Irish Examiner.com

Martin to urge lung transplant for Billy
--By Evelyn Ring

HEALTH Minister Mícheál Martin is to urge surgeons involved in Ireland's transplant programme to give a lung transplant to a young man struggling to stay alive.

Billy Burke, from Killorglin, Co Kerry, who has cystic fibrosis, says he has been denied a double organ transplant as a result of a Government agreement with a British hospital.

"Irish patients are being left to die because of this situation and I am not about to lie down and become a casualty of this bureaucracy. I have fought too long and too hard to be allowed to die over something as stupid as this," the 29-year-old said yesterday.

Mr Burke has been waiting three-and-a-half years for the life-saving transplant but over a year ago was taken off the waiting list at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle after developing a lung infection.

A Manchester hospital has offered to carry out the transplant but Newcastle, which has 'first call' on donated Irish lungs, has not released organs for Mr Burke.

Department of Health officials will attend a meeting to review Ireland's transplant agreement with the Freeman Hospital in Dublin next Friday.

The meeting will be attended by clinicians and administrators from Beaumont Hospital, who co-ordinate Ireland's transplant programme, the Mater Hospital, where the country's first lung transplant is to be conducted, and the Freeman Hospital. Newcastle's hospital has conducted 47 lung transplants on Irish patients since 1999.

Mr Martin said that, on a human level, Mr Burke's case was one of the toughest he had encountered during his political career.

"I sympathise with the minister but I have to fight my corner too," said Mr Burke, who is on an oxygen machine 24 hours a day. "For me, every day is a struggle."

Mr Burke has accused Newcastle of "cherry-picking" patients, and said they should no longer be in control of who gets a transplant. He said that responsibility should be handed over to the Mater Hospital.

Mr Burke was told four years ago he only had a year to live.

"I have beaten all the odds to come this far but I don't know how long I will be able to keep going," he said.

Irish organs should follow Irish patients, irrespective of which hospital carries out the operation, said Mr Burke, who described his outlook as very bleak.

"And it's not just me," he said.

"My name is being put forward but there are a lot of people like me all over Ireland who are not happy with the service they are getting from Newcastle.

"It has to be sorted out. Newcastle is playing God with Irish lives," said Mr Burke.

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Man in murder inquiry released

Man in murder inquiry released

A 45-year-old man arrested in Belfast on suspicion of murder has been released without charge.
The man had been detained on the Grosvenor Road in the west of the city shortly before 1430 BST on Friday under the Terrorism Act 2000.

The arrest was in connection with the killing of Reserve Police Constable Colin Carson in Cookstown, County Tyrone in 1983.

He was released on Saturday after questioning at Antrim police station.

The police say a file on the matter will be sent to the director of public prosecutions.

ON THIS DAY | 10 | 1981: Hunger striker elected MP

ON THIS DAY | 10 | 1981: Hunger striker elected MP

1981: Hunger Striker elected MP

Imprisoned IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands has been elected to Westminster as the MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.
Sands stood as a candidate of the "Anti-H Block" campaign - the section of the Maze prison in Belfast reserved for republicans and loyalists convicted of terrorist offences.

He won just over 52% of the vote in the Northern Ireland by-election compared to 49% for the candidate of the Official Unionist party, Harry West.

Sands' winning margin was 1,400 but over 3,000 ballot papers were spoiled.

Recriminations have already begun over his victory.

Unionist parties have come under fire for not mounting an effective challenge.

There has also been sharp criticism of the failure of the moderate Catholic Social Democratic and Labour Party to contest the seat.

Many believe the absence of an alternative Catholic candidate ensured victory for Sands in a seat with a Catholic majority.

Bobby Sands' election agent, Owen Carron, said the British Government had been sent a message.

"The nationalist people have voted against Unionism and against the H blocks.

"It is time Britain got out of Ireland and put an end to the torture of this country," he said.

Sands, 27, has served four years of a 14-year sentence for possessing firearms.

He began his hunger strike 41 days ago to press the republican prisoners' claim to be treated as prisoners of war.

The government must now decide how to respond to Bobby Sands' victory.

It could try to have him expelled on the grounds that he is an "unacceptable member".

However, unless he starts to eat again, Sands is not expected to live for more than another few weeks.

He has already lost two stone and is too weak to leave his bed in the prison's hospital wing.

Bobby Sands Trust

Bobby Sands Trust

On 10 April 1981, Bobby Sands is elected to a seat in the british parliament in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election.

On March 23rd Bobby was moved to prison hospital due to his weakening condition.

On March 30th, he was nominated as candidate for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, caused by the sudden death of Frank Maguire, an independent MP who supported the prisoners' cause.
The next morning, day 31 of his hunger-strike, he was visited by Owen Carron, who acted as his election agent. Owen told of that first visit "Instead of meeting that young man of the poster with long hair and a fresh face, even at that time when Bobby wasn't too bad he was radically changed. He was very thin and bony and his hair was cut short."
Bobby had no illusions with regard to his election victory. His reaction was not one of over-optimism. After the result was announced Owen visited Bobby. "He had already heard the result on the radio. He was in good form alright but he always used to keep saying, 'In my position you can't afford to be optimistic.' In other words, he didn't take it that because he'd won an election that his life would be saved. He thought that the Brits would need their pound of flesh. I think he was always working on the premise that he would have to die."

Irish Echo Online - News

Sean Mackin arrested in Belfast

Sean Mackin.
Leading NY Irish republican charged with '83 murder
By Anne Cadwallader

BELFAST, April 9 -- Sean Mackin, a well-known Irish republican and fundraiser for Friends of Sinn Fein and a New York resident for many years, was arrested in Belfast today and charged with murder.

Sinn Fein has demanded the immediate release of Mackin and has contacted the US consulate in Belfast to protest his arrest. The police allegedly beat Mackin as he was being arrested.

A spokesperson for the Police Service of Northern Ireland would say only that: "a 45-year-old man was arrested by uniformed officers on suspicion of murder at Grosvenor Road, west Belfast, at 2.30."

"He was taken to the Antrim Serious Crimes Suite for questioning." Mackin is being held under the Terrorism Act 2000. Sinn Fein, family and friends of Mackin confirmed that he had been arrested.

The murder in question is believed to be that of Reserve Constable Colin Carson, killed in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, on May 26, 1983.

Mackin, who is a US citizen, was allegedly dragged from a car and punched by police officers during the arrest operation on Friday on the Grosvenor Road in west Belfast. Sinn Fein said a child witnessed the arrest and that Mackin had shouted, "Run to Roisin's" (a reference to his sister's house nearby).

When his sister contacted the police, according to Sinn Fein, they denied they had him in custody. When a solicitor contacted the police some time later, they confirmed they had Mackin in custody in Antrim.

Sinn Fein said there was outrage in the area at Mackin's arrest. A spokesman said he was a frequent and open visitor to the area and had never been arrested before.

Mackin is believed to have been a member of the INLA for many years before he moved to the U.S.

Sinn Féin's policing spokesperson, Gerry Kelly, demanded Mackin's immediate release whom he described as a political refugee.

Kelly said, "Sean Mackin was visiting family in west Belfast as he has often done in the past when he was trailed from his car in the Roden Street area, assaulted and bundled into an unmarked PSNI vehicle."

"This vindictive arrest is outrageous and I am demanding the immediate release of Sean Mackin. Sinn Féin has been in contact with the US Consulate regarding this very serious matter."

"This action coming in the week when evidence of the Special Branch involvement in various criminal activities including murder was unveiled by Judge Cory is further evidence of the influence of the old regime over current policing arrangements."

This story appeared in the issue of April 7-13, 2004

Ciaran Ferry Legal Defense Fund

* Ciarán Ferry has been illegally
imprisoned by the U.S. Government
for 436 days . *

Easter Rising - 1916


At four minutes past noon on Easter Monday, April 24th, 1916, a sudden hush fell over the O’Connell Street. From the steps of the General Post Office Patrick Pearse read the Proclamation of the Republic.

When Pearse finished, the beaming Connolly took his hand and shook it vigorously. A few ragged cheers hung in the air, but the poet, Stephen McKenna, who listened to Pearse read these words, recorded later that he felt sad for him, for the response from the crowd was chilling. There were no wild hurrahs, no scenes reminiscent of the excitement which had gripped the French mob before they stormed the Bastille. The Irish simply listened and shrugged their shoulders, or sniggered a little, and then glanced round to see if the police were coming.

Nearby young insurgents were posting copies of the Proclamation, or handing them round among the crowd. One copy, weighted down with stones, was placed on the ground at the foot of Nelson Pillar so that everybody could read it.

Slowly the crowd broke up. Some strolled across to the Pillar, where they idly read the Proclamation; others just stood and stared up at the unfamiliar flags (the green flag on the left at the corner of Princes Street and the Tricolor on the right at the corner of Henry Stree) from the roof of the G.P.O. Quite a few, bored with the whole affair, simply turned and wandered away.

