by the DUP leader, Ian Paisley that the military guard had failed to open fire prompted a memo to the secretary of state from an NIO official, P W J Buxton on September 28 1983 on the reaction of the soldiers who formed a 150-strong prison guard. He reported that in the watchtower on the main gate had shot an escaper whom he had just seen shot a prison officer. The position of a soldier shooting escapers was quite clear, Buxton noted; ‘the Yellow Card’ applied. Thus, unless the escaper is presenting a direct threat to life, or has just killed or injured someone and there was no other way of arresting, he is not authorised to shoot.
With many thanks to: Eamon Phoenix, The Irish News.
- Gerry Kelly Shot Prison Officer During Maze Escape, Say Nio Papers (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- State papers: Sinn Fein’s Gerry Kelly told warder to obey or be blown away (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Sands ‘offered to suspend Hunger Strike to reach deal’ !!! (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
Confidential files released
TODAY sees the release of previously confidential files from Stormonta and the NIO (Northern Ireland Office) covering the two years 1983 and 1984. This marks a change as Public Records Office be gains to phase towards a new ’20-year rule’. In total 1,047 files are released today of which 225 are subject to full closure while 366 are subject to ‘redaction’ or blacking-out. Those partially closed include files on the use of baton rounds, ‘political developments’ and ‘compensation to innocent victims’. Many are of these files are partially closed until 2067 (I wonder what they are hiding about the Shame Fein sellouts). Reporting on the Belfast files for the Irish News is Dr Damon Phoenix, a political historian and broadcaster and author of Northern Nationalism 1890-1940 (1994) and co-author of Conflicts in the North of Ireland 1900-2000 (Four Courts Press, 2010). Irish government files are released today under the ‘30-year rule.’ Reporting from Dublin is the Press Association‘s Ed Carty. The next lot of pages will be dedicated to these newly released files.
STATE PAPERS Belfast and Dublin
ON March 14 1984 Gerry Adams, the new Shame Fein MP for West Belfast, and three companions were shot and wounded by the UFF while driving back from a court appearance in Belfast city centre. Mr Adams was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital for emergency surgery.
Mr Adams stay in hospital was the subject of a series of complaints by the Ulster Unionist MP for South Belfast, Rev Martin Smyth alleging that Shame Fein leader was being ‘guarded’ by republicans at the RVH. In a note on file for the NIO uunder-secretary, John Patten on March 22 1984, R F Sterling, an official at the DHSS reported that Rev Smyth had phonened the minister’s office to complain about reports that Shame Fein members were gaurding the West Belfast MP and his colleagues. According to Sterling, Rev Smyth was “particularly indignant that these people were reported to be stopping and questioning members of the public within the hospital”.
Sterling explained to the minister that Adams and his companions had been housed in a secure ward and placed under the protection of armed police. All four, he noted, were material witnesses to an armed assault and “clearly their lives were at risk”. Questioned by Rev Smyth in the House of Commons on March 21, 1984 about the alleged ‘Shame Fein guard’ over Mr Adams, secretary of state Jim Prior insisted that the Shame Fein leader “was given medical attention under the protection of the RUC”. He also rejected a claim that British Intelligence had been aware of the murder bid on Mr Adams in advance. In a letter to Rev Smyth on March 22 1984 Mr Prior admitted that the hospital authorities believed that during Mr Adams ‘ stay at the RVH some members of Shame Fein might have been present but that they were confined to the public areas and “were not guarding” the Shame Fein leader.
With many thanks to: Dr Eamon Phoenix, The Irish News.
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- Gerry Kelly Shot Prison Officer During Maze Escape, Say Nio Papers (belfastdaily.co.uk)
- Gerry Kelly Shot Prison Officer During Maze Escape, Say Nio Papers (belfastdaily.co.uk)
1920: Execution of Kevin Barry
On the morning of 20 September 1920, Kevin Barry went to Mass and received Holy Communion, he then joined a party of IRA volunteers on Bolton Street in Dublin. Their orders were to ambush a British army truck as it picked up a delivery of bread from a bakery and capture their weapons. The ambush was scheduled for 11AM, which gave him enough time to take part in the operation and return to UCD in time for a Medical examination he had at 2PM. Captured at the scene, Barry was court martialled and hanged in Mountjoy Jail November 1st 1920. He was the first Republican to be executed since the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916. The execution of Barry led to a swell of support for the Independence struggle, both nationally and internationally.
