19 August 2004 Edition

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Annie and family wish to express their appreciation to relations, friends, neighbours and comrades for all the help, kindness and support shown to them during the recent passing of 'Uncle Joe'. Special thanks must be paid to Dr John Higgins and his colleagues at Glen Road Surgery, to Damien and his staff at McGrath's Pharmacy, to the District and Auxiliary Nurses and the many care-workers who attended to Joe at home during illness.

Our sincere thanks to Fr Jim Crudden, Fr Gerry Reynolds and Fr Des Wilson who officiated at the funeral Mass, visited the family home and offered prayers and words of condolence. Also thanks to Fr Kelly and Fr McArdle who travelled for Dundalk to concelebrate the funeral Mass. Special thanks to Ann Killen and Frances Black for the beautiful singing at the Mass and graveside.

We are particularly indebted to Siobhan, Bernard and Dessie for their immediate and continuing support since Joe's death. They were truly a tower of strength to us during this sad but memorable time in our lives.

Heartfelt thanks to the members of the National Graves Association, Irish Northern Aid and all the elected representatives and members of Sinn Féin and the extended republican clan, especially those of you who travelled from all over Ireland and abroad to be with us at this time. Thanks also to the piper, the stewards and the men and women who provided the Guard of Honour at the family home and the funeral.

Our deepest gratitude to Deirdre Whelan and Gerry Adams for their heartfelt tributes paid to Joe at the graveside. Our sincere thanks to the Irish Republican Felons Association for their hospitality shown after the funeral. Special thanks to Healy's Funeral directors for their sensitive and dignified handling of all the arrangements.

We would particularly like to thank all our neighbours from Andersonstown Crescent and the surrounding streets for their patience and support.

Many hundreds of Mass and sympathy cards, messages of condolence, telephone calls and floral tributes were received at the house in addition to the thousands of people who called to the house and attended the funeral. We thank you all for your thoughtfulness and generosity.

Finally thanks to all at Féile an Phobail who paid fantastic tributes to Joe during a wonderful week of events and a welcome distraction to us all. The entire family take great strength from knowing that Joe was held in such high respect and esteem and we will be eternally grateful to all of you. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered for your intentions.

Joe's month's mind Mass will be held on Sunday 22 August at 5pm in St Teresa's Church, Glen Road, Belfast.

Annie Cahill and family

Volunteer Paddy Shanahan

Paddy Shanahan was an unrepentant physical force republican and Fenian. We know that in 1969, 1970 and 1971, when the pogroms in the North were at their height, when tens of thousands were being terrorised and burnt out of their homes, a small number of republicans from Rathfarnham in Dublin, including Paddy Shanahan

and the late Bob Smith, opened their homes and billeted children and their families. A tide of people arrived down with literally only the clothes on their backs.

One person who accompanied many of these families was Volunteer Martin Forsythe who was later to be shot dead in his native Belfast by the RUC Special Branch. Paddy and Bob were to establish a Sinn Féin cumann in Rathfarnham, calling it the Martin Forsythe Cumann in his memory. The cumann, I am proud to say, is still active to this day and also bears the name of Bob Smith.

As the conflict in the North erupted, Paddy became increasingly more and more involved in the republican struggle. Although in his 50s, he became part of one of the most successful units of the Irish Republican Army, carrying out numerous successful operations.


Arrested on active service in Dundrum, he was brought directly to Dublin's Bridewell Station for intensive interrogation. The Special Branch Detectives were at a loss

as how to tackle this defiant republican.

Attempting to humiliate him, they asked this man in his 50s was he part of a "Dads' Army". Paddy replied he was. He was part of the same army as his father, he said. His dad was an IRA Volunteer, a veteran of the Tan War and had fought on the republican side during the Civil War. His Aunt Jenny had also been out in Easter Week and took part in the Citizens' Army attack on City Hall.

Paddy was proud of his republican roots, and went on to tell the 'gob-smacked' harriers that he had nothing more to say. He demanded to be brought to the republican wing in Portlaoise Prison and announced that he was immediately beginning a hunger and thirst strike. The interrogation, to all intents and purposes, was over.


This quiet-spoken republican also showed his mettle when he was brought to the Special Criminal Court in Green Street. Refusing to recognise its validity, he threw 12 pieces of silver at the three judges after receiving a lengthy sentence of nine years, shouting "Óglaigh na hÉireann abú!"

Paddy was in Portlaoise Jail when young Tom Smith was shot dead trying to escape on St Patrick's Day 1975. This had a profound effect on him and all the republican prisoners and led to an increase in the oppressive jail regime. These were the hard years.

On the outside, a climate

of oppression that included beatings, harassment, the unleashing of heavy gangs and the increased use of oppressive legislation was the order of the day.

This period has all but been erased from official Ireland's memory.

The record of a vindictive government that did everything in its power to break republicanism and the growing resistance campaign throughout the island has been omitted by a compliant media and revisionist historians.

Conditions in Portlaoise steadily got worse.

