Okay, the polls are open…

Finally I got round to collating all the nominations so we have a shortlist of the top nominees for greatest Irish man or woman and greatest Ulster man or woman. You can vote on the left side bar. There are a lot of people missing, which we may profile over the time the poll is going. We plan to run it over the holidays and into early next year. In the fine old tradition, you can vote early and often, but not more than once a day. Enjoy! Remember, it’s just for fun!!

  • Mick Fealty

    John Hume leads from Henry Joy in Ulster and in the Irish poll, where every single candidate has registered at least one vote, Oscar Wilde leads the field by a nose!

  • Why is Jeffrey not on the Ulster list?

  • Mick Fealty

    Jeffrey? I don’t think there was a Jeffery nominated? Tell us more?

  • smcgiff

    Oh I don’t know. I think anyone that has come to prominence, after being saddled with a name like Jeffrey at birth, deserves a shot.

  • BogExile

    Why is the man who invented Tayto crisps not up for veneration either. Mick are you perhaps a closet Golden Wonder man?

  • DaithiO

    Hmmm what a choice !

    Are the nominations really closed ?

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    BE:

    He only got two votes.

  • BogExile

    Damn. Next year I’ll try Onion Rings.

  • Nathan

    My Greatest Irishman vote went to Kenneth Whitaker, the humble civil servant who, in his own quiet but hugely authoritative way, changed the course of Irish economic history and laid the foundation blocks for much of the success that the Irish Republic enjoys today.

    The Greatest Ulsterman vote doesn’t interest me so I won’t be registering a vote – naff choices on offer.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Ken didn’t get enough votes for the Ulster final, and you were the only one to vote for Rob Saunders.

  • Nathan

    Ken didn’t get enough votes for the Ulster final, and you were the only one to vote for Rob Saunders.

    Thats fair enough. Ken doesn’t belong across the border, having being adopted by Dubliners a long time ago. He’s better placed in the Greatest Irishman league.

    As for these Ulsterman contenders that have come through to the final, I don’t warm to them at all.

    Many of them haven’t shaped contemporary life in the Irish Republic, in the same way that anomalies such as Catherine McGuinness and Douglas Gageby have.

  • Mickhall

    mick,

    I feel we should have jeffery on the list, so at least those of us who would not vote for any of those you have named would be able to vote for someone. A sort of Jeffery write in.

  • Pete Baker

    Welease Jeffwey!

    [/monty python]

  • darth rumsfeld

    well, as a descendant of Henry Joy McCracken’s family I’m naturally pleased that the family name is so revered, though frankly I would have voted for Ian Paisley as the embodiment of all that is an Ulster Scot- the good and the bad. Or John Hewitt, a poet a hundred times more insightful than Heaney.
    In their absence, I’ve gone for the other Big Man- Pat Jennings-hero of the Kop, modest, unassuming, totally reliable, and a man who redeemed himself from sin ( playing for the Totts) by a glorious career at Highbury.

  • missfitz

    I know its just for fun, but seriously, why are there no women in the Ulster category, when the Ulster females appear in the Irish list. Then Daniel appears twice?!

    Lets have a fair shake for the women please

  • I’m afraid that’s the way it fell out. Some people voted in both categories but chose different individuals. Mary Peters makes the Ireland category, but not Ulster.

  • Kathy_C

    I think hands down….it is Thomas Murphy. He’s done the most, in my oppinion, for Irish unification.

  • Nathan

    Thomas Murphy!!!!! LOL

    Thats when you know theres brittle bridgets in town.

    Yanks so dumb that they actually believe the PIRA to be some kind of registered charity

    What part of the US of A do you hail from, Kathy_C?

  • Kathy_C

    I’ve lived all over this great country, Nathan.
    I don’t believe the PIRA are registered charity. I believe they are like the patriots back in Lexington Massachusetts who stood up to the brits and didn’t want them marching down their streets and the Patriots of Concord Massachusetts who opted to shoot the officers when the brits walked the long way back to Boston. and….I may be a yank…but I’m not dumb….;0)…I just admire true patriots who fight for freedom from british tyranny….the likes of George Washington, Colonel Parker….the list goes on and on….

