1916: A “Fascist” Uprising

Lord Laird writes in today’s Irish Times (subs req.) that it was nascent fascist sentiments which drove the leaders of the 1916 Rising.

“Far from being a prophet of “equality and social inclusion”, Pearse – and most of the leaders of the Rising – subscribed to a dangerous and proto-fascist melange of messianic Roman Catholicism, mythical Gaelic history and blood sacrifice.”

Laid concludes:

“The 50th anniversary of the rebellion in 1966 gave rise to a lot of irresponsible talk and hot air about “unfinished business” in the “North”. Such talk coincided with and helped provoke the re-emergence of political violence in Northern Ireland. Do Mrs McAleese and Bertie Ahern wish to run the same risks on the 90th anniversary this year or in 2016? As realists appreciate, there will not be a united Ireland in 2016 either.”

  • Really

    Lord laird is a Freak, plain and simple. He is a man that lives in a fantasy world as his name suggests. What else can one say ? This is a man who uses parliament privilege to slander others and is to scared to repeat comments outside of this privilege in case of legal action. Gwad Unionist people ye would really want to get some leaders who are not nutters. The union is certainly safe in the hands of preacher Ian and a crazy old man who likes to call himself Lord Laird. At least trimble was a bit normal.

  • Biffo

    “Pearse – and most of the leaders of the Rising – subscribed to a dangerous and proto-fascist melange of .. mythical Gaelic history…”

    He’s right you know, some of them even went as far as taking to wearing kilts.

  • Mickhall

    Why does this man get so much space in the media, as if I need to ask. although it does make me wonder what type of editor gives this man house room in the paper he/she has responsibility for. I can understand and indeed welcome an editor looking back at the 1916 Rising from all perspectives, but to come at it full blast crying fascist is designed to be incendiary not scholarly; and serves no purpose beyond puffing up Mr Lairds already gigantic ego. Indeed one could call this article vanity publishing at its worst.

    To suggest 1916 was a fascist rising can only be described as the warbling’ of a nincompoop. It displays the fact Mr Laird has no real understanding of what fascism actually is. Still in the self publicists defense, he is not alone here as the word Fascist must be one of the most misused words in the English language.

    regards to all.

  • George

    Also in Laird’s article:
    “In an article entitled The Coming Revolution, published in December 1913, Patrick Pearse wrote:

    “We must accustom ourselves to the thought of arms, to the sight of arms, to the use of arms. We may make mistakes in the beginning and shoot the wrong people; but bloodshed is a cleansing and a sanctifying thing, and the nation which regards it as the final horror has lost its manhood. There are many things more horrible than bloodshed; and slavery is one of them.”

    Are these really the sort of sentiments – essentially nascent fascism – which democrats should be celebrating after the experience of our recent Troubles?”

    I would ask people to compare the Pearse quote cited by Laird with this one:

    “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

    The latter was from a certain Winston Churchill.

    Will Lord Laird be calling Churchill a proto-fascist any time soon?

    A nation, be it Britain or Ireland, shouldn’t be afraid to shed blood in its fight against slavery.

  • Nathan

    Some of Lord Laird’s comments are bizzare.

    For instance, he has remarked that hostility to all things Protestant was a central feature to the event. Perhaps he needs to square up his claims with the facts i.e.) that some of the rebel leaders were married to protestants e.g. Garret’s Fitzgerald’s father, Desmond Fitzgerald who was married to Mabel Washington McConnell, a Belfast Presbyterian, and James Connolly who married a Protestant, Lillie Reynolds from Dublin.

    While he is correct to say that the leaders acted in the absence of a mandate, some appreciation needs to be accorded to their deeds. Their actions facilitated the change in public support from Home Rule under the Crown to that of a new republican dispensation. In that sense, I couldn’t care less whether the Rising was an admirable activity or not. All I do know is that as a citizen of Ireland it is part of my combined heritage. I have no objections to those who wish to mark the event from time to time, so why should Lord Laird?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Taxi for Laird, even if it costs 150 smackers.

  • Don’t have a subs. but is Laird calling for people not to mark the rising, or calling for them to have a think about exactly how they mark it?

  • Biffo

    “The 50th anniversary of the rebellion in 1966 .. coincided with and helped provoke the re-emergence of political violence in Northern Ireland.”

    He’s right you know. If there hadn’t been a 50th anniversary of the rebellion in 1966 then:

    1. Ian Paisley would’t have attacked the ecumenical presbyterian moderator Lord Erskine and started riots with the fenians in Cromac Street.

    2. The Unionist leader Terence O’Neill wouldn’t have called Paisley a fascist. Paisley wouldn’t have gone to Jail.

    3. Two catholics and a protestant would still be alive because the followers of Paisley in the UVF wouldn’t have murdered them in a campaign to drive catholics out of the Shankill in June of that year.

    Ian Paisley is the leader of unionism now.

    That’s what happens when you have a 50th anniversary of the rebellion – it causes all sorts of problems. Thanks Lord laird for putting it in it’s proper historical perspective.

  • Mr Asquith says, “We have learned by bitter experience that the sword of the soldier is a far better guarantee of justice and liberty than the peace of the politicians.” ‘

    from the Irish Times, Wednesday, 10th May 1916
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/easterrising/newspapers/na04.shtml

    And I thought that a far better guarantee of justice and liberty is granting others what I asked for myself.

  • Nathan

    Beano,

    Having read the article, Laird clearly wants those who occupy an elevated position i.e. public figures like McAleese and Ahern, to refrain from playing catch-up with those who consistently mark the occasion on a yearly basis e.g. Sinn Fein et al

  • Richard Dowling

    Myers and Adams had some fine insights into the 1916
    Insurrection (known as the Easter Rising) published as opinion
    pieces in the irish Times during the past week. And an
    excellent letter from a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
    which challenges our President’s “orthodoxy”.

    Come Easter Sunday, I hope many people will celebrate the
    joyful feast of the Resurrection, or its secular equivalent,
    without being beholden to the likes of IRA, whose claim to our
    allegiance (as a litmus test of our Irish heritage) is simply
    arrant nonsense and an attempt to draw kudos for their
    sectarian campaign of violence over many, many years.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Due to no subs I haven’t been able to read the whole article, but I presume that Laird is attempting to link the rising with the fact that the militant republican movement apparently sided with Germany in both world wars, England’s difficulty being Ireland’s opportunity etc.
    I don’t know about Pearse’s links to fascism, but I do know that the rising was unauthorised, shambolic and entirely unsupported by the Dublin population at the time. It subsequently took on the mythical status of a Sex Pistols gig, with everyone’s favourite uncle having been in the GPO at the time. If the British hadn’t managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory via piece-meal executions, it’s doubtful that anyone could name a single protagonist today.
    But hey, thank goodness those boys took a stand, so we can now enjoy the fruits of our very own Little Britain, with it’s English chainstores, property owners, stag parties and soccer managers.

  • Keith M

    I’ve rarery seen seen such obvious playing of the man and not the ball as I’ve seen from mickhall.