Part of the lack of interest came from actions that had occurred from a rift in the organization. During Holy Week, when Eoin MacNeill got word of the Rising, MacDiarmada with other leaders did their best to persuade MacNeill to agree it it. Late on Holy Saturday night MacDiarmada got word of MacNeill's Countermanding Order appearing in the "Sunday Independent" (Note*** MacNeill did not agree with the Rising and knew that the practice maneuvers of the Irish Volunteers planned for Easter Sunday was a cover for an uprising. He sent messengers all over Ireland to tell the Volunteers to do nothing on Easter Sunday, and he published a cancellation notice in the Sunday Independent, with this action he effectively doomed the uprising to failure***)

A conference between Pearse, Plunkett, and Dermot Lynch was called, but Connolly, Clarke and Ceannt, couldn't be reached so the meeting was adjourned, and they all met at Liberty Hall at 8 a.m.

All members of the Military Council were at the 2nd meeting, it lasted till 1 am Easter Sunday. The decision was made to take action on Easter Monday.

Major Participants included:

Thomas J. Clarke

Thomas James Clarke (1857-1916) was the eldest to be executed. He was born in Hurst Castle, on the Isle of Wight of Irish parents. The family emigrated to South Africa, where he spent his childhood until age 10. They then settled in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone. He went to the USA at twenty one where he joined the Clan na Gael, the American wing of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). After being sent to England on a dynamiting mission in 1883, he was arrested and sentenced to penal servitude for life but was released in 1898. He returned to Ireland and was made a freeman of the city of Limerick. Unable to get work in Ireland, he emigrated to the USA again in 1899 and married Kathleen Daly (1878-1972) and became an American citizen at Brooklyn 2 Nov 1905. He returned to Ireland in 1907 and opened a tobacconist’s and newsagent's shop at 75A Great Britain Street (now Parnell Street) that was a center of the IRB organization for the next decade. He published Irish Freedom, a militant anti-English journal in 1910 with Sean Mac Diarmada as manager. He organized a pilgrimage to Wolfe Tone’s grave at Bodenstown, Co. Kildare, as a counter to a royal visit of the new king of England, George V in 1912. He was elected to the IRB Supreme Council and urged the setting up of a Military Council in 1915 to plan a rising. He served in the General Post Office and, at the request of the other leaders, was the first to sign the Proclamation of the Republic. He was executed 3 May 1916.


Sean MacDiermada

"Sean MacDiarmada was one of the greatest of the Easter Week leaders. He was not a writer, though he did manage a newspaper. He was so quiet and unasssuming that he tends to be forgotten. Yet he was one of the greatest Irishmen that ever lived.

MacDiarmada was Tom Clarke's close friend. Clarke had completed one of his 15 years.... in English jails when Sean MacDiarmada was born in Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim, in the year 1884. Like Clarke, he ran away from home when he was only a boy - just 15. He arrived in Glasgow in search of employment with only a few shillings in his pocket, and was lucky to have an uncle living in that city.

His uncle was a gardener and for a time Sean worked with him, but gave up gardening to become a conductor on the Glasgow trams. Here he worked for 12 months, and stayed altogether 2 years in Glasgow.

Then he returned to Ireland and went to Belfast, where he worked for a time as a tram conductor, and later as a barman. In Belfast he joined the Ancient Order of Hibernians closely associated with the Irish Parliamentary Party. The AOH were considered as the custodians of Irish nationalism, but MacDiarmada did not remain long a member of the Order.

Soon after settling in Belfast he joined the local branch of the Gaelic League and became a fine Irish speaker. It was in the Gaelic League that he came into contact with such men as Denis MacCullagh, Sean MacGarry and Bulmer Hobson, who were then leading the secret Republican organisations, the IRB, and working through an open polical organisation called Cumann na nGael, an advanced policial movement which advocated Republicanism.

Mac Diarmada's personal charm and sincerity, and his capacity for hard work, made him the obvious choice of the IRB to organise a further extension of republican formations, when they launched the Dungannon clubs about the beginning of the present century.

His success as organiser resulted in an invitation to join the Belfast Circle of the Irish Republican Brotherbood. This was in 1906, 10 years before the Rising. When he took the IRB oath he was already a member of Arthur Griffith's Sin Fein organisation, and in 1906 was one of the delegates from Belfast to the Sinn Fein annual convention in Dublin. Sean MacDiarmada was a member of the secret military Council which planned the rising and, as such, held a position of great importance and trust.

At that time he was only 22, but his speech at the convention made a deep impression. He is described as a "striking handsome, and earnest, speaking with natural eloquence and with a sincerity which held his audience, gay and light-hearted with a gift of telling a humorous story and a tongue that was witty without being malicisous."

Mac Diarmada's association with Sinn Fein did not last very long, as his main concern was to spread the IRB throughout the country; but it lasted long enough for him to take part in the first parliamentary election at which a Sinn Fein candidate stood.

That was in North Leitrim, his native county. The year was 1907. MacDiarmada put in many months of strenuous week-end campaining; indeed the whole direction of the campaign devolved upon him. Day and night he canvassed from door to t door, and mile after mile he trudged across the Leitrim mountains in all kinds of weather.

The Sinn Fein candidate was CHARLES DOLAN, who only died recently and one of the speakers on the Sinn Fein platform during that election was MISS ANNA PARNELL, sister of CHARLES STEWART PARNELL. She and Sean MacDiarmada addressed many meetings together advocating the new idea that 'the elected representatives should not attend the British Parliament at Westminster.'

The result of the election was a complete defeat for DOLAN, the Sinn Fein candidate. Sin Fein's day had not yet come. It took 1916 to awaken the people and when Count Plunkett was elected as Sinn Fein M.P. for Roscommon in 1917, Sean MacDiarmada was in his quicklime grave at Arbour Hill.

But the seeds he had sown in Leitrim in those early days had borne fruit, and his death bore testimony to Pearse's famous :'Life springs from death, and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations.'

The hardships he endured during the Leitrim elections campaign brought on the attack of polio (in 1912) from which he recovered, but which left him lame for the rest of his life. After rising from a sick bed where he had been for nearly nine months, MacDiarmada always carried a stick to help him to walk. He carried this stick into the G.P.O. on Easter Monday, 1916.

Sean MacDiarmada fought in the G.P.O., where he was attached to the headquarters staff under James Connolly. It was Sean MacDiarmada that read Padraig Pearse's letter of surrender to those in the G.P.O.

After the surrender The G.P.O. garrison was huddled together on the grass patch outside the Rotunda Hospital, surrounded by a ring of British bayonets.

Some of them were to face the firing squad, others to cross the sea to foreign prisons, others to fight again on the hillsdies with the flying columns of 1920-21. Men in civiliam clothes darted in and out throught the huddled groups, spying and spotting.

Suddenly one of them would stop in front of a row of men, and say "Take him". The British would take another prisoner, and the prisoners thus taken were marked for the execution squad. The British did not know the leaders. Their Irish detectives did.

One of the prisoners sitting on the grass patch was MacDiarmada, early that day he had been insulted by a sneering Bristich officer who remarked: "Do the Sinn Feiners take cripples in their army?"

Towards evening the spotters returned. This time they picked out the man with the stick. It was late at night when they picked him out; a detective put his hand on MacDiarmada's shoulder, he knew him and knew his position in the movement. He remarked to the officer - "the most dangerous man after Clarke."

Sean MacDiarmada was executed on May 12, 1916, the same day as James Connolly. They were the last two to face the firing squad.

What of the "detective"? The men who came back from the British internment camps to reorganise the IRB and to put the IRA flying columns on the hillsides were led by one of MacDiarmada's greatest friends, MICHAEL COLLINS. At the height of the Tan war in 1920 the active service unit of the Dublin Brigade shot this detective.

Sean MacDiarmada was a transport worker, a tram man, and to perpetuate his memory the bus depot at Store Street, Dublin was named after him - Arus Mac Diarmada.


Thomas MacDonagh

Thomas MacDonagh (1878-1916): born in County Tipperary; educated at Rockwell College and University College, Dublin; joined the Gaelic League, 1901; assisted Pearse in the foundation of St. Enda’s, 1908; When the Dawn is Come, produced at the Abbey, 1908 and Metempsychosis, by the Theatre of Ireland, 1912; Assistant Lecturer at University College, Dublin, 1911; co-founded the Irish Review, 1911, and the Itish Theatre, 1914; founder member of the Irish Volunteers, 1913, and its Director of Training, 1914; organized the O’Donovan Rossa funeral, 1915; signatory to the Proclamation; executed Kilmainham, 3 May 1916. Poetical Works and Literature in Ireland appeared posthumously, 1916.

Thomas MacDonagh was born at Cloughjordan, County Tipperary, 1878. His father was from Roscommon and his mother from Dublin. His parents were teachers. He inherited his love of music from his mother and his love of Ireland from his father.

He came from a large family of which four sons became famous -
Thomas - poet, plarywright, teacher, soldier and signatory of the 1916 Proclamation proclaiming an Irish Republic.
Joseph - Sinn Fein T.D. from 1918 till the Treaty an dDiector of the Belfast Boycott in 1920
John - playwright who fought in Jacob's factory with his brother, he later became Productions Director of Radio Eireann
Terrence- the youngest became a musician in England
Thomas studied to be a priest at Rockwell College, Cashel. Realizing that was not for him, he left for France turning to the teaching profession. He taught Latin, English and French at Colman's College in Fermoy,Cork.

"Above all things MacDonagh hated prejudice or bigotry. When people sneered at the Irish language, and at the attempts to revive it, their sneers had the effect of making Thomas MacDonagh learn it." He went on to become a well known Gaelic scholar.

