DCAL and Nationalist Culture

Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff has demanded that DCAL (Dept. Culture, Arts and Leisure) step in to work with the Irish government to purchase important historical items and artefacts relating to the Easter Rising and Tan War soon to be auctioned. He points to the setting aside of thousands of pounds by the then DCAL Minister, Michael McGimpsey, for the British Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, and calls for the Department to show awareness and respect for “Irish nationalist consciousness” through acting on his demand.

  • Pete Baker

    As A spokesperson for the department [DCAL]said: “Responsibility for the purchase of artefacts and items of historical interest rests with Museums and Galleries Northern Ireland.”

    Barry McElduff has demanded? Sheesh.. [and stifled laughter]

    Perhaps someone should lobby the Irish government instead..

  • “…has demanded? Sheesh.. [and stifled laughter]
    Perhaps someone should lobby the Irish government instead.. “
    Posted by Pete Baker on Mar 23, 2006 @ 11:15 PM

    … demanded is only mentioned in the preamble by the Slugger moderator / team member – not that they are infallible or much print needs to be spend on their comments.

    McElduff said the dept has “a responsibility” which seems reasonable as they are supposed to be servants of the tax paying public. Almost half the population of NI seem to vote for republicans and nationalists who support the Easter Rising and so it should be a significant part a dept of Culture remit to collect such artifacts.

    I don’t think there is much need for stifled laughter.

    An alternative (not one that I’d recommend) might be that the artifacts be privately purchased, with tax payer assistance, to be housed solely for one side of the community. This would lead to two sets of museums; one for each side of the community. Thus making things more segregated and insular.

  • Pete Baker

    “An alternative (not one that I’d recommend) might be that the artifacts be privately purchased, with tax payer assistance,”

    Ermm.. which tax-payer would that be, Niall?

    And responsibility, despite the statement by Barry McElduff – and the interpretation by Chris – has been indicated.. “Responsibility for the purchase of artefacts and items of historical interest rests with Museums and Galleries Northern Ireland.”

    I’ll keep stifling the laughter, thanks all the same.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Why doesn’t Sinn Fein buy them?
    They’ve got the cash – and they haven’t got much longer left to spend it.

  • Rory

    The anthem of the Irish Free State, “Amhrain na bhein” (“A Soldier’s Song”) was composed by Brendan Behan’s uncle, Peadar Kearney while interned at Ballykinlar Army Barracks, outside Downpatrick, Co Down. Apart from the great value of the original manuscript as an historical artifact its place of origin certainly demands an interest sufficiently strong to be supported by funding by any responsible governing body with a remit for the area of its provenance.

    The same would remain true were the original manuscript of “The Sash my father Wore” to turn up in an old well bucket on the southern side of Tom Murrhy’s farm – Bertie’s lot should chip in to save it – and I have no doubt whatsoever but that they would.

    History is before us, by definition, and beyond us by our limitation, we must all needs grasp at what little of it might truly remain to us.

  • “Ermm.. which tax-payer would that be, Niall?”
    Ermm… the same one that paid for the Queens jubilee, obviously. Why does this seems difficult to comprehend? It’s a level playing field these days, isn’t it?

    “ Responsibility for the purchase of artefacts and items of historical interest rests with Museums and Galleries Northern Ireland” …and who pays for the museums etc via donations, legacies, gov. grants and lottery? The general public; and so the museums should be representative of the history and culture of the whole population of NI.

    I wonder why your laughter seems different from “the laughter of our children”

  • Pete Baker

    Tell you what, Niall, you pay for it. Since, by some accounts, it’s only one copy of many anyway..

  • Rory

    “history is before us, by definition..” should of course read “history is behind us..etc”. Apologies.

    Rather bollocksed up my rhythm, didn’t it?

  • Pete Baker

    More than your rhythm.. Rory..


  • me


    Have you done something to upset fellow blogger Pete?

    Every blog of yours today has had an initial comment from him that exhibits some element of *sheesh* *sigh* or ‘stifled laughter‘.

    He seems to be deliberately ensuring that the initial response is a flippant dismissal of the topic on each of your threads.

    A very unusual blog phenomenon seeing fellow contributors seemingly trying to stifle/control/direct discussion on the others blogs.

    Very weird but entertaining.

  • Stephen Copeland


    Very weird but entertaining

    It makes a change from the situation we had here a year or more back when one blogger would ‘reply’ to his own posting using one of his other aliases, always in a positive and approving way, as if trying to demonstrate the wisdom and interest of the original post!

  • Pete Baker


    “Every blog of yours today..”

    Yeah.. all two of them. No need for paranoia, me.. I’ve been equally dismissive of many other posts by the other bloggers here.

    That’s just me.

  • Yokel

    1. McElduff, forget it, not going to happen but a good go at stirring things up..no doubt the DUP will take the bait and respond

    2. Time to bloody well forget history, I feckng well tired of it. The world has gone through truly momentous evenets that dwarf anything in this god forsaken place yet it seems that people can;t be yond their own little noses…

  • Brian Boru

    I understand a Tricolour said to have flown over the GPO in 1916 is on auction. I have to question the patriotism of those who would sell such precious parts of their country’s heritage potentially to foreign private collectors. Granted the National Museum has original copies of the Proclamation, but the original flag is something that belongs in the museum, as does the letter from the Duke of Devonshire confirming that the King had agreed to Irish independence. It would be a scandal if the Irish government allows these to pass out of the country for reasons of miserlieness.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Name names Copeland – go on!

  • chris donnelly


    I’ve noticed with not a little amusement Pete’s almost paranoid tendency to ensure he is the first respondent to my threads. It’s entertaining and revealing, I will confess, but after all, he does have the right, as does any contributor to this most democratic and inclusive site…….

  • Pete Baker

    Seriously, nothing personal, chris.

    Although there may be more than a little paranoia in your apparent belief that I’m atempting to ensure that I’m the first to comment on your threads..

    ANYway.. I comment when I choose to. As I’ve already pointed out, there have been plenty of posts that I’ve commented on, first or otherwise, before chris’s appearance on Slugger..

    In short, I’m not likely to change how and when I comment now just because someone is complaining about it..

  • untermenschen

    Be honest Pete, its because Donnelly’s a blatant Sinn Fein propogandist.
    WE all know that.

  • Rory

    Brian Boru, your news that the tricolour that was raised on the GPo at the easter Rising is to be publicly auctioned, if true, is an absolute scandal and people of all political persuasions throughout Ireland should raise a great stink and demand that it be retained within public archives in Ireland. Whatever our differing opinions on history, history itself is neutral and such precious artifacts of immense historical importance must be preserved where they rightfully belong.

    To even contemplate the action that you report incites such a gross revulsion against the barbaric philistinism of gombeen men and profiteers, that I trust they will be stopped.