A deadly disease has struck some people in Ireland, affecting tendons in the legs, control of the tongue and causing partial amnesia. By a strange twist, some of those affected are attracted to the very site of the first outbreak of the disease.
The effect on the tendons in the legs of those affected is dramatic: they can no longer stand up straight and find themselves bending a knee or even collapsing on to both knees, the tongue protruding in bizarre licking motion.
Less visible but in many ways more striking is the amnesia effect. Those affected lose memories of parts of what they learned in school or what they themselves thought and said in the past – even in recent years.
According to Dr. P O’Neill of the Institute of Research and Adjustment, a new symptom was observed recently: “Affected people spent four hours staring vacantly at a film of some anachronistic ritual”.
Dr. T.W.Tone, who has been studying similar outbreaks in the past observed on the affinity of the disease for people of higher social classes: “No-one is guaranteed immunity but it does seem that the lower the social class, the less likely the person is to contract this disease.”
Commenting on the low recovery rate of those who contract the disease, Dr. J.Connolly pointed to the crucial importance of prevention, for which community programs of education can be very effective. “We rely especially on Volunteers,” he said, “men and women who are dedicated to preventing the spread of this disease.”
El domingo 9 Abril, gente asistiendo a la Conmemoración del Alzamiento de 1916 organizada por Acción Anti-Imperialista fueron acosados por la policía mientras encabezaban una marcha hacia el complot republicano del Ejército Ciudadano Irlandés en el cementerio dublinés de Glasnevin.
Seis policías políticos vestidos de paisano caminaron entre los asistentes junto a las tiendas de Phibsborough identificando los participantes, la mayoría de los cuales eran bastante jóvenes. Cerca también se encontraban cuatro uniformados de la Garda y una camioneta de la Unidad de Orden Público estacionada en la entrada del cementerio.
Los participantes no se dejaron intimidar y emprendieron su marcha, encabezados por un gaitero solitario que tocaba aires de marcha irlandeses, seguido de un ‘colour party’ con diferentes pancartas intercaladas entre los manifestantes, entre las que ondeaban muchas banderas.
Los organizadores se enteraron de que la policía había impedido que el carruaje que transportaba a los miembros de una Banda de Flauta Republicana de escocés que encabezaría el desfile tomara el ferry a Irlanda.
En 1916, una amplia alianza de los Voluntarios Irlandeses, el Ejército de Ciudadanos Irlandeses, Cumann na mBan, na Fianna Éireann e Hibernian Rifles(1) participó en un Alzamiento organizado por la Hermandad Republicana Irlandesa contra el dominio británico en Irlanda y contra la guerra mundial.
Debido a una serie de circunstancias desafortunadas, el líder de los Voluntarios canceló el Levantamiento que, sin embargo, se llevó a cabo un día más tarde de lo planeado y se limitó en su mayor parte a Dublín, donde luchó una semana por un tercio de los números en el plan original.
El ejército británico de ocupación bombardeó el centro de la ciudad desde una cañonera en el río Liffey y también desde la artillería en tierra. Las explosiones y los incendios resultantes destruyeron gran parte del centro de la ciudad, incluida la Oficina General de Correos en la calle principal, que había sido el cuartel general de la insurrección.(2)
Después de una semana con el centro de la ciudad, incluido la OGC, en llamas, la guarnición rebelde evacuó hacia Moore Street, donde al día siguiente, rodeados y superados en número, se tomó la decisión de rendirse.(3)
Un tribunal militar británico condenó a muerte a casi un centenar de prisioneros. Todas menos quince de esas sentencias fueron conmutadas por largos períodos de cárcel.
Pero los siete firmantes de la Proclamación de 1916 (4) y otros siete fueron fusilados por un pelotón de fusilamiento británico en Dublín, un decimoquinto en Cork y, después del juicio, meses después, un decimosexto fue ahorcado en la cárcel de Pentonville, Londres.
En la Pascua de 1917, las mujeres socialistas y republicanas irlandesas conmemoraron el levantamiento de 1916.
Desde entonces, los republicanos irlandeses y a veces los socialistas en Irlanda y en muchas partes de la diáspora han conmemorado el levantamiento, ya sea legalmente5 o no, en la cárcel o en libertad.
La Guerra de la Independencia comenzó en 1919 con la participación de muchos de los sobrevivientes del Alzamiento6.
El desfile del domingo – memoria histórica local marcada
En Cross Guns Bridge sobre el Royal Canal, el desfile se detuvo y se encendieron bengalas en memoria de los eventos allí en 1916.
El lunes de Pascua de 1916, un pequeño grupo de voluntarios irlandeses había andado desde Maynooth a lo largo de la orilla del canal para unirse al levantamiento en Dublín encontró vigilando el puente a dos voluntarios irlandeses que les aconsejaron que esperaran hasta el día siguiente para ir al centro de la ciudad.
El grupo de Maynooth pasó la noche en Glasnevin y al día siguiente entró en la Ofecina General de Correos (que servia de cuartel general del Alzamiento), pasando por el puente Cross Guns vacío en el camino. De regreso a Phibsborough, la artillería británica voló una barricada y mató a Seán Healy, miembro del grupo juvenil na Fianna en el Cruce del North Circular Road.
Más tarde, la unidad Dublin Fusiliers del ejército británico bloqueó el puente, impidiendo que la gente lo cruzara en cualquier dirección. Mataron a tiros a un lugareño sordo que no respondió a su desafío porque no lo escuchó.
“No servimos ni al rey ni al káiser, pero a Irlanda” declaró una pancarta que se llevó el domingo pasado, “Gran Bretaña/OTAN fuera de Irlanda” otra, “Este Es Nuestro Mandato(7), Nuestra República” y “La colusión no es una ilusión, es un asesinato patrocinado por el estado” fueron otras dos.
Una gran pancarta también declaraba junto a la imagen de James Connolly que “solo el socialismo puede ser la solución para Irlanda”. Algunas organizaciones también llevaron sus propias pancartas, como las de los Republicanos Independientes de Dublín, la Campaña contra la Internación de Irlanda y los Republicanos Socialistas Irlandeses.
Las banderas que ondeaban incluían las que llevaban el logo del grupo organizador Acción Anti-imperialista y otras con el lema “Siempre Antifascistas”, Arados Estrellados verde y dorado, un par de Ikurrinak (banderas vascas) y otras dos de Roja con el Martillo & Hoz en amarillo.
