John McDonagh RFÉ 13 January 2018

Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City

John McDonagh offers condolences and comment on the death of Rosaleen Sands. (May she rest in peace.) (begins time stamp ~ 10:14)

John:   Radio Free Éireann sends its condolences out to the Sands Family and we have a long connection with the Sands Family, in particular with Bernadette – that when she came over to New York she did the show up at WBAI and she got to meet and hang out with Grandpa Al Lewis and go around the tri-state area and we’ve often had her on as a guest throughout the ’80’s and ’90’s and it was a valuable resource to have them.

Rosaleen Sands in 1981
Photo: 1798GreenFlag1916

But with the death of the mother you see a lot of the hypocrisy that’s going on in people sending out different condolences and particularly irritating – there’s an organisation out of Belfast called the Bobby Sands Trust which is run by, on the board of directors, by a millionaire named Gerry Adams and also Danny Morrison – and they issued a statement of condolences. But if they really were sincere about the condolences they would finish-up the Bobby Sands Trust and not do and sell his life and legacy into books and films and I just wanted to read a statement that the Sands Family had put out and you can get it in The Guardian.

It says:

The Sands Family once again reiterates that the Bobby Sands Trust does not act on behalf of Bobby, nor does it represent our family, in any way, shape or form. We again call upon the trust to disband and to desist from using Bobby’s memory as a commercial enterprise.

So, if they really want to send condolences they can wind-up and give back all the writings of Bobby Sands back to the Sands Family.
(ends time stamp ~ 11:50)

John McDonagh RFÉ 1 July 2017

Radio Free Éireann
WBAI 99.5FM Pacifica Radio
New York City
listen on the internet: wbai.org Saturdays Noon EST

John McDonagh alerts us to a problem in Donegal over access to the Great Arch on the Fanad Peninsula. (begins time stamp ~ 11:50)

John:   Yes, and then one other topic I wanted to bring up: Anyone that listens to Radio Free Éireann – we know you’re going over this summer and we always push the west of Ireland and to get out of Dublin. And there’s that old saying: What’s the best thing that ever came out of Dublin? And it’s the road out of it!

So if you land in Dublin head to the west of Ireland. I’ve done shows with David McGowan who has a glamping site in South Sligo where he brought in a plane just to bring some publicity to that part of that – Sligo. And then just recently I just got back, I was in Donegal Town, the Reel Bar, r-e-e-l, is voted the most, the best Irish pub in Ireland, in Donegal Town. And one of the reasons I love it is they have a poster of Brian Mór, the founder of Radio Free Éireann, hanging up in the bar. And I would recommend anybody heading to Donegal Town to go to that.

The Great Pollet Sea Arch Source: Donegal Democrat Date: 2 July 2017

But I’ve been going for the past couple of years to the Fanad Peninsula, to the lighthouse which has just opened there, and one of the other tourists sites there is called the Great Arch. And it’s a bit difficult to get to ’cause you have to go through fields to get down to the beach. But it’s a natural thing that happened – that’s in that part of Donegal. Well an American bought a plot of land there and he has now closed it off because he will not give right-of-way to tourists to go down there and he’s hurting tourism there.

Fanad Arch Turnstyle Source: Donegal Daily Date: 22 June 2017

And there’s a little turnstyle that goes into the field. He has now blocked it up with cement and there’s been protests going on and it’s actually been raised in the Dáil and I want to give people alert: Please still go to the area. They hope to resolve it very shortly. And go to that Fanad Peninsula and Inishowen and the Bloody Foreland up there and go and support the west of Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Way. (ends time stamp ~13:36)

The Bloody Foreland, County Donegal
Photo: wildatlanticway.com