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Laziness and Propaganda Have Unfairly Tarnished The Black and Tans' Reputation

category national | arts and media | news report author Thursday August 31, 2006 03:55author by Kevin Myers (with explanatory notes) - West British Independent Report this post to the editors

Part One; Tomorrow Kevin Myers rescues Hitler’s Waffen SS from the verdict of woolly headed liberals

[Explanatory comments on Kevin's news from the bunker are in italics below. Please note, the headline and article by Kevin Myers is not a spoof. He wrote this.]

Irish Independent August 29, 2006

Kevin Myers

ON Friday, June 23, in a village in Surrey, an old man breathed his last, and with him went a connection to one of the bloodiest episodes of the Troubles of 1919-21, and to another, and one of the strangest.

Brigadier Mortimer Kelleher MC, aged 98, was the son of Jeremiah Kelleher, a general practitioner in Macroom, and the brother of Captain Philip Kelleher, DI, RIC. Like Mortimer, he was a holder of the Military Cross.

[Good start, Kevin Myers carries his own cross for the British military.]
"Lazyness and propaganda": something Kevin Myers knows a lot about
"Lazyness and propaganda": something Kevin Myers knows a lot about

The caricature of the Auxiliaries and the Black and Tans is now so firmly established in the public mind, reinforced by lazy historians and propagandising film-makers, that it is quite impossible to present an alternative view: that many of the New Police - as the force was more properly known - were driven not just by mercenary motives but according to the lights of their conscience.

["Impossible to present an alternative view": why does Kev waste his and our time then? For the entertainment value perhaps.]

Contrary to myth, the jails of England were not emptied in order to fill the ranks of the new RIC force, though to be sure, many British recruits were tempted by the money.

[Oh, "to be sure", Kev.]

But other recruits were middle class Irish Catholics, who were apparently drawn by the need to prevent the country from falling into anarchy - which was precisely where it was then heading.

[Ah, the "middle class Irish Catholic": he decided to burn Cork, Fermory and Balbriggan, as well as all those Protestant owned creameries, did he? In order “to prevent the country from falling into anarchy”. Pull the other one, Major Myarse. ]

One such man was District Inspector James Joseph Brady, a former officer with the Irish Guards, and son of Louis Brady, the Dublin Harbour Master, and nephew of PJ Brady, MP for St Stephen's Green. He joined the RIC in March 1920, aged 21.

Technically, therefore, he was a Black and Tan - but he was active in preventing reprisals by the security forces in Sligo after IRA atrocities.

[“Active in preventing reprisals by the security forces in Sligo.” What an exceptionally decent chap. A pity his kind was exceptionally unsuccessful in preventing torture, brutality, random assassination and the shooting of prisoners. Brigadier-General F P Crozier resigned from his position in charge of the Auxiliaries because he was prevented from dismissing the perpetrators of atrocities in British ranks.

Crozier was not the only one to resign. So too did RIC Constable Jeremiah Mee in Listowel. Here is a short account of what happened.

Colonel Gerald Bryce Ferguson Smyth had been appointed Divisional Police Commissioner for Munster on June 3 1920. On June 17 the police in Listowel were ordered to hand over their barracks to the British military and most of them were transferred to different stations in the district where they were to act as scouts for the troops. The police held a meeting and decided not to obey these orders. The following day the county inspector, Poer O'Shee, came to Listowel and when he tried to force the men to obey fourteen of them threatened to resign.

Next morning, June 19, Colonel Smyth arrived at Listowel barracks. He was accompanied by the inspector general, General Tudor, a commissioner of police from Dublin Castle, Major Letham, the county inspector, Poer O'Shee, the O.C. of the military stationed at Ballinruddery, Captain Chadwick, and Assistant County Inspector Dobbyn, and it was obvious that the purpose of his visit was to deal with insubordination on June 17.

Smyth asserted that the crown forces would have to take the offensive and beat the Republicans at their own game. To this end martial law would come into force immediately and by June 21 the police and military would be completely amalgamated. Then, together, police and military would engage in a ruthless pacification programme and if, in the course of it, innocent people were killed he would see to it that no policeman would have to answer for such an eventuality.

Mee responded: 'By your accent I take it you are an Englishman. You forget you are addressing Irishmen.' Then taking off his cap, belt and bayonet and laying them on the table, he continued: 'These too are English. Take them as a present from me, and to hell with you, you murderer.' Mee was supported by his RIC colleagues, both Protestant and Roman Catholic. It is the kind of historical incident Kevin Myers does not take any interest in. He prefers ‘new police’, Black and Tan style, to 'old police', Jeremiah Mee style.

See http://www.esatclear.ie/~garda/listowel.html for a fuller account.]

His patrol was ambushed by the IRA near Tubbercurry, and he was dreadfully and fatally wounded by explosive dum-dum bullets in September 1920.

