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Our friends at Pue’s Occurences are organising a one day symposium under the title ‘Blogging the Humanities’. I’ll be there to do what I do best, talk about myself. Or the blog, I’ve yet to decide. In all seriousness, it looks like a great day with a fine variety of blogs taking part.It’s a worthwhile discussion no doubt, and one we look forward to partaking in.

It’s nice for Come Here To Me to be asked to partake in these things, still being a somewhat new blog, and I hold the other blogs participating in very high regard so we’re in good company.

Pue’s have set up a page specifically for the symposium (where you can register to attend) here.

“We welcome the input of all voices – from history, arts, culture, heritage and beyond, sceptics and otherwise”

Pue’s is almost a year old and, we thought, what better way to celebrate than to organise a symposium on the arts, culture, heritage and humanities blogging community in Ireland – where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’re going in future. Hosted in the TCD Irish Art Research Centre, the day is intended to provide an informal format that will stimulate lots of debate and discussion, led by a group of speakers from Ireland After Nama, The Irish Left Archive, Come Here to Me!, History Compass, Some Blind Alleys, UCD Academic Blogging, Sligo Model Gallery Blog, and, of course, your very own Pue’s. We welcome the input of all voices – from history, arts, culture, heritage and beyond, sceptics and otherwise – so if you’re interested, have a look at our dedicated conference page and keep an eye out on Pue’s for more details closer to the event. Registration is via our online form only and numbers are limited, so we would encourage you to do so early. We look forward to seeing you there!

Pue’s Occurences is a group history blog, mainly Irish in scope, with a wide variety of contributers. It’s the kind of blog you’ll lose an hour on, and I have on many occasions. Everything from the diaries of Phd students (Terrifying reading for an Undergraduate) to a ‘soap box’ for opinion pieces, it’s worth a click.

I look forward to the conference, and congratulate Pue’s on taking the initiative.

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I’ve had the image below for quite a well now, a fantastic old press snap of two Gardaí inside Connolly House (located on Great Strand Street) after the attack on the premises in March 1933 by an anti-communist mob. Accounts of the night are always chaotic, for example in Pat Feeley’s wonderful article “The Siege of 64 Great Strand Street” (Old Limerick Journal,Vol. 9, Winter 1981) it is noted that:

“As the house filled with smoke and the mob began to occupy it, the defenders were making their escape across the rooftops. The fire brigade tried to rescue two women who were in difficulties on the slates but they were prevented by the crowd who slashed their water hose”

The fact a Webley and Colt. 45 Revolver were found by the Gardai behind the shop counter perhaps best indicates the political tension and state of fear at the time.

Feeley’s article also mentions a meeting held a number of days later where Maud Gonne McBride condemned those behind the scenes at Connolly House, to which a voice in the crowd responded that those involved were Catholics. When she continued to speak, and condemned the broader attacks of the street mobs:

Again the voice repeated, “It was Catholics”. To which this time she replied, “They were hooligans”

Bob Doyle, one of the men who was in the mob that attacked Connolly House, would go on to join the International Brigade forces opposing fascism in Spain. In his memoirs Brigadista, he wrote that:

“I had attended the evening mission on Monday 27 March 1933 at the Pro-Cathedral, during the period of Lent where the preacher was a Jesuit. The cathedral was full. He was standing in the pulpit talking about the state of the country, I remember him saying – which scared me – “Here in this holy Catholic city of Dublin, these voile creatures of Communism are within our midst.” Immediately after the sermon everybody then began leaving singing and gathered in a crowd outside, we must have been a thousand singing “To Jesus Heart All Burning” and “Faith of our Fathers, Holy Faith”. We marched down towards Great Strand Street, to the headquarters of the socialist and anti-Fascist groups in Connolly House. I was inspired, of you could use that expression, by the message of the Jesuit. There was no attempt by the police to stop us”

This, and other insightful accounts, can be read on the fantastic ‘Ireland and the Spanish Civil War’ website located here.

Connolly House, the headquarters in Dublin of the Irish Revolutionary Workers Group was set on fire after an attack made on the building by several hundred young men. Twenty were injured in the disturbances.

Photo shows:- Police officers on guard in one of the rooms after the attacks. Note the tin of petrol left by the raisers.

Grif March 31st 1933 PN.

Two stamps on the back of the photograph point to News Media companies in both London and New York.

ACME, Newspictures, Inc.
220 East 42nd St. New York City
‘THIS PICTURE IS SOLD TO YOU FOR YOUR PUBLICATION ONLY AND MUST
NOT BE LOANED OR, SYNDICATED OR USED FOR ADVERTISING PURPOSES
WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM US.

COPYRIGHT
PLANET NEWS LTD.
3, JOHNSON’S COURT
LONDON, E.C 4

The Communist Party of Ireland site notes, in its biography to Charlotte Despard (an unlikely rebel, owing to her brother being none other than Lord Lieutenant of Ireland John French) that:

“On the 29th the mob attacked Charlotte Despard’s house at 63 Eccles Street, also home to the Irish Workers’ College and Friends of Soviet Russia, but a defence had been prepared in the form of a large crowd of workers, and it escaped with broken windows. Also attacked were the offices of the Workers’ Union of Ireland in Marlborough Street and the Irish Unemployed Workers’ Movement in North Great George’s Street.”

On a lighter note, notice the can of petrol left behind by the mob is ‘BP’, or British Petroleum. You couldn’t make it up.

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Memorial to Irish Hunger Strikers

I’ve been up around Glasnevin before in a vain attempt to find Brendan Behan’s grave; I don’t know what possessed me, it was a beautiful day, I’d just finished reading The Hostage and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Of course, I failed in the attempt, but promised myself I’d come back some day and have another look. So, given the oppurtunity this weekend, the three CHTM heads, accompanied by LukeF (of LukeF Comics,) took a walk to Irelands largest necropolis where we hooked up with the official tour- led by Shane MacThomáis, son of  the great Dublin historian Eamonn MacThomáis, a man who I personally have a lot of time for, and I’m sure the other two lads here are the same. Some of his documentaries can be found here.

A modest grave for a big character; Jim Larkin

The cemetary is home to the graves of approximately 1.2 million people; A far cry from the nine acres it started out with in 1832,the area now stands at over 120 acres on one side of the road and a further 40 acres on the other, where the body of Luke Kelly now rests. It came into being initially due to reforms pushed through by Daniel O’Connell, whose tomb sits at the entrance to the cemetary. Prior to it’s existence, death was an expensive thing to endure, there being no Catholic burial grounds in Dublin and it costing a small fortune to bury a Catholic in a Protestant one. O’Connells tomb is of course marked by a 170ft tall round tower, which tends to stand out a wee bit! The tomb was the target of a loyalist bomb attack in the seventies, which shook the tomb itself, and blew up the stairs encircling the inside of the tower, closing it to the public. The Cemetary is surrounded on all sides by high stone walls, with towers on each corner. Not there to keep the dead in, they were built to keep grave robbers out. Grave robbing was a lucrative business in the 19th Century, corpses fetching £2, quite a sum in those days. Guards manned the towers from dusk to dawn, armed with muskets and pistols.

Plaque Commemorating the Cemetary Watchmen

JayCarax said it on the way up here and he was right: It isn’t a case of who is buried here, it’s easier to say who isn’t. For within a stones throw of the gate, you have Daniel O’Connell, as mentioned above, Eamonn DeValera, Michael Collins, Michael Malone, Maud Gonne, Jim Larkin, Roger Casement, Cathal Brugha, The O’Raghallaigh and Frank Ryan, amongst any number of important historical figures. The virtual map on the Glasnevin Trust site gives you a better of who is buried, and where, and is definitely worth having a look at.

One of the more interesting gravestones; The Indian Mutineers

Whilst amongst the masses of graves friends and comrades lay side by side, mortal enemies are often not within spitting distance of each other either. For while Big Jim Larkin turns to dust beneath the Glasnevin soil, likewise does William Martin Murphy whose palatial tomb is within sight of the modest grave Jim and his family are buried in. While Frank Ryan is buried within sight of the gate, Eoin O’Duffy is also. Glasnevin is, and has always been, a multi-denominational cemetary. Buried and cremated here are Catholic and Protestant, Sikhs and Jews. Rich and poor also, the cemetary is home to the Millenium Plot (what would have formerly been known as a “paupers plot.”) This is looked after by the charity “Alone” who maintain the plot and make sure people buried there are buried with dignity, giving them a full funeral, headstone and flowers. Fair play due there. In one of the older paupers plots, up to 25,000 bodies are buried in a relatively tiny area, not far from Parnell’s grave. Many of the dead were victims of a cholera outbreak in the late 19th century. A couple of years after their burial, fresh outbreaks of Cholera were reported in the Drumcondra / Ballybough area. For not far beneath the soil where their bodies lay is a maze of underground streams, all emtying into the Tolka River- the disease had assimilated into the soil and on into the water, making its way back into circulation. Nasty times.

