Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Letter from Brendan Behan (1954)

 After Omagh Barracks raid, Brendan Behan wrote this letter to the Editor of "The Dublin Evening Mail" expressing his thoughts about the way in which the press misportrayed the op eration and the 8 volunteers arrested in the wake of the raid.

(Taken from page 59 of "The Letters of Brendan Behan.")

 3rd December, 1954

Sir- I should like to point out to some of your correspondents that:

(1) The IRA is not a sectarian organization.
(2) The district in which the raid was carried out was obviously not enemy territory as far as the raiders were concerned, for the men accused of it were greeted by such demonstrations of approval by the local populace, and their captors showered with so much abuse that, according to the newspaper reports, the streets of Omagh are now cleared before the treason felons-elect or British military, or police come within miles of the court.
(3) I don't know whether these men are the ones who raided Omagh Barracks, but they have as good a right, who ever did to try the old method of physical force in getting rid of England as the prudent members have to try their more modern (Redmond, Wooden bridge, 1914) method of promising England a hand in her next war for civilization, which, I presume, also means taking a half share in the belt of a hydrogen bomb.
(4) It is not fair to the lowest criminal to cry him down before the case is heard, much less give the green light to the british empire to do what she will to these men.

   Now I cannot claim even to be an external associate of theirs, but I am damn sure I am nearer the feelings of the less glib section of the people of Ireland, viz, the vast majority, who haven't got as much time as you and I to be writing to the papers, when I say in their regard:
"We love them yet, we can't forget
The felons of our land."

  Brendan Behan
  70 Kildare Road, Crumlin

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