Honouring Ireland’s Fallen

This year marks the 91st anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, an event commemorated by republicans throughout Ireland by the wearing of the Easter Lily. There will be numerous commemorations across the country to mark the event. The speeches accompanying the numerous commemorations are likely to include reference to the new political dispensation that is now upon us, where all significant strands of unionism and nationalism/ republicanism on the island are prepared to enter new political relationships which can only lead to an enhanced appreciation and understanding of opinions on all sides.

For republicans, Easter has a particular resonance, a time for remembering those who have died in pursuit of the cause of Irish freedom and reunification. Easter 2007 is an exciting time for republicanism; with Sinn Fein receiving the party’s strongest ever electoral mandate in the six counties a matter of weeks ago, the party looks ahead to fresh elections in the 26 counties in a matter of weeks, with the prospect of further expanding the electoral appeal of republicanism throughout the island.

At this point, I would like to acknowledge those from outside the nationalist/ republican tradition whose attitudes towards the Easter commemorative period range from indifference to outright hostility.

Republicans have a duty to develop a further understanding of the perceptions and attitudes of unionism- as do unionists in relation to the perceptions and attitudes of republicanism. I believe that republicans have begun to make a concerted effort to do so in recent years in relation to unionist attitudes towards the commemoration of those who have fought and died for a British cause- be it in Ireland through membership of one of the many British military regiments or the RUC, or abroad through involvement in one of Britain’s wars- most notably, of course, the two World Wars.

Whilst many steps have been taken in the past decade by Irish nationalists to show a shared acknowledgement of the sacrifice of Irishmen involved in the two World Wars, it will obviously prove more difficult for republicans/ nationalists to acknowledge the entitlement of unionists to remember those whose service to Britain involved furthering the maintenance of British rule in Ireland.

It will be foolish to expect unionist attendance at Easter commemorations this week- just as it would to expect republicans to similarly attend commemorations to Britain’s war dead- but we should be moving towards a phase in which mutual respect is afforded each community to remember their fallen in an era where all sides are seemingly determined that no names be added to the long lists of those already perished.

  • SuperSoupy

    Life springs from death, and from the graves of patriot men and women spring live nations

  • Doctor Who

    Chris D

    “It will be foolish to expect unionist attendance at Easter commemorations this week- just as it would to expect republicans to similarly attend commemorations to Britain’s war dead-”

    I do not see the comparison, although your comment is designed to offend. Perhaps it would read better if it read.

    …..just as it would to expect republicans to attend Orange Order parades on July 12th.

  • slug

    Only last week Chris was telling us how “contentious” (to use his term) it was to have monuments in local towns to remember the names of those local people who fell in the two world wars.

  • Robbo

    Chris,

    How many people did the IRA kill?

    Can you justify how many people were killed to get to this point?

    Robbo

  • spiritof07

    I feel sorry for you Chris. i really do.

  • SuperSoupy

    Chris,

    Thanks.

    I’m glad to see a topic on Slugger’s that recognises Republicans commemorate their dead.

    Begrudgery and abuse was the risk you took.

    I’ll ignore the chance to whatabout and remember our fallen with pride.

    Beirigí Bua.

  • Dave

    Doctor Who

    I find your comment offensive, I don’t see the comparison with this violent republican commeration to that of a legitamate Protestant organisation.

  • Shore Road Resident

    The best memorial we can have to the fallen soldiers on all sides is a permanent silence from the new army of creepy, gutless, sneaking, snivelling glory-sucking little ceasefire-soldier shits that have arisen in their place.
    No names. No pack-drill.

  • SuperSoupy

    Go mbeannaí Dia duit

  • Shore Road Resident

    Starting with you.

  • SuperSoupy

    GRMA

  • SuperSoupy

    A wee reminder: Unionism has accepted it is perfectly acceptable to share power at all levels with Republicans remembering fallen Republican volunteers this weekend.

    The begrudgery only stretches so far.

  • The 1916 Easter Commemorations listed here –
    http://www.rsf.ie/saoirse/index.html#Easter
    – are not part-funded by this State , Stormont or Westminster .
    Nor will representatives of the above-named institutions be present at same .

    Go ráibh máith agat ,

    Sharon.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    Can we just forgo the personal stuff guys? I realises it is tame enough at the moment. But can we stow away any further slapping?

    To clarify, there is nothing wrong with contending the basis of Chris’s post, but getting at other individual posters is only going one way: down the plug!

  • Mick Fealty

    Chris,

    Honest inquiry. Given the nature of the words and actions of Alex Maskey and Martin Meehan from the time of the former’s mayorality, are we to judge that Sinn Fein’s views on the matter of those who died in two world wars has shifted substantially?

  • Is Easter really about “remembering Ireland’s fallen” or is it about remembering those who died fighting the Imperialist Crown Forcesâ„¢? Am I right to presume there is no place for those members of Ireland’s fallen who fell fighting for the whole island in the towns and fields of mainland Europe?

  • Observer

    “Is Easter really about “remembering Ireland’s fallen” or is it about remembering those who died fighting the Imperialist Crown Forcesâ„¢?”

    Correct, Beano.

    People of all nationalities who served in those forces are commemorated on another day.

    Good post Chris.

  • páid

    Good post indeed.

    There was significant Loyalist representation at Easter commemorations for a period in the 1930s, if memory serves me right.

    These withered away due to ignorant sectarianism.

    If Chris’s post is indicative of current SF thinking, and I believe it is, that flower could bloom again, and this time may prove to be a hardy annual.

  • FAP

    As well as Republicans, the Sticks and Provos also commemorate Easter. And the British too. Britain’s Military attache to Dublin too k the salute at the GPO last year.

  • Ulick

    Maith an fear Chris

  • Rory
  • wjeilis

    Chris, re: your statement regarding “the new political dispensation that is now upon us, where all significant strands of unionism and nationalism/ republicanism on the island are prepared to enter new political relationships which can only lead to an enhanced appreciation and understanding of opinions on all sides.”

    I take it then that SF, through Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness, will shortly visit Portadown and South Belfast to tell the people of Garvaghy Road and Ormeau Road that as we are “moving towards a phase in which mutual respect is afforded each community”, these two communities should stop opposing sectarian marches and be prepared to turn the clock back, especially in Portadown, to a time when their views and opinions counted for absolutely nothing.

    After all, aren’t the ‘process’ and the bigger picture more important than the dignity
    of a small community?

  • Rory
  • John

    Surely it is the 81st as the Irish Independent reported that the 2006 one was the 80th?

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    Republicans have certainly shifted in how we acknowledge those who fought in the world wars in recent years.

    The republican view that the First World War was simply an imperialist struggle, between existing and aspiring imperial states, has not and will not change. Republicans are also very clear that we believe Irish people should not have answered England’s call and would have been better served remaining in Ireland- which was the very argument republicans were having with the parliamentary nationalists in the lead up to World War 1.

    But the fact remains that many Irishmen- and nationalists at that- did fight in the First World War, doing so in the belief that it would further the cause of Irish unity. The fact that we believe they were misguided should not prevent republicans of this generation from acknowledging their sacrifice.

