Moane’s Cross and the end of history

We quite frequently drive along the mountain road between Fivemiletown and Rosslea. Last time we were along that road a car was stopped beside the memorial at Moane’s Cross to two IRA men: Feargal O’Hanlon and Sean South, who died after an attack on Brookeborough RUC station on the 1st January 1957. An elderly couple seemed to be laying flowers at the place. I wondered if they were friends or relatives of those who had died there all those years ago in the IRA border campaign.Mary McAleese has suggested that the end of Ireland’s centuries long political conflict is at hand. This in many ways echoes comments by Bertie Ahern whilst he was in Washington. Of course these sentiments are not confined to RoI politicians or to nationalists and also seem to have some echoes in Dr. Paisley’s latest remarks. I do feel, however, that this is a very difficult conclusion to draw when one considers the history of this island and indeed the history of other conflicts in the world.

The conflicts here have been “solved” with tedious frequency. Ireland has been “pacified” whether by force or by politics on many occasions. By turns Elizabeth I, James I/VI, Cromwell and Gladstone used “pacification” of various forms and the list of rebellions includes so many dates: 1641, 1798, 1916 etc. I would suggest that the nature of our conflict here is somewhat similar to ethnic conflicts, although as with many so called ethnic conflicts, there are no actual ethnic differences, merely cultural ones. The problem is with totally differing political aspirations and that is unlikely to change any time soon.

Looking to other places in the world there are frequent examples of conflicts supposedly solved years ago, which recurred. How many expected the orgy of violence visited on the Balkans? Remember also that the Balkan conflict was “solved” by the creation of Yugoslavia after it had helped precipitate the First World War (of course the above is utterly simplified but there is some truth therein). The horrors of Rwanda were unexpected but had causes and (much milder) precedents in the history of that region.

So maybe we have some form of permanent peace and all subsequent quarrels about Northern Ireland will be solved peacefully. However, this sounds a little like the pronouncement of “The End of History” after the end of the Cold War.

Whilst I agree with Mick that at the moment there (thankfully) seems little likelihood that the dissident terrorists will manage to return us to major violence; I am brought back to that elderly couple at Moane’s Cross with whom I started. I sometimes wonder if the terrorist attacks we are seeing now are a little like the IRA border campaign. At the time I am sure the RUC and the government in Stormont were delighted with how relatively easily they defeated that campaign. Little did they know that massively more violence (initiated let us remember by loyalists) was then less than a decade away.

  • joeCanuck

    Turgon,

    I think you’re too pessimistic. This conflict ended in agreement by the majority of both sides, even though pushed somewhat by outsiders. There is no way the dissidents (violent ones) are going to take us backward.

  • Dewi

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=dIb_GgBWTXk

    Love the song whatever the politics.

  • RG Cuan

    That was a pretty dour post Turgon. You’d almost think you want to return to violence!

  • McGrath

    The current conflict was the first in Ireland to be effectively settled by referendum via the GFA. Previously all other conflicts were settled by civil war, invasion, subjection, plantation or by some foreign accord between controlling parties. And that is what will eventually extinguish the current dissident activity.

    The only return to violence I can for see is if the current stakeholders in NI are not accomidated adequately in a reunified Ireland.

  • McKelvey

    (Turgon) “I sometimes wonder if the terrorist attacks we are seeing now are a little like the IRA border campaign. At the time I am sure the RUC and the government in Stormont were delighted with how relatively easily they defeated that campaign. Little did they know that massively more violence (initiated let us remember by loyalists) was then less than a decade away.”

    Or, likely, how that violence could have been prevented with an ounce of foresight or common sense by the government in Stormont.
    Be that as it may, the conditions which led to that massive surge of violence simply no longer exist and I cannot see how they possibly could ten years hence.

  • harry

    god…if there isnt that “stakeholders” word again!

  • Dave

    “I would suggest that the nature of our conflict here is somewhat similar to ethnic conflicts, although as with many so called ethnic conflicts, there are no actual ethnic differences, merely cultural ones.” – Turgon

    The thing to keep in mind is that the overwhelming majority of the members of either ‘cultural’ groups in Northern Ireland did not engage is any actual conflict with each other.

