The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

False Memory Syndrome


Ray McAreavey • 28 August 2006

Reading the article on the Commemoration of the Hunger Strikers in Donegal, I concluded that memories are useful things to have, especially if those said memories conflict with other people's versions.

I will here make an announcement that will have people throwing up.

I was once a member of the N. I. Labour Party. I helped canvass for Paddy and dear old Vivian and the rest of the crew. I was a trade unionist. As a French Polisher my workmates had elected me shop steward. That meant I did all the complaining to the boss that they wanted me to complain about, therefore ensuing that I would be first out the door the first chance he had.

It had its upsides as well. The clubrooms in Waring Street had a bar that opened a whole hour later than the pubs. I met Luke Kelly while I was there and we sang Joe Hill and The Red Flag and felt ourselves heroes of the proletariat.

Cue a Thursday night in August 1969.

I was up Cupar Street with about ten or twelve other lads my same age. Two of them were mates, Seamus Watson and Marty Carson. In front of us were upwards of a thousand "loyalists" fronted by the good ol' RUC attired in riot gear.

Something struck me as odd. They were facing us instead of the crowd behind them.

Behind us, at the Diamond Picture House, was about the same number of our crowd, urging us on to deeds of great valour.

We had been there a long time heaving anything we could get our hands on at the mob in front of us. There were so many you couldn't miss. Then a guy appeared behind us in the middle of the road, took out a flare and lit it, shouted "IRA!"

He then fired about six shots from a revolver into the air, while myself and a few others were shouting at him to shoot the #uckers in front of us.

Just after that the first petrol bomb went into the first house. Luckily the people far up Cupar Street had correctly envisaged what might happen and had cleared out. We were swamped by the loyalists and were lucky to make it to the bottom of the street.

They were stopped by a few well-aimed petrol bombs.

The warfare, for that was what it was by this time, carried on.

It was about three o'clock in the morning, when Sammy Lennon and myself, armed with petrol bombs, were outside the De La Salle Brother's home, when the first Shorlands made their appearance.

I looked at Sammy. Time to go.

After that it was barricade time. Everyone enthusiastically got tore in to making them.

After about a couple of days everyone was talking about what they had done.

Every manjack of them had been up Cupar Street or elsewhere and would fight to the death anyone who disputed it. Shades of the ATC's, I think, or their precursors.

So you see, Mr McIntyre, people will have their memories.

That they are blatant lies is neither here nor there.

Until Richard O'Rawe set the cat among the pidgeons, there was a lot of consensus about the Hunger Strikes.

As a gable wall in Oakman Street proclaims, "History is written by the victors" — the words of Miriam Daly.


But we have no victors.

























Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.
- Frank Zappa

Index: Current Articles

3 September 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Sinn Fein: Or the Party of Symbolic Republicanism
David Kruidenier

Public Commitment or Public Relations
Martin Galvin

Suits You, Sir
John Kennedy

False Memory Syndrome
Ray McAreavey

True Faith
Eamon Sweeney

Not the Cathal Goulding I Knew
Liam O Comain

Dark Days Ahead
John Kennedy

Return to Conflict No Alternative
David Adams

Sir Reg's Party Games
Anthony McIntyre

A Secret History of Irish Music
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Unionism's Favourite Nationalist
Dr John Coulter

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 7
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 8
Michael Gillespie

Trotsky and the Ghetto of the Sects
Mick Hall

Global Conscience Not US Capital: The Case for Liberal Intervention
Gabriel Glickman

Letter to Bertie
Michael McKevitt Justice Campaign

27 August 2006

The Price of Our Memory
Anthony McIntyre

In the Balance
John Kennedy

The Time for Revolutionary Marxism is NOW
Darren Cogavin

No! To A Holy War
Liam O Comain

Rendition Collusion
Eoin McGrath

Rendition Flights
John Kennedy

An Open Letter to Martina Anderson
Dr John Coulter

An Honest Writer: Cristóir Ó Floinn
Seaghán Ó Murchú

A Dual Presidency: An Improbable Solution to the Irish Problem
Michael Gillespie

Michéal Mhá Dúnnáin

Petition Calling for a Referendum on Irish Unification
Patrick Lismore

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 5
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 6
Michael Gillespie

Number Crunching
Dr John Coulter

PFI Ventures Show the Con in all its Sordid Splendour
Anthony McIntyre



The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices