Donnchadh ó Laoghaire: Sinn Fein is now a serious player in every part of this island.

10 views

Continuing on with our series of reports from elections in the Irish Republic, Sinn Fein candidate for Ballincollig Carrigaline in Cork, Donnchadh ó Laoghaire, writes for Slugger about Sinn Fein’s performance…

The first person I ever voted for was Henry Cremin in the 2007 General election. I didn’t really know him, though I might have met him once or twice. Mostly I knew him by reputation. Henry wasn’t a councillor at the time, but was known in my own neighbourhood in Togher, and the surrounding area, as the local Sinn Féin guy.

The general perception you got was of a sound, gregarious, on the ground worker, with time for everyone, and who everyone had time for. He didn’t fit the media image of the sinister Shinner. Just an ordinary working class guy doing his bit for his community.

That perception of the local SF guy probably informed my decision to vote Sinn Féin, and to join Sinn Féin when I started in UCC a month or two later, though there were plenty of other factors too.

That General Election wasn’t an ideal result for Sinn Féin, though Henry polled a pretty respectable vote. One of the first events I went to was a review following the elections, above in the Glen Resource Centre.

The result didn’t take a whole pile out of Henry. He’d been around the block a few times, long time activist, a small set back, what odds, the long run was the main thing, greater challenges than this had been surmounted.

I often wonder what people like Henry, who can remember when Sinn Féin would have been very marginal to politics in Cork, would have thought 10, 15 or more years ago, if you had told him where the party would be in 2014.

The response we are getting on the doors, is better than anything I can remember. That’s the fairly standard, boilerplate thing you expect anyone from any party to say, but look, I’m pretty sure it’s true. Every Sinn Féin candidate running has got a shot at being elected, and I’m one of two candidates in my own area.

There are new opportunities, and new challenges. From my perspective, more and more people are hearing our message, and coming around to our way of thinking. They are identifying the considerable inequalities in Irish society, and they view the way the deficit is being closed, even leaving aside the manifest injustice of paying debts not our own, as unfair. And especially in working class areas, the biggest issue of all for many, is the housing crisis. Overcrowding, poor maintenance by Councils, people on housing lists for years on end. It has created homelessness and squalor for many, but frustration, anger and disenchantment among practically all on lower incomes.

And since you ask, the few nights since Gerry Adams’ arrest, the only context in which it comes up, is usually to tell us how cynical they thought it was, and that they won’t be changing their mind. And wasn’t that Mary Lou fabulous in the PAC…

But there are also the voters who just hardly see the point anymore. After turning their fury on Fianna Fáil in 2011, they see now a Government that, they feel, has just been about more of the same. Sometimes I manage to persuade them that they need to vote, and that’s how things change, and how to keep politicians in check.

But sometimes, they just won’t be persuaded. They have lost hope in Irish politics. I often feel that the biggest challenge which faces Sinn Féin, and perhaps politics generally, is to give people hope. That this isn’t just about voting in some Shinners to provide a robust opposition, but that things can change, that a better way is possible. I’m sure that may sound idealistic and you may roll your eyes to your hears content, but I wouldn’t be spending my time knocking on doors if I didn’t believe it.

Convincing other people of that is sometimes more challenging, but the disenchantment with the whole political system is something we all need to take note of, and try to halt it.

There’s less than three weeks to go. Sinn Féin candidates all over the country will be out and knocking on doors, there has never been a better time to be knocking on doors for Sinn Féin, and we fully intend to make the most of that. More and more people are considering putting their trust in us. For my part, I hope they take that step, and that we get the chance to deliver for people, and that’s the real test.

There’s people saying Henry Cremin could top the poll. I don’t know, part of me thinks that might be other parties putting the word around to make the case to give their candidate the number 1 instead of the number 2. We’ll see in a few weeks what will happen.

But no man deserves it more, and if it does come to pass, it would be the perfect illustration of how Sinn Féin is now a serious player in every part of this island, that won’t be going away anytime soon.

, , , ,

  • Charles_Gould

    Where I can identify with this post is the need for a better left in southern politics. Southern politics has a weak left – that is why the tax system and the system generally seems to benefit the rich more than it should and that one hears a lot of anti-public-sector views expressed from down there.

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    And? Is there a point to this post?

  • Politico68

    Dissenter…

    There is a point if you want to see it. There’s not if you don’t.

  • Granni Trixie

    From the above looks like the intimidation and maiming promoted by the IRA many of whom are the Big People in SF is brushed from your consciousness. Bit of a moral problem for some I trust.

  • Dixie Elliott

    It’s about SF knocking at doors. I take it they ring the odd doorbell as well?

    Well Gerry’s managed to keep the awkward pre-election questioning on policy pushed to the back of the queue by the ‘Heres Gerry’ media frenzy he created himself…

  • Tochais Síoraí

    ‘Irish Republic’? This is Slugger – What other republic could it be?

  • http://igaeilge.wordpress.com Concubhar

    Donnchadha is welcome to his politics and his aspirations of giving people hope. While I appreciate there are many genuine people in SF, the party is not above the gombeen trickery of its fellow parties in the Establishnent. Donnchadh was recently appointed by his party to take a vacant seat on the board of Foras na Gaeilge. This is one of the seats SF has by virtue of its seats in the NI assembly. Donnchadh is from Cork and standing in Cork’s local elections. He a able to devote more time to electoral politics because he gets paid a stipend by Foras na Gaeilge. At the same time the Foras has awarded all major funding decisions to Southern based organisations to the exclusion of northern groups though Foras styles itself as an All Ireland body. Power corrupts.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Granni Trixie

    “intimidation and maiming promoted by the IRA”

    I was shocked to find out that republicans in Tyrone generally supported Michael Collins over Dev.

  • http://www.thedissenter.co.uk thedissenter

    Nope. Someone going to have to help here. What’s the point of the post?

  • Granni Trixie

    McS

    I haven’t a clue as to what you are getting at…forgive my ignorance.

  • Dixie Elliott

    In todays Irish News….

    “Gerry Adams’s arrest trapped me inside a violent/peaceful frame and it worried me deeply because I knew not only was it morally wrong to respond to Gerry’s arrest in any other way but peacefully…”

    Jim Gibney

    The rest of the article was gibberish and it’s purpose was to be able to use Bobby Sands’ Quote as a heading – ‘Our Revenge will be the Laughter of our Children’ – but halfway through he lost the plot completely and sycophantically.

    “trapped me inside a violent/peaceful frame..”

    Could no one have called him aside with a – Come ere Jim a wee minute, this is utter nonsense – arm over his shoulder?

  • Granni Trixie

    Dixie

    You put it politely with me it was more like “pass the boke bag”.

    But then Jim tends to sentimentalise stories to do with his masters.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Granni Trixie

    “I haven’t a clue as to what you are getting at…forgive my ignorance.”

    “ In my opinion it gives us freedom, not the ultimate freedom that all nations desire.. but the freedom to achieve it.”