Above is a stone that caught my attention the first time I visited, and again on our visit on Monday, a memorial to the Indian Mutineers of 1920. Theres is an interesting story. Upon hearing of the uprising in their homeland, hundreds of Irish Soldiers fighting in the British army in India turned their guns on their generals. Though close to 400 men took part, the mutiny was quickly  suppressed and eighty-eight of those men were court martialled. Fourteen were sentenced to death and the rest given up to 15 years in jails in Dagshai and Solan. Two died in the mutiny, Pte Sears and Pte Smyth. Thirteen of the men sentenced to die had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, though one man, James Daly was shot dead by firing squad. He was considered the leader of the mutiny at just 21 years old.

Frank Ryan & next to him, the great Eamonn Mac Thomais

The tour eventually took us to the grave of Brendan Behan in the end, and my search was over. Not far from him lies the burial place of Francis Sheehy- Skeffington, brutally murdered by an Anglo-Irish officer of the 3rd battalion Royal Irish Rifles, Captain J.C. Bowen-Colthurst. Another sad story, one of 1.2 million sad stories you might say. You get the sense when walking around here that each grave has a history attached, each person buried here has had trials and tribulations of their own. And while visitors come here to see the burial sites of the famous and influential, there are others here whose personal struggles surely matched the struggles of those marked on their maps.

The new Glasnevin Visitors Centre opens this Friday. There are daily tours of the cemetary, led by Shane MacThomáis, costing €5. A bargain, tours last approx. 2 hours. Without donations and support, Glasnevin would be forced to close its gates as a national monument. Be sure to visit and support it however you can. Check out http://www.glasnevintrust.ie for more details.

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Dublin Fire Brigade Piper Bernard Mulhall at Liberty Hall

“O branch that withered without age!
Would we could see you where you’re missed
Step airy on the Abbey stage
Play there ‘The Revolutionist’
Or fill with laughter pit and stalls
With Bartley Fallon’s croak and cry
What led you to those castle walls?
We mourn you Sean Connolly”

Lady Gregory.

Another plaque in place, another important part of working class Dublin history marked.

The home of the Connolly siblings, at 58/59 Sean McDermott Street Lower, now boasts a new plaque from the North Inner City Folklore Project. Captain Sean Connolly and his siblings Katie, Joseph, George, Eddie and Mattie all fought with the Irish Citizen Army during the Easter rebellion. The plaque also pays tribute to young Molly O’ Reilly, who raised the green flag over Liberty Hall in 1916.

Among the crowd were historians, trade unionists, activists,relatives of members of the City Hall Garrison and members of the local community. The Dublin Fire Brigade were represented too, due to Joseph and George Connolly serving within its ranks. Joseph was a firefighter at the time of the insurrection. The Fire Brigade can therefore boast something very few others in the city can, in the form of a real connection to the Easter Rising.

Conor McCabe at Dublin Opinion has some more images worth a look over at their blog.

Speeches and audio

James Connolly Heron speaks at the site of the plaque. His speech covers not alone Sean Connolly and his siblings, but the campaign to save 16 Moore Street.

Las Fallon, of the Dublin Fire Brigade Museum, speaks of Joseph and George Connolly.

Dublin Fire Brigade piper plays outside 58/59 Sean McDermott Street Lower.

Wind, coughing, and all the other things nature/people can whip up when you’re trying to record something, but still….

Images

Dublin Fire Brigade members at Liberty Hall

Fittingly, a relative of James Connolly presents a relative of Molly O' Reilly with the green flag to raise.

The raising of the flag

The flag is raised.

Dublin Fire Brigade colour party

Citizen Army uniforms today, spot on right down to the red hand!

