Sunday, November 23, 2014


Ireland Ripe for Revolution?

Recent events have shown, that Europe is still confronted with the same problems, since the financial crisis of 2008, deepening a class divide, which has led to widening political instability all over, that has now belatedly provoked the Irish people. The dialectic around the activity surrounding the right2water crisis, has politicized the Irish people to the extent, that they not alone distrust the old power structures of church and state but they are also, no longer hostage to the corporate media. They have found their own voice and dialectic in the course of the protests, that is evolving towards the dialectics of materialism, while at the same time bonding with their common class identity. It is too late to turn the clock back now, even if the water meter issue itself were resolved. Below is an older article from Michael Werbowski, that gives a European context to what is currently happening in Ireland


Michael Werbowski

Throughout the EU, countries such as Italy, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Spain and the latest state faced with a banking crisis or “financial meltdown”,that is Cyprus are all teetering on the edge of an economic abyss. What ails these euro zone states? It’s the draconian politics of austerity. These low or no growth remedies imposed by non-elected officials have led to the fall of governments in the so called EU “core countries” including now Italy. New actors have emerged to take on the effete elite. The Beppe Grillo political phenomenon has sent a deafeningly loud message to the establishment.

Massively, austerity with its adjunct deep social cuts, wage squeezes and endless “structural reforms”, has been rejected at the polling booth. The satirist cum politician, has not only provided some much needed comic relief to a deeply discontented populace, but he has also given vent to anger, or deep seated frustration with the out-going technocratic government of Mario Monte. In the wake of the national elections, Italy seems destined to return back to an era of short lived coalition and chronic instability which characterized the political life of the country in the post-world war years. But much more worrisome for the Brussels “commissars” is what’s happening in the Balkans. Over there we might be seeing the beginnings of a really “civil society” led, yet not so peaceful revolution.

Balkans Spring?

Do events in Bulgaria mirror those of the Arab spring? Has the violence in North Africa crossed the Mediterranean via Greece to Bulgaria? Yes it has, indeed. The confrontations between police and protestors in places like Varna and Sophia (sparked by rising energy costs, stagnant wages etc.) have rocked the region to the same extend as those in Egypt or Tunisia. And like in North Africa, the government in Sophia has fallen fast in the wake of popular unrest.

The death this week of Plamen Goranov due to self-immolation in Bulgaria is not unlike the protests actions of Mohamed Bonazizi, the Tunisian street vendor whose desperate act triggered massive demonstrations in his country, which later spread throughout the Maghreb. Whatever similarities there might be between these dramatic events in history, the suicidal yet symbolic act of one man in Varna, has ignite done more powder keg in another highly volatile part of the world which is the Balkans; an area which as we all know, was a flashpoint ofa conflict which sparked the outbreak of the First World War and also was the venue of the ex-Yugoslavia war. Both wars altered the geopolitical face of Europe forever. And will likely do so again soon if the instability there continues.

Oxymoron: EU peace prize in times of great social, economic and political unrest on the continent

Where this growing popular unrest is leading is hard to tell. But one thing seems sure: the EU is faced with widening instability not only in core states,but alsoin those on its periphery. That is the instability has spread beyond the Eurozone to the non-Eurozone states as well; or to Bulgaria, one of the newest member states but also one of its poorest. There is an explosive cocktail of dire poverty, widespread corruption and criminality known as “mafianomics” there, which characterizes boththe country and the region. This is not helpful. But then neither are the policies of the troika: EU, IMF and European Central Bank. These policies devised in Brussels, Washington and Frankfurt are destabilizing not only Mediterranean anymore, but Europe and the Balkans as well. Europe’s underbelly is on fire. How long will it take before the conflagration reaches the EU’s inner core: that is France, and then Germany?