    MC

  • Reader

    Concubhar: Donnchadh was recently appointed by his party to take a vacant seat on the board of Foras na Gaeilge. This is one of the seats SF has by virtue of its seats in the NI assembly. Donnchadh is from Cork and standing in Cork’s local elections. He a able to devote more time to electoral politics because he gets paid a stipend by Foras na Gaeilge.
    Surely his being a party placeman is (1) standard practice, and (2) harmless, so long as he does his job? If he does his day job properly then his work for SF in his spare time is his own business.

  • son of sam

    Dixie
    Fortlands(aka Jude) on his own blog complains continually about the imbalance in the mainstream media of articles sympathetic to Sinn Fein.Yet when the Irish News provides a weekly platform for Jim Gibney,we are served up sycophantic drivel such as this.Surely there are better Republican columnists who do not feel the need to follow the party line so slavishly .Perhaps I’m being naive!

  • Granni Trixie

    McS

    I’m none the wiser. But I can live with it!

  • notimetoshine

    Is it just me or am I the only person who can’t get past the violence in the past of SF and some of it’s party faithful?

    I come from a broadly nationalist background and I could never vote for SF because even though I agree with many of their policies, the fact is they are champions for those whose actions have left hundreds of innocent people maimed or killed.

    Now in the south SF seem to be gaining in popularity and I wonder, are these voters aware of this recent past? Or is it that the violence (and the justification/glorification of said violence) just not bother them?

    I am genuinely curious, because the idea of voting for a party that is so steeped in blood, and still glorifies this violent tradition is repugnant to me, but evidently it isn’t to others.

  • Granni Trixie

    Notimetoshine

    You sum up my own thoughts precisely.
    Also,I notice that friends who left NI to return after the troubles also are inclined to “admire SF for all they’ve done for the Peace process” and wonder “why can’t you all draw a line” hence I conclude that if you didn’t see at first hand the havoc engendered means nothing to you. This probably applies to people living over the border. And ofcourse people with selective amnesia.

  • Politico68

    Notimetoshine,

    I am one of those converts to Sinn Fein. I am from a mixed Irish/ English – Catholic/ Protestant background. I can’t say i am terribly comfortable with the violent past of republicanism but at the same time I don’t buy into a view of history that I feel is often a very lob-sided version of the truth. My dad was a British soldier and many of my family were or are connected to the British establishment, this too causes me some discomfort when i consider the history of British brutality in this country but likewise, I don’t buy into the narrative that it was all the Brits fault either.

    We all have to make our own minds up about our politics and how various forms of political expression either clashes with or merges into our personal ideologies.
    Sinn Fein for me is a genuinely progressive, truly social democratic party. As you can imagine i get a fair bit of slagging from a family that would have a different political tilt; they regard me as a ‘Champagne Shinner’. I have never really felt qualified to judge Republican or Loyalist actions during the crises, although many times I was shocked out of my boots and angry at the spiralling mess. I have been studying Politics in depth for a number of years now, and having spent a large junk of it studying War, Conflict, Human rights etc. I can understand the circumstances as to why societies sometimes descend into anarchy, not just the North.

    That’s not to justify violence, it’s simply a nasty but real part of the human psyche. Nowadays, in the context of globalization, EU, communication and democratic peace phenomonan, its hard to imagine civilized peoples becoming crazed enuff to slaughter each other, and although it is unlikely we will ever see anything like that again in Ireland, the fact that it happenned at all should be a sobering reminder to us of one of the great weaknesses in humanity the capacity for aggression.

    For me anyway, I believe that despite the past; Sinn Fein have contributed a huge amount to bringing peace and prosperity to Ireland. I am a devout social democrat, i believe firmly in the unification of the country on all levels, i think we would be better off as Anna Lo says – Politically, Socially and economically. I like the way Sinn Fein representatives behave as servants of the people not masters of them. I like that there are lots of people from ethnic minorities who are members of SF and feel part of the family rather than left outside on the fringes. I could go on. But all these things are just my views, my feelings, my best educated guess at what I personally feel would be best for my country and all the citizens of this country.

    Finally, I suppose for many in the Tidal Wave of new Shinners, they never knew the conflict or lived through it like I did. The bulk of the party itself have no connection or involvement in the war and because politics in Ireland is so local, many people simply see their local SF candidates as familiar, nice man or woman. At the end of the day that’s what it boils down to for most people maybe, likability.

  • Henry94

    The very best of luck for the election Donnchadh. I’m in Henny Cremin’s ward and it would be great to see him elected as Alderman. The People’s Convention candidates have an interesting approach too and I hope SF people transfer to them and vice-versa.

    http://peoplescandidates.ie/

  • Charles_Gould

    Notimetoshine

    You also sum up my views.

  • SDLP supporter

    Politico 68, if you are a Sinn Fein Nua supporter, “a devout social democrat” and consider Sinn Fein to be “a truly social democratic party”, you are seriously confused.

    Gerry Adams has explicitly attacked social democracy on a number of occasions and has made clear that Sinn Fein are opposed to social democracy. In the European Parliament. Its MEP is aligned to the “hard left” GUE/NGL group which constantly attacks and seeks to undermine the Party of Socialists in the Parliament. GUE/NGL is in large part an assortment of recycled and not-recycled hard-line Stalinists, Trotskyites and the like. Only this week a Dale Moore, the Sinn Fein press officer in Derry, was writing to the local papers attempting to throw mud at Martin Schulz, the current European Parliament President and Socialist candidate for the President of the European Commission, who was in Belfast for the launch of the SDLP Euro manifesto and to support Alex Attwood for the European Parliament.

    In mainland Europe social democrats or democratic socialists (the terms are interchangeable) were for both fascists and communists e always the primary target for liquidation. Up to 1945 social democrats were first in the line for the concentration camps for Hitler, Mussolini and the like and post- 1945 and after Yalta, social democrats were murdered in their thousand by the Communists in Poland, Hungary, Romania, East Germany, Bulgaria, etc. That is because fascism and Marxist communism, although ostensibly diametrically opposed to each other, share a common philosophy of totalitarianism, which is the antithesis of social democracy.

  • Politico68

    SDLP,

    I am not confused but thanks for the patronizing comment anyway.
    For Sure, if one looks at the economic policies of Sinn Fein during the 90s it would be easy to be confused as to what the hell was going on. But much has changed since then, changed utterly. A glance at todays policy show that the Shinners are far more true to Social Democracy than the so-called social democrats of Labour in Ireland and the UK. Even the French left have allowed their Ideology to slide into a middle ground convergence with conservatives.

    Please direct to me to links where GA has openly attacked Social Democracy. Alliances in Europe mean nothing in terms of what the parties stand for at home in their domestic spheres, moreover most alliances are full of parties that are only members of a particular grouping in order not to be associated with certain members of the groups that they would appear to have more in common with.

    Perfectly normal for a political party to criticize an individual who is out to promote a political opponent, such in the nature of political competition.

