Posts

Showing posts from January, 2018

Martin Rattigan commemoration oration

Firstly let me say how honoured I am to have been asked by the Family and Friends of Martin and Joe to come and here today and speak. The fondness in which Martin & Joe’s friends speak of them is touching, they speak of warm, witty and determined people, men who loved their country immensely, two men who touched the lives of so many in their community. For many Martin Rattigan is the epitome of old school Republican, he travelled the length and breadth of Ireland campaigning, on his travels he picked up many friends and acquaintances and nowhere outside of his home town was Martin so well-known and loved as in County Armagh. Martin operated as an IRA volunteer in South Armagh for many years, during his time spent there on behalf of his country, Martin developed a great affection for the place, he referred to Slieve Guillion  as “my little mountain”.  At the beginning of whats referred to as the troubles, Martin was part of an active service unit, made up of mainly Navan Volunteers, …

The Irish National invincibles

Image
The Irish National invincibles
For me, there couldn’t possibly be a group of more tragically romanticised figures in Irish Republican history than the Invincibles, the name alone is something that conjures up images of men who are indestructible, unmoving and burly, throw in hearty nicknames like “skin the goat” and you have the stuff legends are made of.  
I remember the first time I ever heard of the invincibles; it was years ago, my father was telling me the story of Donegal man Patrick O’Donnell. I grew up hearing obscure stories about people my father deemed to be great Irish patriots, a great story teller he told me of an Irish man who was on a boat travelling to South Africa, minding his own business as my da would put it.
Patrick O’Donnell in my father’s version of the story was just an ordinary Irish man and not involved in anything Political at that point. As fate would have it, on the very same voyage was the great Irish traitor and all round rogue James Carey.  James Carey h…