They're quare and cocky and confident…

Ruth Dudley Edwards has been travelling in Northern Ireland and finds the Protestant inhabitants west of the Bann subdued and wary of some the younger generation amongst their Catholic neighbours. In an area where RTE is no stranger to local protestants, she detects some shift in attitudes around the GAA:

“Once,” said a woman from a loyalist enclave, “we’d have wanted Tyrone to beat Kerry in the Gaelic football final. Now, because of the way their supporters carry on these days, we were mad keen for Kerry to win last weekend. We begrudged Tyrone their victory.”

GAA followers from the south are reported to be civil, but locals to have moved from being unfriendly to downright abusive and sometimes violent.

After last Sunday’s match and the noisy cavalcades with their blaring horns and people beating their fists on the tops of cars caught in traffic jams, in Cookstown, Dungannon and Omagh, there were fights between loyalist and republican youths until well into the small hours.

  • BogExile

    As someone who once wrote and presented a documentary on Protestants living on the border i’m not in the least surprised at the concentrated invective being hurled at RDE from the green corner.

    Irish Republicanism is a predominantly fascist ideology which cannot assimilate or tolerate different perspectives which interfere with their world view.

    RDE as a Southerner has developed an instinctive ear for the voice of authentic rural northern protestants and the way she conveys their sense of powerlessness and pessimism is dramatic and important.

    It’s particularly imnportant for any constitutional Nationalists left in the room to pay attention to the decaying sense of identity which is described. You need to build a bridge with these people and avoid the same bigoted trumphalism demonstrated by protestants in ’69.

    If the centre cannot hold and forge an agreed space here in the North, the future is not bright (Green or Orange) for anyone. Excepting the headbangers either side who don’t seem to care that they are forcing us into our own wee Apocalypse theme park.

  • darthrumsfeld

    good old dread-always prepared to see the good in people. So Jean McConville was a casualty of war too-or is it just possible that all these excuses for murder were made up after the event? And hey,the good guys murdered Catholics too, proving their noble motivation!!

    Perhaps they might have been on stronger ground if they’d had any evidence rather than attempt to denigrate people after they had murdered them. I mean was the British Empire really so weak that it depended on a network of geriatrics to help it take on the IRA? Perhaps they all met up at the Senior Citizens’ Christmas Party and plotted the assassination of Collins. Or perhaps they were too old or too set in their ways to get out, and were an easy target. Heaven only knows what these desperadoes could have achieved if they’d had all their own teeth. And those armoured bath chairs nearly stopped the flying volumns.

    And wouldn’t it be nice if the Hornibrook and Lindsay families were allowed a body to bury, a mere 84 years after the event. There might be a grandchild or remoter descendant still around for whom the ongoing silence of the community is still painful, and if Meda Ryan can persuade her sources to assist, they’d be a tad more credible to this sceptical reader.

    Nah, that would mean that the motive wasn’t “understandable”-such a useful word for the apologists for killers, right up there with “regrettable”.

    as for the instrument of “control”-well that was the inconvenient fact that-until they were told at the point of a gun that they were getting a republic and those who opposed it had to go- most irish people weren’t actually that bothered about independence, and cewrtainly hadn’t voted for it.

    It’s not whataboutery to point out the reality of terrorism, even if the consequences plainly don’t bother those who admire its perpetrators.

    What would be nice would be a bit of honesty-like “Sure we had to teach a few prods and Unionists an example- pour discourager les autres-and we weren’t really that bothered about whether we had a mandate or moral justification for it. Sure morality never bothered Lenin/Hitler/Mao/Gerry and although we’re sensitive to the compsarison, the only difference is as to the degree”

    In a strange way, we’d respect you a lot more.

  • In awe

    Still waiting Ruth…………

  • SlugFest

    Everyone,

    “Might I suggest that if everyone loves Mick and anyone has twenty quid* to spare that they grab their credit card and hit the “Make a Donation” button?” — Shay Begorrah

    Done and done — just sent over 20 quid, plus another 5 for giving Mick a hard time in my last post.

    … anyone else?

  • Shay Begorrah

    Irish Republicanism is a predominantly fascist ideology which cannot assimilate or tolerate different perspectives which interfere with their world view. – BogExile

    Do a quick web search for the characteristics of fascism and then gives us some examples of how Republican ideology matches a simple majority of them.

    To help you here is a nice list from a web site devoted to revision notes for UK students.

    http://www.revision-notes.co.uk/revision/22.html

    I wonder can you think of any other NI political ideologies who might match these characteristics a little more closely than Republicanism?

  • Mick

    Shay, the thought and the money are gratefully received. The paypal account into which such donations go is where the money is drawn from to pay the increasing bandwidth costs. I’m considering introducing occasional podcasts, which with our current readership is likely to hammer the current arrangement to hell.

    So please be my guest and post the money in whatever quantities you can manage. I can’t promise to always be polticially correct with it but, we’ll try to keep the Slugger wagon moving forward in all manner of technologically interesting ways!

  • BogExile

    Er,

    Last time I checked, the Sinners were very fond of nationalism and socialism: Let’s see what happend if we put these two ingredients together, children:

    Wow!

    National Socialism.

    If the cap fits…

    Oh and by the way Shay, if you think you could dignify the actions of Militant Loyalism by ascribing it an ideology you’ve been at the giggly juice. it needs a lead and a muzzle, not a label.

  • Shay Begorrah

    Hello Mr Fealty.

    I know a subscription service just does not match the ethos of Slugger but I do think it would be no harm to have some way to encourage people to donate other than appealing to their sense of common decency (for me it was guilt).

    Could you have some way to show the costs you incur versus donations (maybe a little ticker on the home page saying how many days Slugger has left to run on the current funds?). I do not know whether you or the other editors should grab a pay packet or whether Slugger editing is its own sadomasochistic reward.

    As a suggestion appealing to vanity is always a good one, a friends of Slugger page where people who have ponied up get to leave some short statement (probably of incoherent rage, almost certainly comparing their opponents to Nazis, probably with a small note to demonstrate that some of their best friends are Protestants/Catholics/victims of sectarian attack as self justification).

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DR: “It’s not whataboutery to point out the reality of terrorism, even if the consequences plainly don’t bother those who admire its perpetrators.”

    They entered the fray when they informed, just as French collaberators took sides in WW2 when they informed on the Resistance, joined the Milice or supported the Vichy gov’t. Are you telling me they didn’t understand the risks of informing? Likewise, the British / Unionist policy of civilian reprisal and the use of the Black and Tans — little better than freebooters — certainly contributed to the hardness of the IRA stance.

    DR: “What would be nice would be a bit of honesty-like “Sure we had to teach a few prods and Unionists an example- pour discourager les autres-and we weren’t really that bothered about whether we had a mandate or moral justification for it. Sure morality never bothered Lenin/Hitler/Mao/Gerry and although we’re sensitive to the compsarison, the only difference is as to the degree”

    Is that your explanation of Croake Park, then, DR? Just a bunch of Unionist thugs dressed in military uniforms out to teach “those demmed Taigs” a lesson, to discourage the cause of Nationalism? That is your answer on why the Auxilliaries fired into the crowd of spectators at a GAA match, killing 14 and wounding dozens, most of whom, in all likelihood, had no connection to the IRA? At least the informers chose to involve themselves in the Anglo-Irish war, DR. Deliberate choice, with a somewhat Newtonian cause and effect. What was the “cause” that led to the “effect” at Croake Parke? BTW, the election in 1918 showed that there was a mandate in Ireland for home rule / independence among the Irish. If anything, the British / Unionist policy of reprisal against the general populace only enlarged that mandate.

