LIE BACK AND THINK OF IRELAND

Barely seven minutes into episode two of RTE’s mini series ‘Rebellion’ and you could feel the awkwardness in living rooms the length and breadth of the island.

A rather vigorous sex scene between Sarah Greene’s May Lacy and her English lover Tom Turner’s Charles Hammond sent Twitter all a flutter but mostly people were reporting uneasy silences as families gathered round the television.

Episode Two of Colin Teevan’s five part telling of the events of 1916 saw the Easter Rising begin in earnest.

Charlie Murphy’s Elizabeth Butler ditched plans to wed Paul Reid’s Stephen Duffy Lyons and joined Brian Gleeson’s Jimmy Mahon and Camille O’Sullivan’s Countess Constance Markievicz instead as they stormed Dublin Castle.

“There will be other days to marry,” she declared.

“There will not be other days like this.”

Meanwhile Ruth Bradley’s IRB volunteer Frances O’Flaherty led Barry Keogh’s Cormac McDevitt and other volunteers to the GPO, only to be told by Marcus Lamb’s Padraig Pearse: “All women must report to the medical room or the kitchen!”

After revealing she was pregnant to her civil servant lover, May Lacy got called “an Englishman’s hoor” by a rather mouthy Irish Citizens Army member as they commandeered their hotel room.

Turfed out of their love nest, Hammond and Lacy got to witness Pearse read the proclamation on the steps of the GPO and then had to navigate the restless and dangerous streets of Dublin.

Sophie Robinson’s intrepid Belfast woman Ingrid Webster arrived in the city as the Rising got underway and was abandoned by her taxi driver in O’Connell Street.

She made it on foot to Trinity College where her boyfriend, Andrew Simpson’s George Wilson had been recalled amid rumours of “Sinn Feiners” rebelling.

Hammond also managed to make it to Dublin Castle while May rather awkwardly went to his home instead of her digs, only to meet his wife Vanessa, played by Perdita Weeks.

Meanwhile Jimmy Mahon had his first showdown in Dublin Castle with his British soldier brother Arthur, played by Barry Ward, and was allowed to escape with Elizabeth, who was rattled by all the bloodshed she had seen.

Episode Two of ‘Rebellion’ was another handsome production and under Aku Louhimies’ direction, it moved at a brisk pace.

The initial gun battles between the rebels and the British Army were handled well and it brought home the brutal realities of war.

While it remains a good idea to focus on ordinary people caught up in the Rising, Episode Two showed up some deficiencies, however, in writer Colin Teevan’s script.

Most of the English characters, with the exception of Charles Hammond, remain terribly one dimensional.

The same could be said for the leaders of the Rising. Relegated to supporting roles, Pearse, Connolly and Markievicz all come across a bit stiff.

The showdown between Jimmy and Arthur Mahon also felt a little too contrived and convenient.

And while it has been refreshing to see the Rising through the perspective of women involved in the insurrection, Teevan’s script occasionally has a tendency to play to 21st Century galleries.

In spite of this, the lead actors – Murphy, Greene, Bradley, Ward, Gleeson and Turner – remain extremely watchable.

However two episodes in and you cannot help feeling ‘Rebellion’ may stutter like the BBC’s Irish independence drama ‘Rebel Heart’.

It certainly looks like it will fall short of RTE’s excellent Dublin Lockout drama ‘Strumpet City’.

The rebellion of the title may have begun in earnest but it remains to be seen in the remaining three episodes if Teevan’s drama will ultimately fire blanks.

Unfortunately, it is beginning to look little more than a period soap opera.

Dan McGinn is the film critic for Belfast 89FM’s ‘Saturday Bites’ programme and regularly reviews the latest film and television releases on the blog They’ll Love It In Pomona.

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  • Concubhar O Liathain

    Too much soap, too little politics. The only thing to be said for the sex scenes is that they are a metaphor for the umpteen different the Irish worker was screwed by British rulers. And the only difference between then and now is that British rulers have been mostly replaced by the Irish ourselves.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Too much soap, too little politics is some what justified, most in the 1916 rebellion were ordinary passionate people that weren’t party politicial activists, with a few exceptions e.g. Markievicz.

    Quite a few were artists and dramatists, not sure if that translates to real life soap opera like drama.

  • terence patrick hewett

    It is difficult to judge even recent history with any objectivity especially for those with a contemporary axe to grind. A case in point is how we judge Victorian history, society and mores. I knew many Victorians and Edwardians of all shapes and classes and they were very different from the people described by those whose only reference is contemporary text.

  • MalikHills

    So English characters in a drama about Ireland are portrayed as “one-dimensional”, wow, that like never happens.