    Similarly, nationalists who decided to join the British Army to fight against Hitler should also be remembered.

    But there will always be a distinction drawn by nationalists/ republicans in remembering these Irishmen between acknowledging their sacrifices and legitimising Britain’s military pursuits in Ireland or abroad.

    That is a necessary distinction because doing the latter would obviously run contrary to the very principles of republicanism.

    Unionism faces a similar dilemma which has not been the focus of a similarly intensive media scrutiny to date. The founders of Irish republicanism were from the Planter tradition and constituted the bulk of the United Irishmen (at least in Antrim/ Down) some 200 years ago.

    There has been some acknowledgement by unionists of the role played by many of their forefathers in the struggle to remove British sovereignty from Ireland, but, as would be expected, unionists will draw the line at acknowledging their sacrifice and legitmising the Irish republican cause today.

    Food for thought for unionists: those who begrudge the compromise republicans have found in remembering the Irish dead of two world wars- ie holding a wreath-laying ceremony separate from the official British Remembrance Day ceremonies- should consider steps they could take to reciprocate the gesture.

    What chance a separate wreath laying ceremony at Bodenstown from unionists, acknowledging the role played by their relations in the Irish republican struggle?

  • Chris Donnelly

    I should point out that republicans are also seeking to acknowledge the sacrifice of unionists who died in the two World Wars in our remembrance ceremonies.

  • wjeilis

    Chris, I notice you didn’t answer the previous post about Ormeau and Garvaghy Roads.

  • weeping creeping christ

    God, Donnelly [text removed, play the ball!! – moderator]. Happy Easter.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “What chance a separate wreath laying ceremony at Bodenstown from unionists, acknowledging the role played by their relations in the Irish republican struggle?”

    Well, I have repeatedly posted that the distortion of the motives of the Presbyterian United irishmen by modern day republicans is one of the biggest barriers to progress. And I can
    produce family connections to the turnout, as well as a relationship to Henry Joy McCracken.I know why they turned out, and I would have too.

    Stop trying to steal our history to cloak yourselves in repsctability. It’s happened before- in 1898 for example, when Unionists whose ancestors were United men prevented the misappropriation of the grave of Betsy Gray.

    Your political ancestors are the Defenders, yet to distance yourselves from the sectarian agenda both defenders and provos adopted you plunder the graves of men who would have been disgusted by Teebane, Enniskillen, La Mon etc etc.

    Our political ancestors hit out against the Protestant Ascendancy, embraced the Union as sold in 1801, 1886, 1920- which did not always turn out as described on the box, hence our suspicion of the establishment. The sons and grandsons of the United men were Unionists for the same reasons as their ancestors were rebels.In that regard Ian Paisley’s conditional loyalty used to articulate the true outsider spirit of the United men, whatever about his differences in doctrine with them.

  • Chris Donnelly

    WJEILIS (I think..)

    There is no relationship between the two issues. The parading dispute has more to do with an absence of respect for the nationalist tradition by those within Loyal Institutions who would be the very first to cry foul were republicans to seek to parade through staunchly unionist districts.

    But back to the topic at hand…

    Darth
    That’s some stretch and I must give it to you for effort. But how do you square the explicitly separatist vocabulary of the United Irishmen, seeking to remove British sovereignty from Ireland, with the stance of political unionism, which is at its core about retaining that very relationship with Britain?

  • Lazy

    Sinn Féin members are remembering the Easter Rising,followed by a PIRA statement.This is a very bizzarre fact.A few days ago,at Doire,Sinn Féin members helped PSNI to arrest IRPWA’s volunteers.Hunger Strikers are the heart of modern nationalism/republicanesim.How can SF members regard themselves as nationalists if they obstruct men and women who try to support Hunger Strikers’relatives?I think they should be more coherent with us.Sinn Féin must decide if supporting the ideal of Eireann unity or accepting the english imperialism.Stopping IRPWA is a nonsense,if you define yourself nationalist/republican.Please answer me,’cause I didn’t find an explanation stated by SF leadership.Thank you.Have a nice Easter from an italian fell in love with Eire and Eireann people,culture and history.

  • Mick Fealty

    If I might step in here.

    I heard Margaret O’Callaghan talking about the difficulty in defining the precise qualities of Irish Republicanism at a seminar in UCD a few years back. The problem (if I recall correctly) as she saw it, was that, unlike French and American Republicanism, its original proponents never saw their work propagate into a completed state.

    She further noted that each time the ‘tradition’ submerges (as it undoubtedly did between the Act of Union and the limited rebellion of 1848), it not only changes form, but the character and motivations of its proponents shift substantially.

    To this day, for some substantial proportion of Irish Republicans (particularly outside aegis of the southern state) it remains an idea rather than a traceable actuality. Which, at the very least, opens it up to the kinds of contention that Darth is offering, surely?

  • Garibaldy

    Mick,

    Yourself and Darth do raise very interesting points. As I see it, Darth is partly right as to why many of those who were supportive of an Irish republic became unionists. They believed that as Presbyterians they would get full political rights and be protected from what they believed (rightly or wrongly) after 1798 would be a sectarian war should independence occur, partly due to the interpretation of events popularised by people like Richard Musgrave. But the extent to which that shift occurred can be overestimated, as demonstrated by Ian McBride, when Presbyterian communities continued to be riven by the legacy of 98.

    However, it seems to me that the crucial decade for the total recommunalisation of Irish politics and society was the 1820s rather than the 1790s. The twin villains are O’Connell and Cooke with their communalist agendas. Hence why Connolly regarded O’Connell as the enslaver not the librator of the people of Ireland. Added to the changed economic circumstances enjoyed by Ulster since the Union, acceptance of and support for the Union became ingrained in a way it had not been before.

    As for O’Callaghan and the issue of Irish republicanism. It seems to me that, especially in the 1790s, what we are talking about is republicanism in Ireland, i.e. a local variant of an international political philosophy that stresses the sovereignty of the people, secularism and the equality of citizens. Quite often this included a socialistic ethos, although, like in other countries including France and America, republicans remained split on such issues.

    When we talk of “Irish republicanism” meaning simply those who want a separate Irish state as Chris does and most people do, we fail to recognise the extent to which republicanism as a political philosophy was exactly that – an entire political system of beliefs, and one international in scope. It seems to me that the dominance of the more narrow view is a product mainly of the C20th and was not shared by Young Ireland, the Fenians, and certainly not by people like Connolly.

    This philosophy does shift to meet changing needs, and changing circumstances do alter those to whom it is most attractive. Nevertheless there is an identifiable political core against which we can measure the claims of those who say they are republicans. And the reality is that very few even come close to meeting those standards.

    It seems to me that O’Callaghan is partly right to say that this is in large part due to the failure to achieve an all-Ireland state, but that it is more due to the sectarianism and petty-minded nationalism of the social groups that achieved the establishment of the free state and that is represented by parties like PSF and FF in both parts of the island.