    “In a strange way, we’d respect you a lot more. “

    Gotta mouse in your pocket, DR, or are you using the Royal “we?” To put it plain, in a not so strange way, DR, your “respect” means less than nothing to me. Your obvious entusiasm to dive into “whataboutery” of this case or that case when the nationalist is the agressor, combined with your inability to reciprocate when directly addressed on Unionist violence, tells me all I need about what your “respect” would be worth.

  • Henry94

    Still waiting Ruth…………

    Maybe if we offered her four times what she’s worth.

  • cladycowboy

    ‘Still waiting Ruth…………’

    Pipe down lads, sure you’ve all got quare and cocky and confident all of a sudden…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    I wonder can you think of any other NI political ideologies who might match these characteristics a little more closely than Republicanism?

    “Strongly nationalistic”

    The British Empire?

    “Strongly/Violently anti-Communist”

    the BE supported the White Russians…

    “Elitist and Authoritarian (‘Obedience not discussion’ — Mussolini)”

    The British Empire…

    “Close identity btw the party and the state”

    Through the royal figurehead…

    “Strongly anti-Semitic “

    Par for the course at the time…

    “Glorified war (promoted Social Darwinism)”

    Again, the essence of the Empire, their economic doctrine, et. al.

    “Profoundly racist”

    The White Man’s burdern anyone?

    “Had a paramilitary wing (ie: Blackshirts / S.A.) “

    Black and Tans, the Auxilliary

    “Promoted the myth of the race (use victories of the past)”

    Ah, Cromwell, Wellington and Nelson… hoorah for the Battle of the Boyne

    “Placed emphasis on the myth of the predestined leader “

    again, the royal figurehead

  • BogExile

    SB,

    On the basis of that formula I owe Mick the GDP of Latvia.

  • BogExile

    SB,

    On the basis of that formula I owe Mick the GDP of Latvia.

  • Shay Begorrah

    This has unexpectedly gotten almost back to the point BogExile/Darth.

    You could say without fear of contradiction that the allies in world world two did some pretty awful stuff (the bombing of Dresden et al, the betrayal of the Greek partisans after the war, , Stalins mass ethnic movements and redawing of borders, yada, yada, yada) yet no one is going to seriously argue that these events, some of which will inevitably be acknowledeged as war crimes, invalidate either the aims of the Allies or the use of force (though of course you could argue that the allies just became the good guys because the Axis were undoubtedly the bad ones).

    War makes dogs of men and the actions of the IRA in the war of independence were murderous but certainly no more so than those of Britain in almost every war of the twentieth century.

    Examples of wrong doing do not in themselves demonstrate aims or methods that are wrong – what you need for that is an accounting of the opposing forces, the totality of their actions, their aims and what behaviour was generally considered acceptable at the time.

    Correspondingly the wars of independence that freed many of the worlds colonies from their exploitative masters were a good achieved with often dreadful losses (of life and humanity). Ireland’s war of independence was a small but important example that freedom and self determination were possible. Most Irish people remain proud of that.

    What remains to be decided is if the situation of the nationalist population in the early seventies justified the start of twenty five years of war/insurgency/terrorism but that is where the debate lies – not about the evils of the IRA campaign but about the relative balance of wrongs.

    You can call it whataboutery, I call it history and politics.

  • darthrumsfeld

    so that’s it dread-they were all collaborators, cos the IRA said so-just like Jean McConville. Slight difference between Vichy France occupied by the Nazis and Ireland as a free part of the United Kingdom , of course, but Godwin’s law obviously has escaped you.

    And then you cast up about Croke Park out of the same side of the mouth that denounces whataboutery!!!! Tell you what. I can say some innocent people were killed at Croke Park, though probably many of them were crushed to death as opposed to shot (minor point obviously, since they were dead)- but can you say the IRA murdered innocent people because of their politicasl or religious beliefs?
    I can say that not every act of the crown forces in Ireland was within the law-but can you say any of the IRA’s actions were?
    I can say that most British people are ashamed of any excesses perpetrated in their name by their armed forces-let’s hear you say you’re ashamed of people who threw two live human beings into a furnace in Tralee,buried an old man up to his neck at the sea shore so he drowned, shot unarmed old men and women and labelled them informers, blew up oxford Street Bus station, La Mon hotel, the Droppin Well, Darkley etc etc.
    Shock us- what did the IRA ever
    do wrong?

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DR:”Tell you what. I can say some innocent people were killed at Croke Park, though probably many of them were crushed to death as opposed to shot (minor point obviously, since they were dead)- but can you say the IRA murdered innocent people because of their politicasl or religious beliefs?”

    14 people, actually, with several dozen wounded. Likewise, being crushed does not excuse the pro-Union Auxies, seeing as were not discussing shoddy construction, but an acto fo state-sponsored terrorism, a reprisal against civilian populations. That they may have been killed in the stampede caused by the shooting, as opposed to being shot, makes no difference.

    As for IRA targets — political — yes, the act of being part of the Unionist mechanism of control is political. Religious… for the ORIGINAL IRA, a distinct and seperate entity from the Provos, the Real, the Etc… for religious reasons, not so much. As I said, a great many of the informers, police, tax collectors, et al, assaulted by the IRA were Catholic.

    DR: “And then you cast up about Croke Park out of the same side of the mouth that denounces whataboutery!!!! “

    As an example, in the main — you’re never had the wherewithal to answer (and still haven’t, btw, leastwise not the questions asked). Either we both are allowed “whataboutery” or neither of us are. As someone who has received the rough edge from you previously over that sort of thing, I was glad to return the favor.

    As for the IRA doing wrong — I believe my nephew would put it best… “Well, Duh!!” Hard times make men hard, and, thusly ugly things happen. The difference, however, is that with the Original IRA, it was the exception, as opposed to the Black and Tans / Auxies, where, empowered by the British policy of civilian reprisal, it was the rule. Your pretty fiction about a “free Ireland” is a hoot, btw. Why, pray tell, if things were so rosy and wonderful in Ireland, as you suggest, were there so many rebellions?

  • BogExile

    ‘Examples of wrong doing do not in themselves demonstrate aims or methods that are wrong’

    In other words, as long as the end is legitimate, the means are at most an unhelpful distraction. Cold comfort, to, for example the Catholic man chained to his van and turned into a human bomb by ‘volunteers.’

    War does make dogs of men, but nasty, low level, sectarian cowardice scuttling through hedges to commit murder in the night against unarmed and helpless human beings makes them something else entirely. Something squalid and unrepairable has happened to the souls of these people. You won’t find that on any Cenotaph.