As Pearse did, MacDonagh also went to the west of Ireland to learn Gaelic among the native speakers. He visited the Aran Islands each year. Because of his easy manner, and great wit he made many friends in the Aran Islands. He had a good singing voice and enjoyed singing French folk songs and Irish traditional ballads. His love of Irish traditional ballads was carried on by his son Donagh who is a well know singerm,(also district justice and author)

MacDonagh was known in the Aran Islands as "Fear an Rothar" the man with the bicycle. He was the first person to bring a bike to the Aran Islands. It was in the Aran Islands that Pearse and MacDonagh met.

MacDonagh taught at St. Enda's School (Pearse's bilingual school). He lived in the gatehouse attached to his friend Professor David Hueston. His home was popular with poets and writers of the time - padraic Colum, James Stephens, Joseph Plunkett, Seamus 0'Sullivan, Yeats, George Russell (A.E.) and James Joyce.

He edited the Irish Review with Joseph Plunkett and helped found the Edward Martyn Irish Theater in 1914.

Thomas MacDonagh commanded the garrison at Jacob's Biscuit Factory and all the forces in Stephens Green, the College of Surgeon's and Harcourt Street Station. His second in command was Michael Mallin, and one of his chief operation officers was the Countess Markievicz, who operated from the College of Surgeions with Mallin.

He was married to Muriel Gifford and they had two children Barbara and Donagh. Muriel was was tragically drowned a few months after his execution.

His sister-in-law married Joseph Plunkett just minutes before Plunkett was executed.

When MacDonagh laid down his arms at the time of surrender, he said he "would give anything to see Muriel once more". When somebody offered to go for Muriel, he declined, not wanting his wife to see and remember what the area looked like during defeat.

He was executed at 3:30 am May 3. His wife had not been able to reach him, but his sister, a nun was able to see him shortly before his death. When his sister entered the cell and saw that was no water, she asked the guard for some water, the guard, acting under orders refused the request. His sister gave him a rosary that had belonged to their mother, she said she wished that after his death that they would return the rosary to her. As MacDonagh put the rosary around his neck he said no, "they will shoot it to bits" . Only four beads were shot away, and his sister did eventually receive the rosary.

In his final letter to his wife written a few hours before his death he said" I am ready to die, and I thank God that I am to die in so a holy a cause. My country will reward my deed richly. I counted the cost of this, and I am ready to pay it."


Padraic H. Pearse

Patrick Henry Pearse, (Padraic Mac Piarais, as he signed his name) the Commander in chief of all the Republican forces in the field during Easter Week, wrote the Proclamation of the Irish Republic that he read from the steps of the G.P.O on Easter Monday. He was elected President of the Provisional Government of Ireland.

Without Patrick Pearse and James Connolly..."it is doubtful whether there would have been an insurrection at all, and without them most certainly, the insurrection in defeat would not have made so terrific and revolutionary an impact on the popular imagination. Pearse had travelled the road to insurrection through his Gaelic idealism. He had been the educationalist of the Gaeilic League. He became the orator of the Irish Volunteer movement, an orator of ultimate revolution, and his power of gripping the rank and file of the Volunteers was due to his mastery of the language, his sincerity, his personality, his fire. He joined the I.R.B. in 1913, 5 months before the Irish Volunteers began. Until then he had been very critical of secret organisations and that one particularly. He regarded himself, with some justice, as a more dangerous revolutionary than most other men in Irland, inside or out of any organization. What he really sought, as his writings are evidence, was an armed popular and disciplined movement with a more persuasive popular propaganda than that prevailing in the somewhat arid and circumscribed circles of both Sinn Fein and the I.R.b. What he really wanted he found, like his friend and colleage, Thomas MacDoangh in the Irsih Volunteer movement. Pearse had the power of the enkindling word. He could persuade, convince, inspire."

From THE RISING by Desmond Ryan

"Padraic Pearse was born on November 10, 1879 at 27 Brunswick Street, today Pearse Street. From the baptismal records the family name was then spelled Pierce. His father was James Pearse, a native of Devonshire, that southern English county where the Celts of Britain are still unabsorbed. He settled in Dublin and was a sculptor. His mother was Margaret Brady Pearse. Margaret Brady was the second wife of James Pearse." From the Life of Pearse by Desmond Ryan

Pearse's "biography may be summed up as the accomplishment of the three wishes he often expressed before even Sir Edward Carson dreamed of arms: To edit a bilingual paper, to found a bilingual secondary school, to start a revolution. ...the only tragedy in P.H. Pearse's case was the resolute and enthusiastic pursuit of a conviction.

Remarkably few faults marred his character. ....as one may write who saw him in his own home, in every mood and vicissitude, as a teacher, a writer, a propagandist, a captain, he was a perfect man, whose faults were the mere defects of his straight and rigid virtures.

"Pearse, like Tone, Lalor and Mitchel, belongs to the people. He was a social revolutionary as well as a national revolutionary, and never made any apology for being so.

Pearse and Connolly should not be separated for they wre complementary to each other, and on the day on which they signed the Easter Week Proclamation, their aims and objects were identical.

Pearse, it is true, came to the Republican Movement along a different road to that of Connolly. It is also true to say that like Tone, Pearse was not always a Revolutionary, a separatist, a Republican.

At the beginning he was just interested in the revival of the Irish language and in bringing back to Ireland her ancient culture and civilisation. He sought to do this through the Gaelic League, and through the foundation of St. Enda's College, which was an unique experiment in the educational field, because it was founded and conducted on the ancient traditions of the Gaelic schools of learning.

The attitude of its headmaster to the pupils was different to the attitude of other schools: the master looked upon his pupils as charges to be developed intellectually and told how to live, rather than as mere robots to be prepared for examination. Pearse tried to impart knowledge to his pupils, rather than to cram them with "Information".

Like Tone, also, on whom he seemed to model himself in many things, Padraic Pearse began his political career as a reformer rather than as a revolutionary.

In 1912, he stood on a Home Rule platform in O'Connell St. with John Redmond, and at this period of his career he was quite prepared to accept Dominion Home Rule as a settlement of the Irish question. Home Rule, of course, meant the inclusion of Ireland within the framework of the British Empire, having a local Parliament in Dublin to adminster local affairs but leaving such itmes as defence, finance and the Post Office under the control of the Imperial Parliamnet.

Pearse the man who had written "The Singer, and the Sovereign People", the author of the Separatist Idea" the Pearse who had spoken over the grave of O'Donovan Rossa, and had there given testimony to the rebirth of the Fenian faith in a new generation...that Pearse was the Pearse whom Connolly and Clarke knew and loved, and with whom they collaborated to bring about the Easter Rising.

He was educated at the Christian Brother's Schools, Westland Row, and at the old Royal University, where he took his B.A. and B.L. degrees. He only once practiced as a barrister, and that was when he defended a client who was prosecuted for having his name in Irish on his cart. The case was lost.

In 1895 Pearse joined the Gaelic League. About this time he had published several poems and essays in Irish, for even before he joined the League his Irish was perfect. He had gone regularly to the Gaeltacht for the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of the native tongue, and of the civilisation which it had once inspired.

In 1906 he was appointed editor of Cladheamh Soluis, official organ of the Gaelic League. From then until the end of 1913 when he became a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, he devoted most of his time and energy to promoting the cause of the Irish language, and to looking after the schools which he founded - St. Ednda's and St. Ita's (he had also founded a bilingual school for girls).

From the day he joined the I.R.B. in Clarke's shop on Parnell St, Pearse could no longer be considered a moderate in the political sense. Pearse's political development was almost complete at this stage, but not quite, it took the 1913 strike to awaken him to a full realization of the fact that the workers struggle for social justice was part of the nation's struggle for independence.

Padraic Pearse was one of the very few Irish intellectuals of the period who, during the great social upheaval of 1913, came out on the side of the working class. This side of Pearse is sometimes forgotten by people who wish to put a halo around his head, but who also wish to darken the light that shone from his brilliant mind on the question of social emancipation.

...."No class in the nation has rights superior to those of any other class. No class in the nation is entitled to privileges beyond any other except with the consent of the nation. The right and privilege to make laws or to administer laws does not reside in any class within the nation; it resides in the whole nation, that is, in the whole people, and can be lawfully exercised only by those to whom it is delegated, by the whole people.

...Let no man doubt who will be master in Ireland when Ireland is free. The people will be masters, the great, splendid common, sovereighn people." When the Proclamation of Easter Week came to be written, Pearse's ideals (and Connolly's which coincided to such a large degree) were written into the document. The "Sovereign People" was Pearse's last will and testament. He had achieved very mcuh more than the writing of this famous document before he took the final step.

The foundation of St. Enda's was part of the preparation for the Irish revolution, because, by this act, Pearse set out to show that a revolution in our educational system was a necessity if any national revolution was to be a success. That his pupils loved him there can be no doubt, for very many of them folowed him into the G.P.O. on Easter Monday, 1916.

One of Pearse's most famous speeches was his eulogy at the funeral of O'Donnovan Rossa who died in 1915.

"They think they have forseen everything, but the fools! the fools! the fools! they have left us our Fenian dead; and while Ireland holds these graves Ireland unfree shall never be at peace."

Pearse was the first to be singled out for execution, he was not allowed to see his mother or brother before he was executed on May 3, 1916. In his jail cell he wrote his famous poem 'Mother'.

Padraic Pearse now looms as large in Irish history as Wolfe Tone, without overshadowing Tone on whom he had modelled himself to such an extent. Indeed, if one believed in incarnation, one might be inclined to think that Tone had come back in the person of Pearse. Pearse solidified and brought to fruition the Republic which Tone's brain had conceived. That was his great deed and because of it, the Irish nation will always remember and link the names of Pearse and Tone."


Eamonn Ceannt

Eamon Ceannt (1881-1916): born in County Galway; son of a Royal Irish Constabulary officer; Clerk of the Dublin Corporation; joined the Gaelic League, 1900, becoming a member of its governing body; led Irish athletes to Rome for the jubilee of Pius X; joined Sinn Feinn, 1908; founded Dublin Pipers’ Club, 1910; joined the IRB and a founding member of the Irish Volunteers, 1913; involved in Howth gun-running, 1914; member of the IRB Supreme Council and its Military Committee, 1915; signatory to the Proclamation; executed Kilmainham, 8 May 1916.

From another source:
Eamonn Ceannt was born on September 21, 1881, in Ballymoe, County Galway. He was 10 when his family moved to Dublin. He attended the Christian Brothers School on North Richmond Street. At O'Connells School he was known as one of its most brilliant students. When he graduated from University College he went to work in the Rates Department and later was promoted to the City Treasury Office.

He was a member of the Gaelic League and and had extensive knowledge of Gaeilge and its literature.

He was quite a musician. He attended the Jubilee Celebrations held in Rome in 1908, in honor of Pope Pius X. As the Irish atheletes marched into the Roman arena to compete in the Celebrations, they were led by Eamonn Ceannt who looked quite regal playing his pipes and dressed in an 11th century Irish costume with kilts. He was 6 feet tall so presented quite a dramatic image. He played to a cheering crowd, making such a sensation that the Pope heard of his performance and summoned him for a papal appearance. When Ceannt appeared before the pope, the pope was surrounded by a group of elderly Irish priests that had been long exiled from their native land. Ceannt marched up to the pope playing "Wearing of the Green". The pope was surprised that the "wild music of the pipes moved the old Irish priests to such a state of emotion that many of them burst into tears. After the performance the Pope bestowed his Apolstolic Blessing on the piper, and on the members of the Irish athletic team."

In November 1913 Eamonn Ceannt joined the Irish Volunteers, he quickly rose in their ranks. He led his men of the 4th Dublin Battalion to Howth for the famous gund Running manoeuvre. He was also present a week later when the Volunteers landed a 2nd consignment of guns at Kilcoole, County Wicklow.

During Easter Week he was in charge of the garrison in the South Dublin Union. His second in command was Cathal Brugha. On Thursday of Easter Week, there was some confusion and after many hours of heavy bombardment a mistaken order to retreat was circulated among the troops. Brugha was badly wounded and lay unable to leave. Ceannt was mistakenly told that Brugha was dead. Brugha weak from loss of blood continue to fire upon the enemy and then suddenly the Volunteers heard the voice of Brugha singing "God Save Ireland".

In one of the most dramatic scenes of Easter Week, Eamonn Ceannt"crept on bended knees to the side of this comrade. He found him lying in a pool of his own blood. The two men embraced and Cathal said "Let us sing 'God Save Ireland', Eamonn. Then he collapsed. But he had held up the enemy's advance for 4 hours."

A newspaper report of Ceannt's surrender noted that he was "noble, almost magnificent. Even the officers and soldiers in command of the captured rebels looked on in wonder".

On Sunday, he was informed at 4 p.m. that he was to be shot at 3:45 a.m. the following morning. He requested writing materials and to see his family. The following is his letter to his wife.

"My dearest wife Aine, - Not wife, but widow before these lines reach you. I am here without hope of this world, and without fear, calmly awaiting the end. I have had Holy Communion, and Fr. Augustine has been with me, and will be back again. Dearest 'silly little Fanny!'my poor little sweetheart of how many years now? Ever my comforter, God comfort you now. What can I say? I die a noble death for Ireland's freedom. Men and women will vie with one another to shake your dear hand. Be proud of me, as I am and ever was of you. My cold exterior was but a mask. It has served me in these last days. you have a duty to me and to Ronan (their 10 year old son) - that is to live. My dying wishes are that you remember your state of heatlh. Work only as much as may be necessary, and freely accept the little attentions which in due course will be showered upon you.

You will be, you are, the wife of one of the leaders of the Revolution'. Sweeter still, you are my little child, my dearest pet, my sweetheart, of the hawthorn hedges, and summer eves. I remember all, and I banish all, so that I may die bravely. I have but one hour to live; then God's judgement, and through His infinite mercy, a place near your poor Grannie and my father and mother, and all the fine old Irish who went through the scourge of similar misfortune form this vale of tears into the Promised Land. Biodh misneach agat a stoirin mo chroidhe. Tog do cheann agus mo chroidhe. Tog do cheann agus biodh foighne agat go bfeicimid a cheile aris i bfaitis De Tusa and mise agus Ronan beag boct. - Adieu, Eamonn

Have courage the love of my heart. Take your head and my heart and have hope that we will be together again in the vision (kingdom or joy) of God.Poor you, and me and poor little Ronan.

He also wrote a letter to his son and his fellow countrymen.

On Monday morning, May 8, 1916 Eamonn Ceannt, Michael Mallin, J.J. Heuston and Cornelius Colbert were shot.

James Connolly

James Connolly (1868-1916): born in Edinburgh of Irish parents; self-educated; joined the army at fourteen; probably deserted, 1889; founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party, 1896, and the Workers’ Republic, 1898; in America, 1902-10; founded the Irish Socialist Federation in New York, published the Harp and active in International Workers of the World; Ulster organizer of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, 1910; led the workers, after Larkin’s imprisonment, in the 1913 lock-out; acting Secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union, 1914; organized the Irish Citizens Army, 1914; committed the Irish Labour movement against the Allies, 1914; military commander of the Republican forces in Dublin, 1916; signatory of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, inspiring its more socialistic clasues; executed Kilmainham, 12 May 1916. Wrote Erin’s Hope, 1897; Labour in Irish History and Labour, Nationality and Religion, 1910; The Reconquest of Ireland, 1915.

From another source:
James Connolly, member of the Provisional Government of Ireland and one of 7 signatories on the Proclamation.

He was born in County Monaghan in 1870. His parents emigrated to Edinburgh, where he became a wage earner at the age of 11. He educated himself by reading extensively. After he married, he returned to Ireland as a Socialist organizer. He edited the the first Irish Socialist paper, The Worker's Republic. He spent 1903-1910 in America organizing workers. When James Larkin, the Irish trade union pioneer, left Dublin for America in 1914, Connolly inherited both the irish Transport and General Worker's Union and the infant Citizens Army. which marched under the banner of the Stars and Plough. He was a staunch believer in women's rights and he would not tolerate any distinction, he even chose Countess Constance Markievicz,to be one of his army commanders, she was a a friend of W.B. Yeats.

While living in Belfast, Connolly helped the women workers. The owners of the Belfast mills had imposed a "rule of silence" on all the employees. "Connolly instructed the mill girls that when they were forbidden to talk while at the looms they were to break out in song and to continue singing. The girls took his advice and proved that by cooperation, and determination they could win their rights to decent conditions,end the petty tyrannies to which they were daily subjected". Taken from the Glorious Seven.

The words of the Proclamation which "Guarantee equal rights and equal opportunities to all citizens, civil and religious liberty" can be traced directly to the influence of Connolly.

James Connolly was severely wounded while fighting in the G.P.O. He was commander in chief of the Dublin forces. He was wounded twice, but yet still was concerned with cheering the depressed and he "praised the bold". He lay in a bed, but that did not stop him.

Before the rising he knew they were doomed to failure and had once remarked that they were all going to be "slaughtered".

He was so seriously wounded that when he was executed on May 12, with Sean MacDiarmada he had to be strapped into a chair.


Joseph Mary Plunkett

Joseph Mary Plunkett (1887-1916): born in Dublin; son of George Noble Count Plunkett; The Circle and the Sword (verse), 1911; edited the Irish Review, 1913-14; joined the IRB; Director of Operations of the Irish Volunteers, 1913; co-founded the Irish Theatre, 1914; helped Casement in attempts to secure German aid for a rising and reported to Clan na Gael on the progress of revolutionary preparations, 1915; member of the IRB Supreme Council and its Military Committee, and signatory to the Proclamation, 1916; married Grace Gifford, the artist, in Kilmainham on the eve of his execution, 4 May 1916. Collected Poems were published posthumously.


Constance Markievicz

Constance Markievicz (nee Gore-Booth; 1868-1927); born in London, educated privately, the Slade and Paris; married Count Casimir Markievicz, 1900; joined Sinn Fein, although impatient of Griffith’s pacifism; launched Fianna Eireann, 1909; joined Inghinidhe na hEireann, wrote A Call to the Women of Ireland and contributed to Bean na hEireann; became an officer of the Irish Citizen Army, prompting the resignation of Sean O’Casey; active in the Easter Rising, a death sentence being commuted because of her sex; President of Cumann na mBan, 1917, converted to Catholicism; Sinn Fein MP for St Patrick’s Dublin, 1918, thereby being the first woman to be elected to the Commons, but did not take her seat; Minister for Labour in the Cabinet of the first Dail Eireann while imprisoned, 1919-21; Minister for Labor in the second Dail; denounced the Treaty as a capitalist ploy; supported the republicans in the civil war, 1923-4; Sinn Fein abstentionist TD for South Dublin, 1923-7.