  • Nathan

    You don’t believe the PIRA to be a registered charity! You won’t be half as good remembering that come next year, when you have to decide whether to stick a few dollars in the collection box for ‘the boys’.

  • darth rumsfeld

    colonel parker?!!!!!
    Elvis was a Shinner too, I suppose

    Most of the “true patriots” who fought for your country were relatives of the very same people who Murphy and his loonytune racist mates blew up. My Chritmas message to Kathy-if she’s not a troll- read a book

  • smcgiff

    What kind of poll on the Greatest Irishman/woman includes Daniel O’Donnell but excludes the Great Liberator.

    Please tell me this is a typo!

    There’s having a laugh, but yez gone too far this time, so ye have.

  • Kathy_C

    D. Rumsfeld….a troll….lol ;o). I’ve read several books in my day…but to let you know who Colonel Parker was…he was in charge of the minute men at Lexington MA…when the brits came down the road in 1775 and where going to Concord to get the arms the colonist had hidden there…the Colonel..a true patriot assembled his minute men (men who could be assembled in a minutes time to defend the town) to stand infront of the british and tell them to turn back…do not proceed any further down the road and he said, “If they (the brits) want a war…let it begin here”. A shot was fired (no one knows what side) and our American revolution started. Colonel Parker is an American hero.
    and the American colonist fought against their neighbors who were loyal to the crown…
    I see the north of Ireland as just that…part of Ireland and the brits have no right to be there making the Irish war of independence from british rule not a looney proposition but a desire for freedom from british tyranny.

  • Brian Boru

    Henry Joy was a freedom fighter who supported an independent United Ireland that would be a Republic. If only modern Northern Protestants were as aware of what needed to happen.

  • darth rumsfeld

    modern Irish Protestants know that the sectarian racists who claim descent from the United Irishmen and seeek to misappropriate the ideals of those like McCracken (-not Henry Joy BTW- a relation who owned the Belfast news Letter)who opposed the Protestant ascendancy have essentially besmriched his memory.

    The Presbyterian intellectuals who provided the arguments for the turnout in Ulster were very different from the true ancestors of the IRA, who butchered Protestants in the sectarian gorefest of Scullabogue. They were in sympathy with the Minutemen, because many of them were related to them- the 1776 war was called a Scotch-Irish conspiracy by a leading Loyalist.

    Neither movement was a nationalist crusade for freedom; it was much more a cry for civil rights. Had the colonists been freed from restrictive trade policies that were causing poverty and starvation in the USA ( frighteningly reminiscent of the famine many Ulster emigrants had left their homeland to escape from) , then we may still have had a British North America. And of course being Ulstermen, when they got to fighting , there were no half measures, as the Indians, black slaves and other Loyalists were to find out

    The vast majority of the United Irish Ulster leadership welcomed the Act of Union, as the hope of an end of the Church of Ireland sectarian hegemony . For the same reason the RC heirarchy was favourably disposed to the Union. Only the diehard defenders of the Protestant ( Cof I) Ascendancy , opposed Union- and only a bare majority of Orange MPs.

    As many Ulster Presbyterians joined Orange Lodges in 1798 to protect their communities from the Defenders ( RC sectarian gangs)as joined the United irishmen to seek an end to institutional discrimination, which was rather less pressing a concern when families were being attacked.
    In 1898, the Presbyterian Orangemen of Ulster opposed the attempt by nationalists to hijack the memory of Betsy Gray,killed a century before in the turnout. They knew exactly what she stood for, and weren’t prepared to let her be used for a cause she would not have endorsed.

    So Brian, don’t tell us what our ancestors believed, or stood for. We know.