[Dum de dum: if so Brady was shot with British bullets as the IRA captured their ammunition from British forces. The British Army manufactured 'dum-dum' bullets. It is a well known, though not to K Myers, fact.]

Joining the RIC at around the same time as young Brady was Philip Kelleher, like him a Catholic veteran of the Great War, having won a Military Cross with the Leinster Regiment. Similarly, Kelleher achieved rapid promotion, being made District Inspector within two months of joining.

He was one of 13 children, his brother Mortimer being 11 years younger than him. A few days after DI Brady was killed, DI Philip Kelleher went unaccompanied into the Greville Arms Hotel in Granard, Co Longford.

Why on earth would a man as vulnerable as this young police officer go alone into the hotel that had been the centre of Sinn Fein activity in the area since 1917? It was owned and run by the Kiernan family – and was one daughter of the household, Kitty Kiernan, not the sweetheart of Michael Collins?


So what was he doing there? The contemporary newspaper accounts tell us nothing other than that he was alone in the hotel, unarmed and in civilian clothes.

Was he there to meet someone? Who was that someone? Could it have been Collins? Or one of the famously pretty Kiernan sisters? And was he betrayed? Whatever the truth about that, he was shot and killed as he sat in the bar. His body was sent back to Macroom for burial.

[Translation: “I haven’t a clue but I can make up drivel as I go along.”]

Three weeks later, his father, Jeremiah Kelleher, was called out to conduct post-mortems on the 16 RIC Auxiliaries killed at Kilmichael. He found that some of the bodies had been mutilated after death.

[Wrong Kev. Kelleher did not make this finding. It was an invention of British propaganda. Read Brian Murphy’s Origin and organisation of British Propaganda 1920 (2006). Even Peter Hart, normally an academic version of Kevin Myers, admitted, "the medical evidence does not support the accusations of mutilation".]

A 17th, Cadet Guthrie, who had escaped, was captured next day, held for two more days - what an interesting time that must have been – before being murdered and his corpse buried secretly in Inchigeela bog.

[Myers is lazily rehashing propaganda he penned for the Irish Times. From ‘Forget not the Boys’ of Kilmichael by Manus O’Riordan:

In the same issue (Irish Times, December 2) Kevin Myers objects to Pádraig Ó Cuanacháin’s use of words in saying (November 28) that the totally uninvolved civilian Séamus Ó Liatháin was “murdered in cold blood” but that the Auxie storm-trooper Cecil Guthrie was “executed”. Yet in what Myers refers to as “Peter Hart’s outstanding study” Guthrie is also described as “executed”. What Hart nonetheless fails to mention is that in one of the reference works which he himself cites, Father Pat Twohig’s “Green Tears for Hecuba”, Guthrie was identified as the actual Auxie who had murdered Ó Liatháin in Ballymakeera.

Myers proceeds to re-echo Hart’s incorrect claim that Ó Liatháin was “the only person killed by the Macroom Auxiliaries before Kilmichael”. They were in fact in the process of establishing a reign of terror over what they regarded as the untermenschen of the West Cork Gaeltacht.

(Note: “Untermenschen”, literally “less than men”, was the term used by the German Nazis to describe those whom they regarded as “lesser breeds”, the indigenous inhabitants of Eastern Europe whose countries they had invaded and occupied).

Sunday after Sunday the Auxies systematically descended on Ballingeary at Mass-time in order to corral and abuse the villagers as they emerged from worship. And in a “shoot-to-kill” mission on November 10, 1920 they murdered the unarmed Volunteer Criostóir Ó Luasa in the neighbouring townland of Túirín Dubh. Hart chose to make no reference whatsoever to this murder, nor to the subsequent encounter between the gloating Auxies and the local parish priest and Gaelic scholar, an t-Athair Donncha Ó Donnchú, at whom they gleefully roared “There’s work for you back there!”.

By way of contrast with the vendetta pursued against Barry’s reputation, the Gaeltacht Volunteer leader Micheál Ó Súilleabháin was one IRA commander about whom Hart could not find a bad word to say. He referred to Ó Súilleabháin’s annoyance at having to cancel his own plans to attack Macroom Castle after Kilmichael. But he avoided quoting what Ó Súilleabháin actually wrote of Kilmichael in the latter’s own memoirs, “Where Mountainy Men Have Sown”. For Ó Súilleabháin clearly set the ambush in the context of what proved to be unmentionable for Hart, the murder of Criostóir Ó Luasa:

“He was not armed. It was a pity, for it was a remarkable fact that even a shot or two exchanged with these warriors disturbed their aim unduly. A few weeks later these marauding Auxiliaries were trapped at Kilmichael, a few miles to the south of our area. Seventeen of them were killed”.

Indeed they were, and the course of the War of Independence was altered.

See http://indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=69172 ]

If you are going to fight a guerrilla insurgency, ambushes like Kilmichael are the inevitable consequence. It is really neither here nor there that some men were shot after they had surrendered.