  • John East Belfast

    “For republicans, Easter has a particular resonance, a time for remembering those who have died in pursuit of the cause of Irish freedom and reunification”

    That last word is the crux of the matter because what it is about is legitimising the Post 1921 IRA campaigns and of course the recent post 1969 one.

    No unionist or indeed constitutional nationalist would treat such and idea with anything other than downright hostility.

    As for the Pre 1921 bit about Irish Freedom – that of course is a matter of opinion.
    Irish unionists did not see themselves as enslaved or requiring freedom so the so called Easter rebellion has little to do with us.

    Although in my own case my grandfather was posted to Dublin at that time and on a visit there in the sixties he showed my father where he had taken his position to fire on the GPO.
    Remembering the old boy I think he would turn in his grave if he thought I was involving myself in 1916 Republican commerations.

    There is one thing recognising the traditions and history of friendly neighbours (even if your forefathers were their enemy) but it is a totally different thing involving yourself in legitimising late 20th Century Republican terrorism.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    Interesting theory, but it can be applied to the historical development of any ideology. The central tenet of republicanism is that Ireland should be united in a form free from British sovereignty over any part of the country.

    That was espoused by the United Irishmen and every future generation of republicans.

    The character (in religious, class, gender or even age) advocating that basic ideological truth of Irish republicanism from generation to generation undoubtedly changed as the circumstances of political life in Ireland changed- a historical experience not restricted to republicanism as an ideology.

    The United men of Presbyterian/ Anglican stock were undoubtedly influenced by a multiplicity of factors, not the least being the political frustrations experienced by Protestants in Ireland in Grattan’s Parliament.

    Future generations of Irish republicans would emerge in a changed era, post-Catholic emancipation, when catholics could more confidently express the cause.

    The point about the actuality of an Irish Republic is actually an irrelevance: does that mean socialists and feminists can not trace an evolutionary current unifying their generational advocates because capitalism and patriarchy have not yet been defeated?

  • Garibaldy

    I think Chris’ last post has just proven my point. Republicanism for him is freedom from Britain. Nothing about liberty, equality, fraternity, democracy, or secularism. This is not a political philosophy with the power to transform the lives of the plain people of Ireland, but a pastiche of the philosophy as espoused by Tone or Connolly in the circumstances of their day.

  • kensei

    “She further noted that each time the ‘tradition’ submerges (as it undoubtedly did between the Act of Union and the limited rebellion of 1848), it not only changes form, but the character and motivations of its proponents shift substantially.”

    To an extent. There are always going to be generational shifts and reaction to changing circumstance. And we are no doubt weakened by the fact that the United Irishmen were unable to finish their work. But ultimately, 1798 was inspiration for 1848 was inspiration for 1916. Pearse also laid a heavy burden on future Republicans, and it’s churlish to suggest it had no impact on later Northern campaigns. So it is a tradition rather than a “tradition”, Mick.

    “To this day, for some substantial proportion of Irish Republicans (particularly outside aegis of the southern state) it remains an idea rather than a traceable actuality. Which, at the very least, opens it up to the kinds of contention that Darth is offering, surely?”

    For true Republicans, the Irish Republic should always remain an idea, or rather an ideal, than an actuality. For even if we had a 32 county Republic tomorrow, would all division be gone, would everyone have opportunity and plenty and would we all be free from crime? No. So that wouldn’t be the Republic fought for, and to get to that Republic it requires to keep fighting.

  • Mick Fealty

    Ken,

    Interesting post. But where exactly did I say that each successive emergence of the Republican tradition had “no impact” on the next?

  • Greenflag

    Chris Donnelly,

    ‘The republican view that the First World War was simply an imperialist struggle, between existing and aspiring imperial states, has not and will not change’

    That’s not just an Irish republican view .It would nowadays be the considerd view of most mainstream historians across the world.

    Some now suggest that the First World War actually began with Britain’s opposition to a proposed Istanbul to Baghdad railway (German financed) because it would have expanded the German logistical reach into the Middle East oil region. Had the Baghdad connection been made British Naval power in the Meditteranean and the Arabian Gulf would have been circumvented by the Germans who would have then been able to continue their industrial expansion which would have led to greater continental european economic integration etc etc .

    Daniel O’Connell (the Liberator) was not a Republican . He favoured Catholic emancipation and Repeal of the Union and the restoration of an Irish Parliament . He did not foresee much less approve of the idea of an Ireland completely politically separate from the UK.

    Had the British implemented Catholic Emancipation in 1802 instead of 1829 and repealed the Act of Union restoring local rule to a Dublin Parliament it’s conceivable that Constitutional Irish Nationalism could have triumphed over Irish Republicanism.

    O’Connell would have then been acknowledged as the Liberator both from a religious and political perspective .

    Britain however once again not for the first and not for the last time delayed making the necessary reforms until it was too late. Thus the Irish Republican Brotherhood was formed following on from the Young Ireland movement in the 1840’s – The ideas of Tone and the United Irelanders were resurrected and carried forward by Stephens , Mitchell , Davis etc to 1916 and to the modern SF reemergence in NI.

  • Doctor Who

    kensei

    “But ultimately, 1798 was inspiration for 1848 was inspiration for 1916.”

    So who where the inspiration for the provos.

    Chris tries to link the United Irishmen of 1798 to the rebels of 1916. The two are of course beyond comparison. CD rightly points out that 1798´s men where largely drawn from Protestants, inspired by revolution in France and America. The 1916 rebels where drawn near exclusively from Southern Catholics, motivated by a hatred of all things British. Their attack would have been consigned as insignificant if the British hadn´t of misjudged the Dublin public and made martyrs of the terrorists.

    The terrorists of 1916 have no more in common with the United Irishmen or indeed the men who gave their lives in Europe in two world wars. Chris knows this, but deliberately seeks to offend.

    Another thing bugs me at Easter. While Christians remember the death and resurection of Christ,Irish republicans celebrate the Easter rising of terrorists, irrespective of which date Easter falls. Of course it wouldn´t be the first time republicans have considered themselves to be nothing short of Jesus Christ.

  • harold

    Wow !!

    A real, proper,adult discussion on slugger

    Well done people.

    Very interesting and informative.

  • harold

    Spoke to soon, the dr has arrived

  • Rest in Peace

    Too long a sacrifice
    Can make a stone of the heart.
    O when may it suffice?
    That is heaven’s part, our part
    To murmur name upon name,
    As a mother names her child
    When sleep at last has come
    On limbs that had run wild.
    What is it but nightfall?
    No, no, not night but death;
    Was it needless death after all?
    For England may keep faith
    For all that is done and said.
    We know their dream; enough
    To know they dreamed and are dead.
    And what if excess of love
    Bewildered them till they died?
    I write it out in a verse —
    MacDonagh and MacBride
    And Connolly and Pearse
    Now and in time to be,
    Wherever green is worn,
    Are changed, changed utterly:
    A terrible beauty is born.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Agreed harold I was enjoying that myself before the non-contributor arrived.

  • Doctor Who

    Harold

    Oh har har, [text removed, play the ball, not other players – moderator]

  • A good discussion, while it lasted.

    To suggest that Irish “Republicanism” would or should have remained the same fails to account for the changes in society.

