Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Newry Highwayman and Bob Dylan

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word dissident as being PROTESTANT.

Click HERE for Urban Dictionary definition of the word Baggot;

The newly appointed Brit headboy of the British police in the north of Ireland is Martin McGuinness's mate, Matt Baggot. He went to Dublin last week to speak at a press conference to criminalize republicans who will not take the Queen's shilling to become thugs, to enforce British law in Ireland.

Baggott, speaking in Dublin said of the "PROTESTANT" liberation movement.

"I think it's very helpful to see it as a criminal enterprise," he said.

Maybe Flann O'Brien from Strabane when he wrote "The Third Polceman" had a premonition of the arrival and statements of the illegal Brit headboy, when he wrote the following;

"Because a man can have more disease and germination in his gob than you'll find in a rat's arse,"


One of Ireland's best known dissidents was Bobby Sands, whom the British also tried to criminalize.

Bobby Sands was twenty-seven years of age and was sixty-six days on hunger strike when he died in the H Blocks of Long Kesh concentration camp, on the 5 May 1981. The young Volunteer spent the last nine years of his short life in this concentration camp. He became known world-wide by the time he died, having been elected to the Brit parliament, having withstood political torture to abandon his protest at criminalization by the British and their henchmen.

The hunger strike was aimed at rebutting the British government's attempts to criminalize the struggle for Irish freedom by changing the status of Sands and his fellow comrades from political to criminal status.

While behind bars, Sands secretly wrote on toilet paper and cigarette papers with the refill of a cheap pen that was hidden inside his body. These writings were then smuggled out of prison.

With humour, in prose and poetry, he wrote to preserve his identity against freezing cold, unimaginable filth, appalling beatings and numbing boredom. He conjures up vividly the enclosed hell of Long Kesh concentration camp, the harassment, and the humiliatingly invasive searches. Bobby Sands and his comrades were gripped by an iron system that held them at torture-point and yet their courage never faltered. He gave his life along with his comrades as political prisoners.

Despite a so called peace process, Irish political prisoners are still beaten savagely today while in prison without trial while their families are being terrorized by McGuinness's thugs as they do what families of Irish political prisoners have always done, gather support for their loved ones in British prisons.
Here is what Bobby Sands wrote just before he died -
"They will not criminalise us, rob us of our true identity, steal our individualism, depoliticise us, churn us out as systemised, institutionalised, decent law-abiding robots. Never will they label our liberation struggle as criminal.
I am (even after all the torture) amazed at British logic. Never in eight centuries have they succeeded in breaking the spirit of one man who refused to be broken. They have not dispirited, conquered, nor demoralised my people, nor will they ever.
I may be a sinner, but I stand — and if it so be, will die — happy knowing that I do not have to answer for what these people have done to our ancient nation.
Thomas Clarke is in my thoughts, and MacSwiney, Stagg, Gaughan, Thomas Ashe, McCaughey. Dear God, we have so many that another one to those knaves means nothing, or so they say, for some day they’ll pay.
When I am thinking of Clarke, I thought of the time I spent in ‘B’ wing in Crumlin Road jail in September and October ‘77. I realised just what was facing me then. I’ve no need to record it all, some of my comrades experienced it too, so they know I have been thinking that some people (maybe many people) blame me for this hunger-strike, but I have tried everything possible to avert it short of surrender.
I pity those who say that, because they do not know the British and I feel more the pity for them because they don’t even know their poor selves. But didn’t we have people like that who sought to accuse Tone, Emmet, Pearse, Connolly, Mellowes: that unfortunate attitude is perennial also…
I can hear the curlew passing overhead. Such a lonely cell, such a lonely struggle. But, my friend, this road is well trod and he, whoever he was, who first passed this way, deserves the salute of the nation. I am but a mere follower and I must say OĆ­che Mhaith."


Botanic Gardens Belfast, 19. 6. 1998

In Newry town where I was bred and born
In Stephen's Green now I lie in scorn.
I served my time there to the saddlers' trade
And I always was a roving blade.

At seventeen I took a wife,
And I loved her dearer than I loved my life
And for to keep her both fine and gay
I went a-robbin' on the king's highway.

I never robbed any poor man yet
Nor tradesman I caused to fret
But I robbed lords and their ladies at night
And carry all home to my heart's delight.

To Covent Garden I yook my way
With my dear wife for to see the play
Lord Fielding's men did me pursue
And taken was I by the cursed crew.

My father cried, "My darling son."
My wife she cried, "I am undone."
My mother tore her white locks and cried
That in the cradle I should have died.

When I am dead and in my grave
A flashy funeral pray let me have
Six highwaymen for to carry me
Give them broad swords and sweet liberty.

Six pretty fair maids to bear my pall
Give them grey ribbons and green garlands all
When I'm dead they will speak true
He was a wild and a wicked youth.

In Newry town where I was bred and born
In Stephen's Green now I lie in scorn.
I served my time there to the saddlers' trade
And I always was a roving blade.

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