  • SlugFest

    Darth,

    “… people who threw two live human beings into a furnace in Tralee,buried an old man up to his neck at the sea shore so he drowned …”

    I’ve never heard of these two incidents … can you please provide more information on them, or point me in the right direction as to where to find it on my own? I’m not challenging you, I’m just seeking out more detailed info on those events.

  • darthrumsfeld

    The two thrown into the furnace were Auxiliaries taken prisoners , while the man buried up to his neck was a magistrate-somewhere in Kerry I think, who had been shot, but inconsiderately refused to die, so his assailants came back and did for him in this original fashion. I’ll try to get names for you tonight, but it isn’t information immediately to hand. There was a book published about 4 years ago detailing RIC casualties 1919-21 which I recall mentioning the former incident.

  • Shay Begorrah

    I for one would like to humanely euthanase this thread.

    “I am just like the Nazis.”

  • darthrumsfeld

    Wikipedia give RM Lendrum as having been drowned in this manner in Doonbeg Co Clare in Septemebr 1920

  • SlugFest

    Thanks, Darth. I appreciate you taking the time out.

  • Niall

    * Wikipedia give RM Lendrum as having been drowned in this manner in Doonbeg Co Clare in Septemebr 1920
    Posted by: darthrumsfeld at October 4, 2005 04:47 PM *

    Wikipedia is not objective and therefore shouldn’t be considered trustworthy in this discussion.

    Can you please forward or post verifiable background or source information for fear that I might misunderstand your postings as unsubstantiated rumour and/or urban myth.

    Searching the ‘net for the name Lendrum I did find info about a Canadian from the beaches of D-Day and a NI excorcist…

    http://www.members.shaw.ca/kcic1/military.html

    http://www.6juin1944.com/assaut/juno/page.php?page=3

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1426421,00.html

  • Niall
  • Ruth Dudley Edwards

    I just don’t have the time to get involved in lengthy arguments, so here are just a few points.

    1) I was asked to write about how Protestants west of the Bann were feeling. That is what I did. Anyone who thinks reporting feelings is somehow irrelevant is a saddo.

    2) To quote others does not necessarily imply agreement.

    3) I work hard to understand those about whom I write. Among my subjects as a biographer have been Patrick Pearse and James Connolly, Victor Gollancz (far-left publisher with a hang-up about his Jewishness), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The Economist, the Orange Order and Cecil King and Hugh Cudlipp – two left-wing Titans of Fleet Street who turned the Daily Mirror into the world’s most successful newspaper. That does not necessarily mean I am a revolutionary/communist fellow-traveller/diplomat/liberal economist/Protestant/ Labour propagandist with an Oedipus complex.

    3) (play the ball-edited Moderator)
    Ruth

  • ronny

    ruth

    Or perhaps he talked to much sense for you to deal with !!

  • In awe

    Fair play to you Ruth. I doubt whether many of us consider you to have dealt with Billy Pilgrim’s piece in anything approaching a satisfactory fashion but you had the (metaphorical) balls to reply nonetheless.

    Regards.

  • PaddyReilly

    So, everything is explained. RDE is a working journalist- of sorts- she writes for anyone who asks her, in any style they require. Expert on many points of view, she does not necessarily agree with the people she is quoting. As commissions from the Jewish Chronicle, Pravda, the Morning Star and the Starry Plough are a bit thin on the ground, she gladly accepts money from the Belfast Telegraph. Here the wisdom of playing the game not the man emerges: why bother with an ad feminem attack when the authoress will merely disassociate herself from her own article? So the real topic of debate is the Unionist population West of the Bann and their (alleged) gripes. By all accounts there is nothing new here: Book of Isaiah, Kipling’s poem, for some unearthly reason RDE omitted to mention the one about they’re loyal to the half-crown, not the crown. There is no new thought among West Bann Protestants, and no visible process of aggiornamento whereby they reconcile themselves to their minority status. They most resemble the Israeli settlers of the Gaza strip: they have grown up to think it is only natural that an entire army should be deployed to keep them in situ. Even from the point of view of the state that they profess to be part of, these people are unbearably selfish. Think of all the soldiers lives (British, Israeli) that could have been spared if they had only accepted majority opinion.

    So my message is: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. And to tell the truth, there is a pressing need for some more white faces over here in England. We are being overrun by Muslims. Tyrone Protestants would be most welcome in this ethnic swamp.

  • Ruth Dudley Edwards

    By George, he’s got it! PaddyReilly – a faster learner than some – has grasped that ‘the real topic of debate is the Unionist population West of the Bann and their (alleged) gripes.’

    Now I must go back to work on my article for the Knitters’ Gazette. I will be quoting knitters, but that should not be taken to mean that I knit.

    Ruth

  • Ruth Dudley Edwards

    By George, he’s got it! PaddyReilly – a faster learner than some – has grasped that ‘the real topic of debate is the Unionist population West of the Bann and their (alleged) gripes.’

    Now I must go back to work on my article for the Knitters’ Gazette. I will be quoting knitters, but that should not be taken to mean that I knit.

    Ruth
    http://www.ruthdudleyedwards.co.uk

  • Niall

    * ….Now I must go back to work on my article for the Knitters’ Gazette. I will be quoting knitters, but that should not be taken to mean that I knit.

    Ruth

    Posted by: Ruth Dudley Edwards at October 4, 2005 11:36 PM *

    judging by these discussions regarding your most recent article, most who post to this site think you have published enough in the Nutters Gazette, quoting nutters and while you don’t think you’re nuts plenty here seem to think you are 😉

    Mick, the prior is meant as verbal jousting and not ‘man not ball’ altho you know what I think of RDE from my previous complaints and your fawning preamble to her writings.

    RDE: No need to post your web address I’ve get too much of your writings already without searching for more.

  • Mick Fealty

    I think Ruth can handle that Niall. The bar on ad hominem (feminem) comment is not to save blushes, but to help keep people’s eye on the content of a post. It also has the added effect of steering passionate conversations away from libel and defaming.

    You say fawning, I say civil. On the whole, I don’t blog writing I don’t like. However, I don’t happen to agree with every article I blog. But I do tag what I think are significant views by substantive thinkers and actors. What you make of it is up to you. But I should also say that was not my original intention to provide a forum for public venting of spleen – though in many cases that can be both informative and entertaining.

    After that, I wish you all a good night.

  • Henry94

    I’m no fan but I do give credit RDE for coming on here to defend her article. We now know that the brief was to report on those who were “troubled” rather than give an objective assessment of general opinion.

    That in itself makes the article misleading. If a journalist was tasked with reporting the views of those “troubled” by immigration or by travellers it would be easy enough to come up with similar quotes.

    I think any newspaper which commissioned such an article and any journalist who carried it out would be deemed irresponsible. I don’t think either can escape the charge in this case.

  • George

    Darth,
    “I can say that most British people are ashamed of any excesses perpetrated in their name by their armed forces”

    Strange you say that when the Queen and Tony Blair were out in their full regalia honouring the Black and Tans and auxiliaries not six months ago.

    Britain has its war heroes and, apparently, there were no excesses in Ireland. You believe that, I don’t. But it is for the people of Britain to decide which people it puts on a pedastal, and the same goes for Ireland.