The image attached is a poignant letter from an 18 year old boy about to meet his end.
Volunteer Kevin Barry, C Company of the first Battalion of the Dublin Brigade, A TRUE AND BRAVE IRISH SOLDIER. R.I.P.
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- Oglach Tom Williams – Hung by Britain 2nd September 1942. R.I.P (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Oglach Jim Bryson and Oglach Patrick Mulvenna who died on Active Service 31 August 1973 R.I.P (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Rembering today – Oglach Tom Williams executed on this day 2nd September 1942 aged 19years. Fuair Se bas ar son Saorise ahEireann. R.I.P (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
- Oglach Patrick (Paddy) McAdorey 3rd batt PIRA – RIP (seachranaidhe1.wordpress.com)
Breithla shona dhuit Michael Mo Chara – You are not forgotten the fight for Irish Freedoom goes on TAL32
Today marks 64th birthday of a close family friend; Michael McKevitt.
Michael McKevitt is today spending his 14th year Interned in Portlaoise Prison. Michael was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in front of a none jury sitting of the Special Criminal Courts in Dublin. The only evidence given against him was the word of a paid informant of the FBI going by the name of David Rupert.
Lá breithe 64th sona mo chara.
Interment alive and well in the Free State 2013.
Oglach Alan Ryan Commemoration will take place this Saturday 7th September Assemble at family home @ 2.30pm.
ThirtyTwo Csm Cork
The Vol. Alan Ryan commemoration will take place this Saturday (7th). Assemble at the family home for 2.30 and then march to the grave spot for the oration. All republicans urged to attend to ensure a fitting tribute and a clear message. Please share / Pass on.
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Irish Holocaust– Push to Educate the Facts
Marriage in Early Ireland
Source: Marriage in Ireland, ed. A. Cosgrove, Dublin 1985 5-24.
There was a controversy amongst early Irish lawyers (about AD 700) as to whether monogamy or polygamy was the more proper and one clerical lawyer solved the problem by reference to the Old Testament: if the chosen of God (here he may be referring to the chosen people as a whole or merely to the Patriarchs, and the glossators of the text refer explicitly to Solomon, David and Jacob) lived in polygamy ‘it is not more difficult to condemn it than to praise it’.
In the longest established of the western churches outside the Roman Empire and in a society in which christian Latin culture flourished in a remarkable way, the norms of christian marriage were not, paradoxically, accepted in society generally (we shall see later that there were exceptions) throughout the middle ages. It is not unusual, of course, that the norms should not be observed: they were, after all, a counsel of perfection and elsewhere in christian Europe the laity were far from obeying the church’s rules—but it is surely interesting that the christian Irish lawyers, most of whom were clerics, should appear to consider marriage within a theoretical framework different from that of the contemporary church and should frame their practical rulings accordingly. However, one should not lay too much stress on the differences between marriage in early Irish and in early continental societies: the similarities are, in practice, much more significant than the differences, and if Ireland was remarkable it was in the persistence of early medieval patterns of marital behaviour into the later middle ages and beyond.
The principal sources for the history of marriage in early Ireland are the law tracts in Irish and Latin, all the most important of which were probably written up within half a century of AD 700. In some respects, the materials are rich—in many instances they provide us with an account of what was done rather than what ought to be done—but they are difficult to interpret. In other respects, they are very limited, for we have no marriage charters and no records of marital cases before the Anglo-Norman period. Records of church legislation about marriage dry up in the eighth century and do not begin again until the twelfth (when the great reform, or rather revolution, in church and society was undertaken). Much of what is said here must, therefore, be tentative.
Lawyers writing in Irish divide first and principal marriages into three categories:
(1) lánamnas comthinchuir, ‘marriage of common contribution’, marriage in which, apparently, both parties contribute equally to the common pool of marital property;
(2) lánamnas for ferthinchur, ‘marriage on man-contribution’, an arrangement by which the bulk of the marriage goods are contributed by the man; and
(3) lánamnas for bantinchur, ‘marriage on woman contribution’, marriage to which the woman brings the preponderance of the property.
