Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916
The Signatories of the Proclamation

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Frank Sherwin

Frank Sherwin (1905–1981) was an Irish independent politician who sat for eight years as Teachta Dála (TD) for Dublin North–Central, from 1957 to 1965.

Sherwin was born in Upper Dorset Street, in inner-city Dublin in 1905, son of a carter. He left school at 14 and became an apprentive harness-maker. At ten years old, he witnessed intense fighting on North King Street near his home during the Easter Rising of 1916.

As a teenager, Sherwin joined the Fianna Éireann (youth wing of the Irish Republican Army) and participated in the Irish War of Independence. Subsequently, aged 17, he joined the Irish Army of the Irish Free State. However, he deserted the army after the attack on the Four Courts that marked the start of the Irish Civil War and re-joined the Fianna as a guerrilla fighter against the Free State.

He was captured after an attack on Wellington Barracks in November 1922 and badly beaten in custody. He eventually suffered a stroke as result and lost the use of his right arm. He was interned at the Curragh Camp and released in 1924.

He afterwards ran a dance hall and became chairman of the Fianna.

Sherwin joined Fianna Fáil in 1926, and in 1939 was elected to the party's Ard Comhairle (National Executive). During World War II, he joined the Irish Army as a reserve with other Fianna veterans. He fell out with Fianna Fáil in 1943 after they refused to nominate him as a candidate for a general election. After a brief flirtation with Clann na Poblachta, he first ran as an independent in 1945.

He stood as an independent candidate in the 3-seat Dublin North–Central constituency at the 1957 general election, gaining 15% of the first-preference vote. Colm Gallagher, the Fianna Fáil TD, died in June 1957, just three months after the election, triggering a by-election on 14 November, which Sherwin won.

The constituency was expanded to a 4-seater for the 1961 general election, and Sherwin retained his seat comfortably, winning over 21% of the first-preference vote. However, his vote fell at the 1965 election to less than 6%, and he lost his seat to Labour Party's Michael O'Leary.

Sherwin has been described as "colourful". In 1958, when the Dáil was debating allowing women to join the Garda Síochána, he suggested that "while recruits should not be actually horse faced, they should not be too good looking. They should be just plain women and not targets for marriage".

He remained a republican sympathiser throughout his life and wrote in his memoirs in the 1970s that, "The Provisional IRA can not be expected to disappear as if they had never fought and suffered". On the Northern Ireland question he wrote, "the solution to the northern problem is for the British Army to get out... The Orangemen would not last a week against the northern nationalists supported by southern government. If the Orangemen did fight it would be a good thing in the long run as it would clear the northern area of foreign bigots".

Dublin's Frank Sherwin Bridge, opened in 1982, is named in his honour.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - James O'Toole

James O'Toole (died 24 September 1969) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. A publican, he was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Wicklow constituency at the 1957 general election. He lost his seat at the 1961 general election.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Séan Browne

Séan Browne (3 May 1916 – 27 March 1996) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Wexford constituency – first elected in 1957.

Browne was a prominent member of the GAA. He served as chairman of Wexford County Board for 21 years.

Seán Browne was the uncle of John Browne, currently a TD representing the Wexford constituency.

Browne was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil TD for the Wexford constituency at the 1957 general election. He was defeated at the 1961 election, and was unsuccessful again at the 1965 general election. However, after his 1961 defeat he was elected to the 10th Seanad on the Labour Panel, which returned him in 1965 to the 11th Seanad.

Browne regained his Dáil seat at the 1969 general election. He was re-elected to the Dáil in 1973 and 1977, but was defeated at the 1981 general election. He was re-elected at the February 1982 election, but when the 23rd Dáil was dissolved later that year, he did not contest the November 1982 election and was succeeded by his nephew John Browne.

He also served as Leas-Cheann Comhairle (Deputy Chairman) of Dáil Éireann from 1977 to 1981.