[“Neither here nor there.” As in, it didn’t happen hear or there. Old Kev is making it up again. He doesn’t mention the originator of this fiction, Peter Hart, anymore, because Hart’s assault on the account of the Auxiliary false surrender at Kilmichael has been thoroughly discredited. Do a search for ‘Peter Hart’ on Indymedia.]

Ambushes are meant to kill all who fall into them. They are intrinsically wicked instruments: and Kilmichael was merely a scaled-up version of Solohead Beg, in itself a very wicked act indeed.

[“Oh, wicked, wicked, wickedly wicked. Another bottle of ‘WKD alcopop’ please barmaid. My prose is truly wicked.”].

But in a way, even more sordid than the actual deeds was how they have been hailed since. People have sung rousing ballads about Kilmichael, as if there were something musically and lyrically laudable about butchering helpless captives, even as they were pleading for their lives.

[“Butchering”: another theme of British propaganda at the time. Another discredited smear from the pen of an imperial drone.]

Young Mortimer, who was 12 at the time of his brother's murder and the slaughter of the Auxiliaries down the road from his family home, was soon sent away to school in Castleknock, thence to UCC where he studied medicine.

[A medical student, just like Kevin Barry. There the comparison ends, as Barry, one of the recently re-interred ‘Mountjoy Ten’, was hanged for being a soldier in the army of Irish democracy against British imperialism.

Like so many Irish medical graduates of the time, he joined the British Royal Army Medical Corps, and later won the Military Cross in Palestine, saving the lives of two soldiers under fire in the course of a terrorist ambush.

[Ah Palestine. What ever happened to the British guarantee to their First World War Arab allies of independence for Palestine? ‘Young Mortimer’ was saving the soldiers of the Crown, and doggedly prosecuting the ‘white man’s burden’ against inferior races who rejected their ordained position of supplication and servitude. Kevin is right to doff his cap in salute and to tug his forelock in gratitude. He should be on the Queens honours list, hopefully very, very soon.]

One rather feels, like father like son. Remarkably, Mort, who made it to the rank of one-star general, outlived his adult brother by nearly 86 years.

THERE are no Irish ballads about the Kehellers [sic] of this world - men who have taken the Hippocratic Oath to protect life, and who spend their lives doing just that.

[Unlike Kevin, who has taken the ‘Hippocritic Oath’.]

But give me the unlauded Kehellers (and indeed the DI Bradys) any day to the killers who are hailed in the depraved anthems of republicanism - not least because those who warble threnodies to murderers never quite rid themselves of murder.

[But you are wrong again Kev, there is a song, or rather a poem, that someone with your talents could surely put to music. Then you could warble your own threnody:


Come all you staunch revisionists
And listen to my song,
It's short and it's unusual
And it won't detain you long.
It's all about a soldier
Who has carried history's can,
Who dodged Tom Barry and Dan Breen
The gentle Black and Tan.

'Twas the curse of unemployment
That drove him to our shore.
His jacket black and trousers tan
Like a badge of shame he wore.
"Subdue the rebel Irish
And shoot them when you can!"
"May God forgive me if I do,"
Prayed the gentle Black and Tan.

The burning of Cork city
Was indeed a mighty blaze.
The jewellers' shops were gutted
Not before the spoils were shared.
Gold and silver ornaments,
Rings and watches for each man,
"But I only struck the matches,"
Said the gentle Black and Tan.

Croke Park and Bloody Sunday
Was our hero's greatest test.
The spectators on the terraces
Nigh impossible to miss.
With salt tears his eyes were blinded
And down his cheeks they ran,
So he only shot Mick Hogan
The gentle Black and Tan.

So take heed you blinkered Nationalists
Fair warning take from me.
If you want to live in safety
And keep this land at sea.
Take heed of our three heroes
Murphy, Edwards and Yer Man,
Who will sing the fame and clear the name
Of the gentle Black and Tan.

By Breandan O hÉithir

See http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77165 for more: Eoghan Harris’s attempt to rescue the Black & Tans from history’s verdict]

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77165

Wrong again Kev - your guys are celebrated in song
Wrong again Kev - your guys are celebrated in song

author by Johnpublication date Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What about the "unfairly tarnished" Black and Tan informer in Galway, William Joyce, later to appear as a leading light in Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, and then as 'Lord Haw Haw' In Nazi Germany?

