One day in the late 1960s, when we thought we’d heard the chimes of freedom flashing, I drove to Dublin with [John] McGuffin and the American anarchist Jerry Rubin. A mile or so out of Newry, McGuffin explained to the fabled member of the Chicago Seven that the town we were approaching was in the grip of revolution. The risen people had turned en masse to anarchism. We’d better barrel on through. If we stopped for a moment the fevered proletariat would surely engulf us…
Down were in the All-Ireland final that weekend. Every house, lamppost and telegraph pole was festooned with red-and-black flags. Rubin was agog, at risk of levitation when we passed under banners strung across the streets, reading, "Up Down!"
"These people really got the revolutionary ethic", enthused the ecstatic Rubin.
"As much as yourself, comrade", allowed the gracious McGuffin.
That’s from Eamonn McCann who I remember as one of the hardy perennials of the undergraduate debating circuit. You could invite him to debat eanything vguley left-wing, northern or republican and he could be relied on to turn-up and be good value. By my reckoning this particular outbreak of revolutionary fervor must have taken place in 1968 when Down defeated Kerry in the all-Ireland final. Further outbreaks occurred in 1991, 1994 and 2010.
UPDATE: Commenters are right to correct me – Down beat Kerry in the 1968 final. Have edited post to correct this.
Tags: Anarchism, Ireland