    Do you want me to list all the actions carried out by the auxiliaries and RIC against the people of Ireland?

    No war is clean.

  • darthrumsfeld

    “Wikipedia is not objective and therefore shouldn’t be considered trustworthy in this discussion.”

    OK-what about the on line chronology of events in 1920 by Dublin University? (I’m too thick to link to it, but you can google).

    As for the two policemen,not Auxiliaries as I said, one was called Patrick Waters, and his nephew-a Republican- researched the events for a Leargas programme on RTE last year. He and his colleague were kidnapped in October 1920 and reported thrown into the Tralee municipal gasworks.

    I appreciate a bullet in the back of the head has the same effect on the victim, but the unusual brutality of these killings hardly fits with the noble image of the IRA which some people would obviously prefer to maintain.

  • George

    Darth,
    murdering the democratically elected lord mayor of the second and third largest cities of today’s Irish Republic hardly fits with the noble image of the RIC which some people would obviously prefer to maintain.

    Bullet on the doorstep rather than the back of the head though.

    We could go on like this forever. The DCU site is as good for listing RIC attacks against the people of Ireland.

  • southern observer

    ( As this piece addresses both RDE and the general Slugger audience the first and third person are used at various times.)

    Methinks Ruth doth protest too much.

    Since Southern observer thinks it OK to quote (rather misleadingly) from our private correspondence

    Ruth,I have all relevant e mails still on file.They can be sent on to you in their entirety if you wish with the pertinent pieces highlighted in which case you will see that my reference is anything but ‘misleading’.

    I think it OK to say that I stopped answering him not simply because he was gratuitously insulting

    Now Ruth! If you want to get involved in the rough and tumble of debate in this forum or elsewhere you will have to take the rough with the smooth.Harry Truman’s famous dictum about the heat and the kitchen spring to mind.Through a curious sort of masochistic compulsion I have ploughed through your articles religiously every Sunday for years back in the certain knowledge that ‘gratuitous insult’ is a strong possibility- a case in point being your fusillades against the ROI (of which state I am a citizen).Anything I said was certainly forthright and no-punches-pulled but was well within the parameters of civilized discussion. Besides you can hardly be accused of treating journalistic opponents (‘clowns like Tim Pat Coogan’) with kid gloves.

    he was long-winded, self-satisfied and a circular thinker

    Foul!!

    Much as I find it an extremely blurry concept I try to keep onside with the man/ball rule and have tiptoed gingerly around this matter in my last posting.This being the case (although you may find this slightly jesuitical) I said above that Ruth’s *analyses* (abstract/nonpersonal-equating to ‘ball’) were * agenda-driven* etc.You have stated that *I* (personal-equating to ‘man’) am ‘long-winded,self-satsified’ etc’

    However I am open to constructive critical self-analysis can send on all relevant correspondence and if you can validate the above criticisms through quotation apologies will be duly tendered.

    I carefully peruse your Sindo articles every Sunday through a sense of compulsive morbid fascination and also because,being a George Hook fan,I can’t quite refrain from buying the thing.I have repeatedly dashed off e mails- partly to get all the post-RDE Sindo article angst out of my system but also in the hope (futile as it has transpired) of planting seeds of evidence-based doubt.I can recall feeling frustrated by a lack of response to numerous detailed arguments and coming to the the conclusion that the well of plausible counter-arguments had run dry.

    Being an avid RDE reader has the advantage,which is standing me in good stead here,of having a pretty accurate memory bank of RDE Sindo material and,getting back to the original drift of the thread,I can only recall one article specifically dealing with a community of nationalists.This was a write-up of the West Belfast Feile an Phobail about 3 years back where the audience of a debate in which she participated was described as ‘as brainwashed as North Koreans’.Hardly a nonjudgemental reportage of community opinion! The contrast with her recent Bel Tel article could not be starker.

  • darthrumsfeld

    indeed we could go on for ever george. I’ll just go on a wee bit though, if I may.

    Remind me again-what organisation did Tomas Macurtain belong to and actively work for ? Ah yes, that would have been the IRA- which the day before Maccurtain’s murder (note the use of that word george)had murdered an unarmed policeman in King Street, Cork ( now named after the late mayor). No boy scout he, but a leader of a group that had murdered colleagues of the police officers presumed ( again note use of the word) to have carried out the reprisal- tip: a reprisal is something done by you in response to something done to you first, though still not morally justifiable. Macurtain was guilty of treason ,and should have been arrested and tried-if convicted, he would have meritted the sentence imposed on Pearse Connolly etc;

    And the reason I am going to keep going on about these killings is that I am not going to allow you or any other nationalist to rewrite history to pretend that the British presence was an occupying power in defiance of the wish of the Irish people for self-determination. The British presence was and is hundreds of thousands of ordinary Irish people.

    1919-21 was just as much a civil war as the subsequent fall out between criminals which usually carries that term.
    Irish people-Protestant and Roman Catholic, Unionist and Home Ruler- who didn’t subscribe to the dream were murdered , intimidated, boycotted, steamrollered, and then ignored, airbrushed out of history. The RIC didn’t “attack the people of Ireland”-they were the people of Ireland, and hundreds of them, including the unfortunate Waters,paid the supreme price for the inability of Republicanism to reach an accommodation with th irish majority and the British majority opposed to their politics .

    Is it really that difficult to say that george?
    Oh yes, I forgot. That would make the old IRA as bad as the current lot, and that might cause some people a problem.

  • George

    Darth,
    interesting you don’t take issue with the RIC calling to the democratically elected Lord Mayor’s house in Cork and blowing his brains out because a police officer was shot in the city the day before?

    Hardly the actions of a police force of the Irish people, would you not agree? More like reprisals than policing.

    Can you tell me another democratic country where the police assassinate members of the majority party to keep the public in line? Interesting policy.

    The RIC obviously never really understood the “we the people” bit of republicanism.

    “The RIC didn’t “attack the people of Ireland”-they were the people of Ireland, and hundreds of them, including the unfortunate Waters,paid the supreme price for the inability of Republicanism to reach an accommodation with th irish majority and the British majority opposed to their politics .”

    Should I go off and get the list of Irish towns and villages the RIC burnt in their efforts to crush the democratic will of the Irish people?

    What about all the summary executions (that’s murder) carried out?

    Maybe it’s just me but I find the ones who remained in the RIC weren’t the people of Ireland because if they were, they wouldn’t have been going around ignoring the democratic will of the people, murdering its elected officials and they certainly wouldn’t have been going around burning Irish towns and villages to the ground.

    But then again you are somebody who believes in becoming a subversive and taking up arms if you are democratically outvoted on the constitutional issue.

    You just better hope the police treat you better than MacCurtain was treated when they come knocking on your door in the dead of night.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DR: “Remind me again-what organisation did Tomas Macurtain belong to and actively work for ? Ah yes, that would have been the IRA- which the day before Maccurtain’s murder (note the use of that word george)had murdered an unarmed policeman in King Street, Cork ( now named after the late mayor).”

    And the murder of a policeman is an act of sedition — an attack of the instrumentality of rule.