Will the widening social protests against austerity lead to a continent wide revolution as it did in 1848? Perhaps not, but the EU is faced with permanent fragmentation into blocs composed of “haves and have not” states which is reminiscent of pre-war and pre-revolutionary Europe. An unpalatable prospect indeed, for an institution which won the Nobel peace prize in 2012

Saturday, November 22, 2014


After I left the Provisionals and Newry, I spent several months, travelling the roads of most parts of Ireland, until I came to the Island of Inisfree, off the coast of Donegal. It was a commune based on the theories of Primal Scream, which I found, was essentially about having no secrets, particularly emotional, such as jealousy, anger, love, etc.. There was no such thing as personal owner ship, which extended to sexual partners and the group operated collectively, as a self supporting Vegan community, without drugs or alcohol. It was for me a worthwhile experience but one which would not appeal to me permanently, probably because I am too selfish and self centered.

My main issue with the group and my principal reason for leaving, was that while the ethos was based on total honesty, I found the primary females, who could co-operate together as a group, far better than competitive men, were manipulate and sneaky. I wound up telling them with love, they were a shower of bitches. They would collectively as women, choose their alternating partners for the night and choose fresh ones next day.

This of course produced a reaction in the males, which would be similar to Primal Apes, who would then, beat their chests in rage and rant on at the top of their voice, to their replacement male, that he had stolen his woman, which in the context of a commune without ownership, was of course ridiculous, to the point of pure entertainment, particularly for the manipulating females, who used this to domineer the group in a very  effective manner. 

We cut our own turf, had the island to ourselves, had goats milk, cheese and baked our own bread. We had our own boat to cross to the mainland, when the weather was good. We spent a lot of the time, repairing a very old a ship, to take us to South America. To be fair to the commune, I was in a really bad space at the time and going through a personal crisis, after my political activity in the North and the breakup of my marriage. Other than this complaint, I was treated well and would recommend it to anyone, seeking an alternative experience. Below is and article about the group, followed by another on polyamory.

' Screamers '

It was a grisly end to an idyllic, idealistic childhood. And the saddest chapter yet in the story of a hippie "cult" dogged by bad luck. Tristan James, a gentle lad of 18 who had been raised in the Atlantis commune in the Colombian rainforest, was to return to Ireland, the country of his birth, for a gap year. But before he went, he wanted to say goodbye to his 17-year-old brother Brendan, who was living in the country's highlands, southwest of Bogota, with a local family. He also wanted to glimpse one more time the organic farm in the forest from which his community had been evicted by rebels the year before.
It was a grisly end to an idyllic, idealistic childhood. And the saddest chapter yet in the story of a hippie "cult" dogged by bad luck. Tristan James, a gentle lad of 18 who had been raised in the Atlantis commune in the Colombian rainforest, was to return to Ireland, the country of his birth, for a gap year. But before he went, he wanted to say goodbye to his 17-year-old brother Brendan, who was living in the country's highlands, southwest of Bogota, with a local family. He also wanted to glimpse one more time the organic farm in the forest from which his community had been evicted by rebels the year before.
Only one eyewitness has talked about the horrific events that unfolded on 9 July when Tristan and his friend, a 19-year-old called Javier Nova, stopped for a drink at the hamlet of Hoya Grande in the Incononzo region. That witness, a woman who insisted on anonymity, has since fled the area, which is racked by bloody civil war. Everyone else is simply too terrified to talk.
According to the witness, the hapless teenagers were seized by four drunken gunmen, who there and then convened a macabre mock trial in which they were accused of spying for right-wing paramilitary groups. It was a farcical scene, but what happened next was gruesome in the extreme. The woman told how the men slit Tristan's throat - and as his life ebbed away, cut off his head.
While Tristan's blood was being spilt, his friend was made to watch. Then it was his turn: Javier's throat was also slit, and he was also beheaded. The woman recalled that the gunmen yelled: "We shall kill this gringo for bringing the death squads into this area..." Afterwards the bodies were doused with petrol and set alight. No one seems to doubt the eye witness's story. The boys were never seen again and no bodies have been found.
Violence is nothing new in Colombia, where the government, with $1bn from the United States, is waging war on leftist rebel forces, who are financed in turn by vast local opium and coca crops. This year alone, 1,389 Colombians have officially been slain by leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitaries in 314 separate massacres. On forest paths, villagers regularly find bodies which bear the "necktie" signature of the right-wing militias - where a victim's tongue has been pulled through his slit throat, as a warning to peasants who support the rebels.
So horrific murder is a fact of life, and civilians are mostly too terrified to protest, even when their loved ones become victims. But Tristan's murder was different - for instead of keeping quiet, his grandmother, Jenny James, and a fellow commune member, Donegal-born Anne Barr, are demanding information from every quarter even risking their lives by appearing on television and naming the killers.
The formidable matriarch of the female-dominated commune, Jenny James has always cut her own path. It was she who, more than 20 years ago, scandalised conservative Catholic Ireland when she decamped from her Brixton commune to the quaint fishing village of Burtonport, in Donegal, to found the back-to-nature community which became notorious in 1970s Ireland for its members' sexual promiscuity and practice of "primal-scream therapy". And it was she who, 13 years ago, brought the Screamers to Colombia from Ireland. Now she has turned her energies to breaking through "the wall of terrified silence" which surrounds her grandson's murder.
Back in Ireland, meanwhile, Tristan's mother, Rebecca Garcia, and her half-sister, Louise, are trying to push the European end of their campaign for justice, helped by Mary Kelly, a long-time commune member with three sons in Colombia. In a small, cluttered flat in Cork, Garcia explained that she had not seen Tristan for two years - having returned to Ireland to help repair the commune's sailing ship, in preparation for an ambitious voyage back to Colombia, and to sell its old Burtonport headquarters. Atlantis's remaining ties with the old country were being severed and eventually the women planned to return to the rainforests.
Rebecca says that for a very brief period in July she clung to the hope that Tristan had been kidnapped, before accepting that he was dead. Commune life has made her oddly unwilling to make Tristan's murder her own special loss. "I gave birth to Tristan," she told me. "But I really feel for the kids he grew up with. The saddest thing is that Tristan's life was just beginning."
On the walls of the little Cork flat, and in the "family" photo albums, there are pictures of Tristan, clad in crimson, and the other commune kids, Louise, Alice and Katy, all pretty and blonde, performing in the commune's theatre group. Their "gringo" band has performed all over Colombia. There are also pictures of the girls - in ethereal white costumes - practising yoga in the rainforest. In another the three sisters are being drenched under a stunning Colombian waterfall. It all seems as bohemian as Isadora Duncan, as idealistic as Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie The Beach.
But Louise, who is now 19 and who returned to Ireland two years ago to study dance, says it would be wrong to think of commune life as pure pleasure, and members as dreamers. Surviving in the rainforest, she says, is tough, particularly with the violence, which has become so bad that at times the group has had to arm itself.
Louise has been upset by the way the media has focused more on the commune's Screamer past than Tristan's murder. Rebecca, though grieving, has had calls from tabloids only interested in the old "free love" days when commune-members changed partners with alarming regularity. In Ireland, Mary says, at least the community was allowed to shed its Screamer baggage long ago and move into the environmental mainstream.
"All this stuff about the 1970s," says Louise. "It was all before Tristan and I were even born." But many who remember how the Screamers lived, are fascinated by their unexpected reappearance, two decades later, at the centre of the Colombian civil war.
Jenny James was already 33 when she arrived in Donegal in September 1974 to buy a new home for "her tribe". The middle-class daughter of Communist parents, she later wrote romantically of the west of Ireland with its "warm mist, rough roads... and cottages crumbling back into the earth they came from".
This was the perfect isolated spot, she believed, in which to create the perfect community and experiment with anti-psychiatry therapies. The three-storey building in Burtonport, purchased by James for £10,000, soon rang with screams. Sleepy little Burtonport must have had its moments. But, clearly, the new neighbours took it by surprise. Atlantis House's exterior was speedily re-painted with astrological signs, ruining the village's uniform whitewash and enraging the local council. Then the visitors, many emotionally distressed, began to arrive. And with them came scandal.
Mary Kelly says the scandals - accusations of kidnap, brainwashing and sexual promiscuity - that engulfed Atlantis were exaggeration and prejudice, eagerly seized upon, and by, a conservative establishment which saw Atlantis as a threat to religious and family values. In They Call Us the Screamers, Jenny James claims it was a split between an Irish couple staying at the commune that led to a man claiming his two children had been kidnapped and his wife brainwashed by a "cult". Questions were asked in the Dail and MPs called for the "English" Atlantis community to be deported. Even the IRA got involved, issuing kneecapping threats and bomb warnings.
Journalists and film crews trekked west and were invited in to witness tearful therapy sessions. While some condemned Atlantis as completely fruity, others actually joined the commune. The group tried to get away by moving to the nearby island of Innisfree, where they lived without electricity, but the west coast Eden was already spoiled.
A new paradise had to be found. Louise bristles at the suggestion that her mother wafted down to South America, Katy still in nappies, utterly naive and unprepared. James already had a degree in South American studies and had learned the native Indian language, Quechua. And she had money in her pocket, the profits from the commune's cottages rented to holidaymakers on Innisfree.
In her book, James occasionally comes over as a Svengali, unsympathetic to Irish families who "lost" their children to the group. And those who saw Atlantis as nothing but an excuse for sexual promiscuity were treated to the details of numerous partner changes.
Mary, Rebecca and Louise come over as level-headed. But some of Atlantis's early practices now seem quite bonkers. In one memorable passage Jenny James describes how the female-dominated commune is haemorrhaging men and how she and two other women spend all morning weeping in each other's arms in Becky's room while "Becky [Rebecca, then 14] does her homework".
But as Louise points out, it was another time. Primal therapy may not been jettisoned by the group but it is no longer centre stage. Louise does not talk of therapy sessions but of environmental lobbying and of Atlantis's attempts to get Colombian peasant farmers to save the rainforest by switching from poppies and coca to organic food production.
What cannot be denied is that James has vision and stamina, and enough charisma to have kept a small core group of followers together across continents and the passing of two decades. Twenty years ago Jenny James was, however, misguidedly pushing for the "truth". After Tristan's murder, she says, that's what she still wants.
In Cork Louise says she knows the campaign her mother is waging in Colombia is dangerous. But idealism is obviously contagious. Why stay in Colombia now that the farms have been confiscated and Tristan and Javier are dead? Surely the Colombian dream, like the paradise in Donegal, is over. "Colombia is completely chaotic just now," she says. "But it is so very beautiful and we believe we have a chance of changing it into an ideal society."


Over the past few years, polyamory has become a more widely known term and practice. And perhaps inevitably, certain misconceptions and misunderstandings about what "polyamory" means have become widespread as well. It would be unfortunately difficult to say which among these misunderstandings is the most common, or the most hurtful to polyamorous folks. But there's one in particular that I'd like to discuss: the idea that "polyamory" means "committed couple who have casual partners on the side."
There has been much talk about "open marriage" and "open relationships" in recent years, with some even paradoxically dubbing non-monogamy "the new monogamy." In this open-marriage conception of non-monogamous relationships, there is still a central, committed (often legally married) couple, who allow one another to engage in purely sexual (or at least quite casual) outside relationships. Generally, any discussion about the benefits of such practice revolves around how it strengthens and/or reinvigorates the central couple in question. I want to be perfectly clear that I don't see anything wrong with strictly sexual non-monogamy so long as it's genuinely fulfilling and consensual for all involved, including the outside partners. But for those of us living in polyamorous families, it can be incredibly frustrating when people use those concepts of open marriage to make assumptions about the structure of our relationships.
Because we live in such a monogamy-centered society, it makes sense that many people can only conceive of non-monogamy in what ultimately still amounts to monogamous terms. There is a common misconception that a polyamorous relationship is really no different from an open-relationship agreement: one committed couple, with some lighthearted fun on the side. But the word "polyamory," by definition, means loving more than one. Many of us have deeply committed relationships with more than one partner, with no hierarchy among them and no core "couple" at the heart of it all. To me, this notion that there must be one more important relationship, one true love, feels a lot like people looking at same-sex couples and thinking that one person must be the "man" in the relationship and the other must be the "woman." After all, both of these misunderstandings result from people trying to graft their normative conceptions of love and relationships onto people who are partnering in non-normative ways. It seems that it is somewhat easy for many people to acknowledge that humans are capable of loving one person and still enjoying sex with others (assuming, of course, that the terms of their relationship make such behavior acceptable). But it is much harder for people to think outside the fairy-tale notion of "the one" and imagine that it might be possible to actually romantically love more than one person simultaneously.
The unfortunate result of this is that, for those of us in more than one serious and meaningful relationship, the world around us insists on viewing one of those relationships as less valid than the other, especially when one relationship happens to predate others. I have been with my husband for 17 years, legally married for 11. But I am also deeply in love with and committed to my boyfriend of two and a half years, and it hurts that people make assumptions about that relationship simply being something frivolous and recreational outside my marriage.
Another side effect of this misunderstanding is that people often wonder why we poly people need to talk openly about "what happens behind closed doors." I have heard many times that there should be no reason to disclose one's polyamorous relationships with parents, children, or the neighbors. That might seem logical if what we're talking about is strictly extramarital sexual partners. But my life with my partners isn't reducible to "what happens behind closed doors" any more than any serious, long-term relationship is. We share a home and a life; we are a family. Openly, publicly acknowledging my boyfriend as my partner is not just saying that we have sex. It's saying that, like my husband, he is my partner in every sense of the word. He loves me and supports me and respects me. He sees me at my worst and still wants to spend his life with me anyway. It would be unimaginable to me to hide the nature of our relationship, to pretend that he is merely a friend or roommate, to not have him by my side at weddings and funerals and family holiday gatherings. But this is exactly what people are expecting of me when they ask why I feel the need to be so "open" about my "private business."
Not all polyamorous people have multiple equally committed relationships, and many do designate a more central (typically live-in) relationship as "primary." But my partners and I are hardly unusual among polyamorous folks. Many share homes in configurations like ours, or as committed triads or quads or complex networks of five or more. Many have deep and lasting relationships with no cohabitation at all. To project traditional conceptions of love and commitment onto these relationships, to view them only as a slight variation on monogamy, is to deny all of the many varied ways that polyamorous people form relationships and families.
If you have polyamorous friends, relatives, or acquaintances, please don't make assumptions about their lives based on what you think all non-monogamous configurations look like. Let them tell you how they define their relationships. And if they identify multiple people as their partners, don't try to read into who is more important than whom, imagining hierarchies even if you're told there are none. Though it might not fit with how you conceptualize love, offer polyamorous relationships the same validation that you would offer any other. And remember what a common human thing it is to want to be able to tell the world -- and not be told by the world -- whom we love.

Friday, November 21, 2014


For those who wish to be in the solution, rather than in the eternal problem, we don't have to be particularly bright, to realize that the solution, is to get the sectarian hate out, and create an inclusive, Federal, Ireland. The UK taxpayers, by subsidizing their sectarian, Orange State, to the tune of 10 billion pounds sterling annually, are part of the problem, by enabling it. Please, stop enabling hate, prejudice and bigotry. When you stop subsiding them, bigots in that failed state, will start to get real, have a little humility and move into the solution. Enough of the politicians hot air. LET'S KEEP IT SIMPLE & DO IT NOW!

As someone, who regards myself as neither Protestant or Catholic and who has the utmost respect for the Protestant tradition, I realized many years ago, that one of the critical, progressive ethics of their form of Spirituality, is that they preach the ethic of taking responsibility and being self supporting, in many countries they do. Credit must go to my Protestant fellow Irishmen who first brought the progressive ethics of Republicanism from France to Ireland. It is time for you gentlemen and ladies to walk your talk, instead of prancing with supremacist pride, down the streets of the plain people of Ireland, preaching bigotry, prejudice and privilege and banging out your egoism, with your bloated, bullying, Lambeg drums. At end of the day, my reality test, comes from your God fearing New Testament, which clearly states, "by their fruits you will know them."Incidentally my best friends are Protestants.

Obviously, I cannot do all of this on my own, aside from my Higher Power, I need the help of enlightened people, who actually care. Please work the hash tag #OOsashesOff  in a creative intelligent way, to carry this simple message, particularly to the ordinary decent taxpayers, of the UK, who are being hoodwinked by politicians for centuries. Please share on Facebook and Twitter to begin with. For further details, please google the hashtags below. We can do it! 




