Part 2


The burning of effigies of Guy Fawkes on 5th of November did not arise from the spontaneous delight of the English masses at the failure of the Gunpowder Plot.

It was done in obedience to a Parliamentary Decree which was still in force until 1868 in the life of my paternal grandfather. In the more backward parts of England such as Lewes in Suffolk effigies of the Pope are still burned.

The Monument in London’s Pudding Lane  commemorating the Great Fire of London was erected by order of Paliament. In 1681
it was inscribed with the lie that the fire had been started by Catholics and the inscription remained until 1830 when it was acknowledged that it was false. It was Inspired by the liar Titus Oates, one of whose victims was St Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop
of Armagh.

Anti-Catholicism is not, in my experience much of a force in London these days (except amongst recently departed brethren/sistern and old boilers). Some of the most obnoxious politicians who removed child benefits from third and subsequent children,  and who think food banks alleviate poverty  profess to being observant Catholics.

There’s a village in the West of England where the yokels annually murder Hugh O’Neill, who died in his bed in Rome in 1616. I don’t know who started that game as British Intelligence was well aware of the fact but had not percolated to that village.

In Ireland the Army has a holiday on 11 July  -La na bhFhiann to commemorate Britain’s suing for peace in 1921 but I’m unaware any ceremonies connected with it.

I believe the Army still lays wreaths at Arbour Hill and on the grave of Wolfe Tone. But there are no statewide public commemorations on the scale of Remembrance Sunday in the UK.

I don’t know whether UCD commemorates Kevin Barry, a student there executed by the British in 1920. Or whether Barry has become an embarrassment to them like Saint Henry Newman. Commandant Dick McKee, Vice-Commandant Peadar Clancy and the civilian Conor Clune, done to death by the British in the Guard House in Dublin Castle on 21 November 1921 used be commemorated by a parade from the Castle by a saluting base on the City Hall by the part-time FCA  Army Reserve. Veterans of the Dublin Brigade used attend in the Castle Yard. I considered it an honour to be part of a commemoration with those men, many of whom were quite a bit younger than I am now. I was never persuaded by Kevin Myers  Dr Ruth Dudley-Edwards,  Seumas Murphy SJ or other charlatans that Barry, McKee or Clancy were criminals, deluded fools or fanatics.

The British Legion marched in Dublin on Commemoration Sunday, often very provocatively, according to Garda Chief Eoin O’Duffy in the 1920s and the last I heard of them together with members of Ireland’s Defence Forces. At least once they marched
in amity with the Dublin Branch of the British Union of Fascists. The Defence Forces no longer Commemorate McKee, Clancy and Clune.   The Three Manchester Martyrs, William Allen, Michael Larkin and Michael O’Brien hanged on 23rd November 1867 were commemorated by the Irish world wide and the cry “God Save Ireland” , given by one of them when sentenced to death, soon became the title of our National Anthem until superseded by Amhran na bhFhiann after the 1916 Rising.

A Manchester resident, Friederich Engels  wrote to his friend, Karl Marx the day following the hanging – 

“All the Fenians needed was martyrs. These they have been presented with……..Through the execution of these men the liberation of Kelly and Deasy has been made an act of heroism which will be sung over the cradle of every Irish child……The Irish women will take care of that. The only instance of an execution for a similar act is   that of John Brown after Harper’s Ferry. The Fenians could not hope for a better precedent…….Louis Napoleon ……at the head of his
band ofadventuers at Boulogne (1840) shot the officer on duty……For this the English Queen kissed Napoleon’s face,while the English aristocracy and bourgeoisie kissed his backside.”                                                                                                                                                                                      
In November 1919 the annual Manchester Martyrs Commemoration in Cork City was Proscribed by Britain’s usurping “Authority” there and the route of the Volunteers’ March was barred by British troops with machine-guns and an open  touring car carrying District Inspector Swanzy of the RIC. A youngster jumped up on the running-board and slapped Swanzy in the chops.

The march immediately sought cover, behind which one Volunteer with a revolver aimed at Swanzy and would have taken him out if the troops had opened fire. Four months later RIC men under Swanzy’s command murdered Lord Mayor Tomas MacCurtain in his home in front of his wife and children.

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