Roger Casement

Roger Casement (1864-1916): born in County Dublin; entered the British consular service, 1892; joined the Gaelic League, 1904; contributed to the nationalist press as "Sean Bhean Bhocht"; earned an international reputation for his reports on human rights violations in Africa and south America; knighted, 1911; retired and joined the Irish Volunteers, 1913; attempted to secure German aid for the Irish struggle and to raise an Irish Brigade from prisoners of war in Berlin, 1914; captured upon returning to Ireland to deter the rising, 21 april 1916; sentenced to death, 19 June 1`916; a reprieve being sought, the government allowed the "Black Diaries", revealing his homosexuality, be circulated, thereby turning public opinion against him. Hanged, having been received in the Roman Catholic Church, 3 Aug 1916. His remains were returned to Ireland and reinterred at Glasnevin, 1965.


John MacBride

John MacBride (1865-1916): born in County Mayo; studied medicine, undertook an IRB mission to the USA, 1896; emigrated to South Africa; organized the 1798 centenary celebration there; joined an Irish Brigade to fight for the Boers, 1899; settled in Paris, where he married Maude Gonne, 1903; member of the Supreme Council of the IRB, but was not involved in the planning of the Easter Rising; served in it under MacDonagh; executed 5 May 1916.


Helena Molony

Helena Molony (1884-1967): inspired by Maude Gonne to join Inghinidhe na hEirann, 1903; edited Bean na hEireann, 1908; assisted Constance Markievicz in the foundation of Fianna Eireann, 1909; joined the Abbey Theatre players, 1909-20; arrested for taking part in Sinn Fein protests against the 1911 royal visit; Secretary of the Irish Women Workers’ Union, 1915; joined the Irish Citizen Army and took part in the attack upon Dublin Castle, Easter, 1916; imprisoned May-December 1916; opposed the Treaty, 1922; executive member of Saor Eire, 1931. As President of the Irish Trades Union Congress, 1922-3, embodied the Connolly tradition that she had played a part in creating.


Hanna Sheehy

Hanna Sheehy (-Skeffington) (1877-1946): born in County Tipperary; educated Royal University; founded Women’s Graduate Association, 1901; married Francis Skeffington, who took her names as she took his, 1903, and co-founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League with him, 1908, becoming its first Secretary; joined the Socialist Party of Ireland; imprisoned for rioting upon the exclusion of votes for women from the 1912 Home Rule Bill; messenger to the GPO, Easter, 1916; refused 10,000 pounds compensation upon the murder of her husband, 1916; visited the USA, and interviewed President Wilson, 1916-18; imprisoned on her reutrn, but released upon commencing a hunger strike; rejected the Treaty; judge of the Dail courts; member of the first executive of Fianna Fail, 1926; Assistant Editor of An Phoblacht, 1932; imprisoned, 1933; founded the Women’s Social and Progressive League, 1938.


William Pearse

William (Willie)James Pearse born November 15,1881 at 27 Great Brunswick Street, Dublin, he was the younger brother of Patrick Pearse. The brothers were inseparable. Willie idolized his older brother. When Willie was a young boy would follow his history lessons while imagining his brother Patrick as the heroes he was learning about. "He saw him as a bodyguard of Owen Roe and Phelim O'Neil, dreamed of him as the intimate companion of Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet. Hhe thought of himself beside Padraig in a national uprising, dying with him on the barricades or on the scaffold, or if not in a tomb bearing an eloqent epitaph, he saw him buried in the quicklime pit of the felon; for him no humdrum and respectable funeral or interment in the family vault. He could not see his brother weeping after the Flight of the Earls as he shared their exile. No, on foreign soil a Fenian does not weep; he organises like Tone against the conquerors of his country, like Tone he returns to die in Ireland, or like the Fenians he returns to rouse unconquered spirits and foment revoluion against the enemies of his fatherland."

How tragically prophetic Willie's childhood imaginations were. William inherited his father's artistic abilities and became a sculptor. He was educated at the Christian Brothers School, Westland Row. He studied at the Metropolitan Shcool of Art in Dublin under Oliver Sheppard. He also studied art in Paris. While attending the Kensington School of Art he gained notice for several of his artworks. Some of his sculptures were to be found in: Limerick Cathedral, St. Eunan's, Letterkenny and several Dublin churches including Terenure His well known figure of "The Mater Dolorosa" in Mortuary Chapel, St. Andrews Westland row appears a tragic and prophetic masterpiece. Throughout the countryside you may find his sculptures of the Dead Christ and the Immaculate Conception. The O'Mulrennan Memorial in Glasnevin and a memorial to Father Murphy in Wexford are also his works.

He was also an actor and stage manager. Among the places he performed were the Abbey Theater, Dublin School of Art, and once in Dr. Douglas Hyde's Casadh an tSugain. William must receive a large part of the credit for the costumes and production of plays at Sgoil Eanna (St. Enda's). Up until 1911 Williams main position at Sgoil Eanna was Art and Drawing Master, in 1913 he became a regular member of the staff. And from 1914 he was in reality the assistant head master of the school, while his brother Padraig's time was taken up more and more with the Irish Volunteers.

After his father's death he took over the studio business. He was an ardent student of Gaelic. He would attend Gaelic festivals wearing Gaelic costumes.

During Easter Week, WIlliam Pearse was a captain on the G.P.O. Headquarters staff. He was most proud when people referred to the "Brothers Pearse". Padraig affectionately nicknamed him as a young child "Little Man" and the nickname stuck.

"..he remained an active but stoical figure until fire forced the Volunteers to evacuate the doomed and collasping building." He was separated from his brother after the surrender at 16 Moore Street. He bore himself with dignity before his court-martial. He was executed exactly 24 hours after his brother. He was never to see his brother again after the surrender.

He told his mother and sister that the a guard told him that he was beig taken to see his brother, but as they approached the prison yard a volley of gun fire was heard, another guard came and told them they were too late. The gun fire they had heard was the firing squad that shot Padraig Pearse, Tom Clarke and Thomas MacDonagh. Another report of the incident is probably more correct, taken from British records. The other report is that Willie Pearse was being taken to the firing squad to join his brother, but they were too late, and returned him to his cell until the next day.

On Easter Sunday Mrs. Pearse asked her son Padraig to write a poem for her as if she was speaking. Padraig Pearse wrote the poem just hours before his death and it is about the "Brothers Pearse."


I do not grudge them; Lord, I do not grudge
My two strong sons that I have seen go out
To break their strength and die, they and a few,
In bloody protest for a glorious thing,
They shall be spoken of amoung their people,
The generation shall remember them,
And call them Blessed:
But I will speak their names to my own heart
In the long nights;
The little names that were familiar once
Round my dead hearth.
Lord,thou art hard on mothers;
We suffer in their coming and their going;
And tho' I grudge them not, I weary, weary
Of the long sorrow - And yet I have my joy;
My sons were faithful, and they fought.

William James Pearse was shot on May 4, 1916 with Joseph Plunkett, Edward Daly, and Michael O'Hanrahan.



Edward Daly was born in 1891. In one reference it referred to him as Tom Clarke's brother-in-law, brother of Kathleen Daly Clarke. Although it was difficult to find biographical information about Edward Daly, in the books about the Easter Uprising of 1916 he played a very prominent role as Commandant of the Four Courts. He led his men in a battle that was mostly responsible for prolonging the life of the Uprising, his men "demoralised the British troops sent to break them, and made Maxwell's efforts to strangle the rising ...his cordons a bloody and costly venture."

When he had gathered the men under his command on Easter Monday, he said " Men of the First Battalion, I want you to listen to me for a few minutes, and no applause must follow my stament. Today at noon, an Irish Republic will be declared, and the Flag of the Repulic hoisted. I look to every man to do his duty, with courage and discipline. The Irish Volunteers are now the Irish Republcian Army. Communciation with our other posts in the city may be precarious, and in less than an hour we may be in action."

He was remembered by his men standing before them as a slight spare figure in his grey green uniform, dark eyes alight, while his fingers tapped the gun at his side.

A Dictionary of Irish Biography states: "Edward Daly was born Frederick Street, Limerick, 25 Feb 1891 and educated at the Limerick Christian Brothers College (CBC). He came from a noted Republican family: his father had taken part in the Fenian Rising of 1867, his uncle Joe Daly had served twelve years in English jails, and his sister married Thomas Clarke. He worked in a local bakery, then as a clerk moved to Dublin in 1912 to work with the wholesale chemists May Roberts. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913 and commanded the Four Courts garrison in 1916. He was court-martialled, sentenced to death and shot in Kilmainham Jail 4 May 1916."


Michael Mallin was a member of the Citizens Army with James Connolly. He was a silk weaver. He, along with Countess Markievicz, were in control of the main body of the Citizens Army in St. Stephen's Green.

He was described by one person as small, quiet and both efficient and possessed of a deep and thoughtful judgement.

Michael Mallin and Countess Markievicz marched out of the College of Surgeons together and surrendered to Captain Wheeler.

Michael Mallin was shot on May 8.