Could Kevin Myers rescue the reputation of this much-maligned historical figure? Many Black and Tans were to reappear in Britain as scabs, blacklegs and fascists. It should be no problem to Major Myarse.

author by Marcas MacCaoimhinpublication date Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Myers is only preaching to the converted anyway. The only ones who believe his hyperbole are people who already think the way he does.

author by edwardpublication date Thu Aug 31, 2006 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pardon me, but why all the comments in the article. Can people can read it and make up their own minds? You call what Myers wrote propagando yet you cover the page with 'propaganda' over your own - in the guise of dismissive smart comments

disagree with the man's opinion if you will. but respect his right to make it.

author by upmayopublication date Thu Aug 31, 2006 14:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The problem is that Myers and his fellow travellor Indo hacks are usually given a free run to print lies. good to see someone pointing out the lies - lie by lie

author by Son of a mother of a bastardpublication date Thu Aug 31, 2006 14:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The comments point out Myers' usual trail of factual errors and the alternative narrative - they are clearly signposted. Don't need a lecture on his right to spew forth, thank you. Myers has a daily audience of hundreds of thousands, to which he has a privileged access. The alternative view does not.

Myers preaches to the impressionable as well as to the converted.

author by Duinepublication date Thu Aug 31, 2006 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An Myersach! Níor chaill sé riamh é

author by Peterpublication date Fri Sep 01, 2006 19:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Irish News September 1, 2006 Friday

On This Day/September 1 1937

Eamon Phoenix

Death of 'Tan war' general recalls years of terror

The death of Brigadier-General FP Crozier at his residence in Walton-on-Thames yesterday recalls one of the most tragic periods of the Irish Troubles following the Easter Week Rebellion.

In August 1920, Brigadier Crozier raised and commanded the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary, resigning the following year owing to the fact that his dismissal of 26 cadets for looting had been vetoed.

In his book, Ireland Forever, General Crozier states: "In 1920 and 1921 the whole (British) cabinet should have been marched to the Tower in company with the chief of the imperial staff and there shot on account of what they permitted to be done in the King's name and by authority of his uniform in Ireland.""

One of the most sensational chapters in the general's book dealt with his experiences with the auxiliaries (ex-officers who had served in the First World War and were now detailed for service against the IRA).

"I can understand," he wrote, "the theory propounded by some that it is a good thing to meet murder with murder although I cannot agree with it as I know in practice such an undertaking is bound to fail. But I cannot understand the practice of meeting murder with murder and then swearing you have not done it, as then no credit is even gained for having out-murdered the murderers. That is what happened in Ireland."

Crozier accused Sir Henry Wilson (the leading anglo-Irish unionist and chief of the Imperial General Staff) of organising a 'murder gang' in Dublin and asserted that the 13 British officers massacred on 'Bloody Sunday' (November 22 1920) were 'commissioned assassins'.

General Crozier was in hospital for a month following an accident, "during which time the burning of Cork by my men took place, a diabolical murder of an ex-officer at Fermoy being also perpetrated by my men on their way to Cork."

"Before I came out of hospital at the Curragh another outrage was perpetrated by my men - this time in Dublin Castle itself, when two Sinn Fein suspects detained in an auxiliary guard-room were murdered by the guard, the evidence produced before the official inquiry into the matter being subsequently faked."

Regarding the burning of Cork city centre in 1920, General Crozier wrote: "Mr Lloyd George (the British PM) had promised parliament in advance to publish the report but when he saw it he did not dare to do so as it was a truly alarming document calculated to drive any cabinet from office."

General Crozier, who was born in 1879, had been a soldier nearly all his life.

The only son of the late Major BR Crozier, he served in South Africa, Ashanti, Nigeria and Zululand before retiring in 1908.

At the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, he entered the Royal Irish Fusiliers as captain.

Few war books have received so much pointed criticism as those written by Brigadier-General Crozier.

His book, The Men I Killed, aroused a storm of protest from people of all classes.

In it he described how he shot a subaltern who was fleeing from the Germans and also a British soldier who was attacking a French woman.

Related Link: http://www.irishnews.com
author by Terenurepublication date Sun Sep 03, 2006 23:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've decided to stop buying the Indo for the first time in 20 odd years because of Myers.I'd already backed off from the Sindo grace a Edwards/Harris.What galls me is that these people because of the O'Reilly patronage can inflict their views on hundreds of thousands of people without reply and there is no similar forum where the opposing view is given.

author by Donnchadhpublication date Mon Sep 04, 2006 00:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thousands of Irish Americans gave money to set up the Irish Press so that nationally minded people could have a voice. But sadly, their trust was betrayed and we are back in exactly the same position as in 1916 when the Sindo and the Irish Times demanded the execution of our patriots.

author by martinpublication date Mon Sep 04, 2006 03:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As much as you dislike the irish and sunday independent those two papers are by far and away the best selling newspapers in the country and maybe kevin myers has a point when he says we irish are great at playing the victem, we are great at blaming the brits for every problem this country ever had but maybe its time we looked in the mirror for a change.

author by sonbastardpublication date Mon Sep 04, 2006 03:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm sure some South African out there reminices about the golden days of the concentration camp during the Boer War.