    Irish Republicanism is as affected by shifts in society as any other group.

    Just as Davis advocated a love of Ireland, Mitchel presented a hatred of England.

    Republicans in the 1920’s were divided on many things, from Socialism to religion.

    The continuty that exists between the United Irishmen right up to the present day Óglaigh Na hÉireann was a desire to be free. A desire and a commitment to end the connection with England, to create a better future for their children.

    That is what Irish Republicans will be remembering this weekend.

  • Doctor Who

    Chris Gaskin

    “That is what Irish Republicans will be remembering this weekend.”

    No Chris, they will be celebrating the few terrorists who have fallen. While completely ignoring the greater number, their victims.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Darth and Garibaldy are right up to a point. It’s difficult to decide exactly what the proportions are , but it suffices to say there are a lot of real republicans in Ireland and a lot of people who had different motives (some good motives, and some with less good motives).

    But the fact that there were some selfish people in Ireland (some for Irish independence, and dare I say there were some selfish unionists too) does not in any way mean the Easter commemorations of republicans are any less valid.

    I don’t think there is any reason for a unionist to doubt that the majority of nationalists and majority of republicans in Ireland are genuine about equality and civil rights for all. What may surprise unionists though is to discover that the majority of the IRA, the majority of SF and the majority of the hunger strikers were just as genuine.

    It’s very easy to assume that SF or the IRA or RSF or CIRA or 32CSM or RIRA or IRSP or INLA or whatever must be more ‘sectarian’ (whatever that means this week) than the general population, but without evidence it’s just another lazy baseless assumption. Is the average British Army soldier any more racist or whatever than the average British citizen? Probably not.

    I find it’s the least politicized (and dare I say least ‘militant’) friends of mine who are the more sectarian, not the other way around. Maybe it was the least selfish people who put their lives on the line, and when you think about it it makes sense that it would be so.

  • The Dubliner

    Probably the best way that northern ‘republicans’ could remember the men of Easter 1916 is to apologise to the Irish people for bringing disgrace upon Irish republicanism by stealing its name in order to disguise the true nature of their nationalist murder campaign in the north. They should also apologise to the people of the north, both nationalist and unionist.

    Irish unity was not the aim of the squalid sectarian violence in the north since there was no possibility that their violence could ever produce that outcome. At no point could the British withdraw until it had met its internal obligations to normalise the society. Since PIRA violence was aimed accentuating abnormalities, its campaign could only have the effect of ensuring that the British could not withdraw. Even if the British forsook their obligations and withdrew, the loyalists and mainstream unionists made it absolutely apparent that civil war would result. So, at best, all PIRA could have achieved was a civil war wherein ethnic cleansing became the endgame. And the only ending of that would have been occupation by international peacekeeping forces, since the Irish state would have absolutely refused to have anything to do with human catastrophe that PIRA would have engineered. That is the outworking of PIRA’s murder campaign were it not rejected: genocide – their violent sectarianism brought to its logical conclusion.

    The only outcome it could actually produce was the outcome it did produce: political power within the Northern Ireland state for the outcast minority of sociopaths/Marxist agitators who orchestrated and controlled it.

  • kensei

    Mick

    “Interesting post. But where exactly did I say that each successive emergence of the Republican tradition had “no impact” on the next?”

    Well, typically when you put something in quotes like that, for example “tradition”, what it means is ‘so-called-tradition’ or that is somehow not the bona fide thing. Merely pointing out that as it was handed down, it is actually a tradition and not a “tradition”, thankyouverymuch.

    Doctor Who

    “So who where the inspiration for the provos.”

    All of them, and the Provos qwuoted all of them. But if you want a more direct culprit, I would suggest Pearse; his words have both power and resonance, and they specifically call later generations to actions. Moreover there is an absolutism and lack of compromise in them:

    “Believe that we too love freedom and desire it. To us it is more desirable than anything in the world. If you strike us down now, we shall rise again and renew the fight. You cannot conquer Ireland; you cannot extinguish the Irish passion for freedom; if our deed has not been sufficient to win freedom then our children will win it with a better deed.”

    “The defenders of this realm have worked well in secret and in the open. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think that thay have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools! – they have left us our Fenian dead, and while ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”

    “Life springs from death, and from the graves of Patriot Men and Women spring Living Nations.”

    “We know of only one definition of freedom; it is Tone’s definition, it is Mitchel’s definition, it is Rossa’s definition. Let no man blaspheme the cause that the dead generations of Ireland served, by giving it any other name and definition other than their name and their definition.”

    “Chris tries to link the United Irishmen of 1798 to the rebels of 1916. The two are of course beyond comparison. CD rightly points out that 1798´s men where largely drawn from Protestants, inspired by revolution in France and America. The 1916 rebels where drawn near exclusively from Southern Catholics, motivated by a hatred of all things British. Their attack would have been consigned as insignificant if the British hadn´t of misjudged the Dublin public and made martyrs of the terrorists.”

    The United Irishmen took in a lot of Catholics too, especially in Wexford. 1798 and 1916 are clear in their desire to end the British presence in Ireland. Some vintage Tone for you if we want to get “British-hate” going here:

    “That the influence of England was the radical vice of our Government, and that Ireland would never be either free, prosperous, or happy, until she was independent, and that independence was unattainable whilst the connection with England existed.” -”

    You are also ignoring the influence of Connolly in labour and socialism for example, and the fact that the Proclaimation is quite an enlightened document if you care to read it. You also ignore the fact that a lot of uppity colonies decided they wanted their independence throughout the 20th Century, for broadly similar reason to Ireland.

    But hey, keep running with the small minded ignorance there.

    “The terrorists of 1916 have no more in common with the United Irishmen or indeed the men who gave their lives in Europe in two world wars. Chris knows this, but deliberately seeks to offend.”

    Irony explosion. Sigh.

  • Doctor Who

    Kensei

    What Tonne and co espoused was in no way comparible to the aims of the provos or the rebels of 1916.

    Tonne considered the shackles worn by Catholics from Rome as a big a problem as the British presence. To say they wanted to end British presence in Ireland like the Provos is simplistic nonsense. Many of the leaders of the UI where West Britons who seen advantages of running Ireland for themselves. Their inspiration where the revoulutions in France and America, particularly America where many of the leaders where Britons like themselves.

    The Proclamation is as enlightening as the doctrine of the Orange Order, if you bother to read it of course.

    Because some of the men of 1916 died in beleiving what they where doing, does not justify their cause. Your argument that death = death exonerates all republican murderers who happen to die on the job. Wether it be on a Nazi U boat, a Fish Mongers on the Shankill Road or on hunger strike in prison.

  • tony encircled a sol

    Tonne? Say no to Doctor Who’s Metricism!

  • Roisin

    Garibaldy,

    [i]I think Chris’ last post has just proven my point. Republicanism for him is freedom from Britain. Nothing about liberty, equality, fraternity, democracy, or secularism.[/i]

    It didn’t prove anything of the sort. If anything all it proves is that you, like some others, are unable to grasp the intertwined concepts of nationalism and republicanism, particularly as they relate to Irish Republicanism.

  • The Third policeman

    I think we are seeing the naked sectarianism in Dr Who’s viewpoint. (I doubt that man has even taken a Hypocratic oath!). His claims that the men of 1916 were sectarian seem to rest solely on the fact the most of them were Catholic. To argue this point would be to ignore the progressiveness of the Proclamation.

    “The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.”

    Shall we compare this with another ‘enlightened’ doctrine?

    “No person who at any time has been a Roman Catholic… shall be admitted into the Institution, except after permission given by a vote of seventy five per cent of the members present founded on testimonials of good character…”

    Now I’m not trying to badmouth the OO, they are proud of their Protestantism and I am happy for them to remain a Protestant organisation. But IMHO I don’t think the ideals of the two documents campare.

    Yes the majority of the Easter rebels were Catholic, but then the great majority of Ireland was Catholic. This difference will be be reflected in the membership. Plus as a secret militant organisation the IRB could hardly go on any great Protestant recrutment drive.

  • Garibaldy

    Roisin,

    I think you’ve just proved that you don’t understand the distinction between national self-determination and nationalism. I support the right of all peoples to national self-determination but I do not support nationalism. National self-determination is at all times a progressive political demand. Nationalism, particularly in today’s world, is often reactionary.

    Republicans in Ireland have always seen their struggle – whether in the 1790s, the 1840s or the 1860s – as part of a broader struggle for democratic rights taking place across the globe and have sought cooperation between free peoples against the forces of reaction, and to label them nationalists is to misunderstand this fundamental part of the republican political project.

    To label people like Tone, Lalor, Davis and Connolly nationalists does them a grave injustice. With respect, I’d say it is you who has misunderstood the relationship between republicanism and nationalism. After all the democrats in the Spanish Civil War were the republicans, and the fascists the nationalists.

  • Doctor Who

    The Third Policeman

    Imagine daring to think the rebels of 1916 where sectarian. You admit they where yourself and say it was down to er! secrecy.

    Next you will be telling me 50% of the provos where actually a secretly recruited “prod squad”.

  • kensei

    Dr Who

    “The Proclamation is as enlightening as the doctrine of the Orange Order, if you bother to read it of course.”

    The crass sectarianism and the rank idiocy of this point in particular have alr3eady been pointed out by others.

    Garibaldy

    “To label people like Tone, Lalor, Davis and Connolly nationalists does them a grave injustice. With respect, I’d say it is you who has misunderstood the relationship between republicanism and nationalism. After all the democrats in the Spanish Civil War were the republicans, and the fascists the nationalists.”

    Quite. We should strive to be patriots rather than nationalists.

  • Roisin

    Garibaldy,

    And I could suggest you don’t understand the differences between nationalism as demonstrated by occupying powers, as opposed to the nationalism as demonstrated by those under occupation.

    [text removed – moderator]

  • Garibaldy

    I think that being made up of a majority of people from one religion does not necessarily make an organisation sectarian. It is how it identifies itself, what it supports, and who it seeks to represent that makes it sectarian or not. If say Alliance was overwhelmingly made up of one religion more than the other it wouldn’t be sectarian for example.

  • Garibaldy

    Roisin,

    [text removed – moderator]

    Let me put it another way then, more concretely. The national liberation struggles in places like Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo etc were not nationalist struggles. National liberation is not the same as nationalism. They were fired by a belief in co-operating with other oppressed peoples like themselves and forging a better future together, not heading down some isolationist road. Simply look at their programmes, and their actions, and this is obvious.

    I could suggest that your own narrow perception of how politics works on our island makes you incapable of judging the situation elsewhere in any terms except as a distorted version of Ireland’s.

  • Roisin

    Garibaldy,

    [i]The national liberation struggles in places like Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo etc were not nationalist struggles. National liberation is not the same as nationalism.[/i]

    Fascinating.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Doctor Who,
    Imagine daring to think the rebels of 1916 where sectarian. You admit they where yourself and say it was down to er! secrecy.

    Next you will be telling me 50% of the provos where actually a secretly recruited “prod squad”.

    Doctor Who, the logical outworking of your crazy thinking is that is was the Protestants who were sectarian for not joining the IRB and IRA in even greater numbers. Oh, and as you are well aware but pretend to deny, there were and are many Protestants in the IRA. And atheists too. We republicans don’t discriminate.

    Equally, you really should stop deliberately misrepresenting what Róisín said. The funny thing is that we don’t need to misquote you to make you look like an ignorant fool, you do a good enough job yourself.

  • Nathan

    Putting things into context….Sinn Fein doesn’t sit well with the Easter Rising brigade….Pearse and Connolly were decisive revolutionaries….not the sort who would have contested elections for winnable seats in Stormont or Westminster.

  • who cares

    Excuse me but Irelands dead “ARE DEAD”

  • who cares

    Anyway under the Mitchells principles they were just criminals and SF agreed to this when they signed up

  • Observer

    “The national liberation struggles in places like Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo etc were not nationalist struggles. National liberation is not the same as nationalism. They were fired by a belief in co-operating with other oppressed peoples like themselves and forging a better future together, not heading down some isolationist road. Simply look at their programmes, and their actions, and this is obvious.”

    Some confusion here, I think.

    All of the struggles mentioned identified their objective as the creation of democratic republics. All of the struggles also sought international support for their struggles and identified themselves with other oppressed peoples around the world.
    Fairly similar to what republicans did here.

    In the case of Angola, the MPLA were able to attract Cuban assistance to overcome their rivals and the occupying power, Vietnamese revolutionaries received outside assistance in their struggle against foreign and domestic enemies. The DRC is still crawling with UN troops and factionalised to a horrendous degree.

    In Ireland, political support was forthcoming from some countries and military hardware from others.

    The Vietnamese experience has many similarities to the recent past in Ireland. Divided country, colonial and neo-colonial support for corrupt regime, locally recruited guerillas, reunification objective and a vision of a shared future based on equality.
    Perhaps the fact that you live here makes it hard to see the wood for the trees.

  • Doctor Who

    Aron McDaid

    “Doctor Who, the logical outworking of your crazy thinking is that is was the Protestants who were sectarian for not joining the IRB and IRA in even greater numbers. Oh, and as you are well aware but pretend to deny, there were and are many Protestants in the IRA. And atheists too. We republicans don’t discriminate.”

    HA! HA!HA!HA! “Prod Squad” what a burke.

    You must know how ridiculous this sounds. If I said you where a stupid ignorant fool for not joining the UVF in 1912 it would be exactly the same. However I will let you keep the monopoly on stupidity.

    I think you mean republican bombs and bullets quite often did not discrimiate aginst their victims. Themselves of course being the dirge and scum of Ireland throughout the 20th century, created sectarianism long before Paisley was on the scene. The Irish Free State was of course “A Catholic Country For A Catholic People”.

    “Equally, you really should stop deliberately misrepresenting what Róisín said. The funny thing is that we don’t need to misquote you to make you look like an ignorant fool, you do a good enough job yourself”

    Never commented on anything Roisin said, so you do need to misquote me, but you will always look foolish.