    Our understanding of socialism in general has improved since the mid twentieth century and has undergone an evolution in the context of a neo liberal Capitalist world. True Marxism accepts democracy and also realizes that Marx offered a critique of Capitalism, no more, no less. Marx was a dedicated democrat, but the twisted version of marxist ideology we have seen through communism etc. tends to hide this fact.

    Sinn Feins central tenet is based on domestic choice, that no matter what we have to stomache as a tiny island floating in a globalized Capital market, our domestic decisions should be taken for the common good and not to shore up political, business and industry elites. This does NOT mean a Robinhood style regressive attack on wealth but a fairer and more comprehensive distribution of wealth for the benifit of economic growth and infrastructure investment through progressive and fair taxation, where social policies are stacked in favour of those less well off instead of the wealthy.

    Gerry Adams has on a number of occasions spoken out in defense of those who have enjoyed prosperity and encouraged the party faithful to be comfortable with the notion of wealth in the context of a fairer and more just social, economic and political model.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Reading todays Irish News on the ‘PIRA accused freed’ I noticed that besides the four, Wilson, Finucane, Wright and McCrory, being found not guilty that ‘the prosecution was also not “offering any evidence” against Martin Edward Morris who was waiting trial on separate charges.

    He had been accused of four counts of rape, four counts of indecent assault on a child, three of gross indecency to a child and two indecent assaults on a female.

    Mr Morris had denied the charges.

    The Belfast Recorder said that as a result of the prosecution decision, he would enter “not guilty verdicts” on all 13 charges faced by Mr Morris.’

  • son of sam

    S D L P supporter
    I note that Mr Moore in his many letters to the Irish News and the Derry Journal never describes himself as a Sinn Fein press officer.If he is indeed an employee of S F,should he not make this clear in correspondence to the papers as to do otherwise is misleading.Not surprisingly ,many of his letters are attacks on the S D L P!

  • Dixie Elliott

    Dale Moore is a Shinner. I know him.

  • son of sam

    Dixie
    But is he a press officer, past or present?

  • Dixie Elliott

    He’s an undercover press officer son of sam…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Politico68

    Thank you for your comments regarding the appeal of SF WRT yourself.

    I would imagine people attacking your position would only serve to galvanise your support?

    To anyone who dislikes SF (e.g. yours truly) your comments should be studied.

    If a party with so much baggage can attract the vote and enthusiasm of articulate and educated people such as yourself (as opposed to the common stereotypes that many of us in the unionist community have) then it should serve as encouragement for other parties to get their act together.

    Although, what I would say is, and please take this as an insight to the mind of some one from the other side of the fence and not a barbed comment, is that SF are my no.1 reason for being a unionist.

    The other reasons I can take or leave (I do like being in the UK but I think a united Ireland has a lot of potential and that the north could benefit a great deal in the long term).

    But SF’s mixture of MOPEry, nationalism, socialism, and other ‘isms’ is truly repellent to me

    True, the unionist veto will run out soon enough so this suggestion might be too late but, to all those who really want a united Ireland, well, might I suggest a pragmatic all Ireland unification party?

    Or even a new proper republican party (more united Irishmen than SF).

    One without the baggage of nationalism or terrorism, one that concentrates purely on the machinery of a united Ireland and rises above the political point scoring that arises every carnival season and one that ditches symbolism. (Well, maybe keep the flag of Erin’s harp on a green background, it’s pretty, easily recognisable, unique and very Irish).

    Maybe this is just more ‘pub chat’ than serious speculation on my part, but, there ye have it.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Politico

    I was going to post this earlier on Daithi’s post: http://sluggerotoole.com/2014/05/07/daithi-mckay-sinn-fein-will-not-be-deflected-by-old-guard-within-the-police/#comments

    When I read stuff such as this and realise that some people actually swallow it, I always think of these guys from Futurama:

    http://car54.deviantart.com/art/Brain-Slug-Coalition-181433006

    For years whenever I’ve seen them on the TV I have always thought “Ha! A shinner!”

    Yes, a tad cruel, but why is it I think this way?

    Am I a hate filled bigot impermeable to reason?

    Possibly.

    I often find that bigots are the worst judges of their own bigotry (as Mr Joe’s brother wrote in his book ‘From Bigot to Ulster-Scot’ – “Does a bigot know he’s a bigot?”).

    But I don’t think I am, I’m certainly not a religious bigot (atheist with confusingly pagan tendencies married to a Catholic) and I’m on record numerous times as to dabbling with the idea of a united Ireland.

    Anyway, could the same cruel comparison be appplied to some Orangemen and fleggers?

    No doubt.

    So, as some one who is undoubtedly intelligent and questioning (and seemingly without the stereotypical nationalist baggage) how does SF amend such an image? (assuming that it wants to).

    How do they appeal to ‘unificationists’ from the Protestant community? (What ever happened to Billy Leonard BTW?)

    To them, which is the bigger concern; SF or a united Ireland?

    You are atypical of what I perceive a SF supporter to be (British connections, economically literate) so please fire away.

    AG

  • Politico68

    Am ghob, a lot in there fella. Can I get back to after Eurovision. Throwing a party for a bunch of Californians here…….

  • Morpheus

    In the midst of all these threads about Gerry Adams, the threads about the leader of SF and the threads about that guy with the beard who got arrested, did anyone see the NI21 election video?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R783Hr5SXQg

    I like it, I like it a lot. :)

  • Barnshee

    Every party is a “serious player”=– until they actually take the field -look what happened to “labour”. The same fate awaits SF should they be foolish enough to take part in the real deal.

    At the mercy of market forces and decisions taken in Germany and Brussels-its a gamble -who can tell the result -other than disaster for the party if the economy disappears tits up

  • Granni Trixie

    BArnshee

    Quite agree.with what you say – struck me re NI21 -in that u can say what u like until u have made it – then u have 2 deliver.

  • Tadhg Curran

    SDLP supporter says:

    > Socialist candidate for the President of the European Commission…In mainland Europe social democrats or democratic socialists (the terms are interchangeable) were for both fascists and communists e always the primary target for liquidation…That is because fascism and Marxist communism, although ostensibly diametrically opposed to each other, share a common philosophy of totalitarianism, which is the antithesis of social democracy.

    There’s a re-writing of history. When was the Socialist International, which the SDLP (and the Schulz’s German SDP) is in, formed? In 1951. Why was it formed then, weren’t there “socialist” parties in Europe even going back to the 19th century? Well, the socialist parties were in the Second International from 1889 to World War I. Then the “heroic” social democrats and “democratic socialists” that SDLP supporter alludes to voted to fully support their own countries desire to go to war, so the French socialist party voted for the war, and the German socialist party voted to go to war, and millions of young French workers and German workers died in the trenches shooting each other.

    Left-wing workers who did not think shooting other workers was a good idea mutinied in the Nivelle Mutinies, the German Revolution, the Russian Revolution, and most of them joined communist parties and communist-affiliated unions (in Spain there was more of an anarchist element).

    You’d think the heirs of the parties which rallied to have European workers slaughter each other a century ago who have been discredited enough by now, but the heirs of these parties like SDLP supporter rally on. In 1915 Lenin and others were forming an international group of workers who saw shooting each on the whims of their countries owners as a bad idea. People can believe in socialism and communism or not, but if there is a meaning to workers of the world unite and the international brotherhood of workers then Lenin and his comrades surely were the ones holding the banner for this in 1915 while SDLP supporters predecessors were calling for bloodshed.

    Actually, the soi disant socialist parties seem to be busy privatizing and the like in everywhere from Germany to Greece.

    Then SDLP supported posits that “fascism and Marxist communism…share a common philosophy” and other nonsense which is risible on its face. Totalitarianism, hmm, is that like the English invading Ireland, massacring the inhabitants of Drogheda, kicking the natives off the good land and putting down settlers and landlords…there isn’t time to go over the centuries following…then we’re into the 1970s with torturing republican prisoners, collusion, Diplock courts and then sending masses of young native men to internment camps and then shooting the unarmed protesters who march against sending masses of men to concentration camps. If that isn’t “totalitarianism” I don’t know what is.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    ” Totalitarianism, hmm, is that like the English invading Ireland, massacring the inhabitants of Drogheda, kicking the natives off the good land and putting down settlers and landlords…there isn’t time to go over the centuries following…then we’re into the 1970s with torturing republican prisoners, collusion, Diplock courts and then sending masses of young native men to internment camps and then shooting the unarmed protesters who march against sending masses of men to concentration camps. If that isn’t “totalitarianism” I don’t know what is.”

    Most. Oppressed. People. Ever.

    Yawn.

  • Delphin

    “Then SDLP supported posits that “fascism and Marxist communism…share a common philosophy” and other nonsense which is risible on its face”

    Quote from Jimmy Reid, a respected Left wing intellectual –
    “I would put it this way: the political spectrum is not linear but circular. In my experience the extreme left always ends up rubbing shoulders with the extreme right. They are philosophically blood brothers.”

  • Mc Slaggart

    Am Ghobsmacht

    “Most. Oppressed. People. Ever”.

    “But I don’t think I am, I’m certainly not a religious bigot (atheist with confusingly pagan tendencies married to a Catholic)”

    I am sure they would be glad you speak of them in such terms.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    McSlaggart

    They think as little of MOPEry as I do.

    what’s religion got to do with MOPEry? I’m on record for criticizing orange MOPEry too, so spare me the bigot label until I come out with something more indicting.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Am Ghobsmacht

    Why did you have the need to say that you was married to a “Catholic”? What do you think that proves?

  • Mc Slaggart

    Am Ghobsmacht

    ” I’m on record for criticizing orange MOPEry”

    You post at 6:10 was not in any way “critical” ie an appraisal based on careful analytical evaluation.

    It was just school yard name calling.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    In a nut shell, my experience of religious bigots has led me to conclude that they tend not to marry into the group that they are bigoted against.

    no doubt there’s a few exceptions.

    now, why do you assume that my catholic in laws would be offended by my anti MOPEry stance?

    yes, it was name calling and I’ll probably do it again the next time something MOPEish comes up.

    now, you used that post as a rebuttal for my claim that I’m on record foe criticizing orange MOPEry, could you expand on that please as I don’t see the link.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Am Ghobsmacht

    “my experience of religious bigots has led me to conclude that they tend not to marry into the group that they are bigoted against.”

    I have found that love is a much more powerful driving emotion.

    Bigotry is not a binary human state. People are complex even to themselves and as such leads to very complex society. Your argument of “MOPEry” tends to be one given by people who do not have a logical argument and yet emotionally compelled to object.

    Frankly your “criticizing orange MOPEry,” is just sad.

  • Morpheus

    The term MOPE makes my blood boil and quite frankly, based on your other posts AG, I am surprised you throw it about the way you do – I mean ‘Yawn’? Seriously?

    MOPE to me says “yeah, you were treated badly but stop moaning about it” and to my recollection no one here has ever tried to claim that they are the most oppressed people ever as there are plenty of others who can claim that title. I would however hope that you wouldn’t have the same attitude of ‘yeah you were treated badly but stop moaning about it’ towards them.

    The inequality and the discrimination that went on deserves to be remembered so that we have a context for everything that happened here.

  • Reader

    Morpheus: MOPE to me says “yeah, you were treated badly but stop moaning about it”
    Well, there’s your problem right there, because it might also mean:
    1) Recitation and repitition isn’t enough – put up or shut up.
    2) That was then and this is now.
    3) Your complaints are one sided, overstated and out of context. How tedious.
    4) You really aren’t the most oppressed people ever, not even near.
    I think on this topic, (1) applies. Congratulations for introducing (2) and (4), which will only confuse matters.
    Personally, I’ll usually use the term in scenario (3), and that includes the Fleggers.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Morpheus

    “The term MOPE makes my blood boil and quite frankly, based on your other posts AG, I am surprised you throw it about the way you do – I mean ‘Yawn’? Seriously?”

    Because this statement is coming from you Morph I’ll try to be a bit more delicate with the term in future as you are one of the most rational posters on this site and I find myself thinking “why don’t they just listen to the man FFS!?”

    I make no promises as it is almost a reflex action.

    I would however like to explain what I mean when I use the term, it’s certainly not as you interpret (though as I always say perception is very important in NI, so I must respect this interpretation).

    I use pull the MOPE label out when someone is guilty of trying to evoke sympathy by either using a very biased and context-free form of history (e.g. Cromwell, the man who beheaded his own King, invaded every inch of Britain and Ireland, who was hated by a great deal of English people, who ruled as a proto-republican dictator etc is used as a stick to beat the English, forgetting that he WAS the stick that beat them and their monarchy) or when some one tries to portray themselves as a victim when quite clearly they are not (e.g. Protestant Coalition, Bryson and Twaddell).

    I’m appalled that we are so tolerant and accepting of people regurgitating sh*te from history to whip up support and lead the herd.

    My favourite counter-MOPEisms are as follows

    * The ruddy English did NOT invade in the 12th century, they were to busy being subjugated by a group of French speaking gangsters governed by a man from what is now the south of France (plus they were only on the island for 40 years before they rebelled against ‘The English’)

    * The Great famine was not a deliberate genocide. It could be called many things and no doubt felt like it to the victims but it was not a genocide to wipe out the Gael.

    * Cromwell didn’t just kill Irish Catholics, anyone who got in his way was severely dealt with, case in point the English Royalists in Drogheda and the Scots (allied with the Irish Catholic Royalists) got a good spanking too.

    * Orange culture is not being squeezed or ‘not tolerated’. If they don’t want people to be offended then they shouldn’t be offensive. “Eat fish expect bones”

    That is why I stick the boot in when I come across a biased and cringe worthy attempt at evoking sympathy by pulling out the frankensteined cadaver of biased Irish history.

    I could go on….

    Rather than asking me to stop doing it, I would have hoped to encourage you and others to clamp down on MOPEry with a view to sidelining it and making it unfashionable and a position of ridicule.

    But, if it irks people as opposed to making them reconsider their views then I’ll restrain myself on the matter as it evidently defeats my aim.

    (Except when I comes to Tacapall’s crazy theories, sorry, I’m not letting them slide…)

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Morph

    Almost forgot one of my favourite examples, from some one I know who was travelling on the bus to Dublin airport.
    He was listening to a Belfast man explain Irish history to a bewildered Iranian man when the bus crossed the Boyne:

    “Here’s where it all began, 900 years of oppression started here, in 1690….”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    McS

    “Your argument of “MOPEry” tends to be one given by people who do not have a logical argument and yet emotionally compelled to object”

    Which argument was that? Please specify.

    “Frankly your “criticizing orange MOPEry,” is just sad.”

    In your opinion, perhaps.

    I think it’s worthy of ridicule and I’m obviously not alone in this way of thinking.

  • Tadhg Curran

    Well, not unexpected. We hear much teeth gnashing about the volunteers executing a spy 41 years ago. Much lamentation and pseudo-moralizing and nonsense, much radio play from the children of this spy who got blood on her hands from those who she sent to their deaths for her pieces of silver.

    But when the elegies for this spy are interrupted by some mention of some things which have happened even more recently, suddenly a wave of indifference comes in and cries of “mopery!”

    What’s mopery if not the elegies for this spy who was getting paid for information so as to bump off volunteers?

  • Mc Slaggart

    Am Ghobsmacht

    “I think it’s worthy of ridicule”

    Then try ridicule not a monosyllabic “MOPEry”.

    ” I’m obviously not alone in this way of thinking”

    Mob

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Tadhg Curran

    ” We hear much teeth gnashing about the volunteers executing a spy 41 years ago”

    Yes we do and we’ll hear more, especially if it can be used for political gain or if one of the suspects is a big name.

    “Much lamentation and pseudo-moralizing and nonsense, much radio play from the children of this spy who got blood on her hands from those who she sent to their deaths for her pieces of silver.”

    Well, sorry if it annoys you, but grisly murders can haunt people.

    “But when the elegies for this spy are interrupted by some mention of some things which have happened even more recently, suddenly a wave of indifference comes in and cries of “mopery!””

    To which indifference do you refer?

    You’re the one seemingly indifferent about said murder.

    And, to clarify, the MOPEisms I was referring to were centuries old, not ‘more recent’ e.g. ” the English invading Ireland, massacring the inhabitants of Drogheda, kicking the natives off the good land and putting down settlers and landlords”.

    Massacring the Royalists of Drogheda was a nasty state of affairs, no doubt.

    However, going by the rules of war that you seemingly adhere to (a la the execution of spies) then surely then Royalists of Drogheda were to be given no quarter as was the standard practice of 17th century warfare? (Ou est vous Seaan Ui Neill?)

    “What’s mopery if not the elegies for this spy who was getting paid for information so as to bump off volunteers?”

    If people are using and abusing history for political gain and sympathy, then that could perhaps be MOPEry.

    However, there’s quite a distance between the pain of orphaned children and having a score to settle because Strongbow was made an offer he couldn’t refuse in the 12th century.

    ———————————————–

    McS

    ‘Am Ghobsmacht

    “I think it’s worthy of ridicule”

    Then try ridicule not a monosyllabic “MOPEry”.

    ” I’m obviously not alone in this way of thinking”

    Mob

    What?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hi Am Ghobsmacht, here and watching…..

    “No quarter …. was the standard practice of 17th century warfare” well, (as with so much else) yes and no. It was by that time becoming sufficiently rare for anyone to actually carry out a massacre on this scale to make the brutal sack of Magdeburg by the armies of the Catholic League during the Thirty Years War into a major European cause célèbre:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sack_of_Magdeburg

    “No quarter” did not usually quite mean “no quarter” as it was practiced by Old Noll ( n’OLiver) at Drogheda, were the orgy of slaughter reached Magdeburg proportions, and may well have been the fate that the planter militias holed up in Derry in 1689 were thinking back on when the failed to open the town to their true king.

    Andy any standard Cromwell was just a wee bit mad when it came to the Irish (and what he thought of as the ‘degenerate’ old English, and the Royalists, and the Scots from the northern plantation, in fact anyone he found in Ireland who did not instantly roll over and submit). I tend to think that Cromwell actually was doing something of a Pol Pot at Drogheda, and the modern attempts to suggest that this was usual practice of the period fail to actually note that it was not every day practice, but something held as an a l’outrance rarity in Western Europe at that time, a terror technique and not the base norm of armies.

    The special case of Ireland and atrocity in the early modern period has been something of a football for historical fashions. The old Nationalist historians made such a théâtre du grand-guignol event of the conquest that their Sassenach villain could easily be toppled by the civilised “Irish Historical Studies” school and the Revisionists who could present the civilising (“White Mans Burden”) version where the decent English chaps brought the savage Irish the benefits of true civilisation. Something of a balance is being struck by recent historians and the recent collection of essays “Age of Atrocity: Violence and Political Conflict in Early Modern Ireland” offers a serious attempt to again face up to the degree of the gross brutality and effacement that marked the conquest and consolidation period, but without the ideological baggage that marred the old nationalist version. And even though it is used as political capitol by certain people, it did actually happen to our ancestors (in both traditions!!!) and Cromwell was the brand name……..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “And by any standard Cromwell…..”

    Sorry “Andy” no offence intended!

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Seaan

    “and is if by magic, the shopkeeper appeared…”

    Much obliged :)

  • Mc Slaggart

    Am Ghobsmacht

    FYI

    A Mob is a “A large disorderly crowd or throng. Just because a number of people agree to a thing does not make it correct”. You are responsible for your own actions and views. When you hear/read someone defending their position on the basis that they are part of a mob who have a similar view it shows how weak their argument is.

  • Mc Slaggart

    Am Ghobsmacht

    “Cromwell didn’t just kill Irish Catholics, anyone who got in his way was severely dealt with, case in point the English Royalists in Drogheda and the Scots (allied with the Irish Catholic Royalists) got a good spanking too.”

    Do you understand that using the expression “a good spanking too” is highly offensive?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    McS

    if you want a more solid defence of my stance on criticizing orange MOPEry then please put forward a more comprehensive case for prosecution than “it’s just sad”.

    I’m not going to stop critcising fleggers just because you find it unsporting.

    and as for the ‘good spanking’ comments, I had no idea there were offensive.

    what turn of phrase would receive your approval when talking about Cromwell’s routing of the Presbyterians?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    McSlaggart, I think, rather than lambasting Am Ghobsmacht for his quite refreshing levity, the important thing to realise is that Cromwell was the enemy of just about anyone in Ireland when he arrived. His army destroyed the Planter army at Lisnagarvy in 1650, just as ruthlessly as it broke nativist resistence across the island.
    Few of those celibrating their origin in the 1609, onwards, Plantation of Ulster seem to realise that their ancestors Plantation was equally under threat from Cromwell, who had his own plans to pay off his army with land not only stolen from the “Irish” but also from the “Planters”!!! The Cromwellian Plantation threatened everyone. This is a “signature” impress on future relations, and the later Williamite administration, in its victory, was just as willing to confiscate the lands of the “victors” of the 1660s Act of Settlement, both Scots and Cromwellian Planters alike, in turn, to feed the land hungry adherents of the new victors. Ireland has been a source of pay off and exploitation for England and the English ever since the seventeenth century, even if this is dressed up from the nineteenth century onwards in an altruistic garb.

    But it is of help if the history is understood in its entirety for what it says about who we are and who we may be rather than simply being dredged for sound bites to suppport immediate political ends. The relationship between “us” and “them” will never be useful to our lives until we approach it honestly, as a guide to understand the motives and actions of others past and present rather than as an excuse to simply hate them. Although I do take some sour delight myself in the black humour of Ulster Scots painting Cromwell, who would have destroyed them utterly if he could, on gable walls as a culture-hero.

  • Mc Slaggart

    SeaanUiNeill

    ” Cromwell was the enemy of just about anyone in Ireland ”

    Yes! We all know that did anyone say any different? He was not particular keen on English Catholics either see “Faith of our Fathers”

    The question is did he treat the “Irish Catholic” worse than anyone else and the answer is yes.

    Drogheda and Cromwell was just the beginning and most deaths was done when Cromwell was not in the country but he was still in charge.

    “lies about Irish ‘barbarism’ in 1641 paved way for Cromwell’s atrocities”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/feb/18/1641-irish-rebellion-anti-catholic-propaganda

  • SeaanUiNeill

    McSlaggart, that is perhaps a rather nineteenth century reading of the actual facts. Cromwell was to some degree motivated by the misperceived “atrocities” during the events of 1641. A lot on exaggerated figures were current in his time and these accounts certainly influenced him in his ferociousness against Irish Catholics, but that is just a part of the picture.

    The Cromwellian conquest had at its core the need to realise as much land as possible for to pay the debts that the English Republic had incurred in their war against the king. While Cromwell hated Irish Catholics, he certainly hated Scots Presbyterians quite as fulsomely. His actions and his intentions for all parties who had not allied themselves to him in Ireland speak for themselves, and it was only the difficulty of the task, and his death, that prevented him from transplanting the northern planters also in a similar policy to the “Hell or Connaught” policy for the Catholic landowners (note: not all Catholics, for the hewers of wood and drawers of water were perfectly useful to the New Model planters on their estates. Cromwell was perfectly willing to accept help from Catholic nobility, such as Lord Antrim, but where he met opposition from any quarter he was merciless. My (Scots) Anglican ancestor hanged at Drogheda alongside his Irish Catholic fellow colonels, the day after the sack, no special favours on issues of “race” or “religion”.

    It is import not to simplify the issues of 1641 into a straight Catholic/Protestant war. For although this was certainly one strand, the Confederate war offers an example of what is at times the least polarised conflict of the post-Elizabethan conquest centuries. By the time Cromwell arrived, he confronted an (admittedly) uneasy union of most of the interest groups in Ireland. Accordingly, while he rewarded those who offered him support, he was ruthless to those who did not. The fate of the Stewart’s Laggan Army at Lisnagarvy was little different to the fate of Eoghan Ruadh Ó Néill’s Ulster army at Scarrifholis. I’m not asking you to underplay the real viciousness of the Cromwellian racism against the Irish people, I’m just suggesting that his evaluation of who was Irish may have been rather broader than the “faith and fatherland” simplifications of the nineteenth century historians.

  • Mc Slaggart

    “It is import not to simplify the issues of 1641 into a straight Catholic/Protestant war. ”

    I have not done so?

    “a rather nineteenth century reading of the actual facts”

    Is contracted by you stating ” real viciousness of the Cromwellian racism against the Irish people”.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hi McSlaggart, back to answering the 9.32am posting:

    “The question is did he treat the “Irish Catholic” worse than anyone else and the answer is yes.”

    The point I’m making is that he treated those Irish people who opposed him as a whole with vicious racism, the ENTIRE Irish people,Gael, Seanghall, the “emigrants” from Scotland and quite a few of the recent new English, too. And that he was perfectly happy to accomodate any native nobility who supported him such as the convert Inchiquin (Murchadh na dTóiteán) and the Catholic earl of Antrim, who assisted his infamous “pacification” as a negotiator.

    No contradiction, just an expansion of the term Irish to include a few more people!

    The point I’m trying to get over is that “did he treat the “Irish Catholic” worse than anyone else and the answer is yes” is a tremendious simplification of a much more complex issue. But I think we are pretty much on the same page about his behaviour, and the behaviour of his sucessors, in Ireland. I’m just relishing the irony that the OO regards him as a culture hero, while he’d have been just as much the enemy of their ancestors in his time. But I agree, its taking these people a really long time to discover that they are Irish, and get treated as such……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Sorry, (mea culpa) wrong in detail about Murchadh na dTóiteán whose flirtation with the English parliament was just before the Cromwellian invasion, and who reverted to Ormonde just at the wwrong time, but who supports my point that Cromwell’s masters in parliament were not averse to using native aristocracy in Ireland.

  • Mc Slaggart

    SeaanUiNeill

    “” is a tremendious simplification of a much more complex issue.”

    Its a fact.

    I know the history.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Seaan

    “I’m just relishing the irony that the OO regards him as a culture hero, while he’d have been just as much the enemy of their ancestors in his time. ”

    I’ll say!

    They have (or had, haven’t checked for a while) a mug shot of old Noll on the Orange arch in Magherafelt.

    A few portraits across on the same arch is one of Rev William McCrea, a man of Scottish Gaelic & Presbyterian descent who is a fervent Royalist.

    Oh the irony…

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh McSlaggart, history is not actually out there in a final divinely given form, like the ten commandments, you know! Nobody “knows” history, we know what we have read and assessed. Were you there in 1641? Or in 1649/50? Despite my grey hairs, I wasn’t myself, but I have spent much of my life in archives among primary source material from the period, and my communing with what people were actually writing at the time has long persuaded me that the received nineteenth century version, which claimed that only Catholics suffered from Cromwell’s rape of Ireland, is a highly edited perception of what were complex events, one that leaves out much of the actual evidence. I’m not saying that Catholics did not suffer terribly, and I know that my Catholic O’Neill ancestors suffered dispossession and murder at the time, but then so did the other side of my ancestry, as mentioned above. No one category of person has an entire monopoly on suffering. It was the Irish as a people who suffered under Cromwell, although, as I’ve said above, some of them seem to be suffering from a long term Stockholm syndrome!

    You have every right to your opinion, diversity and all that, but its only part of the story. I’m trying to get you to re-examine the evidence with an open mind, and not deny your fellow Irishmen their own parallel history of suffering under Old Noll, simply because they were heretics.

