Monday 24 September 2012

Heartbreak Again for Mayo

All-Ireland SFC Final:

Donegal 2-11; Mayo 0-13

Another day of great disappointment for Mayo's players, management and great supporters. For the first 20 minutes they played very nervously. The concession of two early goals was a huge blow. The backs coped well following the early blitz. The midfield, which had been so effective against Dublin, could not get into the game in the early stages and only performed in spasms thereafter. The forwards needed a better plan to overcome the blanket defending of Donegal; more support for the man with the ball, and quicker release to a colleague or when shooting. Mayo have a team well capable of winning an All-Ireland. I hope it comes soon. In the meantime, well done to Donegal!

Saturday 22 September 2012

General Eoin O'Duffy

General Eoin O'Duffy
Down through the years, many good people have been demonized by communist and terrorist lackeys with the connivance of a weak-kneed media. None more so than General Eoin O'Duffy (1892-1944) who, only a few years ago, was the subject of yet another diatribe of calumny by a certain bearded journalist in a major Sunday newspaper. The fuzzy phizog was, no doubt, in homage to Vladim Lenin (Ulyanov) who, through treachery and brutality against the provisional government of Kerenesky, established the supremacy of the Soviet system. This "dictatorship of the proletariat" employed the most brutal and pitiless methods which were expanded into much of Eastern Europe after World War II for 75 years or more.

Eoin O'Duffy was born at Cargaghdoo, Lough Egish, Co. Monaghan on 30th October 1892. He became a leading light in the struggle for independence in Monaghan and the adjoining counties during the 1918-21 period. He was one of the most prominent figures in the history of the GAA in Ulster. Having qualified as an engineer, he worked as a surveyor with Monaghan County Council in the Clones area. He was involved in the Irish Volunteers from a young age and by September 1918, he had been appointed Brigade Officer for Monaghan, having displayed great qualities as an organizer. His deputy was Dan Hogan, a native of Curasilla, Grangemockler, Co.Tipperary, who was employed as a clerk with Monaghan County Council. Dan Hogan's brother, Michael, was shot dead by a gang of British Army Auxiliaries while playing in a football match for Tipperary against Dublin in Croke Park in November 1920. O'Duffy was appointed Secretary of the Monaghan County Board in 1912 when only 20 years of age. He was appointed Ulster Secretary the following year and remained in that position until 1923. He was Treasurer of the Ulster Council from 1925 until 1934. He was jailed in 1918 and released the following year. On 4th August 1918, he organized "Gaelic Sunday" in defiance of the authorities who had banned the Ulster final from being played in Clones the previous month. On the 4th August, 100,000 players were involved in the playing of GAA games at venues throughout the country.

O'Duffy led a group of Volunteers from companies in Monaghan and South Armagh in an attack on Ballytrain RIC barracks on 13th February 1920. At the Ulster convention of that year, which took place at Conlan's Hotel Clones, he escaped arrest by using a disguise, however he was arrested while attending the reconvened convention in Armagh. He went on hunger strike with the Monaghan prisoners in Crumlin Road Prison until they were finally released.

During the Civil War, O'Duffy was OC of the Southern Command of the National Army. The anti-treatyites, in defying Dail Eireann and the votes of the Irish people, set about attempting to destroy the fledgling state by carrying out atrocities against its institutions, public servants and civilians. With the country facing into the abyss, the army responded at times in a brutal fashion. This happened mainly in Kerry where the Dublin Brigade led by Captain Paddy Daly was involved. General O'Duffy later became Chief of Staff of the National Army to be followed by his appointment as Commissioner of the Garda Siochana. He was Chief Marshall at the Catholic Emancipation Centenary celebrations in 1929 and again at the Eucharistic Congress in 1932. He was dismissed from his post by Eamonn DeValera on 22nd February 1933. I will later quote extracts from a letter to the media by Mr. Gegory Allen who, having served as a member of An Garda Siochána for more than 30 years, was in a position to give a cogent appraisal of O'Duffy.

