Carson’s birthplace

There is an online petition to preserve and recognise the birthplace of Lord Carson in Dublin, a campaign supported by his latest successor as UUP leader Sir Reg Empey.

  • smcgiff

    Who?

    And when you’re finished with that… What’s a Lord?

  • Stephen Copeland

    I see that DAVID VANCE has signed it (yes, in capitals!). That alone would almost make me wish for the wrecking ball … except that I do actually want the Georgian houses in Harcourt Street preserved.

  • CS Parnell

    The site of the forthcoming Museum of Imperialist Atrocities has now been announced 🙂

  • Brian Boru

    Despite my loathing for everything this man stood for i.e. opposing Home Rule, opposing independence, opposing land-reform, prosecuting land-leaguers, I agree he is an important historical figure and as such his house should be preserved, especially as a reminder of where a major author of disaster for this island began his life.

  • CS Parnell

    He’s also an example of an alternative vision of the Irish nation that 1916 – 1922 and beyond wiped out. Obviously I never met Carson but I am sure he would have been proud to be described as an Irishman.

    The south are terrible at marking their own history – the only place worse is the North 🙂

    Where is the proper public examination of Irish (as opposed to Ulster) Unionism and where is the proper consideration of the Civil War.

    On the day we mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the Spanish civil war it is an appropriate time to ask when our nation is going to fully examine its history, escape from the official script and recognise that a progressive nationalism is also essential a post-nationalism that ackowledges our past diversity as well as building a an inclusive future.

  • From the petition page:

    We feel to acknowledge his place in Irish history by restoring his birthplace and adding a commemorative plague to the outside…

    A plague on all your houses, I say ;o)

  • Stephen Copeland

    Gerry O’Sullivan,

    That’s lovely! I didn’t notice that, though I did see that wee Jason cannot spell, as demonstrated by the name of the Department he wants to convince:

    Dept of the Enviroment & Hertiage (sic).

  • Prince Eoghan

    This must be getting highlighted in Loyalist and race hate blogs if some of the signatories previously mentioned are on it.

    Some troll attempted to ambush me with this earlier, I think that I may have confused him by my agreeing that it is a great idea. This man played a significant role in Irish history(good or bad) and as such warrants some kind of memorial.

    Just think, some time in the future when the OO have been civilised, it would be a great occassion to have a march in Dublin to remember him. Why not?

  • Greenflag

    Oscar would not be Wilde about this campaign .

    It’ll cost more to preserve it than to redevelop. We can’t preserve every tottering building . I’ve no objection to putting a plaque on the new building which records Carson’s one time residence in the area. I’m in favour of preserving some of Dublin’s Georgian heritage but there has to be a limit.

    Here’s an idea. Perhaps Sir Reg Empey and other Unionist fans of Lord Edward Carson can set up an ‘independent’ private financial trust and seek support from all Carsonites in NI-UK -etc etc and finance the restoration themselves ?

  • smcgiff

    Anyone know how the petition to save the building where the 1916 surrender was signed got on?

  • Stephen Copeland

    Ah now, Greenflag, don’t be so mean. You know that with Dublin prices the way they are, the poor dears couldn’t possibly afford it.

    Maybe we could just re-name the street? Who the hell was ‘Harcourt’ anyway?

  • When I saw this story first, my initial reaction was that it was either a very old petition, or the petitioner was barking up the wrong tree. From my recollection, I was fairly sure that the building had already been restored by the O’Callaghan Hotel Group, as part of the development of the St Stephen’s Green Hotel in the late 1990s.

    So with my curiosity getting the better of me, and as I work close by, I nipped out to have a look. And I was right. The building is neither “falling to ruins” nor “basically empty”, and it certainly doesn’t need “a proper face lift and restoration to save it from further destruction and decay.” It is now part of the hotel, and the hotel’s restaurant is on the ground floor.

    And there is a “commemorative plague” [sic] on the outside which reads:
    Dublin Tourism
    Lord Edward Carson
    1854-1935
    Politician and Lawyer
    Born Here 1854.

  • Ziznivy

    “Here’s an idea. Perhaps Sir Reg Empey and other Unionist fans of Lord Edward Carson can set up an ‘independent’ private financial trust and seek support from all Carsonites in NI-UK -etc etc and finance the restoration themselves?”