Michael O’Hanrahan was born in New Ross, Co. Wexford, 17 March 1877. The family moved to Carlow and he was educated at Carlow Christian Brothers College (CBC) and Carlow College Academy. He went to Dublin and became a free lance journalist and Irish reader at the Clo Cumann printing works. He wrote two novels, A Swordsman of the Brigade (1914) and When the Normans Came published posthumously in 1919. His father was a Fenian who had taken part in the 1867 Rising. He joined the Irish Volunteers on their formation in 1913 and was also active in the Gaelic League. Later he became quarter master of the Volunteers and a full-time member of the headquarters staff. In the 1916 Easter Rising he fought in Jacob’s factory, Bishop Street for which he was court-martialled, sentenced to death, and executed 4 May 1916.


Cornelius (Conn) Colbert was born Monaleen, Co. Limerick in 1888 and educated at North Richmond Street Christian Brothers College (CBC) after the family moved to Dublin. He worked in Kennedy’s bakery, Parnell Street. Soon he became interested in Irish independence and speaking Irish. He joined Fainna Eireann on its formation by Countess Markievicz in 1909 and later joined the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). In the 1916 Rising he commanded the garrison at Watkin’s brewery, Ardee Street, moving to Jameson’s distillery as the fighting increased for which he was court martialled, sentenced to death, and shot in Kilmainham Jail 8 May 1916.


Sean Heuston commanded the Volunteers at the Mendicity Institution. On Easter Wednesday morning, April 20, 1916 two Volunteer dispatchers slipped through some very dangerous areas to bring an urgent message to James Connolly from Hueston. He needed immediate backup, because he and 20 men were still holding out against several hundred British troops, who had Hueston's men just about completely surrounded. A major assault was expected at any time and supplies and food were just about gone.

Connolly was quite excited and Pearse said aid would be sent immediately to Heuston and his company. But almost immediately they found that it was impossible and that Hueston had been captured. Connolly had given orders to Heuston to hold up the British that were heading toward the Four Courts for 3-4 hours which would allow allow the garrison there as well as Headquarters to prepare their defenses. Connolly found out later that Heuston not only held his position for the few hours specified, but was still there after nearly 50 hours until he could hold out no longer.

Sean Heuston was shot on May 8.

Caulfield, Max, The Easter Rebellion, Dublin 1916, Robert Rinehart Publishers, 1963, 1995

De Roux, Louis, Life of P. H. Pearse translated into English by Desmond Ryan

Foster, R.F., Modern Ireland 1600-1972, Penguin Books, 1995

Maccardle, Dorothy, The Irish Republic

O'Kelly, Seamus G., The Glorious Seven, commemoration pamphlet of 50th Anniversary of Easter Week 1916

Ryan, Desmond,
The Rising, (he was a student at St. Enda's and fought with Pearse and Connolly at the G.P.O.)
The Complete Works of P.H. Pearse, St. Enda's and Its Founder


The Women of Easter Week

Fighting Women
A memoir by Countess de Markievicz
(Prison Letters, 1934)

You ask me to write you an account of my experiences and of the activities of the women of Easter Week. I am afraid that I can only give you a little account of those who were enrolled like me in the Irish Citizen Army, and those who were with me or whom I met during the Week. Some were members of Cuman na-mBan, and others, just women who were ready to die for Ireland.

My activities were confined to a very limited area. I was mobilised for Liberty Hall and was sent from there via the City Hall to St. Stephen's Green, where I remained.

On Easter Monday morning there was a great hosting of disciplined and armed men at Liberty Hall.

Padraic Pearse and James Connolly addressed us and told us that from now the Volunteers and the I.C.A. were not two forces, but the wings of the Irish Republican Army.

There were a considerable number of I.C.A. women. These were absolutely on the same footing as the men. They took part in all marches, and even in the manoeuvres that lasted all night. Moreover, Connolly made it quite clear to us that unless we took our share in the drudgery of training and preparing, we should not be allowed to take any share at all in the fight. You may judge how fit we were when I tell you that 16 miles was the length of our last route march.

Connolly had appointed two staff officers - Commandant Mallin and myself I held a commission, giving me the rank of Staff Lieutenant. I was accepted by Tom Clarke and the members of the provisional Government as the second of Connolly's "ghosts." "Ghosts" was the name we gave to those who stood secretly behind the leaders and were entrusted with enough of the plans of the Rising to enable them to carry on that Leader's work should anything happen to himself Commandant Mallin was over me and next in command to Connolly. Dr. Kathleen Lynn was our medical officer, holding the rank of Captain.

We watched the little bodies of men and women march off; Pearse and Connolly to the G.P:O., Sean Connolly to the City Hall. I went off then with the Doctor in her car. We carried a large store of First Aid necessities and drove off through quiet dusty streets and across the river, reaching the City Hall just at the very moment that Commandant Sean Connolly and his little troop of men and women swung round the corner and he raised his gun and shot the policeman who barred the way. A wild excitement ensued, people running from every side to see what was up. The Doctor got out, and I remember Mrs. Barrett - sister of Sean Connolly - and others helping to carry in the Doctor's bundles. I did not meet Dr. Lynn again until my release, when her car met me and she welcomed me to her house, where she cared for me and fed me up and looked after me till I had recovered from the evil effects of the English prison system.

When I reported with the car to Commandant Mallin in Stephen's Green, he told me that he must keep me. He said that owing to MacNeill's calling off the Volunteers a lot of the men who should have been under him had had to be distributed round other posts, and that few of those left him were trained to shoot, so I must stay and be ready to take up the work of a sniper. He took me round the Green and showed me how the barricading of the gates and digging trenches had begun, and he left me in charge of this work while he went to superintend the erection of barricades in the streets and arrange other work. About two hours later he definitely promoted me to be his second in command. This work was very exciting when the fighting began. I continued round and round the Green, reporting back if anything was wanted, or tackling any sniper who was particularly objectionable.

Madeleine ffrench Mullen was in charge of the Red Cross and the commissariat in the Green. Some of the girls had revolivers, and with these they sallied forth and held up bread vans.

This was necessary because the first prisoner we took was a British officer, and Commandant Mallin treated him as such. He took his parole "as an officer and a gentleman" not to escape, and he left him at large in the Green before the gates were shut. This English gentleman walked around and found out all he could and then "bunked."

We had a couple of sick men and prisoners in the Band-stand, the Red Cross flag flying to protect them. The English in the Shelbourne turned a machine-gun on to them. A big group of our girls were attending to the sick, making tea for the prisoners or resting themselves. I never saw anything like their courage. Madeleine ffrench Mullen brought them, with the sick and the prisoners, out and into a safer place.

It was all done slowly and in perfect order. More than one young girl said to me, "What is there to be afraid of? Won't I go straight to heaven if I die for Ireland?" However it was, they came out unscathed from a shower of shrapnel. On Tuesday we began to be short of food. There were no bread carts on the streets. We retired into the College of Surgeons that evening and were joined by some of our men who had been in other places and by quite a large squad of Volunteers, and with this increase in our numbers the problem of food became very serious.

Nellie Gifford was put in charge of one large classroom with a big grate, but alas, there was nothing to cook. When we were all starving she produced a quantity of oatmeal from somewhere and made pot after pot of the most delicious porridge, which kept us going. But all the same, on Tuesday and Wednesday we absolutely starved. There seemed to be no bread in the town.

Later on Mary Hyland was given charge of a little kitchen, somewhere down through the houses, near where the Eithne workroom now is.

We had only one woman casualty - Margaret Skinnader. She, like myself, was in uniform and carried an army rifle. She had enlisted as a private in the I.C.A. She was one of the party who went out to set fire to a house just behind Russell's Hotel. The English opened fire on them from the ground floor of a house just opposite. Poor Freddy Ryan was killed and Margaret was very badly wounded. She owes her life to William Partridge. He carried her away under fire and back to the College. God rest his noble soul. Brilliant orator and Labour leader, comrade and friend of Connolly's, he was content to serve as a private in the I.C.A. He was never strong and the privations he suffered in an English jail left him a dying man.

Margaret's only regret was her bad luck in being disabled so early in the day (Wednesday of Easter Week) though she must have suffered terribly, but the end was nearer than we thought, for it was only a few days later that we carried her over to Vincent's Hospital, so that she would not fall wounded into the hands of the English.

The memory of Easter Week with its heroic dead is sacred to us who survived. Many of us could almost wish that we had died in the moment of ecstasy when, with the tri-colour over our heads we went out and proclaimed the Irish Republic, and with guns in our hands tried to establish it.

We failed, but not until we had seen regiment after regiment run from our few guns. Our effort will inspire the people who come after us, and will give them hope and courage. If we failed to win, so did the English. They slaughtered and imprisoned, only to arouse the nation to a passion of love and loyalty, loyalty to Ireland and hatred of foreign rule. Once they see clearly that the English rule us still, only with a new personnel of traitors and new uniforms, they will finish the work begun by the men and women of Easter Week.

Irish Proclamation of Independence

**EASTER 1916


IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

Having organised and trained her manhood through her secret revolutionary organisation, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and through her open military organisations, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army, having patiently perfected her discipline, having resolutely waited for the right moment to reveal itself, she now seizes that moment, and, supported by her exiled children in America and by gallant allies in Europe, but relying in the first on her own strength, she strikes in full confidence of victory.