Taoiseach accepts Famine painting from Michael Flatley

 The Walking Dead - a Paiting by Michael Flatley
In an article from thr IrishTimes. com dated 23 February 2013, "Dancer Michael Flatley, who has become an artist, has presented one of his paintings to Taoiseach Enda Kenny during a private meeting in Government Buildings.
The painting, The Walking Dead – an abstract depiction of victims of the Famine – will be hung in the Department of the Taoiseach for the remainder of 2013, the year of the Gathering, and thereafter become part of the State’s art collection.
Mr Kenny said he was “delighted” to accept the painting “on behalf of the State and in recognition of the year of the Gathering in Ireland” and described it as “very striking indeed and the subject matter is, of course, something Irish people all over the world hold close to their hearts”.
The Taoiseach wished Flatley “every success in his new chosen path”.
The handover ceremony was attended by Flatley’s wife Niamh, son Michael St James (aged 5) and Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
Flatley said the painting, about 8ft high and 4ft wide, had been framed in London using wood from trees grown on his 150-acre Castlehyde estate on the banks of the river Blackwater near Fermoy, Co Cork."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bloody Sunday families slam $77,000 compensation offer from Britain as ‘an insult’

Photograph taken on Bloody Sunday, 1972
In an article from subtitled: British government’s offer seen as “derisory” after 14 killed by Parachute Regiment By IrishCentral Staff Writers, they relate:

The families of civilians killed and injured by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday have slammed the offer of a $77,000 (€58,000) compensation package from the British government.

In January 1972, British paratroopers opened fired on innocent civil rights marchers and 14 were killed. After a lengthy inquiry into the matter the Saville Report was published in June 2010. Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron subsequently apologized to the families of the victims in Parliament. The report which took 12-years to complete was heavily critical of the British army and found that soldiers killed people without justification.
Read more: British Take Blame for Bloody Sunday

Of the 26 civilians who were shot that day thirteen died, one died a few months later and the others survived. Victim’s families been offered $77,400 each as part of the family’s $2 million compensation package provided by the British Ministry of Defense.

Kate Nash, whose brother William was killed and father Alex was injured, told the Sun newspaper: “My brother cannot be replaced and all the money in the world won’t bring him back.”

Nash said she is interested in accountability and not money.

A solicitor for one of the families said the $77,400 offer was derisory and an insult.

A spokesperson for the Belfast-based law firm Madden and Finucane, representing many of the Bloody Sunday relatives, told “Negotiations in respect of compensation are continuing with the MoD and their legal representatives.”

“The contents of those negotiations shall remain confidential between the families of those murdered and the wounded whom we represent and the MoD.”
Read more:
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Patrick Tierney

Patrick Tierney
Patrick Tierney (died 29 September 1990) was an Irish Labour Party politician. A labourer before entering politics, he was elected to the 8th Seanad on the Labour Panel in 1954. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Labour Party Teachta Dála (TD) for the Tipperary North constituency at the 1957 general election. He was re-elected at the 1961 and 1965 general elections. He did not contest the 1969 general election.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - John Joe McGirl

John Joe McGirl (25 March 1921 – 8 December 1988) was an Irish republican, a Sinn Féin politician, and a former chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Born and raised in Ballinamore, County Leitrim, McGirl became involved with the IRA in the 1930s. In 1946, he was arrested along with Cathal Goulding and ten others and was sentenced to 12 months in prison for IRA membership.

McGirl participated in the IRA Border Campaign. In January 1957, McGirl was tried and convicted at Ballinamore courthouse and imprisoned in Mountjoy Prison.

Although a prisoner, he was elected a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála (TD) for the Sligo–Leitrim constituency at the 1957 general election, topping the poll with 7,007 votes (15.7%). Running on an abstentionist ticket, Sinn Féin won 4 seats at the general election including Eighneachán Ó hAnnluain, Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and John Joe Rice. He did not retain his seat at the 1961 general election and his share of the vote was halved and he received only 2,487 votes (7.3%).

In November 1957, he delivered the oration at the funerals of some of the "Edentubber Martyrs" - four IRA members who were killed when a bomb they were preparing accidentally exploded. In 1962, he served on the committee which founded St. Felim's College, Ballinamore.

When the IRA split in 1969, between "Official IRA" and "Provisional IRA" factions, McGirl sided with the Provisionals, who were committed to launching an armed campaign against British rule in Northern Ireland. In 1974, he was interned in Northern Ireland.

McGirl contested the February 1982 and 1987 general elections. In the former contest, he received 2,772 votes (6.1%) and in the latter, 2,627 votes (5.7%).

