Slaughter the sacred cows

Eoghan Harris, in the Sunday Independent has some provocative advice for the political parties – “Want to defeat Sinn Fein? Then slaughter a few sacred cows” – just as, he argues, Justice Minister Michael McDowell did when Mitchel McLaughlin asked him if he considered Bobby Sands a criminal, “Any member of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael would have ducked and dithered rather than dent the halo of Saint Bobby Sands, and lost the audience at home.”

He expands on the “leaky consensus” quote that John Waters referenced in his Irish Times article last week

and argues that Fianna Fail are already making a mistake by competing for the legacy of Griffiths –

Accordingly, Bertie Ahern is about to make a big mistake by competing with Sinn Fein for ‘control’ of the Sinn Fein centenary commemorations next year. As a result, the RTE airwaves will be filled for a whole year with republican rhetoric – ably assisted by hush puppies at all levels. This rise in the republican temperature will benefit Sinn Fein more than Fianna Fail at the next general election.

But if Fianna Fail really wants to win a battle with Sinn Fein, both over the distant and recent past, all it has to do is slaughter two sacred cows by admitting that nothing was won, north or south, that could not have been won by peaceful struggle, by Redmond or by civil rights.

But Fianna Fail only knows how to fatten sacred cows. Bertie Ahern keeps saying that Gerry Adams must make up his mind about peace.

Actually it’s Ahern who must make up his mind about Adams. Does he really trust Adams with Irish democracy?

Asking that answers itself. Ahern and the “useful idiots” in the Department of Foreign Affairs and RTE News can’t face the fact that Adams is like the man in the title of the new best-seller. He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys, blurbed to help women stop fooling themselves.

What we now need is a wake-up book to stop Fianna Fail peace processors fooling themselves. Here’s a suggested title: He’s Just Not That Into Peace: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Gerry Adams.

  • alex s

    by admitting that nothing was won, north or south, that could not have been won by peaceful struggle, by Redmond or by civil rights.

    Harris hits the nail on the head, most people accept that the 30yr Provo campaign of murder and mayhem put the process of civil rights back decades, not to mention the spilt blood of Irishmen, including RCC/UDR/RIR. Could the 1916 Easter rising have had the same effect on Irish self determination and cost yet more Irish lives needlessly?

  • Keith M

    Harris does tend to overdo the self-serving stuff, but it has to be said that on this occasion he’s bang on the money.

  • Vavid Dance

    The macabre ‘celebrations’ next year should illicit another as yet unacknowledged reaction from decent law-abiding citizens of the United Kingdom – derision and laughter. Let us giggle noisily and hoot aloud as the failed republicans trip over themselves in order to revere the dead rebels who,like themselves:

    (i) FAILED UTTERLY to ‘drive the British out’ of ‘Ireland’;

    (ii) FAILED UTTERLY to ‘unite’ ‘Ireland;

    (iii) FAILED UTTERLY to impose communism on ‘Ireland’;

    (iv) FAILED UTTERLY to totally criminalise or subvert any part of the United Kingdom.

    Let us be thankful that the union is safe and thriving and spit on the reputation of the Eire Provisionals, their wretched forefathers and their disgusting bogus nationalism and blood-soaked criminality.

    Decent people everywhere will continue to reject these uncivilised law-breaking punks.

    Thank you

  • spirit-level

    3rd time on 3 posts Vavid
    What have you to fear from a United Ireland?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Eoghan of course comes from a background of repression and control. He has his grounding in the Official Republican Movement and the centralised control that party observed. It was an organisation that could be argued developed the use of organised crime in Ireland.

    At RTE he was the architect of censorship and political input in news reporting.

    By all means slaughter the sacred cows. But one of those cows is Harris himself. A man who is still fighting one of the Stickie feuds of the 1970’s.

  • George

    “by admitting that nothing was won, north or south, that could not have been won by peaceful struggle, by Redmond or by civil rights.”

    Alexs,
    from a speech by Michael McDowell in 2003 commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Irish Volunteers.

