Tuesday, November 13, 2007

from Volume 2 of Don Akenson's "An Irish History of Civilization"--


Terror as a means to a religious, political or ideological goal has only one articulated justification, and it stays the same no matter what language expresses it.

The Chester Castle mastermind, American Irish Captain John McCafferty, out of prison on amnesty, continues his campaign. His methods are now more ruthless.

He is the untraceable "No. 1" who puts together the invincibles. Their hacking to death of T.H. Burke and Lord Frederick Cavendish in the Phoenix Park in May 1882 was intended to be the start of a program of political assassinations in Ireland and England. They would bleed the enemy like a butcher sticks a squealing pig. Cut short after the Invincibles' first mission leads to his operatives being caught, McCafferty coolly slides away, and leaves a bogus "No. 1" in his place. As far as the authorities are concerned, McCafferty no longer exists.

Yet, in Paris, planning and raising funds, he gives an interview to The Irishman.

McCafferty declares, is the lawful weapon of the weak against the strong." "

from The House of Commons in 1874

"When turned loose from Portland, McCafferty went down on his knees outside the prison gates, cursed the Governor, the prison system, the British Government, and vowed revenge on all.

The Governor forced him back to his cell, and wired the Home Office for instruction. McCafferty, in consequence, had to spend many more years in Portland. Ultimately he was set free, and when he arrived in America, so secretly did he work, that his name does not appear in the list of 'Parnell's American Auxiliaries,' prepared for The Times by its experts at the Forgery Commission of 1888.

He was not even mentioned by the spy, Le Cron, in his evidence at the Commission. McCafferty never attended a public meeting in America, or identified himself with the Irish movement. Whispers, however, reached us that he was thought to be an inspirer of the "Invincible" Society, which brought about the murder of the Chief Secretary, Lord Frederick Cavendish; and the Under-Secretary Burke in the Phoenix Park on the 6th May, 1882.

The Times in 1887-8 aimed at saddling Parnell with these murders.

The brief of Attorney-General Webster, endorsed by "Soames, Edwards and Jones, solicitors, 58 Lincoln's Inn Fields," mentions as "Parnell's American Auxiliaries" all released prisoners active in America, viz., T. F. Bourke, E. O'M. Condon, John Devoy, T. C. Luby, Mackey-Lomasney, O'Donovan Rossa, and Stephen J. Meany. (The last-named in the Crimean War wrote "The Red, White and Blue," once a popular chant in England.)

No one thought of McCafferty, the silent Confederate soldier. His name is unspoken and unknown. Yet, like the Persian cobbler who, with his awl, brought down the Shah's Ministers, he may have been the chief pursuer of revenge..."

from Joyce Images

"That was why they thought the park murders of the invincibles was done by foreigners on account of them using knives." (U16.590)

On May 6th 1882, Thomas Henry Burke (Permanent Under Secretary for Ireland) and Lord Frederick Cavendish (newly appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland) were murdered in Phoenix Park by members of the Invincibles, a radical Irish nationalist secret society. Cavendish had just arrived in Ireland, and the two men were on their way to the Viceregal Lodge. The killers used surgical knives: rather than stabbed, the victims were slashed with long cuts all over their body. Dr. Thomas Myles, surgeon at the nearby Steevens's Hospital, was summoned -to no avail- for medical assistance to the victims..."

Phoenix Park Murders - Wikipedia