En el Monumento: discursos y cantos
El cementerio de Glasnevin (Reilig Ghlas Naíonn) cubre más de 120 acres en el norte de la ciudad de Dublín y está dividido en dos partes, cada una con parcelas republicanas separadas por Cabra Road y contiene las tumbas de personas entre famosas y comunes.
Por el lado norte también se encuentra el acceso a los Jardines Botánicos, ambos en la margen sur del río Tolka. El imponente Monumento a numerosos alzamientos republicanos y complot al Ejército Ciudadano Irlandés está en el lado sur, cruzando el puente peatonal sobre la vía del tren.
Un hombre presidió el evento de la Acción Anti-imperialista y habló brevemente, presentando a las personas para las lecturas (todas de James Connolly) y para los discursos. Las presentaciones de estos se dividieron equitativamente entre hombres y mujeres, siendo tres de ellos de jóvenes.
Se cantaron tres canciones: una mujer cantó The Foggy Dew (de Charles O’Neill) y Erin Go Bragh (de Peadar Kearney), mientras que un hombre cantó Where Is Our James Connolly? de Patrick Galvin. Dos mujeres leyeron piezas de James Connolly y otra leyó la Proclamación de 1916.
Las palabras del presidente y de los oradores fueron diferentes pero hubo temas comunes: defender el espíritu histórico de resistencia irlandés, la importancia de la clase trabajadora en la historia y el objetivo de una República socialista que abarque a toda la nación irlandesa.
Estas palabras se equilibraron con la denuncia del imperialismo estadounidense y británico y la ocupación colonial/OTAN de los Seis Condados por parte de este último; el régimen cliente irlandés; los tribunales especiales sin jurado(8) de ambas administraciones en Irlanda y la represión por parte de las fuerzas policiales y el ejército de ocupación.
También se denunciaron aquellos partidos políticos que habían abandonado la lucha por la República y en su lugar habían pasado a formar parte de las administraciones coloniales y neo-coloniales o, en este último caso, que estaban en vías de serlo.(9)
Representantes de organizaciones nombradas colocaron tributos florales y luego otros se adelantaron para colocar tributos florales también.
El presidente agradeció la asistencia de todos, nombró a las organizaciones por nombre y advirtió a todos que se mantuvieran juntos mientras se marchaban, debido a la presencia amenazante de Gardaí y, en particular, de la Unidad de Orden Público. En el evento, los celebrantes salieron del cementerio y se dispersaron sin incidentes.
Pero esa noche los domicilios de algunos sufrieron redadas policiales y algunos detenidos bajo ley represiva del Estado para quedar dos dias en comisaria y liberados sin, por ahora, carga.
NOTAS AL PIE
1Una pequeña unidad, un brazo armado de una escisión de la versión estadounidense más socialmente conservadora de la Antigua Orden de los Hibernianos, su participación en el Alzamiento fue notable.
2Las fotos de gran parte de la destrucción están disponibles en Internet y se puede acceder a ellas mediante un navegador de búsqueda.
3La terraza que ocuparon sigue en pie y es objeto de una lucha de memoria histórica y conservación contra los planes especuladores inmobiliarios aprobados por oficiales del Municipio y los partidos políticos del Gobierno (ver smsfd.ie).
4Un documento notable, cuyo texto está disponible en muchas publicaciones en Internet.
5 Las mujeres irlandesas lo conmemoraron en público en contravención de la legislación marcial británica de la Primera Guerra Mundial en 1917 y 1918 y durante décadas la conmemoración pública del Levantamiento de 1916 (e incluso el vuelo del Tricolor Irlandés) estuvo prohibida en la colonia británica de los Seis Condados con ataques policiales colones ante cualquier intento de hacerlo.
6 A veces llamada incorrectamente “la Guerra Tan” (referencia a una fuerza auxiliar especial de la policía colonial que se conoció como “Black n’ Tans”), la guerra vio el nacimiento del IRA y duró desde 1919-1921. Una propuesta de “paz” británica abrió profundas divisiones en la coalición nacionalista y fue seguida por una Guerra Civil de 1922-1923, en la que el gobierno pro-Tratado y sus fuerzas armadas fueron armados y abastecidos por los británicos para derrotar a los republicanos en una campaña de represión. Y con encarcelamientos, acciones militares, secuestros y torturas, asesinatos de presos, asesinatos y más de 80 ejecuciones formales.
7 También se muestra texto referente al Programa Democrático del Primer Dáil de 1919.
8 El tribunal Diplock en la colonia y los Tribunales Penales Especiales en el Estado Irlandés, tribunales especiales políticos en todo menos en el nombre, con un nivel de prueba bajo y una tasa de condena anormalmente alta y denegación de fianza mientras se espera el juicio.
9 Referencias a 1) la década de 1930 se escindió del partido Sinn Féin, el partido político Fianna Fáil que se convirtió en el partido gubernamental preferido de la burguesía gobernante irlandesa dependiente del exterior y 2) al partido Sinn Féin Provisional que respaldó el plan de pacificación británico en 1998 y emprendió el camino de convertirse en un partido del nacionalismo reformista en la colonia y en este momento se encamina hacia un gobierno de coalición neocolonial (y neoliberal capitalista).
Car alarms are mostly of a kind, emitting shrill noise. But why not have them use voice? And why not allow the car-owner to choose from a variety of voice alarms, find one perhaps more suited to their own personality?
Don’t forget, you saw this idea and this selection here first!
SIX CATEGORIES, VARIOUS MODELS
Insistent (2 models)
(in English public school accent – not recommended for certain areas of Ireland, Scotland, Wales or inner-city England) You are crowding me. Please desist. In other words, stop!
B. (gradually increasing in volume)
This is not your car. You are not an authorised driver. You are performing an illegal act. There are serious consequences. You must stop now.
This is not your car. You are not an authorised driver. You are performing an illegal act. There are serious consequences. You must stop now.
This is not your car. You are not an authorised driver. You are performing an illegal act. There are serious consequences. You must stop now. (etc.)
Threateningselection (6 models)
A. (in northern USA accent) Step away from the car. STEP AWAY FROM THE CAR. DO IT NOW!
B. SMILE. THANK YOU. YOUR PHOTO IS ON ITS WAY TO THE POLICE.
C. God does not like you standing too near me or trying my door handle. He sees everything you do.
D. Stand back. You are about to receive a mega electric shock. Charging …
E. SCRATCH MY CAR AND PREPARE TO DIE. (available in a selection of accents, from Russian mafia to LA Gangsta).
F. That spike you have just received from my door handle has taken a sample of your DNA and carries a powerful sleep drug. You have seconds before you collapse. Find somewhere safe to lie down.