McGirl served as vice-president of Sinn Féin. Originally he was opposed to the dropping of the Éire Nua policy and was considered an ally of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh. However at the 1986 Sinn Féin Ardfheis, McGirl supported the moves of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness to drop the policy of abstentionism, greatly angering his contemporaries Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and Dáithí Ó Conaill.

McGirl was a publican, undertaker and bicycle-repairer in Ballinamore. He was elected a Sinn Féin councillor to Leitrim County Council in 1960, serving chairperson of that body. He was a member of the council at the time of his death. After his death, a monument was erected to McGirl in his native town of Ballinamore. It is located on the bridge crossing the Shannon–Erne Waterway.

A nephew, Francis McGirl, was charged but acquitted of the murder of Lord Mountbatten, who was killed by the IRA when his boat was bombed off the Sligo coast in 1979. His son, Liam McGirl, was co-opted on to Leitrim County Council in 1988 after his father's death. He was subsequently re-elected until 2001 where he retired and handed the seat over to Martin Kenny in 2001.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Eighneachán Ó hAnnluain

Eighneachán Ó hAnnluain was an Irish Sinn Féin politician. He was elected as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála (TD) at the 1957 general election for the Monaghan constituency. He did not take his seat in the Dáil as Sinn Féin ran on an abstentionist ticket. He was one of four Sinn Féin TDs elected at the 1957 general election, the others were Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, John Joe McGirl and John Joe Rice. He did not contest the 1961 general election.

His brother Fergal O'Hanlon was a member of the Irish Republican Army. His sister Pádraigín Uí Mhurchadha was a Sinn Féin Monaghan town councillor from 1999 to 2009.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - James Griffin

James Griffin (17 April 1899 – 22 March 1959) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Meath constituency at the 1957 general election. He died in 1959 during the 16th Dáil, a by-election was held on 22 July 1959 which was won by Henry Johnston of Fianna Fáil.

Monday, February 11, 2013

1916 Easter Rising Conference to take place in Dublin

Last Battlefield of the Easter Rising 1916, on Moore Street

In an article in,the writers indicate:

Joanna Brück of University College Dublin and Lisa Godson of the National College of Art and Design/GradCAM have organized the conference, Object Matters: Making 1916, which will take place at the Wood Quay venue in Dublin’s Civic Offices on 26 and 27 April.
Speakers from a range of disciplines will speak at the event, which will showcase new research on "visual and material culture of the Rising, looking at the origins of the tricolour, Celtic Revival dress, the politics of commemoration, how 1916 is displayed in museums, Volunteer uniforms, prison art and more," reports
Three main speakers are scheduled for the conference: Nicholas Allen, from the University of Georgia, and Pat Cooke and Mary E Daly, both from the University College Dublin.
The themes of the event include the materialization of memory; the meaning of place; the creation of national symbols; text as material culture; and representing the Rising in art and film.
Tickets and more information can be found at the official conference website, here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Seán Doherty

Seán Doherty (died 17 March 1985) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Mayo North constituency at the 1957 general election. He did not contest the 1961 general election.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Pádraig Faulkner

Pádraig Faulkner

Pádraig Faulkner (12 March 1918 – 1 June 2012) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He was first elected in 1957 as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Louth constituency, serving until 1987. Faulkner also served as Minister for Lands, Minister for the Gaeltacht, Minister for Education, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs, Minister for Tourism and Transport, Minister for Defence and Ceann Comhairle.

Faulkner was born in Dundalk, County Louth in 1918. He was educated at Dundalk CBS and St Patrick's College of Education in Drumcondra, Dublin, where he qualified as a national school teacher. Faulkner grew up in Dunleer in South Louth, where his father was a strong supporter of Fine Gael, while his mother supported the more Republican Fianna Fáil party. He favoured his mother's political outlook and he joined Fianna Fáil. Faulkner unsuccessfully contested the Louth by-election in 1954, and at the 1957 general election he was finally elected to Dáil Éireann.

In 1965, Faulkner was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Gaeltacht by the Taoiseach, Seán Lemass. He was appointed to the Cabinet by the new Taoiseach, Jack Lynch in 1968 and served in every Fianna Fáil led government until 1980. During the Arms Crisis, he was a Lynch loyalist. He was one of a number of senior TDs who organised the assembly of TDs and Senators in Dublin Airport to welcome Lynch home from the United States after the defendants had been found not guilty at the Arms Trial. Nine years later in 1979, one of those defendants, Charles Haughey, was elected Taoiseach. Faulkner was retained in the cabinet until 1980 when he was elected Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann.

