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  1. #31
    TommyO'Brien TommyO'Brien is offline
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    It is interesting going through these at the amount of disagreement mentioned, and criticism. I have just read two reports which talked of major divisions in local battalions, of units letting each other down, of RIC men spying for the IRA and IRA men spying for the British. A number of reports also contain strong praise of some people and how much they did to help the IRA and also of strong criticism of some in the IRA who are described by O/Cs of being told to keep their weapons hidden but walked along roadways with them on their shoulders, and of one O/C wondering how the IRA unit made so much noise, including chatting despite being told to shut up, that he thought it was a miracle no one heard them and reported their whereabouts. One reported a major robbery being perpetrated by the RIC to blame the IRA, but how the IRA caught the culprits and got them to return the stolen items to a duke - with the RIC being in the front hall of the duke's house while the IRA were at the back and the duke loaning his car to the IRA!

    The picture created is of an extraordinarily complicated war with a lot of confusion, quite a few double agents, magistrates and RIC men wanting to quit but being told to stay in position to gather information for the IRA, and of one prominent loyalist being fined amid suspicions among the British that he was linked to the IRA! One narrative mentions a man, whose walls of his house had pictures of the King and Queen, giving water to some IRA men who were on the run and trying to escape chasing RIC men, and telling them where not to go because the RIC were assembled there!

    What a fantastic archive.
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  2. #32
    Science Ninja Science Ninja is offline
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    Here's one by Séan T. O'Kelly given while president.

    http://95.45.178.102/reels/bmh/BMH.W...20PART%202.pdf
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  3. #33
    an Toimíneach an Toimíneach is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyO'Brien View Post
    I am slightly disappointed with the contents - in so far as a lot of statements by IRA activists in the War of Independence aren't there.
    Have faith, the Pension Records might fill many a gap.
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  4. #34
    Seanie Lemass Seanie Lemass is online now
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    Some excellent stuff from people involved in Dublin. Gives an excellent insight into how intense the war was in the city. Found one relation who was Squad/ASU mentioned a few times but he did not make a statement himself. It would also appear that very few of those who had been active in Tan War and remained in IRA in late 20s and 30s made statements. And similar applies to Free Staters who were part of the Army Mutiny and who would have been leading activists in Dublin Brigade although their names do occur in other peoples statements. Excellent initiative by the Bureau and NAI it has to be said.
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  5. #35
    toconn toconn is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by eoghanacht View Post
    No mention of me great granny who used to be sent to leave a pd of cheese and a loaf of bread to a specified point in the flying columns area of operations.

    my Gran used to that as well when she was a girl , place milk etc under the alter at the local chapel.... not surprised its not mentioned though , or the raid on her school by the Army !
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  6. #36
    Little_Korean Little_Korean is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by TommyO'Brien View Post
    It is interesting going through these at the amount of disagreement mentioned, and criticism. I have just read two reports which talked of major divisions in local battalions, of units letting each other down, of RIC men spying for the IRA and IRA men spying for the British. A number of reports also contain strong praise of some people and how much they did to help the IRA and also of strong criticism of some in the IRA who are described by O/Cs of being told to keep their weapons hidden but walked along roadways with them on their shoulders, and of one O/C wondering how the IRA unit made so much noise, including chatting despite being told to shut up, that he thought it was a miracle no one heard them and reported their whereabouts. One reported a major robbery being perpetrated by the RIC to blame the IRA, but how the IRA caught the culprits and got them to return the stolen items to a duke - with the RIC being in the front hall of the duke's house while the IRA were at the back and the duke loaning his car to the IRA!

    The picture created is of an extraordinarily complicated war with a lot of confusion, quite a few double agents, magistrates and RIC men wanting to quit but being told to stay in position to gather information for the IRA, and of one prominent loyalist being fined amid suspicions among the British that he was linked to the IRA! One narrative mentions a man, whose walls of his house had pictures of the King and Queen, giving water to some IRA men who were on the run and trying to escape chasing RIC men, and telling them where not to go because the RIC were assembled there!

    What a fantastic archive.
    Sounds incredible.