Sinister (1 model)
Yes, come in, come in! Welcome! Welcome! I’ve been waiting for someone like you. Just like you. Never mind the bloodstains. Just an accident. Or two. Come in, come in! (Available in a variety of voices, creaky, sibilant, etc.)
Persuasiveselection (2 models)
A. You’d steal a Metro? Seriously?
B. Yes, yes, listen to my voice. Breathe deeply. Lisssten to my voice. You feel com-fort-ably warrrrm and relaxed. Tot-all-y rel-axed. You don’t want to steal a car any more. Certainly not this one. You want to find a cafe and sit in it. Tot-all-y rel-axed. You will leave now.
Attention-attracting with Embarrassment Deterrence selection (5 models)
A. HELP! I AM BEING BROKEN INTO! HELP!
B. BARRRP! (Yes, a loud fart-noise. With sewer smell). BRAAPP! BARRRP!
C. I HAVE DISCHARGED A BAG OF URINE ON YOUR LEG. IT CARRIES A PERMANENT PURPLE DYE TOO.
D. EVERYBODY! THE PERSON STANDING BY THIS CAR IS A CHILD MOLESTER AND TORTURES PUPPIES AND KITTENS!
E. Ooh! Ah, stop. That tickles. No. Ahahahaha! No, please! No! AHAHAHAHAHA! Oh gosh, stop, please stop. Ahahahahaha!
Think about what you’re doing. Do you really want to steal this car? Think about the conseq …
Migrant support organisations, trade unions, some political parties — over 50,000 marched in Dublin on Sunday to protest at anti-immigrant demonstrations and the crises in housing, the health service and prices rising higher than wages.
Famous folk singer Christy Moore and veteran civil rights campaigner Bernadette McAlliskey (formerly Devlin) were among the speakers who addressed the rally on Custom House Quay.
Context and background
Anti-migrant and anti-refugees demonstrations, including threats of violence, have been seen and heard in recent months in a number of locations around the Irish state with active participation and promotion by fascist and far-Right organisations and individuals.
The anxieties of people about the housing crisis have been exploited by elements of the far-Right in Ireland, attempting to blame migrants and the refugees for this crisis and claiming that “Ireland is full” in addition to fabricating stories about abductions and rape by migrants.
In addition, the Government’s lack of consultation with local communities and attempts at secrecy when moving refugees from the Ukraine into buildings in Ireland have exacerbated the situation and facilitated the work of racist and fascist demagogues.
Some far-Right elements had threatened to counter-protest the anti-racist march but only a handful appeared at the departure point and soon vanished and one lone far-rightist protested along the route. Gardaí were in evidence but in low numbers.
Which side are you on?
Long-time Irish folk-singer and songwriter Christy Moore said he was disgusted by the racist demonstrations, sang a composed ditty talking about “a Gombeen Ireland” before singing a few verses of his Viva La Quince Brigada, celebrating the Irish who died fighting fascism in Spain.
Veteran socialist Republican Bernadette McAlliskey gave a militant speech in which she called on people to identify whether they were on the side of migrants or of the slide to fascism. As a survivor of nine British proxy bullets in 1981, McAlliskey can speak from some personal experience.
A number of speakers made the point that march was a 32-county event, meaning that it represented not only people in the Irish state but also in the British colony. In addition, most Irish trade unions are whole Ireland-wide, as are the main sports associations.3
Traveller4 activist Rose Marie Maugham spoke against racism and of her community’s experience of discrimination and Leon Diop of the Black and Irish group, formed after the Irish mobilisation of Black Lives Matter after the US Police killing of George Floyd.
Ailbhe Smythe, an academic and active anti-racist, pointed out that the antifascist and anti-racist movement is a 32-county one, i.e covering the whole nation. That statement and the presence of McAlliskey reminds us of something very important but often overlooked.
Ireland’s home-grown fascists, the Loyalists, have been here since even before the partition of Ireland and the creation of the Six-County colony. And historically, especially during the 30 Years War here, they linked up with British fascists to attack the Irish solidarity movement in Britain.
The attempts of Justin Barret’s fascist National Party to hold rallies in the Six Counties have been opposed by Irish Republicans and socialists and only succeeded behind colonial police protection (which did not prevent their November congress in Fermanagh being broken up by anti-fascists).
British-based fascists such Herman Kelly, formerly PRO for Nigel Farage’s UK Independence Party, is now head of the “Irish Freedom Party” (sic) and British fascist Jim Dowson has also had a presence with Irish fascists such as Niall McConnell and his “Síol na hÉireann” (sic) party.
Very recently long-time British fascist activist Tommy Robinson has been promoting himself as a “friend of the Irish people” and was welcomed to Ireland by some fascists (e.g. Dara O’Flaherty) but also opposed by some others who fear Robinson’s reputation5 will do them no favours.
Possibly even those Irish blinded by racist propaganda might balk at uniting with one who defended the British Parachute Regiment’s massacres of unarmed civilians in Ballymurphy (August 1971), Derry (January 1972) and Springhill (July 1972).
What struck me most apart from the numbers was that the vast majority of the organisations overwhelmingly represented those who had NOT been opposing the far-Right in their many mobilisations through the years against migrants, Muslims, LBGT people etc.
Indeed, when Le Chéile was being founded, its organisers took care not to invite those who HAD been actively confronting the racists and fascists in the preceding period.
When I asked at the time whether Republican groups and Anarchists had been invited, a Le Chéile representative said they didn’t know but would ask. I heard no more of the matter. At a subsequent rally of theirs, a speaker denounced those who confronted the fascists.
Possibly in response to that situation, Saturday’s march was notable for the absence of such Republican groups6 but if so this was a serious error, in my view. I feel they should have marched there with their organisational banners and one promoting militant opposition to fascism.
If fascism begins to get a hold in Ireland as it did for awhile in the 1930s, the antifascist struggle will need to be a broad one and active antifascists need to participate in broad demonstrations to advertise their program of active and militant confrontation with fascists.
Richard Boyd Barrett was quoted in the Irish Times today calling for people to resist the far-Right causing racist division. However his party, People Before Profit is one of those that has chosen not to confront the Far-Right.
