An Chead Dail

Tomorrow will see the 90th anniversary of the first Dail, established on the same day as the first shots were fired in the war of independence .

The commeration is to be held tomorrow, a day early. Sinn Fein however managed to book the Mansion house for Wednesday, and offered to share the date with the Republic’s government, provided it was an all Ireland event.

According to Gerry Adams:

We would ship out what ever the government needed provided it was truly a national event and that there were co-equal speaking rights and they said no.

  • dunreavynomore

    “co-equal’ speaking rights? Will someone please tell this idiot the difference between equal and co-equal?

  • dunreavynomore

    P.S
    I am ‘this idiot’ in case you think I mean Mr Adams but now that you mention it…..

  • Dunreavynomore

    Don’t know.

    Kathleen

    It seems that yet again we catch Gerry Adams at the “I’m really the nation” thing, not the Irish Government.

    Doctors call it delusion. A delusion of grandeur, in fact. They say that the Antichrist is deluded because he deludes everybody else. But you need to be deluded to convince everyone of your grandeur. (See my website for the inside story.)

  • Bruno Spiro

    The “first shots” in the “war of independence” fired on two elderly local catholic police officers at Soloheadbeg, both of whom were killed; perfect excuse for a republican bun fight at the Mansion House.

    No commemoration for Constables McDonnell and O’Connell, these murdured Irishmen’s passing will not merit any arguments in Dublin over where to hold their requiem.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Be reasonable, Bruno. We can’t hold commemorations for every Tom, Dick and Quisling, now can we? And history is written by the winners. If you doubt this, ask his Holiness, John O’Connell.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    The only winner was in fact pacificist social democracy as the SDLP predicted it would be many times during the Troubles.

    We now have Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness trying to out social democratise the SDLP and that is why it is very difficult for the SDLP to unseat them. But let them try to follow their own policies and we’ll see them lose their mandate.

    Long live king Mark!

  • Pancho’s Horse

    To put it another way,John. The only losers were the middle of the road rump of the Redmondites.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    How many Sinn Fein members were there in the Dail in 1922?

    The point I make is that Ireland is not naturally pro-Sinn Fein. Extreme nationalism is just not the Irish way, but any nation provoked and angry will resort to extreme nationalism and violence.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    That smacks of a justification of violence,John.

  • Dewi

    Great video – always useful to remember how popular independence was. Nice to see the use of Irish also.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Two provocations in Irish history resulted in the emergence of SF as a force. One was 1916, the other was the Hungerstrikes, 1981.

    These were surrounded by violence, but the subsequent SF political force failed to bring people with it in using extreme Nationalism as a justification for violence.

    They changed and merged with the political mainstream which tends to be social democratic with strong influences of the Catholic social conscience.

    In both cases violence was the British idea rather than the Irish idea and therefore SF tend to be an Irish version of the little Englander mentality. The violence has nothing to do with me.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I hope everyone, particularly those who come on here to advocate joint authority and some sort of happy-clappy all-Ireland future involving Sinn Fein, is taking note of the apparently distinctly sour relationship between Sinn Fein and the Irish government. Gerry is playing a game here, and the Irish government don’t want to take part.

  • Dave

    Didn’t Tom Maguire later change his mind about the Provos being the legitimate heir to the 1938 Army Council and the legitimate government of Ireland, declaring that Republican Sinn Fein was the legitimate heir in 1986? When your only claim to fame is a crazy old man of fickle mind…

    Anyway, the Shinners are Redmondites now, having recognised partition and signed up to Home Rule.

  • Quagmire

    Take it down from the mast Irish traitors!! Typical free-state attitude. I’m glad the shinners got in their first. Just highlights the hypocrisy of the govt of the banana republic, or more specifically Fianna Fail “The Republican Party”.

  • NP

    remember DEV. went insane shot Peader Macken

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Dave, leave the christians/mormons out of it. You have to believe in something.They use the term ‘a la carte’ catholics who cherrypick their dogmas. Can you not be an a la carte republican?

  • NP

    Remeber DEVs insanity ?

