The Irishmen of the Irish Guards…

Fascinating piece from Tommie Gorman on that steady trickle of Irishmen into the British Army… The Irish Guards are 40% made up of people from the island and second and third generation Englishmen.

Adds: Aengus is not happy about “the British Army’s public relations offensive in Ireland is being facilitated by certain media outlets.” He also claims Irish neutrality is being broken, though most of those southerners who mention how they were recruited mention visits to Holywood, which although in Northern Ireland he alleges any local recruitment of British soldiers even “in the Six Counties, in violation of the principles underlying the Good Friday Agreement”.

  • That statement about local recruitment violating the principles of the GFA is without doubt one of the stupidest I’ve seen in quite some time.

    Having said that, I am opposed to the militarisation of civilian life. The Irish army has been gradually trying to raise its role and importance, which given Irish neutrality and debates over things like Lisbon should absolutely not be tolerated. We don’t need pieces lionising any military, never mind a foreign one.

    On another note, am I the only one who finds a soldier – whose job is to go and kill people when he is sent to do it – saying he doesn’t get into the politics of it deeply disturbing?

  • Munster Republic

    One word ‘Derry’, take from it what you want.

  • Mick Fealty

    There’s another way of looking at that Gari… Politicised Soldiers can be hazard to themselves and the society they belong to and others they don’t…

  • That’s true Mick, but citizen soldiers are less likely to mount an attack on their own or other populations without thinking about it just because someone tells them to. We get told all the time (see the threads on the RIR march) about how we owe are freedom to these people. Laughable, as this goes to show.

  • Plastic Paddy

    Well, as a former US Marine, I know exactly what the soldier meant about not getting into the politics of it, and I do not find it disturbing.

    The role of the soldier is separate from that of the policymaker. I used to tell people that I don’t decide who to fight or when, my job is to win that fight when I get there. To steal a line from Graham Dale (author of the Green Marine), Donald Rumsfeld never rang my house and asked, ‘We’re thinking of invading Iraq. What’s your opinion on the matter, lance corporal?’

    Now, that being said, a private citizen has the right and obligation to question his government. As an enlisted man, I gave up that right for the term of my enlistment, I knew that going in to the Marines. An effective military requires obedience – (see the fate of the Jannisaries in the Ottoman Empire, or link the Curragh Mutiny with the last 90 years of violence in Ireland.)

    On another note, your assertion that a soldier’s “job is to go and kill people” is a gross simplication. Yes, that is part of the function of a military, but as you know, oftentimes the presence of soldiers is a tool of diplomacy – no killing required.

  • Mick Fealty

    PP,

    Good post.

    “…oftentimes the presence of soldiers is a tool of diplomacy – no killing required.”

    That’s most often been the IDF’s role too… Thus the recent heart searching in the Dail over what neutral actually means in the context global peace keeping…

    Not sure it can endure for much longer and mean anything tangible at all… Chad may still test that more fully before the term is out…

  • PP,

    I do find it disturbing because that attitude among soldiers allows polciy makers to indulge with whatever they like, number one, and number two, it also enables the creation of a mentality where dropping a bomb on a wedding or firing rockets at a block of apartments, or shooting a man beating his carpets is not only acceptable, but just a job like any other. Being a soldier is not a job like any other – it has greater responsibility because of the possibility of taking life. It creates a gap between the reality and consequnces of an action, and the person carrying that action out. Civilians pay for that gap with their lives, as we have seen all too clearly of late.

  • Driftwood

    Mick, the IDF’s role in Gaza and the West Bank is subject to questionable practices, even from the UN very recently.

  • Driftwood

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/un-accuses-israel-of-punishing-aid-workers-1043960.html

    Just realised, Mick, IDF is seen by many as Israeli Defence Forces, you are referring to the Irish version?

    Big difference I imagine between the infantry (Irish Guards) and a CIA operative operating Predator drones and killing by video.

  • kensei

    Drift

    Ireland’s sole use in any military or diplomatic capacity is that they are not tainted by foreign wars of aggression and have almost zero strategic interest in where they are going, so can be completely honest brokers. If what you say is true and Ireland is jeopardising that, it should pull out immediately.