Unfortunately Barrett was also quoted saying that “This State was born in the struggle against oppression.”7 It would be more accurate to say that this Gombeen State was born in the struggle to crush the nascent Irish Republic which, for the time being, it has succeeded in doing.
A number of Anarchists have confronted the fascists in the past, at least in Dublin and there was a strong Anarchist contingent on the march. Unfortunately, one of their shouted slogans was “No borders, no nations!”
This seems to deny Ireland’s right to nationhood and could easily be seized upon by fascists portraying themselves as patriots and defenders of the nation. Nor does it seem reasonable in the age of imperialist aggression to call for the dismantling of borders at this time.
Those observations aside, the turnout of such numbers on an anti-racist demonstration is to be greatly welcomed and must be discouraging for the fascist and racists. However, it will not mean the end of them and while the danger of fascism exists they need to be militantly confronted.
While the Left fails to force the Gombeen class even to undertake the reform of a crash building program of public housing for rent, capitalist attacks on working people’s standard of living look to continue and may provide opportunities for fascists to divert and divide the people.
Equally, the Gombeen class may seek to use the fascists in their historical role as a force to divide the working class in attacking its more vulnerable elements while, simultaneously targeting socialists and socialist republicans, i.e. those with the capacity to provide revolutionary leadership.
1For which possibly the original inspiration was a group calling itself East Wall for All, in response to the early anti-refugee demonstrations in the East Wall area.
2“Red with Anger”, a broad campaign demanding rights for the Irish language in the British colony but also for greater promotion of the language throughout the Irish state.
3This is the case not only in the Gaelic Athletic Association but also in the soccer and rugby federations.
4Irish Travellers are an ethnic minority of nomadic lifestyle history experiencing racism and discrimination in Ireland and in Britain.
5Robinson is a long-term British fascist convicted of assault, theft and fraud and was subject to a five-year anti-stalking order. He was a member of the fascist anti-black, anti-Irish (BNP) from 2004 to 2005 and for a short time in 2012, joint vice-chairman of the British Freedom Party (BFP). Robinson led the English Defence League from 2009 until 8 October 2013. In 2015 became involved with the development of Pegida UK, a now defunct British chapter of the German-based Islamophobic organisation Pegida (which was prevented from establishing in Ireland by antifascists in February 2016).
As expected of fascists, many-false-names Robinson is a habitual liar but was caught out when he publicly lied about a refugee teenager attacked by racists, was convicted of libel in 2021 and ordered to pay 100,000 Stg. and costs, on which he defaulted by declaring bankruptcy.
6Sinn Féin is clearly just another Gombeen (i.e. Irish neo-colonial capitalist class) party now and it never confronted the fascists though in October 2020 one of its members was knocked unconscious after he accompanied some friends to oppose the Yellow Vests on Custom House Quay when we were attacked by club-wielding fascist thugs and then by the Public Order Unit.
After fifty years the truth is beginning to emerge about the massacre of eleven people in West Belfast by the Parachute Regiment of the British Army.
A coroner has found that nine of the ten had been shot by them, whilst in the case of the tenth, John McKerr, there was doubt as to who had killed him, it either being a Loyalist paramilitary or more probably a British soldier. The coroner found that there was a distinct lack of evidence volunteered by the authorities as regards his death, hinting at the cover-up that had taken place over a span of fifty years.
The families of those murdered have had to wait a half century for this. John Teggart, the son of one of those murdered, Daniel Teggart, went on record to state, “It has taken us 50 years to get to this point. We are just…
Eamon McGrath (31 October 1955 – 11 January 1923) singer and song lyrics-writer, activist in areas of housing, water and national sovereignty, historical memory and anti-fascism.
He was getting buried on Saturday and I wasn’t able to be at the service nor at the celebration of his life with comrades afterwards.
I hope this eulogy, if that’s the right word for this, will make up for my absence to his family, comrades and friends and, of course, to me.
Eamon came into my life through the Moore Street occupation in January of 2016. The property speculator Joe O’Reilly (Chartered Land) and the State were about to collude in the demolition of three buildings in the 1916 Terrace.
The State had declared only four buildings in the 16-building terrace, after a long struggle, to be a historical monument and even later, purchased – but around 300 men and women hadn’t occupied just four buildings in 1916.
The Save Moore Street From Demolition campaign group had called emergency demonstrations on to the street following which the buildings had been occupied by protesting conservationists.
The weather was bitterly cold but the occupiers held firm for a week until a stay of demolition had been imposed by the High Court. Despite his health status and challenged mobility, Eamon was there throughout, with humour and song.
Subsequently, to prevent internal damage by contractors, a six-weeks’ blockade was imposed on the building by conservationists from 6.30am to 4.30pm each weekday. Eamon was very much a part of that too, driving himself and his close comrade Sean Doyle up from Wicklow every day.
Eamon was intensely loyal to close friends and comrades. On occasion I found him prickly or grumpy (especially at 6.30 am) but throughout any disagreements he never lost sight of who were his comrades and other people he respected.
Though a proud man, when he recognised himself in error, he didn’t hesitate to apologise.
A new broader group came out of the occupation and blockade, called Save Moore Street 2016 and Eamon attended and contributed to internal organising meetings and events we called on to the street – re-enactments, fake funerals of history, pickets, demonstrations and rallies.
As others drifted or were called away from the group by other commitments, Eamon remained with the active core.
Of course, Eamon had been active before 2016: certainly very much so in the general awareness-raising and mass campaign against planned privatisation of our water and the installation of water meters.
He was to continue that activism, which resulted in assaults by a water contractor on him and Seán Doyle, court appearances for both and in May 2016 both of them went to jail for a period but remained unbowed.
Eamon was one of the original occupiers of Apollo House in December 2016 in protest against homelessness and as a co-founder of the Anti Eviction Flying Column, Eamon was to the fore in resisting evictions across the country and also a co-founder of the Bring It to Their Doors campaign.
The State authorities were making things awkward for Eamon by then, both in terms of working as a taxi driver and claiming benefit when he was not. His ability to reach events in Dublin declined but he still got there often enough on public transport, while remaining active nearer to home.
As his physical mobility declined further, comrades in Carlow started an on-line collection to buy him an electric wheelchair. Even as I made enquiries to contribute, the fund had already reached its target, so quickly did people support it.
Later still, his family installed a new chairlift for his home so he could access the room where he recorded his songs with lyrics commenting on the ongoing political struggles, adapted to popular airs.