Anonymous knocks hate sites offline as KKK ‘hoods off’ campaign continues

Hackers operating under the banner of Anonymous released another cache of information on people the group says are affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations.
Twitter accounts associated with the collective posted links on Tuesday morning to a document posted to, a confidential pastebin. A pastebin is an Internet platform where users can store and display text, code configurations or other information.
In the PrivatePaste document are addresses, phone numbers, occupations and other information about Klan and white supremacist websites and the people who run and maintain them, as well as personal information about Klan members from Texas, California, Arkansas and other locations.
Anonymous poster @SouthFlCopBlock put up a link to a letter from the collective explaining to the white supremacists why Anonymous has aggressively targeted them as part of a campaign known as #OpKKK and #HoodsOff.
“Having fun riding the waves of losing twitter accounts, ddos attacks, and being caught with your zipper down?” asked the letter, which contained the names and contact information of more than a hundred alleged white supremacists.
The Anonymous campaign began when Klan chapters announced that they would be targeting protesters with “lethal force” in and around Ferguson, Missouri should riots follow a grand jury’s decision about Officer Darren Wilson. Wilson shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson last August.
Anonymous responded by “doxxing” dozens of Klan members, i.e., posting their personal information and photos on line, hence the hashtag “#HoodsOff.” Then the hacker organization seized control of the Klan’s various Twitter accounts, posting images of a lynched Klansman and taunting the original owners of the accounts.
On Tuesday, the campaign continued, with Anonymous moving beyond the Klan to target racist websites like and writing, “The aim of our operation is nothing more than Cyber Warfare. Anything you upload will be taken down, anything you use to promote the KKK will be shut down. DDoS attacks have already been sent and have infiltrated your servers over the past 2 days — d0x’s have also been launched on leaders of the KKK. All information retrieved will be given to the public.”
DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks are an illegal tool used by hackers to shut down a website by flooding it with so many dummy requests that the server overloads and goes offline. Anonymous is claiming to have knocked multiple Klan websites offline in several states including North Carolina, Utah and Texas, as well as a website for white supremacist group the Traditional American Knights.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