    Mick

    It is ludricous to suggest that performing some small peace keeping roles threatens overall neutrality. AFAIK it remains a popular policy, and should stay in place. It is fairly easy to lay out some ground rules on when to do them. EU defense is more problematic, and should be opted out of. And if individual Irish citizens want to join a foreign army, that is their prerogative.

    Though I’ve never understood join the British Army if you were that way inclined. Joining the US would one more doors, you’d be better trained, better equipped and get more respect.

  • Plastic Paddy

    Gari –

    Agreed, that soldiers shouldn’t shoot up innocents (see My Lai, 1968 or Derry, 1972). But that is a question of individual morality and responsible leadership – not politics. Blame the man who pulled the trigger and his immediate superiors, and hold the responsible.

    The key concept here is “lawful order”. Soldiers are duty-bound to obey lawful orders, but they are equally duty-bound to disobey and countermand unlawful orders.

    Large scale geopolitics and strategic decisions of a national security level (Do we invade Iraq or not?) are the domain of politicians and sometimes generals. The split section battlefield decisions (Do I pull the trigger or not?) are a different matter entirely.

    That is what the soldier was trying to say.

  • picador

    Irishmen who sign up for the British Army are mercenaries.

    I was dismayed to see that funeral in Mayo last week.

  • ulsterfan

    Coming back to the main topic, how is recruitment in NI a violation of the principles of GFA?
    Is this just a stupid comment or is it a way to question the constitutional position of NI?
    I think the latter is the case.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Well for those who would have joined the Provos for the action – and given that the Irish army dont do fighting – then I suppose it must have its attractions. It may be more ideologically unsound than the Provos but the pay is probably better.

  • PP,

    But if the invasions themselves are illegal, then that is a different matter I’d have thought. If soliders thought about Iraq, and decided it was legal, then fair enough. But if they just run about doing what they are told without thinking about it, then I think that is a very bad thing. I would disagree with your interpretation for that reason.

  • Mick Fealty

    Ken,

    You are jumping to the usual bunch of assumptions. I’ll see if I can grab some of the transcript from the subcommittee’s proceedings later on…

  • Limerickman

    Anyone from here who joins the British army, the most murderous army in the history of mankind so far, are a total disgrace. But the Irish people who do join are normally the worst this country produces, so they can have them.

  • Driftwood

    http://www2.army.mod.uk/irishguards/regiment_today/index.htm
    See from their wiki, 2 former NI Prime Ministers, Terence O Neill and James Chichester Clark were members. Decent bunch of lads.

  • Mr E Mann

    I can’t get the video to run, so I apologize if these points were arleady made in it.

    The military in a (more or less) democratic state serves the civilian government. I don’t think we want soldiers judging whether every order is right or wrong. They should only disobey under the most extreme circumstances, like being ordered to take part in a massacre. It would be a threat to the rule of law for soldiers to second guess orders to, say, invade Iraq or police Derry. Those decisions are on the heads of elected politicians.

    NI is currently part of the UK, and it’s hardly scandalous for the British military to recruit there. If they didn’t, those who want to join it would just take a ferry to England. Isn’t the issue that some dubious Irish citizens join, irrespective of where they are recruited? If so, what is anyone going to do about it? (that is, in the post-GFA environment 🙂 ) Even if it was politically likely, it would not be a good idea for the Republic to try to stop citizens from joining the military of a fellow EU state. Now, I’m not saying I’d want my daughter to marry someone like that 🙂

  • Greenflag

    picador ,

    ‘Irishmen who sign up for the British Army are mercenaries. ‘

    Complete and utter shite – many join to pursue a military career which is not available to them in the Republic because of the small size of our IDF .

    plastic paddy ,

    ‘Well, as a former US Marine, I know exactly what the soldier meant about not getting into the politics of it and I do not find it disturbing.’

    Soldiers are not politicians but if we could only elect ‘politicians ‘ who first served a tour of duty in major war we might have far ‘fewer wars ‘.

    Excellent post PP thanks 😉

    Garibaldi ,

    ‘Being a soldier is not a job like any other – it has greater responsibility because of the possibility of taking life.’