Though our voices didn’t go well together, we sang together a couple of times – outside the GPO and outside Dublin City Hall.
He remained active on social media but in particular in keeping an eye on the activities of right-wing people, covid-deniers, racists, fascists …. Eamon was a handy source for a quick update on the status of many of them.
Eamon arranged an interview for us both with the Dublin Near FM radio station, the interviewer being then a former drug addict who sadly returned later to his addiction and died on the street. It was on the way back from the interview that Eamon told me a little about his earlier years.
He had a difficult time in his childhood, including institutional confinement and his formal education suffered as a result. However, he educated himself about many things by reading, listening, discussing and viewing on line.
I think the last time I saw Eamon was at a commemoration at the Peter Daly monument in Wexford inSeptember 2022, in his electric wheelchair and attached oxygen cylinder for his lung condition and all in good cheer, asking me for Moore Street campaign updates in detail.
His comrades in Anti-Imperialist Action Ireland, which he had joined at its foundation in 2017 correctly called him “one ot the most dedicated political activists of the last decade” and no-one who knew him could argue with that.
I knew little of Eamon’s family life but he often emphasised how important family was, not just to him but in general. Though I do not know them tá mé i gcomhbhrón leo, offering them my condolences along with the many they have received and are no doubt still arriving.
A partner, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, extended family member and friend to many.
Eamon McGrath of Kenmare Heights, Greystones & formerly Wolfe Tone Square, Bray, Co. Wicklow, was buried in Radford Cemetery, Greystones Saturday after a service in the Holy Rosary Church, Bray, attended by family, comrades and friends.
Artem Lobov failed in his Irish High Court attempt to have former friend and associate Conor McGregor desist from calling him “a rat” on social media.
Justice Simon, presiding, took the view that the epithet might be insulting but was not defamatory, i.e did not tend to injure Lobov’s social or business standing.
In order to come to that decision in law, Judge Simons would have to 1) decide that Lobov had no reputation to lose and/ or 2) that the term was accurate or 3) that the term, though insulting, did not undermine his reputation.
The judge took the third view and in doing so, displayed his ignorance of the cultural milieu in which the antagonists operate. Justice Simons thought about his own social circles and others with which he had some familiarity and could see the term only as insulting.
Justice Simons did not look at it from a working class or Irish Republican or even criminal fraternity social viewpoint, each of them different but all with a disdain (and horror even) for the informer, an brathadóir, the turncoat, tout, carey,1 snake, grass, canary, fink — and ‘rat’.
The judge might have approached the weight of such an accusation in other cultures than his own, had he reflected on what “sneak” or “squealer” might have meant in his schooldays, in whatever high-class and expensive school he attended. Or even among fellow-students in university.
Back on the other levels of society, there is a deep understanding of the gap between those in power and those over whom they exercise that power, along with a dislike for those who pass information about any of ‘us’ to ‘them’. Calling someone in that culture a ‘rat’ is indeed to defame them.
Indeed, in some circles, having it believed that someone is an informer to the authorities can be the cause of their receiving physical violence or even their death. Scapaticci, himself an informer in the Provisional IRA for the British secret services, killed many accused of being what he was.2
Donaldson, who admitted to also being an informer with a high-ranking position in the Provisional IRA, was assassinated, either in retaliation by Irish Republicans or to keep him quiet by some branch of the British secret services.3
The test of whether “a reasonable person” might consider the term ‘rat’ to be “defamatory” failed but only because Judge Simons imagined such “a reasonable person” to come from his own social background and not from the circles generally inhabited by McGregor and Lobov.
The judge was wrong in law but Artem did himself no favour by taking the case to law and, apart from losing, appealing to that which is a branch of the authorities.
1However many Irish people disapproved or otherwise of the assassination of Lord Cavendish and Assistant Secretary Burke in Dublin’s Phoenix Park by the Invincibles in 1882, Carey, who had been one of the assassination party but turned against his former comrades and exultantly gave evidence against them, earned a wide disgust across Irish society. For the conviction and execution of the Irish Republicans the informer was rewarded by the Crown with money, false identity and opportunity to settle in a further British colony. When O’Donnell killed him in 1883 while Carey was on his way to South Africa, the feeling that informer deserved it was widespread across Irish society. “Carey” became a slang word for “informer” in some areas of Dubli. Informers are regularly denounced in Irish political ballads across the centuries.
In atrocious weather conditions, Irish Republicans of a number of organisations and of none gathered at the Liam Mellows monument in Finglas today (Sunday 4 December 2022) to honour four Republicans executed by the Irish State in 1922.
Liam Mellows, Rory O’Conor, Joe McKelvey and Richard Barrett were all prominent IRA Volunteers during the War of Independence and rejected the Anglo-Irish Agreement to create a subservient state in a partitioned country.
The Irish State chose the four prisoners in retaliation for the assassination of Seán Hales TD, himself shot in retaliation for Free State executions of Republican prisoners. By coincidence or intent, each one of the four had been born in a different one of Ireland’s four provinces.
THE COMMEMORATION EVENT
A part of the commemoration marched with colour parties, led by lone piper, from Finglas village to the Mellows Monument.
Ado Perry chaired the event, one of a series of Irish Civil War commemorations in Dublin organised by Independent Republicans, which group also erected commemorative panels in various locations around the city, often marking the location where Free State troops killed an IRA Volunteer.
Three colour parties attended the event and a list of all the known Republican victims of the Free State was read out.
Sean Óg, accompanying himself on guitar, sang Brian Ó hUigínn’s Soldiers of ‘22 and James Ryan’s Take It Down From the Mast, two of the best-known of a very limited number of songs about the Irish Civil War. A number present joined in on the chorus of the second song:
Take it down from the mast, Irish Traitors,
It’s the flag we Republicans claim;
It can never belong to Free Staters,
For you’ve brought on it nothing but shame.
Mags Glennon gave a speech on behalf of the organisers but it was difficult to make out its content (kindly supplied since and given in full in Appendix.
The main speaker advertised for the event was John Crawley, who has found recent fame in Republican circles with the publication of his biographical book The Yank, about his enlisting with the US Marine Corps and attempting to pass on his military skills to the Provisional IRA.
It was a shame that the volume of the PA was only turned up at around the last quarter or so of his speech. Despite the limited audibility of most of it, the attendance endured the rain and stood there in good order1.
Ado Perry thanked speakers and musicians for participation and all for attendance, making special mention of the colour parties. He announced that the event commemorative event would be at Kilmainham Jail early in January.
A lone piper played a lament and swung into the national anthem, Amhrán na bhFiann. Representatives of the National Graves Association addressed the crowd briefly before the event finally concluded and the wet and the weary headed home or to a warm pub or restaurant.
A local resident assured us that the sun does sometimes shine in Finglas. I assured him I believed him as I had seen some photographs to verify it.
The weather really was atrocious, raining almost non-stop and on one occasion during the event, lashing down heavily upon the gathering. One had to feel sympathy for the men and women of the three colour parties, who had to endure the downpour without the shelter of even an umbrella.
Indeed this reporter felt the need to break his bicycle journey away from the event for a bowl of hot soup in a nice eatery across the motorway bridge in Finglas village, before pushing on to my destination in the Glasnevin area.
BACKGROUND: THE FREE STATE
The State that came into existence in 1922 was a creation of those forces that accepted Dominion status within the British Commonwealth instead of an Irish Republic, accepting also the partition of Ireland for the first time with six counties becoming a British colony.
While the pro-Treaty position had a majority of votes in the Irish parliament, a large part of the civilian population and the vast majority of the fighters (Irish Volunteers, Cumann na mBan, Na Fianna) rejected the Treaty and their representation left the Government in protest.
Although Anti-Treaty forces had occupied the Four Courts in Dublin, the Civil War was started by the Free State military, shelling the Republican occupants with artillery on loan from the British military and going on to use British transport and weapons to defeat the Republicans.
Rory O’Connor, Joe McKelvey, Richard Barrett and Liam Mellows were already in jail when Seán Hales was killed and could not be considered guilty by any stretch of causality; nevertheless they were executed on 9th December 1922.
From Century Ireland:
In a statement issued by the National Army’s General Headquarters, the latest round of executions are explained as a ‘reprisal for the assassination…. of Brigadier Sean Hales, TD, and as a solemn warning to those associated with them who are engaged in a conspiracy of assassination against the representatives of the Irish people.’
The executions took place at 9.20 am. The prisoners were marched blindfolded to the rear of the Mountjoy Prison buildings with three clergymen in attendance. They were shot by firing squad and their bodies were subsequently interred within the grounds of the prison.
Commenting on these developments, the Irish Times has editorialised that the ‘Free State Government has committed itself to an act of ‘reprisal’ which eclipses in sudden and tragic severity the sternest measures of the British Crown during the conflict with Sinn Féin.’
The first executions carried out by the Free State took place on 17 November 1922, and then continued a week later with that of Erskine Childers.
On the last day of November, the number of those executed increased to eight when three Dubliners – Joseph Spooner (21), Patrick Farrelly (21), John Murphy (19) – were killed at Beggars Bush Barracks.
The three men were captured on 30 October after an attempt was made to blow up Oriel House, the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)2.
Following the deaths of Spooner, Farrelly and Murphy, the leader of the Labour Party, Thomas Johnston, called for an end to executions as a method of punishment. Mr Johnston, speaking in the Dáil on 30 November, stated:
‘We have been told pretty frequently during the last few weeks that it is the intention of the ministry to re-establish the reign of law, and we were told yesterday, as we have been told frequently, that unless this kind of thing is done anarchy will prevail. I want to make the charge that this kind of trial, this kind of sentence, is, in fact, anarchy. It is not law. It is anarchy- lynch law once removed.’
By the time the Civil War ended, the Free State had formally executed around 80 Irish Republicans (many more than had the British occupation 1916-1921) and at least another 20 killed as surrendered fighters or kidnapped, sometimes tortured, then taken somewhere and shot.
Post-Civil War, the class nature of the State became even clearer: led by a foreign-dependent capitalist class, handing over healthcare and education to the Catholic Church, upon the institutions of which it leaned heavily for social control of the masses.
The foreign dependency was at first on the British who helped create the State but subsequently first the USA and then the EU have been added to the list of economic masters. This is the inheritance of the Anglo-Irish Agreement and of the victory of the Free State in the Civil War.
APPENDIX (reading time approx 11 minutes):
SPEECH BY MAGS GLENNON FOR INDEPENDENT REPUBLICANS GROUP
Today we gather to remember and honour Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor, Joe McKelvey and Dick Barrett, four dedicated volunteers who were executed without even the pretence of a trial by a Free State regime bent on revenge and determined to use any methods to defeat the principles and spirit of Irish Republicanism.
In this case the brutal elimination not just of key IRA military leaders but also the articulate political voices who could expose the betrayal of the revolutionary republican ideals by the Free State.
As the Civil War grew increasingly bitter in the autumn of 1922 the Free State implemented the Public Order Act, allowing for summary execution from anyone caught in possession of weapons. Kevin O Higgins stated that “what was needed to put down the Irregulars were more local executions, and we should just kill them anyway”.
It is important to recognize the context in which these four brave men met their deaths. They were murdered to ensure the supremacy of the Free State elite who felt it was their right to betray the principles of the 1916 Rising and the Democratic Programme of the 1st Dail.
The prosperous catholic and moderate nationalist class had seen their Home Rule party practically eliminated in the 1919 election. Mass campaigns against conscription, transport strikes against British militarism as well as sporadic strikes and workers Soviet revolts worried what Mellows called ‘the state in the country people’.
The political interests of the prosperous middle class catholic merchants, professionals and big farmers were well served by acceptance of the British Treaty, which would ensure they held social, economic and political power in the new Free State. They cared not for partition or royal oaths as they had achieved their Home Rule.
The Free State elite saw the role of working people, many of whom had been at the forefront of the war, was to retreat once more to the slums and to obey their masters.
The democratic and egalitarian basis of a Republicanism expressed in the founding documents of the struggle promised a radical and democratic future, appealing in particular to working people in Dublin who had been fighting since the Lockout of 1913.
WT Cosgrave famously described the urban and rural poor as the ‘sweepings of the workhouses’ and desired that they emigrate as quickly as possible. The original Sinn Fein of Arthur Griffith had supported the employers in 1913 but piggy backed to prominence on the back of the 1916 Rising.
The elimination of men like Mellows – Brugha and Childers were already dead – was to ensure the political head was cut off the Republican movement.
The execution of military commanders like O Connor, Barrett and McKelvey was to send a message to all provinces that the IRA rank and file would suffer similar deaths to their commanding officers.