Hunger strike

As a final desperate measure, the prisoners embarked on the weapon of hunger strike to improve prison conditions for the men and visiting facilities for their families.

Paddy was one of the first to put his name forward for the strike.

There were to be two lengthy hunger strikes, primarily about prison conditions in Portlaoise, while he was incarcerated there.

The family told me of one particular period when they had no visits in three months, as visits had been stopped. The family eventually arrived for the long awaited visit with their father. This was immediately cut short when he started to tell them of the systematic beatings and the inhuman prison conditions in the jail.

Paddy got beatings from the screws that were so vicious he had to be hospitalised in The Curragh and he was put in solitary confinement on several occasions.


Growing up in Rathfarnham, I was too young to know Paddy Shanahan before he went to jail. I did become a member for many years of the Martin Forsythe Cumann, established by Paddy and Bob Smith.

The most striking image I have of him is at his wife Lil's funeral, surrounded by his tearful family, broken hearted, holding himself with that strong quiet dignity that he had.

Paddy and his wife Teresa, known to everyone as Lil, were childhood sweethearts. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer when he had just seven months to go on his sentence. A request to be released because of her worsening condition was refused by the authorities.

Paddy was given temporary release for three days. Lil died on the third day. He then had to go back down to Portlaoise Prison on that very day to arrange an extension for the funeral. He was strip-searched going in and coming out of the jail. The Special Branch also called to the family home during this time.

Released seven months later, he came home to a grown up family. As well as his prison sacrifice, many of the formative years of his children's lives were lost to him.

He was proud of the achievements of his family and the important part they played in the development of republicanism in this city.

Paddy, on his release, reported back to the IRA.

A long and full life

Like many physical force republicans, he was wary of the major political changes that have emerged over the last 20 years but asked his son Paddy only recently to tell Martin McGuinness and the leadership that he was still on board.

Paddy took ill with pneumonia a number of weeks ago. He told his family that he had "no fear of death and that he had had a long and full life".

Young Paddy has told me that his father's republican beliefs could be best summed up by three words, Saoirse - Freedom, Siochán - Peace, agus Ceart - Right or Justice.

Republicans have still to achieve those three demands. That is the responsibility that Paddy Shanahan and men of his generation have placed firmly on our shoulders. That type of Ireland based on those three simple words has to be achieved by this generation of republicans.

That is the only fitting tribute to be paid to this unrepentant Fenian.

Paddy Shanahan was a patriot — he loved his country and its people.

May he rest in peace and may his family take comfort from the fact that as he said himself he lived a full and long life.

Deepest sympathy is extended to the family of Óglach Paddy Shanahan. To his sister Maggie, his sons Paddy and Seán, daughters Rita, Deirdre and Martina, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, to his many friends and his ex-prisoner comrades. Paddy's daughter Mary, who died in 1987, is also in our thoughts.

I measc laochra na nGael go raibh a anam cróga.


I nDíl Chuimhne

Aug. 16th 1973: Vol Daniel McAnallen, Tyrone Brigade; Aug. 16th 1973: Vol Patrick Quinn, Tyrone Brigade; Aug 16th 1991: Tommy Donaghy, Sinn Féin; Aug 18th 1971: Vol Eamonn Lafferty, Derry Brigade; Aug 19th 1971: Vol James O'Hagan, Derry Brigade; Aug 20th 1981: Vol Mickey Devine (INLA), Long Kesh; Aug 22nd 1972: Vol Noel Madden, Newry Brigade; Aug 22nd 1972: Vol Oliver Rowntree, Newry Brigade; Aug 22nd 1972: Vol Patrick Hughes, Newry Brigade. "I leave for the guidance of other Irish revolutionaries who may thread the path which I trod this advice, never to treat with the enemy, never to surrender at his mercy, but to fight to a finish." - Eamonn Ceannt. Forever and always remembered by their many friends and comrades in the Republican Movement.

HARVEY, Séamus; McGLYNN, Gerard (31st Ann). In proud and loving memory of Volunteers Séamus Harvey and Gerard McGlynn. From the Harvey/Connolly/Shanahan SF Cumann.

McANALLEN, Dan; QUINN, Patsy (21st Ann). In proud and honoured memory of Volunteer Patsy Quinn and Volunteer Dan McAnallen, Tyrone Brigade, Oglaigh na hÉireann, who were killed in action on 16 August 1973. Remembered by the West Tyrone OSF.

Ó SEANACHÁIN, Pádraig (13th Ann). In proud and loving memory of party member Pádraig Ó Seanacháin, who was murdered on 12 August 1991 by a pro-British death squad. Remembered always by West Tyrone OSF; From the Harvey/Connolly/Shanahan SF Cumann.


CAHILL. Deepest sympathy to the family and friends and comrades of Joe Cahill, a truly great republican. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. From the Clancy/O'Callaghan SF Cumann.


NAGLE. Birthday greetings to Walter Nagle, Castlerea Prison. From Donal de Búrca.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1