As a festival celebrating Cuban culture kicks off in Kilkee, Richard Fitzpatrick talks to artist Jim Fitzpatrick, who created the iconic image of Che Guevara, about his meeting with the revolutionary
Jim Fitzpatrick met Che Guevara in the Royal Marine Hotel bar in Kilkee, Co Clare, in the summer of 1961. Fitzpatrick was 16 years old at the time, and had travelled down to the seaside village to work in the hotel while on holidays from Gormanstown College, Co Meath. The hotel’s owners set up a mattress in a barn for him to sleep on for his first couple of nights’ stay. He was put working behind the bar.
“I was an instant barman — no experience whatsoever,” he says. “I wouldn’t mind, but I was a pioneer, totally opposed to drink and still am.” It was after Mass one morning, while Fitzpatrick was working in the bar, that the encounter happened.
“It was a beautiful sunny morning. I was working in the bar on my own. There was a guy there called Sam, who was in there every day, a lovely man. I was chatting away to him. There were two other people in the bar, regulars. And in walked these three, very interesting looking men. All that was needed was Clint Eastwood saloon doors because they came into the bar through swing doors at the side entrance to the hotel.
“They had green-coloured, London Fog raincoats with epaulettes. I recognised him immediately. Who the other two guys were was a mystery. One guy was very curly-haired. I said something like, ‘What brings you here?’ He laughed. And I said, ‘I recognise you. I follow the Cuban revolution.’
“The Cuban revolution was probably the most exciting thing that ever happened. For me, he was a world figure. We watched Pathé News and all the revolutionaries coming into Havana, sitting on top of tanks with their long hair and beards. He would have been as famous as Maradona today. People of my age idolised him.
“We talked for a few minutes once he realised that I knew who he was. His English was faltering, but he could make himself understood. The first thing he said was, ‘You know I’m Irish. My father was Guevara Lynch.’ I was taken aback by that because I didn’t know that at all.”
Guevara’s Irish roots stretch back to the Lynchs of Galway, one of the county’s 14 tribes. He was a descendant of Patrick Lynch, who left Galway in the mid-1700s and became a substantial landowner in Argentina’s Rio de la Plata region.
Jon Lee Anderson, who spent five years writing Guevara’s biography, says: “He was first and foremost a Latin American but I think his Irish roots were important to him. His father was very much a Lynch of Galway and knew the family history. That part of the family had done extremely well in Latin America.
“On both sides of the family, he had pretty illustrious ancestors. Part of the family folklore is that a great great-aunt may have been Eliza Lynch, the mistress of Francisco Solano López in Paraguay who in the late 19th century declared war on Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay and devastated the country, from which it never recovered.
“Che read his James Joyce. When he was a young lad he began keeping a philosophical dictionary. He didn’t write or speak much about the Irish rebellion, but it’s my understanding that he was certainly aware of it, and aware of the idea of the Irish rebel, which appealed to him very much.
“His father definitely had a little bit of the bard in him. He was a great spinner of tall tales. There was always a recognition in Che of that, and the difference between his mother and father — his mother being very much of Spanish blood, and of his father as a Lynch and the connection with the old country.”
Back in Kilkee, Guevara asked Fitzpatrick for a suggestion as to what to drink. “Obviously in Cuba, they drink rum, and I suggested rum. But he said, ‘No.’ He wanted an Irish drink. I recommended a whiskey. I said, ‘If you’re not used to it, I wouldn’t drink that quick. You need to put a mixer in it.’ He asked me what mixer and I said, ‘ginger ale or water.’ He took a glass of water, a glass of Power’s whiskey and he sipped it.
“I asked him what he was doing. He was on a Aeroflot flight — from Moscow to Havana or Havana to Moscow; I don’t think I was told — that got fogbound in Shannon. They wanted to see the coast. They hired a driver, and it was one of those old Ford Prefects — it wasn’t a flash car. They parked it outside. He said he was proud of his Irish ancestors; that the Irish brought down the British Empire. He sat down in a corner, chatting with his friends. They just had minerals.
“When it was announced he had been murdered in 1967, the next day his father was quoted in the Evening Press — I have the paper — as saying, ‘The blood of the Irish revolutionary ran in my sons’ veins’.”
-The annual Che do Bheatha Festival is taking place in Kilkee, Co Clare today and tomorrow.
Model of youthful defiance
Students and celebrities — such as Johnny Depp and Prince Harry — love to wear T-shirts adorned with Che Guevara’s image, while Mike Tyson and Diego Maradona have prominent tattoos of him on their bodies. He is a contentious figure, however.
When a Labour Party councillor, Billy Cameron, mooted the idea in 2012 of erecting a statue to the Marxist revolutionary in Galway, he was criticised by Declan Ganley, among others. The businessman and political activist described Guevara as a “mass murderer” and said the monument “would shame the people of Galway and Ireland”.
Jon Lee Anderson, Guevara’s biographer, disputes the charge that Guevara was a mass murderer, and explains his appeal: “Che’s face, extrapolated from that famous 1960 Alberto Korda photograph, which showed him at his height, his almost mystical anger and indignation. He had long hair, the very image of a rebel, angry, looking off to the far horizon. Already, he is a figure of legendary repute, as the guy who was backing the insurgencies that began to pop up everywhere. It became the defining image of an age.

He represents youthful rebellion and defiance of the status quo. That’s why it’s a universal image. By holding up his face, you’re sticking it to the man.