    Let’s deal with the reality shall we? The 1916 leaders had no democratic mandate and acted against the will of the people (as evidenced by their treatment by the populace of Dublin followiung their surrender).

    Such people should not be celebrated today. Their actions cost Irish lives and had the British had some common sense would have set the republican cause back 50 years.

    Rather than being celebrated, the 90th anniversary should be used as a chance to reflect on the rebellion and its consequences. Describing the leaders as proto-facists is correct. Unfortunatly when people hear the world “fascist” today they think of the groups in the 1930s who brought WW2 about. However the 1916 leaders were no less fascist (using the dictionary definition).

  • “who likes to call himself Lord Laird”

    I know its a small point but that’s his title and name. What else should he be called or is it that you have a problem with titles generally.

  • D’Oracle

    Others with issues around the Irish reality have already claimed all manner of negatives about the people involved in 1916 and their motives.

    Laids(nice one Naoise) claims of nascent fascist sentiments, dangerous proto-fascism, messianic Roman Catholicism and mythical Gaelic history are a bit more colourful than most

    Just as well then that this “irresponsible talk” is unlikely to lead to any confusion at all out there because even those of us with a dodgy grasp of history will know of laids own more recent and colourful contributions(?)to all of our lives and of course ,of the quality of his judgements on all manner of things.

    Hilarious -is there any limit to this mans talent?

  • Harry Flashman

    George

    You’re absolutely right, the threat faced by Britain in 1940 was that they would be incorporated into a parliamentary democracy, with regular free, fair and open elections based on universal suffrage, with a free press, religious tolerance and the rule of law – yup just the same as what Pearse was fighting against in 1916.

  • Richard Dowling

    Naoise,
    this theme has been picked up (and very successfully)
    by Eoghan Harris in today’s Sunday Independent, but from
    another angle — that of Roy Garland, Kevin Myers and Fr
    Seamus Murphy (who challenged the “Republican” spin being
    put on the Easter Rising by President McAleese and Taoiseach
    Bertie Ahern.

    An excellent article. At least to my way of thinking.

  • George

    Harry,
    I suppose it all depends on whether you consider Britain to have acted in the interests of Irish democracy when dealing with the Irish nation or whether you believe they were the enemies of Irish democracy.

    If you believe that Britain listened to the democratic calls of Ireland then maybe you can explain why in this “Union” it denied the vote to Irish Catholics, why it ignored the demands of the Repeal the Union movement, why it ignored the Home Rule Movement for the guts of five decades, why it ignored the Irish election result of 1918 which returned a 2/3rds majority of MPs for independence, why it banned the democratically elected Irish parliament Dail Eireann and why it took the Irish War of Independence for them to finally accept said parliament?

    Thats without even mentioning the forced evictions, grinding poverty and state-tolerated mass famine to facilitate land clearance and to free up labour.

    I am not justifying open insurrection but with thousands of Irish losing their lives in Europe fighting for the so-called freedom of “Small Nations” it is hardly surprising with Britain’s track record in Ireland, that someone came up with the bright idea of fighting for the freedom of small nation Ireland.

  • Mickhall

    I’ve rarery seen seen such obvious playing of the man and not the ball as I’ve seen from mickhall.

    posted by Keith M.

    Keith,

    You may well be right, it is just as the man is always going on about his todger, I took it for granted his balls were fair game.

    All the best and always look on the bright side of life.

  • Mickhall

    The problem here is people are coming at this issue from how the world looks today, not as it was viewed in 1916. Any talk of Ireland being a normal democratic state back then is infantile, was there an Irish parliament which was elected on an acceptable democratic franchise. The answer of course is no, thus Ireland entered into a world war on which its people had no inclusive say. That alone is a justification for the Rising and the British were well aware of this shortcoming, hence their shilly-shallying about conscription in Ireland, plus not forgetting those issues George has mentioned above. [The Dublin slums where regarded at that time as being the worst in Europe which in itself is justification enough for the Rising imo]

    Of course the current crop of Labour and FG politicians do not wish to be reminded how the State they have helped govern down the years came into being, as it makes their own shortcomings over the North obvious for all to see. By the way if the Rising was such a mistake/crime, what the hell are these people doing enjoying the spoils that flowed from it. What a bunch!

  • It’s not often pointed out that the UK didn’t adopt universal suffrage until 1928 some years after the Irish Free State, which was therefore arguably the first full democracy in the British Isles.

  • Keith M

    mickhall “Any talk of Ireland being a normal democratic state back then is infantile, was there an Irish parliament which was elected on an acceptable democratic franchise. The answer of course is no, thus Ireland entered into a world war on which its people had no inclusive say. That alone is a justification for the Rising and the British were well aware of this shortcoming, hence their shilly-shallying about conscription in Ireland, plus not forgetting those issues George has mentioned above.”

    My God man you’re having a nighmare on this thread. First you play the man and then when you try and hit the ball, you miss by miles.

    Ireland (the island) was part of the UK in 1914. It sent MPs to Westminster, where a government was elected (with the support of those Irish MPs) and that government chose to go to war. How many Irish MPs were against the war?

    There was no “shilly-shallying” about conscription. Conscription wasn’t necessary in Ireland because our rate of volunteering was (by far) the highest in the U.K. It’s hardly a surprise because the two major political powers of the time (Redmond and Carson) both held rallies trying to encourage men to fight.

    When conscription was introduced (as a notional way of removing steam in the POST 1916 environment) it was never properly enacted. However its enactmentment was enough (when combined with the executions of the 1916 leaders) to further spread anti-English feeling and thus fuelled the IRA campaign that followed the war.

    These are all on the record and pretty undisputed facts, so your attempted revisionism is pretty laughable.

  • Hey Dowling.

    Why the selective commentary on the North?
    Everytime I see you comment, it’s totally one sided, how come there’s no comment on the situation in county Antrim where people were nearly burnt to death?

    Is that off the radar for you and your cohorts in the Sunday Independent/ Fine Gael/ PDS, you and your ilk make me want to vomit.

    Like that pathetic creature Enda Kenny, in the Irish Times yesterday, (good God, why do I purchase that paper)what the hell was he on about ?
    As for Brian Hayes, what planet is he on, and why doesn’t some journalist destroy these people with a few questions.

    The southern media is a disgrace to journalism, they are the most one sided, single minded, unfair un balanced bunch of reprobates I have encountered since well, what did Reichsturmbahnfurher Mc Dowell refer to it as, Der Volkische something ( I can’t recall at this moment)?

    Get back to reporting about the availablity of hospital beds in Drogheda at 6 0’clock and keep your selective commentary to yourself, because frankly, it’s horribly nauseating and disgusting.

    It’s time for the sacred cows of the last 20 years like Myarse, O’Toole ( who was defeated in an argument by the Wolfe Tones, for God’s sake), Harris, John A Murphy etc to be consigned to the dustbin of history, they’re pathetic, divisive and frankly, hurlers on the ditch who snipe from the sidlines.