    Perhaps the UK government should withdraw all financial support for the Irish Language in Northern Ireland and those who wish to speak it or keep it alive can fund it themselves through private enterprises throughout NI-ROI.

  • smcgiff

    Sweet Suffering, Gerry!

    It’s so important to them they don’t even realise they’ve got what they always wanted.

    NOW – Why doesn’t that surprise me!!! ;¬)

  • na
  • Carson’s Cat

    Speaking as his cat – this is about Reg attempting to link himself Edward himself – despite the fact the only thing in common between the two individuals is their leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party.

    It wouldn’t surprise me that the UUP have got their facts wrong on the issue. However, we should all be bl**dy glad that Dermott Nesbit wasn’t in charge of saving the building. Given his record in DOE the building would have been in smoking ruins years ago.

    I also happen to think that Reg’s birthplace should be preserved. Means that people could follow the story of the UUP from start to finish.

  • SpellingBee

    “I also happen to think that Reg’s birthplace should be preserved. Means that people could follow the story of the UUP from start to finish.”

    Saucer of milk to table 2, miaow!

  • Greenflag

    ‘Who the hell was ‘Harcourt’ anyway?

    Who cares ? He was I believe Lord Lieutenant 1772 to 1776 . Why rename it ? Everybody knows it as Harcourt Street . Would we then have to rename Queen Street, Raglan Road, South Cumberland St, Wilton Terrace, York St , Prussia Street , Sackville Place . Buckingham Street , Pimlico , Montpelier Hill etc etc ?

    Dubliners would never be able to find their way around their city if we indulged in that kind of carry on . Lave well enough alone

  • Greenflag

    Ziznivy,

    ‘Perhaps the UK government should withdraw ‘

    I agree with reservations . A 2 county sized predominatly Unionist State will still need financial support from HMG in order to keep unionists in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Greenflag,

    … Lave well enough alone

    Hey, I was joking, right ….

    My favourite is Mountjoy Square (and street, and prison, etc). Where else in an independent country would you get a major city landmark still named after a man who was, in modern terms, an ethnic cleanser, war criminal, and all-round bastard!

    And unionists say the south doesn’t do enough to commemorate their culture!

  • CS Parnell

    Nassau street is the great one for all you Billy boys 🙂 How that one escaped DeV’s attention is byond me -maybe because it’s next to Trinty it was forever determined to be a bit of Orange in the heart of the Green.

    What this all proves, of course, is that even the most liberal of Unionists dare not tread Dublin’s streets. They probably all think they’ll be grabbed by the Holy Inquistion and subjected to a bit of the oul Auto Da Fe

  • Prince Eoghan

    Steven@ 04:12 PM.

    ROFL.

    Class.

  • Greenflag

    ‘My favourite is Mountjoy Square (and street, and prison, etc). Where else in an independent country would you get a major city landmark still named after a man who was, in modern terms, an ethnic cleanser, war criminal, and all-round bastard! ‘

    It’s our Irish sense of humour:) Naming a place to detain ‘vicious bastards’ after a vicious bastard is only fair :).

    Florence Nightingale prison somehow does not sound credible nor does St Brigid’s Penitentiary .

    Who knows in the future as a token of ‘respect’ for Unionism’s great leader Dubliner’s might even get around to renaming it as Paisley Prison .

    Does not sound at all bad ? And as the man himself has spent some time in prison it might even be appropriate . We Dubliner’s could also insist that this is another example of us ‘respecting’ Unionist culture ? No ?

  • Fraggle

    lord P Pronunciation Key (lôrd)
    n.
    A man of high rank in a feudal society or in one that retains feudal forms and institutions

  • Greenflag

    ‘Nassau street is the great one for all you Billy boys 🙂 ‘

    Formerly known as St Patrick’s Well Lane from 12th century to 1700’s . When the Thingmote (Viking earthenmound used for assemblies was demolished in 1685) the earth from it was used to raise St Patrick’s Well Lane 8 feet to prevent flooding and thus eventually become Nassau Street .

    Some more Dublin street name conundrums. Why is Usher’s island not an island ? Why is Parliament Street nowhere near any parliament (near is a relative term) Who was the Lad in Lad Lane ? And who is responsible for naming Protestant Row and Pig’s Lane ? Who did Stoney Batter? Why were the guns cross on Cross Guns Bridge ? And who decided that Golden deserved a Lane , Silver a Street and Copper an Alley ?