    DR” ” No boy scout he, but a leader of a group that had murdered colleagues of the police officers presumed ( again note use of the word) to have carried out the reprisal- tip: a reprisal is something done by you in response to something done to you first, though still not morally justifiable. Macurtain was guilty of treason”

    What oath had he taken to the Crown and Empire? Sedition, yes, treason is an over-reach, DR. Words mean things. Ireland was a conquered province, why else all the rebellions prior to the Anglo-Irish war of 1919-1921?

    DR: “and should have been arrested and tried-if convicted, he would have meritted the sentence imposed on Pearse Connolly etc;”

    Ah, but that was not the British / Unionist way by that point. Better to unleash the burnt out dregs of the regiments thrown into the meat-grinder on the Western Front than worry about such dainties as “rule of law.” They went so far as to close the Coroner’s Courts, due to the many murder indictments their forces were attracting. Face it, DR, the Black and Tans and the Auxies made clear the “morality” of the British Empire, polite historical footnotes as to His Majesty’s horror aside. Had Britian not made such a hash of the prior century and a half of occupation, you might have had a point. But, between their sumptory laws, penal laws, the Great Hunger the prior two engendered, set the tone for what followed.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Ruth

    First off, thanks for having the courage to come on here and participate in the discussion. I don’t think you have remotely answered any of my points but I appreciate your presence anyway.

    “I was asked to write about how Protestants west of the Bann were feeling. That is what I did. Anyone who thinks reporting feelings is somehow irrelevant is a saddo.”

    Reporting feelings ALONE is not the subject for serious journalism. Certainly there is a place for reporting how people are feeling, but reporting is fundamentally about the accurate presentation of what can be proven. This is an article without facts. There is nothing here that you can stand up or stand over. This report has only myth, paranoia and unsubstantiated allegations, all given a credibility by the narrative voice unmerited by the facts. Even you do not stand over the allegations made in this article, yet those allegations have appeared in a hundred thousand copies of the Tele with your name on the by-line.

    No real reporter would be so sanguine about putting their name to an article containing so many allegations which they could not stand over. You do not appear to even understand that if you give credence to an allegation, you must be able to stand over it. In this report, you editorialise substantially in a way that gives credence to the allegations you report. I’m astonished at how breezily you dismiss the idea that you should actually be able to stand over these allegations.

    The Telegraph did not, I assume, commission you to amplify paranoid myths? Yet this article does just that and it’s YOUR NAME that stands over it. YOU are responsible for this article, not the editor who commissioned you. YOU have to anticipate that an article, once published, has the potential to take on a life of its own. That’s the responsibility that real reporters take upon themselves. Real reporters do not simply disassociate yourself from the implications of your own work and pass the buck upwards. For real reporters, it’s not a hobby and it’s not a game. Real reporters THINK about how their reports will be interpreted. For real reporters, journalism is not about making noise and covering your ass. Don’t you understand that?

    As I said previously: Any working reporter would be far too embarrassed to submit this sub-professional crap to any news editor.

    I understand that you are an academic. Perhaps this explains your total estrangement from journalistic ethics. As an academic, you are used to writing principally for other academics and intellectuals. As such you might not have the same understanding of consequences that a real reporter might have. There is no need for academics to be anything like as responsible as journalists in what they write, as they can reasonably expect their readers to engage intellectually with their work. Journalists have no such luxury. The egregious irresponsibility in this article suggests that you do not understand that.

    An academic can take the luxury of writing a piece solely for the purpose of stimulating debate among an assumed audience. A reporter’s assumed audience, on the other hand, is much less rarified breed. Reporters must be more circumspect because there are volatile, violent people among any reporter’s assumed audience. Not the kind of people you find in universities. Not the kind of people who fight their battles with wit and learning over lattes and muffins.

    I think that perhaps you do not understand this.

    “To quote others does not necessarily imply agreement.”

    Not necessarily, true, but everything in THIS PARTICULAR article most certainly DID imply your agreement. The manner and context in which people are quoted is absolutely central, and reporters must be guided by their professional ethics on how they do this. Your article sided unambiguously with unnamed sources who were making very serious allegations. It did not provide a shred of evidence to substantiate any of the claims made, yet the allegations were reported in a way that clearly implied their veracity. This was unethical and reckless. It was dangerously irresponsible. It was disgraceful.

    Furthermore, it is shocking indictment of our media that someone so frequently published should fail to grasp something so basic as this.

    “I work hard to understand those about whom I write….”

    I don’t doubt that for one second. What I do doubt, however, is your understanding of how journalism differs from scholasticism. Northern matters are not a game. This is not a school debate, these are people’s lives. I seriously doubt whether you understand that unlike bad scholasticism, bad journalism can get people killed.

    THAT’S why journalists have to be responsible to a degree that academics do not. That’s why your article was dangerously irresponsible and should not have been published.

  • southern observer

    The following is the url for Ruth’s West Belfast article which was actually from 1999.How time flies!:
    http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=45&si=544199&issue_id=5550

    It is illuminating to read this and then follow up with her latest Bel Tel piece to really get an insight into Ruth’s…er..inconsistent standards.

  • southern observer

    The following is the url for Ruth’s West Belfast article which was actually from 1999.How time flies!:
    http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=45&si=544199&issue_id=5550

    It is illuminating to read this and then follow up with her latest Bel Tel piece to really get an insight into Ruth’s…er..inconsistent standards.

  • darthrumsfeld

    “interesting you don’t take issue with the RIC calling to the democratically elected Lord Mayor’s house in Cork and blowing his brains out because a police officer was shot in the city the day before?”

    well I did call it murder, which you might like to look up in the dictionary, where there are certain negative connotations in the definition. But no doubt you would take a similar strong view if -by some freak- Johnny Adair was the elected Lord Mayor of Belfast. Remember Macurtain wasn’t just the Mayor- he was one of the chief IRA men in the City- it was his men who murdered the Policeman ( any chance of a bit of sympathy for him, or Constable Waters, or RM Lendrum in your absolutist worldview BTW?)

    “Can you tell me another democratic country where the police assassinate members of the majority party to keep the public in line?”

    Can you tell me another democratic country where the mayor is the leader of a gang murdering policemen and terrorising the citizens he is supposed to represent?

    “Hard times make men hard, and, thusly ugly things happen. The difference, however, is that with the Original IRA, it was the exception, as opposed to the Black and Tans”
    Ah yes-hard times- Ireland was wretchedly poor, but still more prosperous than it had ever been in 1916.
    I enjoy reading such lurid potboilers as “Rebel Cork’s fighting story”, Dan Breen’s misty -eyed gorefest, and other literary abortions in my spare time. Don’t see too many stories of the IRA sewing circle, or the gardening club. Nope- just lots and lots of glorying in murders, bombings, boycotts,- and that’s just the stuff they were proud of! Funnily enough no mention of throwing live human beings into a furnace or burying men up to their necks at the seashore .
    All I can say is that the times must have been extraordinarily hard to produce such savagery.