  • KieranJ

    The only thing folks need to know about Eamon de Valera is that he is the founding father of modern Ireland.

    He was as important to Ireland as George Washington was to the United States of America.

    All Irishmen and Irishwomen should get down on their knees at night and thank God for the Long Fellow.

  • Dewi

    KieranJ – Bit of a Collins fan myself.

  • Quagmire

    Just seen that RTE is showing live coverage of the event at 10.45 in the morning, even though tomorrow is not the anniversary. Whats the bets that they don’t show Wednesday’s event live on TV, even though it is the anniversary. My God, how I loathe free state, anti republican revisionism. RTE is nothing but a mouth piece for the govt. State broadcaster my arse!

  • Oilifear

    Pancho’s Horse, fortunately history is written by historians not victors. It is not unreasonable to remember two Irishmen killed, for all they knew, in the service of Ireland. Here is Peter Cottrell’s description of their death (The Anglo-Irish War, 2006):

    “Masked and armed with a .22 automatic rifle, Treacy stepped into the path of the oncoming policemen and issued a challenge. As the constables fumbled with their rifles he shot them with a .22 automatic rifle. As they fell the remainder of his men opened fire, killing the two policemen. Both James McDonnell, a 57-year-old married father of five from Co. Mayo, and 36-year-old Patrick O’Connell from Co. Cork were Irish Catholics, who were apparently typical village bobbies who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is perhaps symptomatic of the RIC ethos that despite being surprised and outnumbered they had attempted to resist what they probably believed to be an armed robbery rather than an act of revolutionary violence.”

  • Ri Na Deise

    They served a foreign master for filthy lucre and met the end their existence justified.

    P.S. Delighted the Free State puppet parliament doesnt have the oppurtunity to desecrate the real anniversary.

  • Cahal

    Sums up the ‘republicanism’ of FF nicely.

  • How exactly are the Provos better than the “free state puppet Parliament”? They recognise it, sit in it, and go running to it for help in the north. The logic of the positions being advocated here is to support RSF, and condemn the Provos as well. A lot of posing in other words.

  • Tochais Si­orai­

    For what it’s worth the two RIC constables are remembered at the annual Soloheadbeg commemeration in recent years and some of their relatives have attended.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “All Irishmen and Irishwomen should get down on their knees at night and thank God for the Long Fellow.”

    Ahem
    Speaking as an Irishman of considerably greater ethnic validity than Senor De Valera the Spanish Onion, I do not pray for a man who was conveniently not Irish when faced with the possibility of a richly deserved trip to face firing squad.

    Tsk tsk, another anniversary down and themmuns are still Brits. 2016’s the next biggie, and the Chuckies’ contribution is to scream like mad for the creation of a British ministry of justice they can possibly control

    “For what it’s worth the two RIC constables are remembered at the annual Soloheadbeg commemeration in recent years and some of their relatives have attended.”

    Good. Pity it took so long, but very welcome nonetheless. Hopefully the sacrifices of the very many decent irish people who were killed to feed the dreaming of people like Pearse and Devalera will prick a few consciences- but I doubt it

  • Not killed to feed the democratic mandate for an independent republic then that the great bastion of democracy in Westminster refused to implement?

  • Greenflag

    ‘fortunately history is written by historians not victors.;

    Indeed . The victor’s historians 🙁 . There are some historians who try to be ‘objective’ but they can’t afford to disappoint their readers .

    Reading British histories published in the 1890’s is always fascinating and very often ‘hilarious ‘ . The sheer jingoism of the rabid imperial mind set can only be appreciated /marveled at in the context of the time . For example the politically/historically acceptable excuse for Irish poverty at the time was – ‘it was their own fault ‘ . Now if only the Irish were more like the Scots they’d be better off ;).

  • Greenflag

    SF have ‘upstaged ‘ the Irish Government probably by booking the Mansion House for this commemoration several years ago .