    Thanks for the laugh all the same.

  • Doctor Who

    kensei

    “The crass sectarianism and the rank idiocy of this point in particular have alr3eady been pointed out by others”

    My point of course was that both have very little relevance to what their actions show.

    The Oranger Order claims civil liberty for all, simply words like “The Proclamatiom”, and the ramblings of certain provos. Actions as they say speak louder than words.

  • Observer

    “The Oranger Order claims civil liberty for all,”
    All Protestants, surely?
    You can’t even join if your a Catholic.

  • Reader

    Observer: All Protestants, surely?
    You can’t even join if your a Catholic.

    Likewise, does Ógra Shinn Féin believe in civil liberty for pensioners?

  • Intelligence Insider

    Observer,

    I’m no Orangeman but I think their claim for civil liberty for all does apply to ALL. I don’t view the Orange Order or any of the other Loyal Orders as any more sectarian than Opus Dei or the Ancient Order of Hibernians. You can either view all as sectarian or none.

    A SERIOUS QUESTION FOR ALL REPUBLICANS.

    On this coming Easter Monday Chris’ headline seems to state that you view it as a day of remembrance for “Honouring Ieland’s (sic) Fallen”.

    1) Do you view Gardai Gerry McCabe as one of Irelands fallen, given that he was a representative of the Republics police force, murdured in the course of his duty by criminals?

    2) What is your view of the criminals who, while attemting to carry out an armed robbery, murdured a member of the Republics legitimate police force?

  • Observer

    “You can either view all as sectarian or none.”

    They are all sectarian.

    “Likewise, does Ógra Shinn Féin believe in civil liberty for pensioners?”

    I imagine they wouldn’t terminate your membership if you married one.

  • JG

    http://www.sluggerotoole.com/archives/2004/10/dup_power_shari.php

    “A Catholic country for a Catholic people” was never said by a politician south of the border.

    James Craig, Northern Ireland’s first Prime Minister did say ‘We are a Protestant parliament and a Protestant state.’

    You are not the first with this mis-quotation as slugger users have shown.

  • Intelligence Insider

    My above should obviously read “Honouring Ireland’s (sic) Fallen” after remembrance for

  • The Dubliner

    “All of the struggles mentioned identified their objective as the creation of democratic republics. All of the struggles also sought international support for their struggles and identified themselves with other oppressed peoples around the world. Fairly similar to what republicans did here.” – Observer

    Totally spurious comparsion with no functional similarity whatsoever. Ireland was already a republic. Northern nationalists wanted the existing republic to annex the north, not create a state that did not exist.

    “In Ireland, political support was forthcoming from some countries and military hardware from others.” – Observer

    Ah yeah… another problem for the northern nationalists seeking their self-interests (i.e. joining the existing republic): no “political support was forthcoming” from said existing republic. In fact, PIRA terrorists were proscribed and dealt with through the criminal justice system. That was a spanner in the works for the aims of self-styled “republicans.”

    I’m not condemning PSF for being a nationalist party that seeks internal reforms within the partition state. The condemnation is for pretending to be republican in order to disguise its campaign of violent nationalist agitation, thereby bringing disgrace upon Irish republicanism. The fact that they signed up to an internal settlement that jettisoned the principle of self-determination (the bedrock of Irish republicanism) and rendered null and void the claim of the Irish people to unification should clue you into the reality that their campaign was never based on that principle to begin with – and without asserting self-determination, their violence was purely sectarian. PIRA didn’t go from being physical force republicans to being constitutional nationalists; they went from being militant nationalists to quasi-constitutional nationalists.

    Now perhaps you’d like to explain how PIRA’s campaign wasn’t purely sectarian since its only logical outworking could be ethnic cleansing:

    “Irish unity was not the aim of the squalid sectarian violence in the north since there was no possibility that their violence could ever produce that outcome. At no point could the British withdraw until it had met its internal obligations to normalise the society. Since PIRA violence was aimed accentuating abnormalities, its campaign could only have the effect of ensuring that the British could not withdraw. Even if the British forsook their obligations and withdrew, the loyalists and mainstream unionists made it absolutely apparent that civil war would result. So, at best, all PIRA could have achieved was a civil war wherein ethnic cleansing became the endgame. And the only ending of that would have been occupation by international peacekeeping forces, since the Irish state would have absolutely refused to have anything to do with human catastrophe that PIRA would have engineered. That is the outworking of PIRA’s murder campaign were it not rejected: genocide – their violent sectarianism brought to its logical conclusion.”

  • SuperSoupy

    After many years of attending Belfast commemorations today I experienced a very different experience in Moneyglass -a tiny rural Antrim village, a small cemetery, the graves of three Republicans; one, where the oration and proclamation were read, the grave of a veteran of 1916.

    A simple and dignified local commemoration in an idyllic location.

    Such a surprise to see one of that small group of volunteers buried in rural Antrim, no surprise to see he is remember even there.

  • Garibaldy

    Observer,

    Not sure I’m confused. I think if you look at the liberation in those countries they all explicitly defined themselves as part of an international struggle with international goals. Emphatically not a nationalist outlook, unlike people here, who do define themselves as nationalists. I think the Vietnamese comparison in particular mistakes passing resemblances for fundamental similarities.

  • Reader

    JG: James Craig, Northern Ireland’s first Prime Minister did say ‘We are a Protestant parliament and a Protestant state.’
    Give the man the benefit of a fuller quote:
    “The Hon. Member must remember that in the South they boasted of a Catholic State. They still boast of Southern Ireland being a Catholic State. All I boast is that we are a Protestant Parliament and a Protestant State.”

  • SuperSoupy

    I think those Irishmen who fell with the International Brigade or the ‘Connolly Column’ should receive more recognition during Easter commemorations.

    http://www.connollycolumn.org/ccolum.html

  • Observer

    Garibaldy

    Not one of the countries mentioned advocated merging with their neighbours. Revolutionaries who gave their lives where regarded as martyrs to their cause (i.e. the liberation of Vietnam, Angola, Cuba etc) not to international brotherhood.
    All of the campaigns had similar fundamental objectives – removal of foreign domination or elitist anti-democratic control, establishment of a more equitable society, removal of oppression etc.
    Solidarity with oppressed peoples around the world is also a factor shared by the Cubans, Vietnamese, Angolans, Palestinians, Irish Republicans etc.
    I disagree regarding the Vietnamese situation.
    The major difference between Ireland and Vietnam was the North’s support for the liberation struggle in the southern part of the country.
    The neo-colonial power used a variety of methods to prop up the failed client state, including terror, reforms and a large military presence.
    Where do you think the fundamental differences are, apart from lack of support from the establishment across the border?

  • kensei

    “My point of course was that both have very little relevance to what their actions show.”

    Your point was nothing of the sort, and even if it was, it is still wrong. The Proclaimation remains as relevant today as it did in 1916.

    “The Orange Order claims civil liberty for all, simply words like “The Proclamatiom”, and the ramblings of certain provos. Actions as they say speak louder than words. ”

    The OO is a sectarian and anti Catholic organization, and is really only interested in the “rights” of Protestants. It’s aggressive with it, of course. The Proclaimation of the Irish Republic is the defining event in the establishment of a free, democratic, Constitutional Republic South of the border. To compare the two is downright offensive.

    Good them actions speak so loud:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4234626.stm

    “Give the man the benefit of a fuller quote”

    let’s give him an even fuller one:

    “I have always said I am an Orangeman first and a politician and Member of this Parliament afterwards … The Hon. Member must remember that in the South they boasted of a Catholic State. They still boast of Sourthern Ireland being a Catholic State. All I boast is that we are a Protestant Parliament and Protestant State.”

    It doesn’t really help, seeing as no Irish politician actually said that, btw, and the Republic was only a few years away form having a Protestant President.

  • Intelligence Insider

    Kensai,
    No Irish politician actually said what? I don’t see any direct quotation from Craigavon?

    And as to “The OO is a sectarian and anti Catholic organization, and is really only interested in the “rights” of Protestants. It’s aggressive with it, of course.”
    you could also state that the roman Catholic church/sinn fein/ira/aoh/gaa/opus dei/sdlp are “sectarian and anti Protestant organizations, and are really only interested in the “rights” of Catholics. They’re aggressive with it, of course.”

  • Doctor Who

    supersoupy

    “I think those Irishmen who fell with the International Brigade or the ‘Connolly Column’ should receive more recognition during Easter commemorations”

    Why do now try to link 1916 terrorists to the International brigades of the Spanish Civil War.
    Most of these man from Ireland where working class Protestants. You will find if you look that Irish republicans where divided on this issue. Most siding with the undemocratic Nationalists in Spain, as it was the Roman Catholic church who called them to arms.

    Don´t forget the Irish Union Of fascists whose recruits numbered quite a few irish republicans who also answered Franco and the Catholic Churches call to arms in Spain.

    After the Spanish Civil War at the Wolfe Tone memorial the Communist´s from the North where turned away because they where Protestant´s who had sided with the democratically elected republican govt. in Spain. Very ironic indeed.

    But sure Irish republicanism isn´t sectarian.

    kensei

    “Your point was nothing of the sort, and even if it was, it is still wrong. The Proclaimation remains as relevant today as it did in 1916.”

    Kensei when I clarify a statement, please except it or go back to your bebo page.

  • The Dubliner

    “The Proclaimation remains as relevant today as it did in 1916.” – Kensei

    Does it? Let’s see it still remains relevant: “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.”

    Nope, that doesn’t square with the Irish people, both north and south, having struck that claim of ownership and sovereignty of Ireland out of the Easter Proclamation by amending Articles 2 & 3 of Bunreacht na hÉireann to remove said claims and by recognising the right of Northern Ireland to exist as a part of the United Kingdom or in any form that its citizens or present owners (the UK) decide. It should be noted that this rejection of the principle of national self-determination as stated in the Easter Proclamation was signed-up to by the party you support. So, I really don’t see how you can claim that the Easter Proclamation is relevant when its claim to national self-determination has been, de facto, binned, rejecting all that you allegedly killed so many of your fellow countrymen for.

    The part that you should have paid attention to was: “The Irish Republic is entitled to, and hereby claims, the allegiance of every Irishman and Irishwoman. The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.”

    Now, while you signed up to maintaining “an alien government” as an inalienable right as part of the internal settlement within the partitioned state(s), you will have a hard job squaring your campaign of sectarian violence and economic sabotage with the part about perusing the “happiness and prosperity of the whole nation” since your squalid campaign was directed was aimed at the unionists and the British and could have no conclusion other than civil war and the ethnic cleansing of Ireland’s unionists; and wasn’t intended to have any actual purpose beyond using violence to make demands from the state that favoured one sect over the other. You have your internal settlement and the sociopaths who manipulated you have political power. Still, as you guys rejected all that you alleged fought for and embraced all that you allegedly opposed, all you have to do now is apologise for the disgrace that your demented shenanigans brought upon the men of Easter 1916, eh? Maybe your leaders can find do that if they’re not too busy putting manners on the other tribe… and sticking gaudy PSF poster on Easter Rising memorials in-order to gain party political advantage by associating their shabby little selves with the brave patriots they disgraced.

  • Doctor Who

    Kensei

    “It doesn’t really help, seeing as no Irish politician actually said that”

    Eammon De Valera´s Constitutional Autochthony, provided an official special place and recognition in Ireland for the Catholic Church, stopping just short of making it the established church, and as the same re working of the Irish Constitution claimed soverignty over Northern Ireland, presumably this meant the North as well.

    When De Valera came under criticism for not officially recogniosing the Catholic church as the established church, he stated that it still meant that it was a Catholic nation.

    It was the response of James Craig which is forever being misquoted and taken out of context.

  • The Dubliner

    Your claim that Ireland was a Catholic state for a Catholic people is blown apart by Ireland electing a Protestant as its first president, alas. Sectarianism is a particularly northern trait, having its roots in Protestantism, which defines itself by that which it opposes (hence the etymology of the word protest).

  • Paraig

    What was the SF position at the of the E.R.?

  • Reader

    The Dubliner: Ireland electing a Protestant as its first president
    How many votes did he get? (Some Election!)
    And what happened when he did actually stand for an election (to the Seanad in 1925)? What forces defeated him?

  • kensei

    II

    “you could also state that the roman Catholic church/sinn fein/ira/aoh/gaa/opus dei/sdlp are “sectarian and anti Protestant organizations, and are really only interested in the “rights” of Catholics. They’re aggressive with it, of course.””

    Whataboutery. If you can’t answer the point, be a good chap and be quiet.

    Dr Who

    “Kensei when I clarify a statement, please except it or go back to your bebo page.”

    And when I point out you are still wrong, try not to throw a tantrum.

    “Eammon De Valera´s Constitutional Autochthony, provided an official special place and recognition in Ireland for the Catholic Church, stopping just short of making it the established church, and as the same re working of the Irish Constitution claimed soverignty over Northern Ireland, presumably this meant the North as well.”

    Actually, De Valera resisted making the Catholic Church the established Church from more reactionary elements. Let’s see the offending Article:

    The State recognises the special position of the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church as the guardian of the Faith professed by the great majority of the citizens.

    So, it is recognised ONLY as the religion of the majority. But wait, what’s this in the next article:

    The State also recognises the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Religious Society of Friends in Ireland, as well as the Jewish Congregations and the other religious denominations existing in Ireland at the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution.

    So it recognises the other religions too. Anfd you might want to read article 44 as well, by the by.

    “When De Valera came under criticism for not officially recogniosing the Catholic church as the established church, he stated that it still meant that it was a Catholic nation.”

    Quote?

    “It was the response of James Craig which is forever being misquoted and taken out of context.”

    No, it really isn’t. He was a terrible bigot.

  • T.Ruth

    No mention of the long standing links between Republicanism and the Nazis.Republicanism presents itself as a liberation movement and yet under the surface and not very far under it is a seedy squalid sectarian movement more anti Protestant than for anything.
    Imagine if there hadn’t been an easter 1916 Rising.What might have happened if the Great war had ended and events had taken a peaceful course?
    T.Ruth

  • kensei

    “No mention of the long standing links between Republicanism and the Nazis.”