    And for what? Your glib mention of the majority has of course been thoroughly discreditted in hundreds of threads, but if one accepts that the tide was with the move for independence, what was to prevent the Irish nationalists from negotiationg a shared future with their fellow irishmen. What -precisely -in the Government of ireland Act would have amounted to tyranny, or indeed what more was acheived by violence than would have been gained by talking?
    Only one thing- proof to Unionists that for all the talk of them joining in the common cause of Irishmen, the real voice of republicanism spoke at Dunmanway

    I think as well the closure of Coroner’s Courts was something to do with the political verdicts given out by ammongst others Macurtain’s jury- didn’t they blame Lloyd George ? Plus given the number of magistrates being drowned, or dragged off buses and shot like dogs your concern for the judicial system is a bit of a sham.

  • darthrumsfeld

    ..oh, and since dread is so keen on archaic laws relating to sumptory for example, let’s agree that MacCurtain was unquestionably guilty of high treason, not sedition, in waging war against the government of which he was a subject-even the Casement judgment proved that, and presumably Macurtain was aware of that case.
    Fortunately for MacCurtain the traditional punishment of hanging, drawing and quartering had been abolished in the 19th century. That’s not to dispute that he was unlawfully killed, but he should have ben dealt with by due process.
    Mind you, if due process had been followed the soft hearted British would have been forced to execute quite a lot more of the traitors of 1916- including…er Tomas MacCurtain.

  • George

    Darth,
    as this road has been travelled so many times before, I’ll try come at it from another angle.

    A free and democratic state gets its legitimacy, and its moral authority from the people. Without the people, it or its organs (police included) have no legitimacy or no moral authority.

    In the case of Ireland 1919, British rule in Ireland had no democratic legitimacy or moral authority. As a result, it was unable to enforce its laws or maintain order.

    You seem to think the violence made British rule untenable. British rule became untenable the day the people of Ireland decided on independence and their wishes were denied. British rule became British occupation.

    The reason the RIC were shooting people who were elected to office and burning down towns and villages was to terrorise the local population.

    It wasn’t policing for the people, it was domination of the people more akin to an occupying army. Or do you know other democratic police forces that burn down towns and villages?

    The RIC lost all legitimacy when British rule lost all legitimacy. The were not the police force of the Irish people.

    You may feel that the British government gave the RIC legitimacy but for the people of Ireland it had none. This is evidenced by the fact that the RIC had to resort to terror to maintain “order” (British rule).

    Many Russians thought the Soviet Union gave them legitimacy over the Baltic States but it did’t.

    Or do you believe it was for the Soviet Union to decide the future of the people of Lithuania?

    I think it was for the people of Lithuania to decide their fate.

    Or would you put those Lithuanians up against the wall for sedition and treason.

    I am not British and therefore cannot be tried for treason. From January 1919, either was MacCurtain.

    You don’t have to accept the democratic will of the Irish people but then don’t expect to be considered a democrat.

  • darthrumsfeld

    “You may feel that the British government gave the RIC legitimacy but for the people of Ireland it had none. This is evidenced by the fact that the RIC had to resort to terror to maintain “order” (British rule).”

    And what is evidenced by the fact that the IRA had to resort to terror against the Irish people toi maintain their order?

    “You don’t have to accept the democratic will of the Irish people but then don’t expect to be considered a democrat.”

    You don’t have to acept the democratic will of the British people-as expressed in the 1918 general election either george-just don’t get all superior about it.

    Tomas MacCurtain didn’t wake up one morning a slave in an occupied state. There was no plebiscite for a change of nationality that allowed him to slough off his Britishness in the way that he dumped his real name of Thomas Curtin onm a certain day.

    ” A free and democratic state gets its legitimacy, and its moral authority from the people. Without the people, it or its organs (police included) have no legitimacy or no moral authority.”

    Correct!!!-and that’s your weakness…….

    the people did NOT mandate MacCurtain and his fellow terrorists to wage their campaign, as the only test available- the 1918 general election result comprehensively proves ( I’m glad you’ve given up,arguing that it did). So the IRA had no moral legitimacy.

    For most of his political life he chose to ignore the democratically expressed wish of the Irish part of the United Kingdom that there be a link with London. When he couldn’t wait any longer for the irish people to agree with his politics he decided to use violence to intimidate and bully those irish people who disagreed with him-

    MacCurtain was quite content to exploit and work some of the British democratic structures- for example by becoming mayor of Cork, a city governed and whose mayor was elected under UK local government constructs.

    He may well have attained a United and largely self-governing Ireland by agreement within ten years but he couldn’t wait- he decided that he best knew the bounds of a nation, and was going to limit them, regardless of the wishes of the majority.

    I wonder if he ever thought that barbarism like the murder of Patrick Waters was comprised in the concept of a just war. It does seem strange that such a brave act of liberation should be so forgotten by IRA fanclub members- just a hint that it might be a bit of an embarassment in your silence on it, perhaps? Or was it a necessary act, like the murder and posthumous defamation of Jean McConville by MacCurtain’s political heirs in 1972?

    george – I can keep this argument going for the rest of my life if need be, or until you concede the basic courtesy to your opponent that my community’s views were and are legitimate, and cannot be ignored by a simple and flawed interpretation of majoritarianism which was used to inflict acts of great cruelty on those who were not supporters of expressed goals of the terror campaigns of 1919-21 and 1969-2005. Are you up to the challenge?

  • George

    Darth,
    “And what is evidenced by the fact that the IRA had to resort to terror against the Irish people toi maintain their order?”

    “You don’t have to acept the democratic will of the British people-as expressed in the 1918 general election either george-just don’t get all superior about it.”

    I told you before, I don’t accept, and never will, that the people of Great Britain have a right to decide the future of Ireland. I am Irish and Irish is not a subset of British, despite what you may think. It’s called Ireland’s right to self-determination.

    The people of Ireland gave a mandate for independence and Britain refused that mandate. The day they refused that mandate is the day British rule and the British state failed in Ireland.

    “Tomas MacCurtain didn’t wake up one morning a slave in an occupied state. There was no plebiscite for a change of nationality that allowed him to slough off his Britishness in the way that he dumped his real name of Thomas Curtin onm a certain day.”

    The Irish Republic was declared by the democratically elected parliament of the Irish people in 1919. On this day, British rule lost any legitimacy in Ireland it may have had.

    As I said, a free and democratic state gets its legitimacy, and its moral authority from the people. Without the people, it or its organs (police included) have no legitimacy or no moral authority.

    “the people did NOT mandate MacCurtain and his fellow terrorists to wage their campaign, as the only test available- the 1918 general election result comprehensively proves ( I’m glad you’ve given up,arguing that it did). So the IRA had no moral legitimacy.”

    The people mandated Dail Eireann as the parliament of the people and the British ignored that mandate. In September 1919, the British banned Ireland’s parliament and war broke out.

    The Dail declared the Irish republic would be achieved by:
    – Withdrawing the Irish Representation from the British Parliament and by denying the right and opposing the will of the British Government or any other foreign Government to legislate for Ireland
    – By making use of any and every means available to render impotent the power of England to hold Ireland in subjection by military force or otherwise.

    That was the will of the people.

    The Volunteer Convention in 1919 formally recognised the Minister for Defence, Cathal Brugha, as the leader of the Volunteers.

    The Volunteers then became the national army with the title of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) or Irish Defence Forces as they are known today.