    LET’S REVISE THE REVISIONISTS

  • Richard Dowling

    Second try for Scotland, lads. Good game on the telly.

  • Mickhall

    “Ireland (the island) was part of the UK in 1914. It sent MPs to Westminster, where a government was elected (with the support of those Irish MPs) and that government chose to go to war.”
    Posted by Keith M.

    What sending MPs to sit in a foreign parliament has to do with irish nationhood or democracy is beyond me. Middle class gentlemen sitting in a foreign parliament whilst the sovereign they swore allegiance to hold’s the nation they claim to represent by force of arms should be called what they are, Quislings, no matter what good intentions some may have had.

    The 1918 election out an end to all such nonsense and the British governments response to it made a mockery of any pretense of a democracy within Ireland prior to the Easter rising.

    All the best

  • Richard Dowling

    As Adams wrote in the Irish Times,

    […… ‘there was nothing in what she had to say about the
    “founding fathers and mothers” that could not equally be said
    in defence of the Provisional IRA……
    …… if we follow President McAleese’s UNCRITICAL
    analysis (emphasis mine) to its logical conclusion, in
    intellectual terms, all that separated the modern IRA from the
    rebelsa of 1916 was the passage of time’ ……]

    The author was, of course, DAVID Adams and not Gerry.

    Eoghan Harris (in the Sunday Independent) joins up the dots
    for the intellectually challenged. But even that seems to have
    gone over the head of a certain Cork rebel.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    I wonder how Lord Laird explains the genesis of the 1916 Rising. The Irish Volunteers as a result of an essay written by Eoghan Mac Neill, the North Began, which commented with admiration on the gumption of the Ulster Loyalists to found the UVF and import guns and so on. The UVF used the threat of force to forestall the implementation of Home Rule – as enacted in 1911 – and this mobilisation had the effect of inspiring the Irish to travel the same route. Violence was seen to pay.
    To make claims as Laird does that Pearse and co were fascists is misleading and disinguenuous. What is unionism after all with its talk of a Protestant(British) Parliament for a Protestant (British) People except fascism -and crude fascism at that. There was no such fascism evident in the Proclamation rather a promise to cherish all the children of the nation equally. Equality is a difficult concept for someone with a peerage – someone who’s been artificially elevated over others in the community because of some service he rendered unto his monarch – to comprehend but sooner or later he has to get his head round the actual meaning of it – rather than the rhetoric.
    He should also resist the temptation of taking up invitations from revisionist newspapers wishing to wish away the 1916 Rising as if were some sort of equivalent to 9/11 or some other modern terrorist outrage. If that were the case, why stop there, why not go back to th Battle of Clontarf? Why didn’t Brian Boru give up his terrorism campaign against those nice Vikings who came over from Norway etc to civilise this country?
    Is there a different attitude to the likes of Brian Boru and Padraig Pearse simply because Pearse opposed the British?

  • I am looking forward to the 1916 commemorations, however I would happily give them up out of respect for Unionists if Unionists would give up commemorating 1690 out of respect for Nationalists

  • Richard Dowling

    Ruth Dudley Edwards, who has researched and produced
    what is often described as the best (and most authorative)
    book on Pearse, thinks our worship of 1916 is well past its
    sell-by-date (Sunday Independent).

    And the small favour she asks of us is that we consider the
    questions posed by Kevin Myers last week …..
    (a) What right had the 1916 insurgents to start killing innocent
    Irish people in Dublin? What right?
    (b) Why had none of the signatories of the Proclamation
    never stood for parliament?
    (c) How could they possibly call the butchers of Belgium (ie.
    those who caused the butchery) gallant allies?
    (d) How can supposedly civilised people today ‘celebrate’ an
    orgy of violence in which hundreds of Irish people died?

    And let me add, … Why tie the Army into such an emotionally
    charged weekend? They deserve better, and so do we.

  • Mickhall

    (b) Why had none of the signatories of the Proclamation
    never stood for parliament?

    RD.

    Richard
    Why carry on with this nonsense, you know why they did not stand for this Parliament, it is the same reason those patriots who were elected in 1918 chose to set up Dáil Éireann. Ireland is an independent nation that should have its own Parliament. To have 105 mockney MPs forever in a minority whilst sitting in their masters parliament over the sea has little to do with Parliamentary democracy.

    That you feel it does I find extremely worrying. I would respectfully suggest the proof of this particular pudding is in the eating. Parliamentary Democracy flourishes in the south, whilst in the north it is still a forlorn hope.

    Regards

  • J McConnell

    Mickhall

    So lets see – less than 50% of those who turned out to vote in 1918 voted for SF candidates. One third of SF’s elected MP’s were in constituencies were they we unopposed, mostly through intimidation.

    And this is an overwhelming democratic mandate for what happened in 1916? The attempt by a violent rabble to grab power through murder and violence, power they could never hope to achieve through peaceful democratic means.

    When the real choice was given to the 26 county electorate in 1922 and 1923, peaceful democrats or violent rabble, more than 70% of the electorate chose candidates who were dedicated to change through purely democratic means, not the naked terrorism and ideological fundamentalism of the heirs of 1916.

    What happened next is most instructive. The leader of the rabble decided that having power was more important than having principals, jettisoned his principals (‘principals’ that had caused the deaths of hundreds of innocent people) and soon weaseled his way back into power.

    The true lesson of the spirit of 1916. A naked power grab by those who did not have any hope of getting it by legitimate democratic means.

  • Richard Dowling

    Parliamentary democracy is flourishing here in Ireland, Mick.
    You betcha! But that’s in spite of the legacy of 1916, not
    because of it. You tend to look at things from a Marxist
    perspective, which operates double standards (but with a one
    edged sword). The innocent are always the ones caught in the
    middle of this blood sacrifice, tribal nationalism and belligerant
    pushing of a programmatically anti-Christian agenda.

    But if (as Myers and Dudley Edwards both suggest) you send
    your opinions to them on a postcard (at their respective
    papers), no doubt they will give them the ‘consideration’ they
    deserve.

    And, as they suggest in parenthesis … No, no, no. Don’t ask
    what right the British had to rule Ireland.. That’s quite another
    question, to which of course the pooor victims of the 1916
    insurgents had no answer…..

  • Mickhall

    J McConnell

    You have every right to think what you wish about those who went out in 1916 and Dev and his outfit. But what you fail to do is answer my main point, at the time of the rising there was no Parliament within Ireland, thus there was no democratic options open to those who wished to have one.

    If you feel the Rising was a mistake then this is the conundrum you most overcome. You and those who condemn the rising claim a national parliament would have come about by peaceful means and the begging bowl. Yet the men and women of 1916 had direct experience of that process getting no where despite promises by the British. The Irish Parliament was stood down in 1800, by 1916 it had still not been re-erected despite at times momentous struggles.

    The Rising took place in 1916 and by 1919 the Dail had became a living body, by 1922 it became a legal entity.

    Nuff said for most people, proof and pudding spring to mind.

