13 November 2008 Edition

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MALA POIST

Remembrance?

I CAN RECALL as a young FCA man marching in November to commemorate Dick McKee and Peadar Clancy and Conor Clune, unarmed prisoners done to death in Dublin Castle by British forces in 1920.
Army barracks in Dublin were named for McKee and Clancy, IRA officers, just as Collins Barracks is named for their comrade, Michael Collins, who risked his life to attend to their funeral. Conor Clune was a civilian.
It seems that these brave men are no longer commemorated by the allegedly more inclusive Irish Establishment today.
I am all for commemorating those like Tom Kettle – the Irish Parliamentary Party MP and poet killed while serving with the British Army in the First World War – who died believing they were serving Ireland, but that his memory is ill-served by being misrepresented.
His friend, Robert Lynd, in an appreciation written in 1916 quoted a poem by Kettle, written in answer to an English poet who appealed to the Irish to forget the past.
Lynd said it represented his outlook until the end.
Kettle’s biographer, FSL Lyons, and various anthologists have not seen fit to quote it. I would hope that you might give it space, lest amnesia rule.
It is called Reason in Rhyme and contains the lines:
We keep the past for pride,
No deepest peace shall strike our poets dumb,
No rawest squad of all Death’s volunteers,
No rudest man who died
To tear your flag down in the bitter years,
But shall have praise, and three times thrice again,
When at the table men shall drink with men

DONAL KENNEDY,
London N13

 

Farmers and foxhunters

The foxhunters are active again since 1 November and farmers up and down the country can expect the usual bad behaviour from these people who think nothing of invading land where they’re not welcome, ploughing through boundaries, knocking walls, breaking fences, cutting wire, poaching land, terrorising and stressing livestock (which can lead to injury and death) and treating farmers with derision and arrogance.
Many farmers have to resort to the expense of placing ads in their local papers, warning the foxhunters off their lands – something they shouldn’t have to do, since entering onto lands to hunt a wild animal, without the permission of a landowner is in fact a criminal offence, under Section 44 of the Wildlife Act.
Similarly, allowing dogs to run riot, and clearly out of control, is a breach of the Control of Dogs Act. But foxhunters seem to believe that they are above the law of the land as they routinely flout these laws, and consider themselves answerable to nobody.
It’s time the law of the land was enforced where these hunters are concerned, and indeed farmers and landowners should acquaint themselves with their rights under these laws.
No farmer should have to go it alone through the civil route, and pay hefty legal fees to get redress under the law.
Any farmer who has suffered trespass or hounds rioting on his lands should report the matter to the Garda and insist that the law of the land be applied to this criminality.
PHILIP LYNCH,
Chairperson,
Farmers Against Foxhunting And Trespass,
Callan,
County Kilkenny
www.myspace.com/farmersagainstfoxhunting

 

Save the forests

A MAJOR cause of global warming is deforestation. This is particularly the case with the Amazon rainforest, which has a large percentage of all types of flora and fauna, much of which could be important for future medical discoveries.
People worldwide should write to their lawmakers, asking them to outlaw the sale of products made from the destruction of non-replaced trees, from strip mining or from conversion to cattle grazing land.
This might mean less growth in the production of new beef and dairy products but red meat isn’t that healthy anyway and there are plenty of excellent substitutes for dairy products.
ALEX SOKOLOW,
Santa Monica,
California,
USA


An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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