    McDowell began by saying he was at the Rotunda Rink “to mark the anniversary of an event of profound significance to the birth of our modern democracy…establishing Óglaigh na hÉireann”

    …”The outbreak of the first World War led to a split in the organisation with some 11,000 members who opposed participation in the war separated from their colleagues, taking the name “Irish Volunteers” with them. Not all were physical force proponents, but key positions were occupied by twelve Irish Republican Brotherhood members. Within this group were to be the leaders of the 1916 Rising.

    “Those 1916 rebels were to earn widespread admiration for the way in which they had conducted themselves, and the treatment of the leaders of the Rising did much to galvanise their successors and the people generally, in what came to be the War of Independence.

    In January 1919, when the War of Independence broke out, the Irish Volunteers took upon themselves the role of the army of the republic. In July 1921 a truce was agreed with the British Forces and this led to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the establishment of the Irish Free State. In January 1922, the Dáil ratified the Treaty; but the closeness of the voting – 64 votes to 57 – made a split in the republican movement inevitable. On 28 June general hostilities broke out between pro- and anti-treaty forces.

    The civil war was brought to an end in May 1924 and the Oireachtas formally established the Defence Forces, Óglaigh na hÉireann, on 1 October 1924,giving legal standing to an army that had existed since 1913.”

    Will unionism slaughter one of its cows and accept that establishing Óglaigh na hÉireann had a profound significance in ensuring the birth of Ireland’s modern democracy?

    Will they accept, as Michael McDowell does, that Óglaigh na hÉireann was the legitimate army of the Irish Republic, the legitimate government of Ireland?

    Or will we still be told that the people of Ireland weren’t denied Home Rule for decades and that Ireland actually already was a democracy and the people had equal rights and access to the levers of power all along?

    My own view is that unionism is going to need a very big knife to slaughter that cow and I don’t see a red hand big enough to hold it.

  • cg

    I wonder is there a way to cull stickie cows?

    Davros any suggestions 😉

  • Keith M

    Pat, that is one of the worst examples of man not ball I’ve ever seen posted here. Would you now actually address the points Harris makes?

  • Henry94

    Kieth M

    Bertie is not that stupid but just suppose for a second that he took the advice Harris is offering. He would be abandoning any claim Fianna Fail had to republicanism and providing Sinn Fein with a huge growth opportunity.

    The historical claims Harris makes have already been refuted by John A. Murphy who as you know is no friend of Sinn Fein so they need not detain us here.

    But his political claims are even more risible. He has more chance of persuading Bertie to invite Twink to perform at the next Fianna Fail Ard Fheis.

  • Davros

    cg- that’s difficult to do humanely without arms 🙂

  • Davros

    the centralised control that party observed.

    How did you keep a straight face when you typed that Pat ? LOL

  • cg

    “cg- that’s difficult to do humanely without arms :)”

    I didn’t mention being humane 😉

  • Keith M

    cg “Will they accept, as Michael McDowell does, that Óglaigh na hÉireann was the legitimate army of the Irish Republic, the legitimate government of Ireland?”.

    The only legitimate Irish Republic came about in 1948, over 20 years after “Óglaigh na hÉireann” was formally established. This answer is therefore “yes”. Now far will you accept that the only people entitled to use the “Óglaigh na hÉireann” banner since 1924 are those that have their mandate from the democratic wishes of the people of the IFS/Eire/Irish Republic?

  • cg

    “cg “Will they accept, as Michael McDowell does, that Óglaigh na hÉireann was the legitimate army of the Irish Republic, the legitimate government of Ireland?”.

    The only legitimate Irish Republic came about in 1948, over 20 years after “Óglaigh na hÉireann” was formally established. This answer is therefore “yes”. Now far will you accept that the only people entitled to use the “Óglaigh na hÉireann” banner since 1924 are those that have their mandate from the democratic wishes of the people of the IFS/Eire/Irish Republic?”

    Sorry to burst your bubble Keith but I didn’t write this. 😉

    I would suggest you read posts properly before you launch into attack 😉

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    KeithM,

    was there anything about my earlier post that was factually incorrect?

    Davros,

    i wasn’t getting at unionists just the Sticks although I can see why you would be sensitive

  • Davros

    Pat, centralised control witin unionism ? You must be joking. Look at the problems Trimble had with rebels in his own party.

