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The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

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Cedar Lounge
"A flaky website that purports to be ?leftist,? The Cedar Lounge Revolution, occasionally makes a relevant point or two."

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Dublin Opinion
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting

offsite link Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017


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'Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it' George Santayana

category international | history and heritage | opinion/analysis author Saturday September 02, 2006 21:48author by Jack Russell - Social Justice and Ethics Report this post to the editors

Republican Sinn Fein (Saoirse) articles on Indymedia promts to examine the site further. It is is interesting reading but serious challenges lies ahead of the November deadline date.

Letter to
Republican Sinn Fein. – September 2nd 06

Title: Confused History

I have been reading with curiosity and some interest articles written on Indymedia for many months. I would pass myself off as pretty serious democratic historian, with a serious background in science. I am not blowing my flag, I am trying to figure out what colour yours' is. 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 on Indymedia 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, 40, 50, 60 era. It is proud to be Irish. The economy is booming. People are working and many more are coming home. We also have our non nationals coming in, 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 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 latter 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. 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 kept 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. DeValera 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.

I wrote to Mr. Adams 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).


Jack Russell

'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)

author by Flynn - agrescon@agrescon.nlpublication date Tue Sep 05, 2006 10:48author email agrescon at agrescon dot nlauthor address author phone 0031102102055Report this post to the editors

Just a comment on the above article, well said by a man whose obviously well Read, the Country needs more sagacious people engaged in the Corrib Gas inquiry like him, if we had such educated people we would,nt be in all kinds of Law now, Corporate, Civil, Constitutional,Maritime,European, Criminal, and even International, make no mistake they,re on their way. Flynn O Flynn.

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justicepublication date Sun Sep 10, 2006 21:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Law like medicine has diversified into a multitude of strands and our courts and hospitals, with the prestigious limited in supply numbers of progfessionals, are a true indication of the Supply Demand Theory and financial benefits and costs.

China...India. Yes, Flynn.....Things are changing and going to change further. We need to think, ponder, study our own history, visit the like of Marsh's Library and regain interest in broad array of knowledge.

A wise old Judge born 1870 used to say 'Knowledge is no load'.


author by Paddy Cliffordpublication date Sun Jul 20, 2008 05:48author email pmclifford at paradise dot net dot nzauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

My thanks to the grandfather of Michelle Clarke, Judge Michael Comyn. His magnificent efforts representing my uncle, Paddy Clifford, ensured his reprieve from a death sentence by the Military Court of 1921. My father told me that Paddy had to dig his own grave the day before his execution was due. His reprieve ensured that he was able to marry and have three sons. They in turn had many children.

My heartfelt appreciation to Michael Comyn RIP.

Paddy Clifford
New Zealand

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Wed Jul 23, 2008 21:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What a surprise your posting gave me? I am delighted to hear from you and your valued views about a Grandfather, I never met but who is familiar to me in that eerie intuitive way.

Paradise is New Zealand, is it not? I have never visited but knew a man who had worked for 6 years out there and he spoke of its beauty.

As a young person visiting Clare, I used to hear the elders chat and often they would refer to a family in Co. Clare and they were known as the Hens of Paraidse (their family name and the name of their home).

I don't know if you are responding to the posting of over 2 years ago or you know of the book that has recently been published.,

The Clifford and O'Sullivan case as you know ended up in the House of Lords in 1921 and the lives of some 40 men were saved......and how pleased I am to hear your news about your think of a prisoner having to dig his own grave is beyond belief, but to hear your news of the reprieve and two generations on. There is hope for Peace and Reconciliation. I know my grandfather defended Erskine Childers and my aunt harboured him in a house in Leeson Park. He was deeply disturbed that the convention of law was broken by the powers that be and Erskine Childers was executed while his case was on appeal. They were terrible times.

Assuming you don't know about David Foxton Q.C.'s book - I am going to give a brief outline. Have you seen the film 'The Wind that Shakes the Barley.....if so, you will notice that the Dail Courts featured - low profile as yet. This book, for the sake of Peace and Reconiciliation going forward, will have some enterprising film-maker embrace it......the 3 Law Lords and two barristers from Ireland.....engaging in expansive and exploratory language to basically buy such interesting reading.

As you probably know my grandfather came from Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare - his family had been evicted from their land in the 1880's and he stayed with a relative in Ruan, Co. Clare and was taught by Mr. Brady. Like so many other Irish he joined the English Civil Service, attended Preston College and eventually Kings Inns, his brother James Comyn followed him to Law, having read philosophy. Michael was living in England and reading for Law in Ireland so therefore was unable to attend lectures. This contravened rules and a proviso was made, he was to put himself forward for the Victoria prize....he did and he won it so he was called to Bar.

Back to David Foxton's book. My Grandfather's nephew, James Comyn, was educated in England. JJ (the name I used) - there had been a falling out between the Comyn family and De Valera. JJ went to Oxford and studied law. He was the first Irish man to become President of the Oxford Union. As a family we were very proud of JJ's endeavours and he never but kept one amused at dinner parties about the yarns and stories of old. JJ had some papers but a lot came from his memories. Thankfully he has written several books.

The Book by David Foxton QC is published. He travelled to Dublin for a day and met with Kevin myself and Jack Russell to explore family papers.

Title: Revolutionary Lawyers
Sinn Fein and the Crown Courts
in Ireland and Britain 1916-23

The photo in the book is my Grandfather in full formal Kings Counsel in 1914.....


..This book considers the use made by Irish Republicans of British and Irish courts in the struggle for independence, over the period of the Easter Rising and the Civil War.

It examines the complex relationship between the Republican movement and the British legal order.

Republican ideology demanded a boycott of British Legal Institutions in Ireland, and committed Republicans to refuse to recognise the Authority of the British Courts.

Outcome: The Republican Movement established its own rival structure. Yet, ........Republicans were simultaneously able to make effective use of British Courts to promote a separatist agenda.

These were the military courts / the Dail courts that operated during 1920/21. It was about the conflict for legal supremacy in Ireland.

You might wonder why I have the related link brain 1993 while living in Zimbabwe, I fell off a horse, while jumping fractured my skull hence Groundhog Day governs.....Kevin keeps me in check....if at all possible.

Thanks - I really enjoyed the nice ending.......Peace and Reconciliation is the only way forward.

Michelle Clarke

The Quest - Leon Tolstoy (1828-1920) Russian Writer
'Without knowing who I am and why I am here.......Life is impossible'

Related Link:
author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Sat Aug 09, 2008 17:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its intention to renovate and covert the recently closed Kilmainham Courthouse in Dublin. It is to be convered into an Irish Legal History Museum and educational centre.

What a challenge to all Irish people to engage in a positive way with Law and re-establish principles to abide by the Rule of Law and to facilitate education. The historic courtroom is to remain untouched. This courtroom is regarded as sacronsanct in Irish history because of the association with the Invincibles, the Fenians and the 1916 Volunteers.

Quotation from George Orwell as quoted in Stanley Cohen's book - States of Denial, Knowing about Atrocities and suffering.
'All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts...
The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, BUT he has the remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them....
In nationalist thought there are facts which are both true and untrue, known and unknown.
A known fact may be so unbearable that it is habitually be put aside and not allowed to enter into the logical processes.....
Every nationalised is haunted by the belief that the past can be altered.....Material facts are suppressed, dates altered, quotatios removed from their context and doctored so as to change their meaning'

Ireland stand's at a precipice; how will we interpret the Rule of Law, how will we engage with Human Rights and the vulnerable. We all stand charged with a sense of responsibility.

Data source: Irish Times Mon 4th August, 2008

author by Michelle Clarke - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Mon Mar 16, 2009 17:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The fashion appears to be these days to abandon the senate. We if thats the case why not the Presidency? What this cost? This is about culture building and being entertained by other Presidents (albeit they may be known to hold Swiss accounts and abide by a different Rule of Law'

Give me the Senate. John Hume speaks of 'Diversity in Unity'. At least the people of Ireland can share in the workings of the senate.

The system of appointment could do with change - perhaps but as Yeats wrote 'Thread softly because you thread on my dreams'

The 1930's Senate debate speeches are most interesting reading and we could learn from same.

The Problem is we have had the Celtic Tiger and built big buildings to re-iterate we have made up position viz viz London, and Dublin metaphorically is back as the second city of the British Empire. We swallowed it hook line and sinker. Bankers who were probably paid maximum £50,000 in 1991 when Bank of Ireland share were £1.7 followed London and the global trend to 2.2 miliion euros for plusd plus.......and then there was hello money, good bye money, etc. etc.

But is this rational? Where have the proportions gone. As a secretary in 1986 I was paid £6,000, what could I expect now as I am now a disability long-term candidate? Any ideas out there......

Figures figures figures.......they baffle people and you can concoct balance sheets

Maura Sleep are not forgotten. Right is right and wrong is no man's right (I think Confuscious)

Michelle Clarke (Now that the Celtic Tiger has altered to a pussy cat, we can teach him thrift, equity, morals, transparency)

Related Link:
author by Comyn - 2013 "The Gathering"publication date Fri Mar 29, 2013 14:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Twittering a few months ago I noticed that there was to be a celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement up North. By chance I googled it last night a realised .... the day has come. Today is the Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

How far have we come? Do we value the endeavours of those who fought to hard to achieve Peace?

President Obama made a statement last night as did the Parliament members in the UK?

Derry is the City of Culture? Is Dublin still the City of Literature?

What is the "Gathering" going to contribute to Peace on this Island of Ireland?

The narrative took which road.... Is it the road less travelled?


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