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1763 -1798

Founder of Irish Republicanism

Theobald Wolfe Tone, the eldest of five children was born in Ireland in 1763 into the family of a prosperous Protestant coachmaker and landowner. Being a child of the gentry he lived a privileged lifestyle, insulated from the general populace and totally unaware of their plight. Possessed with a keen intellect he won a scholarship to Trinity College in Dublin. During his student years he met and married Matilda Witherington who bore him two children. After completing his studies he was admitted to the Irish Bar.

 Although trained as a barrister, Tone was more interested in politics than in the legal profession. Angered by Henry Grattan’s statement in support of the British connection in the summer of 1790, he published a number of pamphlets denouncing Grattan’s statements. In his most famous publication, An Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland, he argued that parliamentary reform could only be won if two underprivileged groups, the Irish Catholics and the Protestant Radicals, cooperated in a joint program of Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform.

 Inspired by the successes of the French revolution and the American War of Independence, Tone together with Napper Tandy and other Presbyterian leaders founded the Society of United Irishmen in October of 1791 to further the cause of Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform through peaceful means. Three weeks later, a Dublin branch of the Society was founded and a newspaper called the Northern Star was launched. The newspaper promoted the Society’s ideas by demanding “a society of equality which would include people of all religious persuasions-and of none”.

 The outbreak of war between France and England and the suppression of the Catholic population led to a hardening of attitudes among the United Irishmen, many of whom favored an alliance with France. By 1795 the Society was pledged to republicanism. In 1796 the English introduced a number of repressive measures in an attempt to prevent rebellion or invasion including the suspension of habeas corpus.  Growing pressure forced the Society to plan for an early rebellion. The Society was betrayed and many of its leaders including Robert Emmet were captured. Tone escaped to America.

 Using America as a stepping-stone Tone proceeded to France to lobby for a French invasion of Ireland. He succeeded in convincing the French and in December 1796, was aboard the flagship of a 46 ship French fleet carrying 14,000 men headed for Bantry Bay. Their mission was to support a planned, general uprising in Ireland. Winter storms scattered the fleet and they sailed back to France and the uprising was aborted. Eighteen months later Tone again sailed, this time with a smaller French fleet, to support the 1798 uprising. Off Lough Swilly, a superior English force defeated the French and Tone was taken prisoner. He was court marshaled and sentenced to death by an English tribunal. While his sentence was in appeal he died under mysterious circumstances in prison in November 1798.

 His famous words live today and are the mantra of Irish Republicanism;

“To break the connection with England, the never failing source of all our political evils, and to assert the independence of my country-these were my objectives.”

The ideals of modern Irish Republicanism stretch back to Tone in an unbroken link. The Uprising of 1798 was clearly Separatist in its goals, Republican in its ideology, and Democratic in its objectives and was a true representation of Tone’s will and his goal of Irish independence from England. Tone has rightfully become the standard that all Irish Republicans are measured against to this day.


Cló Saoirse publish American Edition of History of Cumann na mBan

 To mark the centenary of the republican women’s organisation Cumann na mBan, the Dublin-based publisher Cló Saoirse/Irish Freedom Press published a history of the organisation in April 2014. Due to the success in Ireland and a growing demand from readers living in North America, Cló Saoirse will publish a separate American Edition of the history of Cumann na mBan. The book ‘Cumann na mBan: 100 Years Defending the Republic’ (ISBN 978-0954579128) is written by Cumann na mBan Veteran and Republican Sinn Féin General Secretary Líta Ní Cathmhaoil and Dieter Reinisch, Researcher at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. The American Edition includes an additional Preface on the links between Irish republican women and America, as well as reports from the book-launch organised in April 2014 in Dublin.

On April 5, 1914 over 100 women attended a meeting in Wynn’s Hotel, Dublin, presided over by Agnes O’Farrelly, of what was to be Cumann na mBan. One hundred years later, Cumann na mBan has influenced the course of Irish History like no other women’s organisation has done it in the 20th Century. In these one hundred years, Cumann na mBan was the only Republican organisation which stood firmly to the All-Ireland Republic proclaimed in 1916. ‘Cumann na mBan: 100 Years Defending the Republic’ is the first full account of the one hundred years history of this remarkable women’s organisation.