Following this appointment, he retired to the backbenches before retiring completely from politics at the 1987 general election. In a Dáil career that spanned 30 years, his most notable achievements include the introduction of the legislation to establish two commercial semi-State companies, An Post and Telecom Éireann. Faulkner was subsequently appointed to the Council of State by President Patrick Hillery in 1990.

He died at the age of 94 on 1 June 2012.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh in 2004
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh speaking at the 2003 RSF Ard Fheis
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh (born 2 October 1932) is an Irish republican. He is a former chief of staff of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), former president of Sinn Féin and former president of Republican Sinn Féin.
Ó Brádaigh, born Peter Roger Casement Brady, was born into a middle-class republican family in Longford that lived in a duplex home on Battery Road. His father, Matt Brady, was an IRA volunteer and was severely wounded in an encounter with the Royal Irish Constabulary, in 1919. His mother, May Caffrey, was a Cumann na mBan volunteer, and graduate of University College Dublin, class of 1922, with a degree in Commerce. His father died when he was ten, and was given a paramilitary funeral led by his former IRA colleagues. His mother, prominent as the Secretary for the County Longford Board of Health, lived until 1974. Ó Brádaigh was educated at St Mel's College, leaving in 1950, and University College Dublin, from where he graduated with a commerce degree (BComm) and certification in the teaching of the Irish language, in 1954. That year he took a job teaching Irish at Roscommon Vocational School, in Roscommon.
He joined Sinn Féin in 1950. While at university, in 1951, he joined the Irish Republican Army. In September 1951, he marched with the IRA at the unveiling of the Seán Russell monument in Fairview park, Dublin. A teacher by profession, he was also a Training Officer for the IRA. In 1954, he was appointed to the Military Council of the IRA, a subcommittee set up by the IRA Army Council in 1950 to plan a military campaign against Royal Ulster Constabulary barracks in Northern Ireland.

On 13 August 1955, Ó Brádaigh led a ten-member IRA group in an arms raid on Hazebrouck Barracks, near Arborfield, Berkshire. It was a depot for the No 5 Radar Training Battalion of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. It was the biggest IRA arms raid in Britain and netted 48,000 rounds of .303 ammunition, 38,000 9 mm rounds, 1,300 rounds for .380 weapons, and 1,300 .22 rounds. In addition, a selection of arms were seized, including 55 Sten guns, two Bren guns, two .303 rifles and one .38 pistol. Most if not all of the weapons were recovered in a relatively short period of time. A van, travelling too fast, was stopped by the police and IRA personnel were arrested. Careful police work led to weapons that had been transported in a second van and stored in London.

The IRA Border Campaign, commenced on 12 December 1956. As an IRA General Headquarters Staff (GHQ) officer, Ó Brádaigh was responsible for training the Teeling Column (one of the four armed units prepared for the Campaign) in the West of Ireland. During the Campaign, he served as second in command of the Teeling Column. On 30 December 1956, he partook in the Teeling Column attack on Royal Ulster Constabulary barracks in Derrylin, County Fermanagh. RUC Constable John Scally was killed in the attack; Scally was the first fatality of the new IRA campaign. Ó Brádaigh, and others, were arrested across the border the day after the attack, in County Cavan by the Garda Síochána. Those arrested were tried and jailed for six months in Mountjoy Prison for failing to account for their activities.

Although a prisoner, he was elected a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála (TD) for the Longford–Westmeath constituency at the 1957 Irish general election, winning 5,506 votes (14.1%). Running on an abstentionist ticket, Sinn Féin won 4 seats including Eighneachán Ó hAnnluain, John Joe McGirl and John Joe Rice. They refused to recognise the authority of Dáil Éireann and stated they would only take a seat in an all-Ireland parliament—if it had been possible for them to do so. Ó Brádaigh did not retain his seat at the 1961 Irish general election, and his vote fell to 2,598 (7.61%).

Upon completing his prison sentence, he was immediately interned at the Curragh Military Prison, along with other republicans. On 27 September 1958, Ó Brádaigh escaped from the camp along with Dáithí Ó Conaill. While a football match was in progress, the pair cut through a wire fence and crept from the camp under a camouflage grass blanket and went "on the run". This was an official escape, authorised by the officer commanding of the IRA internees, Tomás Óg Mac Curtain. He was the first Sinn Féin TD on the run since the 1920s.

That October, Ó Brádaigh became the IRA Chief of Staff, a position he held until May 1959, when an IRA Convention elected Sean Cronin as C/S; Ó Brádaigh became Cronin's adjutant general. Ó Brádaigh was arrested in November 1959, refused to answer questions, and was jailed under the Offences against the state act in Mountjoy. He was released from Mountjoy in May 1960 and, after Cronin was arrested, he again became C/S. Although he has always emphasised that it was a collective declaration, he was the primary author of the statement ending the IRA Border Campaign in 1962. At the IRA 1962 Convention he indicated that he was not interested in continuing as Chief of Staff.

After his arrest in December 1956, he took a leave from teaching at Roscommon Vocational School. He was re-instated and began teaching again in autumn 1962, just after he was succeeded by Cathal Goulding in the position of Chief of Staff of the IRA. He remained an active member of Sinn Féin and was also a member of the IRA Army Council throughout the decade.

In the 1966 United Kingdom general election, he ran as an Independent Republican candidate in the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency, polling 10,370 votes, or 19.1% of the valid poll. He failed to be elected.

He opposed the decision of the IRA and Sinn Féin to drop abstentionism and to recognise Westminster, Stormont Belfast and Dáil Éireann at Leinster House in 1969/1970. On 11 January 1970, along with Seán Mac Stíofáin, he led the walkout from the 1970 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis (party convention) after the majority voted to end the policy of abstentionism (though the vote to change the Sinn Féin constitution failed as a two-thirds majority was required to do so, whereas the motion only achieved the support of a simple majority of delegates votes).

He was voted chairman of the Caretaker Executive of Provisional Sinn Féin. That October, he formally became president of the party. He held this position until 1983. It is also likely that he served on the Army Council or the executive of the Provisional Irish Republican Army until he was seriously injured in a car accident on 1 January 1984. Among those joining him in Provisional Sinn Féin was his brother, Seán Ó Brádaigh, the first Director of Publicity for Provisional Sinn Féin. Sean Ó Brádaigh continued in this position for almost a decade, when he was succeeded by Danny Morrison, who had been editor of An Phoblacht/Republican News. Sean Ó Brádaigh was the first editor of the paper.

In his presidential address to the 1971 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, Ó Brádaigh said that the first step to achieving a United Ireland was to make Northern Ireland ungovernable.

On 31 May 1972, he was arrested under the Offences Against the State Act and immediately commenced a hunger strike. A fortnight later the charges against him were dropped and he was released.

With Dáithí Ó Conaill he developed the Éire Nua policy, which was launched on 28 June 1972. The policy called for a federal Ireland.

On 3 December 1972, he appeared on the London Weekend Television Weekend World programme. He was arrested by the Gardaí again on 29 December 1972 and charged in the newly established Special Criminal Court with Provisional IRA membership. In January, 1973 he was the first person convicted under the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act 1972 and was sentenced to six months in the Curragh Military Prison.

In 1974, he testified in person before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations regarding the treatment of IRA prisoners in Ireland. He also had a meeting with prominent Irish-American congressman Tip O'Neill. The same year, the State Department revoked his multiple entry visa and have since refused to allow Ó Brádaigh to enter the country. 1975 Federal Bureau of Investigation documents describe Ó Brádaigh as a "national security threat" and a "dedicated revolutionary undeterred by threat or personal risk" and show that the visa ban was requested by the British Foreign Office and supported by the Dublin government. In 1997, Canadian authorities refused to allow him board a charter flight to Toronto at Shannon Airport.

During the May 1974 Ulster Workers' Council strike, Ó Brádaigh stated that he would like to see "a phased withdrawal of British troops over a number of years, in order to avoid a Congo situation".
On 10 December 1974, he participated in the Feakle talks between the IRA Army Council and Sinn Féin leadership and the leaders of the Protestant churches in Ireland. Although the meeting was raided and broken up by the Gardaí, the Protestant churchmen passed on proposals from the IRA leadership to the British government. These proposals called on the British government to declare a commitment to withdraw, the election of an all-Ireland assembly to draft a new constitution and an amnesty for political prisoners.