The terror Dublin had suffered in 1922 was intensified across the south in 1923 with dozens of young volunteers (many just boys) disappeared, tortured, shot at roadsides and dumped behind ditches. Yet Fine Gael still today parrots rubbish about republican ‘violence’, to cover up the savage war crimes on which they built their Free State.
We must all openly question the narrative being put forward by the Free State establishment today, completely ignoring the centenary of the Civil War. Remembering the deaths and honouring the lives of the republican volunteers has been carried out by their families and small local Commemoration groups.
Any further publicity would reveal the betrayal of the democratic and revolutionary principles of Republicanism which the Free State attempted to wipe out in the Civil War. We must rededicate ourselves to the revolutionary, internationalist and anti-imperialist traditions of Irish Republicanism.
As we work to advance these ideas in our communities, we must reject the conservative and xenophobic brands of nationalism, whether orange or green, that seek to deflect the blame for our social and economic problems away from the establishment figures benefiting from and promoting such conflict.
We remember today the sacrifice made 100 years ago by Liam Mellows, Rory O Connor, Joe McKelvey and Dick Barrett. May they rest in peace and their ideas and example form the basis of a strong, principled and united Irish Republicanism into the future. Beir Bua!
SPEECH BY JOHN CRAWLEY, MAIN SPEAKER AT EVENT
At 3:30 am on Friday, the 8th of December 1922, IRA volunteers Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor, Dick Barrett, and Joe McKelvey were informed they were to be summarily executed by the Free State government in retaliation for the killing of Sean Hales, the previous day.
Hales had voted for the ‘Murder Bill’ permitting the execution of those bearing arms in defence of the Irish Republic.
The Free State made great play of the fact Hales was a T.D. even though the first T.D. slain in the Civil War had been shot by Free Staters when they killed Cathal Brugha, who presided over the first meeting of Dáil hÉireann in January 1919 and had served as Minister for Defence. Free Staters had murdered Harry Boland T.D. in August, and of course, Liam Mellows was a T.D.
Captured as part of the Four Courts garrison the previous June, these four IRA volunteers had been in prison since then. They held no responsibility for IRA operations on the outside.
Those Free Staters who hadn’t the resolve to stand by the Republic demonstrated vicious zeal in proving to the British they had the cruelty to murder those who did.
They attempted to justify these killings by claiming they were implementing the will of the Irish people who approved the Anglo-Irish Treaty under Britain’s threat of immediate and terrible war if it were not ratified.
But it was not the will of the Irish people that led to the bombardment of the Four Courts the previous June with artillery provided by the British army. It was the will of British Prime Minister Lloyd George and Winston Churchill.
The firing squad that shot Rory, Liam, Dick, and Joe that cold December morning was manned by Irishmen who had all served in the British army. They carried rifles and wore uniforms supplied by the British government.
The Free State government called its armed wing the National Army, but it was no national army.
It was an exclusively 26-County force set up under Article 8 of the Anglo-Irish Treaty to fight the only war they ever engaged in – the war to overthrow the Irish Republic. Had it been a national army, the British government would never have permitted it to exist.
Bernard Law Montgomery, who became a Field Marshall during the Second World War and had commanded British forces in Cork during the Irish civil war, wrote in 1923:
‘We [the British Army] could probably have squashed the [IRA 1919-21] rebellion as a temporary measure, but it would have broken out again like an ulcer the moment we removed the troops…
The only way, therefore, was to give them [the Irish] some form of self-government and let them squash the rebellion themselves; they are the only people who could really stamp it out, and they are still trying to do so and as far as one can tell they seem to be having a fair amount of success.’
By May 1923, the Free State Army would have 58,000 men who were armed, equipped, and uniformed by the British government.
Of this number, more than 30,000 were Irishmen who were former British soldiers, approximately 3,000 were IRA deserters who had defected from the Republic, and the remaining 25,000 had no prior experience on either side.
James Connolly had written in 1915, ‘When a foreign invader plants himself in a country which he holds by military force his only hope of retaining his grasp is either that he wins the loyalty of the natives, or if he fails to do so that he corrupts enough of them to enable him to disorganise and dishearten the remainder…The chief method of corruption is by an appeal to self-interest.
The self-interest of the Free Staters lay in the opportunity to achieve managerial control of a state with the pay, pensions, patronage, and prestige that went with it. A state whose parameters had been determined by a Tory-dominated cabinet committee that consulted nobody in Ireland except unionists.
Contrary to what partitionist propagandists would have us believe, the Treaty was not the result of a decision that had to be taken for pragmatic reasons in the face of overwhelming odds that any rational person in Ireland could recognise and accept.
Nor was the Dáil split down the middle. The Treaty passed by only seven votes in January 1922. Had the vote been taken before the Christmas recess, as many had expected, the Treaty would almost certainly have been rejected.
Unfortunately, the Christmas break gave powerful pro-Treaty interests like the Catholic Church, big farmers, big business, and an assortment of gombeen men the opportunity to wear down the resolve of a number of T.D.s.
Liam Mellows presided over an IRA convention held in the Mansion House in Dublin in March 1922. The IRA voted more than 80% against the Treaty and passed a resolution declaring, ‘That the Army reaffirms its allegiance to the Irish Republic…’
Cumann na mBan voted overwhelmingly against the Treaty by 419 votes to 63, and the vast majority of the active IRA units in the field also rejected it.
In a letter to his mother written shortly before his execution, Liam Mellows declared, ‘I die for the truth.
That truth was spoken by James Connolly at his court martial in 1916 when he said, ‘The British Government has no right in Ireland, never had any right in Ireland, and never can have any right in Ireland . . .’
That truth was also spoken by Pádraig Pearse while inspecting Irish Volunteers at Vinegar Hill in Wexford in the early autumn of 1915 when he said, ‘We, the Volunteers, are formed here not for half of Ireland, not to give the British Garrison control of part of Ireland. No! We are here for the whole of Ireland.’
As has been shown so many times in Irish history and is being demonstrated today in a different context, in a revolutionary struggle, the choice one often confronts is whether to do what counts or to make what you can do count.
To do what mattered proved too daunting for many Free Staters, so they made the Treaty count, saved their skins, opened career paths, and shifted the goalposts from the 32-County Irish Republic to a 26-County Dominion of the British Empire moulded by British strategic interests.
In 1948 Fine Gael Taoiseach John A. Costello declared that the Irish Free State would become the Republic of Ireland – a republic that would tell the world Ireland is Ireland without the Six Counties.