    There’s a difference here between protestantism and catholicism, nationalist and unionist.

    protestantism and unionists tend to be more individualistic, catholicism and nationalists tend to be more communally minded.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    just kiddin.

  • Davros

    LOL …. Sorry Pat! Will an hour of reading AP/RN be a suitable penance ? 😉

  • George

    Keithm,
    I wrote it and I hope you realise that what you have written makes you what we call down south a subversive.

    Like my Justice Minister Michael McDowell, I recognise Dail Eireann as the legitimate parliament of the Irish nation. Like him I recognise the 1st Dail as the only legitimate parliament of the Irish People in 1919 and like him I recognise Óglaigh na hÉireann as the legitimate army of said parliament, an army which fought and won independence for what today constitutes the Republic of Ireland.

    Accordingly, both myself and Michael accept the legitimacy of the Irish Declaration of Independence, declared on 21st January 1919 and enacted by the Parliament of the Republic of Ireland. I normally wouldn’t quote the whole lot but I feel you need to read it to prevent you from falling deeper into subversion.

    ‘Whereas the Irish People is by right a free people:

    ‘And whereas for seven hundred years the Irish People has never ceased to repudiate and has repeatedly protested in arms against foreign usurpation:

    ‘And whereas English rule in this country is, and always has been, based upon force and fraud and maintained by military occupation against the declared will of the people:

    ‘And whereas the Irish Republic was proclaimed in Dublin on Easter Monday, 1916, by the Irish Republican Army, acting on behalf of the Irish People:

    ‘And whereas the Irish People is resolved to secure and maintain its complete independence in order to promote the common wealth, to re-establish justice, to provide for future defence, to ensure peace at home and good will with all nations, and to constitute a national policy based upon the people’s will with equal right and equal opportunity for every citizen:

    ‘And whereas at the threshold of a new era in history the Irish electorate has in the General Election of December, 1918, seized the first occasion to declare by an overwhelming majority its firm allegiance to the Irish Republic:

    ‘Now, therefore, we, the elected Representatives of the ancient Irish People in National Parliament assembled, do, in the name of the Irish Nation, ratify the establishment of the Irish Republic and pledge ourselves and our people to make this declaration effective by every means at our command:

    ‘We ordain that the elected Representatives of the Irish People alone have power to make laws binding on the people of Ireland, and that the Irish Parliament is the only Parliament to which that people will give its allegiance:

    ‘We solemnly declare foreign government in Ireland to be an invasion of our national right which we will never tolerate, and we demand the evacuation of our country by the English Garrison:

    ‘We claim for our national independence the recognition and support of every free nation in the world, and we proclaim that independence to be a condition precedent to international peace hereafter:

    ‘In the name of the Irish People we humbly commit our destiny to Almighty God Who gave our fathers the courage and determination to persevere through long centuries of a ruthless tyranny, and strong in the justice of the cause which they have handed down to us, we ask His Divine blessing on this the last stage of the struggle we have pledged ourselves to carry through to freedom.’

    What that means to you and me is that the Irish Republic was declared in 1916, ratified by the elected representatives of the Irish people in 1919. I don’t give a tinker’s curse when the British or anyone else think the Irish Republic came into being. I only deal with the Dail. Or have you a problem with democratically elected parliaments?

  • Davros

    And whereas English rule in this country is, and always has been, based upon force and fraud and maintained by military occupation against the declared will of the people

    The will of the people was surely that the Stuarts were their Kings ?

  • alex s

    Surely all talk of this or that grouping representing the legitimate government of Ireland misses the point in that every government claims as its mandate the will of the people expressed in its election majority, this is where it gets its authority to govern, it is this that makes the PIRA’s absurd claim to be the legitimate government laughable, the will of the people legitimise the government of the day, not the heroic republican dead.

  • davidbrew

    thanks to George for reminding us of the sectarian and racist nonsense of the declaration of independence

    And no Unionist is going to say the killers of 1919 were a legitimate army. We have already comprehensively proved thefallacy of relying on the 1918 general election for a mandate, and even if it were, the so-called “army” behaved in exactly the same way as the present IRA.The justification for 80 years of murder is found in the phrase “(we).. pledge ourselves and our people to make this declaration effective by every means at our command”- and they certainly have done.