The IRA subsequently called a "total and complete" ceasefire intended to last from 22 December to 2 January 1975 to allow the British government to respond to proposals. British government officials also held talks with Ó Brádaigh in his position as president of Sinn Féin from late December to 17 January 1975.

On 10 February 1975, the IRA Army Council, which may have included Ó Brádaigh, unanimously endorsed an open-ended cessation of IRA "hostilities against Crown forces", which became known as the 1975 truce. The IRA Chief of Staff at the time was Seamus Twomey, of Belfast. Another member of the Council at this time was probably Billy McKee, of Belfast. Daithi O'Connell, a prominent Southern Republican, was also a member. It is reported in some quarters that the IRA leaders had mistakenly believed they had persuaded the British Government to withdraw from Ireland and the protracted negotiations between themselves and British officials were the preamble to a public declaration of intent to withdraw. In fact, as British government papers now show, the British entertained talks with the IRA in the hope that this would fragment the movement further, and scored several intelligence coups during the talks. It is argued by some that by the time the truce collapsed in late 1975 the Provisional IRA had been severely weakened. This bad faith embittered many in the republican movement, and another ceasefire was not to happen until 1994.

In 2005, Ó Brádaigh donated, to the James Hardiman Library of University College, Galway, notes that he had taken during secret meetings in 1975-76 with British representatives. These notes confirm that the British representatives were offering a British withdrawal as a realistic outcome of the meetings. The Republican representatives—Ó Brádaigh, Billy McKee and one other—felt a responsibility to pursue the opportunity, but were also skeptical of British intentions.

In late December 1976, along with Joe Cahill, he met two representatives of the Ulster Loyalist Central Coordinating Committee, John McKeague and John McClure, at the request of the latter body. Their purpose was to try to find a way to accommodate the ULCCC proposals for an independent Northern Ireland with the Sinn Féin's Éire Nua programme. It was agreed that if this could be done, a joint Loyalist-Republican approach could then be made to request the British government to leave Ireland. Desmond Boal QC and Seán MacBride SC were requested and accepted to represent the loyalist and republican positions. For months they had meetings in various places including Paris. The dialogue eventually collapsed when Conor Cruise O'Brien, then Minister for Posts and Telegraphs and vociferous opponent of the Provisional IRA, became aware of it and condemned it on RTÉ Radio. As the loyalists had insisted on absolute secrecy, they felt unable to continue with the talks as a result.

In the aftermath of the 1975 Truce, the Ó Brádaigh/Ó Conaill leadership came under severe criticism from a younger generation of activists from Northern Ireland, headed by Gerry Adams, who became a vice-president of Sinn Féin in 1978. By the early 1980s, Ó Brádaigh's position as president of Sinn Féin was openly under challenge and the Éire Nua policy was targeted in an effort to oust him. The policy was rejected at the 1981 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis and finally removed from the Sinn Féin constitution at the 1982 Ard Fheis. At the following year's ard fheis, Ó Brádaigh and Ó Conaill resigned from their leadership positions, voicing opposition to the dropping of the Éire Nua policy by the party.

On 2 November 1986, the majority of delegates to the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis voted to drop the policy of abstentionism if elected to Dáil Éireann, but not the British House of Commons or the Northern Ireland parliament at Stormont, thus ending the self-imposed ban on Sinn Féin elected representatives from taking seats at Leinster House. Ó Brádaigh and several supporters walked out and immediately set up Republican Sinn Féin (RSF); more than 100 people assembled at Dublin's West County Hotel and formed the new organization. As an ordinary member, he had earlier spoken out against the motion (resolution 162) in an impassioned speech. The Continuity IRA became publicly known in 1996. Republican Sinn Féin's relationship with the Continuity IRA is similar to the relationship between Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA when Ó Brádaigh was Sinn Féin's President.
Ó Brádaigh believes RSF to be the sole legitimate continuation of the pre-1986 Sinn Féin, arguing that RSF has kept the original Sinn Féin constitution. RSF readopted and enhanced Ó Brádaigh's Éire Nua policy. His party has had electoral success in local elections only, and few at that, although they currently have one elected Councillor in Connemara, County Galway.