In the future, when any Dublin politician would proudly assert, ‘I stand by the Republic,’ they were referring exclusively to the twenty-six-county Republic of Ireland announced by this former Blueshirt in 1948, not the thirty-two-county Irish Republic proclaimed in 1916 and ratified by the First Dáil in 1919.
Again today, Britain is attempting to shape the political environment to suit its strategic interests. Just as in Liam Mellows day, former comrades who swore they would lead us to the Republic are leading us in the opposite direction.
All talk of the Republic is now gone because the Republic was never on the negotiating table in 1998. We no longer hear Ireland referred to as our country but as this island. Our country is one nation. This island has two.
Great play is made about the potential of a united Ireland as outlined in the Good Friday Agreement. We had a united Ireland during the Famine. We had a united Ireland when the Republic was proclaimed in 1916. We had a united Ireland when the United Irishmen was formed in 1791.
So what did the 28 Protestants who founded the Irish republican movement mean by a United Ireland? Not territorial unity, which already existed, but the only unity that matters and the unity the British would never countenance – a unity of Irish citizens across the sectarian divide.
The united Ireland defined by the Good Friday Agreement is not a republic. It envisions a polity where the sectarian dynamic remains intact and the cleavage in national loyalties between Ireland and Britain is constitutionally enshrined.
Consequently, many supporters of this strategy propose a continuing and symbolic role for the British royal family as an institutional point of reference for the loyalties of those who would prefer to see themselves as a civic outpost of Britain rather than as equal citizens of a national democracy within an all-Ireland republic.
Debates and discussions are taking place on changing the Irish national flag, discarding the Irish national anthem, and re-joining the British Commonwealth. Instead of breaking the connection with England, we are being relentlessly conditioned into becoming more closely incorporated into a British sphere of influence on a national level.
When former comrades meet and greet British royalty in Ireland, they are sending out an unambiguous message that Ireland is not one nation but two. That Britain has legitimacy in Ireland and a role to play in influencing the political trajectory of our country.
Our goal as IRA volunteers was to break the connection with England. Not to convince the rest of Ireland to re-join the British Commonwealth.
There are many happy clappy euphemisms being employed to describe the Ireland of the future. A shared island, an agreed Ireland, and a new Ireland. Who in their right mind could be against the concept of sharing and new and agreed arrangements?
When we drill down into it, however, we see the trap being laid for us by the British government. A shared island means we share in Britain’s analysis of the nature of the conflict, we share in the colonial legacy of sectarian apartheid, and we share in the imperial project of divide and rule.
We do this by recognising Ulster unionists as the British presence in Ireland with the right to have their Britishness enshrined in law. Republicans know that unionists are pro-British, but we do not accept they are the British presence.
The British presence is the presence of Britain’s jurisdictional claim to Ireland and the civil and military apparatus that gives that effect. England invaded Ireland hundreds of years before the plantation of Ulster. They claimed sovereignty here long before a single unionist set foot on Irish soil. What was their excuse, then?
An agreed Ireland has come to mean the two traditions agreeing to disagree in peace and harmony about the constitutional source of Irish sovereignty and the legitimacy and extent of British influence in constraining Irish democracy.
A muddled and subversive belief that the conquest and colonisation of Ireland share reciprocal legitimacy with its struggle for independence.
The new Ireland we are being asked to work towards is not new. It is predicated on all the old divisions. Divisions that Britain nurtured to retain the sectarian dynamic and resultant cleavage in national loyalties as this policy of divide and rule is the key to their control in Ireland.
It is designed to prevent us from developing the national cohesion required to achieve a 32-County republic. To make us permanently susceptible to British influence and manipulation.
During the Dáil debates on the Anglo-Irish Treaty, a persistent theme was that a pro-treaty vote was a vote for peace, with the resulting implication that those who stood firmly for the Republic were out for war. Liam Mellows replied:
‘If peace was the only object, why, I say, was this fight ever started? Why did we ever negotiate for what we are now told is impossible?
Why should men have ever been led on the road they travelled if peace was the only object? We could have had peace and could have been peaceful in Ireland a long time ago if we were prepared to give up the ideal for which we fought…’
Today those who stand resolutely for the Republic are accused of being against the peace process. Few republicans are against peace, but many are rightly critical of a process that cannot lead to the republican goals for which countless patriots sacrificed their lives.
A united Ireland rooted in British/Irish identity politics cannot be a republic. That is why the British government is all over this. It is their best opportunity to retain maximum influence in Ireland with a minimum footprint when the demographics eventually prove incontestable.
No one has been preparing more diligently to shape the strategic architecture of a future united Ireland than the British government.
One hundred years ago this week, Liam Mellows, Rory O’Connor, Dick Barrett, and Joe McKelvey were dragged from their cells and murdered in cold blood because they stood for what weaker and more personally ambitious Irishmen could not summon the courage to defend any longer.
We honour them today. We remember with pride all Ireland’s patriots from their day to this who never forgot who they were or what they represented.
Long Live the Irish Republic!
1Thanks to Independent Republicans for posting a copy of his speech and that by Mags Glennon on their behalves.
Who’d have thought that my grandfather was into Futurism? That’s correct – into Post-Impressionism, Cubism and Futurism. And how do I know that? Well, I was in the Kilmainham Gaol Museum last week and I saw his yellowing copybook (see below), and there it was, a lecture on modern art from the 5th of August, 1923.
Yes, my grandfather Ailfrid Mac Lochlainn was imprisoned in various prisons during the Irish Civil War (he was never charged with a specific offence) but to pass the time, he was often called upon to deliver lectures to his fellow prisoners. He also made several pencil sketches of his comrades on small scraps of paper, some of which you see in this post. The originals can be seen in “Intervals of Peace”, a special exhibition curated by Brian Crowley at the museum.
In the summer of 1922, police and soldiers carrying out raids in the Grove Street area (off North Queen) reported that “…the search revealed that the yards on the Grove Street side were tunnelled the whole length of the street, and access to Grove Street could be made from Vere Street through another tunnel.” (Belfast Newsletter, 21/8/1922). The photograph above and below shows some of those yard walls in Grove Street and Vere Street (the next street over – note the same man in the cap in both photos), and appeared in the contemporary press coverage. In each case the brickwork was removed from the walls that separated the back yards of houses from each other. By doing so, people could move from back yard to back yard while hidden from view by the exterior walls.