  • J McC,

    You are entitled to your opinion, however the Government of our country has decided to commemorate an event which many people in our country view as being essential to the very existance of our state. Fianna Fail are the democratically elected and mandated government of this country. If you oppose this celebration of 1916 I suggest you form an anti-1916 political party in the Republic of Ireland, with a promise to change the history books to your particular view point of the rebels and see how many votes you garner… this should appeal to you since you love democracy so much, in short… put up or shut up!

  • Mickhall

    Richard

    I have some sympathy with you when you write about the curse of blood sacrifices etc. Many if not most nations in the modern age [post english civil war] have come into being via the sword, why do you feel Ireland more than others has suffered from this problem.

    Could it be that the Irish national revolution was never completed? or is this me making excuses for it. I don’t think so as I can see nothing peculiar or unique about the Irish people on this matter.

    Mick

  • Richard Dowling

    Just as well that the ‘national revolution was never completed’,
    Mick — in the way that the men of 1916 imagined or prosecuted
    it. These FINAL soluitions tend to get messy. But the IRA (in all
    its many guises, Provisional, Continuity, Real or Imagined)
    gave us all the proof that is needed that the seeds of sectarian
    conflict were (if not sown) at least scattered to the four winds
    with the Insurgency of 1916. And every ‘celebration’ of that
    undemocratic opportunistic Rising makes heretics of the rest of
    us — who refuse to bend the knee to the memory of men
    who demanded our allegiacne in the name of the patriot dead.

    And all the armed struggle republicans who follow their example
    are sustained by this tribal thrill which is reincarnated in their
    own minds, as they march to glory. Soldiers of destiny,
    indeed. Now even our army has to fall into step BEHIND this
    mad nationalist narrative, being peddled as gospel truth by FF
    spin doctors, to the delight of the Provos.

  • George

    JMcConnell,
    “When the real choice was given to the 26 county electorate in 1922 and 1923, peaceful democrats or violent rabble, more than 70% of the electorate chose candidates who were dedicated to change through purely democratic means, not the naked terrorism and ideological fundamentalism of the heirs of 1916.”

    Sinn Fein got pretty much the exact same % vote in 1922 as it did in 1918 so your intimidation argument doesn’t hold water.

    It’s just that some were Pro-Treaty Sinn Fein and some were anti-Treaty Sinn Fein. You are rewriting electoral history here.

    Sinn Fein won 73 seats out of 105, an overwhelming mandate, in 1918. That’s 73.4%

    Sinn Fein won 94 out of 128 in 1922, an overwhelming mandate, in 1922. That’s 73.4%

    You name me a single pro-treaty Sinn Fein TD who
    didn’t believe the War of Independence was justified.

    You name me a single pro-treaty Sinn Fein TD that didn’t consider Dail Eireann, constituted January 1919, to be the legitimate parliament of the Irish people.

    Do you, like they did, consider the first Dail to be the democratic parliament of the Irish people? Are you, like them, an Irish democrat?

  • Ciarán Irvine

    all the proof that is needed that the seeds of sectarian conflict were (if not sown) at least scattered to the four winds with the Insurgency of 1916

    Oh right. So it’s Patrick Pearse’s fault that Unionism ran a rotten sectarian state for 50 years. Pearse’s also went back in time and introduced the gun into modern Irish politics by taking control of Carson’s mind. After all, where else could Carson have got the evil notion of trucking with the satanic baby-eating Germans? It was all Pearse’s fault.

    Fascinating.

    I suppose next you’ll be telling us he’s responsible for the weather.

    Seems to me the only person doing any worshipping of the men and women of 1916 around here is you, Richard.

  • darth rumsfeld

    I see a crack in George’s nationalism, folks. He’s stopped mentioning the laws of sumptuary, which he used to swear were the real reason for poverty in Ireland. He’s only got 5 red(green?) herrings left.

    So why did none of the heroes of the rebellion ever seek a mandate, george?
    And what do you think of Pearse’s blood sacrifice, with the chilling thought that the “wrong people” may get killed-over 250 innocent Irish people gunned down as I recall?

    A simple question for all the republican posters-
    How many Unionists do you think are going to be impressed by this commemoration, and how is it going to bring re-unification-never mind closer mutual understanding- closer?

    I say to Bertie- keep it up, you’re doing a fantastic job reinforcing the scepticism of Unionists. No respect for our identity; no recognition for our sensitivities-blimey, even Roy Garland thinks its a dumb idea.

  • Richard Dowling

    As for analysis of 1916, I much prefer the narrative being
    written by Ruth Dudleyn Edwards, who has exhaustively
    reasearched the subject matter of Pearse and has this to say
    about our President’s speech …..
    ” (she) is little changed from Mary Patricia Leneghan who grew
    up sharing the prejudices of a fiercely nationalistic, Catholic
    Belfast community.
    She shows little sign of having read any modern Irish history
    except that produced by a gaggle of counter revisionists who
    repackage old myths in modern jargon, and she put at risk all
    the good work she has put into trying to make friends with
    unionists….”

    But I repeat the first question asked by Myers in last Tuesday’s
    Diary in the Irish Times ….
    “What right had the 1916 insurgents to start killing innocent
    Irish people in Dublin?”

  • If the British had peacefully withdrawn from Dublin in 1916 how many lives would have been spared? The Irish didn’t own the Helga, and the Irish didn’t flatten O’Connell St. (Sackville St. for those of you in the reform movement).

    Again how about a reciprocal, we’ll forget about 1916 if you forget about 1690 offer? Any takers? Darth? Richard?

  • George

    Darth,
    the only term I have used to describe 1916 on this thread is “open insurrection”. Would you disagree with this term?

    My above post was taking issue with post-1918 revisionism on this thread, which seems to have moved the creation of Ireland’s free, independent and democratic parliament by 3 years and seems to have miraculously cut the Sinn Fein vote in half to suit an argument.

    I shall leave the pre-1918 revisionism fight to others because, as you well know, my allegiance as an Irish democrat, is to Dail Eireann, constituted January 1919.

  • Richard Dowling

    This is the parting of the way for many of us. You can put
    Patrick Pearse (yes, his family called him Pat) on your desk —
    or on your mantlepiece. You can sing the praises of the
    insurgents of Easter 1916 and allow their claims on your
    allegiance to colour your lives. But remember this; they claimed
    that allegiance in the name of the patriot dead. Still do in fact.

    It is “bad enough to be in debt to the living” (as I have written
    elsewhere. “But it’s a fright to be for ever in hock to the dead.
    Or to all those who, in the reincarnated glory of their own little
    minds, feel similarly entitled to our allegiance”.

    Their Pavlovian responses may trigger your own reflexive
    synapses. They do nothing for me.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    Alright then Richard, riddle me this:

    After 40 years of peaceful democratic agitation, and despite it clearly being the will of the vast majority of the Irish people, expressed clearly in election after election, Home Rule was nowhere nearer in 1916 than it was in 1870. Britain had been messing about for decades, and had unilaterally suspended any moves to Home Rule until “after the war” which could mean never. Britain was also constantly trying to constrain and limit Home Rule to the point where it would have been ineffective and meaningless, and unable to take the necessary decisions to improve the lives of all Irish people. Britain had introduced the concept of Partition (it wasn’t the Unionists, in fact Carson was dismayed at the prospect).