    Strange then how most of those who have to do the actual ‘killing’ in war are drawn from those sections of society who are often the less well educated and from the poorest regions of a country or empire ? What can the Generals be thinking eh ?

  • Greenflag

    picador ,

    ‘I was dismayed to see that funeral in Mayo last week. ‘

    Why . What’s wrong with people coming out to support their neighbours in their bereavement . You must be one heartless and gutless cunt 🙁

  • Earnan

    My cousin just got back from Afganistan. He is a Captain in the Marines.

    His role over there often involved investigating claimed civilian casualties. He told me of one instance a few months ago where someone in an Afghan village near the Pakistan border claimed that a wedding party had been bombed and killed. CNN immediately picked up the story and without doing any vetting put it on their frontpage.

    The coalition forces, as they always do, did their investigation. They looked at the satellite images as well as the video from the planes and there were two pickup trucks they destroyed. The two trucks were full of men, no females, and almost all of them can clearly be seen to be holding AK 47s or improvised RPGs.

    Unfortunately, when shown this proof CNN did not put out a retraction or any kind, saying that the story was no longer news worthy.

    All I’m saying is beware of propaganda, whether pro military or otherwise. Many in the military are good men who are doing their most to save lives and improve peoples lives.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    I watched that on RTE yesterday and I was frightened for the man from Dublin who was interviewed near the end, a family man, who said he has never told those back home what army he belonged to and in response to a question in how his locals would react if they knew, he said all his family since the 1800’s had served in the British Army as Irishmen.

  • cut the bull

    Sadly there has been a history of Irish men joining foriegn armies and inflicting horrible suffering usually on the promise of a financial reward.

    The US calvary was top heavy with twats from Ireland who carried out a holocuast of the native americans and the Brit army has never had a shortage of recruits from this island. As the saying goes,cut the bul Theres always somebody willing to sell their soul for a sausage roll and a rind of hairy bacon.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    “[i]Sadly there has been a history of Irish men joining foriegn armies and inflicting horrible suffering usually on the promise of a financial reward. 2[/i]

    this must be the Marxist quote of the year, but sadly Fascists will use it.

  • Intelligence Insider

    picador, I take it you include the relatives of Tom Hartley and Martin Meehan, among others, in your broad sweeping statement?

  • runciter

    ‘Irishmen who sign up for the British Army are mercenaries. ‘

    Complete and utter shite

    How is it shite when it fits the dictionary definition?

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mercenary

  • We are a fighting race, we are told, and every Irishman is always proud to hear our politicians and journalists tell of our exploits in the fighting line – in other countries, in other climes and in other times.

    Yes, we are a fighting race. Whether it is under the Stars and Stripes or under the Union Jack; planting the flag of America over the walls of Santiago or helping our own oppressors to extend their hated rule over other unfortunate nations our brave Irish boys are ever to the front.

    When the Boer has to be robbed of his freedom, the Egyptian has to be hurled back under the heel of his taskmaster, the Zulu to be dynamited in his caves, the Matabele slaughtered beside the ruins of his smoking village or Afridi to be hunted from his desolated homestead, wheresoever, in short, the bloody standard of the oppressors of Ireland is to be found over some unusually atrocious piece of scoundrelism, look then for the sons of our Emerald Isle, and under the red coats of the hired assassin army you will find them.

    Sure they’re just continuing a time-honoured tradition. Don’t see what the big deal is.

  • Ri Na Deise

    The Brits are more than welcome to them. A few less scumballs with murderous tendencies in Irish society will do no harm. I hope they see plenty of ‘action’.

  • Greenflag

    cut the bull ,

    ‘Sadly there has been a history of Irish men joining foriegn armies and inflicting horrible suffering usually on the promise of a financial reward.’

    Why sadly ? Look at your history man . It’s not as if the Irish are or were the only people on the planet to have fought or enlisted or be dragooned into wars on behalf of other countries or fought on opposite sides in civil wars . Germans , Spaniards , Austrians and Poles fought with Napoleon’s French against the Russians . One third of Wellington’s Army at Waterloo was Irish .