    Thanks to Kathleen for the old newsreel about those eventful times at the beginning of the bloodiest century in human history . For those who want to enjoy a vicarious comparison between the beginning of the 20th century with the beginning of the 21st I recommend British Historian Niall Ferguson’s ‘War of the Worlds ‘ which I’m half way through at present . Apparently globalisation was all the rage back then (1880 to 1914 ) .

  • dunreavynomore

    Commemorations, here, commemorations there, commemorations every bleddy where! Anything new happening except the whole show quietly going down the tubes?
    On F.F. versus S.F., at least F.F. won’t stand up for those who would have you taken to a shed or a bog.

  • Ri Na Deise

    FF will stand up for the lads who would build a block of ‘luxury’ apartments out of said shed or bog.

  • GGN

    “Hopefully the sacrifices of the very many decent irish people who were killed to feed the dreaming of people like Pearse and Devalera will prick a few consciences- but I doubt it”

    It would seem from the election results of the time that the ‘dreaming’ of Pearse and DeValera were in fact a dream shared by the vast majority of the Irish people.

    The fact that a independent Irish State exists today would also suggest that this ‘dream’ is still held by a majority.

    It would seem to me to be quite unlikely that, beyond local commemarations that any state would officialy commerate those who fought againist its foundation and ultimatelty againist democracy.

    All loss of life is an atrocity, but as a Irish citizen I appreciate the sacrifices made for independence and my conscience is clear as regards to the loss of the lives who fought againist Irish freedom and democracy.

    No normal society pauses too long to lament those who fought againist it, do the French recall the thousands of Frenchmen who died wearing the uniform of the SS? I think not, though I am sure their families still remember them as they should.

  • Harry Flashman

    “It would seem from the election results of the time that the ‘dreaming’ of Pearse and DeValera were in fact a dream shared by the vast majority of the Irish people.”

    “Vast majority”? No I don’t think so, militant Irish republicanism (and it must be said that in 1918 just how militant it was to become was in no way made clear) scraped a bare majority in one election in very odd and extremely strange circumstances and from then on in no election or referendum since has militant republicanism ever achieved anything like a majority in Ireland. It is an inconvenient fact that constitutional Redmondism or Free Statism has almost always been the predominant strain in Irish politics.

    Try not to rewrite history.

  • Bare majority Harry? 73 seats out of 106. Hardly bare. And the programme was clear – immediate independence.

    And before we get the 48% argument, 25 seats were so overwhelmingly in favour of independence that there was no competition. The votes in those constituencies would have added up to at least 60% of the vote for independence.

  • Harry Flashman

    The point remains Garibaldy, it wasn’t a “vast majority” and furthermore they were never able to repeat the result, 1918 was a spectacular and extremely peculiar one off.

    There was nothing gained by Sinn Fein and militant Irish Republicanism that hadn’t already been achieved by John Redmond.

  • dunreavynomore

    Ri na Deise

    “Fianna fail will stand up for the lads who will build a block of ‘luxury’ flats out of said shed or bog”.
    Yes indeed, Ri, they may well do so and the glorious revolutionaries who brought their victims to “said shed or bog” will be among the first to buy your ‘luxury flats’. Revolution turned out very profitable for a lot of ‘revolutionaries’. The poor, meanwhile, are still poor and still ‘shed’ fodder. republicans my arse, the lot of them.

  • Oilifear

    They died performing the mundane duties of policemen, duties performed in the service of Irish people regardless of what government paid their wages.

    There were 180,000 members of the Irish Volunteers in 1914, 170,000 of those signed-up to fight in the Great War for Britain. No doubt you would say that they too served a foreign master for filthy lucre and met the end their existence justified. Yet they were the same Óglaigh na h-Eireann that Tracey and co were a part of. The same men that shot those two policemen at Soloheadbeg.

    You have been lied to. Told a “history” so revised for the sake of politics that neither Tracey nor the two RIC men would today be able to recognise themselves in the caricatures that have been made of them.

  • Harry,

    Any way you measure it, independence had received the endorsement of the Irish electorate, in the most democratic election there had been up until that point. The semantics involved in denying that there was a vast mandate for independence are just a matter of game playing. Any government in the western world would give its right arm for such an endorsement, and no-one would attempt to deny its legitimacy. A figure of around 2 to 1 in favour of independence is a vast majority in most people’s books.

    Oilifear,

    Have a look at what the Redmondite and the republican Volunteers were saying about each other before 1916, and you’ll get a sense of the divisions between them. Some Redmondite Volunteers helped the government suppress the Rising in fact.

  • Harry Flashman

    Militant Irish Republicanism achieved in 1922 a moderate level of self government for the 26 Counties under King George and within the Empire with the possibility of securing greater independence at a later date, pretty much what John Redmond got in 1914 without having to wreck the country in a bloody internecine sectarian civil war.

    In 1918 militant Irish Republicans kinda sorta got a majority in most of the 26 Counties, if you jiggle the figures a bit and try to guess the intentions of those people whose votes weren’t actually cast. It was their one and only election victory, they never came close to repeating that in the 90 years since.

    Like I say militant republicanism has always been very much a fringe element of Irish politics.

  • Only Harry if you don’t regard FG and FF as descended from Redmondism and not republicanism.

    There is no fiddling of the figures required to see that the number of pro-independence MPs was more than double that opposed to it. An overwhelming mandate. Fiddling the figures is done by those who try to deny the legitimacy of an electoral system they happily regard as legitimate for every other election held under it.

    Not that I’d disagree that the mythical image of centuries of resistance hides the reality of acceptance and involvement with the British state and Empire.

  • Oilifear

    “Have a look at what the Redmondite and the republican Volunteers were saying about each other before 1916…”

    Yes but three years later in 1919 the same “Redmondite” volunteers were shooting policemen alongside the republican Volunteers. My point was to expose the false history of brave volunteer and traitorous policeman who got what was coming to him. Things weren’t like that.

  • Mack

    Ri Na Diese

    Free State puppet parliament

    Bloody hell. It’s not 1922 – the Free State is long gone. Puppet of whom exactly?

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671723650

    Look, on the 1921 treaty debate – you weren’t even born (I presume), it was lost, get over it – everyone else has moved on.

  • Oilifear,

    That is true for some Redmondite Volunteers, but only a small minority. The treatment meted out to former soldiers during 1919-21 who did not join the independence struggle as noted by Peter Hart and others must be borne in mind too.

    Certainly though many RIC men were caught up in the fast-shifting sands of history as attitudes towards them rapidly changed (as were some RUC men at the start of the Troubles).

  • Oilifear

    You’re arguing across me, Garibaldy. We are saying practically the same thing.

    “… only a small minority.”

    180,000 volunteers. 170,000 fight in the Great War. 13,000 form the National Volunteers. With all that treatment to be meted out, it’s surprising they ever got around to fighting the Brits at all!

    “… only a small minority.”?

  • Harry Flashman

    “FG and FF as descended from Redmondism”

    Regardless of what they might claim as their ancestry both parties adopted a Redmondite policy with regard to administering the 26 County state.

  • Except Redmond opposed partition so better to say a new set of cirucmstances I think.

  • Mack

    Harry Flashman

    Regardless of what they might claim as their ancestry both parties adopted a Redmondite policy with regard to administering the 26 County state.

    That’s stretching it Harry. FG and FF made their motivations in leveraging the Free State pretty plain (not freedom, but the freedom to achieve freedom). Did Redmond ever clearly state that Home Rule was a vehicle to create an Irish Republic? If so, why did he not argue forcibly that it would be a more effective strategy in achieving a Republic than a rising or guerilla campaign? I don’t remember reading about such a debate.

    The truth, I think, is that little old Ireland had little real chance of inflicting a decisive victory on the world’s superpower in her own backyard. The fighting of the War of Independence established a mental model of Irish independence in the minds of the British – in a way that Home Rule would not have done. Had Home Rule been granted, as it is in Scotland today, independence would be a long hard political slog and not the path of least resistance it was for the Free State.

  • Dave

    “…the grant of full self-government to Ireland will reveal to England the open secret of making Ireland her friend and helpmate, the brightest jewel in her crown of Empire.” – John Redmond

    Mack, he didn’t. Redmond saw Ireland having a form of autonomy that didn’t include sovereign independence from the UK. Home Rule doesn’t include home ownership (to link from another thread).

    Dev’s view on the merit of partition is set out relow (in response to an offer from the British government that Ireland be re-united under a Redmondite arrangement if it supplied cannon fodder for the second world war)

    “I believe that the restoration of the national language is the surest guarantee that this nation will continue to exist. Much as I would desire to see unity — and I told you it was because of Partition I came into politics — much as I would desire to see that, which, as far as I am concerned, would be the crowning of anything I ever attempted as far as practical political action was concerned, I would not grasp even that at the cost of losing the opportunity of restoring the language. Therefore, I would not pay that price.

    There is another price I would not pay. Suppose we were to get unity in the country provided we were to give up the principles that are here in this first Article of the Constitution — the ‘sovereign right of the nation to choose its own form of Government, to determine its relations with other nations, and to develop its life, political, economic, and cultural, in accordance with its own genius and traditions’— I would not sacrifice that right, because without that right you have not freedom at all. Although freedom for a part of this island is not the freedom we want — the freedom we would like to have, this freedom for a portion of it, freedom to develop and to keep the kernel of the Irish nation is something, and something that I would not sacrifice, if by sacrificing it we were to get a united Ireland and that united Ireland was not free to determine its own form of Government, to determine its relations with other countries, and, amongst other things, to determine, for example, whether it would or would not be involved in war.

    Our people have the same right as any other people to determine these vital matters for themselves and they ought not to surrender them in advance to anybody or for any consideration. Certainly, as far as this Government is concerned, we are not going to surrender that right — for any consideration, even the consideration of a united Ireland.” – Eamon de Valera

    While the Shinners haven’t told their supporters yet, the form of unity that would have to be on offer in order to have a slim hope of persuading unionists to end partition is essentially Ireland re-joining the United Kingdom under a rebranded Redmondite arrangement. In other words, the citizens of the Republic would have to renounce their right to Irish national self-determination just as northern nationalists have renounced their right.

  • Greenflag

    ‘While the Shinners haven’t told their supporters yet, the form of unity that would have to be on offer in order to have a slim hope of persuading unionists to end partition is essentially Ireland re-joining the United Kingdom under a rebranded Redmondite arrangement.’

    Are we looking at a) national self determination ? b) national sovereignty or c) a workable and peaceful state /states ?

    We have a workable and peaceful state as it is in the Republic . Northern Ireland is getting there in fits and starts. We have confused ideas of ‘national sovereignty ‘ and ‘national self determination ‘ with the political concept of a UI .

    Unionists do not hold the view that Ireland is one nation. They see themselves as part of the British (nation /group of nations ).

    This situation arose from prior to World War 1 when Irish nationalism began the trek towards Home Rule . We are not even now the only country in europe to have a percentage of it’s ‘nationality’ living outside state borders .

    After WW1 13 million Germans found themselves outside Germany proper . Some 3 to 4 million Hungarians also found themselves outside Hungary.The same was true of many others . All told there were some 26 million eastern and central Europeans residing in States as ‘minorities ‘ post WW1.

    As the old multi ethnic empires collapsed -German , Russian , Austro Hungarian and Ottoman they left behind a myriad number of ethnic groups living in States which were established on the based of ‘national identity ‘ i.e Turkey , Czechoslovakia , Poland , Romania etc. Minorities in all of these States ‘suffered ‘ discrimination as these new countries ‘governments ‘ while in theory proclaiming ‘equality’ in practice used their new found ‘national ‘ powers to close out minorities in favour of the ‘national ‘ majority.

