WALL COMES TUMBLING DOWN

The final episode of ‘Rebellion’ on RTE1 was not surprisingly a mournful affair as characters awaited execution, languished in Kilmainham Jail or tried to avoid capture.

At the start of the episode, Steve Wall – best known to my generation as the lead singer of The Stunning – burst through the doors of the home of Niamh Cusack’s Nelly Cosgrave and almost caught Sarah Greene’s May Lacy and Ruth Bradley’s IRB operative Frances O’Flaherty hiding in an attic.

Over the course of the episode, Wall’s Detective Coleman had a thoroughly miserable time and was thwarted at every turn.

When May came out of hiding to hand herself in at Dublin Castle to her British Under Secretary lover Tom Turner’s Charles Hammond, Coleman was told he could not question her by the senior civil servant who was cooking a plan to keep his pregnant mistress in a job and give his wife the child she could not have.

Detective Coleman suffered another setback when Michael Ford-Fitzgerald’s Harry Butler managed to get the theft charges he had spirited up against Jordanne Jones’ maid Minnie Mahon dropped.

Earlier in the episode Harry bribed Coleman in a Dublin pub to drop the statement that was keeping his sister, Charlie Murphy’s rebel Lizzie in prison.

And then, he had the added headache of an armed and obsessed Frances on his tail.

As he awaited execution, Brian Gleeson’s Irish Citizens Army volunteer Jimmy Mahon was anxious to get Lydia McGuinness’ Peggy to forgive him for the death of her son at the GPO and the return of her husband, Barry Ward’s British soldier Arthur Mahon to the Front.

She couldn’t forgive him and told him she wouldn’t.

Fresh from his suicide bid, the soldier Lizzie ditched at the altar Paul Reid’s Stephen Duffy Lyons was dispatched to the Front in France too after an Army hearing.

Belfast nurse Sophie Robinson’s Ingrid Webster decided she would head to the Front as well, much to the disappointment of her boyfriend, Andrew Simpson’s disillusioned lawyer George Wilson.

George complained what little credibility he was building as a lawyer had been dismantled by the court martials of the 1916 leaders and their execution.

Lizzie remained in jail in her immaculate green coat, in the expectation that her true love Jimmy would be executed.

She was told by her mother, Michelle Fairley’s Dolly she was proud of her for fighting for her ideals but she rebuffed her mum’s attempt to persuade her to plead for a lesser sentence by saying she had been foolish to join the rebellion.

Eamon de Valera turned up for the first time in the series and was depicted in a less than flattering light, spewing after he learnt his life had been spared.

Once again, writer Colin Teevan’s script was a frustrating affair – having moments of decent drama mixed with frivolous nonsense.

A scene where Lydia McGuinness’s Peggy Mahon clashed with Gus McDonagh’s Monsignor Mulcahy over his refusal to absolve her for refusing to forgive Jimmy was astutely written and well acted.

A confrontation between Lizzie and George was also nicely handled by Murphy and Simpson.

But these moments were undone by the rather convenient, unexpected death of one major character.

Teevan’s treatment of Harry Butler also became increasingly cartoonish, with his caddish behaviour and dodgy dealings.

The Charles Hammond-May Lacy relationship remained, as it had throughout the series, a soap opera distraction.

Frances was dispiritingly one note as Irish republicanism’s most dedicated and unrecognised activist – although a lesbian kiss was thrown in for her just to create a bit of a talking point.

So at the end of it all, what are we to make of Louhimies and Teevan’s attempt to dramatise 1916?

As Ireland’s national broadcaster, there was always going to be an expectation that RTE would do something special to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising.

And with its recent forays into popular drama with ‘Raw’, ‘The Clinic’, ‘Love/Hate’, ‘Amber’ and ‘Haughey’, the possibility of a miniseries was a pretty good bet.

In the final analysis, ‘Rebellion’ was a nicely shot TV drama on a tight budget, with some decent performances from some of its principal actors.

Charlie Murphy, Brian Gleeson, Lydia McGuinness and Barry Ward stood out from the rest of the pack.