All three main types of marriage are considered by the lawyers as special contractual relationships between the spouses in regard to property, which are similar in some important respects to that of a lord and his vassal, a father and his daughter, a student and his teacher, an abbot and his lay-tenant—other pairs that hold property in common and, on occasion at least, run a common household. What each of the pair may have given the other, consumed, or spent in good faith cannot give rise to a legal action; what has been taken without permission must be replaced if a complaint is made about it; and legal penalties are involved only when the complaint (and the appropriate legal procedure which must follow it) is ignored or when property is removed by theft or by violence.
The threefold categorisation, which refers to main marriages only, is not quite satisfactory because it runs together institutions which were really separate, but it does bring out that about AD 700, when the principal tract on marriage was written. Lánamnas comthinchuir, which the tract places first and treats in greatest detail, was regarded as the most important or perhaps the normal type of principal marriage amongst commoners of property (and aristocrats) and had been for some considerable time.
It was a dignified state for the wife in question: if it was a marriage ‘with land and stock and household equipment and if the wife was of the same class and status as her husband, she was known as a bé cuitchernsa, literally ‘a woman of joint dominion, a woman of equal lordship’—a term which seems to be rendered domina in the canon law tracts. Neither of the spouses could make a valid contract at law without the consent of the other. The lawyers list exceptions to this rule but, apart from the specification that these must be dealings which advance their common economy, they are mere run-of the-mill matters in the ordinary business of farming—agreements for co-operative ploughing with kinsmen, hiring land (presumably for grazing), getting together the food and drink to meet the duty of entertaining one’s lord or to celebrate church feasts, acquiring necessary tools or equipment and the like—and one would expect either spouse to make such arrangements without necessarily consulting the other.
Not so the more important contracts, such as those which involve the alienation of property. In Irish law there is really no conjugal fund or common property in marriage: each partner retains ultimate private ownership of what he/she brought into the marriage, though it may be pooled for the purpose of running a common household. (And each may have personal property besides.) This is particularly stressed in the general provision that every dealing in property must be carried out conscientiously and without neglect of the interests of the other partner. One particular rule stated that both partners must acknowledge that any object acquired is not common property but the private possession of the partner whose property was alienated to acquire it. Anything essential to the common economy of the spouses may not be sold without consultation and common agreement and, more generally, each partner may dissolve the disadvantageous contracts entered into by the other. The partners have greater freedom in the disposition of their personal private property: they may, independently of each other, sell or lend it up to the amount of their honour-price—and here the wife is less free than the husband for the honour-price of the wife is usually half that of her husband.
The same preoccupations with property recur in the pro visions regarding divorce. The Irish lawyers (and most of them were clerics) do not moralise about it but rather set to the task of working out an equitable division of the assets between the partners. Since each partner receives back what he/she has contributed in the first instance, the rules concerning division apply only to profits earned and acquisitions made while the marriage contract was in force. In this connection the lawyers hit upon the handy notion of a threefold division between tír, urgnam, cethra ’and, labour and capital (livestock)’ and, in the first instance, divided the profits equally between the spouses in the proportion to which each of them may have supplied these factors of production. The thirds assigned to land and capital are distributed regardless of the conduct of the spouses; but in the case of a divorce in which one partner is innocent and the other guilty, the labour third falls to the innocent party. In this sense, labour may mean either the direct labour of the spouse or the provision of hired labour by meeting the expenses of wages and maintenance of servants out of his/her own resources. These principles are, of course, applied to the division of the principal form of mobile wealth usually possessed by the couple—cattle and other livestock. And they are applied with certain modifications to other assets.
In the division of consumables—dairy products, cured meats, corn and textiles—an additional principle is applied by the lawyers: added value. Here the best example, perhaps, is that of textiles. The woman takes half of all clothing and woven cloth, a third of wool ready and combed for spinning, a sixth of fleeces and sheaves of flax. Textile production is labour intensive and the value of the product is the result of the work done rather than the original worth of the raw materials. The woman’s share on divorce reflects this. Indeed, a commentator on the tract states that land is not taken into account in the case of flax and woad because these take up so little ground and because they require so much labour and are so valuable.
The division of dairy products (no doubt salted butter and cheese) is quite complicated the labour third is divided in two portions and the woman (who, of course, has run the dairy) takes one; of the remainder (i.e. one-sixth of the whole) diminishing fractions go to the spouse who supplied the dairy vessels (a matter of considerable importance, for dairy vessels were expensive artifacts produced by highly skilled craftsmen), the husband, and the spouse who provided the dairy workers. Similar principles govern the division of corn in store and cured meat. The legal tracts incidentally provide first class evidence of the importance of the woman’s role (as manager and worker) in the rural economy—in dairying, in the production of woollen and linen garments, in caring for farmyard animals (especially the fattening of stall-fed beasts for the table) and in organising the ploughing and reaping of corn (and, no doubt, the feeding of the labourers).
Lánamnas for ferthinchur ‘marriage on the man’s contribution’, represents a different kind of property and contractual arrangement and, in some significant ways, is a different kind of marriage partnership, particularly since in Irish law much of the standing of the partners depended on their property relationship. Here the man provides the bulk of the conjugal property—land, housing and stock—and the woman provides little or nothing. In this instance, if the wife is a lawfully betrothed wife but not a cétmuinter (first or principal wife), contracts made by the husband are valid, whether or not his wife knows or consents, but he may not alienate food or clothing, cows or sheep without her consent. What is in question here is the necessities of life and the means of their continued production, and to this degree the interests of this kind of wife are protected. If, however, she is a lawful cétmuinter and a woman of equal standing and birth, she may impugn all her husband’s foolish contracts and have them dissolved on her behalf by her sureties (for which see below).
On the occasion of divorce, such a woman is considerably worse off than the previous kind of wife. Since she provided neither land nor stock, she must take a much diminished share of the assets acquired whilst the marriage lasted: she takes half of her own handiwork and one-sixth of the dairy produce in store. If she has been a hard worker (márdéntaid), she takes one-ninth of the cattle dropped whilst the marriage contract was in force and one-ninth of the corn and cured meat in store. These portions belong to the ‘labour third’ of the assets and the implication is that if she were the guilty party, she received very little indeed on parting. Since, apart from this labour third, she is practically without means, the lawyers specify that she is to receive a sack of corn each month from the date of parting to the next Mayday—the time when new contracts, including marriage contracts, were made and the assumption is that she should re-marry as soon as possible.
Lánamnas for bantinchur ‘marriage on the woman’s contribution’, represents the third type of property arrangement in marriage. In this case, the woman inherits an estate in default of sons and marries a man of little or no property. Here there is role reversal: ‘in this case the man goes in the track of the woman and the woman in the track of the man’. If the man is what the lawyers call ‘a man of service, a head of counsel who checks the home-folk with advice as influential as that of his wife’—a man, therefore, who plays an active role in the management of his wife’s estate—he obtains some recompense on the occasion of a divorce: he receives a ninth of the handiwork and of the corn and cured meat in store and one-eighteenth of the dairy produce. Again, if either of the partners is guilty, the innocent one takes the ‘labour’ portion. If it is a first or principal marriage, all the profits which are not to be assigned to land or capital fall to the innocent party. Apart from that, what each brought to the marriage, each takes away. If the woman owns all the property, the standing of the husband in society is estimated in terms of his wife’s status (enech ‘honour’), unless he is more venerable, better bred or more honourable than she’.http://www.ucc.ie/celt/marriage_ei.html
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Irish Holocaust- Push to Educate the Facts
The three categories of marriage described so far are based on property; there were others (as we shall see) but it may be useful to consider these in more detail.
The marriage of the woman of property to a man of less, or in extreme cases, no property is what occurs in a patrilineal society such as that of the early Irish—a society in which estates, offices and ritual roles pass from male to male, ideally from father to son—when a man has no surviving sons to inherit his property. This happens in about one in five of all cases (the percentage may be somewhat lower in polygynous societies, at least among the nobility who had more access to women) and was not, therefore, a rare occurrence. The daughter (or daughters, and in this instance the estate was divided between them) was called a banchomarba ’an heiress’; she inherited a life-interest in her father’s estate, she had to get guarantors that she would not alienate it wrongfully and, on her death, it reverted to her father’s nearest male relatives (to males within her gelfhine or, in default of these, to males within her derbfhine). She could not transmit any rights to the estate to her children. A compromise was however possible: she could marry one of the ultimate heirs and preserve an interest for her children, and this appears to be the ancient solution to the problem. This entailed parallel cousin marriage, that she should marry her first cousin or, perhaps less frequently, her second cousin—but such endogamous marriages were forbidden by church law and denounced as incestuous.