He remains a vociferous opponent of the Good Friday Agreement, viewing it as a programme to copperfasten Irish partition and entrench sectarian divisions in the north. He has condemned his erstwhile comrades in Provisional Sinn Féin and the Provisional IRA for decommissioning weapons while British troops remain in the country. In his opinion, "the Provo sell-out is the worst yet - unprecedented in Irish history". He has condemned the Provisional IRA's decision to seal off a number of its arms dumps as "an overt act of treachery", "treachery punishable by death" under IRA General Army Order Number 11.

In July 2005, he handed over a portion of his personal political papers detailing discussions between Irish Republican leaders and representatives of the British Government during 1974/1975 to the James Hardiman Library, National University of Ireland, Galway.

In September 2009, O Brádaigh announced his retirement as leader of Republican Sinn Féin. His successor is Des Dalton.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Denis Francis Jones

Denis Francis Jones (12 October 1906 – 6 May 1987) was an Irish Fine Gael politician. A school teacher by profession, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Limerick West constituency at the 1957 general election. He was re-elected at each subsequent general election until he retired from politics at the 1977 general election. He served as Leas-Cheann Comhairle (Deputy Chairman) of the Dáil from 1967 to 1977.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - (George Edward) Ted Russell

(George Edward) Ted Russell (1 April 1912 – 28 November 2004) was an Irish politician and company director.

Born into a prosperous Limerick merchant family, Russell was educated at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire. Russell first stood for election as a Clann na Poblachta candidate at the 1948 general election but was not elected. He was also an unsuccessful candidate at the 1951 general election and the 1952 Limerick East by-election. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as an independent Teachta Dála (TD) for the Limerick East constituency at the 1957 general election. He lost his seat at the 1961 general election. He was elected to the 12th Seanad in 1969 on the Industrial and Commercial Panel and was re-elected to the 13th Seanad in 1973. He was defeated at the 1977 Seanad election. He unsuccessfully contested the 1965 general election as a Fine Gael candidate.

He was a member of Limerick Corporation for 38 years from 1941 to 1979, and served as Mayor of Limerick on five occasions. He was made a Freeman of the city in 1995. and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick in 2002.

Russell was active in the campaign for the establishment of a university in Limerick to serve the people of the mid-western counties of Ireland, which led to the establishment of the National Institute for Higher Education (later the University of Limerick) in 1972.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Paddy Clohessy

(Patrick) Paddy Clohessy (16 April 1908 – 6 August 1971) was an Irish sports person and politician. He played hurling with his local club Fedamore and with the Limerick senior inter-county team from 1928 until 1940. He later became a Fianna Fáil politician.

Clohessy played his club hurling with his local club in Fedamore and enjoyed some success. He won his sole senior county title with the club in 1927.

Clohessy first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Limerick senior hurling team in 1928. At that stage Limerick were down the pecking order in terms of the top teams in the Munster Championship.

All this changed, in 1933, when Limerick defeated the reigning provincial champions of Clare, giving Clohessy his first Munster title. The subsequent All-Ireland final pitted Limerick against Kilkenny - the winners of the championship in 1932. The game was a low-scoring affair with ‘the Cats’ claiming the title on a score line of 1-7 to 0-6.

In 1934 Limerick began their fight back with Clohessy added a second Munster medal to his collection as the team trounced Waterford. In their second consecutive All-Ireland final appearance Limerick faced Dublin. The metropolitans proved to be no pushover as the game ended in a draw on a score line of 2-7 to 3-4. The replay saw Limerick capture the title by five points giving Clohessy his first All-Ireland medal.

1935 saw Limerick capture Clohessy win his first National Hurling League title, however, he later missed out on a third Munster title due to injury. Clohessy was back for the All-Ireland final as Limerick took on Kilkenny once again. Limerick had had a fantastic run of 31 unbeaten games; however, Kilkenny put an end to this by defeating Clohessy’s team by just a single point.

In 1936, Clohessy added a second National League medal to his collection before collecting a third Munster medal. For the third time in four years Kilkenny provided the opposition in the subsequent All-Ireland final. Limerick, however, had the measure of ‘the Cats’ on the day and claimed victory on a score line of 5-6 to 1-5. It was Clohessy’s second All-Ireland medal.