    Hidtory is written by the winners, and perhaps there is an excuse for patriots to overlook the excesses of their forbearers, but don’t expect the victims to forget, never mind admit the campaign against them was justified, George. If irish nationalism needs to do more revising of its history, that’s because it told more lies at the start

  • Keith M

    George “Or have you a problem with democratically elected parliaments?”. None whatsoever. In 1918, the only democratically elected parliament for Ireland (north and south) was in Westminster. The first and second Dails were illegitimate. I fully accept that is not the position of the political establishment, but as far as I am concerned when people representing less than 50% of the people of a part of the UK, decide to have a separate gathering, that does not confer legitimacy.

    ” I don’t give a tinker’s curse when the British or anyone else think the Irish Republic came into being.” if you don’t care what people think then why ask “Will they accept, as Michael McDowell does, that Óglaigh na hÉireann was the legitimate army of the Irish Republic, the legitimate government of Ireland?”. You either care about other people’s opinions or you don’t. Don’t ask questions and then throw a hissy fit when you don’t like the answers.

    Now George will you answer my question; Will you accept that the only people entitled to use the “Óglaigh na hÉireann” banner since 1924 are those that have their mandate from the democratic wishes of the people of the IFS/Eire/Irish Republic?

  • George

    Keithm,
    I have regularly stated that, as far as I’m concerned, the commander in chief of Óglaigh na hÉireann is Mary McAleese. Does that answer your question?

    Davidbrew,
    where’s the sectarianism in the declaration or is it simply a case of you thinking it sectarian for the Irish people to want to be in control of their own destiny? If that’s the case I’ve only one word to say to you: Mooooo!

    By the way, I assume you don’t have a problem with your imperial convenant, which was a signed declaration of a love of Empire and oppression (see below), not to mention physical force (that’s murder to you and me) as a method of achieving goals and refusal to accept the democratic will of the Irish people.

    But as I said, there isn’t a red hand big enough to hold the sabre needed to slaughter your sacred cows.

    How do we define that love of Empire?

    Oh yes, the national policy of conquest of other regions or peoples for the purpose of extending political and economic control and of exploiting the resources of other regions or people.

    If that’s where you stand on the political spectrum, don’t be surprised if one of those regions and peoples (Ireland) considered said rule to be “based upon force and fraud and maintained by military occupation against the declared will of the people”.

    Here’s your covenant.

    “Being convinced in our consciences that Home Rule would be disastrous to the material well-being of Ulster as well as of the whole of Ireland, subversive of our civil and religious freedom, destructive of our citizenship and perilous to the unity of the Empire, we, whose names are underwritten, men of Ulster, loyal subjects of his Gracious Majesty King George V, humbly relying on the God whom our fathers in days of stress and trial confidently trusted, do hereby pledge ourselves in solemn Covenant throughout this our time of threatened calamity to stand by one another in defending for ourselves and our children our cherished position of equal citizenship in the United Kingdom and in using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland. And in the event of such a Parliament being forced upon us we further solemnly and mutually pledge ourselves to refuse to recognise its authority. In sure confidence that God will defend the right we hereto subscribe our names. And further, we individually declare that we have not already signed this Covenant.”

  • willowfield

    Excellent article by Eoghin Harris. Absolutely spot on. Many times before I have said that it is time the Irish republic ditched the romantic nationalist myths, attachment to which results in ambiguous attitudes to nationalist terrorism and terrorist advocates in NI.

    Henry94

    Bertie is not that stupid but just suppose for a second that he took the advice Harris is offering. He would be abandoning any claim Fianna Fail had to republicanism …

    How?

    George

    Like my Justice Minister Michael McDowell, I recognise Dail Eireann as the legitimate parliament of the Irish nation.

    It’s the legitimate parliament of the ROI state. The “Irish nation” is an intangible concept with no parliament, legitimate or otherwise.

  • Davros

    Killing cows, even sacred cows, with Sabres would be frowned upon George!

  • Keith M

    George, stop playing doge the question, the role of President came long after 1924. Now try again, “Will you accept that the only people entitled to use the “Óglaigh na hÉireann” banner since 1924 are those that have their mandate from the democratic wishes of the people of the IFS/Eire/Irish Republic?”. It’s a very simple “yes” or “no”. Anything else is superfluous.