No, actually, they don't, because that'd be MORONIC.

author by Woody Alan!publication date Wed Sep 06, 2006 00:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Go back to your rubber bedroom, you're a major loon!

author by Nick - Nonepublication date Sat Sep 09, 2006 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Edward asks why the article was written with numerous comments interspersed. I may be wrong, but it seems Kevin Myers did not actually contribute this article itself (he would probably be shot at dawn for daring to dabble in Indymedia anyway, by his Indo bosses). It seems to be an article he wrote for the Indo, and deconstructed here by someone else. If you want to make up your own mind as Edward says, you can read his article in the Indo. But, as another post here reminds us, Myers is free to rant about whatever he likes in the Indo, untroubled by facts and truth. He is carefully cocooned by his bosses from almost all criticism. As anyone who has tried to reply to his nonsense (his style of writing would embarrass a 15-year old Junior Cert student) in the Irish Times will know, it is almost impossible to get a letter published that contradicts any of Myers' 'facts'. The author of this article has done us a service in replying to Myers in such detail. Unfortunately due to the sheer volume of Myers' output (quantity does not equal quality, but it ensures a bigger paycheck) this is not normally possible.

author by Sean Scholfield - The medical sectorpublication date Wed Sep 27, 2006 19:02author email barton.company at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address 2 Merchant Cottages Alfred Street Lincoln LN5 7PDauthor phone 07979222300Report this post to the editors

Excellent discussion.
One point that I make-dum dum bullets are not manufactured-a few marks with a rasping file will make the requisite effect the trajectory and impact of the bullet is affected by any garbage in the barrel or alterering the smooth nature of the bullet itself. As the volunteers were armed with british rifles, the SMLE being the standard British army issue, I wonder did they steal the cleaning gear needed ie pull throughs-when they raided barracks. Some of the IRA and Vol group members had been in the trenches so they would know what to do with a dirty rifle-now if they were buried in sacks (as some must have been) until needed then you would get a little rusting in the barrel, and from carrying them around bogs.

Second point is I was told in the West country around Maam when I was a boy by the old men (my Granddad Martin Casey was at Tourmakeady March 21) that the Tans had been released from Lincoln Sanitorium and shoved in uniform. I am continuing a spot of research on this and have found nothing SO FAR to corroborate this. I know for a fact that lifers were sent to the trenches in France 1916 with the Leicesters-one case of a murder of girlfriend i checked this and found it to be spot on from a veteran)
from what Ive seen the men who made up the Auxies were ex officers who had served with distinction in the trenches and for the most part had trouble fitting in with civilian life. The Tans were mainly ex soldiers with the same mental problems as the former. Rochard Bennett in the Black and Tans 1959 says that 'at least two were executed in the years after and one committed suicide before capture for murder.' British opinion was massviely against the Tans as the later editions toward peace have shown. Churchill bears much responsibility. The Government seems to have turned its back on the soldiery and cared only to salvage their reputation, an all too familiar scenario in this wonderful country.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 27, 2006 19:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Autumn 2004 edition of History Ireland had an article on "Who were the Black-and-Tans? " by W.J. Lowe. It also had some background on the Auxies. A surprisingly large number of Auxies came from Catholic backgrounds (some were English Catholics).

82% of of B&ts & auxies were protestant.
17.4% were catholic
10.27% were Irish Catholics.

20% of B&Ts were Irish.
10% of auxies were Irish.

Previous Occupations:

Black & Tans:
clerks 4.3%
agriculture 6.7%
labourers 14.4%
mechanics 2.6%
railway 4.5%

a total of 180 different occupatons were listed!

136 b&ts were recruited directly from the military.


95% listed "former military officer". So it doesnt help much as to telling how many rose from the ranks during WW1. But painstaking research and cross checking at the PRO in KEW, comparing milirary records to RIC records could solve this. (Anyone want to sposor me?)

The most dangerous county for the RIC was Cork where 90 were killed and 119 wounded in the 12 months prior to the truce. In total during the 12 months prior to the truce, 330 RICmen were killed in action. 147 of these were B&ts and Auxies.

Related Link: http://www.historyireland.com/index.html
author by Ernst Udet 7th - Jasta 11publication date Wed Sep 27, 2006 21:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The ordinary British Troops and Police Officers were here to suppress the Irish People and like any such force regularly used acts of terror to do so. Now the British government considered their methods too soft and decided to assemble a force of professionals, the Black and Tans, to do the job. This decision by the British government, that a far more vicious group than the normal forces was required to suppress the Irish clearly identifies the Black and Tans as a bunch of ruthless, murdering thugs with little or no respect for humanity in general and the Irish in particular. It shouls be said that their greatest success's were against innnocent civilians and unarmed republicans., Against armed units they were famous for tanning their drawers. The fuckers thought it great sport to enter the childhood home of my mother in Rockbrook Co Dublin, terrify them all, put the barrell of a rifle in her father;s mouth, feel up her mother with the intention of raping her, rob their food, shoot their pig and steal the 3 shillings and few pence they had to live on. Their dirty filthy illegal yet British government condoned actions only stopped when a passing unit of regular British troops stopped and intervened. The Tans were the scum of the Earth and should be membered for this alone and nothing else.


