Soloheadbeg & Ireland's War Of Independence

The Irish People has a very acute sense of its history and a sensible understanding of when and what is appropriate in celebrating it.

Unlike the English who day and daily mount Imperial Triumphs glorying in their bloody defeats of peoples all around the world that have perished in the course of their centuries-long series of wars against them, the Irish think only to celebrate the crucial moments in their struggles against, and their victories over, English Imperialism.

And celebrating those moments at all, even just to note them, is a struggle in itself.

For the political élite in Ireland has very little sense of Irish history and almost no desire to mark the days in which our history made us what we are today: an Independent People, worthy in every way of celebration.

The political élite had to be shamed and frightened into mounting an official celebration of the Easter Rising. Sinn Féin’s remarkable tribute to the Fenianism of Patrick Pearse’s welcoming of the great rebel O’Donovan Rossa’s body back to its native soil showed the élite what the people wanted and how it could and should be done. Its plans to underplay, if not actually mock, the Rising of 1916 were rolled back in a panic and some official justice was done to the memory of our heroes of those days.

But this year the élite has had its way in respect of the 1918 election result in Ireland which showed the Irish People’s clear endorsement of the heroes of 1916. In that 1918 election Irish democracy voted as a nation for its independence.

It is a disgrace that the élite has been allowed to keep that wonderful anniversary of Irish Democracy under wraps. It is shameful that Irish politicians today have felt able to do as the English did in 1918 and ignore the Democratic Voice of the Irish People.

One hundred years ago the men and women, the soldiers of the Irish Republican Army, gave their response to England’s contemptuous dismissal of our people’s vote. In an action on January 21st. that marked the beginning of a new phase in the War Of Independence that was declared on the steps of the GPO in 1916, men of the Tipperary IRA, Seán Treacy, Dan Breen, Seán Hogan, Séamus Robinson, Tadhg Crowe, Mick McCormack, Paddy O’Dwyer, Michael Ryan and Seán O’Meara, attacked the Crown Forces, members of the Royal Irish Constabulary, at Soloheadbeg.

Dan Breen later had no qualms about declaring what the unit’s intentions were: “…we took the action deliberately, having thought over the matter and talked it over between us. Treacy had stated to me that the only way of starting a war was to kill someone, and we wanted to start a war, so we intended to kill some of the police whom we looked upon as the foremost and most important branch of the enemy forces…The only regret that we had following the ambush was that there were only two policemen in it, instead of the six we had expected…”

Next month, on Sunday, January 20th., 2019, a number of buses will be going from Dublin to the 3:00 o’clock commemoration at Soloheadbeg to remember that event.