Anyone who saw ‘Haughey’, however, which was also written by Teevan, knew ‘Rebellion’ would take liberties with historical fact and that is exactly what they got – not least in a sequence in the penultimate episode which implied Pearse may have knowingly signed a death warrant for his comrades with a reference to the Kaiser in a letter to his mother.

Louhimies and Teevan probably made the right choice not to focus on the main historical figures at the heart of the Rising.

But ultimately their series was let down by major weaknesses in Teevan’s script, especially a tendency to sensationalise with soap opera storylines.

Despite getting off to a decent start, Teevan’s script struggled as the series wore on but Louhimies’ assured direction and a handful of decent performances did just about enough to keep you watching.

By episode four, however, it was clear ‘Rebellion’ was testing its audience’s patience – a fact reflected by the TAM Ireland/Nielsen ratings which revealed the viewing figures had dropped from 619,000 for the opening episode to 487,000.

There is no doubt ‘Rebellion’ limped at quite some distance behind RTE’s classic 1980 adaptation of James Plunkett’s Dublin Lockout novel ‘Strumpet City’ with Donal McCann, Frank Grimes, David Kelly, Peter O’Toole, Cyril Cusack and Sir Peter Ustinov.

It will be interesting, however, to see how ‘Rebellion’ is received in the United States when it airs on the Sundance TV channel and whether it is picked up for broadcast by other networks around the world or on streaming services.

That ultimately will determine whether the makers of ‘Rebellion’ will get a crack at their stated plan to have a follow-up about the war of independence.

Unlike ‘Rebellion’, that follow-up will have a clear yardstick against which it will be measured – Ken Loach’s war of independence and civil war drama ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’.

Its writer and producers will need to display greater courage and determination than they showed in ‘Rebellion’ to avoid sliding into soap opera sensationalism.

They will also need to show a willingness to explore their characters in more depth if it is to come anywhere near Loach’s Palme d’Or winning movie.

  • Robin Keogh

    A perfect review. The soap opera element was over done and really started to get on peoples nerves. The events of 1916 are perfect fodder for a seriously intense tv spectacular but as others have suggested elsewhere, commercialism won the day.Despite this, some scenes were portrayed sensitively and moving, not least the shooting of connolly which depicted the pure barbarity of the imperial British military of the time. The whole series was interesting and sometimes enjoyable, but a great opportunity was missed. Must do better.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I have rather a weakness for “Rebel Heart” with the delightfully exotic Paloma Baeza impersonating a Belfast lass, and James D’Arcy doing a version of a nice middle class boy like meself. Still soap opera, but I have rather a weakness for Easter Rising Camp.

    Did you ever catch it Robin? Interestingly, it is seriously unavailable outside of a few clips on YouTube. Perhaps the fictional version of the MacMahon murders it presents in ep.II was simply too much of a reminder in the Wee Six in 2001:

    The trailer is worth a comparison also:

    Perhaps it could be given another broadcast airing or even a DVD release this year?

  • Jag

    Poor old Terry Wogan popped his clogs on Saturday, and just before Rebellion started last night, I had found one of his old “Blankety Blank” programmes on Youtube queued up to watch. Remember “Blankety Blank” and indeed Wogan’s coverage of Eurovision? Both were, and are, dreadful concepts but Wogan’s self-deprecating gentle humour and hawklike observation and responses were marvellous. Even after nearly 40 years, it was hilarious to see Kenny Everett bend Wogan’s slender microphone, and to watch the ensuing repartee.

    And thank God I did have a “Blankety Blank” queued up to watch, because Rebellion was unrelenting misery which paralysed your will to live. It was like being back in school on a Sunday night rushing to finish your homework on your least favorite subject. You can stand unrelenting misery if there are scenes to hook your interest – “Come and See” and “Checkist” prove that – but this was just mundane enervating misery.