Dublin Brigade- Irish Republican Army

Las Fallon, Dublin Fire Brigade, speaks of George and Joseph Connolly.

Banner marking the role of women in the revolutionary years

A poem is read prior to the unveiling

A small selection of the fantastic collection of images from the period on display afterwards

The Starry Plough blows in the wind with the new plaque behind it.

Dublin Fire Brigade trade unionists pay respect. Firefighter Russ McCobb laid this on behalf of Impact workers.

Another snap of the brief talk on the Connolly connection to the Dublin Fire Brigade

The plaque itself

After the ceremony, we decided to visit Glasnevin Cemetery. There, we thought it only fitting to undertake a search for a particular grave with the day that was in it.

The grave was that of Captain Sean Connolly, Irish Citizen Army.

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Who was the first man shot that day?
The player Connolly,
Close to the City Hall he died;
Carriage and voice had he;
He lacked those years that go with skill,
But later might have been
A famous, a brilliant figure
Before the painted scene.

From mountain to mountain ride the fierce horsemen.

W.B Yeats.

This Easter Monday sees a new plaque unveiled in Dublin, a plaque to the memory of Sean Connolly and his siblings ( Joe, Mattie, George, Eddie and Katie, who all served with the Irish Citizen Army during the Easter Rising) and young Molly O’ Reilly who raised the green flag over Liberty Hall in April, 1916.

In The History of the Irish Citizen Army, by R.M Fox, he wrote that:

In front of the hall itself the Citizen Army cleared a space and formed up on three sides of the square. Inside this square was the women’s section, the boys scouts’ corps under Captain W. Carpenter, and the Fintan Lalor Pipe Band. Captain C. Poole and a Colour Guard of sixteen men escorted the colour bearer, Miss Molly O’ Reilly of the Women Workers’ Union who was also a member of the Citizen Army.

….. “I noticed” said a member of the Colour Guard, “That some men, old and middle aged,and a great number of women were crying. and I knew then that this was not in vain and that they all realised what was meant by the hoisting of the flag

Sean Connolly famously starred in a play by James Connolly entitled ‘Under Which Flag?’ a week before the insurrection, which went hand in hand with the symbolic raising of the green flag over the hall. He was shot on the roof of City Hall on Easter Monday by a British Sniper who had taken up position in Dublin Castle. His brother, Mattie, was with him as he died. Sean is remembered not only as a captain within the Citizen Army but also as an actor at the Abbey, with Lady Gregory writing a poem in his memory after 1916.

James Connolly himself wrote in an article titled The Irish Flag published on the 8th April 1916 in the Workers Republc newspaper, that

For centuries the green flag of Ireland was a thing accurst and hated by the English garrison in Ireland, as it is still in their inmost hearts. But in India, in Egypt, in Flanders, in Gallipoli, the green flag is used by our rulers to encourage Irish soldiers of England to give up their lives for the power that denies their country the right of nationhood. Green flags wave over recruiting offices in Ireland and England as a bait to lure on poor fools to dishonourable deaths in England’s uniform.

On Easter Monday, April 5th the flag will be raised at Liberty Hall by a relative of Molly O’ Reilly. This flag will be presented by the great grandson of James Connolly. This ceremony will begin at 12 noon. After this, the crowd will move on to Sean McDermott Street where the plaque will be unveiled on 58/59 Sean McDermott Lower, where the home of Sean Connolly once stood.

There will be a photographic exhibition of images from the revolutionary years in the nearby Community Hall at Killarney Court.

This is all being carried out by the North Inner City Folk Project, the people behind fantastic events like the commemoration of the forgotten women of 1916, and promises to be a good one. I look forward to it!

Update: Images and audio from the launch can be found here

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The poster in a recent post on archives and the burning of the Four Courts reminded me to root out this old punch cartoon upstairs.

Taken from the July 12th 1922 edition of Punch, or the London Charivari, it shows the ‘Spirit of the Law’ in discussion with a menacing looking republican figure, with the smouldering remains of the Four Courts in the background.

OUT OF THE ASHES.
Spirit of Law (To Irish Rebel): “You may have destroyed my courts and my records, but you have not destroyed me!”

At least two thirds of Come Here To Me will be at this, feel free to say hello.