    The violence, such that it was, originated from, and controlled by, a small number of highly organised murder gangs who had their own agendas for orchestrating that violence, not least of which was the cover that ‘the cause’ provided them with to engage in massive criminality, e.g. bank robberies, protection rackets, kidnapping, counterfeiting, smuggling, etc. Those gangsters made hundreds of millions via their activities.

    It was a ‘civil’ strife wherein the only engagement by the citizens was as targets for the murder gangs. So, the question of whether or not the violence that Northern Ireland experienced can return is actually a question of whether or not a murder gang can be successfully organised again. Given that the last crop of murder gangs quit to enjoy the fruits of their financial investments in their old age before advances by the Intelligence Services wiped them out, I’d say that it would be very difficult for any new gang to emerge and carry on where the other gangs left off.

    After all, unlike the 70s, if I want to know what is in somebody’s back yard, I can pop over too Google Earth and count the rose trees on satellite.

  • Driftwood

    The British Army garrison here could deal with any problems easily. And now that Sinn Fein support the 5000 British Army garrison here, there should be no problems.

    Brilliant the way SF has embraced the British military here. Only a matter of weeks before Martin salutes this country’s flag at Thiepval or Ballykinler etc.
    Sinn Fein- Keeping Ulster British.
    Ian will go to his destiny a happy man.
    Gerry and Martin may have some doubts, but the MI5 money will assuage thaem.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Love the song whatever the politics.”

    Great song indeed Dewi (although watching Wolfe Tones’ concerts always makes my blood run a little colder), it’s just a pity about the comical farce that inspired it.

    How does a truck load of fourteen well armed men with two bombs mounting a surprise attack on a sleepy village police station get mauled by a police sergeant and two part time constables armed with WWII vintage Lee Enfields and sten guns?

    Ah well, Sean South made for a great song if a piss-poor guerilla leader, altogether now…

    “It was on a dreary New Year’s Day as shades of night drew down, yeeeehaaar!”

  • Dewi

    Here’s a better one Harry – wonderful

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=OqBDKnhLrfk

  • PeaceandJustice

    Dewi – “[Wolfe Tones – Sean South] Love the song whatever the politics.”

    “They were fighting for old Ireland”
    “They have gone to join that gallant band …”
    “A martyr for old Ireland”

    So you would love the same tune even if it was about a gang attacking the police in the RoI with the intention to murder them?

  • Dewi

    P&J;- it’s history – really catchy tune.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Dewi – “Here’s a better one .. wonderful [band singing Sean South in the Heineken tent in Lansdowne Road”]

    Do you think Heineken would approve of a band singing a song in support of Sinn Fein PIRA terrorists trying to murder policemen in recent history? And is it acceptable to sing such songs at Landsdown Road? It would be like saying that the singing of UVF songs by a band in Windsor park was wonderful. Would you be happy with that?

  • PeaceandJustice

    Dewi – “it’s history – really catchy tune.”

    Approx 50 years ago as opposed to approx 40 years ago for the start of the main ‘Troubles’. I await with interest your comments ref Windsor Park.

  • I sometimes wonder if the terrorist attacks we are seeing now are a little like the IRA border campaign.

    But the Northern Ireland state we live in now has no resemblance to the Northern Ireland state that existed in 1957.

    In 1957 my father was two and my mother was one. A looooooong time ago.

    The war is over, the rationales that sustained it have lost relevance. That doesn’t mean we’re going to skip into the sunset, hand in hand, as a light sou’easter provides a warm breeze.

    But the War is over.

  • Dave

    The war was over in 1922. The murder gangs are still in operation, albeit in a much diminished capacity. It’s true that the social conditions from which those gangs emerged in Northern Ireland have changed, but it isn’t true that similar murder gangs cannot emerge from different conditions or that those conditions cannot be engineered. A murder gang, contrary to misconception, doesn’t require popular support. Large criminal gangs still operate successfully all over the world despite have ever-widening legal powers aligned against them and progress in intelligence-gathering technologies, etc, but the Provos were so infiltrated by British Intelligence by the mid-80s that they were out of the game. As the example of the Real IRA shows, the only ‘Provos’ who are keen to join other murder gangs are British agents. I think the ‘volunteers’ who actually believed what the IRA godfathers told them now realise that they wasted their lives for no purpose other than to provide hidden bank accounts for Her Majesty’s ministers. Knowing how pointless and unjust it all was must serve as a powerful disincentive to others.

  • cynic

    “The only return to violence I can for see is if the current stakeholders in NI are not accomidated adequately in a reunified Ireland.”

    Dream on. First the agreement is that there wont be a united Ireland without consent. Second, there is no sign whatsoevr that consent is at all likely.

    Replace ‘a reunified Ireland’ by ‘Northern Ireland’ and I might agree

  • ohyeah!!!!!!!!

    ryan crozier wont be tapping his feet to the melody anyway. onwards to victory!!!

  • McKelvey

    “The thing to keep in mind is that the overwhelming majority of the members of either ‘cultural’ groups in Northern Ireland did not engage is any actual conflict with each other.”

    Except when, for example, voting for a nationalist party or a unionist party in preference to the other.

  • cynic

    “How does a truck load of fourteen well armed men with two bombs mounting a surprise attack on a sleepy village police station get mauled by a police sergeant and two part time constables armed with WWII vintage Lee Enfields and sten guns?”

    Well, that tactic had worked well at other border stations. They has armoured the sides of the lorry and just driven up and blasted away, so I presume they used that approach again.

    But there was now a difference. The peelers had noted how they operated. Brookborough was a two storied station. The Police had a plan were well organised and got to the upper windows where they could fire down into the lorry. End of argument – and of Sean South. It was a compleletely stupid and shambolic attack…. but hey they got a song out of it.

    By the way, why is it that the Irish tradition is so focused on ballads celebrating murderers? Try to kill other Irishmen and we’ll give you a song. Blow up women and kill children – brave lads you are! Celebrating self sacrifice in the interest of your fellow man is one thing – and something the Irish have done a lot of but we dont really seem to value it as much as kiling.

    A lot of this nonesense is something else. As an Irishman I find it embarassing… akin to headhunters sticking the heads of their enemies on poles around the village to demonstrate how hard they are

  • Big brother

    “ryan crozier wont be tapping his feet to the melody anyway. onwards to victory!!!
    Posted by ohyeah!!!!!!!! on May 17, 2008 @ 08:25 AM”

    Oh yeah, I think you’ll find he will, once he makes his scheduled full recovery. I would be careful what I post in open forums like this if I were you, you never know who is watching…

  • Sammy, your naivity is touching.

    If you read A T Q Stewart’s “The Narrow Ground” you’d begin to ask what precautionary strategies are in place to see us safely through 2016. They certainly weren’t in place in the lead up to 1966.

  • jonny

    “By the way, why is it that the Irish tradition is so focused on ballads celebrating murderers”

    Not true. The ballads that come to my mind are

    rare old mountain dew
    dirty old town
    field of athenry
    finnegan’s wake
    rocky road to dublin
    danny boy
    thre is an isle (best tune of them all, and quite patriotic, conntender for anthem at rugby internationals i think)
    she moved through the fair

    i think its a case of you seeing what you want to see!

  • Jo

    Posted by Dewi on May 17, 2008 @ 01:51 AM

    Truly, I regret clicking on that link. I havent had 12 pints. Is there a possible geometric link between pints consumed 24 hours before each murder in the troubles? I am mindful of what Gusty et all did before murdering.

    Mind u, according to some histories, what they did was inevitable given all that 1966, fifty years stuff and all that.

    There are some wankers about.

  • Rory

    To my mind the finest Irish rebel song is Slievenamon, written by Charles Kickham, and is essentially a love song which makes only a fleeting reference to the nationalist cause in the lines:

    O my love, O my love will I ne’er see you more
    And my land wil you never uprise?

    and in the finale:

    O, to see our flag unrolled
    And my true love to enfold
    In the valley near Slievenamon

    Here’s a fine big cointry lass with her version:

    In a tribute to the affection with which the song was held Slievenamon was the name given to the Lancia armoured car bequeathed to the Free State forces by the British and the car in which Michael Collins was travelling when he died in an engagement with Republican troops at Béal na mBlath. The driver, a Scotsman of Irish descent, Joe McPeake, later deserted to the Republican side taking the Lancia with him but it was later recaptured although, as I recall, McPeake escaped home unharmed to Scotland.