    War is part of the ‘human ‘ experience . We have not yet evolved to the point whereby it has become extinct . In fact it looks as if this century may yet surpass the last:(

    There seems to be absolutely no understanding in some of the comments above of the actual ‘choices’ in life people had at earlier times in our history and there seems to be some kind of ‘mental ‘ twilight zone that tries to impinge the knowledge we have today onto our ancestors or other people’s ancestors several centuries ago .

    Somehow expecting many of the young recruits for the army be it Irish , British , German or anything else to behave like ‘politicians ‘ and ‘discuss’ the niceties of diplomacy and the proper rules of warfare while they are being shot and bombed at from all sides is the kind of horseshit that people who have never been under fire could come up with .

    Maybe Ireland needs compulsory military service for a year for all 18 to 25 year olds ?

  • Greenflag

    Ri na Deise ,

    ‘A few less scumballs with murderous tendencies in Irish society’

    It was the self same ‘scumballs’ albeit wearing Irish Army uniforms that helped create this State and gave it stability for the first ten years of it’s existence while the ‘republican ‘ idealists were hell bent on destroying the country for the sake of a stupid oath :(. If it had’nt been for the ‘scumballs ‘ you would not enjoy the freedoms and prosperity you have today. BUt that thought would never cross the mind of somebody with the IQ of a handicapped amoeba suffering from alzheimers would it ?

  • Greenflag

    runciter ,

    ‘How is it shite when it fits the dictionary definition? ‘

    Not all who fought with the Brits did it for money . Many believed in what they were fighting for be it the ‘freedom of Belgium’ or against Nazi Germany .Many fought for all kinds of reasons some probably because they wanted to escape from a tyrannical mother in law , a clinging girlfriend or a case where enlistment in the army seemed a better prospect than 6 months in Mountjoy for a case of aggravated assault ( drunken brawl – upsetting the peace -being a danger to himself and others etc etc etc ).

    A mercenary imo is somebody who goes into war for ‘real ‘ loot like whats happening in the Congo . Mike Hoare was a mercenary who made no bones about being in it for the money . The rights or wrongs of either side being immaterial.

    Had Irish troops in the British Army been mercenaries in WW1 the couple of thousand POW’s in Germany who listened to Roger Casement would have signed up with the more lucrative Germans .

    They did’nt apart from one or two iirc .

  • Ri Na Deise

    Greenflag

    Interesting comparitive between Free State pro-treaty forces and modern day Brit recruits. I suppose the main thing they hold in common is their outstanding endorsement of British authority in Ireland.

    Thanks for displaying your loyalties.

  • runciter

    ‘How is it shite when it fits the dictionary definition? ‘

    Not all who fought with the Brits did it for money .

    The definition doesn’t say that money must be the only motivation.

    A mercenary imo is somebody who goes into war for ‘real ‘ loot like whats happening in the Congo .

    You are entitled to your opinion, but I prefer to use a dictionary.

    Mike Hoare was a mercenary who made no bones about being in it for the money . The rights or wrongs of either side being immaterial.

    One would expect some mercenaries to be more cynical/honest than others.

  • Dave

    British soldiers are paid less than the minimum wage, so I can’t see anyone joining the British army for monetary advantage. I think it has more to do with adventurism.

    I think it was unwise of the Mary McAleese to politicize the issue in her inappropriate political speech to an Orange Hall in Cavan where she fell over herself to the praise imperial adventurism of WW1, and to comment on the private funeral in Mayo on an unfortunate Irishman who was killed as a member of the British army in Afghanistan. The implicit message in her speech was that Irish people should embrace a foreign army because as part of the process of two separate nations of British and Irish merging into one politically expedient nation. Once the private choices of individuals become politicized, there is then a pressure on the government to state that it isn’t policy to encourage its citizens to join foreign armies. The government may have chosen not to do that for political reasons, but that just shows what a bunch of cowering ponces we managed to elect.

  • OC

    “Strange then how most of those who have to do the actual ‘killing’ in war are drawn from those sections of society who are often the less well educated and from the poorest regions of a country or empire ? What can the Generals be thinking eh ?” – GF

    A little unfair. I mean, things like intelligence analysis, cryptography, jet aircraft maintenance, logistics, etc etc, can’t be handled by the less intelligent and less educated, leaving the frontline “grunt” to be drawn from the lower classes usually.

  • DK

    Greenflag: “One third of Wellington’s Army at Waterloo was Irish”

    Just have to squash this little myth. Over half of Wellington’s army wasn’t even from Britain or Ireland – they were German or Dutch (and no, I am not including the Prussians – if I did, then the British part of the army would be less than a quarter).

    Probably one third of the recruits from the British Isles were Irish. And remember that although Wellington called his troops “scum of the earth” he was an aristocrat who called anyone who hadn’t met the monarch “scum of the earth”. Most troops were recruited from local militias and were generally well educated lower-middle class types.

  • ggn

    Anyother state would consider its citizens swearing alligence to the monarch of a neighbouring land, ‘foreign’ to most, and serving in the military of that nation to be a threat to national security and to the national interest.

    As an Irish citizen I trust that these mercenaries (via dict. definition) are being monitored and that they will never be employed in sensitive areas of the state apparatus in the future, given that their alligence does not lie with the state.

    It should also be pointed out to them that in the highly unlikely event of them being captured by the Irish Defence Forces in the event of Britian coming to ‘close quarters’ with Ireland then it is my understanding that they themselves would not have the protection of other soldiers.

  • Reader

    ggn
    Wierd. I assume you have reservations about Irish people who join the Foreign Legion and the US army too? Or how about any other EU army? Should your state monitor every resident who has ever been in any foreign army?
    However, your strictures on loyalty tests for the civil service are well matched to those of James Craig and the rest – so well done there. However, most of the rest of the EU makes do with a code of conduct instead – and most will employ foreign nationals.
    And if it should ever come to a war (strange fantasy), what is your position on Nordies in the British army?

  • ggn

    Reader,

    Please note, I said “sensitive areas”.

    I dont believe that Britan for example employs people who have sworn alligence to Russia in the higher echlons of Defence, Fincance, Science, Economics etc.

    “Should your state monitor every resident who has ever been in any foreign army? ”

    Yes! Do you believe that the UK does not keep an eye of mercanaries?

    Dont know what you mean by ‘Nordies’. It is not a fantasy of mine BTW.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    The programme Nationwide on RTE on Monday night was dedicated to the Irish Men and Women from the south serving in the British Army. Remember, we live in democracies and people are free to make choices.

    The Irish chap from County Mayo who was killed recently while serving in the British Army in Afghanistan was givin a full British military funeral in his home town and hundreds and hundreds of locals from far and wide came to pay their respects at his funeral service.

    It’s great that attitudes of Irish people have changed for the better in the last years. Common sense prevails. Live and let live!

  • ggn

    “It’s great that attitudes of Irish people have changed for the better in the last years”

    I respect you view Greagoir but for me thousands of young Irish people plegding their alliengence to the UK and to its monarch is not a positive thing and is not in Ireland’s interests.

    Maybe I am dreadfully old fashioned but I believe in an independent Ireland, now and in the future.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “I respect you view Greagoir but for me thousands of young Irish people plegding their alliengence to the UK and to its monarch is not a positive thing and is not in Ireland’s interests.

    Cheers ggn, and sure is’nt that’s what great about democracy and a Republic, people are free to make choices!

    Maybe I am dreadfully old fashioned but I believe in an independent Ireland, now and in the future.”

    Indeed ggn, I believe in a United and Independant Ireland too!

  • Greenflag

    runciter ,

    ‘You are entitled to your opinion’

    And so is everybody else ;).

    ‘I prefer to use a dictionary.’

    And you’re entitled to use that too 😉

    Never bother with it meself -It’s too heavy 😉

  • Congal Claen

    Ri na Deise,

    “A few less scumballs with murderous tendencies in Irish society will do no harm.”

    But surely, “Soldiers are you”?

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Greagoir,

    “Indeed ggn, I believe in a United and Independant Ireland too!”

