Modern-day revisionism is not exclusive to 26-county political parties
The Irish News 10/01/2019
Jim Gibney’s article (January 2) on the first action in the War of Independence in January 1919 and the revisionism surrounding it, while grounded in error and laced with irony, was particularly topical although absolutely no one familiar with the area would ever associate Soloheadbeg with Clonmel; it would be akin to referencing Bellaghy from Coleraine, Clonoe from Omagh or Camlough from Craigavon.
Stan D O’Brien’s recent publication John Joe’s Story, based on his father John Joe O’Brien’s account of the that period is completely essential reading for those who wish to fully understand the Galtee Battalion of East Limerick and the 3rd Tipperary Brigade’s campaign which relentlessly hounded crown forces throughout South East Limerick, North Cork, all along the Glen of Aherlow and beyond from their Galbally/Ballylanders base.
John Joe and his brother Ned had been central in providing safe billets, transportation, munitions and intelligence in that theatre of operations. Ned, of course, also executed RIC Constable Enright immediately upon him putting a revolver to Vol Séan Hogan’s head during the daring Knocklong ambush which freed Hogan while he was being transported to Cork gaol. Their close comrades Ned Foley and Patrick Moran were subsequently the last two republicans executed by British forces although the latter had played no role in the rescue.
Modern-day revisionism, which has seen the current Dublin administration list British military and local collaborators alongside Ireland’s patriot dead on the insulting Glasnevin ‘Memorial’, now seems to be seeping southwest as attempts are made to ensure that volunteers who fought to free Ireland are to be remembered together with those they killed at Soloheadbeg, as if no ideological difference had ever existed between them.
Such revisionism is of course not exclusive to 26-county political parties.
New Sinn Féin (NSF) have become master craftsmen at the dark art.
Michelle O’Neill, a successor to a job which never existed – Sinn Féin leader in the north – now tells us that the Provisional movement was always “totally committed to the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement” when that was absolutely not what was sold in small “family meetings” to republicans in the late 1990s.
Their acolytes also repeatedly preach that the (dis)agreement is ‘sacrosanct’ while genuine republicans afford only the 1916 Proclamation that singular honour and respect.
Other NSF surrogates have been reduced to writing pleading ‘Letters to Leo’ seemingly ignorant of the central counter revolutionary role that his political ilk have played over the last century beginning with the execution of 77 comrades of the Soloheadbeg men.
Maybe it suits ná scriobhneoirí to remain as much oblivious to that history as it does Jim to ignore the modern ‘traitor’ outburst of his erstwhile comrade Martin McGuinness when accompanied by the ‘Clontiberet invader’ and the head of her majesty’s armed constabulary outside Stormont Castle for which he shortly later felt the need to seek approval from an ‘OFMDFM’ official.
Perhaps Jim, ignoring your own political contortions may well be the purest and most dangerous form of all revisionism.
Galbally, Co Tyrone
With many thanks to the: Troops Out Movement for the original posting.