Hell hath no fury like imperialists scorned

Jude Collins has been following the reaction of some in the media to Ken Loach’s award-winning film, The Wind that shakes the barley. He points to a number of films which glorified violence, following a simple narrative, which did not arouse similarly hysterical reactions in the British media due to the fact that, in those films, the good guys were an altogether different sort of chaps.
Meanwhile, the differing takes on the story by the British tabloids and their offspring Irish editions has been revealing. The Sunday World today (no internet version available) carries quotes from the Irish and British ‘Sun’ newspapers, whilst this link shows how the Irish Daily Mail decided to provide a counter-balancing nationalist platform to Ruth Dudley Edwards, which was notably omitted from its mother paper.

  • Doctor Who


    I have seen the film and it is as just as rich in Propaganda as that little propaganda film you seen as a child. But of course that was fifty years go.

    The problem with Loach is he never questions he just always preaches.

    I do however take understand criticism of journalists who have yet to see the film.

  • Pete Baker

    Well if you insist in continuing this particular argument when everyone else has moved on..

    I’d hazard a guess that the critics of Loach would agree that it’s nothing more than propaganda film.. that, after all, was their point.

    But it’s somewhat ludicrous to compare reactions today with those of Jude Collins’ distant childhood. As for the name of the dog in The Dam Busters – it’s a point that’s been made many times, telling of general attitudes at the time certainly, but historically accurate AFAIK.. and Jude is curmudgeonly beyond reason with his criticism of Reach for the Sky.

    There’s an interesting interview with one of the main actors in The Wind that Shakes the Barley, Cillian Murphy, in the Observer that is worth noting for these comments in particular:

    ‘I need to be very careful talking about this,’ he says, after a long pause. ‘It’s all right talking to someone who’s familiar with the complexities of the Irish situation, but you could see how the film could be hijacked. I’m sure Sinn Fein will love it, for instance, but to say that it is somehow anti-British is just plain wrong.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Is Daily Ireland still paying Jude Collins for this stuff or have they talked him into sending it in for free yet?
    (This will determine whether he lasts until the final week of publication, you know.)

  • Some interesting points:

    1. What were the Christian Brothers doing sending impressionable youngsters to watch imperialist clap trap in 1950s’ Omagh?
    2. Why no talk on the demise of the Christian Brothers on this site? Lest we forget.
    3.Why no poll to see who is the worst paid columnist in Ireland? Sunday Independent writers would have to be excluded as they would sweep the boards.
    4. The Collins/DI op eds are not bad if we regard them as more slighlty more radical versions of Ireland’s Own.

  • Harry

    “What were the Christian Brothers doing sending impressionable youngsters to watch imperialist clap trap in 1950s’ Omagh?”

    The catholic church is run along global lines, not local ones. The charges of the christian brothers in the north were the fifth columnists who were to bring catholicism to britain, just as the millions of emigrants from ireland were an important way for the church to grow in traditionally strongly protestant countries such as england, USA, canada and australia. The viewpoint of the church was therefore not irish nationalist but rather turned towards the english-speaking world and towards integrating the Irish into it for their own purposes.

    This is the reason too why, after giving the church primary care of saving the irish language through their monopoly on education, we are left at the end of it with a country more strongly anglicised than ever before and with a population who have been taught to hate their native culture and reject it. This was deliberate. The catholic church is no friend of irish republicanism.

  • Harry: Maybe republicanism is no friend of republicanism. I was not talking of the Maynooth oath or anything. I was talking about the Christian Brothers which:
    1. produced 7 of the 15 terrorists executed after 1916.
    2. were the backbone of the GAA.
    3. educated Martin McGuinness and Gerry. (hard one to live down, that).
    4. are reviled by all revisionists.
    To say the Catholic Church was monolithic is silly. The Christian Brothers were almost always on the nationalist side of the house, against foreign games and the rest. The GAA remains a powerful force in Ireland today and that is ion no small part of the Brothers.
    The fact that they split from the Presentatins is evidence of their Irishry (now that we’re organized, let’s have the split).
    As regards educating the Taigs, some Brothers’ schools and at least one nun school on the Falls had remarkable results in that respect. It could be argued that the Brothers and nuns were the real revolutionaries not the Patsy Gillespie kidnappers. Whither Gerry and Martin now? Why into the arms of the nerds and geeks who paid attention in class while they were out tarring and feathering schoolgirls and watching imperialist anti Kenyan clap trap. That last one has me really puzzled.
    The mission of the Brothers, to educate Micky Mudd and Paddy Stick, is finished. Mission succeeded. Now many of them will become little West Brits, follow rugby and send their kids to Jesuit schools to get contacts, or multi denominational propaganda schools to show how progressive they are.
    Mick Collins was probably the prototype here. A cute Corkman who got a cushy civil service job in London but got out before the Somme.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Not neccessarily always against foreign games, Taigs – the two main rugby schools in Cork are PBC and CBC and there are a few others scattered throughout the country.

  • jamboni

    Pardon my ignorance, but could someone explain “Taigs” for me ? not the narrow meaning please.

  • Tochais: very good point. Kevin Barry played rugby (and look what happened to him!!) In fact, Clongowes and Belvedere had a big sea change around 1916. But the Jesuits obviously swung them back. I wonder waht Blackrock’s involvement was besides Dev bumming about there. I will have to give your post a LOT more thought. The Christian Brothers and rugby. Sounds sacriligous or something.

    Still Omagh i nthe 1950s must have been a boring place, having to watch Royalist propaganda in the marchinbg off season.
    Jamboni: Taig is, I believe a derivation of Tadhg, an Irish name and evidence that the sundered brethern had some smattering of Gaeilge.

  • SlugFest


    There’s a number of different theories as to where the word came from. Here’s what wikepedia says:


    Per Wikepedia, “Taig (also “Teague”) is a slang term used by some in Scotland and Northern Ireland to refer to Irish Roman Catholics. It is derived from the Irish name Tadhg, considered to be “the man on the street” (i.e. the average Irish person you would meet anywhere), and it is generally considered to be highly offensive.

    The use of the term as an insult originates in the 17th century, in the sectarian conflicts arising out of the Plantations of Ireland. (See also Early Modern Ireland 1536-1691) It appears in the satirical Williamite ballad Lilliburlero which was composed in the late 1680s, in the line: Ho brother Taig hast thou heard the decree?. In 1698, an English writer named John Dunton wrote a mocking account of Ireland titled Teague Land – or A Ramble with the Wild Irish.”

  • Brian Boru

    Dr.Who, give me an example please of something depicted in the film which did not happen in real life. I’m curious. Did the Tans and the Auxilaries target civilians yes or no. Did they have a policy of burning civilian homes if there was an attack in the area yes or no. And did not RIC Colonel GB Smyth say in 1920 “The more you shoot, the better I will like you, and I assure you no policeman will get in trouble for shooting any man.”. Words like propaganda should be backed up with facts. Exposing facts is not the same as propaganda.

  • Doctor Who


    Unlike you I have seen this film, so that qualifies me to an opinion, I have as you well know backed up my argument on other threads.

    I suggest you wait to see the film before making further comment as it makes you sound as stupid as some of the comments from the right of centre press.

    The depiction is fine, I have no problem in stating the black and tans where nothing short of murderers. My main problem is while they are depicted as so, the young “pretty” and reluctant IRA volunteers are painted as idealistic saints. Loach dosn´t question their actions he justifies them, it´s the evil empire in Star Wars, shitting on the poor little rebel alliance…it´s cliched, it preaches, it´s beautifully shot and it is also boring.

    The message I got in the film was that Loach was saying that you do not bargain with the British, and that today´s republicans have forgot their principles as the job is´n´t done.

    Loach is entitled to his view, it´s just that in Northern Ireland we can go about our daily business since the IRA changed their principles, without the fear of being blown to bits.

  • jamboni

    Thanks for the info all.

  • Rory

    A mindset of embarrassment imbues all discussion of this film from a section of people who seem terrified at the idea that they might be expected to justify this film to their English friends and so want to get their disdain of the very idea of the film on record for posterity.

    What is required is a film romance of the same time with the Black and Tans as the good guys. I can see Ralph Fiennes in the lead already – cold but handsome, cruel yet gentle, ruthless in war and reckless in love. Pity Boris Karloff’s not still around to play evil IRA commander, Tom Barry but what about Steven Berkoff? He does mean, nasty pretty good. Michael Winner to direct.

  • fionn

    doctor who, how have you seen the film? where?

  • bb

    Hidden History, RTÉ 1 22:25 tonight

  • What, a Roach thread without a rousing discussion of the Spanish Civil War or An Gorta Mor? What a drag.

    It’s a movie lads, not a documentary.