  • willowfield

    Keith M

    Can I ask what the significance of 1924 is?

    Also, I thought the Presidency as we know it wasn’t instituted until 1937? (Previously wasn’t the “President” actually the PM – President of the Executive Committee or something?)

  • Keith M

    willowfield, the significance of 1924 is from George’s own post; “The civil war was brought to an end in May 1924 and the Oireachtas formally established the Defence Forces, Óglaigh na hÉireann, on 1 October 1924”. You are correct of the use of the term President in the IFS.

  • willowfield

    Thanks, Keith.

    I always thought the Civil War ended in 1923.

    What was the status of the Free State army before 1 October 1924?

  • George

    Keithm,
    Óglaigh na hÉireann is the army of the independent Irish state, declared by the democratically elected parliament of the Irish people in 1919.

    This parliament is Dáil Éireann and the only armed force allowed to use the name is the army legitimised by said parliament.

    I recognise the legitimacy of all Dáileanna 1-28 inclusive.

    Anyone who doesn’t is a subversive in my view, including those who stopped recognising it after the second Dáil.

    Any chance of you retracting your where’s me culture comment?

  • willowfield

    Sorry, that doesn’t answer the question, George.

    What’s the significance of 1924?

  • George

    It does Willowfield.
    The only other people claiming the name Óglaigh na hÉireann are those people who claim to derive their legitimacy from the second Dáil and who refuse to recognise subsequent Dáileanna. If I recognise subsequent Dáileanna I don’t recognise any other group’s right to use the name.

    Or is there a scout troop in Offaly going under the name too?

  • davidbrew

    “And whereas English rule in this country is, and always has been, based upon force and fraud and maintained by military occupation against the declared will of the people:”

    that seems pretty sectarian to me george-ignoring the declared will of the non-republican people; misdescribing the UK as English; distorting history to imply there was never acceptance of the Union… the usual really

    “We ordain that the elected Representatives of the Irish People alone have power to make laws binding on the people of Ireland, and that the Irish Parliament is the only Parliament to which that people will give its allegiance”

    Ah yes-you ordain, and to hell with those people who disagree- the majority in the 1918 election as I recall.

    “we demand the evacuation of our country by the English Garrison” translated in practice as “Taking it out on the Protestants”(Hart) and others who happen to be opposed to us

    “the last stage of the struggle we have pledged ourselves to carry through to freedom.”-again, against whom precisely- oh yeah, the poor stubborn Unionists again.

    Nope, not sectarian at all really.

    “By the way, I assume you don’t have a problem with your imperial convenant, which was a signed declaration of a love of Empire and oppression (see below), not to mention physical force (that’s murder to you and me) as a method of achieving goals and refusal to accept the democratic will of the Irish people.”

    You’re right George. I don’t have a problem with a statement of defence prescribing measures in the event of an unjustified attack on equal citizenship. Rather different, perhaps you might concede, from an aggressive document unleashing an unmandated campaign of civil outrage to achieve something that Dail 2 (“The Dail Reloaded”?) couldn’t obtain through the ballot box. The threatened attack on the Union didn’t come about, so the Covenant wasn’t invoked-indeed in the interests of peace it could be argued that the covenant was abandoned with the abandonment of Cavan Monaghan and Donegal and the acceptance of Stormont.

  • maca

    David, statement of defense my arse. The covenant is clear. “using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy”. Sounds like a terrorist oath.

  • George

    Davidbrew,
    it’s quite simply explained, the Irish people never voted to join what you call the United Kingdom, hence it didn’t exist in the eyes of the Irish people and the use of English rather than UK.

    “again, against whom precisely- oh yeah, the poor stubborn Unionists again.”

    It was declared in 1919 when the British Army was occupying Ireland in an effort to achieve the reconquest of Ireland and its people for the purpose of extending political and economic control and of exploiting the resources of said country and people

    The unionists weren’t mentioned or implied. You really should have that persecution complex looked at.

    No comment on support of Empire I see.

  • Davros

    George : the Irish people never voted to join what you call the United Kingdom

    I beg to differ – The Irish parliament voted to accept the act of Union.