  • Mc Slaggart

    “Nobody “knows” history”

    Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
    Albert Einstein

  • Mc Slaggart

    SeaanUiNeill

    “only Catholics suffered from Cromwell”

    Charles 1

  • Delphin

    Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so. Ford Prefect.
    (as recounted by Douglas Adams)

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hiya McSlaggart, as probably the only Irish member to the Royal Stuart society and the Society of King Charles the Martyr, I’d clocked that one!

    Still trying to work out your point, though! Were you not trying to say earlier that only Irish Catholics were victims of Old Noll the Butcher? And was Charles the Blessed Martyr not a martyr for Anglicanism? He is, after all, the sole saint created by the Anglican communion!

    Please explain…..

    About history, I’d recommend the “Postmodern History Reader” for starters, then start checking what people at the time said against what historians (myself included) tell you they said or did! I had this splat with Nevin some time back on another set of postings about two Presbyterian “Martyrs drowned at Wigtown”, who were actually reprieved! But still “martyred” in most texts ancient and modern! So just because its written down somewhere, as you’d do with insurance, check out the small print carefully. As Jerry Cornelius tells us, the reality principal fades a bit under the glare of reality! Oh, by the way, Albert Einstein was not actually an historian, ya know……

    And really, nobody “KNOWS” history, we simply, all of us, continue to examine it as an ongoing revelation…..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Hi, Delphin, I was in the gym in Santa Barbara, once, where Douglas Adams had his heart attack.

    Interesting………he must have been letting his paymasters down in some way……

  • Mc Slaggart

    SeaanUiNeill

    “Still trying to work out your point”

    It is you who said that Am Ghobsmacht showed “refreshing levity, ” by writing that the slaughter of people was “a good spanking too”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    As one of those whose ancestors were (verifiably) given “the good spanking….”

    I’m on record elsewhere on Slugger as asking that anyone using an historical event, such as 1916 (Post Office or Theipval) for political capitol of any sort should declare their own ancestral, or personal, interest, such as whether their people were involved or not.

    I note that Lord Bannside’s distinguished war record from 1939-45 is not available for scrutiny….that’s the sort of thing……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And the point remains, you still need to examine history carefully, if it is to be of any real use to you, not simply learn the soundbites…..

  • Mc Slaggart

    SeaanUiNeill

    “As one of those whose ancestors were (verifiably) given “the good spanking….”

    How did your ancestor have children after he/she was dead?

  • babyface finlayson

    McSlaggart
    “How did your ancestor have children after he/she was dead?”
    Maybe they decided to have the children first then die afterwards?

  • Roncol

    Typical Provo rubbish. Their Dublin candidates have retreated from sight and have hardly been seen since the arrest of the Führer.

    There is an excellent piece on the great disappearing Gerry on Cedar Lounge revolution. http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/gerry-adams-and-his-slow-removal-from-sinn-fein-2014-election-leaflets/

  • Mc Slaggart

    babyface finlayson

    “Maybe they decided to have the children first then die afterwards?”

    With that being the criteria there would be few people in Ireland whose family was around at the turn of the century would meet that criteria. ie at the very least 15 % of the population on the Island ended up dead,

  • babyface finlayson

    McSlaggart
    Your logic escapes me.

  • Mc Slaggart

    babyface finlayson

    “Your logic escapes me.”

    It is a topic of mathematics which concludes that we all have a common past. For example they would say that everyone in the Western world is descended from Charlemagne,

  • Reader

    babyface finlayson: Maybe they decided to have the children first then die afterwards?
    That’s what almost all of my ancestors did, though some males and a tiny number of females managed to die between the conception and birth of the next generation.
    However I’m certain none of my ancestors managed to ‘die without issue’.
    Maybe Mc Slaggart is concentrating on people who didn’t actually become ancestors?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Good heavens, McSlaggart, have you never heard of someone with a family being killed…after they had a family? We have enough examples during our own wee conflict.

    Your logic is approaching that Father Ted skit on poor Siobhan O’Connor ….. “and then they closed down the factories that made the potatoes…..”

    Well, other than that, reader and babyface finlayson have said it all…..

  • Dixie Elliott

    AH FUR FECKS SAKE!!

    I mentioned elsewhere that Daithi McKay and Conor Murphy claimed that every door they knocked at, even those who didn’t vote SF, people were angry at the Injustice inflicted on Gerry Adams.

    Well Martina Anderson has took the pudding and not only has she over egged it she left it in the oven too long and burnt the arse clean out of it….

    “Many of my family members are not political; they are not members of Sinn Fein but they thought the way Gerry Adams was treated was wrong.”

    Hmmm. My Grannies not my Granny she’s my Mammie’s Mammy!

    And she continued:

    “This was something I’ve experienced from people while out canvassing on their doorsteps.

    People who have never voted for Sinn Fein in the past are telling me they are angry at what happened – they see it as an attack on their peace process.”

    Right your are….And next week those answering the door will tell her that they didn’t want that oul Enterprise Zone anyway as Derry people aren’t used to working.”

  • Mc Slaggart

    SeaanUiNeill

    “have you never heard of someone with a family being killed…after they had a family?”

    You claimed that your “As one of those whose ancestors were (verifiably) given “the good spanking….”

    Its a simple question did they have a family and what was his or her name?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    McS

    “It is you who said that Am Ghobsmacht showed “refreshing levity, ” by writing that the slaughter of people was “a good spanking too””

    So you either interpret Seaan’s comments as;

    a/ A defence of my ‘slaughter’ comments

    b/ A defence of my comments in general with perhaps the odd bone of contention.

    Why did you choose ‘A’?

    I wrote dozens of lines and you came up with the conclusion “levity = approval of flippancy regarding the topic of slaughter”

    Perhaps you should be more in depth with your arguments and accusations as you draw strong conclusions from very few words (and at the same time manage to ignore any balance that may have been on display).

    With regards to the jolly good spanking, well, I’m afraid this must a culture clash or something.

    For example, I’ve been brought up with a culture of understatement. I would see no wrong in saying that ‘the British came unstuck at Isandlwanna, that the Bosche took a bloody nose in WWI, that the French got their asses felt at Agincourt or indeed that the British were out six in one over in Kabul’.

    Sorry if that’s insensitive but I can’t walk on eggshells with everyone.

    This distraction started as a conversation about MOPEry and the unfair summaries of history for one’s own end and you’ve responded by being offended and unfairly summarising the points of people here for your own end.

    Wood.

    Trees.

    Visual obstruction thereof.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    AmGhobsmacht, I’ve solved the problem as to why McSlaggart is having such a problem with understatement and humour. He cannot be an Irish speaker as anyone who thinks in Irish finds life continuously hilarious, what with the endless figurative images that come up within the language’s rich word play. Then I remembered the brilliant literary critic Cyril Connolly’s definition (in “Enemies of Promise”) of what he remembered his Irish grandfather’s definition of the characteristics of an Englishman were:

    ‘Snobbish, unintelligent, and (wait for it) “humourless”.’