  • Jo

    An interesting bit of history, ty, Rory. I wept at the end of *Michael Collins* inevitable tho the ending was.

    I thought the actor paying De Valera did it to a T. Or is that a *D*? 🙂

    What an eternal pity Collins didnt live as long as that “oul hoor”. God has and will judge.

  • percy

    The stature of Liam Neeson.. awesome.
    Recall Oscar Schindler
    Has he turned down playing Ian Paisely?

  • McGrath

    Dream on. First the agreement is that there wont be a united Ireland without consent. Second, there is no sign whatsoevr that consent is at all likely.

    Replace ‘a reunified Ireland’ by ‘Northern Ireland’ and I might agree

    Posted by cynic on May 17, 2008 @ 08:12 AM

    The largest aspect of “adequately accommodated” would be consent, if only you weren’t so cynical cynic.

  • Rory

    Jo,

    That was Alan Rickman who played DeValera and I agree with you that he got him just right. I was at a London screening of the film at the Screen on the Green which was afterwards addressed by the producer Mike Wooley, followed by a q&a;session. One bright young thing asked why Alan Rickman played Dev with such a funny posh high pitched accent. I was able to tell her that it was probably because he had done his research well as that was just how Dev spoke and I had listened to him as a boy.

    Gery Lawless used to tell the story of how, when he was a mere lad, he accompanied his grandmother a Fianna Fail stalwart to a meeting with Dev at the presedential residence. As they entered his room the great man was just rising from the turf fire which he appeared to be in the process of setting and made a show of brushing his hands as he came forward to greet them. Afterwards Gery marvelled to his granny at the humility of the President of Ireland bending down to kindle his own turf fire.

    “Arra, wisht”, said granny,”Did ye not notice the place is centrally heated. That was all for show so we would spread the legend of his humility”.

    But the best Dev story is of how during the Truce he and Harry Boland (played by Aidan Quinn in the movie as Collins’ best friend later shot in the river when he takes the Republican side)had both been out to buy bread on a Saturday night – which was really a pretext for their long suffering spouses to cover up that were off scheming again rather than pay their wives the courtesy of some time alone.

    Anyway they are standing on the corner, loaves under their arms gabbing and scheming, and, as a body will, each began picking at the loaf under his arm until there was a great hole in each which they only noticed when it came time to part.

    “Holy Mother”, says Boland, “the missus’ll kill me. What will I tell her now?”

    “She has a soft spot for me, Harry, “says Dev,” tell her that it was me that picked at the loaf and she’ll be forgiving”.

    “Right – oh, God no! I can’t. That would be a lie and I’ve just been to confession and need to take communion in the morning”.

    Dev had a think for a moment and then simply took Boland’s loaf from under his arm and replaced it with his own.

    “Now tell her”, says Dev and sauntered off.

  • Harry Flashman

    I can somewhat sympathise with the English who got a wee bit pissed off with the characterisation of their race in Hollywood in the 1990’s, where every villain had to speak with a toffee nosed English accent and the only true heroes were Irish.

    Even Ben Elton satirised it in one of his skits where he had Lord Toff calling to his chum on the Titanic “Come on Lord Bastard throw another Irish baby on the barbeque”.

    Just for the record Eamon De Valera was an Irishman, a Republican patriot who fought bravely for his country, he was not some sort of Rickmanesque “Die Hard” mitteleropa villain who was up against Bruce Willis’ noble Michael Collins. If ye want your villains decided by Hollywood at least have the decency to accept that they were actually Irish (if a little hispanic) and don’t try to change them into Englishmen.

    Forgive me but I’m of the old fashioned school, my Irish rebel ballads of choice are ‘Boulevogue’ and ‘The West’s Awake’.

  • Rory

    Just a number of points to consider, Harry. Dev did speak with a fussy precision which Rickman captured quite well. It was Irishman Liam Neeson who played Collins and the film was written and directed by the Irish director, Neill Jordan.

    For sure the movie can be seen as a revisionist hagiography of Collins and a demonisation of Dev as the Daddy of all the Cute Hoors. But this view and the contrary one have been endlessly disputed and counter-disputed over the decades and no doubt will continue to be. Best to lie back and enjoy the movie.