The book includes 136 pages with previously unpublished documents and photos of Cumann na mBan. It is sold for $ 17,-. Bookshops may ask Cló Saoirse/Irish Freedom Press for cost price. Special rates are available for public libraries and universities.

The book will be launched by the National Irish Freedom Committee in the USA on November 22. Líta Ní Chathmhaoil, Cumann na mBan activist from Dublin and co-author of the book, will launch the book at the Testimonial Awards Dinner at Rory Dolan’s, 890 McLean Ave., Yonkers, NY 10704.

The book is available from the National Irish Freedom Committee in the USA; www.irishfreedom.net, NIFC, P.O. Box 358, Bronx, NY 10470, nifcmem@optnline.net.

For orders and any further information contact Josephine Hayden of Cló Saoirse/Irish Freedom Press: +353 (0)1 872 97 47 or irishfreedompress@saoirse.info.

Líta Ní Chathmhaoil & Dieter Reinisch
Cumann na mBan: 100 Years Defending the Republic (American Edition)
Cló Saoirse/Irish Freedom Press
Dublin/New York, November 2014
136 pages,
$ 17,-
ISBN 978-0954579128

Links to recently removed home page copy

Ruairí Ó Brádaigh Memorial Fund

NIFC/Éire Nua march in New Haven Ct

Facts re. The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921

Mike Flannery leads the 1983 St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York

Statement from POW Department, Republican Sinn Féin

The 2013 Annual Fenian Commemoration

Eire Nua Political Campaign Launch

The 37th Annual Cabhair Christmas Swim in the Grand Canal, Inchicore, Dublin

The 18th Annual Flannery Awards Dinner

Forty Years of Éire Nua

Gerry Conlon On Radio Free Éireann(RFÉ) on International IPOW Day

Gerry Conlon at CUNY School of Law’s 

Brian Mor's Cartoons

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Irish Republican Information Service

In this issue 3/23/14

1. Vote NO 1 for Pádraig Garvey!
2. Man arrested by RUC in raids in Lurgan
3. Stephen Murney acquitted of all charges
4. RUC patrol cross border into Donegal
5. Pipe bomb left at GAA club
6. MI5 follow Derry man to Lithuania
7. MI5 decide if victims get home protection
8. John Moran remembered in Enniscorthy
9. First Co Wexford soldier to fall in War of Independence
10. POW picket in Wexford
11. Documents  ‘prove man shot by British army was unarmed’
12. McGurk’s Bar massacre dossier �rewritten�
13. Pat Finucane: Belfast vigil marks 25th anniversary
14. Delays in Six-County inquests could see dozens of damages lawsuits
15. Samuel Devenney death: documents to stay secret
16. Lá Mór na Gaeilge – thousands march for language rights
17. Dublin City Council votes to take back waste management
18. Complaint filed at International Criminal Court over NATO allies� complicity in US drone strikes

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The Irish Language

Government reversal follows ‘strong public support’ for Coimisinéir Teanga

Why minding our language is a priority

Leaked document shows reversal of Irish language obligations

Irish speaker not entitled to bi-lingual jury for trial

Minister McGinley’s “complete failure” to defend the Irish language prompts resignation call

Democrat editorial: A big day for language equality

Irish language campaigners to demonstrate in Belfast

EU respects Irish Language more than our leaders do

Thousands march for language rights

Column: We’ll soon find out whether we lose our native language forever

Links to Irish Emigration Articles

Centuries-old mass grave of Irish laborers probed in Pennsylvania

Ten Irish emigration songs that will stir your heart (VIDEOS)

Emigration Is Not a Jobs Policy; We're Not Leaving – say youth groups

Why Ireland needs to give its emigrants a say in the country

Young discuss fightback against attacks on ‘lost generation’

Emigration to the UK in 2012

Links to Irish News --- across the colonial divide

British spies recruited paedo IRA chief: Spooks used pictures of Joe Cahill to ‘turn him’

Gerry Adams ‘personally horrified’ by Cahill allegations

Key Blair adviser claims he helped to write historic Adams speech on

This World: Ireland’s Lost Babies review – an appalling story, told with admirable restraint