    I’m sorry, Kathy- you obviously have read some books, but you shouldn’t regard the collected drivel of Gerry Adams as historically accurate,honest, or the basis for a healthy and rounded outlook on life in Ireland.

  • Brian Boru

    Darth Rumsfeld, is that why Mary Ann McCracken (Henry’s sister) opposed the Union and continued to.

  • BogExile

    ‘making the Irish war of independence from british rule not a looney proposition but a desire for freedom from british tyranny’

    Oh dear, useful idiot alert! You know the type – thinks the Falls Road is the way to Niagra.

    I meet a lot of these types in the US. The ones who attack you for opressing minorities without factoring in how their ancestors exterminated their own indigenous population.

    Very easy game adn probably even an embarrasment to the Shinners.

  • Brian Boru

    “The Presbyterian intellectuals who provided the arguments for the turnout in Ulster were very different from the true ancestors of the IRA, who butchered Protestants in the sectarian gorefest of Scullabogue. They were in sympathy with the Minutemen, because many of them were related to them- the 1776 war was called a Scotch-Irish conspiracy by a leading Loyalist.”

    You need to understand the background to the Wexford rebellion. The Crown forces went on a terrible rampage before it happened. One of the things they did was called pitch-capping, where tar was placed on the victims head and set alight. Villages were burnt down and people were massacred. Given this, is it really so surprising that a rebellion broke out, or that some involved in it acted likewise, albeit on a far smaller scale? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitchcapping

    I see that the effects of the Crown propaganda at the time live on in your head. A particularly scurrilous example of this was the invention of a non-existent massacre of the entire Protestant population of Enniscorthy town in 1798 – months before the Rebellion even started. Lies like this were disseminated in Ulster in order to portray the planned rising as some kind of Catholic pogrom against Protestants. This is not what it was. Indeed the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, John Fitzgibbon, admitted this in a letter to the Privy Council in 1798 saying “In the North nothing will keep the rebels quiet but the conviction that where treason has broken out the rebellion is merely popish”. In fact, Protestants were involved in the Wexford Rebellion in 1798 e.g. Bagenal Harvey.

    Scullabogue was retaliation for a huge massacre in New Ross town in which thousands were burnt alive or otherwise butchered. It started off with 100 Loyalists being locked in a barn to stop them revealing intelligence to the Crown forces. Then news came from retreating rebels of terrible massacres by the Crown forces, leading to the reprisals with around 100 were killed at Scullabogue. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scullabogue_Barn_Massacre While I condemn what happened, I would inform you that the Loyalist landlord class were heavily involved in burning Catholic Churches and other attrocities in this county.

    Actually many of those involved in the executions in the South were Protestant Republicans. At better comparison would be with what was going on in France at the time where suspected supporters of the monarchy were being guillotined. And it was on a far smaller scale than anything like that. Of the estimated 30,000 (modern-hostorians concede it may actually be 100,000) who died in 1798 it is accepted by historians that the vast majority were butchered by the Crown forces including before the rebellion started.

    In particular, the Crown forces killed so many people in New Ross that 36 cartloads of bodies were dumped in the river Slaney.

    So it isn’t as simple as you make out. You need to widen your sources beyond Orange Order books.

  • Brian Boru

    OMG look :O. Another Protestant leader in Wexford in 1798, Luke Perry. So much for it being a Catholic vs. Protestants in the South. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Perry Note that he joined the United Irishmen because of attrocities in 1797 by the Crown forces. So it was the Crown forces that were motivated sectarianism. Repeat.

  • Betty Boo

    “Enjoy! Remember, it’s just for fun!! ”
    No such luck.

    And the submit word is: again72

  • darth rumsfeld

    So it was the Crown forces that were motivated sectarianism

    actually Brian, the crown forces went on a similar campaign in the North- including..er, large numbers of Roman Catholic Irish speaking militia from Kerry in County Londonderry who terrorised the Presbyterian locals.