    Of course the map of central and eastern and to a lesser extent western europe could not be redrawn to give every ethnic group it’s own State or country . Many groups were too small to survive economically . Some were transnational like European jews and romany . The groups discriminated against included Germans in Romania , Czechoslovakia , Italy , Poland and Russia . Hungarians in Romania and Jews everywhere particularly in Russia and Poland , Armenians in Turkey (the first modern era genocide). The list of slaughters and ethnic wars /pogroms , expulsions in East Central Europe and Russia in the period 1918 through the 1920’s makes what happened in Ireland 1916 through 1922 look very tame indeed even with the recent troubles added on .

    In today’s world what does ‘national self determination ‘ mean in practical terms for Scots , Welsh , Bretons or Catalans or Basques ? or any other of myriad of smaller ‘nations ‘ throughout Europe and the world ? . Does it mean home rule similar to USA States or something greater ?

    What does ‘national sovereignty ‘ mean when even the world’s greatest ‘sovereign ‘ State the USA is beholden to investors all across the world to maintain it’s economy ?

    What is a workable state as opposed to an unworkable one is the only practical parameter that should be used in deciding who gets the much reduced and now limited former sovereign powers with their ‘national self determination ‘ add ons .

    The Allied Powers that won WW1 decided that ‘national self determination ‘ was okay for the areas of Europe and the Middle East formerly under the rule of the Central powers , Russia and Turkey . But for France and Britain’s national minorities there was to be no ‘self determination ‘ To the victor the spoils as per usual . It was during this period that many European Jews started the long trek to the new Palestine in the hope of creating their own State where they could only discriminate against themselves . And later of course the Palestinians 🙁

    ‘In other words, the citizens of the Republic would have to renounce their right to Irish national self-determination just as northern nationalists have renounced their right.’

    Not going to happen ever . Which is why the only practical solution is a fair repartition of NI in which both ‘tribes ‘ can exercise their current much circumscribed self determination and limited sovereignty powers( powerless power sharing ) by becoming part of the State of their first choice .

    As long as we understand that any workable solution cannot bring about 100% of Brtish unionists and 100% of Irish nationalists in Northern Ireland having 100% sovereignty and or self determination we will do fine .

  • Pancho’s Horse

    Did yiz notice the lickspittles on local TV tonight talking about the new geopark – the first to transcend? two countries? Half is in Cavan and half in Fermanagh. And,greenflag, you chronic repartitioner, are you redividing on a sectarian headcount or what?

  • McKelvey

    “Militant Irish Republicanism achieved in 1922 a moderate level of self government for the 26 Counties under King George and within the Empire with the possibility of securing greater independence at a later date, pretty much what John Redmond got in 1914 without having to wreck the country in a bloody internecine sectarian civil war. ”

    There is at least one critical difference between the Free State Dail and a Home Rule Parliament.

    A Home Rule Parliament could legally be prorogued at the whim of the British government of the day – much like what happened the Stormont home rule parliament in 1972 much to the horror of unionists (who by then were pretty much universally Redmonites themselves).

    The Free State government and parliament could only ever be legally dissolved by its own membership.

    You see, one is a sovereign body and one is not.

  • Oilifear

    “Had Home Rule been granted, as it is in Scotland today, independence would be a long hard political slog and not the path of least resistance it was for the Free State.”

    England (or at least English people) would gladly grant independence to Scotland. In fact a greater proportion of English are in support Scottish independence than are Scots themselves. It would not have been very dissimilar in the 1910s in Ireland. Remember, the first Dáil sat 26 years after the London House of Commons had passed the 2nd home rule bill and five years after they had finally managed to ram it through the House of Lords.

    “The fighting of the War of Independence established a mental model of Irish independence in the minds of the British – in a way that Home Rule would not have done.”

    I think it formed a greater mental model in the minds of the Irish. The British model, it seems sometimes to me, is still 1893. Meanwhile, we find it hard to fathom that the policemen shot at Soloheadbeg were not traitors to Ireland – something fashioned by the mythos of that time.

  • Danny

    Kathleen,

    Since no one else seems to have mentioned it…

    It’s nice that you’ve attempted to refer to it in the Irish language, but could you at least spell the thing correctly??

    An Chéad Dáil.

    the Alt Gr + whichever vowel will do the trick for those who aren’t sure how to use fadas.