    In the end, you didn’t give a damn for any of the characters. Lizzie’s cell? “You wouldn’t keep a dog in such conditions”. Yeah, it was still bigger than Alan Kelly’s new apartments. Exile? Not to New South Wales, just North Wales, 60 miles from Dublin, you could probably swim it if you needed to get back for the weekend. And poor Connolly’s execution. If you gave a community college film student €200 to film it, they would have done as good a job and not have RTE’s “RBS 6 Nations Rugby, 6 Days to Go” prominently parked on the screen.

    Overall, it was atrocious. But like your least favorite subject at school, you felt obliged to sit through it. In 30 years time, people will still be watching “Blankety Blank” despite it being silly. People aren’t even watching “Rebellion” six days later when it’s repeated on Saturday night. Awful script, hit-and-miss acting, narrow-field views, stagey sets, laughable special effects, humorless and an unlaughable waste of licence fee.

  • mickfealty

    I watched the whole lot. The reaction to it has been as telling as the drama itself. The ellison between history and storytelling is at times gobsmackingly nieve.

    They are NOT the same. This was a nice drama, well written for the most part, well acted and I think will do well on Sundance and elsewhere.

    Of course the writer has settled a few scores. Dev is given a good kicking in the last episode, as are the bankers. But the focus on real lives was the point.

    The difficulty that people face when they re-visit the revolutionary roots of the national story is that it gets murky and dirty very very quickly.

    Modern Irish history wasn’t really taught in southern (or northern schools) for most of the existence of the state. I suspect that’s because of the civil war more than 1916.

    The rawness of some reactions suggest that heading into the second century of an independent Irish state is going to be as much of a voyage of discovery as the first.

    Maybe even more so, since many of the national issues have been parked rather than properly and honestly engaged with.

    It was a much better opener to the year than I was expecting to be honest. But then honesty has not always been our strongest suit.

  • Anglo-Irish

    ‘ Honesty has not always been our strongest suit ‘

    Wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that comment but in what way are the Irish more dishonest than other nationalities?

    The British – at least when I went to school – didn’t include too many references to the atrocities carried out in the name of empire.

    The total annihilation of the Tazmanian aborigines, the torture of Kenyans, the deaths in concentration camps of over 100,000 during the Boer war and the circumstances of the Opium war to name just a few, received precisely no attention whatsoever.

    Do you think that the Americans spend enormous amounts of time discussing the genocide of native Americans during their history lessons?

    The Irish are the most self critical group of people I have ever come across.

    The war of independence was completely justifiable, was it as clean and romantic as the purists would like?

    No, because it was a war and they are all obscene no matter what there justification.

  • Thomas Barber

    Its quite easy to find Seaan, Kodi, Genisis, search tv programs, you’ll find the whole series there.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you Thomas! They used to have the whole series on YouTube, but it was pulled. It’s till a pity the BBC don’t issue a DVD for those of us with poor streaming. The fellow half mile down the hill from me can stream on high definition, but you get the turning disc cutting in on my broadband connection every so often. The YouTube version was so low quality that I could stream it easily, just had to guess what was happening.

  • mickfealty

    We can always still strive to change and improve though.

  • Anglo-Irish

    An admirable ambition, but despite not being perfect ( What nation is? ) the Irish are generally speaking quite a decent bunch , if we can still use bunch after Cameron’s gaffe!

    The thing is that it is rare to hear any English person indulge in any introspection with regard to the past behaviour of England/Britain, whilst many Irish seem to have a habit of hand wringing and questioning the rights and wrongs of the uprising.

    It happened, it was the first successful armed struggle against a colonial power by the colonised in the history of the world.

    It resulted in a better life for the inhabitants of the country than that enjoyed by the inhabitants of Wales, Scotland and the areas of England outside the south east.

    It should be celebrated in a mature manner without any of the ridiculous jingoistic bombast favoured by the chauvinistically brain dead.

  • erasmus

    “It happened, it was the first successful armed struggle against a colonial power by the colonised in the history of the world”

    Ahem, Anglo-Irish, the American War of Independence.

  • Anglo-Irish

    I once took enormous delight in making the statement in my previous post to an American.