    When you say believe what do you mean by that? Ireland has never been united except under British rule. To believe suggests you think that it’s inevitable. Or, do you mean you would like there to be a UI. Why would you want a UI if loads of the inhabiatants don’t want to be part of it?

  • Greenflag

    OC ,

    ‘A little unfair etc ‘

    True . My mind or whatever is left of it from reading some of these posts was on the killing fields of WWI at the time of writing . We are of course the only species that can kill at long distance . The greater the technical skills the greater the distance from which one can kill members of the same species . One member seated in a below ground bunker in Kansas or Murmansk or Shanghai or Karachi or Winchester New Delhi or Tel Aviv or Strasbourg can wipe out millions of the same specie on the other side of the globe or even in the next door country . Has to make you feel proud to be human eh ?

  • Greenflag

    DK ,

    ‘Probably one third of the recruits from the British Isles were Irish. ‘

    Correct . Probably more than the percentage of actual English soldiery at the Battle of the Boyne . The rest were Dutch , Danish , French and Hessian ‘mercenaries ‘ William was’nt too sure about the English actually ‘fighting ‘ for a foreign monarch .

  • Greenflag

    ‘Maybe I am dreadfully old fashioned’

    Probably 😉

    ‘but I believe in an independent Ireland, now and in the future.’

    So do I but in a 21st century sense if we but knew what that would be . In a globalised world notions of political independence have to come to terms with the rest of the economic and political world in which we live , trade , eat ,sleep , excrete and die . But forget any notions of some Utopian UI . I’m a bit like the Frenchman who said in the 1980’s ‘s that he loved Germany so much that he thought there should always be more than one of them .

    All Northern Ireland needs is a border adjust from the West and South . This could bring extensive gains for the mainly Unionist areas closer to Belfast on the outskirts but would of course upset the present retail class of shop and chain store owners in Newry and other places close to the present border . With the application of some imagination by cartographers Befast could become like the Dubai of this island a place for ROI folk to escape to from the pressures of Euro compliance ?

  • Ri Na Deise

    Congal Claen
    ”Soldiers are you”?

    The next line of ‘The Soldiers Song’ renders that point defunct: ‘whose lives are pledged to IRELAND’

  • Reader

    ggn: Dont know what you mean by ‘Nordies’.
    Nordies are residents of the 6 counties. The term covers both nationalists and unionists and isn’t inherently seen as offensive. Though I suppose that depends on context.
    ggn: it is my understanding that they themselves would not have the protection of other soldiers.
    Actually, I don’t think you are right. Uniformed members of a regular army are certainly covered, by the laws of war, their citizenship is irrelevant. If you wanted to have them killed after capture you would need to make some legal changes to your current laws on treason, which, I understand, are fashionably wishy-washy.

  • Greenflag

    ggn & reader

    ‘it is my understanding that they themselves would not have the protection of other soldiers’

    The precedent to solving this unlikely ever to happen problem was already set back in the 1870 through 1920 along the German French border . When the French Emperor attacked Germany in 1870 some of the German speaking inhabitants within France fled to Germany where they were treated as foreigners and imprisoned unless they agreed to join up in the German Army . Some were subsequently captured by the advancing French and were sentenced to death by firing squad as traitors unless they agreed to re-enlist in the French Army . Subsequently some of these were again recaptured by the Germans as they advance and won this war and tried as ‘traitors ‘ unless they joined up with the Germans again . At this point German speaking Alsatians (the humans not the dogs they are not that clever there ) settled down for a forty year peaceful epoch as part of the new German Reich and spent (those who survived ) many winter evenings regaling their grandchildren with stories of how they had been several times on opposing sides in the same war .

    And when the grandchildren asked could it ever happen again and might it be safer to live elsewhere the grandfathers said probably not.

    I prefer wishy washy in these matters – Absolutley NO to absolutism ;). Absolutism has it’s place when you are dealing with the correct stress capability of a bridge which will have 5,000 cars and trucks crossing it every day . But with flesh and blood humans , I find that turning a blind eye sometimes to the rule by the book merchants is the better course and can yield longer term more positive returns.