    In spite of all this, do you claim that in early 1916 Ireland was just about to achieve meaningful Home Rule and eventually full sovereign independence anyway, the British were just going to hand it to us after 40 years of prevarication and sabotage?

    And do you think that independence has worked for the south, or do you seriously argue that the South would have been better off within the UK for the last 85 years? Would we really be better off if we rejoined now?

    Independence has worked to the benefit of all the people of the south. Even you, David Christopher and Keith Mills. Independence would not have happened without 1916. I really don’t think that can be argued against with any seriousness. For that reason alone we should commemorate it.

    It strikes me that being opposed to Independence when you personally, and everyone you know, have benefited from it is a distinctly odd position to adopt.

  • J McConnell

    George

    Read what I wrote not what you thought I wrote..

    > Sinn Fein got pretty much the exact same % vote in 1922 as it did in 1918 so your intimidation argument doesn’t hold water

    Not what I wrote. The two major parties in the South in 1918 were SF and INP. In 1922, it was two parties both claiming to be the ‘real’ SF, one pro, one anti-Treaty, and in 1923 the two parties were CnaG and SF.

    And its the ’23 election were the first real choice between democracy and violence was made clear. 70% for democracy, 30% for violence and coercion.

    Pretty much the same in ’22 when just under 30% voted against the Treaty, i.e. for more violence.

    > Sinn Fein won 73 seats out of 105, an overwhelming mandate, in 1918. That’s 73.4%

    Not what I wrote. I said per cent of people who voted not number of seats attained. A party that receives the vote of less than 50% of those who voted and less than 25% of those eligible to vote does not have an overwhelming mandate.

    > Do you, like they did, consider the first Dail to be the democratic parliament of the Irish people?

    No.

    It was UDI, legally and constitutionally, just like Rhodesia in 1965..

    And after all their little revolutionary play acting all they ended up with in 1922 was almost exactly what was on offer in 1914, plus a couple of thousand dead people, hundreds of thousands forced to flee for theie lives, a devastated country and generations of bitterness and violence.

    Quite an achievement to be proud of.

  • George

    J McConnell,
    “Not what I wrote. The two major parties in the South in 1918 were SF and INP. In 1922, it was two parties both claiming to be the ‘real’ SF, one pro, one anti-Treaty, and in 1923 the two parties were CnaG and SF.”

    Excuse me it is what you wrote:

    I quote you:

    “When the real choice was given to the 26 county electorate in 1922 and 1923, peaceful democrats or violent rabble, more than 70% of the electorate chose candidates who were dedicated to change through purely democratic means, not the naked terrorism and ideological fundamentalism of the heirs of 1916.”

    We are talking about the 1922 general election or what election from 1922 do you mean?

    The Pro-Treaty Sinn Fein party which ran in the 1922 election, was led by Michael Collins, Chief of Staff of the IRA. So you accept that he was a peaceful democrat and that the electorate freely chose him?

    Sinn Fein got the same vote in 1922 as in 1918.

    “And its the ‘23 election were the first real choice between democracy and violence was made clear. 70% for democracy, 30% for violence and coercion.”

    That directly contradicts your last post, which said 1922 was a democratic election. Are you now saying that the vote that ratified the Treaty wasn’t a democratic vote at all? That’s interesting.

    “I said per cent of people who voted not number of seats attained. A party that receives the vote of less than 50% of those who voted and less than 25% of those eligible to vote does not have an overwhelming mandate.”

    Well let’s look at 1922 and 1918 a little more closely, shall we?
    Uncontested seats won by SF in 1918 = 25 or 24%
    Uncontested seats won by SF in 1922 = 33 or 25.7%

    So the numbers on who voted and those eligible to vote in both elections is virtually identical. So obviously your only solution to this dilemma is to suddenly declare the 1922 election result invalid despite the fact that earlier today you were holding it up as a beacon of democratic intent on the part of the Irish people.

    So, you have now moved the democratically expressed will of the Irish parliamentary on another year. It’s now 1923. Is that the final year or could it move some more?

    On the 1923 Dail:

    You name me a single TD elected to the 1923 Dail who didn’t believe the War of Independence was justified. Do you believe it was justified?

    You name me a single TD elected to the 1923 Dail that didn’t consider Dail Eireann, constituted January 1919, to be the legitimate parliament of the Irish people.

    If possible, could you answer whether you, like they did, consider the first Dail to be the democratic parliament of the Irish people? Are you, like them, an Irish democrat?

  • Richard Dowling

    Let me answer you in the terms of your folly, Ciaran>
    Ireland in 1916 was United. Though still part of the UK, it was
    on the verge of independence. Home Rule was on the statute
    books and a consensus was developing which suggested that
    people could and would settle the constitutional imperative of
    national self determination after the war, peacefully.

    Had conscription been enforced, as Kevin Myers admits, the
    insurgency might have had legitimacy, but the insurgents never
    claimed that. They claimed, as a sort of divine right, the
    allegiance of every Irish man and woman (” fir agus mna na
    h-Eireann”, as it were) and they executed their rebellion in the
    middle of the Great War — for pete sake — appealing to the
    Kaiser (the great expansionist) and their gallant allies in Europe
    for help — at the very moment when milions of Ireland’s real
    allies were fighting for their lives.

    What’s more, they claimed our allgiance in the name of the
    ‘patriot dead’ — thereby setting themselves up as role models
    not only for successive generations of IRA volunteers, but for
    the heroes of Loyalism who felt similarly entitled to press home
    their “allegiances” with sectarian or indiscrimiinate violence.

    Just read Eoghan Harris’s excellent article in this week’s
    Sunday Independent. Or Roy Garland in the Irish News. Or the
    member of the Society of Jesus (SJ) — Seamus Murphy —
    whose letter in the Irish Times is a much better ‘Catholic’
    analysis that that of the monk from Glenstall Abbey, for
    example, who has defended Pearse’s nationalism against
    Robin Bury’s call for recognition of our constitutional heroes, in
    contrast.

    Finally, read Dietrich Bonhoeffer who suffered and died for his
    beliefs in Nazi Germany, bearing witness to his Christian
    heritage in the face of nationalist thugs — a nationalism which
    he knew in his heart and soul was incompatible with the simple
    message of his Christian faith.

    Let me reiterate. Our freedom and prosperity came about in
    spite of the 1916 Rebellion, not because of it.

  • J McConnell

    george

    > That directly contradicts your last post, which said 1922 was a democratic election.

    If you cannot parse a simple sentence like..

    “70% of the electorate chose candidates who were dedicated to change through purely democratic means”

    but end up asking questions about whether I considered it a democratic election then I’m afraid I dont know were to start answering your points.

    > … So the numbers on who voted and those eligible to vote in both elections is virtually identical.