    It doesn’t count, that was a revolt by the colonists themselves ‘No taxation without representation’ in order to have qualified the Comanche nation would have had to have joined with their other native Americans and driven the British into the sea.

    First time in the history of the world and accomplished by the only nation in Europe that never as a nation set out to steal another mans land.

    Something that gives me some pride in my Irish blood.

  • Thomas Barber

    “the only nation in Europe that never as a nation set out to steal another mans land”

    Not exacxtly true Anglo, great book by the way if your interested in Irish history –

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/41666/41666-h/41666-h.htm

  • mickfealty

    We’re drifting off into wonderland here A/I. There’s the colonised and the coloniser. Both are conditions that have to be got beyond or at least struggled away from over time.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    AI

    “First time in the history of the world… ”

    Without trying to be pedantic (genuinely) would I be correct in assuming that you have a very, very, very strict set of criteria to base this on which allows you to exclude the Dutch as well as the Swiss Cantons? Or even Serbia? Montenegro?

    “accomplished by the only nation in Europe that never as a nation set out to steal another mans land.


    If that’s true then why is Scotland called Scotland? There were definitely people there before ‘the Scots’ arrived from Ulster ? And the isle of Man, I’m sure there was people there too?
    And on that Gaelic note did the Scots not kick out ‘colonisers’ in the 1300’s?
    In fact, did western Scotland not boot out the Norwegians a century beforehand after the death of Haakon after the battle Largs?

  • Anglo-Irish

    The criteria is as follows.

    A nation invaded and colonised by an Empire.

    The native people of the invaded country use force of arms to make the empire withdraw.

    An empire such as Rome imploding from the centre and withdrawing of its own free will does not count.

    A situation where the people imported by the empire to colonise a country then decide to revolt does not count.

    This description of Ireland and the Irish is not my invention it was in the foreword to a book written by an ex German soldier and author who retired to Ireland.

    Unfortunately I cannot remember his name.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Fairly clear distinction there I would have thought Michael.

    ‘Loyalists’ identify themselves as colonisers nationalists as the colonised.

    Agree with you regarding the ‘got beyond’ how’s that going?

  • Anglo-Irish

    Can’t get it to open, are you saying that it provides proof of a nationally agreed plan and action carried out by the Irish nation to invade and conquer another country?

    If so I stand corrected but I’m unaware of such a situation.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Right, so going by that criteria then the Western Scots would have been the first to do so having won the western seaboard after Haakon’s death shortly after the battle of Largs?

    Or even after Edward I’s invasions? They sent him homeward to think again (and bear in mind that lands in Scotland were seized and populated with ‘loyalists’).

    And surely any of the Balkan countries that rose up against the Ottomans?

    “This description of Ireland and the Irish is not my invention it was in the foreword to a book written by an ex German soldier and author who retired to Ireland.


    I don’t know why you wrote that, I never accused you of inventing it.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “‘Loyalists’ identify themselves as colonisers ”

    Like who? Name a loyalist who has clearly stated that they consider his or herself to be a ‘colonist’.

    I’ve heard of nationalists labelling loyalists as colonists as it fits their narrative, but never as loyalists applying that label to themselves.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Jag

    I’ve watched ‘come and see’ numerous times but by Jove I couldn’t get past the first ten minutes of ‘checkist’, fair play to you!

  • Reader

    That would be because nothing fitting the definition of “the Irish Nation” was ever in a position to do such a thing. The Irish nation being rather hypothetical until the 20th Century.

  • Anglo-Irish

    You really are desperate to peddle that nonsense aren’t you?

    Are you under the impression that if you could persuade people to believe it it would somehow make the plantation acceptable?

    Answer these questions.

    1, For centuries before the Norman invasion did Ireland have a High King?

    2, Did any of the provinces ever claim to be anything more than a province? You do understand the meaning of the word province don’t you?

    3, Was Brehon law accepted throughout the the country?

    4, Was there a common language spoken throughout the country?

    5, Was there a common religion throughout the country?