    “MacCurtain was quite content to exploit and work some of the British democratic structures- for example by becoming mayor of Cork, a city governed and whose mayor was elected under UK local government constructs.”

    MacCurtain was only answerable to Dail Eireann, regardless of what you may think.

    “He may well have attained a United and largely self-governing Ireland by agreement within ten years but he couldn’t wait- he decided that he best knew the bounds of a nation, and was going to limit them, regardless of the wishes of the majority.”

    Maybe, who knows, but the day the British banned the Dail is the day that became impossible. The Dail represented and still does represent, the majority view in Ireland.

    “Or was it a necessary act, like the murder and posthumous defamation of Jean McConville by MacCurtain’s political heirs in 1972? “

    The PIRA had no democratic mandate from the Irish people. Just like if you want if you pick up a weapon if and when a majority in NI vote to cede to the Irish Republic.

    “george – I can keep this argument going for the rest of my life if need be, or until you concede the basic courtesy to your opponent that my community’s views were and are legitimate, and cannot be ignored by a simple and flawed interpretation of majoritarianism which was used to inflict acts of great cruelty on those who were not supporters of expressed goals of the terror campaigns of 1919-21 and 1969-2005. Are you up to the challenge?”

    1919-1921 was a war of independence for my community, you know the 4-million strong one. I hope you one day accept the Irish people have legitimate views, a legitimate right to decide their own destiny and a legitimate right to fight with all their might to earn freedom.

    I for one would gladly stand to protect Northern Ireland’s democratic right to decide its own destiny.

    The people of NI want to be part of the Union with GB as clearly shown in democratic elections, so that is where I stand and what I would defend. If they change their mind, I will defend that.

  • darthrumsfeld

    “I hope you one day accept the Irish people have legitimate views, a legitimate right to decide their own destiny and a legitimate right to fight with all their might to earn freedom.

    I for one would gladly stand to protect Northern Ireland’s democratic right to decide its own destiny.”

    Extremely interesting George… Am I correct in interpreting you as saying the people of Northern Ireland are not a subset of the people of Ireland? That would actually suggest a more partitionist mindset than my own, though it is a consistent interpretation of majoritarianism with your earlier posts. The problem though is how you measure the expression of determination. After all, Unionism has won every single election in Northern Ireland yet we’re told there’s always going to be another replay until the “right” result- which of course will never be subject to rerun

    I disagree with the idea that there are two separate British and Irish peoples on the island, as Lord Kilclooney has often said. I also believe that Bonar Law was correct when he said “there asre things greater than parliamentary majorities” in so far as I understand that to mean that nationality is not dependant on how other people vote. That is why I reject the idea that the 1918 election legitimised the IRA campaign.

    I do of course recognise that the institutions of a state can receive restropsective legitimisation- as is obviously the case in RoI today, where there is obviously almost universal acceptance of the legitimacy of the state. I suspect that this view is more in accord with general thinking about nationality in the 21st century-we’ve moved beyond the idea of plebiscite to determine nationality, not least in the otherwise awful Belfast Agreement. I don’t accept that retrosp.ective legitimisation extends to acts which, you must concede, are awful crimes against humanity

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DR:””Hard times make men hard, and, thusly ugly things happen. The difference, however, is that with the Original IRA, it was the exception, as opposed to the Black and Tans”
    Ah yes-hard times- Ireland was wretchedly poor, but still more prosperous than it had ever been in 1916.
    I enjoy reading such lurid potboilers as “Rebel Cork’s fighting story”, Dan Breen’s misty -eyed gorefest, and other literary abortions in my spare time. Don’t see too many stories of the IRA sewing circle, or the gardening club. Nope- just lots and lots of glorying in murders, bombings, boycotts,- and that’s just the stuff they were proud of! Funnily enough no mention of throwing live human beings into a furnace or burying men up to their necks at the seashore .
    All I can say is that the times must have been extraordinarily hard to produce such savagery.”

    I notice you tend to dismiss / gloss over the Protestant /Unionist / British atrocities, going all the way back to Cromwell and beyond. The butchery at Croake, the Auxies habit of killing prisoners, the B&Ts sacking of Irish towns… I’ll give your credit for getting it right — they were “extraordinarily hard times.” The biggest problem, DR, is you worry far to hard about the mote in the Irish eye and none at all with the plank in your own.

    British “democracy” in Ireland is like the story of 8 wolves and 7 sheep voting on what to have for dinner. It is a history of gerrymanders and intimidation. You like to whinge on about some history, but strenuously object to others as “whataboutery” and “being too far back to matter.” The Act of Union was achieved through a non-democratic, Protestant-only “parliment,” Catholics being denied the franchise. As such, it is illegitimate on its face — its lacks the will and consent of the people and isn’t worth the paper its written on.

    I’ll ask again, if life for the RC majority was so wonderful, as you seem to think/feel/believe, then why all of the revolts between 1800 and 1918?

  • George

    Darth,
    “Am I correct in interpreting you as saying the people of Northern Ireland are not a subset of the people of Ireland? That would actually suggest a more partitionist mindset than my own, though it is a consistent interpretation of majoritarianism with your earlier posts. The problem though is how you measure the expression of determination. After all, Unionism has won every single election in Northern Ireland yet we’re told there’s always going to be another replay until the “right” result- which of course will never be subject to rerun”

    The people of Ireland deemed that it is for the people within both jurisdictions to decide their fates separately. I follow the democratic wishes of the people of Ireland, not a subset of the people, while always respecting Ireland’s right to self-determination.

    “I disagree with the idea that there are two separate British and Irish peoples on the island, as Lord Kilclooney has often said. I also believe that Bonar Law was correct when he said “there asre things greater than parliamentary majorities” in so far as I understand that to mean that nationality is not dependant on how other people vote. That is why I reject the idea that the 1918 election legitimised the IRA campaign.”

    The principle of democracy holds that the rule of law is legitimate only if those subject to it have a say over it in practices of democratic deliberation or the exchange of public reasons. In Ireland in 1919, this was not the case. British law had no legitimacy and neither did its forces.

    As for Kilclooney, I don’t care if we have a hundred different peoples on this island as long as the people of this island are the ones who decide their own fate without outside interference. It is not for him to say we are all the same.

    We’ll have more East Europeans than unionists on this island in 20 years and I will expect the same respect for Irish determination from them.

    There are things greater than parliamentary majorities, the greatest of them being the will of the people and once you lose the people, you lose the state.

    “I don’t accept that retrosp.ective legitimisation extends to acts which, you must concede, are awful crimes against humanity”

    Whatever else happened in Ireland, 1919-1922, north and south of the border, I would not classify them as crimes against humanity be it the actions of the RIC, British Army or IRA.

    Things got nasty to be true but let’s keep things in perspective here.

    If pushed, I would say the only crime against humanity perpetrated against the people of Ireland around this period was sending 50,000 of them to a meaningless death in World War I.

  • darthrumsfeld

    “I’ll ask again, if life for the RC majority was so wonderful, as you seem to think/feel/believe, then why all of the revolts between 1800 and 1918?”

    What revolts exactly dread?