    Huh???

    Go read a online reference like

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Treaty_Election%2C_1922

    and

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_general_election%2C_1923

    and especially

    http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/h1918.htm

    Then maybe we can discuss coherently the points I raised and the opinions I expressed in my original post regarding the 1918, 1922 and 1923 elections.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    Richard:

    With all due respect, that’s either deliberately disingenuous or spectacularly naive.

    I repeat: The Brits had been messing about over Home Rule for over 40 years. They had unilaterally at the last minute introduced the concept of Partition. They had unilaterally suspended any further discussion of Home Rule till “after the war”. When was Britain ever not at war with someone or other back then? They had lied to and betrayed Redmond, just like Parnell and O’Connell before him. They rejected out of hand the results of the 1918 election in which basically the Irish people told them to get lost.

    Despite all this you have a somewhat touching faith that the Brits were just about to hand us independence the week after Easter, or maybe by the end of WWI. And I have a nice bridge in Galway I can sell you.

    By “Ireland’s real allies fighting for their lives” I can only presume you mean Britain. So Britain is our true friend and ally? Maybe we should be grateful for hundreds of years of chaos and slaughter and discrimination. Yeeeeeessssss. Here, did I tell you I’m really the son of a Nigerian general and I have access to €25 million if you’ll give me your bank account details?

    Our freedom and prosperity came about in
    spite of the 1916 Rebellion, not because of it.

    That’s such a mad inversion of all history and basic common sense it’s hard to know where to start.

    Ireland under the Union: poor, oppressed, backward, prone to famine and violent rebellion, political instability, sectarian social divisions. 1916 changed all that. The Republic today has none of the problems that plagued us for so long under British rule. Problems that were caused by British rule. Problems that in many cases were deliberate British policy. To any sensible person, that would be case closed.

    British rule was atrocious, and a disaster for every one in Ireland. Independence, whatever the flaws or mistakes, has been immeasurably superior for all the people in the south. Only a tiny number would argue otherwise, you among them. It’s just not true, and more than that I simply cannot see how on any social or economic or cultural indicator you could care to choose than anyone could ever make any case at all that British rule was ever any bloody use for anyone in Ireland other than a tiny Elite.

    It astounds me, beggars belief and frankly calls into question your grasp on reality if you are seriously suggesting otherwise.

  • Southern Observer

    The truth of the matter probably lies in a fusion of both schools of thought (apologist and revisionist).The Rising essentially sprang from the British failure throughout the 19th and early twentieth centuries to respond positively to democratically expressed demands for some measure of independence.
    Once it occurred it had the further adverse sequela,shadowing the rest of the twentieth century,of providing ostensible legitimisation for political violence.

  • Southern Observer

    An addendum to the above.
    The responsibility for the whole negative chain reaction therefore must lie with the the British for effectively disempowering democratic nationalism in the period in question.

  • George

    J McConnell,
    I would rather you answered or at least attempted to address the questions put you in my last post addressing the rather large inconsistencies in your previous posts rather than you listing links to justify a section of one sentence you posted. You have ignored everything.

    Believe it or not, you wrote more than:

    “70% of the electorate chose candidates who were dedicated to change through purely democratic means”

    But I’ll address that rather meaningless comment and live in hope you address the rest.

    70% of the electorate chose candidates who advocated the Treaty was the best way forward for Irish independence having already fought a war to even have their democratic rights recognised.

    70% of the electorate did not vote for candidates who were against the War of Independence and the idea of “change through purely democratic means” was not on the ballot paper. This is a further piece of incredible revisionism on your part.

    Are you honestly trying to tell me that this was the point of the 1922 election?

    Do you believe that 70% of the electorate would have accepted a Southern House of Commons as offered in 1920 or do you believe that 70% of the electorate considered Dail Eireann as the sovereign parliament of the Irish people?

  • Mickhall

    What takes your breath away about these type of debates is people like Richard and co blame the victims of oppression for all that follows when they have the temerity to strike back at their oppressors.

    The one question these revisionist refuse to answer when you ask them is this, was there an Irish Parliament between 1800 and 1919 and if not what true democratic option did the Men and women of 1916 have.

    Did the British State dissolve the last Irish Parliament and did they maintain their position in Ireland down the centuries by force of arms? The answer to both questions is of course yes. One could understand the revisionists arguments against 1916 if it had ended in failure. But within three years of Easter 1916 Ireland had its parliament back and within 5 years had gained a form of independence for over two thirds of the nation. No mean feat by historical standards.

  • Richard Dowling

    Germany today is a bright, prosperous, democratic country
    (served by a bright feisty, chancellor in Angela Merkel). Do you
    happen to think that is the direct result of its nationalist Nazi
    past, or the imperialism of its freedom loving Kaiser. Or
    perhaps, its present prosperity is in spite of its “checkered
    history”. Of course, many of today’s inventions — world wide
    web, jet propulsion,atomic energy, refrigeration etc were
    developed mainly for military reasons — so in that sense, every
    cloud has a silver lining. But, I’m afraid, if you appreciation of
    our history is limited to the moronic rambling of your previous
    contributions, Ciaran, then you are wasting my time. And I have
    no intention of continuing to answer you in the terms of your
    folly.

  • Richard Dowling

    For those of you who get a kick out of iconoclastic humour,
    Mark Steyn has another article in the Washington Times
    today.

  • paddy@home.com

    I think the question that needs to be answered here, is what right did Britain and the crown have to sovereignty over Ireland?

    Mr.Dowling et al should answer this question.

    If they are honest, I think that they will conclude that Britain had no right to sovereignty, sovereignty which they had gained through force of arms, and which they maintained through force of arms and oppression.

    The men of 1916 are heroes, and should be honoured for beginning the process which led to Independence, and for firmly establishing that the Irish people were the only legitimate source of sovereignty on the Island of Ireland.

  • andy

    Richard or J Mcconnell- can you please explain why you think independence was about to be granted to Ireland(or some part thereof) regardless of 1916 and War of Independence?
    ( I think these are your positions but feel free to correct me if wrong)

    Also, would you say that Irish independence was worth any sort of loss of life?
    thanks

  • Anonymous moderator

    [quote]Germany today is a bright, prosperous, democratic country
    (served by a bright feisty, chancellor in Angela Merkel). Do you
    happen to think that is the direct result of its nationalist Nazi
    past, or the imperialism of its freedom loving Kaiser. Or
    perhaps, its present prosperity is in spite of its “checkered
    history”.[/quote]

    This is what’s known as a ‘syllological fallacy’:
    A cat has four legs and fur.So has adog.Therefore a cat is a dog.
    The analogy mainly falls down insofar as germany was an independent nation state for some 60 years prior to the Nazi takeover.Not so Ireland in 1916.

  • Southern Observer

    ”by Britain’s own standards, the rebel’s were honorable, they conducted themselves with great humanity…fought very bravely and did not resort to outrage”
    Prime Minister Asquith,1916.