    6, Was there a common culture throughout the country?

    7, The Irish were the first people in Europe to adopt the use of surnames, did any of the provinces not adopt this practice?

    8, Is there any historical evidence of anyone from the country ever claiming that they didn’t come from Ireland in the way that a Scot,Welsh or English person would define themselves?

    Should you wish to argue with any of the above please provide evidence to the contrary.

    Please explain in what way Ireland wasn’t a country.

    Take into consideration that it is accepted that England was formed in 829 AD when King Egbert of Wessex accepted the submission of King Eanred of Northumbria at Dore which is in the City of Sheffield.

    Please note, Two Kings, one country!

  • congal claen

    Hi Anglo,
    As someone who considers themselves loyalist I can assure you I don’t see myself as a coloniser. As last Prince of the Cruthin I would see it the other way round ;0) Gael itself is quite close to Gal for good reason.
    BTW, can you think of another ‘colonised’ country that sent MPs to the coloniser’s parliament?

  • Anglo-Irish

    Ireland was England’s first colony, it’s position altered in 1801 upon the act of union.

    However, up until then it was a colony and the planters were colonists.

    If ‘loyalists’ don’t consider themselves to be colonists and yet insist against all the evidence that they are British what exactly do they consider themselves to be, and what’s all the marching, bonfires and coat trailing all about?

    As for the MPs how many of them were actually representatives of the ordinary Irish people and how many were part of the British and Irish establishment?

  • congal claen

    Hi Anglo,
    at the risk of sounding pedantic reader said “Nation” not “country”.
    As for your list of things that make up a country it should be noted that the word country comes from the old French cuntree. Not making that up, but it makes you wonder what the citizens of such a cuntree would be referred to. Anyhow, it means that before the 11th century no one here would have been aware of the word country and therefore what it meant.

  • Anglo-Irish

    My previous post applies to Ireland being a nation just as well as being described as a country doesn’t it?
    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiLipP0vtnKAhVINz4KHbrJCsQQFghKMAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.oxforddictionaries.com%2Fdefinition%2Fenglish%2Fnation&usg=AFQjCNH6abT9tS25S1xF1j0P1gWjf3iX4A

    There is a strange obsession among some of those in the PUL community to try to deny that Ireland was ever a country or nation in its own right before the Norman invasion.

    That is nonsense, as pointed out in my previous post there was one law, one culture and one language throughout the land.

    There were four ( at one time five ) provinces, the fact that they were provinces should be proof enough that the island was an entity but that doesn’t suit the agenda of some so they are prepared to argue that black is white.

    As to the language we use it has evolved, County is also French originally the area of land belonging to a count.

    You’re not suggesting we should only discuss things using the original vernacular I assume?

  • congal claen

    Hi Anglo,

    Then let me explain…

    These islands have been known as the British Isles for millennia. Long before England was ever thought of these islands were British. There was toing and froing between the islands as the sea was seen as an aid, rather than the more modern view as an impediment, to travel. You’ll also notice that most of the cities in the islands are on the coast – that’s how people got about. For example, the British tribe the Errain from modern day Bristol moved to in and around Cork and gave the name Ireland to the smaller of the 2 main British islands. You also have the Scotti from modern day Northern Ireland giving their name to Scotland. Again showing the movement between the isles. Dalriada existed as a political entity that straddled the Irish Sea. So, to me it’s quite consistent to be Irish and British.
    If the planters are colonisers does that mean Gerry Adams and John Hume, who both have planter surnames, are colonisers?
    Whatabout all those people from the west of Ireland who settled around Belfast due to the famine. Are they planters? because they would have travelled further than those from Galloway.

  • congal claen

    Hi Anglo,
    Countries or Nations aren’t really fixed entities are they and leads to argument about definitions.
    Throughout the British Isles there is basically one law (with slight differences), one culture and one language. It’s not a country or Nation. Maybe we should be? ;0)

  • Anglo-Irish

    You claim these islands were British?

    You understand that they were originally named by the Romans?