    Can't wait to have a read myself when I get the time for a proper examination.
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  7. #37
    SeamusNapoleon SeamusNapoleon is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seanie Lemass View Post
    Some excellent stuff from people involved in Dublin. Gives an excellent insight into how intense the war was in the city. Found one relation who was Squad/ASU mentioned a few times but he did not make a statement himself. It would also appear that very few of those who had been active in Tan War and remained in IRA in late 20s and 30s made statements. And similar applies to Free Staters who were part of the Army Mutiny and who would have been leading activists in Dublin Brigade although their names do occur in other peoples statements. Excellent initiative by the Bureau and NAI it has to be said.
    Anti-Treatyites who did not follow de Valera into Fianna Fáil - and others for various reasons, I'm sure - refused to give their accounts to the BMH. Indeed, Tom Barry's example is most revealing. Read this correspondence between himself and the Bureau from 1958. Fascinating:

    http://95.45.178.102/reels/bmh/BMH.WS1743.pdf

    Similarly, as he wrote in his book on corrections for Deasy's Towards Ireland Free:

    Readers of books such as Deasy's and my own (Guerrilla Days in Ireland) should be made aware of an important happening relative to this period about which the two books were written. This was the setting up, in later years, of the Bureau of Military History. I have no intimate first-hand knowledge whatever of this body, but following his retirement from the army, the late Lt-Colonel Tom Halpin, who lived in Cork, told me and others still alive that, during his later years, he was assigned to the Bureau as some kind of recording officer.

    His duties were to record every single word from anyone who wished to appear before the Bureau and who claimed service with the I.R.A. It did not matter whether the deponent was obviously mentally disturbed, intoxicated or phoney, his statement had to be recorded. None of these statements was open for inspection by anyone else, not even by a maligned person. They were all to be locked away and not to be re-opened for fifty years, after which they were to be handed over to a group of historians who would, from that material, write a military history of the period. If this is correct, then God help Irish history.

    Perhaps some professional historians will investigate what we were told about the depositions, and if it is true, ask that a bonfire be made of the lot in the Garden of Remembrance.
    I don't wish to rain on anybody's parade. As I've said, I'm excited as the rest of youse!
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  8. #38
    Little_Korean Little_Korean is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeamusNapoleon View Post
    Anti-Treatyites who did not follow de Valera into Fianna Fáil - and others for various reasons, I'm sure - refused to give their accounts to the BMH. Indeed, Tom Barry's example is most revealing. Read this correspondence between himself and the Bureau from 1958. Fascinating:

    http://95.45.178.102/reels/bmh/BMH.WS1743.pdf
    Interesting that his main concern is the possible defamation of officers.

    Barry doesn't come across even in his own writings as the easiest man to get along with on a personal level, so I do have to wonder if his concern with the 'everyone has a say' approach to the Bureau was related to what he thought others would say about him.
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  9. #39
    SeamusNapoleon SeamusNapoleon is offline

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Korean View Post
    Interesting that his main concern is the possible defamation of officers.

    Barry doesn't come across even in his own writings as the easiest man to get along with on a personal level, so I do have to wonder if his concern with the 'everyone has a say' approach to the Bureau was related to what he thought others would say about him.
    I could have sworn, from reading the exact same thing you read, that his concern was with the fact that these accounts were utterly private with seemingly no criteria prior to an account being submitted. That these accounts would not be subjected to rigorous historical analysis.

    Barry sounds - and I mean no contemporary criticism with this - like a teacher upon hearing of ratemyteacher.com
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  10. #40
    Little_Korean Little_Korean is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeamusNapoleon View Post
    I could have sworn, from reading the exact same thing you read, that his concern was with the fact that these accounts were utterly private with seemingly no criteria prior to an account being submitted. That these accounts would not be subjected to rigorous historical analysis.

    Barry sounds - and I mean no contemporary criticism with this - like a teacher upon hearing of ratemyteacher.com
    Ha, good comparision!

    Yeah, that's definitely a major part of Barry's concerns - that the information would just be taken as it came, with no rigorous historical analysis, as you say, though he seemed less concerned about the methodology of historians specifically and more interested in the statements being submitted to Brigade Committees - presumably with a place for him on them. Hmmm....

    Barry went on down the page to mention "some of the fantastic claims" which had already been made - too bad he doesn't specificy which ones. That the main and first concern he cites is the possible defamation of officers (specifically), it's not hard to conclude that he was most concerned about his own record.
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