Shot at Dawn
15 June 2011:
It is regrettable that the efforts of the Shot at Dawn Campaigns continue to be misunderstood and in some cases misrepresented by different contributors both on discussion boards and in media outlets. In 1998, the British Shot at Dawn Pardons Campaign was effectively dead in the water as a result of John Reid's refusal to countenance any pardons : See British soldiers executed in First World War denied official pardon. Following a telephone call in June 2001 from the coordinator of the Shot at Dawn Pardons Campaign in the UK which confirmed that his campaign effort was effectively going backwards one decided to set up a separate Irish Shot at Dawn Campaign and it was agreed and understood by those in the UK that to be effective the Irish group would have to be totally separate from the British campaign and organised and managed from within the Republic of Ireland and to include the whole Island of Ireland. It was the Irish SAD Campaign effort that made the difference and but for the Irish input the Shot at Dawn Pardons Campaign efforts in the UK would still be languishing in the cul-de-sac of the British political and legal system ad infinitum. The Shot at Dawn Campaign Irl founded and co-ordinated from Dublin was an independent Irish based group and was never a part or an adjunct of the British Shot at Dawn Pardons Campaign. The Shot at Dawn Campaign Ireland and the Shot at Dawn Pardons Campaign in the UK were always two separate and distinct entities; ie one Irish Campaign and one British Campaign independent of each other albeit in pursuit of the same objective. Our unique Irish identity was a major contributing factor and was one of the main reasons why the Irish SAD Campaign was so successful in attracting support. As some pundits continue to ignore or minimise the Irish Governments role towards the successful resolution of the pardons issue in 2006, the following inter-alia might be taken into account whenever discussions arise as to who did what and when:
Re an Irish Pardon for Irish born British soldiers Shot at Dawn:
Case - A Cause Célèbre ?:
1. The Irish Government Report was diverted down a British legal cul-de-sac before any political response could be extracted from the British Government which suited the MoD agenda at the time;
2. Initiated the 'room for argument' principle via the conditional pardon route...legally capping future British political outcomes to the pardons issue;
3. Legally and politically ruled out any chance of ever achieving a full pardon for all 306 Shot at Dawn, to the detriment of our families;
3. Undermined the Irish Shot at Dawn Campaign effort.
inconceivable that some individuals in the UK were unaware of the
preparation for the Farr case as expert knowledge was needed to prepare
the legal briefs. The facts are, the Farr Pro Bono application in May
2005 is responsible for blocking the full pardon route for all 306 world
war one Shot at Dawn, thereby eliminating the possibility of a full
pardon for our 26 Irish Shot at Dawn. The Farr case had never reached a
final conclusion or gone forward for a full hearing to test their legal
argument for a conditional pardon and for commentators et al in the UK
and elsewhere to flag the Farr case as a Cause Célèbre is at the very
least imprudent and a British distortion of the facts. Indeed those who
promulgate that view do an unacceptable injustice to the legacy of John Hipkin
the founder of the Shot at Dawn Pardons Campaign who campaigned
assiduously for Pardons from the very outset.
RTE Television - Would You Believe - Shot at Dawn 9th November 2008:
A programme on Irish born British soldiers executed during the period of the Great War 1914-18 for military offences, was broadcast on RTE Television on the 9th of November 2008 to launch the RTE WW1 Commemorative project re Irish involvement in the Great War. All those executed for military offences were pardoned by the British Government in November 2006.
Irish Shot at Dawn Memorials:
Rue de Florent Mazingarbe France: On the 11 November 2007 the Mayor of Mazingarbe unveiled a memorial plaque designed in Dublin and which the local council workers had kindly constructed dedicated to Irish Shot at Dawn Soldier Private James Graham from Cork, who was executed in Mazingarbe on the 21 December 1915. James along with the other Shot at Dawn was pardoned in November 2006 by the British Parliament;
Englebelmer Communal Cemetery Englebelmer Somme France: With permission of the Mayor of Englebelmer a memorial plaque designed and constructed in Dublin along with a cross was placed in this cemetery on the 17 May 2011 by the Shot at Dawn Campaign Irl. One of the Irish Shot at Dawn, Private James Cassidy, was executed on Sunday 23 July 1916 in the field at the back of the communal cemetery. James is buried in the adjacent CWGC Military Cemetery; Mazingarbe and Englebelmer are the only two locations that commemorate the Irish Shot at Dawn as a distinct group of casualties of WW1.
Irish Shot at Dawn remembered each year by the NUJ on Remembrance Sunday:
9 October 2011: Following on from the successful Irish Shot at Dawn Campaign in which the Irish government played a key role the NUJ offered to place a wreath on behalf of the Shot at Dawn Campaign Irl each year on Cenotaph Parade with the text chosen here in Ireland. The National Union of Journalists of Great Britain and Ireland have steadfastly honoured that commitment to lay a wreath in the union's colours of white, green and gold in remembrance of all the Shot at Dawn along with an Irish flag (to respect those born in what is now the Republic of Ireland) during the annual service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London in memory of those Irish born British soldiers executed for battlefield offences under the British Army Act, thereby ensuring that Irish victims of draconian British military discipline during world war one will not be forgotten. Through their act of remembrance the NUJ and their esteemed membership continue to speak on behalf of those who could not stand the tumult of battle and who now rest in eternal silence on the battlefields of WW1.
Cenotaph Parade London Sunday 13 November 2011:
Mr George McIntyre, Chairman Newcastle Branch National Union of Journalists - former national president NUJ and Member of Honour NUJ and NUJ Liaison Officer to the Shot at Dawn Pardons Campaign, placed a wreath at the Cenotaph in Remembrance of the Irish Shot at Dawn along with the NUJ wreath in memory of all journalists killed in pursuit of the truth.
2012/2013 Centenary Newcastle Branch of the National Union of Journalists:
In 2012/2013 the Newcastle Branch of the National Union of Journalists will celebrate its centenary. As part of their celebrations the Branch commissioned a banner to be paraded in the Miners gala and other trade union events throughout the year. The dedication service for the Newcastle Branch Centenary banner which also features the Shot at Dawn white-centred poppy took place on the 30 September 2012 in Newcastle. The Shot at Dawn Campaign Irl contributed the following few words in gratitude for their support throughout the Irish campaign.
"On behalf of the Shot at Dawn Campaign Irl I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Newcastle Branch of the National Union of Journalists as you celebrate your centenary in the coming 12 months. The Centenary banner which features the Shot at Dawn Campaign white-centred poppy is a distinct reminder that where there is an injustice the Newcastle Branch of the National Union of Journalists will in the very best tradition of your trade union constructively analyse the issues and make it possible for the voice of the voiceless to be heard. You have also steadfastly honoured your commitment to lay a wreath during the annual service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London in memory of those Irish born British soldiers executed for battlefield offences under the British Army Act, thereby ensuring that the Irish are included as victims of British military discipline during world war one. Through your act of remembrance your esteemed membership continue to speak on behalf of all those who could not stand the tumult of battle and who now rest in eternal silence on the battlefields of World War One. On behalf of the Irish families we thank you all (Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léar)".
NUJ Wreaths - Cenotaph London - 9 November 2014
George Macintyre, Newcastle branch NUJ chairman and treasurer David Baines continued the union’s 13-year attendance at the Remembrance Day parade at the Cenotaph in London and placed Wreaths at the Cenotaph.
Wreath Laying - Dublin - 18 November 2014
On Tuesday 18 November 2014 at 10.15am, an official wreath laying event was held in memory of the Shot at Dawn at the Irish War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, Dublin. Mr George Macintyre placed a wreath on behalf of the National Union of Journalists (Great Britain and Ireland) Shot at Dawn Pardons Campaign and recited the Ode to the Fallen at the altar stone in memory of all those executed for alleged battlefield offences in the 1914-1918 war. Piper Stef O'Reilly, former Pipe Band Sergeant, lrish Army, piped two laments in memory of the fallen during this event.
Article - Ireland on Sunday - May 2004: One Law for the Lions, Another for the Donkeys
Article: Express & Star - 27 October 2016 - Pardons at Last For Soldiers Shot at Dawn