    I would never subscribe to such a racist reduction of something as complex as Englishness, and I have never found McSluggart snobbish or unintelligent in his usually excellent and insightful comments, but perhaps he is a third English? I may be wrong…….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    My apologies. McSlaggart, I’ve mis-spelt your name with a “U”. No allusion of “tardiness” was intended.

    And just as a last thought as Sinn Féin becomes (as flagged above) a nation wide success, Tom Reilly in his book “Cromwell, an honourable Enemy” sees the Irish Republican tradition as entirely originating in Cromwell’s conquest, its roots in the English Republicanism he represented. Which would make Sinn Féin…….

    Just a thought, although one I do not subscribe to myself.

  • Mc Slaggart

    @ SeaanUiNeill

    You claimed that your “As one of those whose ancestors were (verifiably) given “the good spanking….”

    I asked a simple question of who it was and your inability to answer is for me an answer in and off itself.

  • Mc Slaggart

    @Am Ghobsmacht

    I will let people read all the posts for themselves if they have nothing better to do. ie Primary research

    The one thing I will say is that my ancestors and probably most people on the Island would have been on both sides.

    1650 to 2000 is a lot of generations……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh dear, McSlaggart, where I to give the name, which is a rare name in Ireland, I might as well post my email!!! I value anonymity to comment freely on Slugger, so have to disappoint you in this. But simply check the Colonels at Drogheda and you may perhaps guess….

    At least one other Slugger poster guessed it at one point from some all too revealing information I gave in an other historical comment. I’ve learnt my lesson…..

    But the central point remains, please, please re-think the old crusted clichés of our history, for if we are to continue sunk in the tired old lies we condemn ourselves to repeat the same mistakes over and over, like a horror version of Nietzsche’s perpetual re-occurance. It’s what the OO does with its comic book version of the terrible civil war of 1688/91. I beg you not to simply do the “most suffering of peoples” version of the Irish Catholic experience as a knee jerk to their paper-thin triumphalism. They are ignoring their own experiences of oppression under “the British interest” such as the way that when James II granted full civil and religious liberty to all his subjects, though he was fulsomely thanked by many of his Presbyterian subjects, others backed the Dutch invasion a year or two later and all Presbyterians were placed under severe penal limitations for a further hundred years.

    But as I quoted elsewhere, “those who do not remember their history are condemned to repeat it, while those who do are condemned to watch others repeat it….”

  • Mc Slaggart

    @SeaanUiNeill
    “please re-think the old crusted clichés”

    What clichés have I used?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh McSlaggart, it all comes down to:

    “The question is did he treat the “Irish Catholic” worse than anyone else and the answer is yes.”
    Thats the tired old cliché. My own understanding is that what each individual or community in Ireland suffered under the 1650s “holocaust” should not be put on a league table of suffering. We then have to begin to quantify suffering and work on an assessment of comparative numbers, etc, etc……

    And for this we need to begin to say who actually was an Irish Catholic in 1650, and to what degree of commitment to their faith…

    Without this precision we are engaging in a form of history that obscures far more than it reveals, the sort that is only useful to politicians.

    I think what we can say (in a general sense) is that the Irish people as a whole suffered terribly at this time. Looking back over your postings I see that we probably agree on the most important points, but the devil is always in the detail.

    (Although I do think finding “a good spanking” offensive is a tactical misunderstanding of the often increased power of understatement. I certainly don’t think that Am Ghobsmacht is letting anyone off the hook on the atrocities of those times.)

  • Mc Slaggart

    @SeaanUiNeill

    It is a fact as you stated : ” real viciousness of the Cromwellian racism against the Irish people”.

    The people he had most viciousness for was the Irish Catholic which is a simple fact not a Ciché.

    As for how much Catholic one needed to be can be judged by one of the reasons for the English Civil war was how catholic Charles 1 was.a

    a

    Charles I many mistakes was often rooted in the “Catholic” issue ie married a catholic, decorate churches, a new English prayer book for the Scots.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Of course, my dear fellow, you are right! Cromwell’s viciousness was directed against the catholic people of Ireland, but perhaps not solely against the one select portion of the catholic people of Ireland you seem to think. Please remember that the catholic church means the universal Christian church, something that both Charles I and myself, as what would be termed at a later date Anglo Catholics, are members of. So yes…..and yet…. in another sense, no.

    Please remember that just as Felix Dzerzhinsky tended to see revisionists who needed to be liquidated everywhere, so Cromwell tended to put a large C on catholic rather than a small c, and his craven lackey John Milton notably said that ‘new presbyter is but old priest writ large.’ . But as a very devout relative, a San Francisco Roman Catholic grand-dame, once told me, “we are all Catholic, dear boy, it’s just that these self-proclaimed protestants do not realise it……..”

    So, pax vobiscum…..

  • Mc Slaggart

    SeaanUiNeill

    “not solely against the one select portion of the catholic people of Ireland ”

    As I pointed out earlier I never said otherwise. In fact my objection 1 to Am Ghobsmacht included other people than Irish Catholics. It is You who think what he wrote was “humorous”.

    1

    “Cromwell didn’t just kill Irish Catholics, anyone who got in his way was severely dealt with, case in point the English Royalists in Drogheda and the Scots (allied with the Irish Catholic Royalists) got a good spanking too.”

    Do you understand that using the expression “a good spanking too” is highly offensive?”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    McS

    Well there ye go, Seaan thought it humorous, I thought it understated and you found it ‘highly offensive’.

    It would appear that I’m treading the middle ground and as such is it really wise for me to adjust the tone of my posts to suit your sensibilities?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Yes, McSlaggart, of course you have every right to be offended. I find both Gerry Adams and Peader Mac Spideog (“Peter, Son of Robin”) grossly offensive, the one for his treatment of his niece, the other , well where do I begin….perhaps the list of his publications as given on the Wikipedia entry….

    But seriously, a few years of his postings have convinced me that Am Ghobsmacht actually finds the atrocities just as offensive as both of us do. He’s simply using a form of black “gallows” humour, employing language (“understatement”) to intensify the indignation, and to channel his own. Think of Seán buí, meaning from the time of Cromwell “an Englishman ie: ‘gentle John’ “. Now do you really think that anyone living through the Cromwellian plantation who was an Irish speaker is thinking “Hey, Sir John, you are a real gentleman…”? really? Like AmG he’s using language to underline characteristics that using understatement or a contradictory form such as Seán buí, brings out. “Buí”, means, of course: blonde = fair, and we know that the fair are gentle born and gentle in manner, ie: the Gael, so calling the Cromwellian planter fair or gentle adds ironic emhpasis to, heavily underscores, the boorish, brutish, vicious and ugly behaviour of those speaking the béarla at you from your stolen land. So yes, the use of language does invoke indignation, but its the intention of the language user that is all important.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Oh, and perhaps its a good idea to think on Dáibhí Ó Bruadair’s line:

    “Mairg atá gan béarla binn”