We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of the Irish people. In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to national freedom and sovereignty; six times during the last three hundred years they have asserted it to arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades-in-arms to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations.

The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.

Until our arms have brought the opportune moment for the establishment of a permanent National, representative of the whole people of Ireland and elected by the suffrages of all her men and women, the Provisional Government, hereby constituted, will administer the civil and military affairs of the Republic in trust for the people.

We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God. Whose blessing we invoke upon our arms, and we pray that no one who serves that cause will dishonour it by cowardice, in humanity, or rapine. In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.

Signed on Behalf of the Provisional Government.

Thomas J. Clarke,
Sean Mac Diarmada, Thomas MacDonagh,
P. H. Pearse, Eamonn Ceannt,
James Connolly, Joseph Plunkett

The seven signatories of the Irish Proclamation (from left):

Padraig Pearse, James Connolly, Thomas Clarke, Thomas MacDonagh, Sean MacDermott, Joseph Plunkett & Eamonn Ceannt
All of the above men were executed by the British Government for their efforts in trying to secure a free Ireland!

The Irish Republican Bulletin Board :: Easter Statement from the Leadership of the Republican Movement

**Posted by Ailín

Easter Statement from the Leadership of the Republican Movement


THE Leadership of the Republican Movement sends greetings to all Republican activists, supporters and friends at home and abroad. As we gather at gravesides and monuments of our fallen patriots throughout Ireland and further afield on this the 88th Anniversary of the historic Proclamation of the Irish Republic of 1916, we do so with dignity and respect for those same and women who have given their lives for the caused of Irish Freedom down through the centuries.

Over the past year since we last paid tribute at ceremonies at Eastertime we have witnessed once again but to a much greater degree the treachery of our erstwhile so-called comrades in the Provisional Movement. The applause by our English enemy and their many allies throughout the world of this act of treachery of destroying arms and munitions in much greater quantities was sickening but not unexpected. True Republicans throughout the world witnessed with total amazement their groveling to the ancient Irish enemy and their unionist counterparts in the months leading up to this foul act. Why do these people now not do the honourable thing and come clean with their supporters and tell them that their objective to an end to British rule is now at an end.

Despite the fact that they participated in this act of treason, they have still failed miserably in their attempts to resurrect the foreign parliament which they were proud to resurrect in 1998. But whilst cooperating fully with the enemy, their new-found law enforcers were at the same time harassing true Republicans in many parts of the country.

We note the CIRA denial of recent reports regarding a ceasefire using Monsignor Faul as a conduit, and we note also the categorical denial by Monsignor Faul that any such negotiations or contact took place.

We witnessed also on the global scene continued repression of weaker states by super powers. We witnessed the continued torture and mutilation of innocent Iraqi men, women and children by a Bush/Blair Administration in a totally ruthless manner. We have also witnessed them threatening other countries throughout the world with similar action. We urge weaker countries on the global stage to resist such threats and call on all fair-minded leaderships to disown themselves from such threats.

The terrible tragedy of the recent bombing in Madrid, while not in any way condonable, is a reaction to the continued Bush/Blair policies. The efforts by the Spanish authorities after the bombings to immediately implicate the Basque separatist group ETA brought about their failure to be returned to government. We urge people from all countries to show their dissatisfaction with the Bush/Blair policies by doing the same as the Spanish people did.

True Republicans during the last 12 months have been subjected to continued harassment from Crown agents on both sides of the Border, and we have seen a number of cases against true Republicans withdrawn and dropped by prosecutors on both sides of the Border. No doubt these practices will continue and we caution all our followers to be extremely vigilant in the months and years ahead against this practice. The RUC still exists, and remain a bigoted repressive force and still the eyes and ears of their imperial masters.

We extend warm greetings to our comrades in Portlaoise and Maghaberry prisons. We acknowledge the courage of our prisoners in Maghaberry and their families last year in their success and efforts to achieve political segregation. Having endured attempts by pro-Crown agents to intimidate, demonise and degrade our comrades and their families they have shown great resolve. We salute those in Maghaberry and Portlaoise for the example they have shown. While we are aware of the draconian measures that are afoot by the British State to have the power to relocate those in custody to any prison in Britain, let them be under no illusion, we have resisted you at every juncture in history, you will not succeed.

Resistance is alive and well! We recognise the resistance of both the Continuity IRA and Republican Sinn Féin who continue in the struggle to rid Ireland of the oppressive force. It is worth noting that the Republican Movement is going through a difficult phase but there have been darker days than these and we once again assert our right to continue for National Independence. We encourage those disillusioned by the path Republicanism is taking to come out from the cold and actively support the efforts of true Republicanism. We recognise this may prove somewhat difficult for some, but the Republican Movement is much bigger than one man or woman, everyone has a part to play.

Continued reference to true Republicans as ‘dissidents’ is a blatant attempt by the pro-Brit/Provisional alliance to marginalise and minimalise our efforts. The only dissidents are those who deviated off the path of active and committed resistance in favour of lucrative salaries from an English Queen in a British Stormont, a far cry from a 32-County socialist and democratic Republic.

-- Issued by the Leadership of the Republican Movement, Easter 2004.

IrishExaminer.com: Firms to close in protest over Billy's transplant delay

Firms to close in protest over Billy's transplant delay
09 April 2004
By Evelyn Ring

BUSINESSES in Killorglin, Co Kerry, are to shut down for one hour in protest over Health Minister Micheál Martin's refusal to intervene to help a local man get a life-saving lung transplant.
Billy Burke, aged 29, who has cystic fibrosis, appealed for Mr Martin to intervene earlier this week, but Mr Martin told the Dáil any decision on a transplant must be a clinical judgment.

A Manchester hospital has offered to carry out the transplant, but the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, which has "first call" on donated Irish lungs, will not release a lung for him.

After the Irish Examiner highlighted the case, Mr Martin told the Dáil earlier this week everything possible was being done to provide Mr Burke with a lung transplant. He insisted patient selection must continue to be a matter of clinical judgment, whether the patient receives a transplant in Manchester, the Mater Hospital or elsewhere.

Tomorrow people in Killarney will be asked to sign a petition urging Mr Martin to intervene. On Monday week businesses in Killorglin will close for an hour in a show of support for Mr Burke. The Bishop of Kerry, Bill Murphy, is also being invited to say the Rosary on the day.Mr Burke has been waiting for a transplant for three-and-a-half years. He is confined to his home and on oxygen 24 hours a day.

Earlier this week he said: "I can't believe that after going through so much, after all the medical hurdles I've got over, that something as trivial as this could stop me, that I could be left to die because lungs can be sent to one hospital but not to another.

"If it was some medical issue I could accept it, but to find out that it's the result of a political agreement and that I might die because of that I find it very hard to accept."

The Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland warned Billy's case is not an isolated one and have also called on Mr Martin to intervene.

The minister said in the Dáil Newcastle did not have exclusive rights to lungs donated in Ireland but has a first call based on suitability. Billy's sister, Lisa, said there was no difference between "exclusive" and "first call".

Never Say Goodbye - Michael Collins - Biography

**I really like this site, and incoming flak notwithstanding, this is what I believe:

"Michael Collins - The man that made modern Ireland possible

In six short years, Michael Collins brought a country from bondage and submission to a position where Ireland could win her freedom. That it has not completely done so since his death can be laid at the feet of those who opposed all that Michael Collins accomplished, and sacrificed his life for."

Address of the Chief Executive and Council of the Fenian Brotherhood by John Savage, November 10, 1869

**This is a stirring document captured in .jpg format and viewable full screen in four pages. I tried all day to convert the text in the picture to a plain file, but I couldn't do it. If anyone knows a way, please let me know. I would have liked to have reprinted this speech by John Savage as a text file so I could print it up.


Fenian Brotherhood Collection

**Here is an extremely interesting and extensive on-line collection of files on the Fenian Brotherhood. You can search for your interest in several different ways, and you do not need to be registered to view the files. You can see actual photographs of the original documents.

About This Collection

The Fenians were established in Ireland and the United States in 1858 with the avowed purpose of overthrowing British rule in Ireland and establishing an Irish Republic. (In Ireland the Fenians were also known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood.) The Fenians in the United States grew to include over 50,000 members and hundreds of thousands of sympathizers by the end of the Civil War, but, rocked by internal factionalism and opposed by the formidable military power of the British Empire, they never came close to achieving their aims. The American wing mounted two short-lived invasions of Canada in 1866 and 1870 and the Irish Fenians launched a small rebellion in Ireland in 1867. The American Fenians faded out of prominence after the last unsuccessful assault on Canada. Many Irish and Irish American nationalists, first recruited to the cause as Fenians, continued to fight for Ireland's independence after the order's decline.

The full manuscript collection at the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives (ACUA) consists of letters to and from John O'Mahony, James Stephens, John Mitchel, O'Donovan Rossa, and other Fenian leaders, speeches; pamphlets; newspapers; chromolithographs; cartes de visit photographs; tickets; and legal records. Roster books, ledgers, subscription lists to the United Irishmen and Proceedings of Fenian Conventions document the membership and the general activities of the movement. The bulk of the collection is concentrated in the 1860s through 1880s, but it also includes assorted newspapers and pamphlets from the 1850s to the early 1900s that address a wide range of topics in Irish history and nationalism.