  • Richard Dowling

    Do I have to hit you over the head with the syllogism, Anon?
    It was meant to be a logical nonsense, to show our “mutual
    friend” that his reasoning was … let us say… a little premature.
    Does everything go sailing over your heads?

  • Yoda

    Do you happen to think that is the direct result of its nationalist Nazi past, or the imperialism of its freedom loving Kaiser.

    The implication being that republicanism = fascism: a pretty good violation of Godwin’s law, I think.

    I’m all for a bit of revisionism, but when it seems like simple contrarianism or punditry, it gets tiresome.

    Since some of these revisionists (like Harris) also claim to be “republicans,” they why don’t they make more of a contribution to an inclusive republicanism? I also wonder why such revisionism/ contrarianism sounds a lot like unionism? Can the pundits not step outside the binary to make their point? If they were more positive alternatives explored, then it would look a lot less like meaningless noise designed to shift newspapers.

  • Ciarán Irvine

    But, I’m afraid, if you appreciation of our history is limited to the moronic rambling of your previous contributions, Ciaran, then you are wasting my time. And I have no intention of continuing to answer you in the terms of your folly.

    Or in plain English, you can’t plausibly rebut a single one of my points so yer running away 🙂

    Do you happen to think that is the direct result of its nationalist Nazi past, or the imperialism of its freedom loving Kaiser.

    I invoke Godwin. Hah!

  • Cuculain

    Fascism, A political movement advocating centralization of authority under a dictator, such a system was founded in 1919 by Benito Mussolini. So I am amiss as its relevance to 1916. Especially, when Pearce et al sounded general opinion of various pro home rule leaders including prominent leaders in the north who were asked not to send volunteers for the Dublin rising. I would assume one needs a dictator and Pearse was not, so I assume Laird was talking about Farsism instead. A light dramatic rising in which highly improbable plot situations, exaggerated characters were immortalized by ignorance and imperialism.

  • Belfastwhite

    Richard

    “But it’s a fright to be for ever in hock to the dead.
    Or to all those who, in the reincarnated glory of their own little
    minds, feel similarly entitled to our allegiance”.

    So you’ll not be wearing your poppy this year Richard and threatening the BBC that you’ll be burning your TV licence if they keep up the folly of commemorating those glorious dead. I’ve heard Unionist bring up the sacrifice of the Somme dead when polls in Britain suggested that the British public would be happy to pull out of Ireland.

  • Richard Dowling

    Despite ample opportunity, you have studiously avoided
    tackling the first questionI posed: What right had the 1916
    insurgents to start killing innocent Irish people in Dublin. The
    debate has now moved on. Try another thread. Perhaps,
    “Propaganda posing as historical truth….”
    It has the potential to broaden the debate.
    (Weds . Feb 8th).

  • J McConnell

    George

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner..

    Here is my understanding of the election chronology..

    First 1910 election – Liberals call it over constitution crises – Liberals win with reduced majority – in Ireland no real change

    Second 1910 election – Liberals call it over ongoing constitution crises caused by rejection of budget by the ‘other house’ – Liberals lose absolute majority and now dependent on Irish Nationalist MP’s. Home rule back on the political agenda again

    By 1914 Home Rule Act passed three times and ready for Royal Assent. Act sets up devolved parliament in Dublin, minus Ulster counties, as per Ulster Exclusion Amendment – number of counties to be excluded still to be decided. Gavrilo Princip intervenes and act suspended for duration of war.

    Soon after incompetently attempted coup d’etat in 1916 by very small group of terrorists working with the war-time enemy convention convened and soon abandoned to settle Ulster question.

    Lloyd George calls the ‘Coupon’ election immediately after war ends to rout Asquithian side of his own party and consolidate own political position. Succeeds in routing Asquith, and destroying the Liberal party.

    Meanwhile in Ireland the supporters of attempted coup do a brilliant job of hijacking a fringe non-violent nationalist party, exploiting popular discontent, and provoking heavy-handed responses from the authorities. The main nationalist party suffers from severe organization and tactical disadvantages. It was built up and prospered under the Third Reform Act franchise and would have been ill suited at the best of times to fight an election under the new franchise of the 1918 Representation of the People Act.

    In 1918 with most of it more able supporters off in the armed forces and most of the rest old and dispirited it was ill-suited to fight an election against an opposition that was young, violent and opportunistic in the extreme.

    The turnout in 1918 was 52%, and of those who voted 47% vote SF, 25% voted Unionist and 22% voted Nationalist. Very far from any kind of democratic mandate. Because of the first past the post system, and the fact that almost all SF seats were in the South and straight SF / IPP fights SF walked off with almost all the seats in the south. Which is how 47% of the vote becomes 70% of the seats.

    In the North the IPP fought and won more seats than it lost, and when SF won a seat against the IPP it usually won it by a small margin. This is very different from the results in the South which would tend to confirm the stories of large-scale intimidation of potential IPP candidates and voters in the South.

    So SF gets 70% of the seats, almost all in the South, and then declares UDI in 1919.

    The elections of 1921 and 1922 cannot be considered real elections giving any kind of popular mandate because of large number of uncontested seats, or in the case 1921, none at all. The 1923 is the first election that can be considered a legitimate representation of voter opinion as it is, I believe, the first election since 1910 were all seats were contested. The result was 26% of first preference votes and 29% of seats for SF. As SF were campaigning purely on a United Ireland / Anti-Treaty platform would have to conclude that at least 70% of the electorate (turnout about 65%) did not agree with SF’s aims, or more probably methods, i.e voted against violence.

    That’s the way I read the numbers.

  • Keith M

    J McConnell, that’s a pretty accurate read on the period. There is however one ommission that my friends in the Labour Party would point out. In the 1918 election Labour was in a remarkably strong point in Ireland. The lock-outs of 1913 had generated huge working class support for the Labour movement. With the introduction of (almost) universal suffrage in 1918, Labour would almost certainly have taken 25% of the popular vote.

    A decision was made in 1918 which hindered the Labour Party growth at the time and impacted the party to this day. They decided to stand aside in an effort to resolved the “national question”. Effectivly in the south this meant that 25% of the electorate were eith disenfranchised for voted SF. (Some Labour people stood under the SF banner as a way of having their voices heard).

    To consider the 47% of the vote in 1918 as some form of mandate is even more ridiculous under these circumstances.

  • DK

    And women didn’t have the vote either – so all the elections are undemocratic from 1910 to whenever they got the vote in Ireland.

    Sounds like the 1916 rising was an attempt to force an issue that was already decided (and delayed by the Great war), the sub-text being that the people involved would likely get attention and therefore votes from the more anti-british (nationalistic?) elements of the country.

    In that context, was the 1916 rebellion simply a publicity stunt for the forthcoming home rule elections?

  • Brian Boru

    Keith M, so I take it then that you don’t think the 20% or so of the vote that the Unionist Party got was a mandate? 🙂

  • Baluba

    which proclamation was lairdy reading? not the one that hangs on my wall anyway.

  • me

    who care , killing is what the irish do best!

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Ireland under the Union: poor, oppressed, backward, prone to famine and violent rebellion, political instability, sectarian social divisions. 1916 changed all that.”

    well actually for an “oppressed” people the Irish were pisspoor at rebellions.
    Emmett got out a few hundred at the beginning of the 19th century
    The Fenians were even smaller in popular strength-60 years later. Their great uprising was..er, the invasion of Canada.
    John McBride then rounded up a few hundred adventurers to support those enlightened liberals, the Boers thirty years on

    In any one year from 1799 to 1922 there were more Irishmen serving in the British Army than fighting it.

    It’s hardly plucky little Poland, is it?
    You might think, if you were objective, that most Irish people weren’t actually that fussed on nationhood, and didn’t actually realise they were supposed to feel oppressed until some self appointed gunman wised them up-the clue to the motivation for this recognition being in the word “gunman”.
    Or were they all still traumatised from the Famine seventy years earlier?

  • George

    JMcConnell,
    As I said earlier in this thread, I’ll keep to the post 1918 situation here and leave the pre-1918 revisionism debate to others so I’ll start with the 1918 election which returned 2/3rds of the seats to Sinn Fein, the independence party.

    “The turnout in 1918 was 52%, and of those who voted 47% vote SF, 25% voted Unionist and 22% voted Nationalist.”

    Firstly the turnout was 68% in the constituencies where there was more than one candidate. Sinn Fein won unopposed in 25 seats and according to arc:

    “The 25 uncontested constituencies had a total electorate of 474,778; if we assume an identical average turnout and SF vote share, that gives 322,790 extra votes cast, 216,703 for SF and 106,087 for others. This gives SF at least 692,790 votes of a notional Ireland-wide total of 1,306,465, or at least 53.0%. The 66.9% vote share for SF in constituencies they would have won is a very conservative estimate; in nine of the contested constituencies they got over 80% of the vote and their likely vote share in the uncontested seats must be nearer that end of the scale. For their total vote share to be less than 50% (assuming the 68.0% turnout) their vote share in the 25 uncontested seats would have had to be an unrealistically low 54.7%.”

    So there was a democratic mandate for independence. Also, can you tell me the turnout for the 1910 general election in Ireland? Was it less than 68%?

    “This is very different from the results in the South which would tend to confirm the stories of large-scale intimidation of potential IPP candidates and voters in the South.”

    Why did SF get the same vote in 1922 when it is generally accepted there wasn’t intimidation?

    “The elections of 1921 and 1922 cannot be considered real elections giving any kind of popular mandate because of large number of uncontested seats, or in the case 1921, none at all.”

    So you are saying that the election on the Treaty that partitioned this country was undemocratic?

    “The 1923 is the first election that can be considered a legitimate representation of voter opinion as it is, I believe, the first election since 1910 were all seats were contested. The result was 26% of first preference votes and 29% of seats for SF. As SF were campaigning purely on a United Ireland / Anti-Treaty platform would have to conclude that at least 70% of the electorate (turnout about 65%) did not agree with SF’s aims, or more probably methods, i.e voted against violence.”

    You said 1922 was a legitimate representation earlier on in this thread and now you are moving it to 1923.

    Let’s look at 1923. How do you square the fact that the core of the 1923 TDs elected to Cumann na nGaedhael were the same people who were elected as Pro-Treaty Sinn Fein TDs in 1922.

    So the people elected the same people in 1922 as in 1923 but suddenly these people stood for something totally different?

    If this was case surely you can name me all the TDs elected in 1923 who came out and explained how they were different than the Pro-Treaty Sinn Fein of 1922? Surely some said they were against the Irish War of Independence?

    Surely you can name me one Pro-Treaty TD who came out and said they had changed? Surely there is one Pro-Treaty Sinn Feiner out there who said the Irish War of Independence was wrong.

    The only way you can lend weight to this conclusion of yours is if you can show me that the TDs from that time agreed with you=.

    Otherwise, you are simply revising history to fit your world view.

    As Cumann na nGaedhgael was made up primarily of Pro-Treaty Sinn Feiners, then surely you will have to move your democratic election further on down the path than 1923.

    Remember it better come before 1932 because that’s when the Anti-Treaty Sinn Feiners come back into the frame.

  • Martin

    Parliamentary democracy eh

    How large was Henry THE 2nds democratic mandate to send Strongbow to Ireland in the first place.

    Britain bastion of parliamentary democracy allowed women over 30 to vote for the first time 1918.women did make up more than 50%of the population.

    Many of the boy soldiers in the British army some as young as 13 had to wait 8 years before turning 21 in order to vote–ah yes it was lowered to 18 for vets wasn’t it still 5 years wait though—their government thought they were old enough to kill and be killed by the Bosche but not vote in elections—yes the minimum age for the BA was 16–but it was a fairly open secret that this requirement was being ignored.

  • Keith M

    George “The 25 uncontested constituencies had a total electorate of 474,778; if we assume an identical average turnout and SF vote share, that gives 322,790 extra votes cast, 216,703 for SF and 106,087 for others. ”

    I’m sorry but this makes absolutly no sense to me. If SF could only get 47% of the vote in constituences that were contested then a “identical vote share” in the uncontested constituencies would still give them 47%. Revisionism may not be my strongpoint, but I can still do primary level maths.

  • Southern Observer

    Keith M,
    It seems reasonable to assume that the seats where SF were unopposed tended to be those where they were so obviously strong that a challenge would have been futile.

  • Southern Observer

    The Patriot

    – An Old Story (and an apt commentary on the fickleness of public opinion)

    I

    It was roses, roses, all the way,
    With myrtle mixed in my path like mad.
    The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway,
    The church-spires flamed, such flags they had,
    A year ago on this very day!

    II

    The air broke into a mist with bells,
    The old walls rocked with the crowds and cries.
    Had I said, “Good folks, mere noise repels –
    But give me your sun from yonder skies!”
    They had answered, “And afterward, what else?”

    III

    Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun,
    To give it my loving friends to keep.
    Nought man could do have I left undone,
    And you see my harvest, what I reap
    This very day, now a year is run.

    IV

    There’s nobody on the house-tops now –
    Just a palsied few at the windows set –
    For the best of the sight is, all allow,
    At the Shambles’ Gate – or, better yet,
    By the very scaffold’s foot, I trow.

    V

    I go in the rain, and, more than needs,
    A rope cuts both my wrists behind,
    And I think, by the feel, my forehead bleeds,
    For they fling, whoever has a mind,
    Stones at me for my year’s misdeeds.

    VI

    Thus I entered Brescia, and thus I go!
    In such triumphs, people have dropped down dead.
    “Thou, paid by the World, – what dost thou owe
    Me?” God might have questioned; but now instead
    ‘Tis God shall requite! I am safer so.

    — Robert Browning

    It is regrettable that many of those who now wax luxuriantly in the free, ultra-rich Irish Republic (‘best place in the world to live’ a la Economist Magazine) should now pour scorn on those whose sacrifice and endeavour made it possible.