    Let me guess that one dimension isn’t terribly endearing is it?

  • chrisjones2

    “Most of the English characters, with the exception of Charles Hammond, remain terribly one dimensional”

    I am shocked!!.

  • Reader

    Did the scenes depict consensual sex? If so, then it’s only an exploitation metaphor as seen by the catastrophically prudish…

  • Jag

    You’re a gas man Dan, that’s for sure!

    “The initial gun battles between the rebels and the British Army were handled well and it brought home the brutal realities of war.”

    There was a film a few years ago called “Saving Private Ryan” which depicted the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944; its opening scenes were especially memorable as the Allies tried to get a foothold on the French beaches under encamped bombardment and deadly machine gun fire. Soldiers vomited with fear and sea-sickness, remained frozen as the landing craft beached, lost limbs and behaved like savages, some stumbled around shell shocked having lost their minds. There were truly awful, bloody scenes. The bar-owner from Cheers was in it. Maybe you should watch it sometime Dan.

    Coming back to RTE’s efforts tonight, the (present day) Shinners are still roaring approval from their sofas at every name-check of their eponymous predecessors, and probably a not insignificant number are thinking there’s a lot of hypocrisy in recognising the blood sacrifice of the Rising whilst being sniffy towards their associates during the 69-98 civil war.

  • Kevin Breslin

    When you kill over 2000 people in the space of 30-40 years there’s quite a bit to be sniffy about. It increased social partition rather than decreased it, and that social partition does nothing for unity political or otherwise.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Most of the Irish ones outside the main cast were too.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    ” and probably a not insignificant number are thinking there’s a lot of hypocrisy in recognising the blood sacrifice of the Rising whilst being sniffy towards their associates during the 69-98 civil war.”

    If said thinkers are completely blinkered then perhaps that is indeed what they were thinking.

    If they were to accept a few differences as fact e.g. the scene of the 1916 act was in a city that in general wanted independence from the UK, the 1968 et al escapade was centred in removing areas from the UK against their will such as Belfast, Coleraine, Ballymoney, Ballymena, Larne, Carrick, Portadown etc etc.

    That’s a major difference is it not?

    (And no, highlighting the wrongs of stuffing Fermanagh and South Armagh, Derry’s cityside etc into the UK against their will does not magically undo the above point).

    Furthermore, the Dublin uprising was clearly about independence from London.

    The 1969-and-all-that episode has tremendously flexible foundations in that it’s sometimes argued that it was for equal rights, then Catholic defence then ‘driving out the British’ then back to equal rights again.

    It’s more difficult to justify bloodletting when no one is really sure what the bloodletting was actually for.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Excellent film, a friend of mine who had an uncle who landed on D Day was told by him that it was the nearest thing to the reality he’d ever seen.

    I assume you are aware of who took part in the filming and where it was shot?

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwj4gpvY9KHKAhUBORQKHUD4A5IQFggyMAM&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thejournal.ie%2Fsaving-private-ryan-wexford-2144259-Jun2015%2F&usg=AFQjCNEoDlxBfalU9aANn8waPBUNqjwh4A

  • SeaanUiNeill
  • Thomas Barber

    “a friend of mine who had an uncle who landed on D Day was told by him
    that it was the nearest thing to the reality he’d ever seen”

    Not for all those who took part Anglo –

    “The D-Day rehearsal that cost 800 lives”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-27185893

  • Anglo-Irish

    What an absolute disaster, strangely enough I had heard something about it years ago but for some reason was under the impression that it was Canadian troops involved.

    ‘ In order to make it realistic as possible they insisted on live ammunition being used.’

    Health and safety not a consideration!

  • Ernekid

    I’m rather enjoying this series. They’ve done a great job using the real Dublin locations to recreate the Dublin of 1916. I liked the way it showed the lives of ordinary Dubliners who were wondering what the hell was going on I didn’t expect to see the unflinchingly brutal murder of the DMP policeman at the gates of Dublin Castle. Does anyone know if RTE has sold the rights for Rebellion to be shown on UK or American TV? I think it deserves a wider audience.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “It started in ’65 when Unionists started shooting, bombing and murdering people. In ’68/’69 the IRAs began defending Catholics/Nationalists from Unionist pogroms. ”

    As you know, I’m aware of that, defending Catholic areas from attack had to be done.

    Trying to take Protestant areas out of the UK did NOT need to be done.

    “Then you get the British Army murdering Catholic civilians, left, right and centre with absolutely no consequences whatsoever. Then you get internment in ’71.”

    OK, so where are we now then? Equal rights? Catholic defence? Brits out? Prods out? Still no firm foundation unlike the Easter uprising as was my point.

    “Well after that much murder and terrorism from the unreconstructed genocidal British state it was game on for a few decades until the emotions burned themselves out.”

    So, a genocidal nuclear power in cahoots with loyalist murder squads for 38 years?

    Lets see then, if 100 000 troops from the genocidal regime hell bent on crushing the local population managed a decent kill rate then the death rate must have been anywhere from 100 000 – 500 000 people surely?

    “Imagine if the UK actually respected democracy, they would have been out of Ireland centuries ago”
    True.
    Slow learners I’ll give them that, but at least after world War II a large number of countries obtained independence from the UK without rebellions (for various reasons of course).
    Somehow, we’re told to blindingly swallow the fact that Ireland could never be one, even to this very day. Despite Scotland voting on their would-be independence not so long ago.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “There were many decision points in the 60s and early 70s where the Unionist & British governments made escalatory decisions. Had they made different decisions at even a single one of these points there never would have been any Troubles.”

    That I can agree with but it doesn’t diminish Kevin’s point.

  • Anglo-Irish

    As a matter of interest what would be your view on Islamist’s trying to take Muslim areas out of the UK?

    Is that not comparable? A people from another land who have a British connection living in a country where they do not originate from and wanting to establish their own laws and religion in that land?

  • kensei

    There has been a .lot if complaints about historical accuracy, some of them justified. But I wouldn’t expect a show like this to be historically accurate to a great degree. What I want is for it to catch you up in the emotions of the time. Why did the people feel the way they did?

    So its falling a bit flat for me. There is some cursory dialogue about the Dublin slums being the worst in Europe, and a bit of nationalist stuff but nothing really to grab you and give you a sense of the anger that drove people to take big risks. Not just the nationalist side but the socialist one – the Russian revolution is only a year away. It tells but doesn’t show.

    No sense either of the Nationalist side, the optimism going into the war that must surely have started to fade on multiple fronts by 1916. Or of the British and the role and power of the Empire. None of it is there.

    Instead there is.. a somewhat crude metaphor.

    Dublin looks lovely though.

  • E Rodgers

    Anglo,

    I think you may be thinking of the disastrous Dieppe landing, which involved many Canadians.

  • Kevin Breslin

    It seem the sex was consensual albeit with inhibitions.

  • Jag

    “There is some cursory dialogue about the Dublin slums being the worst in Europe”

    There is one interior of one “slum” tenement shown. Seriously, if you were to clean the windows and paint the walls purple, you’d have Chandler and Monica wanting to move in, the rooms are so spacious and ceilings so high. The 1910s slums in Dublin were the worst in Europe, in the Mondo, Dublin had the biggest Red Light district in Europe, living conditions were awful and it was in that milieu that the Rebellion caught fire. That’s not shown in this effort though.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “A people from another land”.

    That infers that protestants are all automatically foreigners of sorts.

    It smudges over the number of protestants/unionists with Irish heritage which is a lot more than what extremists from either side are willing to admit not to mention the fair whack of shinners of ‘foreign’ extraction.

    It also demarcates the Protestants of Gaelic heritage in NI:
    “Sorry, you said you’re ‘McInnes’? A wrong sept, that makes you one of the bad guys we’re only interested in McGuinnesses…” i.e. that some Gaels have no place in the homeland of the Gael.

    When the home rule carry-on started it was with one group of Irishmen wanting to stay in the UK and another wanting a measure of independence, it was not a beachhead by a vast horde of foreigners determined to wrench out a Pale for themselves.

    You have no respect for the position that not all Irishmen wanted to be ruled from Dublin, do you?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Interesting that you confuse a listing of decision points that could have handled differently by the state with justifications for the IRAs. It’s a near universal Unionist trait – you mention any British or Unionist crime against Irish/Catholics/Nationalists and instantly you’re justifying the IRA. James7e did when I told him the contents of the HET report on Kingsmills.”

    It shouldn’t be interesting nor surprising in the slightest as my original point to Jag was about knocking-out the notion that 1916 and 1969 episodes were comparable.

    You then threw in these details as if to say “well, tis hardly surprising guv” which in turn is clearly seen as washing the Provos’ hands of the matter.

    You can mention any British crime you want, but confusing my refusal to accept the righteousness of the Provos’ campaign is no where near the same thing as denying wrong doing by the British gov or unionists.

    Do you never read my criticisms of unionists or something?

    I think the first mistake they made was to oppose the Home Rule bill and I’m equally critical of many if not most of modern unionism’s stances but such beliefs are not any way a belittlement to my belief that the Provos’ campaign was also ill-conceived (and that’s putting it politely).

    “Had the Unionist & British states not murdered people, or prosecuted those that had murdered people the IRAs would never have had the support and recruits locally and world wide that they did. Clegg.


    I get that, they made things worse.
    Doesn’t affect my outlook or points one jot.

  • Reader

    How many of the slum residents were actually involved in the rebellion? Or were they represented in-absentia by Social Justice Warriors?

  • terence patrick hewett

    We no longer throw bullets and housebricks at each other: we throw Jews and Mohammadans.

    I have to say that I prefer the housebricks.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Possibly, when you get as old as me it starts to blend together a bit! : )

  • Anglo-Irish

    If someone born in Ireland considers it to be their homeland and therefore is happy to be seen as Irish it makes absolutely no difference what religion – or lack of religion – they adhere to.

    However, if someone born in Ireland of whatever religion or lack thereof does not consider Ireland to be their homeland and objects to being called Irish then they have forfeited the right to have a say in the future of Ireland.

    Why would they want to interfere in a country that they have no attachment to?

    I object to people who have no love for the land that they were born in and give their allegiance to another country standing in the way of the democratic wishes of people who do regard themselves as belonging to the country.

    The democratic wishes of the population of the island of Ireland were clearly expressed in the 1918 general election.

    The refusal of a minority of people to accept that result lead to partition against the will of the majority, and was the main reason for the ongoing tragedy that is Northern Ireland, an artificially created failed state.

    And no, I have no respect whatsoever for people who refuse to accept democracy and can see nothing wrong in signing covenants in blood and importing German rifles in order to fight the state they claim ‘loyalty’ to.

  • kensei

    How many joined the Irish Volunteers and the Citizens Army that ended up in WW1 but were none the less animated by socialism and nationalism? How many stayed at home because of conflicting orders – if Casements guns had have landed it would have been bigger and more widespread, though almost certainly still doomed.

    That’s the thing with the Rising. It’s not just the Rising. It needs fitted into the proper context – both going backwards towards the Gaelic revival and forwards into the War of Independence. If you are doing the series on it, you really need to capture that.

  • kensei

    It’s all of the justifications. They aren’t mutually exclusive and Nationalism and Republicanism aren’t monolithic.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “If someone born in Ireland considers it to be their homeland and therefore is happy to be seen as Irish it makes absolutely no difference what religion – or lack of religion – they adhere to.

    However, if someone born in Ireland of whatever religion or lack thereof does not consider Ireland to be their homeland and objects to being called Irish then they have forfeited the right to have a say in the future of Ireland.

    Great. The Irish unionists at the time were loyal to THEIR country which is/was the UK.

    Furthermore very few if any at the time objected to being called Irish, the modern unionism is a brand of ‘British nationalism’, quite different from what Carson was all about.

    I don’t see why you get so annoyed at people not wanting to be pushed into something against their will. The American loyalists didn’t (and became Canada) and I’m sure I could hoke out a few more examples if you want me too.

    I think the anti-home rule movement was a bad idea for what’s worth but if people aren’t comfortable being a minority in a country then why force them, it’s hardly an unusual idea hence why a culturally & religiously significant part of Serbia was hacked off to create Kosovo and this has been sanctioned by the international community.

    “The refusal of a minority of people to accept that result lead to partition against the will of the majority, and was the main reason for the ongoing tragedy that is Northern Ireland, an artificially created failed state.”

    The Muslims didn’t want to be a minority in India.

    The Protestants didn’t want to be a minority in Ireland.

    Wether either group handled their affairs well is irrelevant the thing is they stuck up for themselves and did what they saw was right (even though I say again I think it was the wrong choice).

    For some reason, unlike nearly every other island in the world people are unable to fathom the idea that this particular island can be divided amongst different ethnic, political or religious groups even though there are loads of examples of this:

    New Guinea, Borneo, Hispaniola, Tierra Del Fuego, Timor, Cyprus, St Martin and of course Great Britain and that’s not including archipelagos or peninsulas which really shakes the mix up.

    Why Ireland is magically excluded I don’t know, but for some reason it’s a seemingly special case and this magical status exempts it from rational argument.
    The way I see it if Connaught or even just Co Dublin wants to be independent then they should be allowed to. (Slightly hypocritical as I have opposed further splintering of Northern Ireland into mirco-independencies in the event of a border poll showing a favourable outcome for unification, but it’s a hypocrisy I can live with, there’ll be nothing solved by having a principality of Carrickfergus or independent Royal Burgh of Bangorania).

    “The refusal of a minority of people to accept that result lead to partition against the will of the majority, and was the main reason for the ongoing tragedy that is Northern Ireland, an artificially created failed state.

    Go through the map of the world and the number ‘organically created states’ vs ‘artificially created’. Wee NI is not alone.

    “And no, I have no respect whatsoever for people who refuse to accept democracy and can see nothing wrong in signing covenants in blood and importing German rifles in order to fight the state they claim ‘loyalty’ to.”
    Thankfully that’s not what I asked you, is it? You just moved the goalposts.

  • Anglo-Irish

    So you think that a minority of people should be allowed to dictate to the majority despite that majority having clearly expressed its preference at the ballot box?

    No, I have no respect for people who won’t accept democracy.

    ‘ Why Ireland is magically excluded I don’t know ‘

    Let me explain it to you then.

    Ireland the island is a nation where the inhabitants spoke the same language. worshiped the same God(s) enjoyed the same culture and were subject to the same laws long before the Normans hove into view.

    You use Britain as an example, there have been three distinct separate races on the island of Britain since time immemorial, each with their own language, cultures and laws, Why they even have their own names for the countries that they live in! Imagine that! Lateral thinking or what!

    Unionists are the fly in the ointment, the grit in the gearbox and their behaviour toward their fellow citizens from partition onward debars them from any sympathy at least as far as I’m concerned.

    Had they chosen to administer the area with a degree of fairness and resisted the urge to display their inbred bigotry at every opportunity then maybe things would be different but they are what they are, and like the scorpion on the frogs back unionists don’t seem to be able to control their behaviour whatever the consequences.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘It started in ’65 when Unionists started shooting, bombing and murdering people.’

    Really? How many people were murdered in 1965? Are you perhaps thinking of the Malvern St murders which occurred in 1966 and for which the perpetrators were all convicted.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “So you think that a minority of people should be allowed to dictate to the majority despite that majority having clearly expressed its preference at the ballot box?”

    Nope. In this case the majority of people who wanted independence received it and the majority of those who didn’t want it remained in the UK (ironically under home rule of sorts).

    “No, I have no respect for people who won’t accept democracy.

    The majority of the north east wanted to stay. If the majority of the south west or west or wherever want ‘out’ then that’s their beeswax and good luck to them I say.

    You can send the tanks into Limerick and suppress any independent notions they may have but that’d your prerogative.

    ‘ Why Ireland is magically excluded I don’t know ‘

    Let me explain it to you then.

    Ireland the island is a nation where the inhabitants spoke the same language. worshiped the same God(s) enjoyed the same culture and were subject to the same laws long before the Normans hove into view.

    You use Britain as an example, there have been three distinct separate races on the island of Britain since time immemorial, each with their own language, cultures and laws, Why they even have their own names for the countries that they live in! Imagine that! Lateral thinking or what!”

    I gave a list of islands, you chose only one and didn’t mention that the Normans and their ancestors have been in Ireland longer now than either the scots or Saxons were in Britain by the time of the Norman conquest.
    So you may want to reconsider your time immemorial remark or apply it to the Normans too.

    “Unionists are the fly in the ointment, the grit in the gearbox and their behaviour toward their fellow citizens from partition onward debars them from any sympathy at least as far as I’m concerned.

    Again, you’re rewording MY question – ‘You have no respect for the position that not all Irishmen wanted to be ruled from Dublin, do you?’ and note I’m talking pre-partition here.

    “Had they chosen to administer the area with a degree of fairness and resisted the urge to display their inbred bigotry at every opportunity then maybe things would be different


    That’s fair enough.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “It’s a SOP by Unionists to derail the conversation. It was clear I was listing decision points that had they gone the other way could have avoided the Troubles entirely.”

    In which case YOU’RE the one that derailed the conversation!!!

    I don’t need you to sit there and tell me that unionists made things worse, that’s what I’m always ranting at them about.

    So in short you weren’t defending the Provo’s you just thought it was important to derail the conversation in case my points were valid?

    Is that it?

    Well done, you succeeded.

    “Here’s something you can take to the bank to provide context for every single comment I make – I oppose killing people. I oppose the death penalty, I opposed the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq (I & II), bombing Libya, bombing Syria, Yemen. If there’s a war or people getting killed – I’m against it. WW1, Battle of Somme – wrong. Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne – wrong. La Mon, Kingsmills, Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy and all the others – wrong.”

    It has been banked with this statement:
    (Bearing in mind it was very clear that I was talking about Provo violence at this stage)

    “Trying to take Protestant areas [i.e. violently, as was the context] out of the UK did NOT need to be done.”

    Well, you know I hold that a UI is the only viable solution so I can’t agree with that statement.”

  • Greenflag 2

    The UK has only been a democracy in the modern sense since the 1920’s when women were allowed to vote . A case can be made for Reform Act of 1832 as the beginning of widening the franchise at least enough so that the interests of many more Britons and Irish could be heard but it took the Chartists and the Welsh miners and others to keep the flame burning as it were .

  • Anglo-Irish

    Why don’t you provide us with some examples of successful partitions, ones that were peacefully accepted by all parties involved and no blood was spilt?

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjL4tz846TKAhVM1hQKHcZPDDAQFgguMAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.encyclopedia.com%2Ftopic%2FPartition.aspx&usg=AFQjCNGqXDur1IcpGbfJLaSxs3LXA4Opww

    I chose only one because it is the closest, the most appropriate in the circumstances and because I have other things to do.

    And no, once again I have no respect for anyone not willing to accept the majority view of people in the country in which they lived. I can understand that some would think that way but once the majority view was made clear they should have accepted it as the will of the people.

    The fact that they chose not to and ended up with a completely artificial gerrymandered part of a previously unified country is the cause of the problem.

    Very fair of you to acknowledge the fact that unionist maladministration also added to the problem.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Why don’t you provide us with some examples of successful partitions, ones that were peacefully accepted by all parties involved and no blood was spilt?

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?s

    I chose only one because it is the closest, the most appropriate in the circumstances and because I have other things to do.

    Why?

    Another goalpost erecting exercise? Borders in many cases involve bloodshed. Sometimes in the belief that not to erect such borders could have even more bloodshed.

    “And no, once again I have no respect for anyone not willing to accept the majority view of people in the country in which they lived. I can understand that some would think that way but once the majority view was made clear they should have accepted it as the will of the people.”

    So you’ve no time for separatism? ”
    The fact that they chose not to and ended up with a completely artificial gerrymandered part of a previously unified country is the cause of the problem.

    That they gerrymandered it or gerrymandered it incompetently?

    Would there still have been the same play out if they had gerrymandered in a neater fashion? e.g. Had they chipped off most of Fermanagh, parts of West Tyrone, South Down, South Armagh, Westbank Derry and incorporated some of East Donegal then things would probably have been very different wouldn’t they?

    So as they did it incompetently then yes, you’re correct, had they been more surgical (and the Fermanagh Mafia less influential) then who knows?

    “Very fair of you to acknowledge the fact that unionist maladministration also added to the problem.”
    Well they did and they got worse with nearly every major event and tumult and still haven’t learnt from their mistakes.

  • Anglo-Irish

    How they went about gerrymandering it, and then continuing with further internal political fiddling is rather immaterial, they should never have been allowed to partition the country in the first place.

    The problem should have been faced up to and resolved there and then.

    Whilst it would have been bloody it would have been relatively short and sharp compared with what actually happened. After all what exactly would the unionists have been fighting for? Take us back, we’re loyal to you, if you don’t we’ll kill you?

    When India gained its independence many people who were born there of British descent decided to return to the homeland even though many had never seen the place. Others decided to remain and live out their lives in a country they were prepared to call home although retaining an affection for the old country.

    Unionists in NI decided to stay and create trouble for themselves and everyone else.

  • Reader

    I’m not sure it’s the job of a drama to put events into a historical context – especially not an idealised context bulked out with hindsight.
    The rebels had their motivations, and their expectations at the time. That’s the meat of a good drama. Jag’s slum dwellers weren’t there; because it wasn’t that sort of rebellion in 1916.
    It is possible that this production is better than republican fantasists in the modern era actually deserve.

  • kensei

    Of course its the job of the drama to provide context. It’s the colour that makes the drama real. I mean how do you write about the period without having the spectre of conscription? It’s beyond me.

    Connolly is a socialist. The Dublin lockout had an impact too. The IV and ICA were citizen volunteers. Of course the slums were there.

    The production is about now more thanit is about then. Nearly everything involving history is. That’s OK, and it’s not unwatchable or anything. It’s just not what I was hoping for the series. I wanted it to catch the atmosphere of genuinely crazy time in history. Just don’t feel it got that so far.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “How they went about gerrymandering it, and then continuing with further internal political fiddling is rather immaterial, they should never have been allowed to partition the country in the first place.”

    That’s your opinion, as I said there are plenty of examples of partition so why NI unionists are not worthy of such a path I don’t know. Not popular enough? Not nice enough? Not deserving?

    “The problem should have been faced up to and resolved there and then.

    The ‘problem’ of dealing with minorities prior to the end of WWII in Europe has tended to be quite a gritty affair. This is how the movers of the anti-home rule movement were able to rattle the cage so effectively.

    “When India gained its independence many people who were born there of British descent decided to return to the homeland even though many had never seen the place. Others decided to remain and live out their lives in a country they were prepared to call home although retaining an affection for the old country.”

    Which brings us back to the point that you don’t see these men and women who didn’t want independence as ‘Irish’, do you? You see them as foreigners regardless of how mixed their heritage may be, don’t you?

    “Unionists in NI decided to stay and create trouble for themselves and everyone else.”
    Imagine wanting to stay in the country of their ancestors! The sheer cheek of them!

  • Anglo-Irish

    First of all there are very few places where partition works in anything other than a stop gap temporary ‘ let’s kick the can down the road’ and let some other bugger deal with it way.

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwid65fp0abKAhWBUhQKHeATDsUQFggtMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbrianjohnspencer.blogspot.com%2F2015%2F04%2Fchristopher-hitchens-on-partition.html&usg=AFQjCNGQVPb52i6PwqSyU-iWQRMEi0nClg

    Secondly, NI unionists have by their own actions proved that they are not worthy.

    You admitted it yourself, they had their chance, they could have administered the place in such a way that it would have been virtually impossible to gain support for an ‘ armed struggle’ against a professionally trained security force.

    They chose of their own free will to abuse the trust placed in them and decided that they preferred to operate a sectarian cesspit in order to satisfy their own bigotry.

    And now the earth has turned and things have changed, and it has gone from ” No one likes us, we don’t care ” and ” Croppy lie down” and ” No Surrender ” to ” Well not all Catholics are nationalists you know “.

    Slowly it’s beginning to dawn on even the slow learners that the future of NI is going to be decided by those who consider themselves to be Irish.

    And you think that you should be given another chance?

    Well I don’t, tough old world, you had your chance you chose to blow it.

    As for not regarding anyone who wants to remain in the UK as foreigners, that all depends on how they regard themselves doesn’t it?

    If they state that they are Irish then they are. However, many don’t do they?

    If you were born in Ireland but insist on being regarded as British, a country you obviously feel more allegiance to than to Ireland, then you have chosen to self identify as not Irish.

    I know unionists have been used to having their cake and eat it, but that’s all over now, get used to it, welcome to the real world.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    First of all there are very few places where partition works in anything other than a stop gap temporary ‘ let’s kick the can down the road’ and let some other bugger deal with it way.

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?s

    If implemented badly with ‘divide and conquer’ in mind then correct.

    If the partition that I outlined was carried out then we may have had a very different outcome (though again, I don’t think partition was necessary myself).

    Anyway, this is all beside the point, you’re using the ‘artificially created state’ as a basis for your argument and I’m highlighting that there are lots of ‘artificially’ created states. Just because you don’t like some of them is irrelevant.

    “Secondly, NI unionists have by their own actions proved that they are not worthy.

    You admitted it yourself, they had their chance, they could have administered the place in such a way that it would have been virtually impossible to gain support for an ‘ armed struggle’ against a professionally trained security force.

    They chose of their own free will to abuse the trust placed in them and decided that they preferred to operate a sectarian cesspit in order to satisfy their own bigotry.”

    And now the earth has turned and things have changed, and it has gone from ” No one likes us, we don’t care ” and ” Croppy lie down” and ” No Surrender ” to ” Well not all Catholics are nationalists you know “.

    And how this is relevant to your earlier suggestion of mass deportation/removal/’homecoming’ of the self-identifying Irish people who didn’t want independence? Moved the goal posts again?

    “I know unionists have been used to having their cake and eat it, but that’s all over now, get used to it, welcome to the real world.


    Which is why my brand of unionism is quite at odds with ‘traditional unionism’. Sometimes I don’t think you bother reading what I write…

  • Anglo-Irish

    Well I know for sure that you don’t read what I write, or if you do you have a comprehension problem.

    How many times do I have to state that I don’t give a monkeys what religion or political view someone has, it’s simple, if they say they are Irish then they are, if however they claim to be British ( as opposed to a British citizen which is in fact what they actually are ) then they are saying that they aren’t Irish themselves, why would I argue with them?

    And whatever their political viewpoint providing they are prepared to accept the democratically expressed will of the majority they can live where they please.

    And let me repeat, unionists have proven to everyone’s satisfaction ( except their own ) that they shouldn’t be allowed to run a bath let alone a state.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I do read your words but I do struggle to comprehend it; you say on one hand you state ” I don’t give a monkeys what religion or political view someone has, it’s simple, if they say they are Irish then they are…”

    and yet when one group of Irishmen goes against the grain you hint at mass movement/relocation “Unionists in NI decided to stay and create trouble for themselves and everyone else”.

