Letter to Republican Sinn Fein – September 2nd, 2006
Title: Confused History
I have been reading with curiosity and some interest articles written on this citizen journalism site for many months. I would pass myself off as pretty serious democratic historian, with a serious background in science. I am slightly confused in the different perspectives. In my opinion, Sinn Fein have come a long way into mainstream politics. They have not joined any Policing Board at present but the reality is – The Guns and the Bombs are silent. 100% of the population of Ireland bar a couple of hundred I have been reading about, are stuck in some sort of a disillusioned time warp.
Can you not see Ireland of today in comparison to the Ireland of the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1950’s, 1960’s era? It is a time of being proud to be Irish. The economy is booming. People are working and many more are coming home. We also have our non nationals coming to live in Ireland, and they are very welcome. This is what you call a democracy. It is as good as it gets and the point is that Adams and co. know this just as Michael Collins did in 1922. Irish history weeps in its own blood of ignorance and betrayal from within. Envy and power hungry for a dangerous concept. Haughey proved that.
Getting back to point – could somebody clarify your agenda? Have you got policies to enhance our economy? Have you a policy on Global Trade in relation to Ireland? Have you a policy of foreign investment in relation to Ireland? Now do we need another conflict because all these policies go out the window? Please clarify this for me.
Have you read Tom Barry? But more importantly have you studied the man in the later years of his life. Yes, I feel an anger in my heart about the treatment of the prisoners of Maghaberry but with no offence, these are not POW’s. The War is over and the young people of Ireland are not interested, good bad or indifferent. The people of the North are tired. They want a better life for their children. Sinn Fein and the Irish Government and Patten have made enormous inroads into the equality of both sides of the divide in the North of Ireland. Yes, I would love to see a United Ireland. I have people who fought in the War of Independence so I am not some bar stool idiot shouting off his mouth during a Wolfe Tone conference.
I want to tell you a story of Irish history before I go. My partner of 3 years, Michelle Clarke, grandaughter of Judge Michael Comyn 1872-1954. Before becoming a Judge, in his early years, he was KC (King’s Counsel). The case in question I am going to talk about is the Clifford and O’Sullivan Case in 1921. Michael Comyn then defended 40 IRA prisoners who were being sentenced to death. He, as the genius he was, prolonged the case to 1922 and saved their lives, just before the Treaty. It is amazing I never read much about this man. You see he used his KC because he knew it would be essential for his points of law during that long and tedious case. This case went to the House of Lords and King George V intervened. Would you judge that man for keeping his KC in those turbulent times? This man was a true Irishman, a Clare man. De Valera appointed him in opposition in 1928 to the Senate and he was appointed a Judge of the District Court in 1936. It is amazing he is written out of Irish history. Unusual for a man of his time, he had interests in mining and was involved in gold mines in Wicklow and phosphate mines in Clare. Mr. Lemass, in Govt. seized his mines and he in his 80’s sued the State and won a very sustantial reward in 1950.
I wrote to Mr. Adams, Sinn Fein, about this and never received a reply.
I hope I am not boring you but I wrote many articles on the Corrib and the Corporate Greed in relation to it. I have never read any of your articles on this issue (Corporatism).
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has’ (I fear the kind of change it would bring – Margaret Mead 1901 – 1978)
For details of Michael Comyn KC: R v Clifford and O’Sullivan case 23rd April 1921, I suggest a book written by Mr David Foxton, who travelled to Ireland from the UK to see papers relating to the Clifford and Sullivan case. He spoke in detail with KT about Irish history, and was intersted in his perspective of the papers held by me. I was able to talk about family lore and narrative about my grandfather as I was very close to his nephew Sir James Comyn, who had many a story to tell about his uncle.
Sinn Fein Courts and Crown Courts in Ireland and Britain 1916-1923
David Foxton (Barrister and Queen’s Bench Counsel, practising in commercial law in London
I also recommend:
The Trial of Civilians by Military Courts Ireland 1921
By Sean Enright
Links relating to Michael Comyn KC & search within document