Here is that poster one more time, as posted by jaycarax

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I’m not sure if the same situation carries here in Dublin, it probably does up in North County anyways, but the mother said something today that put the notion of it back in my head… When I was younger, much younger, you’d hear tell in the house of “Oh, she has the cure for the croup” or “He has the cure for the shingles, he inherited it from his father.” This mysterious cure, administered in secret in the homes of even more mysterious septuagenarians was spoken of in hushed reverent tones in households and bars all over town, and was seen as a gift or a burden, or in some cases, a bit of both. The “man” or the “woman” was generally a bit… odd, and more often than not would be quite pious, but fond of a drop at the same time, their methods for ridding you of whatever they had the cure for, secret to only them.

Old People: They can cure you.

Old people: They can cure you.

My first memory of hearing something like this was many moons ago and was a story about the Da, who for thirty years had been burdened with a wart on his thumb the size of an old penny. On his rounds, this caused him great discomfort, be he tweaking at cars, fixing a lock, or replacing a door for the woman down the road or whatever job he was doing in his job away from a job, he often came home with his hand covered in blood. Not nice for him, and not nice to hear about either. One day, my brother in law stopped by for a cuppa on his break from work and said “Jaysus Dick, would you ever get that looked after. I know a man down in Caseys who said to write your name on a bit of paper and give it to him; he has the cure for the warts.” So, with that, the Da wrote his name on a bit of paper and gave it to the brother who went back to work that evening and passed it on to “the man.” Now, I’ve absolutely no idea of what the hell happened after he got the bit of paper, but within a week, that wart of thirty years was gone. Sounds mental, I know, but it’s true.

I could dismiss it as myth and superstition, had I not experienced it myself, having had a similar, though much, much worse ailment to the Da. This time, though, it meant a visit out to a whitethorn bush in an ancient, crumbling graveyard around 12 miles outside of Mullingar. Three visits, dipping your hands in a little pot of water in the middle of the bush each time, and the warts would be gone. Now I’m not superstitious in the slightest; but after three visits, the warts shrinking each time, and a week after my last visit, they were gone. I won’t shock you by telling how many there were but, to say losing them was a relief would be the understatement of the century.

I know of an old friend, crippled with shingles so much that he had to be carried into an old ladies house three times in a week, for “the cure.” He went from being crippled, to being up and about, though having shed four stone in the two weeks he was sick, (I jest not; he wasted away,) it took a lot longer to recover fully. But he went from being laid out in a bed in his kitchen, in so much pain it hurt to blink, to walking around again, it was close to a miracle. Now, I never would have thought this lady was one of the religious types of faith healer, she was closer to the mad cat lady type, but this “cure” worked anyways. The Ma had a similar complaint shortly after the Da passed away and went to the same lady and she described to me how it worked. On each visit, the woman would welcome the Ma into her home, take off her wedding ring, bless it, and touch the inflicted part of her body (In my Ma’s case, it was around her ear) with it, while muttering a few words, of prayer or what, I don’t know. She would do this for a few minutes, and then sit you up and talk the head off you apparently. She was a mine of knowledge, and would describe the healing properties of various common garden plants and herbs, lamenting the fact that a lot of the weeds and herbs are much harder to come by these days, and harping onto the Ma about the wonders of apple cider vinegar . I’d love to get an interview with this woman, the Ma says she’s a wonderful lady; sure we might have a look into it in the future.

My nephew, who is now in his eighteenth year, gave us many a sleepless night in the first year of his life, a small little thing but his body was wracked with croup (Think of the cough you hear from auld lads down the pub, forty a day and ten half ones before bed and put that cough in the body of a wee baba. The cough now IS probably from forty a day and ten half ones before bed but thats another story.) This went on for ages though, the medicine given by the doctor not having the slightest bit of effect, nor the nights of boiling kettles in the room, hoping the steam would clear the chest out. So “the man” was called upon to administer “the cure,” which, if I remember correctly involved him laying a hand on his chest and muttering a few words. Within a week, the cough was gone. I know, again with the jiggery pokery but…

Now it’s an odd tradition, I know. And certainly not one with my political persuasion I should have any time for. But whether it’s a psychological thing or whatever I don’t know, and to be honest, care; it’s an interesting one. So whether it’s a cough that ails you, or you have a wart you need rid of, give me a bell. I know a man.

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