The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Denigration of Heroes

Proinsias O'Loinsaigh

It seems that it is becoming rather fashionable for reporters, imaginative writers and other assorted people of dubious letters to publish works that allegedly reveal the "inside story" of the Irish Republican Army.

In dealing with the machinations of the politicians and the leadership, these revelations may well be fairly accurate, for who can say what men will do in their secret hearts.

The Volunteer, or ordinary soldier, is an entirely different species and must not be included in the various appreciations of the I.R.A.

Since these men and women are, in fact, the I.R.A., such a statement may appear to be nonsensical.

If, however, it is considered that the people who did the actual fighting had no say in the policy of Sinn Fein and had no influence upon the leadership, then my observation makes perfect sense.

The unshakable courage of these heroes is an undeniable fact.

They followed, without hesitation, in the fatal footsteps of their gallant forebears, and for the same reason.

They fought against almost insurmountable forces and on three fronts.

They were well aware that there would be no medals, no lionising of their persons, no recognition of their individual feats and that, in all probability only in death would their existence be acknowledged.

In the history of the world, it has fallen to a small number of brave men and women to take up arms in defence of their people and their principles.

In most such arenas, the vast majority of the populace does nothing.

They bewail their fate and rail against their rulers but do nothing.

They curse their lot and fume against the system but do nothing.

The people of action do something.

Whether he be an Irishman in Ireland, a Palestinian in Palestine, a Zulu in Zululand or a Celt in Ancient Britain, any man or woman, boy or girl who takes up arms against an invader, a despot, an overlord or any other of the myriad armed blackguards who have infested this world since the dawn of time, is a real and genuine hero.

The unpalatable fact that most of such people will be defeated by treachery, by shallow, cowardly and self-seeking leaders or by cunning and duplicitous enemies cannot detract from their unmitigated courage and faith in the righteousness of their cause.

The opportunity to go forth and put life and liberty on the line has arisen in many nations many times.

Very few have possessed the courage to answer the call.

Ireland is fortunate in that she owns a great tradition of personal and national bravery.

She also has generational ladder upon each rung of which resides a kernel of new and fresh patriots who will not let the torch fall or be extinguished.

No matter how often the struggle for a United and Independent Ireland is halted by unworthy and treacherous men, it will not be given up.

No man can ever debase the fight for Irish Unity or denigrate those great Volunteers who fought, and may fight again for that noble cause.

Papers may be signed, politicians may be bought, bribed and cowed but the true heart of the Irish Republican Army, in whatever form it may appear in time to come, will beat on.




Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

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

25 March 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Fitting Ireland into Foreign Moulds
Paul Dunne


Republican Not Bandit Country
Anthony McIntyre


Denigration of Heroes

Proinsias O'Loinsaigh


Dodging Double Dicks at the Freak Dance
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain


Bombing Baghdad Rather than Ankara
Anthony McIntyre


21 March 2003

War In Our Time But Not In Our Name
Anthony McIntyre


Belfast Schools Against War
Davy Carlin


Not Your Father's Socialism

Kevin Donegan


Disturbing Secrets
Liam O Ruairc



The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices