On this day June 3rd 1974 Michael Gaughan died on hunger strike in Parkhurst Prison, England.

Michael Gaughan was born in Ballina, County Mayo, in 1949. Gaughan grew up at Healy Terrace and was educated at St Muredach’s College, Ballina, and after finishing his schooling, he emigrated from Ireland to England in search of work. Whilst in London, Gaughan became a member of the Irish Republican Army and became an IRA volunteer in a London-based Active Service Unit. In December 1971, he was sentenced at the Old Bailey to seven years imprisonment for his part in an IRA fundraising mission to rob a bank in Hornsey, north London and for the possession of two revolvers.[2][4][5][6]
Gaughan was initially imprisoned at Wormwood Scrubs, where he spent two years before being transferred to the top security Albany Prison on the Isle of Wight. Whilst at Albany Prison, Gaughan requested political status; this was refused, and he was then put in solitary confinement. He was later transferred to Parkhurst Prison, where four of the Belfast Ten were on hunger strike for political status.

On 31 March 1974, Gaughan, along with fellow Mayoman Frank Stagg, went on hunger strike to support the fight of Dolours and Marion Price to obtain political status and to be transferred to a jail in Ireland. The prisoners demands were as follows.

The right to political status
The right to wear their own clothes
A guarantee that they would not be returned to solitary confinement
The right to educational facilities and not engage in penal labour
The setting of a reasonable date for a transfer to an Irish prison

British policy at this time was to force feed hunger strikers. The National Hunger Strike Commemoration Committee stated, “six to eight guards would restrain the prisoner and drag him or her by the hair to the top of the bed, where they would stretch the prisoner’s neck over the metal rail, force a block between his or her teeth and then pass a feeding tube, which extended down the throat, through a hole in the block.”
After visiting Michael in jail, his brother John described his condition: “His throat had been badly cut by force feeding and his teeth loosened. His eyes were sunken, his cheeks hollow and his mouth was gaping open. He weighed about six stone.”
Gaughan was force-fed from 22 April and this occurred 17 times during course of his hunger strike. The last time he was force-fed was the night before his death on Sunday 2 June. After a hunger strike that lasted 64 days, he died on Monday 3 June 1974, aged 24 years old.
The British government stated that he died of pneumonia; the Gaughan family stated that he died after prison doctors injured him fatally when food lodged in a lung punctured by a force-feeding tube.
After Michaels death, the British government’s policy of force-feeding ended, and the remaining hunger strikers were given assurances that they would be repatriated to Irish prisons. However, these promises were reneged on by the British government.

Michael Gaughan last words:

“I die proudly for my country and in the hope that my death will be sufficient to obtain the demands of my comrades. Let there be no bitterness on my behalf, but a determination to achieve the new Ireland for which I gladly die. My loyalty and confidence is to the IRA and let those of you who are left carry on the work and finish the fight”.

His death is referenced in the song Take me Home to Mayo, also known as The Ballad of Michael Gaughan.

Michael Gaughan’s body was initially removed from London and brought to his native Ireland on Friday, 7 June 1974, over 3,000 mourners lined the streets of Kilburn and marched behind his coffin, which was flanked by an IRA honour guard.
On the Saturday, his body was transported to Dublin, where again it was met by mourners and another IRA guard of honour who brought it to the Adam and Eve’s Franciscan church on Merchant’s Quay, where thousands filed past as it lay in state. The following day, his body was removed to Ballina, County Mayo. Gaughan was given a full IRA funeral and was laid to rest in the republican plot, where Frank Stagg would join him after being reburied in November 1976. His funeral was attended by over 50,000 people.
Ballina republican Jackie Clarke presided at the last obsequies, and the oration at his graveside was given by Dáithí Ó Conaill, who stated that Gaughan had “been tortured in prison by the vampires of a discredited empire who were joined by decrepit politicians who were a disgrace to the name of Irishmen”.

His coffin was draped in the same Tricolour that was used for Terence McSwiney’s funeral 54 years earlier.