  • Rory

    ….or you might soon wish to view a cinematic take on a more recent period of Irish history:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/celebritynews/1956102/Bobby-Sands-film-risks-Cannes-controversy.html

  • Garibaldy

    Further to Harry’s question, the reason the attack on the station where South was killed went so badly was because the lorry was parked on the wrong side of the road, enabling a hail of death to pour without accurate return fire.

  • PeaceandJustice

    Dewi is very quiet today. That girl from the Ardoyne must be controlling the sheep in the Welsh valleys!

  • Dewi

    Oh Come on ! it’s a great song ! – I promise to review any Loyalist songs with an entirely indifferent attitude.

  • Turgon

    Dewi,
    It may amaze you (and others) to know that I have a mild interest in Irish traditional music (though I am more into classical).

    There are many very good Irish songs with good tunes without getting excited about that reasonably good tune about an incompetent revolutionary / terrorist who managed to get himself and one of his comrades killed in an utterly daft attack on a sleepy village police station. One might just as well celebrate an attack on say Betws-y-coed police station (now a B+B).

    I do not approve of celebrating anyone’s death but the only people who seem to merit approval in that daft raid were the 3 policemen who fought off the attack.

  • Dewi

    It was a daft raid but it is a wonderful song sorry. Have you got any great Unionist songs ?

  • Turgon

    It also saddens me that although Moane’s Cross was nice in the spring sunshine last time I was past, I am sure it was a dreadful place to leave dead or dying men on New Year’s Day.

    If those people laying flowers were relatives: remember that Messers. O’Hanlon and South might still be alive today had they not embarked on that attack. Had they succeeded what would that have achieved other than for some other people to lay flowers at a cemetery somewhere in Fermanagh.

    Remember (by a Welshman) The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

  • Dewi

    OK Turgon – and touche – but fighting for freedom – and you must admit in 1959 NI a terrible place.

  • Turgon

    Okay Dewi, I have been fighting with YouTube to get good unionist songs. Here are some I like (I suspect Darth might be your best bet for good unionist songs).

    There are the ones everyone knows such as The Sash and Derry’s Walls. My favourites, however are Orange and Blue and especially The Blackman’s Dream.

  • Dewi

    Thanks Turgon – watched them all and with all due respect – not much fun… the Irish have got all the best tunes !!!

  • cynic

    “Further to Harry’s question, the reason the attack on the station where South was killed went so badly was because the lorry was parked on the wrong side of the road, enabling a hail of death to pour without accurate return fire. ”

    So the RUC introduced the first fixed penalties for parking offences too….

  • PeaceandJustice

    To Dewi – Did the Ardoyne girl wake up the sheep?! Now you’re awake, I’ll repeat the question that you’ve so far failed to answer: Would you be happy with a band singing UVF songs in Windsor Park?

  • Harry Flashman

    Without having watched Turgon’s You Tube links (broadband packed up and I’m on a snail like dial up) I have to say his choice of good Orange songs is pretty much the ones I’d have chosen (except for the Blackman’s Dream, never heard of that one) but what about The Orange Lilly and my absolute favourite (and favourite of my Republican Granny) The Oul’ Orange Flute?

    By the way Dewi can I bother you again to tell me how to link? The information I’ve got below tells me to use an “i” umlaut followed by an upside down question mark then a 1/2 fraction, I’m fairly certain that’s not right, this time I will write it down and keep it safe.

  • Harry Flashman

    Oh and how could I forget the song so good the BBC World Service pinched it, Lilibullero?

  • Prionsa Eoghan

    Dewi, Dewi, Dewi.

    Don’t let yoursel be barracked into apologising for anything at all. These volunteers are worth remembering, they were fighting and dying for a worthy cause not an apartheid Unionist hegemony.

    I’d learnt Sean South long before I was out of primary school, Irish soldier laddie and the broad black brimmer etc.. And my party piece;

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ylrodyILCj0&feature=related

    And one I never tire listening to;

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ieNwb07tgG8&feature=related

    Every night is a rebel night here in Glasgow Dewi, the new home of Irish Republican music. the party on the Gallowgate on friday will be unmissable after we win the league on thursday night.