The Irish lawyers searched the scriptures and found their answer in the Old Testament. Jewish law, as preserved in Leviticus, forbade marriage with the following relatives: sister, mother, mother’s sister, father’s sister, son’s daughter and daughter’s daughter. This leaves the way open for parallel cousin marriage but they went further and cited cases from Old Testament history which proved that the law of God allowed such marriages. In particular, they cited the case of the daughters of Salphaad. Their father died without sons and they demanded an inheritance of land amongst their kin, but the elders objected on the grounds that they would marry outsiders and alienate family land. They approached Moses who consulted God who, in turn, judged their claim to be valid provided they married men of their own tribe. The record of their marriages preserved in the same book of the Old Testament shows that they married the sons of their father’s brothers. Here was explicit biblical justification of parallel cousin marriage and divine sanction for marriages contracted with close relatives for reasons of property. The lawyers found further support in the story of Tobias (who married his father’s brother’s daughter) for the legal opinion that ‘all the property of a man who has no son should be given after his death to the husband of his daughter if he is of the same kindred’. Lánamnas for bantinchur is not, then, simply an Indo-European custom which finds its closest comparison in the Greek epikleros and the Indian putrika ‘appointed daughter’ (as some would argue), but a strategy of heirship in which the needs of the kindred and the demands of the church are neatly balanced. It is important to note, too, that this kind of marriage is not necessarily a first or principal marriage: it can be a secondary union, and is perhaps a pointer to the possible independent behaviour—for pleasure or procreation—of propertied women in early Ireland.
It is likely, of course, that men marrying heiresses amongst their own kindred possessed some property; but, where there was competition for land amongst males inheriting a family estate (and such competition involved status as well as property), it is reasonable to assume that the usufruct and prospect of possession (at least as far as his heirs were concerned) acquired by a member of the family who married an inheriting kinswoman were taken into account in the division of the paternal estate, and his share diminished accordingly. This would have given rise to a situation where men were heavily dependent on their heiress-wives, but the same circumstances could come about otherwise. A woman could acquire land ar dúthracht, by outright gift of her father of land which was his personal (as distinct from) family possession, and women could also possess land which is called orba cruib 7 shliasta ‘land of hand and thigh’. It is possible (though quite uncertain) that two kinds of land are in question here: land acquired by the woman’s own labour and land got as a marriage portion or for some other sexual service, but the precise meaning of the term is not clear from the contexts. Further, it is evident from the canon law that, in certain circumstances, a father could be obliged to give his daughter an estate in land amongst her brothers—at least where there was parallel cousin marriage. And it is perhaps worth remembering that, while Irish society was strongly patrilineal in ideology, such social ideologies are usually modified by individual needs and pressures.
The general opinion is that lánamnas comthinchuir was the normal kind of marriage between persons of property in the seventh and eighth centuries. But how old was that institution? Caesar’s brief account of marriage amongst the Gauls appears to refer to two important characteristics which are present in the Irish type: men match the herds which their wives bring as dowries by contributing an equal amount from their own property, and an account is kept of the profits of these conjoint resources (suggesting that each reserved ultimate ownership of what was contributed to the marital fund). If this type of marriage is a common Celtic institution, we may have here a hint as to the meaning of comthinchor ‘common contribution’ that the wife brought a dowry (dos) in herds and that the husband matched that dowry with a payment to his wife of an equal amount from his own resources (donatio ex marito). One need not, of course, assume that such dowries were always in cattle: we have seen that women could acquire real estate and other kinds of property and the glossators, whatever the value of their opinions on this point, note that land could form part of their marital contribution The equality of husband and wife is matched elsewhere and scholars have argued that the Indo-European peoples had always known a variety of marriage which left the wife her husband’s equal partner—and one could compare the Roman marriage without manus and the Germanic marriage in which the husband did not acquire his wife’s mundium.
