A little bit of history: Che Guevara visits Ireland…

El Commandante himself… [Hatred as an element of the struggle..? – Ed]

  • chrisjones2

    It doesnt load Mick

  • Anglo-Irish
  • the rich get richer

    The dialogue starts slowly…wait for a few seconds

    Was the interpreter chancing her arm a bit or perhaps not the Spanish (dialects/accent/whatever) that she was used to.

    Not that its that important but he was good looking chap and seemed a bit of a charmer.

    Whether that charm would be so dis-arming when he was trying to kill you……….its unlikely.

    So was he actually in Ireland then ? If he was we should have tried to keep him if only for the entertainment !

  • Nevin
  • Anglo-Irish

    That must have been one hell of a fog. In my link it’s referring to the same incident but in 1962!

    Good to know the clear air act is working better these days!

  • Nevin
  • Anglo-Irish

    The man couldn’t stay away once he’d tasted the Guinness!

    Shame he didn’t stay on and avoid all that unpleasantness in Bolivia in October 1967.

  • ted hagan

    From my simple research it seems the visit was in 1964 with an air hostess being recruited as the interpreter. Cool guy and a bit more ‘butch’ looking that the Fitzpatrick poster. Most unusual photo I’ve seen of Che is him playing golf with Fidel, though not in Ireland, I have to point out.

  • John Collins

    When I found out that the Guinness Empire gave £100,000 to the UVF to buy guns in 1913 and, with breathtaking generosity, gave £160 to help Irish Famine victims; their ‘auld’ black stuff never tasted the same. In fact it never again passed my pristine lips .

  • Anglo-Irish

    Didn’t know that, but it doesn’t surprise me. Once families become rich they tend to lean toward the establishment in order to maintain the status quo.

    Same with the Church, it’s all about wealth and power.

    If we insist on only dealing with the righteous we could all starve to death or die of thirst.

    I used to drink Guinness virtually exclusively when in Ireland but over the past few years it has become a little ‘heavy’ so I start off with a couple and then switch to lager as I’m not a fan of Irish beer.

    Boycotting items that are in some way connected to unsavory behaviour could become both complicated and self depriving to no ones loss but our own.


  • Starviking

    Well, there is almost a 70-year gap there. Perhaps Guinness became a little more prosperous between the Famine and 1913?

  • Abucs

    Same with the Church, it’s all about wealth and power.

    No it’s not.

  • Anglo-Irish
  • Abucs

    Thanks for the links and i take your point.

    I think if the clergy were using earned income to live rich playboy llifestyles then it there might be a case that some in the Church of England see the church as wealth and power. I don’t think you can say that it is all about wealth and power though.

    We also have to remember that these churches have been around for centuries and been pioneers in education, banking and hospitals just to name three. They were also sponsors of science, art and architecture. You would expect such an organisation to be rich. I don’t have a problem with rich, it depends on what you are doing with your riches.

    Charity, healthcare, pastoral care and education all over the world suggest to me the goal is not power and wealth, but following the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Of course like any big successful organisation there are going to be selfish crooks out for themselves. An advantage of basing your community group on set Christian values is that you can always kick these people out when they aren’t putting these values first. I am sure i will agree with you that unfortunately there are too many of these people.

  • Anglo-Irish

    I agree to a point. During my lifetime I have come across a number of official members of various religions who were in my opinion good and honourable men and women.

    They included members of the Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Methodists and Jewish Faith.

    All of them were a credit to the true meaning of religion as we understand it.

    Unfortunately, I’ve also encountered a few less than admirable members of these same faiths.

    My original comment said the ‘ Church ‘ and I would include other religious denominations when looking at the overall organization of the particular religion.

    The wealth of the Churches is hard to justify when the poverty and poor standard of living of many of the worlds population is taken into consideration.

    Having said which, whilst not religious myself I believe that the current Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury are both decent men who mean well.

    It will be interesting to see how much they can accomplish faced with centuries of religious politics which both Churches suffer from.

  • John Collins

    Well a member of the Guinness Family is quoted as saying, the reason they only gave £160 for famine relief was so they would not offend the sensibilities of the the independent minded Irish People. He never said that they could not afford to give more. By contrast he or his family showed no concerns for such sensibilities on the part of the UVF

  • John Collins

    Well like you I probably just went the stuff for the reason you mention also. However when I am down South I still toss back few pints of Murphys or Beamish and they go down a treat

  • Starviking

    That would be Jasmine Guinness, born 1976, a designer and fashion model. She was giving the statement off the top of her head during an unscripted interview. Hardly strong evidence.

    As for supporting the original UVF, well – they were Unionists at that time.

    As for £160 being a small sum, at his death Arthur Guinness the Second’s net estate was worth £180,000. So, he gave almost 1% of what he eventually built up over his lifetime to famine relief. That’s pretty praiseworthy.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Not too keen on Murphys, a fact that I keep to myself when in the Rebel County!

    Never tried Beamish, don’t think I’ve seen either of them in the County Clare so as far as I’m concerned that makes them a little suspicious.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    this visit or a version of it is the subject of a new play – Che’s Night Off – which will be performed in Belfast this coming June. It’s due to be in the Lyric and in the Cultúrlann. Apparently our hero goes for a night out drinking in a pub in Doolin…..

  • Barneyt

    The ludocrous thinking at the time by some, was that aid may have dampened the Irish entropreneurial spirit……

  • Barneyt

    Murphys is not half bad…slightly less bitter than Guiness..but I find Beamish gets up your nose a bit….just not for me.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Might give Murphys another try next time I’m down Cork way but I’ll take your word for Beamish.

  • Barneyt

    I like it…we’ve come full circle…nice touch…..Che Guevara and Jesus Christ…two of the worlds greatest revolutionary socialists

  • Barneyt

    Have a crack at Beamish….I perhaps associate it with the last time I had any kind of Beamish…as I think it was spiked with Blackcurrent and some crem de mont affair….:-)

  • Anglo-Irish

    That sounds as if it was one hell of a stag ‘do’ you were on! : )

  • John Collins

    A splendid way of ducking out of contributing to famine relief. I have no doubt that if that catastrophe was taking place in mainland GB the response would have been far more substantial.

  • John Collins

    Thanks for your reply and I always feel you are a fair debater but if you check that percentage again you will see it is less than point one percent. £1,800 would have been 1 percent of 180,000.
    As regards giving a vast amount of money to the UVF to buy arms, that puts the Guinness Empire in exactly the same position as Noraid, when they subscribed to the IRA to buy arms.

  • Starviking

    Thanks to you too John, as they say, you’re a “fair man”.

    Ah! That’s a schoolboy error on the percentages on my part, thanks for pointing it out.

    That makes my example much less definitive, because we would now need to know how much money Arthur the Second had available to him around the Famine.

    He was not involved in the running of the company at the time, having passed over those duties to his son, Benjamin. It’s entirely possible that the £180,000 that his estate was worth was not technically under his direct control at the time. There’s also the fact that much of the estate is probably wrapped up in the company, with physical assets being a major part of that. Such assets could only be released by selling parts of the company, which would be an extreme business move.

    So £160 could actually be a large donation on the part of Arthur Guinness, then again it might not – which is why I take the time to reply to these kinds of “facts” which lack the information to validate them. However, we do know that Arthur did write to his son calling on him to donate to Famine relief, and stating “…my purse is open to the call.”

    If you add that to his support for Catholic Emancipation, I doubt we can state that he had a deleterious effect on Ireland.

    As for the family’s support for the original UVF, that is not the same as Noraid’s support for the Provos. There were numerous militias in Ireland at the time, and each side stating that force would be used to resist or coerce the other side. The rare voices of reason were exemplified by the All For Ireland League around Cork, who found themselves physically attacked by the INP for their outreach activities.

  • John Collins

    Well the points you make about the Guinesses Family are probably nearer to a fair assessment than my original comments. However after Partition they never employed a Catholic in their clerical or administrative staff until 1953, when Gay Byrne’s brother was employed as a clerk. While understandable, in the circumstances, this kind of exclusion on their part, and that of other Protestant led firms, led to ‘justifiable’, in the eyes of some, discrimination against COI candidates in other areas.
    As regards discord between the INP and the AFlL, my Grandfather often recalled seeing a vicious row between supporters of Guiney and Barry, respective candidates for INP and AFI, during an election rally in his native Newmarket in North Cork around 1910.

  • Starviking

    Hi John, sorry for the delay in my reply, things got busy.

    Do you have a solid reference on Guinness not employing Catholics in admin or clerical positions after partition? I have found a reference to Gay Byrne’s brother getting employment in a staff job, but no mention of him being the first Catholic since partition.

    As for discrimination, it’s a bit of a tangled mess, and you have to wonder how much of it was down to giving jobs to people you knew. Given how separately people lived back in the day, social networking could have been as much a factor as sectarianism – that’s certainly the way things were/are in provincial areas of Northern Ireland.

    Thanks for the info on the Newmarket rowing – you have to wonder how things would have changed if the AFIL had succeeded in breaking out from Munster.

  • John Collins

    It was Gay Byrne himself who made the comment, that his brother was the first RC to work in the clerical staff at Guinness. Gay’s father and five uncles all worked in Guinness and fought in WW1. and he (Gay) played a big part, through his radio programme, in ‘rehabilitating’ the WW1 men and their sacrifice in the consciousness of the people down here.
    And yes you have a point that ‘who you knew’ played a big part in recruitment at all levels for years down here.

  • Starviking

    Hi John,

    I located the source (partially) of Gay’s recollection. Al Byrne wrote a book at the turn of the century about his time in Guinness, called “Guinness Times”. In one section he writes:

    I was the first person to be appointed to the No.1 Staff who had the following combination of characteristics: a) I was a Roman Catholic, b) I was classified in the Company’s books as a “labourer”, c) I was a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and d) I had a father working in….

    The quote tails off at the end because that was all Google Books would provide. I bolded “following combination” as it means that he was unique because of the points he made combined, not because of uniqueness in each point individually.

    This seems to be much like the “born in a stable quote” attributed to the Duke of Wellington, but actually said of him by Daniel O’Connell – the wrong interpretation fits with the Nationalist worldview that it is taken as gospel, without any investigation as to the truth of it.

  • John Collins

    Hi Starviking
    I will not argue the point too much but I distinctly remember Gay Byrne saying that Al was the first RC to be employed in the clerical staff at Guinness in 1953. It must be twenty years ago he made that comment and I was amazed, as Guinness were always regarded as being very good to all their employees, which I agree they were..

  • Starviking

    Well, we have what Gay Byrne said, which contradicts what Al Byrne wrote.

    Who should we put more trust in?

  • John Collins

    All I will say is I have no evidence that Gay Byrne had anything against Guinness and he would be very careful not to say anything against Guinness which was untrue, as his family had a long connection with the firm, and I have to say he was an ace commentator. In your above combination of facts attributed to Al he is not that clear whether he was the first RC in that position or not and it might be just possible that he did not wish to labour that point.
    So since Gay appears to be much more definitive in his statement on this matter, I feel on balance I would take the view he was telling the truth.

  • John Collins

    As an afterthought, in the last few years I have heard both Diarmuid Ferriter and Aodman O’Toole, two prominent academics, put the record straight about Wellington, and that remark so wrongly attributed to him.