May 21, 1994

Dublin republicans gathered today to mark the 12th anniversary of the death of Vol. Martin Doherty, who was killed in the act of preventing a UVF bomb attack on a Dublin pub.

Despite torrential rain, well over a hundred people turned up to pay their respects - and rightfully so, as many of them were among those whose lives Doco saved.

Had the UVF succeeded they would have caused an atrocity to dwarf Omagh and Dublin-Monaghan in scale. Everyone inside the crowded pub, everyone in adjacent premises, anyone walking by at the time could have been killed. It's important for non-republicans to remember that, when they're tempted to focus in on the "Volunteer" title in front of his name. His actions were heroic and should be viewed as such by all Dubliners regardless of political persuasion.

For all my friends and comrades whose lives you saved, Doco, thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.


Chris Gaskin said...

A nice tribute Wednesday, I wonder how many "Free Staters AKA PD's and Blue shirts" will be thinking about Martin today.

Gone but never forgotten

Gnarles said...

A little poem writted in the kindred spirit that inspired the strikers:

Flags high, ranks closed,
The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.
Comrades shot by the red front and reaction
march in spirit with us in our ranks.

The street free for the brown battalions,
The street free for the Storm Troopers.
Millions, full of hope, look up at the swastika;
The day breaks for freedom and for bread.

For the last time the call will now be blown;
For the struggle now we all stand ready.
Soon will fly Hitler-flags over every street;
Slavery will last only a short time longer.

Flags high, ranks closed,
The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.
Comrades shot by the red front and reaction
march in spirit with us in our ranks

Wednesday said...

The same comment in two different blogs Gnarles? You must have a lot of time on your hands.

Oh, and do pay attention, my post wasn't about the hunger strikers anyway.

Gnarles said...

Just a reminder in case you missed it the first time, old boy!

Wednesday said...

Neither a boy nor particularly old. As I said, do pay attention.

Gnarles said...

Just a reminder in case you missed it the first time, young man

Gnarles said...

or woman/transexual if the case may be

DaithiO said...

So Wednesday, which one is it ?


Anonymous said...

This Gnarls/snarls is a complete tit.

Let's remember a brave man died to save others.

Wednesday said...

My sentiments exactly!

Observer said...

Nice post, Wednesday.
Don't mind Gnarles.
He's not responsible for his actions, poor soul.
Can't seem to get his old marching songs out of his head.
The tribulations of age and a bygone glory.

The Dubliner said...

Remarkable people like Martin Doherty, while reminding us of what is great about the human spirit, also serve to remind us of our own shabby human limitations. I'm not sure what I would have done, but I'm damn sure that getting as far away from the bomb would have been near the top of my option list. If ever a man deserved a street to be renamed in his honour, it was surely Martin Doherty. It's the least Dublin can do.

Wednesday said...

That's a great idea Dubliner. Not sure which street (we're hardly going to rename the one on which he died, Pearse Street!) but certainly another street. Hopefully this can happen after the next local election when we have a majority on DCC :)

Jo said...

Is this guy an example of one of a "better" class of IRA men?

If he didnt actually kill anyone himself and if he did sacrifice hismelf as is being suggested, then I might be argued into agreeing with that one.

Wednesday said...

I think Doco would be the first to oppose any description of himself as a "better" class of IRA men.

However, the facts are precisely as stated: he took a bullet (several bullets actually) to save the lives of others.

You can read an impartial account of the event here

Jo said...

Well, the account is interesting.

My point would be that it would be very difficult indeed to put someone who sacrifices himself (as he apparently did, knowingly) into the same moral/military category as those (of a smilar political/military allegiance) who planted the bombs on Bloody Friday, blew up the Shankill fish shop, bombed La Mon & Enniskillen.

Dont forget the legions who would have been/were delighted to know that an IRA man died as martin did. Those people disgust me as well.

The Dubliner said...

Be careful not to refer to Jo's comments as pitiful attention-seeking, Wednesday, lest the delicate 35-year-old child suffers another one of her highly-entertaining mental meltdowns. ;)

Wednesday said...

Actually Jo, I have no difficulty whatsoever putting them in the same category, though I appreciate that others will feel differently.

And I hope there will be no mental meltdowns here, I have enough issues of my own to deal with ;)

Jo said...

I would be grateful if no more reference was made to "illness", please.

My partner and I have dealt with this issue completely and finally on our own blog.

Wednesday, I have a keen interest in ethics and moral issues and therefore the distinction to me is valid, although I can see how a political perception can muddy different moral situations.

I can see how Martin D. died heroically, saving others and I can commend anyone for that.

Less "heroic" to me is someone who had a choice, unlike him, and used that choice to attempt exactly the same sort of destruction, for a politcial end, as Martin prevented. Do you see my distinction?

Wednesday said...

Of course I can see the distinction that you're making. I just don't make it myself.

Jo said...


Therein lies the difference between politics and morality. :)

Wednesday said...

At Jo's request I have deleted a comment of Dubliner's which had to more to do with her than with the subject of this blog entry. I have remained largely out of the loop of that particular controversy and would prefer to remain that way, thanks very much.

Blogspot only allows me to delete comments outright, not edit them, but I thought there was a germ of a valid point at the end of the deleted comment and I would invite Dubliner to repost it if (s)he can do so in less of an ad hominem (or ad feminem in this case) manner.

Jo said...

Wednesday, I am obliged.

My point, at the risk of being tedious, is that Martin's murder highlighted for me a valid point about a moral concept - *heroism* - which, detached from all political context, is something, which as human beings, we can appreciate.

Thats what makes us human. You have highlighted, in your post, something about a man who I, along with many others, had forgotten. His life was lost in the (closeup/personal) defence of others. He differs from those (with whom he shared a military collegiality) for me.

Depending on your views, there is a Place for him. And, in case of misunderstanding, I don't believe it is a hot one. :) Rest.

  Subscribe with Bloglines