    By the laws of the time the execution of the 1916 leaders was ‘just’ and as it was restricted to the leaders only probably even considered lenient by many non irish and even irish at the time . Had the sentence not been executed immediately or delayed for a year or more would we have had our Republic ?

    You never know with human beings do you ? Actions don’t always result in universally similar reactions.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “When you say believe what do you mean by that? Ireland has never been united except under British rule. To believe suggests you think that it’s inevitable. Or, do you mean you would like there to be a UI. Why would you want a UI if loads of the inhabiatants don’t want to be part of it?”

    Hi Congal,
    I mean that I wish to see a United Ireland one day. One Ireland nation. But of course that is only an apiration. Besides 800,000 NI British Unionists do not wish to be part of such a nation. And Unionists opinions and rights are to be respected as they are the majority in NI.

    Saying that Ireland was never united except under British rule is not a justification for Ireland to be governed by British rule either, with an English monarch as head of state.

    BTW ie Italy’s republic states have a long history of being at war with each other, but folk today don’t say that the Italian nation should not exist!

    In anyway, sure didn’t Brian Boru unite the whole of Ireland after he ran the Danes out of town. And sure is’nt the Mayo man buried up in Downpatrick too.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “When you say believe what do you mean by that? Ireland has never been united except under British rule. To believe suggests you think that it’s inevitable. Or, do you mean you would like there to be a UI. Why would you want a UI if loads of the inhabiatants don’t want to be part of it?”

    Hi Congal,
    I mean that I wish to see a United Ireland one day. One Ireland nation. But of course that is only an aspiration. Besides 800,000 NI British Unionists do not wish to be part of such a nation. And Unionists opinions and rights are to be respected as they are the majority in NI.

    Saying that Ireland was never united except under British rule is not a justification for Ireland to be governed by British rule either, with an English monarch as head of state.

    BTW ie Italy’s republic states have a long history of being at war with each other, but folk today don’t say that the Italian nation should not exist!

    In anyway, sure didn’t Brian Boru unite the whole of Ireland after he ran the Danes out of town. And sure is’nt the Mayo man buried up in Downpatrick too.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Ri Na Deise,

    “The next line of ‘The Soldiers Song’ renders that point defunct: ‘whose lives are pledged to IRELAND’”

    No, you’ve just reinforced it. Our soldiers are scum whereas yours are pledged to Ireland. FM, what age are you?

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Greagoir,

    Couldn’t disagree with anything you said. What I was getting at was your use of “belief” in a UI. I’m not sure Italians would say they “believe” in Italy as such.

    BTW, who’s the Mayo man? Patrick? I went to school in Downpatrick. About half a mile from the stone.

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Congal, The Mayo man in question is Brian Boru who is infact said to buried instead in the grounds of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh and he was given the title ‘Emperor of the Irish’ after his victories against the Norse and Danes!

    Pardon my use of the English language, ‘believe’ was the wrong word I used.

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Greagoir,

    Fair enough. I’m not sure that’s the case for a lot of nationalists. For example “our day will come” demands a certain amount of belief. Then you have the main political party named the “warriors of destiny” whose main aim is a UI. The destiny part suggests to me that they think that a UI is inevitable. It seems to me (genuinely) that most nationalists “believe” in UI, rather than from a moral or political point of view.

    BTW, I didn’t know Boru was buried in Armagh. Cheers. I thought of him as a high king – not the king of a UI.

  • Driftwood

    Congal, you went to school much less than half a mile from the stone. I used to duke down the grove during cross country running.

  • Greenflag

    Congal claen’

    ‘I thought of Brian Boru as a high king – not the king of a UI.’

    You will address Brian Boru by his proper title ye little bollix !

    He was crowned ‘Imperator Scotorum’ at Armagh and if was’nt for a skulking scandinavian runaway called Broder -Boru would have left behind a strong dynasty which would have successfully defended Ireland against the later Norman invasion just like King Harold did in England 😉

  • Congal Claen

    Hi Greenflag,

    Emperor or not he wasn’t king of all Ireland. Unless it was the 26 county Ireland. Or is that the other thread ;0)