  • Dewi

    Harry – >a href=”http://sluggerotoole.com/index.php/weblog/comments/moane-cross-and-the-end-of-history/P25/”>Like that With the first > the other way round. P&J;it depends on the song I suppose.

  • Dewi

    That Blackman’s Dream grows on u a bit – Pyramids and Toads – reminds me a bit of early Pink Floyd.

  • Dewi

    Tony – “No Pasaran!” – excellent.

  • Harry Flashman

    Thanks Dewi, this is how the instructions look on my screen:-

    [i][a href=�http://URL]name[/a] then change the [] brackets to <>[/i]

    Strange isn’t it?

  • Rory

    …and don’t forget this in honour of Henry Joy McCracken, a great Ulster Protestant who had only the best interests of his people at heart and understood too well the sectarianism which unionism used to exploit those same people.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzBQ3gyLHd4&feature=related

    and while we’re on Antrim men, here is the original that inspired Séan South:

    Enjoy.

  • “Henry Joy McCracken (31 August 1767 – 17 July 1798) was a cotton manufacturer and industrialist, Presbyterian, radical Irishman ..”

    A young businessman in the years before the Union. Surely not an exploiter, Rory …

    It’s interesting to note that these radical/New Light Presbyterians in Ulster often found themselves on the opposite side of the political divide to their Old Light colleagues, Episcopalians and Catholics.

  • Garibaldy

    I don’t mean to be pedantic, but unionism is an ahistorical term for the era of Henry Joy. I understand what Rory means, but we should note that there is a danger in such language as it runs together Irish history, and tends to eliminate other forces that shaped it, especially class politics. It also risks neglecting the way sectarianism has been used and exploited across the political divide (including people like Daniel O’Connell who took arms against the United Irishmen), while underestimating the extent to which sectarianism is unfortunately not simply something that was conjured from nothing by the British or Irish elite, and cannot be presumed to be something that can just as easily be magicked away if the elite chose to.

    As for Nevin’s point, in the late C18th the bourgeoisie was the main revolutionary class, much less exploitative than the aristocracy.

  • cynic

    Garibaldy

    Interesting but arent you missing the point? Why worry when you can simplify it down to themuns and us and sing some good songs about brave men murdering people? Sectarianism hasnt just been exploited – its almost become the religion /creed byu which many of our contry men and women define themselves. “I am one of us and not one of them”.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Thanks Turgon – watched them all and with all due respect – not much fun… the Irish have got all the best tunes !!!”

    You’re just grumpy cos Cardiff lost- the lads in Portsmouth LOL will be happy tonight

    Firstly…er aren’t WE Irish too? Certainly our senile first Minister thinks so.

    Secondly, the best Irish ballad is ” My Lovely Horse”- so moving and typically maudlin for the tourishsts

    “The Green Grassy Slopes of the Boyne” has a bit of oomph, even if it gets the formation of the Orange order 105 years too soon in the chorus. “The Orange Lily” is my own favourite with it’s reference to “Erin’s Loyal Lily”. “The Aghalee Heroes” and “South Down Militia” have a certain swagger about them. Turgon will be familiar with “The Sprigs of Kilrea”

    “Lilibullero” is of course the song that historians claim lost James 3 Kingdoms, such was its popularity. Even Dustin the Turkey won’t match that.

  • Dewi

    Darth
    “Firstly…er aren’t WE Irish too?” I wish you lot would make your mind up……

    I’ll have a look at those tonight.
    Did u know that Cardiff’s goalie in the 1927 final was an ex IRA pal of Sean Lemass?? and that 2 of the players went on to play for Linfield and win Welsh, Irish and English FA cup medals ? I’m a soccer expert now……

  • darth rumsfeld

    Indeed Dewi- the goalie was sent out of ireland by his parents after the Great war because they wisely disapproved of the company he was keeping- didn’t know he was actually in the IRA though..

    Portsmouth’s 1939 team also included ex-Belfast Celtic great Jimmy McAlinden, who later managed Distillery. The moral clearly is – Ulstermen win you trophies ( I don’t think we can really count Tony Capaldi, even though he has some tenuous connection)

    And don’t forget that classic “The Ould orange Flute” when you’re on youtube.

  • Dewi
  • AntiChrist

    Oh see the fleet-foot host of men
    Who speed with faces wan
    From farm-stead and from fisher’s cot
    Along the banks of Bann.