The Case for the Easter Lily


By Joe McGowan
WGT Connacht Correspondent


An Phoblacht: IRA Easter Message 2004

IRA Easter Message 2004

The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann extends fraternal greetings to all Volunteers, to republican activists and to our supporters and friends at home and abroad.

We send solidarity greetings to our imprisoned comrades and their families.

On this, the 88th anniversary of the 1916 Rising, we especially remember our patriot dead and extend solidarity to their families. We commemorate the freedom fighters of all generations who have given their lives for Irish freedom.

Ten years ago, we declared a complete cessation of military operations to enhance the democratic peace process. We stated our belief that an opportunity to secure a just and lasting settlement had been created. Our cessation was not only a definitive and powerful signal of our commitment to that process, it was also a defining moment in the recent history of this island.

We stated that others, especially the British Government, had a duty to face up to their responsibilities.

In an attempt to deflect from the significance of our initiative and evade their responsibilities, the British Government of that time and the political leaderships of unionism became fixated with achieving the surrender of the IRA. They failed and despite their opposition the peace process was created.

In the period since, the IRA leadership has consistently demonstrated our commitment to advancing the process through a series of substantive initiatives, which have included:

• Authorising our representative to meet with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (IICD).

• Facilitating the inspection of IRA arms dumps by the International Inspectors on three separate occasions.

• Agreeing a scheme with the IICD on putting arms completely and verifiably beyond use.

• Implementing the agreed scheme on three separate occasions.

Throughout the ten years of our cessation there has been very serious provocation from British securocrats, their military forces and their allies in unionist paramilitarism.

In the same period, others within the British and Irish establishments have persisted with the idea of defeating republicans rather than moving forward. They are now on an offensive. The old conservative agenda has re-emerged.

The unionist paramilitaries are responding to that. IRA guns remain silent, despite an onslaught of unionist paramilitary violence against Catholics, including hundreds of attacks and a number of killings over the last year.

Today also, we are witnessing another attempt to criminalise and demonise republicans and the republican struggle. This time it is for selfish electoral reasons. Leading this are Irish politicians who stood idly by while Irish citizens, North and South, were being terrorised by the RUC, the British Army and their surrogates in the unionist death squads.

Twenty-three years ago, the men and women in the H-Blocks and Armagh Gaol defeated the policy of criminalisation. Ten Irish republicans died on Hunger Strike in defence of the integrity of the republican struggle. This new attempt will also fail.

Last October, agreements were made and commitments given. The IRA leadership fulfilled our commitments. The leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party and the two governments did not fulfil theirs. They acted in bad faith. Yet again the two governments are attempting to move the goalposts. This has caused justifiable anger. It is unacceptable that other protagonists should try to dictate the terms of our cessation.

The honouring of agreements and commitments is critical in instilling confidence and demonstrating that politics can work. They are essential elements of building an enduring political process.

The two governments, and in particular the British Government, must fulfil their commitments. Until they do so there can be little prospect of any progress.

Beirigí bua.

P O'Neill,

Irish Republican Publicity Bureau,


Irish Echo Online - Editorial

Irish Echo editorial: Pin-drop coverage of Cory

U.S. press coverage of the release of the Cory Report and other recent events in regard to the Northern Ireland peace process has been so scant that the average American would be forgiven for thinking that Ireland had slipped beneath the waves of the Atlantic.

Such an event, at least, would be expected to spawn a few headlines.

The death of innocent people as a result of law enforcement, and even top-level government collusion, would appear to be worthy of none.

With the honorable exception of the Boston Herald -- and if there are others we would be glad to hear of them -- the American press seems to have forgotten the Irish peace process during one of its admittedly many crisis moments.

The most commonly reported component of both the Troubles and peace process in recent days has been the IRA, but this only in the context of reports and editorials on the Madrid terror bombings.

The open discord between the U.S. State Department's Northern Ireland envoy, Dr. Mitchell Reiss, and Sinn Féin passed without note, this despite the fact that the argument was rooted in an op-ed page ad in the nation's most crucial newspaper of record, the New York Times.

The Times itself did not cover the row and it confined its reporting of the release of the Cory report to a single, inside-page paragraph.

The same day's paper carried a front-page report from London on new laws in Britain aimed at curbing antisocial behavior. It was an interesting story and doubtless made many readers envious of the British government's standing up for common civility. But it also stood in ironic contrast to the tiny account a few pages on that pointed to British government collusion in the murder of its own citizens.

Somebody at 43rd Street missed the bigger picture here.

But the malaise goes well beyond midtown Manhattan. E-mails to this paper and at least one Irish-American lobby group in recent days have pointed to an absence of noticeable coverage from coast to coast.

This may be entirely coincidental. But it also stands out as an absence in a nation that recently celebrated St. Patrick's Day in such lavish abundance.

At the beginning of this week, the annual list of Pulitzer Prizes was announced. It would be naïve to expect that reporting on Northern Ireland would somehow crop up in that exalted gallery at this stage.

It has been some years since the North has been sexy enough to attract the world's press in large numbers. But a story here and there on matters as crucial as life and death, and the more than serious allegations now being leveled at America's closest military ally, would appear to demand more than a few passing lines.

This story appeared in the issue of April 7-13, 2004



The Irish and British governments must fulfil commitments they have made to the peace process or there can be ``little prospect of any progress'', the mainstream Provisional IRA has warned.

In its annual Easter statement, the IRA accuses the two governments and the Ulster Unionist Party of acting in bad faith by reneging on an agreement last October which would have brought about the restoration of devolved government.

The IRA said that, despite provocation from British forces and unionist paramilitaries, it had maintained its cessation and demonstrated its commitment to the peace process.

``The leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party and the two governments did not fulfil theirs. They acted in bad faith.

``Yet again the two governments are attempting to move the goalposts. This has caused justifiable anger. It is unacceptable that other protagonists should try to dictate the terms of our cessation.

``The honouring of agreements and commitments is critical in instilling confidence and demonstrating that politics can work. They are essential elements of building an enduring political process.''

The IRA message comes on the sixth anniverary of the Good Friday Agreement approaches, with little indication that the deadlock over the implementation of that Agreement will be resolved in the short term.

In the statement signed `P. O'Neill', the IRA said that throughout the 10 years of its cessation there had been ``very serious provocation from British securocrats, their military forces and their allies in unionist paramilitarism''.

It said that in the same period, others within the British and Irish establishments had ``persisted with the idea of defeating republicans rather than moving forward''.

IRA guns ``remain silent'' despite an ``onslaught of unionist paramilitary violence against Catholics, including hundreds of attacks and a number of killings over the last year''.

The IRA also said that elements of the British and Irish establishments were on an offensive to defeat republicanism. Ir said said there was now an attempt to ``criminalise and demonise republicans'' for ``selfish electoral reasons''.

``Leading this are Irish politicians who stood idly by while Irish citizens, North and South, were being terrorised by the RUC, the British Army and their surrogates in the unionist death squads.''

This would fail, the IRA vowed.


Republicans have been gloomy as the Irish and British governments are reported to be pinning their hopes for progress on Ian Paisley's DUP, which publishes its proposals for North-South and British-Irish relations tomorrow.

As Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern prepare to engage in the northern political process after Easter, they will know their IMC sanctions body will publish a report focusing on the alleged IRA attack and attempted abduction of dissident republican Bobby Tohill in two weeks' time. This is likely to further undermine political confidence, following on the controversy over the Cory reports on collusion.

The European elections on June 11 will come into the frame shortly after, making political progress increasingly diffficult as May goes on.

A small window in late April and early May is now being seen as the best hope for laying the groundwork for substantial talks to take place after the confrontational and potentially violent summer marching season.

The DUP is still refusing to deal directly with Sinn Féin in a strategy reminiscent to that pursued by the Ulster Unionist Party in negotations which led to the Good Friday Agreemnt six years ago.

The governments' position is that the two key issues are that there needs to be a complete, total and definitive end to paramilitary activity across the board, both loyalist and republican; and that there should be an assurance of a willingness that everybody would share power if the first issue was resolved.

A Sinn Féin spokesman, however, has said there will be no progress if the British and Irish governments do not act clearly on the commitments they made last October.

These commitments cover a range of issues including demilitarisation, human rights, policing and justice matters.

``If they think that republicans are going to be persuaded or cajoled or pressured, or pushed into initiatives in the absence of the governments dealing in good faith with us, then they need to think again.

``So, whatever amount of time Mr Blair and Mr Ahern are considering setting aside for any process post-Easter... they better get the sequence right and they better get the context right, because so far they have got it wrong,'' the Sinn Féin spokesman said.

With the Sinn Féin leadership set to face republican grassroots at commemorations around the country, it is not expected that there will be any dramatic announcements.

The Sinn Féin spokesman said: ``The fact is that last Easter we went through a fairly traumatic period within republicanism, as at that time we tried to put together an initiative which then was subsequently rejected.

``We went through that process again in October. The very damaging fallout from that debacle is still with us. We have to deal with this at Easter and talk directly to our own constituency about all of those problems, setting out clearly what we think is required in the weeks ahead, given that Blair has signalled an intensification in the political process.''

Asked about the DUP's North-South proposals, the Sinn Féin spokesman said: ``While it would be interesting to see what they would be putting on the table in respect of that, what they have on the table now in terms of the Good Friday Agreement is not going to work anyway.''

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