Irish Time

Monday, September 10, 2012

THE IRA BEFORE DRUGS




I HAVE met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse -
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born. 

Volunteer Martin Savage IrishMáirtín Sabhaois (1898 – 19 December 1919) was an Officer in the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army, fromBallisodareCounty Sligo.[1] On 19 December 1919 he was killed during a gun battle after an ambush at Ashtown, near the border of County Meath andCounty Dublin, during the early stages of the Irish War of Independence.

Contents

  [hide

[edit]Early life

Savage was born in Streamstown, BallisodareCounty Sligo in 1898. He was the youngest son of Michael Savage, who was known locally as a Fenianactivist.[2] After leaving school he worked as an apprentice grocer in Sligo Town before committing himself to the fight for Irish Independence.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

[edit]Military action

Savage moved to Dublin in 1915 and joined the Irish Volunteers. As a 17 year old he took part in the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin and fought with Padraig Pearse and James Connolly in the GPO.[9] He was captured by the British Army and imprisoned in Richmond Barracks. On 30 April 1916 he was deported to Knutsford Detention Barracks in CheshireEngland along with 200 other captured prisoners. Upon his release Savage returned to Dublin and resumed his fight for Irish freedom and became a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the Dublin Brigade. Within republican circles he was known as a shy, slim built, handsome Sligonian who was a popular and trusted comrade especially amongst the likes of Dan BreenSeán Treacy and Seán Hogan.[2] [10]

[edit]The Ashtown ambush

[edit]Planning by Breen

On 19 December 1919, Savage and his unit which consisted of 10 fellow Volunteers, including Mick McDonnellTom KehoeSeán TreacySeamus RobinsonSeán HoganPaddy Daly (Leader), Vincent ByrneTom KilcoyneJoe Leonard and Dan Breen, met after planning to assassinate the then British ViceroyLord Lieutenant of Ireland and Supreme Commander of the British Army in Ireland,Lord John French, as he returned from a private party which he had hosted the previous evening at his country residence in Frenchpark,County Roscommon.[11]
It was not originally planned that Savage was to take an active part in the ambush, however, after a chance meeting with Breen and Hogan, Savage insisted that he join the party. Sean Hogan initially attempted to dissuade the eager young volunteer, but eventually he relented and gave Savage an automatic pistol. The Volunteers' intelligence operative had informed the unit that Lord French would be travelling in the second car of the armed convoy that comprised an outrider and three following cars which would bring Lord French from Ashtown railway station to the Vice-Regal Lodge in Phoenix Park, Dublin.[12]

[edit]Events of the day

On the day of the ambush, Savage attended work as usual and slipped away early in the morning to meet with the Volunteers who were gathered at Fleming's Pub in Drumcondra. They departed Drumcondra in small groups to avoid raising suspicion as they cycled through Phibsboro and up the Cabra Road, and then regrouped at Kelly's Public House (now called the Halfway House) in Ashtown. At approximately 11:40 a.m., as the train carrying Lord French pulled into the station, the unit left the pub and took up positions along the crossroads at Ashtown.
The plan was for Martin Savage, Tom Kehoe and Dan Breen to push a hay-cart halfway across the road and then, after the out-rider and the first car had passed, they would push it the rest of the way across the road, thereby completely blocking the path of the remaining vehicles. They had been informed that Lord French was to be in the second car and this car would be attacked with grenades, Mills Bombs and concentrated rifle fire.
As they pushed the hay-cart across the road their plan was almost foiled as a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) disturbed them, telling them to move on. One of Volunteers lobbed a grenade at him, although it didn't explode it struck the police officer on the head, knocking him unconscious. The police officer was then dragged from the road and the attack went ahead as planned.[13]

[edit]Lord French's car and the gun battle

When the convoy appeared minutes later, each Volunteer fulfilled their role in the operation and attacked the second car forcing it to swerve off the road. However, unknown to the unit, Lord French was travelling in the first car and managed to drive through the blockade. The occupants of the second car, part of Lord French's guard, returned fire. As the fierce gun battle developed the third car arrived on the other side of the cart and began firing with rifles and machine-guns on the now exposed Volunteers.
In the crossfire Dan Breen was shot in the leg and seconds later Savage fell mortally wounded after being hit by a bullet in the neck. He died in the arms of Dan Breen and his last words to Breen were "I'm done, but carry on....". Tom Kehoe and the wounded Dan Breen succeeded in carrying Martin Savage's body from the road and back to Kelly’s Pub while the gunfight continued.[14]
Two RIC men and a driver were also wounded in the gun battle. At this point the British military, including some wounded, began to withdraw from the scene and continued on towards the Phoenix Park. Knowing British reinforcements would be on their way, the IRA unit then dispersed to safe houses in the Dublin area. Dan Breen was helped onto his bike by Paddy Daly who helped him to a safehouse in the Phibsboro' area, where he was attended to by the captain of the Dublin hurling team, Dr J.M. Ryan.
The next morning, the Irish Independent published an article which described the attackers as "assassins" and included other such terms as "criminal folly", "outrage" and "murder." Taking these terms as an insult to their dead comrade, it was decided to attack the paper. On Sunday, at 9pm, between twenty and thirty Volunteers under Peadar Clancy entered the offices of the Independent. They informed the editor of their intentions and began to dismantle and smash the machinery. Despite this action, with the assistance of the other Dublin papers, the Independent was able to appear the next day, and the owners were awarded £16,000 pounds in compensation. According to Breen, neither the Independent, nor any other Dublin paper, referred to the IRA as murderers or assassins again.[15]

[edit]Funeral

Savage's body was taken by British military and an inquest was held into his death. The inquest was attended by his brother and his employer William Kirk, who described the dead soldier as "a steady, sober and industrious young man, gentlemanly in manner and extremely courteous."[16]
After the inquest, Savage's body was handed over to his relatives. His remains lay overnight at Broadstone Station before departing for Sligo where it was met at Collooney railway station by a large crowd.[17] His coffin, draped in an Irish Tricolour, was carried over two miles at shoulder height to his family's burial ground. Savage was buried with full military honours in his native Ballisodare, County Sligo.[18]

Street plaque at Martin Savage Terrace, Sligo.
Dan Breen noted that "the cortege was several miles long, the Parish Priest attended and recited the last prayer, while the RIC, with a chivalry characteristic of them, surrounded the graveyard with guns and bayonets. However, I suppose, this was the best tribute they could have paid to a gallant soldier, even though they did not mean it that way".[18][19]

Martin Savage

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
THIS AUTHOR DOES NOT SUPPORT THE PARAMILITARY GROUP CALLED THE REAL IRA BUT CALLS ON EVERYONE TO SUPPORT THE MARCH BELOW
Dublin March to Free Marian Price
dublin / rights and freedoms / event notice Monday August 20, 2012 17:56 by Fearfeasa 2 comments (last - thursday august 23, 2012 23:02)
A March is being organized in Dublin on Sat. 15th September at 2 p.m. Starting at the Garden of Remembrance, to O'Connell Bridge and back to the GPO, where we will have prominent speakers and some music.
Join with us and call for Freedom for Marian Price agus support human rights for all political prisoners.

Mórshiúl i mBaile Átha Cliath chun Marian Price a shaoradh
dublin / rights and freedoms / event notice Monday August 20, 2012 17:39 by Fearfeasa
Tá mórshiúl á eagrú, oscailte don phobal, i mBaile Átha Cliath ar an Satharn, 15 Meán Fómhair ar 2 p.m. ag an nGáirdin Cuimhneacháin, síos go Droichead Uí Chonaill, agus ag leanúint go Ardoifig an Phoist, áit a mbeidh cainteoirí aitheanta agus ceol.
Bí ann agus tacaigh le saoirse do Mharian Price agus do Chearta Daonna gach príosúnach polaitiúil.

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