    Perhaps you would care to explain how it is that the Romans named England and Wales Britain but gave a separate name to Scotland?

    They also gave a separate name to Ireland as well, didn’t they?

    If your contention that ‘ Long before England was thought of these islands were British ‘ was true, why didn’t the Romans simply call both major islands and the surrounding smaller ones Britain?

    Why employ three separate names?

    The only reason that they would call them Britain, Caledonia and Hibernia is that they recognised 2,071 years ago that they were dealing with three separate nations, cultures and peoples.

    Additionally, perhaps you would care to explain how it is that although Britain and Ireland have been linked historically for over 800 years they have continued to be referred to separately?

    Caledonia was subsumed into Britain and now Scotland is considered part of Britain but Ireland remains Ireland.

    As I have pointed out on numerous occasions the point is made perfectly clear on the cover of a British passport, there is no mention of England,Scotland or Wales because they are part of Britain, Ireland isn’t, so has to be included as an addition.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Throughout Britain there may more or less be one law which currently also applies to N,I but if you’re attempting to pull the usual arrogant inclusion of the ROI in that comment then you’re incorrect.

    British justice is subject to the crown, the ROI is a republic.

    The island of Ireland is a fixed entity,

    Incidentally, when Prince Charles visited Sligo recently he had the good manners to refer to ” These Atlantic Isles “.

    Perhaps you should follow the example of your future monarch?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    As you now know, the term ‘British ‘ as an identity in NI is a relatively recent advent, before that (as you know now) they considered themselves Irish.

    No doubt they considered themselves British too but to be British is not to surrender ones identity as demonstrated by the vast number of people who considered themselves to be British at some point e.g. Ghandi.

    I’m British and Irish, can you accept that?

    The terms British and coloniser and British are not necessarily the same thing.

    But you know this already…

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Columba won a degree of independence for dal riata.

    The other part of dal riata being a place that irish people colonised and subjugated.

  • Anglo-Irish

    As a Nation they invaded another Nation in a different land?

    Or was it a case of a country forming which would not be classed as colonisation?

  • Anglo-Irish

    If you were born in NI then I accept without question your right to refer to yourself as a British citizen, but you are not British.

    How can you be British under those circumstances? You come from a different place, a fact acknowledged on the front of your passport

    If someone from NI is British what does that make someone actually born in Britain?
    Are you saying that there’s no difference? In which case anyone entitled to a British passport would be British, but they’re not, they’re citizens, unless actually born in Britain.
    There has to be a differential otherwise you couldn’t refer accurately to an individual persons background.

    The obvious need for some people from NI to consider themselves to be something other than what they are is pitiful and at the same time insulting in the extreme to the country they were born in.

    A second generation American, Australian, New Zealander or Canadian will consider themselves to belong to that country the PUL community have decided after generations to deliberately alienate themselves from the land of their birth.

    Gandhi considered himself British? Where do you get this stuff?

    When he played a major part in the independence of his country and was regarded as the father of the nation do you think he thought he was British?

  • Reader

    But AI – you’re the one that is demanding inconsistency – for all of your insistence on all permeating Brehon Law, and universally acknowledged High kings, you still deny that the Irish colonial adventures were the responsibility of the Irish Nation. Make your mind up.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well, the ‘king’ of whatever east Antrim was in those days invaded western Scotland, his people colonised it and eventually displaced the native (brythonic?) language, replacing it with their own language.

    As some one who is rather fond of Scottish Gaelic i’m glad they did this though I am curious as to how ‘pictland’ would look and sound like now.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    For a while Ghandi was quite the brit.

    Obviously this changed and the rest is history but that’s the peculiar thing about ‘british’ identity, it is in a manner of speaking ‘optional’ for want of a better word.

    It’s a bit like Russian; you have ‘ruusians’ (ethnic Russians ) and ‘raasseeans’ (citizens of Russia but not ethnic russians).

    Tatars, Cossacks, dagestanis etc are Russian but at the same time not, it’s an umbrella identity.

    Although Russia has ethnic Russians if we talk about ethnic Britains who do we mean? English? Welsh & cumbrians?

  • Anglo-Irish

    The peculiar thing about British identity to me is that most of those born on the island of Britain tend to think of themselves as English,Welsh or Scots in the first instance.

    British only tends to get any consideration when it comes to passport control or the Olympic games.

    The only people who give prominence to ‘British Identity’ tend to be roughly 50% of the people born in the north east of another island.

  • Anglo-Irish

    What Irish colonial adventures?

    When did the High King of Ireland summon the Provincial Kings to Tara and agree that they would invade another country in order to colonise it?

    You obviously appreciate that colonisation involves installing your administration in a foreign country in order to exploit its assets for the benefit of the homeland?

    When did that happen?

  • Anglo-Irish

    My point was that Ireland is the only country in Europe that never As A Nation set out to steal another mans land.

    You are talking about a provincial king going on a solo run using his local clansmen.

    When you say ‘colonised it ‘ did they impose their laws and administration and extract taxes or did some of them just settle there and make themselves at home?

    I’m still awaiting an explanation from someone as to how an island which contains people of the same race, obeying the same law, speaking the same language observing the same traditions and culture and being divided into provinces ( an administrative division of a country ) does not meet the criterion for being classed as a country.

    So far all I’m getting is ” because I don’t want it to be, it’s not conducive to my pre formed opinion “.

  • congal claen

    Hi Anglo,

    The simple answer is that the Romans did refer to these islands, as a whole, as British. For example…

    Pliny the Elder writing around AD 70, in section 4.102 of his Naturalis Historia, writes of Great Britain:
    Albion ipsi nomen fuit, cum Britanniae vocarentur omnes de quibus mox paulo dicemus.
    (Albion was its own name, when all [the islands] were called the Britannias).
    In the following section, 4.103, Pliny enumerates the islands he considers to make up the Britannias, listing Great Britain, Ireland, and many smaller islands.

    Ptolemy (Greco-Egyptian) is quite clear that Ireland, he calls it Hibernia, belongs to the group he calls Britannia. He entitles Book II, Chapter 1 of his Geography as Hibernia, Island of Britannia.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I don’t believe the figure is as high as 50% but it is a tragically high number nonetheless and it saddens me somewhat.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    In which case did the Greeks ‘as a nation’ ever try to steal another man’s land?
    The were clearly a nation but very disparate too and like Dalriada had their local rulers doing their own thing hence Greek settlements the whole way from modern day Spain to modern day Georgia.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well, I don’t know about their laws or taxes so I don’t know, I only know they subjugated the locals and installed their culture.
    As for a ‘solo run’ please see the earlier ‘Greeks’ comment.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    The Albanians (Squiptars) are a nation/people but only had a country as of recently.
    The kurds are a nation and still don’t have a country.
    No one’s denying the existence of Gaelic culture and laws before the Norman invasion but it certainly wasn’t as neat and straight forward as you define it.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I prefer the term ‘Atlantic Isles’ too.

  • Anglo-Irish

    You do understand that neither of those men ever set foot on any of these islands but Caesar who referred to them by separate names did?

  • Anglo-Irish

    Well you may not have heard of him, but there was this bloke called Alexander the Great who conquered the known world before he was 30.

    Forgive the sarcasm, but seriously?

    And yes, I know he was Macedonian but Macedonia was a Greek kingdom at the time and his victories are counted as Greek in the same way that that Austrian fellow is regarded as German, and that fellow from Dublin is regarded as English.

    And to add further weight to the fact that Ireland was a nation/country over a thousand years ago no one argues that Greece which consists of over 5,000 islands isn’t a country.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Saw it, Alexander?

    ‘They’ did not represent Ireland as a nation, and it is doubtful that what they did qualified as colonialism.

    Imposing your laws, appointing your people or representatives to oversee the administration of another country, channeling the assets of that country back home, that’s colonialism.

  • Anglo-Irish

    It was as neat and straight forward as virtually anywhere else in Europe at the time.