    Many Irish Catholics were in favour of the Union as they thought that it would hurry emancipation.
    They had after all accepted the British monarchy.
    Something to remember this Centenary year – Sinn Féin supported the Monarchy when formed.

  • cg

    “Sinn Féin supported the Monarchy when formed.”

    Not true Davros, Griffith viewed the dual monarchy as a compromise for Unionists but it was never his preferred option.

  • Davros

    What was party policy cg ? 😉

  • cg

    “What was party policy cg ? ;)”

    What do you mean?

  • Davros

    Party policy was Dual monarchy was it not ?

  • Jimmy Sands

    Next we’ll be hearing that Griffith secretly joined the picket line in 1913 and that some of his best friends were jews. It’s going to be a long year.

  • cg

    The party has always changed; it represents what the times demand. It responds to people and the party never stagnates. Sinn Féin has constantly changed and that has been one of its biggest successes

  • Davros

    Nobody denies that the party has changed 🙂
    But if it wants to celebrate it’s centenary it shouldn’t deny it’s past.

  • cg

    “But if it wants to celebrate it’s centenary it shouldn’t deny it’s past”

    We don’t but it’s not correct to suggest that party policy was one of Dual Monarchy

    I believe it’s up to the party to decide how it wishes to celebrate its centenary 😉

  • Davros

    Then why were they nick-named the “Green Hungarian Band” cg ?

  • cg

    “Then why were they nick-named the “Green Hungarian Band” cg ?”

    We’ve been called a lot worse 😉

  • peteb

    *ahem* Dav and cg.

    whose centenary is it? the link in the blog entry still works, BTW.

  • cg

    peteb

    Are you telling us to stop talking about Sinn Féin’s centenary on this thread, LOL

  • peteb

    Well you could slaughter that particular sacred cow too, cg. 😉

    But the link I posted has a reference that may be relevant to your current discussion.

  • maca

    Dav
    “I beg to differ – The Irish parliament voted to accept the act of Union.”

    The Irish parliment, not the Irish people. The Parliment were little more than paid stooges who bought/stole their seats. They didn’t represent the people. The parliment was “the voice of a people who called themselves the ‘English of Ireland'” (Concise History of Ireland p146)

  • Davros

    It was the parliament of Ireland. “Grattan’s Parliament”, as I recall, was reckoned to be an advance by the people of Ireland. And as I have pointed out the Act of Union itself was popular with many Catholics.

    One thought – If less than universal enfranchisement disqualifies Grattan’s parliament, then the 1919 Dáil can hardly be considered legitimate either!

  • Davros

    This part Pete ?

    Feeney said that the party founded in 1905 was not republican. “Sinn Fein maintained the concept of a dual monarchy for Ireland under the British crown until 1917.”

  • peteb

    might have been dav..

  • maca

    Dav, In due course Grattans Parliment was likely to become a parliment for all the people but I don’t think it could have been considered so at that time. It did have some support from catholics but it was made very clear to Catholic leaders that Catholic Emancipation would never come about with the Irish parliment and their only hope lay with Westminster. It was the “influential catholics” who supported the union. As for the mass of catholics, they had little support for the parliment, to them it was a parliment of the ruling landlord class. When they decided to go ahead with creating the union anti-union members were forced out or bought off.
    (same source)

  • George

    Davros,
    “I beg to differ – The Irish parliament voted to accept the act of Union.”

    This was not the parliament of the Irish people Davros. It banned Catholics from being members for a start.

    Let me see. Invade a country, set up a parliament which bans the overwhelming majority of the natives from sitting in or voting for and get said parliament to then vote to justify complete annexation. Smooth.

    “One thought – If less than universal enfranchisement disqualifies Grattan’s parliament, then the 1919 Dáil can hardly be considered legitimate either!”

    How many people were allowed vote to elect members to what you called the “Irish parliament”? How big was the franchise?

    The electorate in 1918 was 907,903 and SF won 73 out of 105 seats.

    Unionists got 23,000 votes outside of Ulster. Puts paid to the much-vaunted theory of a large unionist culture south of the border if that’s all they could muster when they were in the union.