    Dubs in another flash of wit circa 1876 renamed the less than polite ‘Cut Throat Lane ‘ as Roundhead Row, and the nearby uninviting ‘Murdering Lane’ was changed to Cromwell’s Quarters .

    As comic Frank Carson would say ?

    It’s the way we tell them 🙂

  • Greenflag

    CSParnell ,

    Dublin used to have an Orange Street located in what is now known as the Temple Bar area. Previously Orange St had been known as Smock Alley .

    Orange St was renamed as Essex St in the 18th century . Some may think that the Dubs were again resorting to nomenclatural wit by renaming Orange Street after Queen Bess’s notorious traitor of the 16th century . However it was named after the Earl of Essex (18th century- a member of the Capel family) thus Capel St nearby ) who was Viceroy for a period .

  • bertie

    Stephen

    I’m sure that David will be delighted to have so much influence on you!

    Carson’s Cat. I have to say that I don’t normally like cats but you are definitely growing on me.

  • Ciaran Irvine

    GF: and just what happened to make Harold cross?

  • Greenflag

    He lost the Battle of Hasting’s 🙂 As a result Englishmen became second class subjects in their own country . Had the Black Death not intervened to cull back the Normans our neighbouring islanders could well be speaking French today. Had Harold won, present day English would probably look more like a cross between Danish and Dutch Friesian .

    Having been abused and slaughtered by the Normans for several centuries the English in true victim fashion then replicated the same on Ireland /Scotland etc etc in later history .

    As a result of the above you sit on a stool ( Anglo Saxon) , whereas you lounge on a chaise longue (Norman French) and English has become the world language .

  • Gum

    It should be preserved, he was a very important figure in C.20th Ireland.

  • Stephen Copeland

    It should be preserved, he was a very important figure in C.20th Ireland.

    Try and keep up, Gum. Not only is the whole story bogus, but the house in question is half of a thriving hotel. If you actually read the thread you would have seen that.

  • TT

    Does young Shilliday ever post anything which doesn’t concern his dad or act as a puff piece for his UUP chums?

    Hasn’t he got his own YU site for this sort of thing?

    TT

  • Resolve

    FAO Na…

    Thanks for the photo… now i know exactly where it is.. and to think, the number of times i have strolled by the “great” man’s birthplace, in complete ignorance! now i know where to puke up when i come out of Coppers at 3.30am in the morning! (jk – as if “I” would frequent the notorious Slappers, certainly not :p)

    FAO Stephen Copeland…

    I know you were kidding, but we couldn’t possibly get rid of the name “Harcourt Street”… it’s one of life’s little pleasures hearing a Dub taxi-man say “Harcourt Street”.. it just sounds so good off the dublin tongue lol… maybe just because a great night out is on the cards, but nevertheless is is ingrained in the psyche. and i’ll be signing a petition if a name change is suggested 😉

    There’s no issue here… he’s already got a commemorative plaque – and quite right, he is a significant historical figure in Ireland, and should be remembered… case closed.

  • Rory

    I believe that it is only but right and proper that the birthplace of Edawrd Carson should be restored, refurbished and maintained thereafter for posterity. Further I would argue that all civilised governments throughout the world should contribute to that cost and to maintain it for at least another fifty years as though a great historical figure yet dwelt therein.

    This latter concern is all the more pressing as Herself is about to chuck me out and Ireland’s finest fellow surely deserves the comforts of a good home in his declining years.

    Vote “Yes” and posterity will bless you.

  • harpo

    ‘On the day we mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the Spanish civil war it is an appropriate time to ask when our nation is going to fully examine its history’

    CS:

    You’re Spanish?

    Haven’t the Spanish examined their history? I’m sure I’ve read lots on the subject.

  • harpo

    Carson?

    I have no time for Carson.

    He let the occupied 3 counties down when Northern Ireland was formed. They ended up in the Irish Free State and then the ROI.

    I’d rather commenorate whoever will free the occupied 3.

    The re-integration of the national territory is still pending. Our day will come!

  • páid

    Harpo,

    a deal may yet be done 😉

    Stoneybatter – a fusion I believe of the Teutonic stoney and the Celtic batter (bóthar=road)

    Dublin names largely reflect the influence of norman dane saxon gael.

    Good. Who’s next?

  • bertie

    Ah now Harpo, be fair, he never wanted to see them go!

  • Carson Petition

    The petition is first and foremost for a preservation order to be put on the house. The plaque reference is for a proper plaque, something similar to what they have on other places of importance.

    As it stands the present owners of the building could knock it down and replace it. Having a preservation order at least preserves the face of the building.

  • pith

    CS Parnell,

    “Where is the proper public examination of Irish (as opposed to Ulster) Unionism….”

    Good point – an aspect of Irish history neglected by both unionists and nationalists. To most unionists Carson was only an Ulsterman.

    “On the day we mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the Spanish civil war…”

    Just by the way, an extreme-right Polish MEP made a speech a couple of weeks ago on the start of the Spanish civil war. He praised Franco and de Valera.

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    “The plaque reference is for a proper plaque, something similar to what they have on other places of importance.”

    Honestly not being mischivous but what exactly do you mean by this? Like what other places of importance? And shouldn’t you have clarified by now on your petition that you are specifically campaigning for the erection for a “proper” plaque rather than campaigning for a plaque…. And what size is a proper plaque???

    Also you might want to clarify that the building is not “falling to ruins”. I think it’s a great idea to put a preservation order on the building but you might get further with this if you told the truth on the petition website….

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    Pith,

    Give us a link.

    It’s an curiousity really. Many Irish republicans went to fight against Franco during the civil war while Eoin O’Duffys Irish brigade fought on the side of Fascism (with the inherent support of the catholic church in Ireland). So I’m surprised that Dev is mentioned with Franco as I’m pretty sure he stayed neutral….. but could stand corrected.

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    sorry got it.

    It seems to be to do with maintaining Catholic values….

  • pith

    Hurler,

    It was during a debate in the European Parliament on 4th July. Maciej Giertych praised Franco, Salazar and De Valera. This is from the European Parliament equivalent of Hansard:

    “Obecność w polityce europejskiej takich postaci jak Franco, Salazar czy DeValera gwarantowała trwanie Europy przy tradycyjnych wartościach.”

    It has been translated as follows (not by me).

    ‘The presence of such personalities as Franco, Salazar or DeValera in European politics guaranteed Europe’s perseverance of traditional values.’

    He lamented the fact that such “men of action” are no longer around.

  • pith

    oh, and another the way (apologies for going way off thread): Until recently Giertych was in the same political group as Irish MEP Kathy Sinnott.

  • Hurler on the Ditch

    Cheers Pith,

    Found a bit on it. Fascinating term “Europes traditional values”…..

  • Rory

    Admiration of Franco and admiration of Santa Claus does not Santa Claus a Fascist make.

    De Valera banned the Blueshirts, rounded them up, gaoled them and broke them. But perhaps our Polish friend was unaware of this otherwise his admiration might lessen a little.

  • pith

    Giertych often rambles on about ‘Europe’s traditional values’ but he is a bit thin on the ancient European value of tolerance. He is of the League of Polish families – a particularly distasteful manifestation of nationalism and religious fanaticism. Oh, and of course, they have a reputation for anti-semitism.

    While De Valera’s reputation outside Ireland might rest mainly on the notorious condolences episodes, Giertych is an educated individual so it is not unreasonable to assume that he would know what he means.

    I don’t know what this has to do with Carson’s house, so apologies again.

  • Greenflag

    Harpo,

    ‘I have no time for Carson.’

    No surprise . If Eddie C were around today he’d take a quick look at the political and religious demographics of Northern Ireland and in 5 minutes or less would pronounce himself in favour of a 2 county size NI probably east of Bann.

    Harpo has no sense of gratitude . Had it not been for Carson , Northern Ireland would have existed for a decade or less, as the 48% Irish ‘minority’ in a 9 county NI would have become the majority . Ulster (9 Counties) has an Irish majority SFAIK of approx 150,000 ? The 2006 census will reveal all ?

  • Resolve

    One of those amazing things about Slugger.. we start by discussing the birthplace of Carson, and transform the thread into a discussion about De Valera.

    Incidentally, on three separate occasions in the last month I have been asked back to friend’s houses in Linden Park, Blackrock, supposedly where Dev spent his dying days.. Someday I must take a Joycean walk from Harcourt Street to Linden Park, and along the way consider which of the two was more responsible for dividing up this little island… maybe i’ll get lost, and end up at Usher’s island and cry a tear, considering that, like my current resting place, the island of Ireland is “not really an island” 🙁

  • Greenflag

    Giertych is obviously pro Catholic ‘traditional values’.

    There is no doubt that De Valera/Franco/Salazar were all Catholic ‘traditionalists’ . But that is the only common thread. Dev had to contest elections and his power was curtailed by the Constitution.

    Neither De Valera/nor Franco nor Salazar would feel comfortable about the state of the RC Church and ‘tradional values’ in modern Ireland , Spain or Portugal . All these States are now part of a Godless EU . The Holy Roman Empire has been reborn with a lot of holes in it’s holiness. And not a Charlemagne in sight.

  • Nathan

    Everyones quick to sign a petition for Edward Carson, but what about his nextdoor neighbour. No.4 Harcourt St was the birthplace of George Fitzmaurice (the playwright), and this building is in the same predictament as No.3 at the moment. Surely the latter deserves a mention also…apparently not.

    If these buildings are to be preserved, purchased by the Irish state or whatever, then something productive needs to be done with them. Perhaps a state-sponsored Irish Protestant Museum should be set up within these buildings, with the aim of recognising the achievements, and the existence of not just Edward Carson, but other members of the Protestant community in Ireland also. Considering that Jews have their museum to recognise the achievements of their own (everyone bar Mr Justice Henry Barron and Leopold Bloom), its high time the country’s other well-established minority followed suit also, particularly when its influence in Irish life today well exceeds its size.

  • pith

    Greenflag, I take your point on elections etc.

    I trust that anti-semitism is not considered a traditional catholic value.

    Giertych is very anti-EU. But he does want a European Parliament (in Rome, not Strasbourg). Maybe he is just a crazy mixed-up bigot.

  • Stephen Copeland

    Nathan,

    … a state-sponsored Irish Protestant Museum …

    Really, no thanks!

    Protestants are very well catered for in the National Museum, where they belong. Trying to separate out the Protestant contribution is like trying to unscramble an egg. Plus it smells a liitle of apartheid. I don’t know what our Jewish brothers and sisters think, but for this particular (ex-)Prod, I’d prefer the place to remain a hotel.

  • pith

    Oops, I see I have fallen foul of the language code (though it wasn’t a very bad one). Three apologies in one day means I should sign off.

  • Nathan

    Stephen,

    The National Museum, as its name suggests, is reserved only for those Protestants who have not been edited out of the national narrative e.g. former First Citizens of the Irish state such as Erskine Childers and Douglas Hyde – who are only remembered because of their nationalist credentials.

    But what about those Protestants (Presbyterians in particular) who, for whatever reason, have been filtered from the national narrative e.g. Albert McConnell – the first ever Presbyterian provost of TCD who was instrumental (through his close friendship with deValera) in bringing the university from the fringes to the mainstream of Irish civic life, following years of isolation in independent Ireland, and George Gilmore – the first Presbyterian to become a leader of an IRA Brigade in the 20C.

    I want a museum that recognises the evolution of the Irish Protestant community since the state was founded. And I want to encounter a broader narrative of the southern Protestant community, which others usually simply ignore, or choose to disbelieve. This can only be achieved through an Irish Protestant Museum, set up by Protestants for Protestants (and of course, any other tourist/Irishman who wishes to take an interest in the Protestant contribution – both national and international)

  • Stephen Copeland

    Nathan,

    A museum is not a book. If Albert McConnell, and people like him, left physical remains after themselves, and these were worth preserving, then the National Museum is the place for them. The problem is that many interesting people leave nothing interesting after themselves, except maybe papers (which go to the National Library).

    It could also be the case that the physical left-overs are not of any huge ‘national’ value, and belong in a county museum? I know of one particular county museum (my own county) that has an interesting collection of exhibits from both Protestant and Catholic people. The experience of ‘big house’ Protestants is well preserved in, amongst other places, Strokestown House, maybe Malahide Castle, and so on. A lot of more modest Protestant stuff is available (and very well presented) in the Ulster Folk Park in Cultra.

    I was opposed to your idea from the first post, but now that I see that you want an ‘Irish Protestant Museum, set up by Protestants for Protestants‘ I shiver with horror. Luckily it will never happen.

  • Querulous

    You “shiver with horror” Stephen?

    Do you shiver with similar “horror” at the Jewish museum?

    What on earth’s wrong with minorities wishing to celebrate their unique contribution to the country?

    (Particularly as the “National” Museum fails to cater for the non-nationalist strand of southern Protestantism who have, as Nathan said, been ‘edited out’)

    We should grow up like the rest of Europe and embrace our minorities, regardless of whether they fit into some comfortable “national” narrative or not.

  • Keith M

    Greenflag “Had it not been for Carson , Northern Ireland would have existed for a decade or less, as the 48% Irish ‘minority’ in a 9 county NI would have become the majority .”

    Highly unlikely. What is far more likely is that the emigration from Cavan and Monaghan to N.I. would probably not have happened, and that instead there would have need nationalist emigration from Donegal.

    The nine county Ulster would by its nature been a more equal place vis-avise Catholics vs Protestants, but would Donegal, Monaghan and (esp. Cavan) sat easily within N.I.

    Let’s never forget that none of the six counties ever voted to be in the IFS, and the same is still the case today. TThat cannot be said for the “lost three”.

    “Ulster (9 Counties) has an Irish majority SFAIK of approx 150,000?”

    Define “Irish”.

  • Greenflag

    ‘never forget that none of the six counties ever voted to be in the IFS’

    Only because they did not get the opportunity . In the 1918 General election Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone returned Nationalist/Republican majorities.

    The unilateral establishment of the NI State cut off both counties and forced them into the NI State despite the preference of the majority in both counties .

    Define “Irish”.

    Non British Unionist . I should have qualified my 48% Irish with ‘politically ‘ Irish as opposed to those who are ‘politically’ British .

  • Stephen Copeland

    Querulous,

    Do you shiver with similar “horror” at the Jewish museum?

    In a sense, yes.

    What on earth’s wrong with minorities wishing to celebrate their unique contribution to the country?

    Absolutely nothing. Except that in the case of Protestants their contribution has been integral – you cannot separate the Protestant part of our history from the Catholic part, and any attempt to do so diminishes both. Protestants should be very proud of the contribution that their co-religionists have made to the country (I know I am), but it must be viewed in its correct context, or it risks being seen as ‘Protestant history’ rather than IIrish history. A section in the NM, or a sepatrate museum, on the history of the C of I, or the Presbyterian Church, as institutions, would be fine – maybe such a mini-museum already exists? But Protestants acting in any way other than purely internally within their churches were acting as part of a whole called the Irish nation.

    (Particularly as the “National” Museum fails to cater for the non-nationalist strand of southern Protestantism who have, as Nathan said, been ‘edited out’)

    Rubbish. Have you ever been to it?

    We should grow up like the rest of Europe and embrace our minorities, regardless of whether they fit into some comfortable “national” narrative or not.

    We do ’embrace our minorities’. Have you ever actually visited any of our various museums? Come back when you have.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Maybe he is just a crazy mixed-up #####. ‘

    Indeed – although for a brief moment I thought his European Parliament in Rome idea has it’s merits .

    I can just imagine Paisley and ilk sitting in Rome 🙂

    ‘ I trust that anti-semitism is not considered a traditional catholic value. ‘

    If it is then it’s also a traditional protestant and Russian/Eastern European orthodox and Islamic value for it can be seen from a perusal of the number of pogroms and atrocities committed against jewish people through the ages that all of the above have been guilty of anti semetism of the ‘killing’ kind.

    De Valera gave official recognition to the Jewish Religion in Ireland in the 1937 Constitution .

  • Keith M

    Greenflag : “Only because they did not get the opportunity . In the 1918 General election Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone returned Nationalist/Republican majorities.”

    In 1918 the Nationalists did not activly contest either of the Fermanagh seats (a nationalist candidate was on the ballot paper in Fermanagh South, but did not campaign).In Tyrone there was no unionist candidate in one of the three constituencies.

    Like so much about the 1918 election, drawing any conclusion from the results is therefore simply impossible. In 1922 and 1923 the now amalgamed two couty constituency did return a nationalist majority, but the Nationalists were NOT in favour of separating these counties from the rest of Northern Ireland. They wanted an all island state.

    Since then the counties have never supported candidates who are in favour of separating Fermanagh and Tyrone from the rest of N.I. and I’m sure that if that option was put to them again today, that would not have changed.

    Define “politically Irish” What about the tends of thousands of people who vote for the SDLP and even SF, but are happy for NI, to remain in the U.K.? What about those (admittedly smaller in number) pro union people in Donegal, who have had a chance to vote for a unionist candidate in decades?

  • Bill

    … a state-sponsored Irish Protestant Museum …

    There is one. It is called Northern Ireland

  • Greenflag

    ‘What about the tends of thousands of people who vote for the SDLP and even SF, but are happy for NI, to remain in the U.K.? What about those (admittedly smaller in number) pro union people in Donegal, who have had a chance to vote for a unionist candidate in decades? ‘

    I’d question your numerical assumptions re ‘remaining in the UK’ for SDLP/SF voters . I’m not saying there are none but tens of thousands ? That’s not what I’m seeing or hearing .

    But to answer your ‘what about’ those people ? I’d view them as ‘politically ‘ British and ditto for any pro Union Donegal people .

  • Greenflag

    Bill,

    Funny but why the Irish ? The correct term would be British Unionist Protestant not Irish Protestant . The latter are not residents of Northern Ireland .

  • Nathan

    Stephen – I had a mini-break from Slugger, hence my late reply.

    Irish Protestant history is alive and kicking, and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with Irish Catholic history. For example, the commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne on July 12th is one of the key dates in Irish Protestant history.

    I don’t understand your objections to a separate Irish Protestant museum to complement the existing museums, should the want for it arise. In France (La Rochelle I think) they have a French Protestant museum, which emphasises the contribution of Protestantism (and French Protestants) to the making of modern France. And in Ireland, the Jews created a museum of their own in the 1980s, because the National Museum never once devoted any of its exhibitions to Irish Jewish history since the foundation of the Irish state. Moreover, the National Museum in Dublin had a sinister past, due to its inextricable links to the Nazi Party before WW2. Apparently, silly deValera appointed an Austrian Nazi named Dr Adolf Mahr as director of the National Museum of Ireland when he held office. I don’t think the man deValera appointed was necessarily anti-semitic, but Mahr did go on to form a Dublin branch of the Nazi Party in Ireland (which included the Hitler Youth based in Balbriggan, Co Dublin) so I think Jews were right to dissociate themselves from such a Museum, which had always been devoid of any Irish Jewish theme.

    As for the southern Protestant community, I think such an initiative would be a great idea because an Irish Protestant museum would seek to re-examine religious cliches and literary analyses. Secondly, it would correct the imbalance by which the Protestant contribution to Ireland’s political, social and cultural DNA has been obscured by the focus on the majority religion. And thirdly, I think it’s important for southern Protestants to pay their respects to those heroes who got the community through a lot of rough patches in the 20C. Albert McConnell is one such hero, as he saved TCD from a state of national obsolescence and made it the success that it is today. Dr Gregg, the Archbishop of Dublin is another, who managed Colaiste Moibhi, the Protestant-only all-Irish college which gave its pupils the skills required to become fluent Irish speakers, and apply for State jobs such as teaching. And then there’s William Bedell Stanford to thank, because he was the only public figure in political life who cut through the nonsense and demanded public enquiries for all the isolated instances of sectarianism which occurred in independent Ireland (e.g. Fethard-on-Sea and the Jehovah Witness community in Co.Clare)

    The need for an Irish Protestant Museum is therefore overwhelming. It’s about time those pragmatic individuals who liaised with the State for the betterment of the community were honoured, an internal affair which has nothing whatsover to do with those outside the community (hence the irrelevance of the National Museum/National Library etc)

    And then theres those Irish Protestants whos contribution to the life of the Irish nation has been underestimated for so long (e.g. George Fitzmaurice).

    Protestants need to start swinging the pendulum frenetically, and start placing the focus upon those forefathers who hardly fitted the bill in the life of the Irish nation, and who were subsequently erased from national psyche. A museum specifically dedicated for Protestants is one method of achieving this. Alternatively, the National Museum could equally organise an exhibition dedicated to the Irish Protestant contribution also, and it need not be based solely upon artefacts from the broader Protestant community either.