Oglach Michael Gaughan Free as the Lark

With many thanks to: McKelvey Steele Cumann for the origional posting.

Follow this link to find out more: https://www.facebook.com/leo.martin.520357

‘The Tans’ ‘Serial Killer’

The notorious Black and Tans.

The Black and Tans’ most notorious member must have been 19-year-old Thomas D. Huckerby from Somerset, England. Over a six-month period, he was responsible for the murder of five men – all of whom were unarmed and none of which were involved in the IRA. In August of 1920, he killed 60-year-old John Hynes at Shanagolden, A month later at Abbeyfeale, he followed two men — named Healy and Hartnett – on their way home from work and shot them dead. In November, a man matching Huckerby’s description was part of a gang which stopped and executed a pair of ex-British soldiers, Michael Blake and James O’Neill, while the two were travelling from Dublin to Limerick. Facing disciplinary charges, Huckerby resigned in December 1920.

‘Getting Away With Murder’

On Nov. 26, 1920, IRA members Pat and Harry Loughnane were arrested at their family farm by Auxiliary forces. The brothers’ bodies were found burned and mutilated nine days later. They had been tied to the back of a lorry and forced to run behind it until they collapsed and were dragged along the ground. Both of Pat’s wrists, legs and arms were broken. He had a fractured skull and wounds carved into his chest. Harry’s right arm was broken and almost severed from his body, he was also missing two fingers. When he was found all that remained of his face were his chin and lips. Authorities claimed that the brothers had escaped from custody and that the Auxies were not involved in their deaths. That same month, a priest and a pregnant woman were also killed by British forces.

The “Auxies”

As bad as the Tans were, it was the Auxiliary Division (made up of former army officers) who were the most destructive and lethal in their dealings with the population. Arson, robbery and murder — nothing seemed to be beneath them. With their black uniforms, bandoliers and low-slung side-arms, Auxies carried themselves like something out of the Wild West. Set up to take the fight to the IRA, the unit became infamous for brutal reprisals such as the burning of Cork (when five acres of the city was torched, 300 homes destroyed as well as 40 businesses, leading to the loss of 2,000 jobs).

Thomas Buckley left and an unnamed ‘auxie’

With many thanks to: Deirdre Nig Lionsign and Richard Gaughan – The notorious Black and Tans.

Stick your English Brexit up your English arse

I have nothing against the English, whether white, black, indian or asian, who live in England or anywhere else, and I have no problem with the great racial divides between the Anglos and the Saxons, to be sure, but I remain opposed to English sovereignty on any piece of Ireland, or, for that matter, on any other Celtic rock. That’s all. We love the English, we live with them, we fuck them, we have families with them, they break our hearts and we break theirs…we have affairs with them, we buy dinner for them (and far more often lately than was) and that’s great…that’s normal, but they just have to stop governing the island of Ireland in every way. Then there is no troubles.


Brexit presents a profound opportunity to break with England and form a good Union with Europe. This is a very good thing for all of Ireland’s 32 provinces.
What do you wish for? Border Guards and international boundaries to steal away forever the six Irish provinces to support the myth of the doddery Retards of the recalcitrant racist UK? And then, somehow, to blame poor bloody muslims for all the bad there is? “Celtic Warriors against Islam?” Oh, for fuck’s sake…what have they been drinking?

With many thanks to: Iain Mac Giolla Padraig

Burgery Ambush on this day of Irish History 19th March 1921

On the morning of the 19th March, 1921, the startling rumour went round the town that an ambush of military had taken place at the Burgery and that there were casualties on both sides.

Rumour had it that fighting had been going on all night, and only finished when there was broad daylight in the morning. People asked one another for particulars, but only the vaguest accounts could be learned. But confirmation of the stories was in a measure made manifest when a motor car drove down the Main Street at about ten o’clock in which an auxiliary policeman was dying.

The Burgery is situated on the main road to Waterford from Dungarvan, about a mile to the north-east of the town. It is a pretty suburb, well sheltered with trees, and along the road there are good fences topped with hawthorn and privet on either side. On the evening previous to the ambush a, force of military left the Castle in a motor car and a lorry. There were about twelve soldiers in the lorry, and the motor contained Captain Thomas (in command), Lieut. Griffiths, Sergeant Hickey, of the R.I.C. and two soldiers. The destination was Clonea, on the Ballyvoile Road, the object being to make the arrest. of a man named Murphv who lived there. The party succeeded in finding the man “wanted” at home and in making the arrest. The reason for Sergeant Hickey accompanying the partv was so that he might point out the house of Murphy. Having secured Murphy, the military set out for home, but they made a detour to come back by Cloncoskraine, where some military were stationed, and with whom they wanted to make an exchange of views. Having remained for a short time at Cloncoskraine, they proceeded homewards, it being then somewhere about eleven o’clock at night. The motor car went first, followed at a little distance by the lorry containing the soldiers guarding the prisoner.

People of Dungarvan know well where the road turns off from the main road to go to Lacken or Fruit Hill. Here, behind the fence, a number of I.R.A. lay in waiting. And lest the military would take the old Cork road another party of ambushers lay there also in waiting, screened behind the fence. The motor car, coming along the main road, was allowed to pass, but when the lorry came within some yards a volley was discharged from behind the fence. The lorry stopped, the petrol tank was pierced, and the vehicle became disabled. The soldiers jumped out and ran for what cover they could. Then they opened fire and a rapid exchange of rifle shooting took place between the parties, the encounter having lasted for about ten minutes. Captain Thomas had gone on with the motor car. He pulled up on reaching the Burgery. He found the lorry was not following, and, hearing the shooting in the distance, he surmised an ambush and ordered Lieut. Griffith to proceed with all speed to Dungarvan for reinforcements. That officer came into town and, reaching near the barracks, shouted that his men were ambushed and to have assistance Come quickly. With incredible swiftness three or four motor cars issued from the barracks, accompanied by lorries, all filled with armed soldiers, machine-guns, and other implements of battle, and proceeded with speed towards the Burgery. The men remaining to keep charge of the barracks shot up Verey lights, discharged their rifles, and some of them rushed to the park, where they sent up more Verey lights as a call to the marines stationed at Ballinacourty to come to the rescue. The firing continued for some hours. The people in the vicinity were aroused from their slumbers, but none would venture outside doors. It was a night of anxiety with them long to be remembered.

But to return to Captain Thomas. When he, with the two soldiers and Sergeant Hickey, dismounted from the motor car they fired into the darkness, and while proceeding to the scene of the ambush, a quarter of a mile distant, a number of the I.R.A., armed with rifles, jumped over the fence, shouting “Hands up.” Captain Thomas ran over the fence as well as the others, but they were followed by the attacking party and placed under arrest. Captain Thomas had a Colt .455 automatic pistol, while Sergeant Hickey was also fully armed. The I.R.A. now took them up to the road and placed Captain Thomas in the house of Mr. Barr, and the soldiers in the house of Mr. Kennedy. Sergeant Hickey was taken away by others up the boreen leading to Knockateemore, and was never afterwards seen alive. Captain Thomas was held a prisoner, but suffered no further injury.

But how fared it all the time with the ambushed party further down the road? The soldiers made away over the fields. It is not known if there were casualties, but afterwards it was stated that there were seen coffins at Waterford being brought to England by one of the cross-channel boats. The ambushed lorry was set fire to and portion of it was burned. The reinforcements came out from Dungarvan, and in the confusion that prevailed Captain Thomas and the soldiers who were prisoners escaped. They then proceeded to where the lorry was disabled and remained there for some time. Soldiers were stationed at the Burgery. The Marines from Ballinacourty came along and they placed themselves at every vantage point; even some of them mounted the roof of Mr. Barr’s house and poured volley after volley into the darkness. Many other houses around bore bullet marks that were seen on the following day. In the early morning, as Mrs. Keating was milking her cow in an out-house visible from the road, the cow was shot dead with a rifle bullet. One bullet pierced Mr. Fives’ window. Luckily no one was hit.

Patrick Keating, Republican
As day broke the soldiers commandeered a horse belonging to Mrs. Morrissey to draw in the disabled lorry, to which they yoked the animal, and, accompanied by soldiers, the lorry was being drawn up the hill on the road to Dungarvan. When at the gate of the field where there is a “short cut” to Lacken the auxiliary policeman, Redman, who had the horse in charge, was mortally wounded and bled copiously. A soldier covered John Fitzgerald, one of the party at the other side of the fence, and shot him dead. Patrick Keating; another of the I.R.A., rushed out from cover to bring Fitzgerald in, but he was fired at and wounded; He went back, but instantly turned again to the assistance of his fallen comrade, when another shot was fired at him which also took effect. With an effort only was he able to get into cover of the fence. His companions took him away, carried him in the direction of Knockateemore, where he was rested for a while, and ultimately he was housed in a dwelling in the high land that overlooks the valley of the Colligan, where he lingered until 5 p.m. same day, and died. Much regret was felt at the death of this young, courageous, and genial Irishman, whose memory is revered by the people.

When Redman, the auxiliary policeman, was wounded Mr. Barr cycled in to town for medical assistance. He called on Dr. Hackett. It was early morning, and the doctor answered the call with promptitude. In a few minutes he was ready and cycled with Mr. Barr to the scene of the tragedy. The ride was a risky one, as bullets were whizzing around, and through the ring of fire the doctor reached the wounded man. On examination he found that nothing could be done – that Redman was mortally wounded. The auxiliary was then taken in a motor car into Dungarvan, a soldier holding him in his arms. He lived till just before entering the barracks, when he expired.

As has been said, Sergeant Hickey was taken up the bye-road that leads to Knockateemore, then towards the glen at Castlequarter. What happened is not quite clear, but it appears he was sentenced to death. A priest was procured and the sergeant was prepared for death. He received the viaticum, and the sentence was then carried out. His body was pierced with bullets, and it was left in the lonely glen. For two days the soldiers scoured the countryside to find him, and it was Mr. Beresford, on whose land the body lay, that discovered it lying in the glen. The soldiers took charge of the remains, which were removed to the barrack. The body of John Fitzgerald was also taken there. The relatives of Fitzgerald made application for the remains, but they would not be given up until the funeral of Sergeant Hickey had taken place. No civilians accompanied Sergeant Hickey’s remains to the grave. The cortege was composed entirely of soldiers and police. In fact there was some difficulty in having the grave dug. An order was issued by the military that all shops should be closed during the funeral, and this was observed. The body was interred in the cemetery of the parish church.

When the funeral of Sergeant Hickey was over, the remains of John Fitzgerald were handed over to the relatives. The funeral took place from the barrack to the Parish church. It was an immense concourse of people. On the following morning Requiem Office and High Mass were sung, and it was known the remains were to be in-terred in Kilrossenty. The military had issued an order that only twenty people would be allowed to follow the remains. As the coffin was removed from the church soldiers were posted outside the railings with fixed bayonets, keeping the crowds back. There was a large number of people present. As the coffin was carried through the outward gates and down Mary Street the ladies of the Cumann na mBan lined up in processional order and marched after the remains. But only a limited number of people were allowed to join the funeral, which passed over the bridge on its way to Kilrossanty. As the cortege proceeded on the road it was met by numbers of people from the country, so that by the time it reached Kilrossenty it had assumed considerable dimensions. The remains were laid to rest in the Republican Plot in the ancient graveyard of Kilrossanty.

Oh, remember, life can be
No charm for him who lives not free.
Sinks the hero to his grave
Midst the dewfall of a nation’s tears.

On the evening of the ambush Patrick Keating died. He, too, subsequently was buried in the Republican Plot at Kilrossanty. The news of his death was kept quiet for a time, but coming from his funeral, which took place in the night, many people were met by soldiers, an exciting time followed, and some arrests were made.

Burgery Monument To Republicans
While this work was going through the press a letter appeared In the Waterford News on the Burgery Ambush. It was written by an officer who took part in the exciting affray. But it does not differ in any essential points with the account here given. And with respect to what took place in Dungarvan on the same night, it would be difficult for an officer engaged at the Burgery to personally know. We who lived inside the town heard through the night the tramp of armed men, the rushing of lorries, and the firing of shots, and those living in the vicinity of the Park give personal testimony as to the terror in which they were that night from rifle shots.

There is a conflict of opinion as to whether Captain Thomas was released or whether he and the soldiers escaped when reinforcements came. When the question was raised subsequent to the ambush, Captain Thomas had a letter published in the papers stating that he and the soldiers escaped, that the guards left them when extra military came out from Dungarvan. The I.R.A. officer maintains they were released. I am not in a position to verify either story.

It might be further stated that ‘in the ambushed lorry there was a man named Dwyer, who was taken with the military as a hostage, and his mysterious disappearance during the fighting was a matter of much speculation. It appears he got through the fields, made for the high ground, and eventually succeeded in reaching Kilrossanty, where his dishevelled condition gave rise to suspicion, but he was ultimately set free on his being recognised by a resident of Dungarvan. There can be no question, however, as to the casualties. On the military side two were killed, Hickey and Redman, and on the I.R.A. Fitzgerald and Keating But these two latter would not have suffered injury had they not come round with others in the morning to reconnoitre the scene of the fighting, when the military had been reinforced to a big extent, which could not be known to the I.R.A. owing to the high road fences and the cover which they afforded.

With many thanks to: Easter Rising War of Independence and Irish Civil War History.

Picket in support of the 5th Annual International POW Day, which was held in the Bullring on the 24th of October. This statement was read out at the picket;

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End the Maghberry torture

Comrades, we are gathered here today to pay homage to our brave volunteers and to highlight the plight that they are currently facing as they languish in captivity. It is important to send not only our Solidarity, but also to show our defiance of British rule and continue to progress towards the United Ireland we need.

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Comrades of RSF picketing at the Bullring in Wexford, on the 5th Annual International POW Day.

https://m.facebook.com/home.php#!/RepublicanSinnFeinWexford/photos/a.521072591308883.1073741825.412177065531770/903915233024615/?type=3

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Comrades of RSF James Connolly Cumann in Australia on International POW Day.
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International Prisoner of War Day of Action
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Comrades in Gaza showing there Solidarity
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Comrades in Solidarity also in London, England.

With many thanks to: Republican Sinn Féin Wexford:
http:// https://m.facebook.com/RepublicanSinnFeinWexford/photos/a.521072591308883.1073741825.412177065531770/903915233024615/?type=3#!/RepublicanSinnFeinWexford/

29th July 1915 – The remains of the late Fenian leader Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa are lying in state for three days at City Hall in Dublin.

The remains had been brought by the American liner St Paul from New York to Liverpool, and then transferred to the steamer Carlow, which conveyed them to Dublin.

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O'Donovan Rossa and Mary Jane

https://m.facebook.com/100010604520513/albums/100510776979073/#!/groups/250140148442168?view=permalink&id=797359887053522

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O'Donovan Rossa lying in state in City Hall, Dublin.
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Mary Jane O'Donovan Rossa.

With many thanks to: Gillean Robertson Miller – 1916 Easter Rising Historical Society.
http:// https://m.facebook.com/dakota29?soft=notifications#!/groups/250140148442168?notif_t=group_activity&ref=m_notif

1916 Easter Rising Historical Society

The remains had been brought by the American liner St Paul from New York to Liverpool, and then transferred to the steamer Carlow, which conveyed them to Dublin.

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O'Donovan Rossa and Mary Jane

https://m.facebook.com/100010604520513/albums/100510776979073/#!/groups/250140148442168?view=permalink&id=797359887053522

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O'Donovan Rossa lying in state in City Hall, Dublin.
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Mary Jane O'Donovan Rossa.

With many thanks to: Gillean Robertson Miller – 1916 Easter Rising Historical Society.
http:// https://m.facebook.com/dakota29?soft=notifications#!/groups/250140148442168?notif_t=group_activity&ref=m_notif