The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Who Is Still Here?

In revolution there are two types of people:
those who make it and those who profit from it.
- Napoleon I

Brendan Hughes • 22 January 2002

It is easy to lift a gun. It is even easy to fire it. When you see the body of a 17-18 year old it is not so easy.

We were young. They were young too. The British Government sent them onto the streets of Belfast. The IRA sent us out to oppose them. I took no pleasure seeing a young Englisman lying on the street. But I admit to taking pleasure from taking on the might of the British Empire.

Most of the kids who died here knew nothing of why they were here. The bulk of them came from poor working class families just like our own. I remember one time in McDonnell Street a young British soldier had been left behind by his foot patrol. He was only 18. I was not at the scene but soon received word that the IRA had captured a British soldier and were holding him captive. In those days we did not have radio communication. By the time I arrived at McDonnell Street the 18 year old soldier was already dead. He had been shot dead by a 17 year old IRA volunteer. I regret to this day that I was unable to stop his death.

We had no desire to kill kids whether in uniform or not. But it was kids who fought this war on both the British and Irish sides. I was never filled with hatred for other human beings. I did not hate the English people. I hated what the British Government did to my country.

Today I left my flat which is situated near the top of the high rise complex in which I live. When I reached the ground floor I met three armed British soldiers waiting to take over the lift. No one is allowed to use our lift when the British soldiers change guard. But the lift was put there for the residents not an occupying army.

It is not easy to swallow it. If you live in London or New York, could you feel indifferent, if you were to walk out of your home to be confronted by a number of armed foreigners who insist on telling you what you may and may not do? I don't think so.

As I walked up the Falls and past the commemorative garden built to honour the dead volunteers who had given their lives resisting the repression inflicted by the British Army I thought to myself that despite all the promises and new arrangements, the British hadn't gone away, you know.










































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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles


17 February 2007

Brendan Hughes
Archive Material

6 February 2008

Other Articles From This Issue:

Was it a War?
Michael Gillespie

Impossible Task for Truth Body
David Adams

Pandora's Box
John Kennedy

Villians of the Peace
Mick Hall

India's Undeclared War
Cedric Gouverneur

Borders Exist to be Crossed: Maryam Namazie
Anthony McIntyre

That This House Believes That Irish Republicanism Has No Future: Opposed
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Dismantling Partition
32 County Sovereignty Movement

We Shall Not Be Deterred
Brian Mór

Martin Meehan
Anthony McIntyre

Washington Pressure on Dodds
Fr Sean Mc Manus

No Pope Here
Brian Mór

Fundamental Primer
Dr John Coulter

Internal Exiles
Seaghán Ó Murchú

14 January 2008

Republicanism...Alive or Dying?
Anthony McIntyre

Pillocks of the Community
John Kennedy

Irish Unity Cannot Be Ruled Out
David Adams

A Great Republican and a Great Man
Aine Doherty

John Kelly
Anthony McIntyre

How Urgent the Need?
John Kelly, from an interview with Liam Clarke

My Grandfather's Insurgency
Eoghan O'Suilleabhain

Kitsonian Success With the Provos...?
Liam O Comain

McGuinness Takes the Finland!
John Kennedy

Provisional Sinn Fein - Don't Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater
Jerry Pepin

John Kennedy

Operation Helvetic: To Be Expected
Michael Gillespie

Hung Out to Dry
John Kennedy

Re-Imagining Ireland
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission
Mick Hall

One Armed Bandit
John Kennedy

Terrorism and Leftism
Paddy Hackett

Power to the People
John Kennedy



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