author by n/apublication date Tue May 01, 2007 22:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have read all of the comments in relation to this thread and find the lack of objective balanced thinking incredible....the original article was written and may well contain opinions for which others disagree but some of the replies are quite frankly just as bad and again based upon opinions rather than firm factual evidence - just because Tom Barry said something in his memoirs doesn't necessarily make it fact! Everyone has stories handed down regarding atrocities carried out by the Auxies or the B & T's but there appears to be just as much from the British side in relation to acts carried out by the republican forces. .....of course we all understand they all have rationale for making such statements. Now, this isn't intended as any defence or disagreement as to the acts that the Crown Forces undertook but it is a critisism of the inability or unwillingness of certain contributers to have any balanced view.

The narrow mindedness hinders heathly discussion.

author by Sean Scholfield - Battery lord of Myspacepublication date Mon May 07, 2007 16:27author email magiclard at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi again now don't shout at me. There is a British pamphlet called 'Events in Ireland since 1920' issued by the Crown Forces as a secret document. Naturally it only lists casualties among the Crown Forces.
In a brief statement it says that 'District Inspector Philip St John Forbes Kelleher 23 years old-killed while walking his daughter.'
Which throws another Question up-is this information hopelessly wrong? The pamphlet was only for release to officers so my guess is what is the point of having propoganda in it,but obviously that does not mean the info was correct. It could have been that it was meant to fire people up.
note:I found the pamphlet in a boxed archive at a London library.

author by karenpublication date Tue Jul 17, 2007 18:24author email karenraveneau at tiscali dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

i am the great neice of jeremiah mee and am trying to find out what happened to the man after the uprising in co kerry 19 june 1920 can anyone guide me on how to find out

author by mauricepublication date Tue Jul 17, 2007 20:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maybe the Garda Historical Society could provide some information:
The Secretary,
Garda Síochána Historical Society,
The Garda Museum/Archives,
Records Tower,
Dublin Castle,
Dublin 2.
Tel: (01) 6719597

They have an article on-line about the Listowel Mutiny so maybe there is someone there who could provide further details as to what happened to the protagonists afterwards.

Related Link: http://www.policehistory.utvinternet.com/histsoc.html
author by Niall Meehanpublication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Jeremiah Mee's Witness Statement to the Bureau of Military History is held in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines. There is a copy in the National Archives. Mee's memoir was the subject of a book by J Anthony Gaughan (published in 1977) - The Memoirs of Constable Jeremiah Mee (I think). Gaughan's book is based on Mee's Witness Statement, and also adds to it.

Mee played a significant role in exposing the change in British policy in 1920, occasioned by the introduction of the Black & Tans and the Auxiliaries. He and his colleagues in Listowel, both Catholic and Protestant, from north and south, resigned when informed by the new Divisional Head of the RIC in Munster, Colonel Smyth, that they would be allowed to shoot down people at will, whether armed or unarmed, without repercussions. Smyth explained that this was part of a new British strategy of government terror.

Mee wrote up the details of Smyth's speech - it was afterwards published in full in the Irish Bulletin, and in the Freeman's Journal. It caused a sensation in Britain and in the US, as well as in Ireland, especially when the new British policy of shootings, torture, brutality, house burnings, burnings of creameries and the centres of towns and villages, began to be enacted. Mee's account of Symyth's speech on the new policy was proven accurate. Later, The IRA killed Smyth. The British attempted to blame Mee for the shooting.

Mee went on to work with Constance Markiewitz and encouraged more of the RIC to resign, while also attempting to find resigned RIC members alternative employment. He said the question of the RIC was an economic rather than a political one. He was partially successful with this campaign in Britain as well, where Irish sympathisers in the labour and trade union movement helped to find alternative employment - until the Self-Determination League in Britain (through which they worked) was suppressed (its leaders were arrested) by the British government. Mee was also sought by the British authorities, He managed to escape arrest - he appears to have retained good contacts within the RIC.

I have a copy of Mee's very impressive Witness Statement, which details all of this activity - it goes beyond the information in the very helpful website posted above, and below. I will pass it on to Karen (who is to be congratulated on being related to such a famous person from Irish history).

Related Link: http://www.policehistory.utvinternet.com/listowel.html
author by Irishman in Birminghampublication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a bit of a tangent, but would the Bureau of Military History hold any material on the Ballyseedy Massacre, and similar episodes of the civil war?

[I met Myers years ago, btw, when I was on Challenging Times - he wasn't as bad then as he seems to be from his prose today.]

author by Niall Meehanpublication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 13:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Bureau has witness statements for individuals. The easiest way to access them is through examining the copies in the National Archives (near DIT on Aungier Street). You can go in and register - bring photo ID - and you will be given a readers' card. You can check the index of those who made witness statements (from the late 1940s to the early 1960s) and see if the guy who survived Ballyseedy made a statement (or if others who might have been in the IRA in Kerry, or even in the Free State Army in the area, might have made statements). You can than ask to look at and to read Witness Statements you specify. You can also ask the very helpful staff to photocopy (expensive).