  • willowfield

    George

    The only other people claiming the name Óglaigh na hÉireann are those people who claim to derive their legitimacy from the second Dáil and who refuse to recognise subsequent Dáileanna. If I recognise subsequent Dáileanna I don’t recognise any other group’s right to use the name.

    No idea what you’re going on about, George. Just tell me what the significance of 1924 is, please.

    By the way, George, don’t you think it’s a tad silly to be applying today’s political and democratic consensus to events of the 12th and 18th centuries?

  • Davros

    How many people were allowed vote to elect members to what you called the “Irish parliament”? How big was the franchise?

    The electorate in 1918 was 907,903 and SF won 73 out of 105 seats.

    Nice side-step George – can you address the issue ?
    If having less than universal franchise invalidates Grattan’s parliament, then surely you should also argue that the less than universal franchise of 1918 invalidates the 1919 Dáil?

    SF won 73 seats, but had 69 members elected. And at the first meeting of the Dáil attendance was falsified. Hardley cricket old chap! What, what ?

  • George

    Davros,
    first tell me what was the franchise of this “Irish parliament” of yours so we can compare like with like.

    Willowfield,
    I am not the one passing on modern democratic legitimacy to 18th century “parliaments” and I don’t know what the 12th century has to do with anything.

    I said the Irish people didn’t ask to join the Union and the answer from Davros was that it did because some small group of rack-renting thieves sitting in a room thought it was a good idea!

    As for 1924, I’ll think I’ll do a Willowfield and ask what you mean by significant here?

  • Davros

    “the answer from Davros was that it did because some small group of rack-renting thieves sitting in a room thought it was a good idea!”

    George , that’s NOT what I said.
    I pointed out that the Irish parliament voted for the Union and that the Act of Union was popular with many Catholics.

    You always get shirty when you are in trouble 🙂
    But please don’t misrepresent what I write.

    Like it or not, the point stands. If you don’t accept Grattan’s parliament because it wasn’t elected by Universal Franchise then exactly the same thing applies to the Dáil.

    SF won 73 seats, but had 69 members elected. And at the first meeting of the Dáil attendance was falsified. Hardly cricket old chap! What, what ?

  • willowfield

    George

    I am not the one passing on modern democratic legitimacy to 18th century “parliaments” and I don’t know what the 12th century has to do with anything.

    You are making judgements about the 18th century Irish parliament outside the context of the 18th century. As for the 12th century, you made reference to the invasion of Ireland at 10.42am this morning: “Let me see. Invade a country, set up a parliament which bans the overwhelming majority of the natives from sitting in or voting for and get said parliament to then vote to justify complete annexation. Smooth.” Thus you are invalidating the Act of Union by applying modern notions of democracy and international law to events of the 12th century. Which is a tad silly.

    As for 1924, I’ll think I’ll do a Willowfield and ask what you mean by significant here?

    Jesus Christ, just tell me what you mean by: “The civil war was brought to an end in May 1924 and the Oireachtas formally established the Defence Forces, Óglaigh na hÉireann, on 1 October 1924”.

    I thought the civil war ended in 1923, and what was the status of the Free State Army before 1 October 1924.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros.

    Sorry to interject here, but I have to take issue with this:

    “Like it or not, the point stands. If you don’t accept Grattan’s parliament because it wasn’t elected by Universal Franchise then exactly the same thing applies to the Dáil.”

    Sorry, did you say “exactly the same”? Yes, you did.

    Now, I know that in 1918, women under 30 didn’t have the vote, so clearly the franchise was not universal. That, thankfully, was later put right – first in Ireland by the new Irish state, later in Britain.

    You may also be referring to the constituencies that went uncontested. Again this is a red herring. Any party, or any individual was entitled to go forward for election in any constituency. The fact that in a handful of places only one party went forward does not invalidate the mandate of that elected representative.

    Representative democracy is not a fundamentalist religion and the bona fides of elections are not matters of theology. Representative democracy is a system of government. Sometimes it is a crude one, but that’s what it is. You may argue that 1918 was a crude election – and you may be right. But what you cannot do – though you have tried – is to imply that 1918 conferred no democratic legitimacy to those who triumphed.