    At the time of the anti-Home Rule movement these guys considered themselves Irishmen. The ‘British only’ pose of many unionists is something that has crept up sense partition and latterly the Troubles.

    These undeserving people that you feel had a cheek to hang around in their own land were Irishmen, so pardon me if I do struggle to understand your points as they are somewhat weighted.

    I get that they made an ass of running things but that doesn’t give you the right to decide who should leave and who should stay.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Yes you definitely struggle to comprehend alright.

    Would you mind pointing out the post where I recommended mass deportation?

    People can live where they want, all that I’ve pointed out is that living in one country but denying that you are of that country and insisting against all facts and common sense that you are of another country is weird, convoluted and quite liable to annoy people who not only accept that they are of the country but are proud of the fact.

    If those undeserving people are Irishmen why do so many of them insist that they’re British?

    Most of us who were actually born in Britain don’t use the description, other than in a situation where they are asked what their nationality is, and even then many will still respond English, Scots or Welsh.

    But NI unionists insist on calling themselves by the name of the neighbouring island.

    Perhaps in a previous post I suggested that these people may be happier in the land they love so much, but I have no recollection of advocating forced resettlement.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Would you mind pointing out the post where I recommended mass deportation?”

    Would you mind pointing out in my post where I said you recommended mass deportation?

    I said “and yet when one group of Irishmen goes against the grain you hint at mass movement/relocation”

    The word ‘hint’ does not mean ‘recommend’.

    “People can live where they want, all that I’ve pointed out is that living in one country but denying that you are of that country and insisting against all facts and common sense that you are of another country is weird, convoluted and quite liable to annoy people who not only accept that they are of the country but are proud of the fact.”

    I have stated clearly that the pre-partition era was a time when nearly all unionists & Protestants regarded themselves as Irish.

    You either don’t accept this or are conveniently ignoring this fact in favour of the easier target of today’s unionist’s who are in the main more hostile to being portrayed as Irish.

    Why are you doing this?

    You talk of partition but then refuse to acknowledge that those same pro-partitionists were Irish.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    “If those undeserving people are Irishmen why do so many of them insist that they’re British?”

    This is a POST partition phenomenon.

    “Most of us who were actually born in Britain don’t use the description, other than in a situation where they are asked what their nationality is, and even then many will still respond English, Scots or Welsh.

    But NI unionists insist on calling themselves by the name of the neighbouring island.”

    I probably find this more frustrating than you do.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Just returned from a weeks break and seen this.

    You are playing with semantics, you suggest that I ‘hinted’ at ‘mass movement/relocation, I did no such thing.

    At no time did I ‘hint’ ‘suggest’ or infer that anyone should be removed forcibly or otherwise from wherever they choose to live.

    Commenting that if some people are so enamored of another country that they insist on being identified by that country’s name then they may feel happier moving there is simply stating an opinion.

    Theobald Wolfe Tone is revered by Sinn Fein and the IRA as an Irish hero, doesn’t appear to concern them that he wasn’t Catholic, in fact they don’t care what you are providing that you want an independent Ireland do they?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Johnston

    It is immaterial that some pro partitionists were Irish, the clear and unequivocal wishes of the majority of the people of Ireland were expressed in the 1918 Irish general election.

    The fact that they regarded themselves as Irish was because they were Irish, their political views didn’t alter their nationality it simply put them in a minority on the island.

    Many of them acted in an honourable manner and accepted the will of the people. They remained in the republic and many of them served it well.

    The first Seanad included 20 protestants and 36 Catholics out of a total of 60 members, it’s first chairman was Lord Glenavy who was Lord Chief Justice of Ireland from 1916 to 1921 under British rule.

    That percentage of protestants was well over the percentage in the country as a whole.
    Obviously, the Unionists in NI made sure that the Catholic population had a similar representation didn’t they?

    Had the other members of the PUL community been prepared to act in the same manner the whole NI tragedy wouldn’t have occurred and Ireland would be a better country to everyone’s benefit.

    The fact that a large proportion of those against self determination happened to live in close proximity to each other shouldn’t have influenced what happened.

    The threat of ‘loyalist’ violence and pressure from those with vested interests were given more weight than the democratic will of the people.

    Partition is a botched up nonsense, never acceptable as a solution, and anyone who thinks that gerrymandering a piece of a country and separating it from the remainder with an arbitrary man made border will solve things indefinitely is delusional.