Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916
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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Members of the Nineteenth Dáil - Liam Burke

Liam Burke
Liam Burke (2 February 1928 – 21 August 2005) was an Irish Fine Gael politician. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork North–Central constituency. Burke was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1969 general election for Cork City North–West. After the constituencies were redrawn, he stood at the 1977 general election in the new Cork City constituency, but lost his seat. He was returned to the 21st Dáil at a by-election on 7 November 1979 in the same constituency, following the death of the Labour Party TD Patrick Kerrigan. That by-election win contributed to the decision of then Taoiseach Jack Lynch to resign in December 1979.

Burke lost his seat for the second time at the 1989 general election but regained it at the 1992 general election. He then retained his seat until retiring aged 74 at the 2002 general election. At that time, he and Harry Blaney shared the distinction of being the oldest serving TDs.

He was educated at Christian Brothers College, Cork, and University College Cork. He was Lord Mayor of Cork from 1984 to 1985.

Burke died on 21 August 2005, aged 77.

His sister, Mary Woods, is an elected public representative for Fine Gael on the Town Council for Midleton, County Cork since 1985. His uncle Tadhg Manley was a Fine Gael TD from 1954 to 1961. He was a cousin of Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher.

Members of the Nineteenth Dáil - William "Bill" Loughnane

William "Bill" Loughnane (5 August 1915 – 18 October 1982) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician.

A medical doctor by profession, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Clare–Galway South constituency at the 1969 general election. He was re-elected at the 1973 general election for the same constituency. He was elected for the Galway West constituency at the 1977 general election, and was elected for the Clare constituency at the 1981 and February 1982 general elections. He died in October 1982 shortly before the November 1982 general election.

He was a noted Republican backbencher within Fianna Fáil. He and Síle de Valera were highly critical of the then Taoiseach Jack Lynch , criticism which precipitated Lynch's resignation in 1979. He was also a supporter of the Anti H-Block movement.

Members of the Nineteenth Dáil - Frank Taylor

(Francis) "Frank" Taylor (30 May 1914 – 15 April 1998) was an Irish Fine Gael politician.

A farmer before entering politics, he was first elected to the Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála (TD) for the Clare constituency at the 1969 general election, recapturing the seat held by Fine Gael TD William Murphy, who had died in 1967 and been replaced at the Clare by-election by Fianna Fáil's Sylvester Barrett.

Taylor was re-elected at the 1973 and 1977 general elections. When he retired from Dáil Éireann at the 1981 general election, his daughter Madeleine Taylor-Quinn was elected as his successor.

Members of the Nineteenth Dáil - Kieran Crotty

Kieran Crotty (born 30 August 1930) is a former Irish Fine Gael politician who served for twenty years as Teachta Dála (TD) for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency.

Crotty was first elected to the 19th Dáil at the 1969 general election. His father Patrick Crotty was a TD for Carlow–Kilkenny from 1948 to 1969. He was re-elected six times, at the 1973, 1977, 1981, February 1982, November 1982 and 1987 general elections. He did not contest the 1989 general election.

He was elected as Mayor of Kilkenny for six one-year-terms between 1970 and 1995.

The Nineteenth Dáil

This is a list of the members who were elected to the 19th Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas (legislature) of Ireland. These TDs (Members of Parliament) were elected at the 1969 general election on 18 June 1969 and met on 2 July 1969. The 19th Dáil was dissolved by President Éamon de Valera, at the request of the Taoiseach Jack Lynch on 5 February 1973. The 19th Dáil lasted 1,351 days.

The list of the 144 TDs elected, is given in alphabetical order by constituency.
Members of the 19th Dáil
Carlow–KilkennyKieran CrottyFine Gael
Jim GibbonsFianna Fáil
Desmond GoverneyFine Gael
Tom NolanFianna Fáil
Séamus PattisonLabour Party
CavanTom FitzpatrickFine Gael
Patrick O'ReillyFine Gael
Paddy SmithFianna Fáil
ClareSylvester BarrettFianna Fáil
Patrick HilleryFianna Fáil
Frank TaylorFine Gael
Clare–Galway SouthMichael CartyFianna Fáil
Brigid Hogan-O'HigginsFine Gael
Bill LoughnaneFianna Fáil
Cork City North–WestLiam BurkeFine Gael
Seán FrenchFianna Fáil
Jack LynchFianna Fáil
Cork City South–EastPeter BarryFine Gael
Gus HealyFianna Fáil
Pearse WyseFianna Fáil
Cork MidPhilip BurtonFine Gael
Donal CreedFine Gael
Paddy FordeFianna Fáil
Thomas MeaneyFianna Fáil
Cork North–EastRichard BarryFine Gael
Seán BrosnanFianna Fáil
Gerard CottFine Gael
Jerry CroninFianna Fáil
Cork South–WestFlor CrowleyFianna Fáil
Michael MurphyLabour Party
John O'SullivanFine Gael
Donegal–LeitrimJoseph BrennanFianna Fáil
Cormac BreslinCeann Comhairle
Patrick O'DonnellFine Gael
Donegal North–EastNeil BlaneyFianna Fáil
Liam CunninghamFianna Fáil
Paddy HarteFine Gael
Dublin CentralFrank CluskeyLabour Party
Vivion de ValeraFianna Fáil
Maurice E. DockrellFine Gael
Tom FitzpatrickFianna Fáil
Dublin County NorthPatrick BurkeFianna Fáil
Mark ClintonFine Gael
Desmond FoleyFianna Fáil
Justin KeatingLabour Party
Dublin County SouthKevin BolandFianna Fáil
Richard BurkeFine Gael
Tom O'HigginsFine Gael
Dublin North–CentralLuke BeltonFine Gael
George ColleyFianna Fáil
Celia LynchFianna Fáil
Michael O'LearyLabour Party
Dublin North–EastPaddy BeltonFine Gael
Charles HaugheyFianna Fáil
Conor Cruise O'BrienLabour Party
Eugene TimmonsFianna Fáil
Dublin North–WestHugh ByrneFine Gael
Richard GoganFianna Fáil
David ThornleyLabour Party
Jim TunneyFianna Fáil
Dublin South–CentralPhilip BradyFianna Fáil
Ben BriscoeFianna Fáil
John O'DonovanLabour Party
Richie RyanFine Gael
Dublin South–EastNoël BrowneLabour Party
Garret FitzGeraldFine Gael
Seán MooreFianna Fáil
Dublin South–WestJoseph DowlingFianna Fáil
Seán DunneLabour Party
Noel Lemass, JnrFianna Fáil
John O'ConnellLabour Party
Dún Laoghaire and RathdownDavid AndrewsFianna Fáil
Liam CosgraveFine Gael
Barry DesmondLabour Party
H. Percy DockrellFine Gael
Galway North–EastJohn DonnellanFine Gael
Thomas HusseyFianna Fáil
Michael F. KittFianna Fáil
Galway WestFintan Coogan, SnrFine Gael
Johnny GeogheganFianna Fáil
Bobby MolloyFianna Fáil
Kerry NorthGerard LynchFine Gael
Tom McEllistrimFianna Fáil
Dan SpringLabour Party
Kerry SouthMichael BegleyFine Gael
Timothy O'ConnorFianna Fáil
John O'LearyFianna Fáil
KildareTerence BoylanFianna Fáil
Paddy PowerFianna Fáil
Gerard SweetmanFine Gael
Laois–OffalyGer ConnollyFianna Fáil
Bernard CowenFianna Fáil
Tom EnrightFine Gael
Oliver J. FlanaganFine Gael
Patrick LalorFianna Fáil
Limerick EastStephen CoughlanLabour Party
Michael HerbertFianna Fáil
Tom O'DonnellFine Gael
Desmond O'MalleyFianna Fáil
Limerick WestGerry CollinsFianna Fáil
Michael J. NoonanFianna Fáil
Denis JonesFine Gael
Longford–WestmeathFrank CarterFianna Fáil
Patrick LenihanFianna Fáil
Gerry L'EstrangeFine Gael
Joseph SheridanIndependent
LouthFrank AikenFianna Fáil
Paddy DoneganFine Gael
Pádraig FaulknerFianna Fáil
Mayo EastMartin FinnFine Gael
Seán FlanaganFianna Fáil
Thomas O'HaraFine Gael
Mayo WestHenry KennyFine Gael
Joseph LenehanFianna Fáil
Micheál Ó MóráinFianna Fáil
MeathJohn BrutonFine Gael
Michael HilliardFianna Fáil
James TullyLabour Party
MonaghanErskine H. ChildersFianna Fáil
John ConlanFine Gael
Billy FoxFine Gael
Roscommon–LeitrimJoan BurkeFine Gael
Hugh GibbonsFianna Fáil
Brian LenihanFianna Fáil
Sligo–LeitrimJames GallagherFianna Fáil
Joseph McLoughlinFine Gael
Ray MacSharryFianna Fáil
Tipperary NorthThomas DunneFine Gael
Michael O'KennedyFianna Fáil
Michael SmithFianna Fáil
Tipperary SouthNoel DavernFianna Fáil
Jackie FaheyFianna Fáil
Patrick HoganFine Gael
Seán TreacyLabour Party
WaterfordFad BrowneFianna Fáil
Edward CollinsFine Gael
Billy KenneallyFianna Fáil
WexfordLorcan AllenFianna Fáil
Seán BrowneFianna Fáil
Brendan CorishLabour Party
Anthony EsmondeFine Gael
WicklowPaudge BrennanFianna Fáil
Liam KavanaghLabour Party
Godfrey TimminsFine Gael

4 March 1970Dublin South–WestFianna FáilLabour PartySeán Sherwin (FF) wins the seat vacated by the death of Seán Dunne (Lab)
14 April 1970KildareFine GaelFine GaelPatrick Malone (FG) holds the seat vacated by the death of Gerard Sweetman (FG)
14 April 1970Longford–WestmeathFine GaelFianna FáilPatrick Cooney (FG) wins the seat vacated by the death of Patrick Lenihan (FF)
2 December 1970Donegal–LeitrimFianna FáilFine GaelPatrick Delap (FF) wins the seat vacated by the death of Patrick O'Donnell (FG)
2 December 1970Dublin County SouthFine GaelFianna FáilLarry McMahon (FG) wins the seat vacated by the resignation of Kevin Boland (FF)
2 August 1970Cork MidFianna FáilFianna FáilGene Fitzgerald (FF) holds the seat vacated by the death of Paddy Forde (FF)
19 September 1971Dublin South–WestAontacht ÉireannFianna FáilSeán Sherwin switches party
26 June 1972Donegal North–EastIndependent Fianna FáilFianna FáilNeil Blaney expelled

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bridget Rose Dugdale

Bridget Rose Dugdale

Rose Dugdale (born c. 1941), otherwise known as Bridget Rose Dugdale, is a Sinn Féin activist and former Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteer. As an IRA member, she took part in the theft of paintings worth IR£8 million and a bomb attack on a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) station using a hijacked helicopter.

Dugdale was born into a wealthy English family, her millionaire father was an underwriter at Lloyd's of London who owned a 600-acre (2.4 km2) estate near Axminster in Devon. The family also owned a house in London near Chelsea Hospital, and Dugdale was educated at the nearby Miss Ironside's School for Girls in Kensington, west London. She was a popular pupil, with Virginia Ironside stating "Everyone adored this generous, clever and dashing millionaire's daughter, who was life and laughter". After completing her early education Dugdale was sent abroad to attend finishing school, then in 1958 she was presented as a debutante before Queen Elizabeth II at the start of the social season. Her debutante ball was held in 1959, with Dugdale describing it as "one of those pornographic affairs which cost about what 60 old-age pensioners receive in six months".

Later that year Dugdale began reading philosophy, politics and economics at St Anne's College, University of Oxford. While studying there she began what newspapers would later describe as a "lunge to the left", when she and a fellow student gatecrashed Oxford Union wearing wigs and men's clothing in protest at the Union's refusal to admit women. After completing her studies at Oxford she travelled to the United States attending Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, where she obtained a master's degree in philosophy, submitting a thesis on Ludwig Wittgenstein. She also studied at the University of London, obtaining a Ph.D. in economics.

By the early 1970's, Dugdale had become politically radicalised due to the 1968 student protests, and she had also been inspired after visiting Cuba. By 1972, she had devoted herself to helping the poor, after resigning from her job as an economist for the government, selling her house in Chelsea, and moving into a flat in Tottenham with her lover, Walter Heaton, who described himself as a "revolutionary socialist". Heaton was a court-martialled former guardsman and militant shop steward who was married with two daughters, and had been imprisoned for several minor criminal offences including burglary, obstructing the police and fraudulent consumption of electricity.

Dugdale cashed in her share of the family syndicate at Lloyd's, estimated to be £150,000, and distributed the money to poor people in north London. Dugdale and Heaton were involved in the civil rights movement, and together ran the Tottenham Claimants' Union from a corner shop. They shared a common interest in the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland, and they made frequent trips there to take part in demonstrations.

In June 1973, the couple were arrested after a burglary at the Dugdale family home in Devon. Paintings and silverware valued at £82,000 were stolen, and police believe the proceeds were destined to be sent to the IRA by Heaton. At the trial at Exeter Crown Court, Dugdale claimed to have been coerced and pleaded not guilty, and used the proceedings to publicly denounce her family and background. Her father appeared as a witness for the prosecution and was cross-examined by Dugdale, who said to him "I love you, but hate everything you stand for". The couple were found guilty, prompting Dugdale to address the jury saying "In finding me guilty you have turned me from an intellectual recalcitrant into a freedom fighter. I know no finer title". Heaton was sentenced to six years imprisonment, and Dugdale received a two-year suspended sentence as the judge considering the risk of her committing any further criminal acts to be "extremely remote".

In the months following the trial, Dugdale travelled to Ireland and joined an IRA active service unit operating along the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In January 1974, Dugdale and other IRA members, including Eddie Gallagher, hijacked a helicopter in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Dugdale and Gallagher used the helicopter to drop bombs in milk churns on the RUC station in Strabane in Northern Ireland, the first helicopter bombing raid in the history of the British Isles. The bombs failed to explode, and Dugdale became wanted for questioning regarding the bombing with her picture in police stations across Britain and Ireland. A warrant was also issued for her arrest by Manchester Magistrates Court on 23 February 1974 on charges of conspiring to smuggle arms.

On 26 April 1974, Dugdale took part in a raid on Russborough House in County Wicklow, the home of Sir Alfred Beit. Dugdale and three other IRA members forced their way into the house, and pistol-whipped Sir Alfred and his wife before tying and gagging the couple. The IRA members then stole nineteen old masters valued at IR£8 million, including paintings by Gainsborough, Rubens, Vermeer and Goya. The Vermeer taken was Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid, the only Vermeer in private ownership except for one at Buckingham Palace. The IRA members sent a ransom note offering to exchange the stolen paintings for IR£500,000 and the release of Dolours and Marian Price, two sisters convicted of IRA bombings who were on hunger strike in Brixton Prison attempting to secure repatriation to Ireland. The Gardaí started a nationwide hunt for the paintings, and on 4 May they raided a house rented by Dugdale in Glandore, County Cork, and discovered all nineteen paintings in the boot of a car. Dugdale was arrested under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act, and the next day she was charged in relation to the helicopter attack and the art theft.

As at her previous trial in 1973, Dugdale once again used the courtroom as a political platform, shouting "The British have an army of occupation in a small part of Ireland—but not for long!" during her arraignment in Dublin. Dugdale's father issued a statement saying "I don't want to appear hardhearted, but I've done everything I can for her. She knows perfectly well she could turn to me if she wanted to". In Dugdale's submission to the court during her trial, she denounced Britain as "a filthy enemy" and stated the Dublin government was guilty of "treacherous collaboration" with England. On 25 June 1974, she was sentenced to nine years imprisonment after pleading "proudly and incorruptibly guilty", and she gave a clenched fist salute to supporters in the public gallery.

Dugdale was pregnant with Eddie Gallagher's child when she was imprisoned, and on 12 December 1974 she gave birth to a son, Ruairí, in Limerick Prison. On 3 October 1975, Gallagher and fellow IRA member Marion Coyle kidnapped industrialist Tiede Herrema near his home in Castletroy, a suburb of Limerick. They were traced to a house in Monasterevin, County Kildare, and a two-week siege began. Coyle and Gallagher had demanded the release of Dugdale and two other IRA members, but the authorities refused to grant any concessions. The siege ended on 7 November when Herrema was released, and Coyle and Gallagher were arrested. Gallagher and Coyle were sentenced to twenty years and fifteen years imprisonment respectively, and in 1978 Gallagher and Dugdale received special dispensation to marry. The wedding took place on 24 January 1978 inside Limerick Prison, and was the first wedding between convicted prisoners in the history of the Republic of Ireland. Dugdale was released from prison in October 1980.

After her release from prison, Dugdale was active in the campaign in support of protesting Irish republican prisoners during the 1981 Irish hunger strike. She is a veteran activist in the IRA's political wing Sinn Féin.

In 2007, she spoke out in support of the Shell to Sea campaign against the proposed construction of a high-pressure raw gas pipeline through Rossport by Shell, saying the Shell contract was invalid and needed "to be renegotiated on behalf of the people of Ireland". She is also a director at Dublin Community Television.

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey

Bernadette Devlin 

Josephine Bernadette Devlin McAliskey (born 23 April 1947), usually known as Bernadette Devlin or Bernadette McAliskey, is an Irish socialist and republican political activist. She served as a Member of the UK Parliament from 1969 to 1974 for the Mid Ulster constituency, in which role she famously slapped the Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, as a reaction to his comments on Bloody Sunday. She lost her seat to John Dunlop of the Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party, after coming third in a four-sided contest in the general election of February 1974.

Devlin was born in Cookstown, County Tyrone, and raised as a Roman Catholic. She attended St Patrick's Girls Academy in Dungannon. She was studying Psychology at Queen's University Belfast in 1968 when she took a prominent role in a student-led civil rights organisation, People's Democracy. Devlin was subsequently excluded from the university. She stood unsuccessfully against James Chichester-Clark in the Northern Ireland general election of 1969. When George Forrest, the MP for Mid Ulster, died, she fought the subsequent by-election on the "Unity" ticket, defeating a female Unionist candidate, Forrest's widow Anna, and was elected to the Westminster Parliament. At age 21, she was the youngest MP at the time, and remains the youngest woman elected.

Devlin stood on the slogan "I will take my seat and fight for your rights" – signalling her rejection of the traditional Irish republican tactic of abstentionism (being absent from Westminster). She made her maiden speech on her 22nd birthday, within an hour of taking her seat.

After engaging, on the side of the residents, in the Battle of the Bogside, she was convicted of incitement to riot in December 1969, for which she served a short jail term. After being re-elected in the 1970 general election, Devlin declared that she would sit in Parliament as an independent socialist.

Having witnessed the events of Bloody Sunday, Devlin was infuriated that she was later consistently denied the floor in Parliament, despite the fact that parliamentary convention decreed that any MP witnessing an incident under discussion would be granted an opportunity to speak about it therein.

Devlin slapped Reginald Maudling, the Home Secretary in the Conservative government, across the face when he stated in the House of Commons that the Paras had fired in self-defence on Bloody Sunday. She was suspended from Parliament for six months as a result of the incident.

McAliskey helped to form the Irish Republican Socialist Party along with Seamus Costello in 1974. This was a revolutionary socialist breakaway from Official Sinn Féin and paralleled the Irish National Liberation Army's split from the Official Irish Republican Army. She served on the party's national executive in 1975, but resigned when a proposal that the INLA become subordinate to the party executive was defeated. In 1977, she joined the Independent Socialist Party, but it disbanded the following year.

She stood as an independent candidate in support of the prisoners on the blanket protest and dirty protest at Long Kesh prison in the 1979 elections to the European Parliament in Northern Ireland, and won 5.9% of the vote. She was a leading spokesperson for the Smash H-Block Campaign, which supported the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike in 1980 and 1981.

On 16 January 1981, she and her husband were shot by members of the Ulster Freedom Fighters, who broke into their home in Coalisland, County Tyrone. The gunmen shot McAliskey seven times in front of her children. British soldiers were watching the McAliskey home at the time, but failed to prevent the assassination attempt. An army patrol of the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, heard the shots and rushed to McAliskey's house. The paramilitaries had torn out the telephone and while the wounded couple were being given first aid by the troops, a soldier ran to a neighbour's house, commandeered a car, and drove to the home of a councillor to telephone for help. The couple were taken by helicopter to hospital in nearby Dungannon for emergency treatment and then to the Musgrave Park Hospital, Military Wing, in Belfast, under intensive care. Three attackers, including Ray Smallwoods, captured by the army patrol, were subsequently jailed.

In 1982, she twice failed in an attempt to be elected to the Dublin North–Central constituency of Dáil Éireann.

In 2003, she was barred from entering the United States and deported on the grounds that the State Department had declared that she "poses a serious threat to the security of the United States",—apparently referring to her conviction for incitement to riot in 1969 — although she protested that she had no terrorist involvement and had frequently been permitted to travel to the United States in the past.

In 1971, while still unmarried, she gave birth to a daughter, Róisín. This cost her much support in Roman Catholic areas. She married Michael McAliskey on 23 April 1973, which was her 26th birthday.

On 12 May 2007, she was guest speaker at éirígí's first Annual James Connolly commemoration in Arbour Hill, Dublin. She currently co-ordinates a not-for-profit community development organisation based in Dungannon, the South Tyrone Empowerment Programme, and works with migrant workers to improve their treatment in Northern Ireland.

In 1969, John Goldschmidt, a director and producer, made the documentary film Bernadette Devlin for ATV, which was shown on ITV and on CBS's 60 Minutes and included footage of Devlin during the Battle of the Bogside. Another documentary, Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey, directed by Leila Doolan, was released in 2011. At the 2008 Cannes Film Festival a biopic of Devlin was announced, but Devlin stated that "[t]he whole concept is abhorrent to me" and the film was not made.

James Dawson Chichester-Clark, Baron Moyola

James Dawson Chichester-Clark, Baron Moyola

James Dawson Chichester-Clark, Baron Moyola
with an RUC Inspector

James Dawson Chichester-Clark, Baron Moyola, PC, DL (12 February 1923 – 17 May 2002) was the penultimate Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and eighth leader of the Ulster Unionist Party between 1969 and March 1971. He was Member of the Northern Ireland Parliament for South Londonderry for 12 years beginning at the by-election to replace his grandmother Dehra Parker in 1960. He stopped being an MP when the Stormont Parliament was prorogued by the British Government.

Chichester-Clark's election as UUP Leader resulted from the sudden resignation of Terence O'Neill after the ambiguous result of the preceding general election. His term in office was dominated by both internal unionist struggles, seeing the political emergence of Ian Paisley from the right and Alliance Party of Northern Ireland from the left, and an emergent nationalist resurgence. In March 1971, with his health suffering under the strain of the growing political strife, he resigned - having failed to secure extra military resources from the British Government.

Lord Moyola was born as James Dawson Clark at Moyola Park, Castledawson, County Londonderry, his family's ancestral home. He was the eldest of three children of James J. Lenox-Conyngham Clark and Marion Caroline Dehra, née Chichester. His brother was Robin Chichester-Clark and his sister, Penelope Hobhouse, the garden writer and historian.

In 1924, James Clark, Snr. changed the family name to Chichester-Clark by deed poll, thus preventing the old ascendancy name Chichester (his wife's maiden name) from dying out. On his mother's side the family are descended from the Donegall Chichesters and were the heirs of the Dawsons of Castledawson, who had originally held Moyola Park.

Educated, against his own wishes, at Selwyn House, Broadstairs, and then Eton, Chichester-Clark left school and entered adulthood in the midst of the Second World War. On joining the Irish Guards, the regiment of his grandfather, in Omagh he began his year-long training before receiving his commission.

He married widow Moyra Haughton (née Morris) in 1959. Lady Moyola's first husband, Capt. Thomas Haughton from Cullybackey (he was part of the linen firm of Frazer & Haughton), had been killed in the Nutts Corner air crash - in which she, whilst pregnant, was seriously injured and suffered a broken neck. Lord and Lady Moyola had two daughters (Tara and Fiona), in addition to Lady Moyola's son, Michael, from her previous marriage.

Chichester-Clark was an officer in the Irish Guards and participated in the Anzio landings; however, only briefly. He was injured on 23 Feb 44 by an 88m shell as he and his Platoon Sergeant took their first look at the ground in the 'gullies' to the west of the Anzio-Albano road. His company were all but wiped out, and he spent most of his war in hospital recovering from injuries, the effects of which stayed with him throughout his later life. Following the war his military career took him from the dull duties of the post-war occupation of Germany, to Canada as aide-de-camp to Harold Alexander while Governor General of Canada. The popularity and supreme competence of his senior officer made this uneventful two-year period of Chichester-Clark’s life the most remarkable element of his pre-parliamentary career. On returning from Canada, Chichester-Clark continued in the army for several years, refusing promotion to seniority before retiring a major in 1960.

In an uncontested by-election in 1960, he took over the South Londonderry seat in the Northern Ireland Parliament held by his grandmother, Dame Dehra Parker, since 1933. As Dehra Chichester, she had been an MP for the county of Londonderry until 1929 when she stood down for a first time. Chichester-Clark's father, replaced her in 1929 when the county was split, but he suddenly died in 1933. Dehra, by then remarried, willingly returned to Northern Ireland from England, and won the ensuing by-election.

He retained the seat for the remainder of the Parliament's existence, and so the South Londonderry area was represented by three generations of the same family for the entire period of the Northern Ireland House of Commons. Between 1929 and the last election in 1969, the family was challenged for the seat on only two occasions, the second being in 1969, when future Westminster MP Bernadette Devlin stood, attracting 39% of the vote.

Chichester-Clark made his maiden speech on 8 February 1961 during the Queen’s speech debate.

For the remainder of Lord Brookeborough's Premiership, Chichester-Clark remained on the back benches. It was not until 1963, when Terence O'Neill became Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, that Chichester-Clark was appointed assistant whip, and a month later when Bill Craig was promoted to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Chichester-Clark took over as Government Chief Whip. Accounts of the period are that Chichester-Clark enjoyed the Whip’s office more than any other he was to subsequently hold in politics. This despite including references to anti O’Neill MP and future DUP Westminster MP, Johnny McQuade, and the occasional “good row”. From the outset, O’Neill took the unusual decision to allow Chichester-Clark to attend and speak at all cabinet meetings while Chief Whip. Proving a competent parliamentary party administrator, O’Neill added Leader of the House of Commons to Chichester-Clark’s duties in October 1966, a promotion that made him a full member of the Cabinet. He was also sworn into the Privy Council of Northern Ireland in 1966.

In 1967, O'Neill sacked his Minister of Agriculture, Harry West, for ministerial impropriety, and Chichester-Clark was appointed in his place, a position he retained for two quiet years. On 23 April 1969, he resigned from the Cabinet one day prior to a crucial Parliamentary Party meeting, claiming that he disagreed with the Prime Minister's decision to grant universal suffrage in local government elections at that time. He stated that he disagreed not with the principle of one man one vote but with the timing of the decision, having the previous day expressed doubts over the expediency of the measure in Cabinet. It has since been suggested that his resignation was in order to accelerate O'Neill's own resignation, and to improve his own position in the jostling to succeed him.

O'Neill "finally walked away" five days later on 28 April 1969. In order to beat his only serious rival, Brian Faulkner, Chichester-Clark needed the backing of O'Neill-ite MPs elected at the Northern Ireland general election, 1969, to which end he attended a tea party in O'Neill's honour only days after he had caused his resignation.

He beat Faulkner in the Ulster Unionist Party leadership election, 1969 by one vote on 1 May 1969, with his predecessor using his casting vote in the tied election for his distant cousin because "Faulkner had been stabbing him in the back for a lot longer". Although Faulkner believed, until his death, that he had been the victim of an upper-class conspiracy to deny him the premiership, he became a high profile and loyal member of Chichester-Clark's cabinet.

His premiership was punctuated by the civil unrest that erupted after August 1969. He suffered from the effects of the Hunt Committee report, which recommended the disbandment of the Ulster Special Constabulary, which his Government accepted to the consternation of many Unionists.

In April 1970 his predecessor and another Unionist MP resigned their seats in the NI House of Commons. The by-election campaigns were punctuated by major liberal speeches by senior government figures like Brian Faulkner, Jack Andrews and the Prime Minister himself. Ian Paisley's Protestant Unionist Party, however, took both seats in the House of Commons. Later the same month the O'Neill-ite group, the New Ulster Movement, became the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, and his party began passing votes of no confidence in him.

As the civil unrest grew, the British Government, particularly the Home Secretary, James Callaghan, became increasingly involved in Northern Ireland's affairs, forcing Chichester-Clark's hand on many issues. These included the disbanding of the 'B' Specials and, importantly, the handing over of operational control of the security forces to the Army General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland.

On 9 March 1971, the IRA lured three off-duty soldiers from a pub in Belfast to a lane way outside the city, where they killed them. Chichester-Clark flew to London on 18 March 1971 to request a new security initiative from the new British Prime Minister Edward Heath, who offered an extra 1,300 troops, and resisted what he saw was an attempt by Chichester-Clark to gain political control over them. Chichester-Clark resigned on 20 March. In his resignation statement he stated:
I have decided to resign because I can see no other way of bringing home to all concerned the realities of the present constitutional, political and security situation... It is apparent that public and parliamentary opinion in Northern Ireland looks to the Northern Ireland government for measures which can bring the current IRA campaign swiftly to an end. I have expressed to British Ministers the full force of this opinion and have pressed upon them my view that some further initiative is required. While they have agreed to take any feasible steps open to them to intensify the effort against the IRA, it remains the professional military view - and one which I indeed have often expressed myself - that it would be misleading the Northern Ireland community to suggest that we are faced with anything but a long haul, and that such initiatives as can be taken are unlikely to effect a radical improvement in the short term...
He agreed to tone down his statement so as to smooth the way for his successor. The Unionist Party internal newspaper, the Ulster Times in April 1971 carried a "respectful political obituary", which "condemned those who attacked Catholics in their homes":

For these stupid barbarities Major Chichester-Clark had to a substantial extent carry the can in Downing Street. He had also to carry the entangling burden of every event in the Ulster past which could cast doubt and discredit upon the viability of the Northern Ireland Constitution.
On 23 March 1971, Brian Faulkner was elected UUP leader in a vote by Unionist MP's, defeating William Craig by twenty-six votes to four. He was appointed Prime Minister the same day.