    It was more neat and straight forward than England in 829 over a thousand years later when it became a country with Angles and Saxons and Jutes plus the remnants of Celts and at least two Kings on the island.

    It might upset the PUL narrative but to try and claim that the country wasn’t home to a nation prior to 1169 is simply nonsense.

  • Anglo-Irish

    So do I, it has a more romantic ring to it, and the Ocean takes no sides.

  • congal claen

    Hi Anglo,
    I fail to see any point you’re making. I’ve never been to Norway. But, I still know it’s name. Pliny and Ptolemy were and are considered great scholars. So, I’m guessing they knew what they were talking about.

  • Anglo-Irish

    It does not surprise me in any shape or form that you fail to see my point.

    You haven’t been to Norway? Bet you’ve seen it on TV though, haven’t you?

    Probably heard of Roald Dahl, Henrik Ibsen, Edvard Grieg, Roald Amundsen, John Arne Riise and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer haven’t you?

    Different world back then, no TV, no internet and if you hadn’t seen it you were reliant on someone elses words, or myths and stories.

    Dr Johnson was one of the most brilliant men England ever produced, he was convinced that when swallows disappeared in winter they were hibernating at the bottom of rivers.

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=qZV1RJvEkoIC&pg=PT38&lpg=PT38&dq=swallows+hibernated+on+the+bottom+of+rivers+dr+johnson&source=bl&ots=frlxHWVoeS&sig=f5xb7rztHVkXxxEREKzkHL0rA1s&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjhr8Ci3NzKAhVCcA8KHXT4B2YQ6AEIJTAA

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I thought about that and then applied your strict criterion mentioned above regarding ‘agreement’ between king and nobles. Given that he had to crack a few dissatisfied Greek skulls together first I would have assumed he didn’t cut the mustard.

    Have you heard of the ‘No HOMERS club? I’m being reminded of it constantly here. …

  • congal claen

    Hi Anglo,
    Whilst it may come as a shock, neither you or I or anywhere near the standing of Pliny or Ptolemy. To dismiss their work as pre TV/internet whilst accepting all the common brehon law, language, culture separate Nationalistic Ireland argument seems a stretch at best.

  • congal claen

    Hi Anglo,
    That being the case perhaps the Irish Sea should just be called the sea?

  • Anglo-Irish

    You and I know things that Pliny and Ptolemy could never have envisaged.

    We know about nuclear power being harnessed by man and space stations and America and the internal combustion engine.

    To take the attitude that because they were great men of their time they knew everything is nonsense.

    What we also know, and it’s doubtful that they did or not, was that the island of Ireland was inhabited by a common race who had a common language, law, culture and customs.

    Therefore, we are in a better position to judge than either of them aren’t we?

  • Anglo-Irish

    No I haven’t.

    As Alexander was king of what is now known as Greece, and as he was confident enough of his position in the land to lead an invading army into other countries without being concerned about a coup d’ etat taking place back in Athens I think we can rest assured that he had loyal support and general agreement.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Call it what you wish I don’t think that it was the Irish that named it in the first place.

    It’s very much an English habit to go around sticking labels on things.

    Sea of Man would be good in honour of the isle of that name.

  • congal claen

    Hi Anglo,

    In this very thread you accused the Romans of doing that.

    Incidentally, the Isle of Man is named after the Menappii. As is Fermanagh. And possibly Manchester – castle of the Menappii. Although, I’m guessing about the last one.

    You’ll notice though that they all are named after the peoples who lived there and it’s not a big English conspiracy to further arguments 2 millennia later.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Accused them of what? Naming stuff? Very popular habit among those that ran Empires.

    No conspiracy involved, they took little note of the feelings of those that lived at the same time as them, let alone anyone yet to come.

    Menappii, I didn’t know that, I like it, The Mennappii Sea, it has a ring to it don’t you think?

    Sounds a lot more exotic than Irish Sea,

    ” I’m off on my holidays”
    ” Where are you going? ”

    ” Across the Menappii Sea!”

    We should start a petition.