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On July 1, Lithuania has taken the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from the 26 Counties Administration in Dublin for the coming twelve months. On this day, the programme of the Lithuanian EU-Presidency has been published in Brussels. Referring to the illegal treatment of republican prisoner Michael Campbell and the inhumane treatment in prison, Republican Sinn Féin International Spokesperson Dieter Blumenfeld called the programme of the Lithuanian EU-Presidency as “pure hypocrisy”.
The programme of the Lithuanian EU-Presidency vows to safeguard “that the EU institutions remain active in their protection of fundamental human rights both within the EU and abroad“. The programme continues: “Regarding the Southern neighbourhood, Lithuania will support the EU focus on more effective implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy aiming at promoting democracy and inclusive and sustainable growth, based on promotion of human rights, especially the equal rights and freedoms of women, as well as closer cooperation with civil society.“ Furthermore the documents claims: “The EU is ready to take on leadership in protecting human rights.“
The chapter D “Justice and Home Affairs” starts with: “The Council dedicates particular attention to the protection of interests and the needs of citizens and other EU residents, in order to ensure respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms.”
In a statement, Dieter Blumenfeld, International Spokesperson of Republican Sinn Féin, said: “The whole document is pure hypocrisy. While the EU and the current EU-Presidency of Lithuania try to play the role of heralds of human rights and democracy, they hold an innocent Irish citizen under inhumane conditions in Lithuania. Not just that his basic human rights are continuously denied by the very government that produced this document. Michael Campbell should have never been sentenced in the first place. The whole process of coercion, incitement and setting traps is unlawful as such.
“While we demand the repatriation of Irish republican Michael Campbell, we are very aware of the fact that Michael Campbell should have never been sentenced in the first place. The whole court case was a farce, disreputable for a so-called democratic state in the 21st century. Thus, we call on all Irish republicans and their supporters in Europe and elsewhere to put pressure on the Lithuanian government. The unlawful refusal of Michael Campbell’s basic human rights must end immediately! We ask all our supporters to write letters to the Lithuanian embassy and consulate in your countries and demand justice for Irish republican prisoner Michael Campbell. We ask you to raise the case of Michael Campbell among your family, friends and in your workplace. Contact local, regional and national media outlets.
“Only a campaign of international pressure on the Lithuanian government can and ultimately will achieve justice and the repatriation of Michael Campbell”, Republican Sinn Féin International Spokesperson Dieter Blumenfeld said.
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Óglaigh Na HÉireann
A simple stroke of pen and ink by simple men who failed to think
(or thinking failed to pay due heed to consequence and future need)
has left in wake of smile and speech a lesson for our sons to teach
of how a leader must not be: all money-mad and moral-free.
For future generations cringe when thinking back upon this binge
of glutton-driven money greed so blind to children’s children’s needs.
And every passing douring day, another dreamer fades away
as poisoned progress has its way and businessmen decide our fates.
Well mór bhur nair! Mór bhur nair, ye whose pens have brought this fire!
Mór bhur nair! Mór bhur nair, ye who’ve sold the heart of Eire!
Mór bhur nair ye ministers: who’ve trampled and dishonored her!
Mór bhur nair ye businessmen: who sold her soul for silver yen!
Mór bhur nair ye Síocháin Gaurds: who’ve left for dead your sacred charge!
Mór ár nair we sleeping bards: who’ve withheld aoirs and blunted barbs!
Now’s no time for seeing-short, nor money-hoarding last-resorts.
These issues of both time and space: of travelling and fair Tara’s face;
Have and can be swift resolved; this controversy can dissolve:
By listening to the people’s pleas for future generations’ needs.
Let conscience lead you, Leaders- Think! A simple stroke of pen and ink
Can open up the Iron Road to carry families safely home,
And save that now embattled place, preserving Tara’s sacred space.
To do what’s right is often hard, for moneyed men will scoff and barb,
But heroes never came to be by bowing down to money greed.
I beg you, take the rocky road: prove your souls are yet unsold.
Save your honor and your name; not for money, power or fame;
But simple love of doing right: to end a wasteful, foolish fight;
And be, in darkness, yet a Light.
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