In 1937 Clohessy captured a fourth consecutive National League medal; however, Limerick later lost their provincial crown for the first time since 1932. Three years later in 1940 Limerick regained their Munster title after an epic battle with Cork giving Clohessy his fourth provincial title. In the subsequent All-Ireland final the two outstanding teams of the decade, Kilkenny and Limerick, did battle once again. ‘The Cats’ were not the force of old as a third All-Ireland medal went to Clohessy following a 3-7 to 1-7 victory. It was Clohessy’s last major title with the Limerick inter-county hurlers as he retired from inter-county hurling following the victory.

Clohessy also lined out with Munster in the inter-provincial hurling competition. He first played for his province in 1932, however, on that occasion his side was defeated by Leinster. Clohessy remained on the team and helped Munster to capture the Railway Cup title in 1934. He won a further four title sin-a-row in 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1940.

A farmer by profession, he contested the 1954 general election in the Limerick East constituency but was not elected. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) at the subsequent 1957 general election and held his seat until standing down at the 1969 general election.

His nephew Peadar Clohessy was a Fianna Fáil and Progressive Democrats TD for Limerick East in the 1980s and 1990s.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Patrick Dooley

Patrick Dooley (14 January 1910 – 2 May 1982) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician.

A native of Athy, County Kildare and a schoolteacher, he was an successful candidate at the 1954 general election. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kildare constituency at the 1957 general election. He was re-elected at the 1961 general election, but lost his seat at the 1965 general election.

Dooley was related to Kildare TD Thomas Harris and to the Fenian, Land Leaguer and MP Matthew Harris.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - John Joe Rice

John Joe Rice (died 1 July 1970) was an Irish Sinn Féin politician. He was elected as a Sinn Féin Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kerry South constituency at the 1957 general election. He did not take his seat in the Dáil as Sinn Féin ran on an abstentionist ticket. He was one of four Sinn Féin TDs elected at the 1957 general election, the others were Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, John Joe McGirl and Eighneachán Ó hAnnluain. He was defeated at the 1961 general election.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Daniel Moloney

Daniel J. Moloney (1909 – 26 June 1963) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who served one term as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Kerry North and was later a Senator.

A former motor trader, Moloney was elected to Dáil Éireann on his first attempt, at the 1957 general election, taking his seat in the 16th Dáil. The seat had been won at the previous election for Clann na Poblachta by Johnny Connor, and retained at the by-election after Connor's death by his daughter Kathleen O'Connor, who did not stand in 1957.

The Kerry North constituency was reduced from four seats to three at the 1961 general election, and Moloney was the only outgoing TD not to be re-elected. His Fianna Fáil colleague Tom McEllistrim was returned to the 17th Dáil, the other seats going to Labour Party's Dan Spring and the independent TD Patrick Finucane.

After the loss of his Dáil seat, Moloney was elected to the 10th Seanad on the Industrial and Commercial Panel. Howevever, he died two years later, on 26 June 1963, and the by-election for his seat in the Seanad was won by John Costelloe.

Members of the Sixteenth Dáil - Brigid Hogan

Brigid Hogan
Brigid Hogan-O'Higgins (born 10 March 1932) is a retired Irish Fine Gael politician, who served for twenty years as a member of Dáil Éireann for constituencies in County Galway.

She was first elected as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway South constituency at the 1957 general election. She was re-elected at the 1961 general election for the Galway East constituency and again at the 1965 general election. After boundary changes, she was elected at the 1969 general election for Clare–Galway South, where she was returned for a fifth and final term at the 1973 general election.

Hogan-O'Higgins' years as a deputy were mostly spent in opposition: Fianna Fáil was in power continuously from 1957 to 1973, and it was only in her last term (in the 20th Dáil) that Fine Gael formed a government. She was defeated at the 1977 general election, when Jack Lynch led Fianna Fáil's return to government with a large majority.

Her father, Patrick Hogan was a TD for Galway from 1921 until his death in 1936.

Her husband, Michael O'Higgins, was also a TD, as were his father, uncle and brother. She married Michael O'Higgins in 1958, one year after her election. They had nine children. They were the first married couple ever to sit in the same Dáil.