Martin McGuinness fights back tears during Dr Ian Paisley tribute

N Ireland children shipped to Australia painted black ‘for entertainment

OECD publishes study on Irish education

Naomi Long: Girls were abused by security forces

IRA terror suspects to lose immunity from prosecution

The ceasefire represented an IRA loss, not a victory

UN HRC Concluding Observations on Ireland and ICCPR, 24 July 2014

Bundestag committee claims Ireland has no plan for growth

Guildford Four’s Gerry Conlon dies in Belfast

Martin McGuinness in 'Disappeared' storm

Torture retold: how the ‘Hooded Men’ case has come back under the spotlight

Six unresolved Troubles killings claiming British State collusion

Religious orders allowed over 2,000 Irish children to be used in medical experiments

Claim of 800 children's remains buried at Irish home for unwed mothers

Biopic and black comedy tackle church, politics, power in Ireland

Memorial bid to mark mass grave of 800 babies in Galway

COMMENT: Wise move by Adams to go public with ‘MI5 agent’ allegation

Gerry Adams accused of giving IRA orders by ex-IRA man Peter Rogers

Republicans say McGuinness should stay away from Easter commemorations

This month in Irish and

Irish-American history

Kevin Barry Executed

On Nov. 1, 1920 - 18-year-old Irish patriot, Kevin Barry was executed by the British in Dublin  Ireland for refusing to squeal on his IRA comrades

Sinn Fein Reestablished

On Nov. 2 1986 - The oldest political party in Ireland was re-established as Republican Sinn Féin in Dublin. Veteran Republican Ruairí Ó Brádaigh was elected as Uachtarán

Founding of the Irish Women's Franchise League

On Nov.  4,  1908 – six Irish women activists met in the home of  Hanna and Francis Sheehy-Skeffington and founded the Irish Women's Franchise League

United Irishmen Founded

 On November 9, 1791 - Napper Tandy held the first meeting of the United Irish men in Dublin. The United Irishmen are considered to be the founders of today’s Irish Republicanism

Cherry Valley Massacre

On Nov. 11, 1778, Seneca Indian and Loyalist forces attacked a village and fort in eastern New York State during the American Revolutionary War, killing more than 40 soldiers and civilians in one of history's worst frontier episodes, the Cherry Valley Massacre

Irish Free State begins execution of Republican prisoners

On Nov. 17, 1922 - in concert with their British backers the Irish Free State began the executions of seventy-seven anti-Treaty republican prisoners.

Death of John J. Breslin

On Nov. 18, 1887 - John J. Breslin, Fenian leader sprung James Stephens from a Dublin prison. He also  led the famous 'Catalpa' rescue of six Fenian from from prison in Australia died at his residence in New York.

Death of  Theobold Wolfe Tone

On Nov. 19,  1798 -  Theobold Wolfe Tone, the leader of the1798 Uprising and a general in the French Army  died under mysterious circumstances while in British custody awaiting execution

First Bloody Sunday in Ireland

On Nov. 21, 1920 - British occupation forces, aka the Black and Tans opened fire on  football fans at  a Gaelic football match in Croke Park Dublin  killing (12)  and injuring scores  of innocent  civilians

Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, by-election victory

On Nov. 22, 1869 - Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa, Fenian leader, contested and won a Tipperary by-election in abstentia. He was  declared ineligible because he was imprisoned by the British for his  having opposed their occupation of Ireland.

The Manchester Martyrs Hanged

On Nov. 24, 1867 - three Irish born Fenian activists, Allen, Larkin and Ó Brien were hanged in Manchester England for their part in rescuing Fenian leaders from a police van.

 Kilmichael Ambush

On Nov. 28,  1920 -  an eighteen  man  Black and Tan patrol at  Kilmichael, West Cork, were  wiped out by an IRA Flying Column  led by General Tom Barry.  It was the most effective and bloody IRA ambushes of the war.

Irish Brigade at Mine Hill

From  Nov. 27 thru Dec. 2, 1863   - the Irish Brigade under the command of Colonel. Patrick Kelly was engaged in numerous skirmishes during the Mine Hill Campaign .


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