    They come with vengeance in their eye
    Too late, too late are they
    For Roddy MacCorley goes to die
    On the Bridge of Toome this day

    They just don’t write ’em like that any more.

  • Dewi
  • susan

    AntiChrist, thanks for the reminder of one of the old tunes I love the most. I went to YouTube to see if there was any old footage of the Ciarán Bourke, Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly version, and I stumbled on this clip of Ciarán Bourke’s last ever television appearance, reciting “Lament for Brendan Behan” and singing ‘the auld Triangle.” For those who would enjoy, enjoy —

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SgoCwCyhh-Q

  • Dewi

    Superb Susan.

  • Donnacha

    Dewi, SSoG is tripe, musically. Don’t waste your time with it. Try this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uggbzBtGbJw

  • Susan, what do you think of the old Mayo chat-up line: “How would you like to be buried with our people?”? Where did all the folk and ballad singers go? Wehoe!!

  • Rory

    “They just don’t write ‘em like that any more.”

    Very true, Antichrist, but then, on the bright side, they don’t hang ’em on the Bridge of Toome either.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Dewi
    the wiki entry on Farquharson apparently confirms that he was a sympathiser and not a member of the IRA- which was my recollection of a recent discussion with a leading local football statistician about him. The two Ulstermen on the team were transferred from Crusaders if I remember correctly. I think one was “Sticky” Sloan.

    Hope you enjoyed the Ould orange Flute, even though the Clancy brothers are a wee bit reedy and tweedy to give it the leather. Still, I hope you’re cycling to work singing the praises of “the ould cause that gave us our freedom religion and laws”, before that oh so poignant crescendo ” As the flames licked around it they heard a strange noise- Twas the ould flute stil playing the Protestant boys”

    Who says the Devil has all the best music?

  • susan

    Nevin, it is going to take a shotgun to clear that “horse it into ye” number out of my head, how could you?

    One of the worst chat-up lines I recall was in New York, from a wee émigré from Dingle’s own Castlegregory. He was one of those “small but perfectly formed” specimens just about your height if they are standing and you are sitting on a bar stool. To be honest with you he was so small and scrubbed-looking I thought he was asking me for directions, or something equally harmless. Therefore — or thusly, as it were — when I missed the line the first time, and the second, and the third, I smiled encouraginly each time, asking “sorry?” as he repeated it louder and louder.

    Finally, in exasperation he half-shouted it into my ear — my good ear — and the barman, an Armagh man, later wheezingly told me he thought I was going to burst into tears as the meaning slowly sunk in. I wish I knew how to do justice to the open throttle effect of the full-bore West Kerry accent as it hurtles towards the goal, but the line was “A tall tree is easily climbed when its felled,” and though I didn’t go home with him he won in a way as I’ve never forgotten him or the line. Though I’ve tried. :o)

    Rory, having now had a chance i see it was you that brought “Roddy Mccorley’ into the thread. Maith thú.

    Dewi, I’m looking forward to seeing some of your clips. We couldn’t close this thread without a bit of sean nós, and here’s a good one, from Carna’s, in Connemara’s, finest

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3AFRCWg_kOc

  • “a wee émigré from Dingle’s own Castlegregory”

    Was he one of the Castlegregory Campbells who now sits in Stormont? 😉

  • Mayoman

    A personal favourite of mine, a true rebel song. Was a fave of both my grandads too. Both fought the Tan war, but were on oppoiste sides in the civil war.

    “Right proudly high over Dublin Town they hung out the flag of war
    ‘Twas better to die ‘neath an Irish sky than at Sulva or Sud El Bar
    And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through
    While Britannia’s Huns, with their long range guns sailed in through the foggy dew

    Ah, back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore
    For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more
    But to and fro in my dreams I go and I’d kneel and pray for you,
    For slavery fled, O glorious dead, When you fell in the foggy dew.”

    Hard to beat IMHO. Brilliant version by Sinead O’Connor and that mighty rebel band, The Chieftains 😉

  • Greenflag

    Nevin,

    ‘If you read A T Q Stewart’s “The Narrow Ground” you’d begin to ask what precautionary strategies are in place to see us safely through 2016.’

