Songs For Our Heroes is an album dedicated to the men and woman who gave their lives for the struggle of freedom in Ireland. 15 tracks and 18 songs of the best known Irish rebel songs are recorded for your enjoyment. Hope you enjoy!!
“The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally.” The 1916 Proclamation
One of the reasons we recorded this album is so that people do not forget what happened in our past! We are proud Irish men and will always be. We want to share our songs with the people of the world so they too can hear the story of Ireland though song! On the front cover of our album there is a photograph of three men from left to right:
Kevin Barry: "It is nothing, to give one’s life for Ireland. I’m not the first and maybe I won’t be the last. What’s my life compared with the cause?”
Joseph (Joe) McDonnell 14 September 1951 - 8 July 1981
Joe McDonnell was born on Slate Street in the lower Falls Road of Belfast, and was one of 10 children. He went to a Roman Catholic school which was nearby. In 1970, he married Goretti, and moved into her sister's house in Lenadoon. There were only two Catholic houses in this predominantly Protestant housing estate, and the house was attacked on numerous occasions.
McDonnell was arrested in Operation Demetrius and interned on the prison ship HMS Maidstone along with Gerry Adams and others. He was later moved to HMP Maze for several months. Upon release he joined the Provisional IRA Belfast Brigade. McDonnell met Bobby Sands in the run up to an IRA firebomb attack on the Balmoral Furnishing Company. During the ensuing shoot-out between the IRA and the police and British Army, both men along with Séamas Finucane and Seán Lavery were arrested. McDonnell and the other men were sentenced to 14 years in prison for possession of a firearm. None of the men accepted the jurisdiction of the court.
McDonnell agreed with the goals of the 1981 Irish hunger strike, namely: the right not to wear a prison uniform; the right not to do prison work; the right of free association with other prisoners; the right to organize their own educational and recreational facilities and the right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week. He doubted, however, the need to go on hunger strike, believing that a campaign of disobedience would achieve the objective.
Although McDonnell was not involved in the first (1980) hunger strike, he joined Bobby Sands and the others in the second (1981) hunger strike. During the strike he fought the general election in the Republic of Ireland, and only narrowly missed election to the Sligo-Leitrim constituency.
He went 61 days without food before dying on 8 July 1981. He had two children. His wife Goretti took an active part in the campaign in support of the hunger strikers.
McDonnell was buried in the grave next to Bobby Sands at Milltown Cemetery. John Joe McGirl, McDonnell's election agent in Sligo-Leitrim, gave the oration at his funeral. Quoting Patrick Pearse, he stated "He may seem the fool who has given his all, by the wise men of the world; but it was the apparent fools who changed the course of Irish history".
James Connolly:At his court martial, Connolly made the following statement
"We want to break the connection between this country and the British Empire, and to establish an Irish Republic. "
With reference to the uprising, Connolly stated:
"We succeeded in proving that Irishmen are ready to die endeavouring to win for Ireland those national rights which the British government has been asking them to die to win for Belgium. As long as that remains the case, the cause of Irish freedom is safe. I personally thank God that I have lived to see the day when thousands of Irish men and boys, and hundreds of Irish women and girls, were ready to affirm that truth, and to attest it with their lives if need be"
James Connolly was sentenced to death. Some of the employers with whom he had battled in the ‘Great Lock-Out’ of 1913, called on the British government to execute Connolly.
On May 12th,1916, Connolly was shot by firing squad. He had been taken by military ambulance to Kilmainham Prison, carried on a stretcher to a courtyard in the prison, tied to a chair and shot. With the other executed rebels, his body was put into a mass grave with no coffin. All the executions of the rebels angered many Irish people who had shown little support for the rebels during the rebellion. However, it was the circumstances of Connolly’s execution that created the most anger. In death, Connolly and the other rebels had succeeded in rousing many Irish people who had been, at best, indifferent to the rebels and their desires when they had been alive.
On the inside cover you have a Limerick man:
Sean South: He is mostly widely known as Sean South from Garryowen. There have even been several songs written to his honor under this misconception. In reality South was from O'Connell avenue in Limerick, but due to the poetic license of Seán Costello also a Limerickman He'll forever be linked with Garryowen.Seán Sabhat also known as Sean South born in 1929 and was shot down by the Royal Ulster Constabularly. in an action in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh on new years eve 1957 during what was know as the "Border Campaign" by the IRA from 1956 - 1962.
South was a relatively young man when he was killed. In his short and tragic life he had been a clerk for some time before joining An Rialt the Irish speaking chapter of the Legion of Mary. South received most of his military training during his service with An Fòrsa Cosanta Áitiúil (F.C.A.) The Irish Army Reserve.Due to his military experience he was given command of a Flying I.R.A. Column.
South's Column had devised a raid on the Royal Ulster Constabularly barracks in Brookeborough to secure much needed guns to resupply the Irish Republican Army which was running low on weaponery and ammunition. His column which consisted of 14 volunteers planned to detonate two improvised mines to breach the barrack's defenses while the truck containing the rest of the raiders would pull up and secure the building and weapons, However things went terribly wrong. Sean South and Fergal O'Hanlon went to plant the mines but they failed to detonate. This gave the RUC Officers inside time to return fire killing them both in the street. To make matters worse the truck had pulled up next to the wrong house and were completely exposed. When the botched raid was over Volunteers South, and O'Hanlon were dead, and 4 other volunteers of South's column were wounded.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Irish history, so if you enjoy the songs and music look up the history of Ireland for an indept view into why we still sing our rebel songs!!
Dreams OF Freedom