Story by Richard Fitzpatrick


 As a former member of Provisional Sinn Fein, I have been waiting a long time for some indication that they were willing to stand up to the the British. This is a welcome step in the right direction, hopefully they will walk their talk. Kelly & Murphy should know as well as anyone, that the reason the sun never set on the British Empire is because He couldn't trust an Englishman in the dark. At the end of the day, an internal solution in the North will not work. I have just seen the Cait Trainor statement of resignation, where she put her Republican Principles before Personalities. We need more Republicans with the balls(women have them too) to do the same, while sticking together under the umbrella of the Republican Movement and family, while still sticking by our own interpretation and principles. Life is short and if we cannot learn from our mistakes and remain true to ourselves, it simply becomes a waste of precious lives. We need a genuine Truth & Reconciliation forum like the South Africa model, to unite us in the common cause of Ireland. We also need as best we can as Republicans to stick together as much as is possible, to achieve victory. This is the main lesson the English learned from the previous Roman Empire, which Ireland still has not learned and it is critical to victory. The British are always working, especially in the dark to divide and conquer!. The Republican Movement needs to find some sort of unity, while still keeping our Principles to achieve victory! beir bua!

As of today 19th November 2014 - I have regretfully resigned my position as Vice President of Republican Sinn Féin and withdrew my membership from the organisation.
Republican Sinn Féin have recently moved away from a position that I firmly believe in, which is non co-operation in any manner with the Parades Commission and RUC to commemorate our Patriot dead, and as such their policies are now at odds with my principles. If I were to remain a member it would be dishonest to both Republican Sinn Féin and myself and would serve no good.
The contemptuous behaviour by some members of the leadership towards me since the Ard Fheis of 2014, when I showed my opposition to this move has been truly startling and nothing short of an attempt to censor me. Attempts were made at the Ard Fheis to remove the motion put forward by my own Cumann confirming that we would not use the Parades commission from the Clar, this was the first anything untoward was made apparent.
Within days of my opposition to rejecting the motion I was castigated, suspended and attempts made to cover this up as a personal rather than a political matter. As a person of integrity and honour I have never been afraid to stand up to those who are unjust and this is no exception.
I wish to make clear however that I feel no animosity towards Republican Sinn Féin. It has been my privilege to have been a member and I have the utmost respect for countless people I have worked with. For my part I will continue to be a political activist and work towards the independence of our Country of which we all hold so dear.
Cáit Trainor

Remember Remember the 10th of December

Remember Remember the 10th of December , the day that the Government Fell ,
And we lent them a hand with a final demand that would see them all go to hell !

With a ne'r by your leave nor a tug at the sleeve for the things that we asked for right !
While they blackened our name and tried to defame us with talk of violence and Fight .

Well , a fight they have got , and one that is not , of the type they tried sell to the press ,
And our numbers will swell and we'll see them to hell in the wake of their own sorry mess .

And it won't be a few that wash that whole crew right out of the Dail you can bet ,
For the days now are numbered for those that encumbered the People of Ireland with debt .

So now God please save us from those that enslave us and help us to stand up with pride ,
And banish the ones that dance for the huns and got there because they have lied .

We need faith in ourselves and to find that which dwells way down in the depth of our soul ,
A bond that unites and takes us to hight's of virtues that we can extol .
So now can't you see united of course ,
we can make this small country a place ,
Where the riches bestowed are a gift not a load to be taken for profit by force .
So Remember Remember the 10th of December the day that the Government Fell ,
They are weak we are strong it is time they were gone and it's probably just as well .
For they rule by ' Consent ' and the promises lent to the will of the people they serve ,
Now we've seen through their scam it is time they were ran and get just what they deserve .
For they lied and we cried and we let it be known , that this pain it is too much to bear ,
But from ivory towers they spend what is ours and they do it without any care .
And they don't feel our pain as we stand in the rain , sometimes you would think it's no use ,
But take heart Ochone for you stand not alone , and we'll take no more of their abuse .
If we take back our Isle then fortune will smile on a people united and strong ,
But divided we'll fall and dance to their call and that would be terribly wrong .
We don't do this just , for our own selfish gain , we do it for each generation ,
For the ones still to come and the ones too long gone that we hold in great veneration .
When your children grow up and they ask you............................... "Where were you , on the 10th of December " ?
Don't let it be said as they put 'YOU' to bed , that ..... "I'm sorry I just don't remember " !
So ....Remember Remember the 10th of December , BRING OUT FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS AS WELL ,
And let it be known in every town ' TWAS.......
Raymond Whitehead : Nov 2014