    You might say that the election procedures used in 1918 required serious reforms. You’d be right. (Though you’d have to be careful – they haven’t changed that much in the UK since then.) But it doesn’t therefore follow that the results of the election didn’t count. 1918 proved – as crudely as the electoral system was crude – that the large majority of Irish people wanted independence but that a substantial minority in the northeast did not.

    Now that seems to me like a reasonable reflection of where the country was at at the time, notwithstanding omissions of franchise, uncontested constituencies or statistical potholes. Would you disagree? Does it seem to you a reasonable reflection of where we are still at? Can you see why 1918 remains such a touchstone moment in Irish history?

    When you dismiss the 1918 election results you dismiss the democratic process. You chose rhetorical convenience over democracy.

    So to say that the results of the election in 1918, with its almost universal franchise, were “exactly the same” as the bought-and-paid-for rubber stamp of a cabal of corrupt collaborators who George so brilliantly encapsulated with his “rack-renting thieves” description, cannot go unchallenged.

  • George

    Willowfield,

    “I thought the civil war ended in 1923, and what was the status of the Free State Army before 1 October 1924.”

    The status in the eyes of the British state or the status in the eyes of the Irish state, freely declared in January 1919?

    “As for the 12th century, you made reference to the invasion of Ireland at 10.42am this morning”

    Ireland was invaded more than once Willowfield.

  • Davros

    Relax Billy. I’m following a line of thought to see where it goes.

  • George

    If you want to follow the line of thought any further Davros, don’t start the patronising game by saying I’m getting shirty or saying I’m in trouble. Next up is always the character assassination.

    For all you know this is the way I always am or I could be luring you into some fiendish trap.

    “I pointed out that the Irish parliament voted for the Union and that the Act of Union was popular with many Catholics.”

    One man’s Irish parliament is another man’s room of rack-renting thieves. The vote of the United Irishmen to take on these hoods had more legitimacy.

    “Many Catholics”? How many?

    How many out of the five million would you estimate?

    I’d hazard around 2,000 myself.

  • Davros

    Don’t misrepresent what I wrote George and I won’t accuse you of getting shirty.

  • George

    “The status “in the eyes of” the Free State, established in December 1922.”

    You’d have to ask a Freestater that, if there is such a thing. I only deal with issues pertaining to the Irish Republic and will gladly tell you its status as understood by said Republic. That is the only status of consequence, in my view.

    This is the chronology according to my country’s army, the Irish Defence Forces, otherwise known as Óglaigh na hÉireann.

    1913 Inaugural meeting of The Irish Volunteers (25 November).

    1916 Easter Rising begins (24 April).

    1919 Opening of First Dail (21 January), Establishment of Irish Republican Army, War of Independence begins.

    1921 Truce comes into effect (11 July). Treaty signed in London (6 December).

    1922 Dail approves Treaty (7 January). Beggars Bush Barracks taken over by Irish forces (31 January). Civil War begins with shelling of Four Courts (28 June)

    1923 Aikens` order to the AntiTreaty forces to ‘dump arms’ ends the Civil War (24 May). First Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act brought into force (3 August).

    “And?”

    And it was wrong to imply I was talking about the 12th century.

    I think I could get to really like this new Willowfield method of argumentation I’m employing.

  • George

    Davros,
    How did I misrepresent you? A bit of meat on the bone please.

    Also, if it turns out I did, am I misrepresenting you more than you appear to be misrepresenting the views of the Irish people at the end of the 18th century by calling that group who “voted” for the union the “Irish parliament”?

  • willowfield

    George

    As you point out, the Dail approved the Treaty in 1922. This allowed for the establishment of the Free State in December 1922. Presumably, the Free State then had an army (the one that fought the anti-Treaty IRA in the Civil War). What happened in 1924 to change the “status” of this army? Why are you so scared of telling me? (I note you give the end date of the civil war above as 1923 – which is what I said – which contradicts your earlier claim of 1924).

    And it was wrong to imply I was talking about the 12th century.

    So what invasion were you referring to?

  • willowfield

    George?

  • Davros

    How did I misrepresent you? A bit of meat on the bone please.

    “the answer from Davros was that it did because some small group of rack-renting thieves sitting in a room thought it was a good idea!”

    point me to the post where I wrote “it did because some small group of rack-renting thieves sitting in a room thought it was a good idea!”.