    That would be because they would be insignificant, and non existent in 1916.

    “Republicanism presents itself as a liberation movement and yet under the surface and not very far under it is a seedy squalid sectarian movement more anti Protestant than for anything.”

    Tone:

    “To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of all past dissensions, and to substitute the common name of Irishman in place of the denominations of Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter – these were my means.”

    Proclaimation:

    “The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.”

    I could pull numerous others if you like.

    “Imagine if there hadn’t been an easter 1916 Rising.What might have happened if the Great war had ended and events had taken a peaceful course? ”

    Events would have hardly taken a peaceful course with a huge Unionist army ready to subvert the democratic will of the people of Ireland.

  • kensei

    “How many votes did he get? (Some Election!)”

    Yeah, I mean, it’s not like they’ve ever voted in another protestant as President or anything.

  • Greenflag

    reader,

    The Irish Senate was generosity itself when it came to giving representation to minorities .Contrast for instance the Free State Senate with the NI Senate as described below .

    ‘in the 1925 election for the Northern Ireland House of Commons, the Unionist Party had slipped from 40 seats to 32 (out of 52), losing ground to independent candidates and the Northern Ireland Labour Party which had won three seats. Two of the Nationalist MPs were now taking part in debates, and with the help of an Independent Unionist they expected to have enough support to get a Senator elected. So when the results were declared on 14 July, everyone was surprised when eleven Unionists and one Labour candidate were successful, and the Nationalist candidate was declared to have received no votes at all!
    Shortly afterwards the Parliament’s Head Messenger appeared with the three missing votes. (The Northern Ireland Parliament had not yet moved to Stormont in East Belfast and was still sitting in the Presbyterian Theological College near Queen’s University.) It turned out that the postal votes sent by the relevant MPs had been sent by registered mail on Saturday 11th July. 13th July is a public holiday in Northern Ireland if the 12th is a Sunday, and the Post Office did not deliver registered letters until 11 am the next working day, Tuesday 14th. As the deadline for receipt of votes was 10 am that day they had not been counted. Requests for a recount or re-election were refused.

    To say that the Nationalists were dismayed is to put things mildly. Matters were not helped by an unkind remark by the Prime Minister, Sir James Craig, to the effect that the Nationalist would not have been elected anyway with only three votes out of the 41 cast. (Strictly speaking, Craig was right and even more so when one considers that it would have been three votes out of 44, not 41; it would have required considerable – though not unprecedented – solidarity of transfers between all the Unionist candidates to completely exclude the Nationalist.)
    I cannot find any reason for giving the Unionists the benefit of the doubt here. Even when it came to minority representation in the insignificant body that was the Northern Ireland Senate, Craig was unable to display the remotest spark of generosity. A statesmanlike gesture would have been for one of the Unionist Senators to resign and allow a Nationalist candidate to be elected unopposed to the vacancy, but such statesmanship has historically been rare from Ulster Unionists.’

    Had Craig been able to get away with it no Catholic in Northern Ireland would have had a vote never mind a seat in the Senate or in the NI Parliament !

  • Chris,
    I think a Unionist wreath laying at Bodenstown is very unlikely.

    However we do seem to be in the age of the unlikely becoming normal.

  • Reader

    Greenflag: and the Nationalist candidate was declared to have received no votes at all!
    it would have required considerable – though not unprecedented – solidarity of transfers between all the Unionist candidates to completely exclude the Nationalist.)

    Doesn’t the first datum imply the ‘solidity’ you were after? d’Hondt wouldn’t have provided a nationalist senator either
    And these days, what happens to postal votes that are posted too late?
    Kensei: A statesmanlike gesture would have been for…
    Ho, ho, ho. In the real world, the 2 Nationalists might have tried getting the other nationalist NIMPs (but they were abstentionists…) to cast a few votes, if they felt that there was anything important at stake.

  • BP1078

    After the Spanish Civil War at the Wolfe Tone memorial the Communist´s from the North where turned away because they where Protestant´s who had sided with the democratically elected republican govt. in Spain.

    Dr Who,

    As far as I was aware, the incident you’re speaking about happened in 1934, two years before the Spanish Civil war. A contingent from the Shankill and east Belfast attending the Commemoration were attacked by the Tipperary IRA. Ironically several of the group (most famous probably William Beattie) later fought alongside with many of those who’d been at Bodenstown in 34 on the Republican side in Spain.

    There should be more official recognition of all who fell fighting on behalf of the International Brigade and a bit more honesty about the numbers who also left these shores to fight for the fascists.

  • peter fyfe

    Dr Who

    Why do now try to link 1916 terrorists to the International brigades of the Spanish Civil War.

    one name JAMES CONNOLLY

  • peter fyfe

    The Dubliner

    Does it? Let’s see it still remains relevant: “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.”

    Nope, that doesn’t square with the Irish people, both north and south, having struck that claim of ownership and sovereignty of Ireland out of the Easter Proclamation by amending Articles 2 & 3 of Bunreacht na hÉireann to remove said claims and by recognising the right of Northern Ireland to exist as a part of the United Kingdom or in any form that its citizens or present owners (the UK) decide.

    It did not square with the people in 1916 either. The Irish people had voted for the Home Rulers in the previous election. Public opinion was behind WW1. The people of dublin did not show support until the leaders of 1916 were killed. I assume you have never supported the Proclamation.

    Sectarianism is a particularly northern trait

    Maybe your memory disserts you, but i am quite sure sectarianism existed to a considerable extent south of the border. The massacre at Vinegar hill was the work of southern defenders. Stop with your rose tinted view of 26 county pre-partition republicanism, they were not saints either in the actions they carried out. The 26 county state was founded by the same people who fought in the northern troubles. i am a catholic but to blame sectarianism on protestants, its a laugh. Grow up and talk some sense.

  • JG

    Do not fotget the Dutch links withn the Nazis. (And we all know where William of Orange came from)

  • John Climacus

    SF is well known for it’s political opportunism. This year they will make a great show of commemorating the Easter Rising even though it opposed it at the time and did not take part. It’s support of the treasonous Provo campaign that saw the gunmen take it on themselves to risk the lives of anyone, including their fellow countryman, who stood in their way. All of this simply makes a mockery of what the brave men of 1916 were fighting for and amounts to little more than an insult to their memory.

    As Peter Parker said to Dr. Otto Octavius in the Spiderman movie, “Sometimes, to do what’s right, we have to be steady and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.”

    Are these so called Republicans ready for this? Do these so called Republicans really want Irish unity or simply a united 32 county state? That is not to suggest the two goals in themselves are mutually exclusive; that you can only have one. However it does not mean that the unity of the people will come about automatically because of the unification of the state. It is naive to think that the two are the same.

    Let’s mark the 91st anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, but let’s avoid using it to disrespect the memory of “Ireland’s Fallen” by attempting to link them to the treasonous Provos eh?