    The half hearted pop of wannabe Robert Emmet which enthused about five people outside Dublin; the Fenian Conspiracy of 1848 which achieved much greater popular support in..er Canada ;the Phoenix Park murder gang; or the numerous cabals of loonytunes, anti-semites, religious mystics and the distinctly dodgy Patrick Pearse in 1916 -who as we know were rejected by the Irish people at the time? That’s four efforts in 116 years-on average every 29 years ( one generation) and none of them involving more than 10,000 people -that’s less than 0.2% of the Irish people.

    The trouble with Ireland for people like you is that it wasn’t revolutionary enough. There were numerous political agitations, which included street politics and indeed deaths- but there were numerous examples of this in England too- the Peterloo massacre,the Chartists, the Luddites,the Taff Vale dispute, the General Strike.

    Just as in England the irish political scene post 1801 was convulsed by economic and social issues far more than by any notion of breaking away from Britain. Quite the opposite in fact.

    The Church in particular discouraged the use of Irish language as a barrier to economic advancement within the Empire, and while not exactly encouraging emigration it certainly saw advantages in good Irish Catholics finding new territories in which to prosper-including in England and Scotland (where of course the reality turned out very different).

    The Church and RC political leadership would no more have thought to turn their backs on the British Empire in 1900 than they would have unilaterally pulled out of the European Union in 2000. The numerous irritants and downsides of membership of the Union were far outweighed by the economic benefits. Of course they were fiercely working all the angles for the benefit of their people. Or maybe they were brainwashed by all of that invidious sumptory that you keep blaiming for Ireland’s ills.

    There was no uprising on the anything like the scale of 1798 (which was also not a universal cry for freedom BTW). If you want to see a true national movement for independence you’d be far better looking at 20th century Poland than the sputtering efforts of Irish republicans 1801-1919.

    And as I’ve already made clear on this thread, retrospective validation of a constitution , though messy, can and usually does happen. Ireland 2005 is an independent state despite not having what I would deem a democratic mandate to legitimise the means whereby it nefgotiated independence. Ireland 1801 was as undemocratic as every other state in the world when the Union was created, and today we would never regard the vote as representative- but Ireland in 1880 was solidly and contentedly a part of the Empire and the Kingdom.

    “The people of Ireland deemed that it is for the people within both jurisdictions to decide their fates separately. I follow the democratic wishes of the people of Ireland, not a subset of the people, while always respecting Ireland’s right to self-determination.” said george

    To which I say amen. But how many times do we have to say “no” for you to genuinely accept it is our settled will? And how many times would a hypothetical “yes” have to be obtained for you to regard it as the will fot ehpeople of ireland that we unite? See the inequity yet?

  • PaddyReilly

    If the Irish ask for Home Rule, but do not use violence, then that shows they do not really want it, and it should not be given to them.

    If the Irish ask for Home Rule, and use violence, than that shows they are barbarians, and it should not be given to them.

    This is the Unionist argument, well expressed by the above contributor.

  • Susan

    I realise this debate has probably overrun its course but one theme which has not been explored is why the BT published such an article. Have they any responsiblility here? It reads like something straight out of the Sindo so I’m surprised that BT took it on.

  • darthrumsfeld

    go home Paddy Reilly to ballyjamesduff

  • PaddyReilly

    I take it that means I win the argument.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    DR: “Ireland 1801 was as undemocratic as every other state in the world when the Union was created, and today we would never regard the vote as representative- but Ireland in 1880 was solidly and contentedly a part of the Empire and the Kingdom.”

    You do so well, blowing hot and cold from the same mouth, DR. If we accept your thesis that Ireland in 1801 was ‘as undemocratic as every other state in the world’ (I can think of an exception or three off the top of my head, but out of a whole world, an exception or three is no big matter), then the Act of Union lacks the will of the people, having been obtained through a blatantly discriminatory / sectarian process. As such, it is invalid on its face. The fact that it took a series of revolts culminating in the Anglo-Irish War of 1919-1921 is simply a timing difference. Ironically, it is the democratization — the return of rights and the franchise to the Irish majority, as opposed to the Scots and British transplants, that enabled the successful prosecution of the Anglo-Irish War. The election of an overwhelming Sinn Fein majority in the 1918 election makes clear the will of the majority in Ireland. That this will was denied, combined broadly with the excesses of the pro-Unionist forces, which includes the Black and Tans, the Auxilliaries and the Regular Army (with some notable exceptions), translated to sympathy and support for the IRA. Without getting into specifics, as I will concede that each of us could rally enough examples of “bad things” performed by “the other side” to bore everyone to tears (if we have not already), I would remind you that even the American War of Independence did not have overwhelming support, either. The numbers I seem to hear quoted mst often are thirds — 1/3 for independence, 1/3 for continue participation in the British Empire and 1/3 who really just wanted to live their lives. Revolutions have suceeded with far less than 33% of the populaces support — the PIRA, as I recall, seemed to move along for 30 years well enough with what, 5%??

    The other reason the Anglo-Irish war was an Irish victory is that the Irish had the political will, since, given the historical examples of British reprisal, they had little incentive to surrender / back away from violence, at least until the offer of negotiations that led to the Irish Free State. Britain had already demonstrated that Irish opinion, politely presented, held no weight in their councils, while those who were rude enough to take up the gun tended to be given drumhead trials and executed. Victory was, literally, the only remaining option.

  • darthrumsfeld

    oh for goodenss sake dread-
    we’ve all established that there was no “overwhelming Sinn Fein majority” in the 1918 general election in a thousand tortuous debates. Even George doesn’t try to run that line any more. Do try to keep up.

    And try to read some history books. The Government of Ireland Act was preceded by several series of negotiations in which a substantial number of the demands of irish nationalism had been met. So much for the “politics didn’t work” argument.

    Far from being in a foment of anti-British hysteria, your ancestors(if you are indeed Irish and not one of our more enthusiatic American gaels)probably were quite content to stand on the streets of Dublin with the cheering crowds for King Edward VII on his Royal Visit; they most likely had relations or neighbours serving in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in the Boer War, and were appalled by the antics of Major McBride Irish brigade who sided with the Boers-and this eccentric faraway folly by a few hundred adventurers was the best that the combined anti-British zealots could manage by way of a liberation struggle since 1848!!

    By 1905 Arthur Griffith was sitting down trying to invent a way for Ireland to be subject to the British Crown ( in between his forays into anti-semitism)-and this was thought to be the outer fringes of nationalist thought.

    BTW thanks for telling me I am a British transplant. perhaps I should clear off back to Scotland. After all, my family has only been here for 392 years, so our views shoudn’t count.

    One question though- what about all the other British transplants like..er Danny Morrison and Gerry Adams?

    No doubt your zeal for the purity of the Irish race is suitably embarassed by the role of such foreign interlopers like Senor De Valera, Charles Burgess, Maud Gonne McBride, Constance Marciewiecz etc etc in the national struggle.

    And as for the indefatigability of the Irish people, didn’t Collins tell Lloyd George that another fortnight would have brought about the defeat of the IRA? Let’s hope that gutlessness is still a Welsh national characteristic at Windsor Park tomorrow!