In July 1971, Chichester-Clark was created a life peer as Baron Moyola, of Castledawson in the County of Londonderry; his title taken from the name of his family's estate. He endorsed the Belfast Agreement in the 1998 referendum. Lord Moyola died on 17 May 2002 at the age of 79, he was the last surviving Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

Lord Moyola remained quiet about his political career in his retirement. Lady Moyola, however, has said that her husband did enjoy the time - contrary to popular opinion - and that he thought of life as an MP as akin to that of an army welfare officer.

Neil T Blaney and that now famous rift with Fianna Fail

As many people have been finding, over the last 48 hours, it is difficult to disentangle Fianna Fail's political strategy, if there is one, in Donegal. The chances of repeating three seats there are nil.

Jim McDaid changing his mind is unlikely to enhance party prospects after Niall Blaney's bonfire return to the county. Is Bernard McGlinchy, once the promoter of McDaid, masterminding the latest developments? Is the party now trying, a bit desperately, to ensure two out of three in Donegal North-East? Will Joe McHugh concede space for Paddy Harte's son on the Fine Gael ticket? There is a lot of teasing out to be done.

For the sake of the historic record it is worth looking at where it all started, in what was described in this paper on Thursday as "one of the oldest and most bitter rifts in Irish politics" between Neil T Blaney and Fianna Fail. But was it?

Bertie Ahern, in what he meant should be taken as an apology, fudged almost every aspect of the "bitter rift". He got his facts wrong about the aftermath of the Arms Crisis. He described the time of the Arms Trial as one of "great controversy", which is monumental fence-sitting. He passed over to historians the task of making their own judgments - which most of them consistently fail to do. And he talked about "reconciliation" and "ending a long division in our shared history."

So who apologised to whom, and for what? Young Niall Blaney said he would "not be splitting hairs on this. This is as close to an apology as I expected." He thought it "put ink to the final chapter of a crisis" dating back to 1970.

Among other things, Bertie Ahern said Neil Blaney was acquitted of all charges. He was not acquitted of any charges at all. He was arrested, with Charles Haughey, on Thursday, May 28, 1970, and charged with conspiracy to import arms. On Thursday, July 2, the charges against him were dropped.

From the time of his dismissal by Jack Lynch, on May 6 of the same year, Blaney was categoric in his denial that he had ever "run" guns. He denied any dealings with subversive organisations.
He was equally clear in outlining his views about the use of force. He did not favour it for reunification; he did, however, believe that it was legitimate in the defence of "Nationalist people", "our people" against "murderous assault" and he made the statement: "We in this part of Ireland cannot stand idly by in these circumstances."

This view was against government policy and Jack Lynch dismissed him for this reason. He was expelled by Fianna Fail in 1971 because he abstained in a vote of no confidence in the Minister for Agriculture, Jim Gibbons. Blaney's position, which he shared with Kevin Boland and others, including it must be said the nascent Provisional IRA, was that the "root cause" of Ireland's problems was "the British presence".

This was not the root cause of Ireland's problems, as 35 years have clearly shown. Indeed, the very conception of Ireland having a single package of problems that could so glibly be resolved by British departure - a recipe for unprecedented violence at that time and later - is absurd.

But Blaney was honourable in holding that view while at the same time not conspiring, as Haughey did, against his own leader.

Blaney had a different view of how things should be. He did not know whether the view had sufficient covert support on which to base a challenge against Lynch for the Fianna Fail leadership. Haughey was in the same indecisive situation. This in any case would have been affected by events in Northern Ireland. Mercifully, after the early, 1968-9 violence, the situation became more stable and the prevailing view in the country turned against Blaney and Boland and in favour of Jack Lynch. That view, of peace by reconciliation and agreement, with the choice of the future destiny of the North being in the hands of the people of the North, has prevailed ever since and still does prevail.
I am not sure that any apology was ever in order. And I think that young Niall Blaney, who fortunately did not live through these events, even as an infant, but has probably imbibed them at his uncle's knee and within the Blaney family more widely, is right not to be splitting hairs.

NEIL T. Blaney who, like Kevin Boland, had a gritty, perverse kind of integrity, said that, if he had resigned, he would be "aiding, perhaps causing, something that would result in some explosion about which we might be very sorry in the future. If my judgment was wrong, I bow to those who would condemn me."

His judgment was wrong. That was his epitaph, given well before his expulsion, and it was all he had, really, to bolster him through the long wilderness years. No harm will come to Bertie Ahern, the Fianna Fail Party, or Niall Blaney, in recognising the true background to this week's news from Donegal.


The 1960s started as the decade of hope in Northern Ireland. The retirement in 1963 of the Prime Minister, Lord Brookeborough, who was to many Catholics the personification of right-wing Unionist opinion and his replacement by Captain Terence O'Neill, seemed to be a victory for moderation.

