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Young readers may be surprised to learn that writing ballocks about Sinn Fein did not originate in the Irish Times or the Sunday Independent or in the scriptorium of Seamus Murphy SJ  or even in the Episcopal Residence of the Church of Ireland Primate in Dublin, Michael Jackson.

It must be nearly sixty-five years since I first read the illiterate headline above and the article printed under it in a magazine which, even then, was thirty-five years old. The magazine was THE ENGLISH REVIEW and the piece was by one Major Stuart-Stephens. It was dated MAY 1916 but it had obviously gone to print before the Insurrection.

I reacquainted myself with the magazine and the article in the British Library recently and for good measure read “HOW I FORETOLD THE SINN FEIN REBELLION” by Major Darnley-Stuart-Stephens in  the JUNE 1916 issue.

The double-barrelled or triple-barrelled gentleman was a tiresome and boastful writer and had apparently hanged black men in Nigeria, been involved in trying to blacken Michael Davitt in the 1880s and had met Lord Salisbury at that time. It seems too that he had blotted his copybook when a Captain and been cashiered before resuming his career.Though it seems he was born in Dublin his contempt for Ireland- “Patland” exuded from his every pore. It seems too that he had been exposed to an education of sorts but  not quite absorbed it.

Darnley-Stuart-Stephens claimed to have predicted both the date of the 1916 Rising (having seen, three days before it, a letter written by John Devoy in Brooklyn) and warned the British Government. For good measure he claimed to have  previously told that Government that “the world-war would be inaugurated on August Bank Holiday 1914.”

He writes under ‘The Sinn Fein Inner Circle: Its Oath’ :

“The entire history of Irish revolutionary secret societies is associated with the fact, more than once illustrated in Ireland in a sanguinary manner, that they invariably include inner circles which stop at no crime to attain their purposes.The most extreme section of the Sinn Fein is known, within the ranks of the organisation, as the Cumann Na Gadhael. The membership of its branches or sections in numerically small, particular care being taken to the antecedents of those admitted. Each member has his particular number, which he gives as a password before being admitted to any of the meetings of the inner circle.”

The paragraph then meanders in its prolix, verbose way before quoting the alleged oath:

“I,——–hereby solemnly swear and make oath, before the Most High God, before whom I expect to be judged, that I will seek out and leave no means untried to exterminate, as foes of the liberty of my country, any West Briton or West Britons who shall induce my fellow-countrymen to enlist in the army of England.”

The long-windedness of the oath is in keeping with the long-windedness of Major Darnley-Stuart-Stephens, though its sentiments are, to this citizen, sound enough.

But Sinn Fein has never been an oath-bound nor a secret society.

I had intended posting this blog earlier, but kept it until there was no chance of extracts being used out of context  by ruthless or even Ruth-Full commentators during the recent General Election campaign.




5 Responses to THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE SINN FEIN by Donal Kennedy

  1. Donal Kennedy February 29, 2016 at 10:04 am #


    I remembered that illiteracy for nearly 65 years.

    The piece also referred to THE CUMANN NA GADHAEL (sic)

  2. Paul February 29, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    Then there’s the extraordinarily lengthy oath that some unionists still claim all Shinners take that calls for the tireless extermination of all enemies of the Pope etc etc. That’s a good one!

  3. Paul February 29, 2016 at 10:18 am #

    Lol, copied from an Orange Lodge website. If you’re going to take this oath, better bring a packed lunch

    The Sinn Fein Oath

    I swear by Almighty God, by all Heaven, by the Holy and Blessed Prayer Book, of the Roman Catholic Church, by the Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God, by her bitter tears and wailings, by St. Patrick, our Blessed and adorable Host, the Rosary, to fight until we die wading in the field of Red Gore of the Saxon tyrants and murderers of our glorious nationality, if spared to fight until not a single trace is left to tell that the Holy Soil of Ireland were trodden by these Heretics. Also these Protestant robbers and Brutes, these unbelievers of our Faith, will be driven like the swine they are into the sea, by fire, the knife or by Poison Cup until we of the Catholic Faith and avowed supporters of the Sinn Fein Action and Principles, clear these Heretics from our lands.

    Age is not to be considered in our Blessed Deeds of extermination of Brutes who in the Past Ages robbed many of our Blessed Churches. We must shed streams of Blood of these tyrants to again claim our Holy places. Report to our Blessed Priests regularly upon all works and business transaction of any kind.

    At any cost we must work in secret, using any method of Deception to gain our ends, towards the destruction of all Protestants and the advance of the Priesthood and the Catholic Faith until the Pope is complete ruler of the whole World.

    Our beloved Ireland has been held in chains by these cursed foreign Tyrants for ages, now we can see the end of their Power.

    We must strike at every opportunity using all methods of causing ill-feeling within the Protestant Ranks, and in their Business. The employment of any means will be Blessed by our earthly Fathers the Priests, thrice Blessed by His Holiness the Pope.

    Scotland must also be swept clean of their accursed beliefs by the extermination of all Masonic and all such bodies, as do not accept our Creed must Perish, as before the days of the accursed Reformation.

    So shall we of the Roman Catholic Church and Faith destroy with smiles and Thanksgiving to our Holy Father the Pope all who reject our beliefs.

    So help me God.

    • Jude Collins February 29, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

      C’est magnifique! By the time they’d got through that, they’d be ready for a sabbatical from slaughter…

  4. ANOTHER JUDE February 29, 2016 at 11:10 pm #

    The scary thing is some Protestants believe that.