Following his dismissal by DeValera, O'Duffy joined the Army Comrades Association (ACA), a welfare group for former soldiers which was also used to protect Cumann na nGaedheal meetings from attacks by terrorist supporters who had the tacit support of DeValera's newly elected Fianna Fáil government. The ACA was joined by groups of farmers who were in penury from the affects of DeValera's Economic War with Great Britain and whose cattle were being seized for the non-payment of rates. This informal grouping later became known as the "Blue Shirts" on account of their attire.

In 1936, O'Duffy led the Irish Brigade to Spain to support General Franco in his fight against a communist takeover of his country. There was huge support for this action in Ireland at the time. In the period preceding the outbreak of World War II, O'Duffy never uttered a single word of support for Adolf Hitler. The support for Hitler from Irish sources came primarily from communist/terrorist groups and from two individuals most notable for being ardent communists and admirers of the brutal tyrant Josef Stalin, namely Sean O'Casey and George Bernard Shaw. That says a lot about the perverted mindset of communists during that era and ever since.

Having given 22 years of tireless service to the GAA in Ulster, including his role as Central Council representative, O'Duffy was elected President of the NACA, the body that controlled Irish athletics. He held this post until his death on 30th November 1944. On 2nd December 1944, O'Duffy was given a full military funeral and was laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetry, Dublin along side his friend and ally Michael Collins.

Gregory Allen writes:
...In 25 years of research for my recently published history of the Garda Siochana, including conversations with older colleagues who had known O'Duffy, I did not pick up even a breath of scandal touching his life. Instead I discovered the real personality of the dedicated man behind the prejudice that has tended to distort the history of that period. The mutiny at the Garda Depot in Kildare in the Summer of 1922 left the nascent police force in disarray. The Civic Guard needed "firm handling by some outstanding personality", the new Minister for Home Affairs, Kevin O'Higgins, wrote to the Army Commander-in-Chief, General Richard Mulcahy. The new commissioner "must be a disciplinarian and himself a model to the men of efficiency and self-restraint". He pleaded with Mulcahy to release O'Duffy, knowing that he was asking the Army "for its right arm". With an assurance from the Provisional Government that he would be given a free hand, the charismatic soldier began his life's work and in an astonishingly short time put heart back into a demoralised force...
Gregory Allen also quotes from a political associate of O'Duffy, Professor Michael Tierney, who wrote of: amiable and attractive man without any real tendency to dictatorship, whose career had ended so tragically. It was a tragedy in which those of us who had induced him to get involved in politics were really more to blame than he was...
And Gregory Allen left us with the following conclusion:
In the evening of his life, he admitted that he had made two great mistakes: "I did not marry, and I entered politics"

Thursday 13 September 2012

Another Batch from Cashel

The following report appeared in the Clonmel Nationalist on December 19th 1936:
Another Batch from Cashel
Enthusiastic scenes were witnessed in Cashel on Saturday night when a party of young Cashel men left en route for Spain where they will join General O'Duffy's Irish Brigade. As the three motors in which they travelled moved off, cheers were given for the volunteers and for General Franco, General O'Duffy and the Irish Brigade. The names of the eight young men who have volunteered are: Patrick Mc Donnell, builder, Boherclough Street, assistant librarian in the Cashel Carnegie Library. Thomas Griffin, Upper Friar Street, served five years in the British Army and four years in the National Army of which latter he was a Musketry and Lewis Gun Instructor. John Barron, The Kiln, saw active service throughout the Great War and was three years in the National Army. Patrick Dwyer, Upper Friar Street, a member of the league of youth. Edward Hogan, Kilpeak, was a member of the local Volunteer Sluagh. Edward Dwyer, Upper Friar Street, was three years in the National Army. John Donoghue, Camus Road, served a short period in the British Army. Francis King, Windmill Cottage, Cashel, was for 12 years in the British Army, joined the IRA during the Anglo-Irish struggle and subsequently enlisted in the National Army.
While these men succeeded in their goal of preventing Spain from falling to Communist tyranny, they cannot have been happy with the type of government that was put in place. On the anti-Franco side were communist groups from all over the world including from Stalin's notorious Red Army; no doubt fresh from the killing fields and Gulags of the Siberian island of Nazino and other hell holes where many millions were worked to death or murdered, including a group of nuns. They were assisted by a group from Ireland, precursors of Saor Eireann and the INLA, who were guilty of terrible atrocities in this country in the years since, especially during the 1970-2000 period.