The policies of the new Prime Minister encouraged this view. In 1964, O'Neill declared "My principal aims are to make Northern Ireland prosperous and to build bridges between the two traditions". The same year saw an important step in facilitating both aims. The southern connections of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, to which most Northern workers were affiliated , had ensured its non-recognition by the Brookeborough administration. In 1964 a compromise was reached when the Congress was recognised by the Stormont parliament in return for greater independence being granted to its Northern Ireland Committee. The most significant gestures towards reconciliation were the exchange visits between Terence O'Neill and the southern prime minister, Seán Lemass, in 1965. As a direct result of the visit, the Nationalist party in Northern Ireland agreed to become the official opposition party in Stormont. Such developments persuaded many contemporaries and even recent observers to regard the 1960s as an era of tolerance reminiscent of the 1780s and 1790s. Like the earlier epoch, there were many warning signals, remembered in retrospect but underrated in the exuberant optimism of the 1960s, that fundamental attitudes had not altered significantly. The traditional values which would have been threatened by reconciliation, may have been in temporary hiding but soon emerged with banners flying. Indeed, the flying of an Irish tricolour in west Belfast and an attempt to remove it provoked a riot in 1964.  Ian Paisley played a leading role in demanding the removal of the flag. In the 1960s, he emerged as a leader for Unionists and Protestants opposed to political reconciliation and religious ecumenism. The extreme attitudes expressed by Paisley, head of the Free Presbyterian Church and the Protestant Unionist Party were atavistic. He ensured a continuation of the classic duel between liberal and right-wing Presbyterianism which had been fought between Cooke and Montgomery in the 1820s. The Presbyterian General Assembly was attacked and picketed in 1966 by Paisley. Over thirty years later, Paisley and his party today continue to make the same contribution to political and religious reconciliation in Ireland. In 1966, the murder of a Catholic in the Malvern Arms public house and the apprehension of the murderers revealed the existence of the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) which saw itself as the loyalist equivalent of the IRA. The pressures for change in Northern Ireland society had produced defenders of the status quo. The changes which they were resisting seemed less substantial to some Catholics. The failure of the O'Neill administration to translate its intentions into practice caused considerable frustration and resentment. A series of measures-notably the closure of the main rail link to Derry, the decision to establish a new university at Coleraine instead of Derry where a university college was already operating, and the establishment of a new growth centre at Craigavon- were seen by both Catholics and Protestants in counties Tyrone and Derry as blatant discrimination against the disadvantaged west.  In March 1967, the Republican Clubs which represented an attempt by Republicans to find a legitimate method of political expression, were declared illegal by the government, a move which seemed narrow and repressive to many people who did not share republican views. As late as 1969, the failure of Louis Boyle, a Catholic, to secure the Unionist nomination as a parliamentary candidate led to his resignation from the party. In his resignation speech, Boyle said:
"One of my main hopes and guiding aims as a member of the party, has been to work towards a newly structured Unionist Party in which Protestants and Catholics could play a part as equal partners in pursuing a common political end. Now I know this is not possible...The Unionist Party arose out of, and is still essentially based on a sectarian foundation, and only a reconstitution of the party away from its sectarian foundations could make Catholic membership a real possibility."
 Other Catholics too had realised that reform would not come without pressure, believing that, whether Terence O'Neill wanted reform or not, the conservatism of his party would sabotage any changes, Housing allocation provided the issue for this pressure, and the success of the Civil Rights campaign in America suggested non-violent protest as the means. The Campaign for Social Justice in Northern Ireland, formed in Dungannon in 1964, developed through Housing Action committees in many areas. IN 1967, the broader based Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) was formed. Its campaign, followed with increasing interest by international news media, was to make the Northern Ireland problem an international issue, and ushered in the most dynamic years in the history of Northern Ireland.  One of the most remarkable aspects of the Civil Rights campaigns of 1968 was their success in forcing through some reforms. After two marches, to Dungannon in August and to Derry in October, the O'Neill administration agreed to replace Derry City Council with a Development Commission, to establish an Ombudsman and to abolish the unfair company vote. Complaints remained, notably about the Special Powers act and remaining inequalities in the franchise (one man, one vote), but promises were given that the schemes for allocating state owned houses would be clarified and the Special Powers act reviewed.  These promised reforms split the Civil Rights movement. Those, like the People's Democracy (PD) who were moving towards a more radical position, believed that it would be foolish to abandon a successful campaign before it had achieved all its objectives. Others felt that both the reforms and the dismissal from office in December of William Craig, the Minister of Home Affairs, demonstrated the government's good intentions, and that a suspension on marches should be agreed to enable the passing of further reforms.   The decision by the People's Democracy unilaterally to march from Belfast to Derry in January 1969, and the violent opposition to the marchers at Burntollet Bridge, destroyed any hopes of non-violent protest. Many Protestants and Catholics who had participated in the early campaigns now drifted out. The campaign became more radical during 1969, a seminal year in Irish history. Based on the chapter The Historical Background which appears in the Appletree Press publication, Northern Ireland The Background to the Conflict.