    Eh ? I’d be more concerned about getting safely (i.e the Assembly not collapsing) through 2009.

    ‘They certainly weren’t in place in the lead up to 1966. ‘

    Ireland in 1966 was a different country from the Ireland of today . Irish ‘nationalism’ has matured in the Republic and even Irish Republicans in Northern Ireland have accepted what they never accepted before i.e NI remains part of the UK as long as the majority of people within NI so wish.

    Sammy is right -the war is over-. There will always be a few ‘dissidents’ on both sides but by 2016 if they’re not extinct they’ll not be reproducing their kind.

  • “Sammy is right -the war is over-.”

    I suppose it was over in 1925 and in 1962, Greenflag …

    A T Q Stewart might be able to illustrate the dangers of ignoring historical precedent anytime the constitutional question arises, especially for those who live in earlier ‘hotspots’ like Derry, Portadown and Belfast.

    Examples of ‘reproduction’ can be found on YouTube but you’ll probably avert your gaze from them too … [eg google with loyalist republican rfb bands]

  • Dewi

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zlpkmqxGmt4

    Susan – let’s keep up to date will ya !!!

  • Dewi

    Donnacha – u r a bit bloodthirsty – what’s a halbert anyway?

    Turgon, Darth – I’ve been singing that Black Man’s dream all week in the office – they think I’ve finally flipped.

    My favourite anyway:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ORifieiZiP4&feature=related

  • Dewi
  • Mike

    Prionsa Eoghan

    “Don’t let yoursel be barracked into apologising for anything at all. These volunteers are worth remembering, they were fighting and dying for a worthy cause not an apartheid Unionist hegemony.”

    Terrorist thugs who came from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland to try to murder Northern Irish village policemen.

    Whose ‘worthy cause’ involved claiming that their little armed gang was in fact the legitimate government and army of the island of Ireland, and accordingly claiming a mandate for mass murder.

    ‘Worth remembering’, indeed…

  • susan

    Was he one of the Castlegregory Campbells who now sits in Stormont? 😉

    Posted by Nevin on May 20, 2008 @ 11:54 AM

    Nevin, I’d like to believe he cashed in early on the CardioSalsa craze and now owns half of South Beach, Florida.

    Great tune, Mayoman. Another favourite. When Sinead is good she’s fantastic, but almost all the great female singers of a certain age, Sinead included learned a great deal about singing listening to their parents’ or grandparents’ Mary O’Hara recordings. I I couldn’t find her “Bold Fenian Men’ — or “Down by the Glenside’, whatever, on youtube, but i did find a link here that might work for you:

    http://www.modperl.com/Songs/Folk/Mary%20O'Hara/Songs%20of%20Ireland/

  • Dewi

    Don’t work Susan

  • Dewi

    And finally from me honest – this lad works for me – not bad?

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=e9e-_uKaP-E

    I only employ people who can sing rebel songs.

  • Dewi

    But mine’s better – Nos da

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=oOaguw-FxMI

  • susan

    dewi, sorry, I can’t get the link to work now, either! She’s on itunes, Ireland and UK store, if that helps. so worth seeking out.

    Just saw your new link. Stay as you are, and be ever wonderful, Dewi. Thanks for sharing. Great song, i heard the edge sing it once, years back. this is a clip, but not of the time I heard him:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HXxefgAlrag&feature=related

    If anyone even thinks about saying anything snide about the fact that it is u2 — you know who you are — i may not have your way with a hyperlink, but I have just located the head butt function. You’ve been warned. :o)

  • Dewi

    Susan I love it – so concise:

    “And tear their hands as they tear the soil”

    Sod Dustin – we gotta winner!!!

  • Dewi
  • Donnacha

    Dewi, a halberd is similar to a pike, but more manageable. The Swiss Guards carry them at the Vatican. Sorry for the bloodlust, but Fiach MacHugh was an ancestor. For less bloodthirsty ould rebel songs, try this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa4qPW8g-_0

  • Dewi

    Funny Donnacha – that song annoys me for some reason – a bit twee:

    Then the Vikings came around
    Turned us up and turned us down
    Started building boats and towns
    They tried to change our living
    They tried to change our living

    Just don’t quite make it – stick to the bloodlust !!!!