As I posted earlier this is my late mothers birthday
Naturally on such a day I would be thinking about her and her life. It was a life of dedication to her country and her family.
As I was thinking off her this came to mind.
My mother was never one to seek publicity or any public acknowledgement for the things she did both as A young girl or as a mother, when the call was made to step up to play her part in Ireland’s struggle for freedom that was something she knew she had to do, and it was also something her mother and father did without thought, in fact her father died in the early 20th century (1915) after an assault by the RIC as he led a strike of the low dockers in Belfast, and was closely connected to James Connolly during that period of Irish history.
That tradition was to continue for the rest off her life until she died in 1983.
There was one incident that I have a clear memory off and it was 1957 as my two elder brothers were in Crumlin road jail Billy was interned and John was sentenced to 8 years as a political prisoner
A person came to our house one Friday night he was on a little moped thing wore kid leather gloves at the time I did not get his name, but it turned out be one of the Cahill family from the Falls Road and he had come to offer what was called the prisoner dependants fund (PDF ) money, I don’t know the amount involved but whatever it was my mother and father refused it and asked the person to leave “saying that we dont want your money and please do not come back.”
At that time we were feeding half the jail with their weekly fruit parcels, but I think there was more to it than that, as one of our close friends was Harry Cordner who was with Joe Cahill and Tom Williams in the condemned cell for the shooting of a RUC officer in the Clonard area of west Belfast, as there was some comments about that and how Tom Williams was to be hanged for this event, but in any event west Belfast so called republicans where not welcome in our house.
That brings me to the real reason for this post. As my mother was being laid to rest she had a large funeral from St Patricks church in Donegal street and over Mill Field to Davis street and up the Falls road to the cemetery.
It was on our way back down the Falls Road from the cemetery that my brother Billy ran into Gerry Adams who passed the comments that he never knew that my mother was a republican !!
Billy then told him that republicans don’t all live on the Falls road and it took men like him and my brother John from North Belfast to organise the defence the Falls road in 1969 as he and his friends sat in the long bar in Lesson street as homes where being burned out and people killed