The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Collins Abu!

Tommy Gorman

It could be the inordinate amount of warm weather we have enjoyed so early in the year but there are some bizarre goings on in the quiet corners of our green and pleasant land.

On Monday April 21 the Fianna Fail minister for transport, Seamus Brennan, unveiled a statue of Countess Constance Markievicz in Rathcormac near her ancestral home Lissadel in County Sligo.

Although born into a privileged, land owning family, Constance Gore-Booth took up the cause of socio-economic and national emancipation for the Irish people. She founded Na Fianna Eireann in 1908 and during the 1916 rising, as a member of James Connolly’s Irish Citizen Army, she fought as second in command to Michael Mallin at St. Stephen’s Green.

Her bravery and uncompromising socialist beliefs brought her into conflict with all those who oppressed the workers and poor of Ireland be they British Imperialists or the native gombeen capitalists. She was sentenced to death for treason by the British and later imprisoned by the Free State administration when she sided with the post treaty republican faction.

One wonders how she herself would react at the thought of a minister from a party that will be remembered mainly for corruption and cronyism having a hand in commemorating her selflessness and sacrifice.

The Easter Monday ceremony is typical of this party, bereft of any social conscience or scruples, grasping for some respectability by paying lip service to the memory of a genuine hero of the long struggle for liberation.

On the same day, in a country graveyard in Co Donegal, a small crowd had gathered to remember the life and death of Lt. Peter Duffy of the Northern Division of the IRA who died on active service in 1921.

The guest speaker was Pat Doherty Sinn Fein MP for the South Tyrone constituency at Westminster and an M.L.A. in the Stormont administration.

I’ve been to many such commemorations north of the border and if Sinn Fein are involved, as most times they are, things take on a familiar theme. Those being remembered fought and died as heroes. However, and more importantly we are informed of a continuum that can be traced from the 19th century Fenian rising through the Young Irelanders, 1916 and up to the present day where the struggle is being perpetuated through the Belfast Agreement.

And sure enough that’s how it panned out. Sinn Fein like their predecessors in Fianna Fail were never ones to miss the opportunity to climb on the coffins of our fallen comrades to make political capital. The name and sacrifice of the dead volunteer is incidental to the overall drive to sell this squalid little reactionary deal to the people.

Pat Doherty went further. We were informed the Lt. Duffy and his comrades help to bring ‘freedom to this part of our country through their struggle and the subsequent Treaty of 1922’.

So where does that leave those who, like Countess Markievicz, dissented from the Treaty?

Subsequently many were to be executed with varying degrees of barbarity by forces loyal to that new dispensation. Is Sinn Fein now aligning itself with those who strapped nine republicans to a landmine and detonated it at Ballyseedy Cross Co. Kerry in 1922? Were the Free Staters right to execute Liam, Rory Dick and Joe, representing the Four Provinces, in December of ’22?

If one examines the timing and manner in which Michael Collins’ memory was exhumed and re-deified by the leadership of Sinn Fein then it is perfectly logical to expect that their rationale on the deeds of Collin’s forces should also be re-examined and revised.

Collins and his regime were, after all, only policing the process. Now where have I heard those words before?



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
- Thomas J. Watson

Index: Current Articles

24 April 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Collins Abu!
Tommy Gorman


Who Wants to be Non-Doctrinaire?
Jimmy Sands


Wooden Spoon
Anthony McIntyre


The Restoration of National Soverignty is Not a Right Wing Aspiration
Andy Martin


Shame, Shame, Shame
Aine Fox


Savage "New" Times Government Lie

Karen Lyden Cox


21 April 2003


Easter Message: "A lick of the Oglaigh Stick"
Jimmy Sands


Why do we Commemorate 1916?
Liam O Ruairc


I Don't Get Angry Anymore
Anthony McIntyre


Imperialism It Is
Davy Carlin


Dispose of "Killer Peaceniks" and Distribute Space-Age Prosthetics to the Rest?

Karen Lyden Cox




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The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
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