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I applaud the 100,000 people who marched against water charges in Dublin this weekend. It's an all too rare occurrence in Ireland for people to get out and protest. Too often people lay back and take whatever is handed to them and even now there are those that argue what we shouldn't complain, shouldn't protest and should just accept it. This protest was a great event...
The death of the brothers Patrick and Harry Loughnane in November, 1920, was one of the more gruesome crimes carried out by British forces during the War of Independence. It was, however, far from an isolated incident. Patrick and Harry were from Shanaglish near Kinvara in Co. Galway and were staunch republicans. Both were members of the IRA and were involved in Sinn Fein and the local Gaelic Athletic Association and seemed to be, by all accounts, talented hurlers. They were not in high up positions, although Patrick outranked his younger brother, and were similar to many other IRA members known to the authorities of the day. The exact reasons as to why they were selected for such harsh treatment may never be known. It may easily have been someone else. Maybe they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. What is interesting about this crime is that in involved, at times, the RIC, the Black and Tans and the Auxilleries. All were involved. On 26th November 1920, they were arrested while working on their family farm by the Black and Tans. They were taken to Drumharsna Castle where they were tortured over a period of days. They were then taken out to the nearby Moy O'Hynes woods and shot. Their family were told that they had escaped. Their bodies were eventually found severely mutilated. Harry has fingers missing and his arm was so badly broken at the shoulder that the arm was hanging off. Patrick's legs and wrists were all broken. They also had IV (Irish Volunteer) carved across their bodies. They were also burned badly and most of their heads were missing from having grenades detonated in their mouths. They were given a republican funeral with volleys of rifle shots being fired over their grave plots. Pictures were taken to show what the authorities had done to them.
Acts like this peppered the Irish War of Independence and serve to show us why imperialism is wrong. Such things should not be forgotten, because we are entering times when acts like this and some more horrific are becoming more common place across the world. We need constant reminders about...