The incident is, however, well researched and covered in books at this stage.

Generally the Witness Statements vary in size and quality. Jeremiah Mee's is very well presented and thoroughly researched. Others are not. Do not suspend normal critical faculties when reading Witness Statements. They were confidential and not (it appears) subject to much checking, so theoretically a witness could make some of it up, or could just suffer from a faulty memory (after so many years) - they were released in 2003. They are however, an invaluable historical resource and do, to some degree, constitute a peoples' history. So people should see them.

A couple of books have been published, the first based on the Bureau testimonies on 1916, and in the past week on the War of Independence witness statements.

author by Niall Meehanpublication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 13:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Civil War was officially a no-go area - the testimony period officially stops before the Civil War started. I have seen some though that go beyond it.

author by Barrypublication date Wed Jul 18, 2007 19:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Between this dreadful rubbish by Myers and his assorted west briton kooks at the Indo and the fact the Irish Times was put at the disposal of British military intelligence in 1970 (see their hysterical ranting even at the reinternemnt of Kevin Barry) its safe to say the Irish media in general is a sworn enemy of the Irish nation . Thats been its traditional role and theyre playing it to te hilt . This hysterical crap could have been written in 1921 by a British officer .
At the end of the day its really our own fault for buying these papers and being prepared to put up with them . These people , Myers Harris et al , should be petrified to walk the streets of Dublin for their activities and insults directed against the Irish antion , their blatant imperialist propagandising intended solely to demean and belittle the Irish people . Instead theyre lauded and paid handsomely . Collectively we deserve this rubbish simply for being prepared to tolerate it

author by Brian Meepublication date Wed Jul 25, 2007 04:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thank you to Niall for the info. I was looking for info on my heritage. I am not from the old country and don't know exactly whether my elders are telling me info on what was passed on (slightly exaggerated) or the actual truth. Even though I am from St. Louis, Missouri, I would love to pass on the Mee family heritage to my family, when I get one.
Again Thanks

Brian Mee

author by Patpublication date Thu Jul 26, 2007 01:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Regarding the question on Jeremiah Mee. Jeremiah Mee wrote an account of his life in school copy books if I remember correctly These were discovered by his daughter and the author Fr Anthony Gaughan published the material as a book - entilted "Memoirs of an RIC man" I came across the book in Cork Library some years ago and I have scoured the internet ( to no avail) to see if I could acquire a copy.

The account of his life is fascinating from a number of aspects (not least the picture he paints of being a RIC man at the time- he joined the RIC and was assigned to a small station in County Sligo
( Keash) in 1910 - he served in a number of places in Sligo - Ballntogher and Collooney being two I recall. He was a physical fitness fanatic and would have been regarded as good material for the army - and was encouraged by his superiors to join during World War One. He resisted their overtures and seemed to feel that because of this he was victimised by being transferred to Listowel. Of course this is how he eventually became involved in the mutiny.

The British Officer ( Smith?) who gave the 'lecture' which provoked the mutiny among the RIC men was shot shortly afterwards in Cork, and Mee felt that he had to abandon the RIC and go on the run - he actually made his way back to Sligo and received shelter from the local IRA.

He survived the Troubles - he refer to his meet ing Collins and Markievitz. He hailed from Co Galway ( near Gleanamaddy I think )and as far as I know there is some form of monument to him there) He joind the RIC when he was sent by his father to the barracks near his home to pay a fine for not having a dog licence - the Sergeant saw that he was a fit young man, measured his chest and suggested he join up! He trained at the Phoenix Park Depot which was the location for RIC training at the time. The book in question brings to mind the expression 'stranger than fiction' because if written as a novel, I'd have said it was a biy far fetched!! Great pity it's out of print - it was published ( I think) i the 40s of 50s

Hope the above is helpful.


author by Niall Meehanpublication date Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The book is:
'Jeremiah Mee, Memoirs of constable Jeremiah Mee, RIC', by J.Anthony Gaughan, Anvil Books, 1975

Prior to the book appearing, and the release of the BMH statements in 2003, this was the reference:
Memoirs of Constable Jeremiah Mee, ca. 1950, typescript belonging to Michael R. Cook, London. [possibly this is a copy of Mee's BMH statement - witnesses were given their own personal copy - or Mee's typescript pre-prepared for the BMH.]

The BMH witness statement noted above (which I partially summarised) goes into all the detail indicated by Pat above - check it out in the National Archives, whoever wants to read it.

Front page of Jeremiah Mee statement in Bureau of Military History, and National Archives
Front page of Jeremiah Mee statement in Bureau of Military History, and National Archives

author by patpublication date Thu Jul 26, 2007 19:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I know Niall's contribution was prompted by the request from Jeremiah's Mee's descendant(s) but the information will be of great interest to anyone with an interest in the man himself and/or the times in which he lived

Many thanks

author by Jeremiah Youpublication date Mon Jul 30, 2007 16:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Kevin Myers must be reading, or else it is by amazing coincidence that he devoted an entire column to "that wretched Judas (Jeremiah) Mee" in the Irish Independent.

The truth about a liar and fantasist who sullied the good name of a heroic policeman
By Kevin Myers, Thursday July 26 2007, Irish Independent

Mee 'tarnished' the good name of those other Myer's favourites, the Black and Tans. Mee is the kind of cop Myers has no time for, one who will not blindly take orders and physically harm and kill the citizens he is supposed to protect.

What a card!

author by MJ Costello - Erin Foods (deceased)publication date Sat Aug 04, 2007 19:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Kevin Myers shows poor judgement in returning to his folly

Irish Independent SOB re-focusses attention on Irish Times MOB article


author by ADRICpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2008 02:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That the first person dispelling the article as propaganda does infact believe the Irish revisionist history of the Black and Tans and the ADRIC in Ireland.

I stopped reading after I saw he/she still believes that the Reserve Division and the ADRIC were prisoners, they was mostly WWI vets, whilst they were fighting out in the trenches the IRA was still waiting on cold dark nights for German weapons that never appeared.

author by Elatedpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2008 03:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As far as I am concerned the sun shines out of Patrick Pearse's arse - he is like a god, his commandants the greatest Ireland ever bore.

Brigadier -General Blackader, who sentenced Pearse to death, afterwards said at a society ball in Dublin that Pearse was one of the nicest men he ever met !

Now just think of the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, the massive bloodletting of the British Army Regiment of Sherwood Foresters there, added to all the other British Army casualties across Dublin in Easter Week. .

The British Army took the 1916 surrender with dignity.

Blackader was under orders to sentence about a 100 of them to death. In the event 15 were shot. Pearse who had pleaded for his men at his courts martial, would have been satisfied with that.

The rest of the volunteers that were captured spent, I believe, ten months in Frongogh Internment Camp in Wales and were then allowed home to their wives and families - including, I believe, the heroes of Mount Street who had killed or wounded 400 British soldiers !.

It was all really quite civilized.

The Black and Tans would have razed Dublin to the ground for a month murdering thousands, men, women and children :-)

the Tans deserved all they got - and more !

Myers, I have no time for.

I know many anglicized Irishmen who are gentlemen - Myers disgraces them all.

He is the lowest of the low.

author by history fanpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2008 06:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

History is always being seen again (revised) in the light of new information from previously unseen sources, or the revisiting of sources and topics not hitherto adequately considered. An article in yesterday's Irish Times rightly focuses on Pearse the humane, innovative and child-centered educator. This is an example of revisionism that highlights aspects of personality of a historical figure that have been under-emphasised by overattention to the figure's military side; so some revisionism can serve society well by holding up good achievements that might inspire a younger generation to emulate in the changing circumstances of a contemporary evolving nation. I am saddened by sustained historical revisionism, often promoted by those with unaccountable influence in the mass media, which has as its aim an undermining of national self confidence. If the nation is demoralised over a long time it can become prone to a cultural takeover by outside forces.

If you come across revisionist articles, books and television documentaries, ask yourself: What agenda do the revisionists have?

BTW I don't think the Black and Tans were well-intentioned public security officers , and nor do I think Cromwell was a progressive republican.

author by elatedpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2008 06:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Commandant Eamon DeValera's defiant remark on the surrender of his Boland's Mill garrison is probably the most telling of all to emerge from Easter Week:

"We came here to die, not to win ! "

How can Myers denigrate such obvious truth ?

author by Elatedpublication date Mon Sep 29, 2008 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The English are trying hard to "forget" the Black and Tans - all mention of the Tans is now edited out of school history books in England, Scotland and Wales.

The British media also deliberately ignore them, the British Establishment groans when they are mentioned, dismissing them swiftly and inaccurately as "Auxiliaries" .

I know of an incident in Cork where a Captain of the Auxiliaries stopped an impromptu roadside execution of an innocent man by the Tans.

I know of a regular incidents in Kilkenny City where the Tans up on a railway bridge over John Street opened fire into the cabin-like houses alongside whenever they were bored, with housewives and children diving under their beds to escape the bullets.

Disowned by Britain today, while Myers & the Indo are left isolated on their own peculiar island in Dublin trying to exonerate them.

That says everything :-)

author by Frank - Nonepublication date Tue Oct 24, 2017 15:10author email author address Newbridge County Kildareauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Kevin Myers has always been out of touch with reality, he even tried to convince us we did not need 1916 to get our freedom. He is just a cocky self centred columnist, a profession I hold myself, and I hope to God that his recent sacking is the last I hear of him.

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