    The night before the battle of Antrim a Defender called Dempsey from Toomebridge was at the campfire, and said to the United Irish Presbyterians “Tomorrow we will turn back the work William did at the Boyne”. He didn’t live to see tomorrow. The Ulstermen were motivated by revenge /horstility to the state’s excesses. These were addressed by the Act of Union so far as most Presbyterians were concerned.

    Mary Ann McCracken obviously had personal understandable reasons to hate the Government. William Drennan, the leading Ulster intellectual in the Turnout had become pro-Union by the end of his life

    I think you need to do a bit more research on the rebels motto in Wexford- “Murder Without Sin”,and ask who provided that absolution for them. And no I’m not gullible enough to believe everything Sir Richard Musgrave wrote

  • Kathy_C

    Hi,

    Darth, don’t quite understand your comment to me about I shouldn’t regard the drivel of Gerry Adams as accurate…were you refering to my comments about the IRA being Patriots as the Patriots in the US were that kicked out the brits….if you were…they weren’t Gerry A’s idea or drivel…it was my comments and idea.

    Ok…so no one beside me like the idea of Tom Murhpy….how about Michael Collins….?

  • Mickhall

    Kathy C,

    I hope your well, I see your still fighting your corner, Tom Murphy is an interesting proposal and I’m surprised no one has posted on your nomination. I’m sure future historians will return to Mr Murphy time and again as there is little doubt he has played a major role in bringing the north politically to its current predicament/whatever.

    Thirty odd years as a volunteer in the front line of the PIRAs war deserves serious study, as too does the military strategy he helped formulate within his home area when fighting the war. Of course war being what it is, there is a much darker side to his activities, which his opponents im sure will be only to keen to rage against. Never the less, when Gerry Adams is a mere post script, I have no doubt when Irish men and women are in their cups, they will sing songs about Tom Murphy and some of those he commanded.

    Happy Chanukkah

  • Brian Boru

    “Mary Ann McCracken obviously had personal understandable reasons to hate the Government. William Drennan, the leading Ulster intellectual in the Turnout had become pro-Union by the end of his life ”

    Source?

    “I think you need to do a bit more research on the rebels motto in Wexford- “Murder Without Sin”,and ask who provided that absolution for them. And no I’m not gullible enough to believe everything Sir Richard Musgrave wrote”

    It wasn’t “Murder Without Sin”. The meaning of “MWS” on United Irishmen banners is uncertain, but “Marksmen West Shlemalier” is one theory and in my opinion the most likely one. “Murder Without Sin” was just Loyalist propaganda.
    http://www.iol.ie/~98com/flags.htm

  • Nathan

    We have a petty provincial occupying a prime position at the moment in the Greatest Irishman poll – John Hume of NI.

    Thats when you know your dealing with a very jaundiced, opinion poll.

  • Kathy_C

    Hi all,

    Mickhall, it’s good to be remembered…especially by you…I’m doing well thank you and I hope you are too.

    should be on the poll——

    RAYMOND PETER McCREESH

    A hunger stricker from S. Armagh. Now here is a man who should be at the top of the poll. His brother made a statement that has become famous and a statement I fully agree with. “My brother is not a criminal”

    also, Fr. Brian McCreesh said of his brother,

    “My brother has gone 2 months without food. 4 1/2 years without clothes or washing. All he has left now is his pride of a young Irishman and his loyalties to his fellow prisoners both living and dead”

    Raymond McCreesh a true Irish hero.

  • Jeffrey K. McCracken

    My grandfathers greatgrandfather Samuel S. McCracken
    (1799-1864)came here to America in 1819 from Belfast. And after reading alot of material about the United Irishmen and Henry Joy McCracken in particular(a possible relative of mine)..I have come to the conclusion that this was the direction that Ireland needed (and still needs) to take to secure some peace. All i see here is the typical quarelling
    between the Irish! and its usually petty! The British crown was the problem…not the catholics or the irish(scotch) prots! peace takes co operation and comprimise…i dont see much of that in Ireland!