An Post to mark the plantation of Ulster…

There’s been a bit of a storm in a teacup over An Post’s decision to commemorate the plantation of Ulster. John Waters registered his displeasure with a letter to his own paper the Irish Times. It was riposted by Ewan Kelly in the letters pages a few days later, who noted:

If we, as a society, ever want to have a mature relationship with our own culture, our history and even, God forbid, our neighbours, we need to give up this chip-on- the-shoulder mentality that won’t even allow “the English” a bit of room on a stamp. Our history, like every nation’s, is full of tragedy and triumph. Side-stepping either is simply ridiculous.

Mary Kenny has a go too:

Irish nationalist versions of history have often been too narrow in their scope. This simplified version of history is still trotted out by some tourist guides taking German and Japanese tourists around places like Dublin Castle and Kilkenny Castle. Here are all these wicked colonial oppressors who brought so much suffering to Ireland and here are the brave rebels who represented the risen people. In truth, this black-and-white narrative is hokum. There were far more nuances of colour in the true story.

The British Empire, for example — far from being hated as an oppressor — was regarded benignly by the majority of the Irish. It provided jobs — at one point about a third of white people employed by the British Empire were Irish — and opportunities often not available at home. It hugely facilitated the Irish Catholic Church in its overseas missions (and the Catholic Church helped the British Empire, too, by building schools and hospitals in Africa, India and the Far East). Most of the Irish were not “anti-colonialist” — they were the colonials!

This is not to deny the energy and persistence of Irish nationalist movements, which were often the engine of political change.

It seems to me that what’s hovering behind much of this commentary so far are the horrific events of the 1640s, which arguably traumatised the political memories of both sides of Ireland’s national divide. Traumatised to such a degree that there is no sight or mention of the connective tissue that runs between Tone, the energetic philanthropy of the Protestant merchantile class of Belfast, the long shadow of the Scottish enlightenment, the United Irishman insurgency and the birth of Irish Republicanism all of which were, to a large degree, gifts of that same Ulster plantation.

Is it time to stop viewing our history as some kind of dead wood burden that must be reluctantly shouldered and carried then transmitted whole and entire onto future generations? The Irish Post Office seems to think so…

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  • Old Noll

    So the Sticks rule an Post. Cromqwell was god, the Penal Laws were good, genocide was good, the Holocaust was good. What next, Hitler and the 2ns Paras on stamps?

    Lick this -)(-

  • Coll Ciotach

    And how wold Mary Kenny know this? She has a warped view. The fact that a third of the Irish had to join is an indictment of the Colonial rule the armed forces were the employer of last resort. So benign was the regard that the Irish had they rebelled at every turn – such a contented race of underlings there never was

  • Mick Fealty

    Warped views abound Coll. I understand the response, but it is disproportionately coloured by that traumatic decade (and traumatic for Ulster prods every bit as much as for those who eternally hold the memory of England’s first republican in utter contempt).

    The United Irishman rebellion does not equate in most Irishman’s minds with the Plantation. And yet, why should it not? Ireland’s links with the American revolution were most powerfully expressed socially and intellectually with the ‘Scotch Irish’ of the Ulster plantation.

  • Coll Clotach:

    So benign was the regard that the Irish had they rebelled at every turn

    A proportion of the Irish rebelled. Sometimes more than others, sometimes more successfully than others.

  • David

    If Irish nationalism really wanted to cherish all the children of their nation equally then surely they could find some room to celebrate the arrival of what is supposedly their national minority.

    If on the other hand they do not really believe that northern Protestants are part of their nation, well Waters’ reaction is pretty much what one would expect.

  • 6countyprod

    Congratulations to An Post for providing such a good example of warm-hearted Irish inclusiveness. What a pity their magnanimity is not reflected in many of the comments already posted here on Slugger on the topic. Leaves a bad taste in the mouth!

  • Dublin Exile

    I dont remember anyone suggesting that we were ‘celebrating’ the famine when it was commemorated a few years ago. Equally no-one suggested we were ‘celebrating’ the flight of the earls, although many of the activities surrounding the commemoration were sunny,happy, family occasions.

    This ‘knee-jerk’ response is just that, an unthoughtout automatic reaction made without any involvement of the cerebral cortex.

    With a bit of reflection most people will cop themselves on and recognise the importance of commemorating historical events rather than mythologising them.

  • Glensman

    I’m no fan of the British Empire or its history of exploitation in Ireland, but Dublin Exile is spot on, this is a part of our history, and it’s only a stamp!

  • GGN

    People have to deferentiate between ‘marking’ an event and ‘celebrating’ an event.

    Unfortuantely, the word ‘celebrate’ has a meaning (or total lack of?) in Northern Irelandese which causes confusion.

    People must understand that words like culture, community, celebrate, demonstrate etc when used on this sight are in Northern Irelandese and should not be confused with similar words in English.

  • United Irishman

    I am proud of my Plantation roots – I am what I am.

    That said, at this moment in our history, we need this stamp like a hole in the head.

    Like most things in Ireland each side will view it their way and in their own narrative only.

    Each side will go out of their way to be offended. Read this thread – I rest my case.

    The fact is the Ulster Plantation has been a key factor in shaping Ireland to what it is to day.

    This event needs to be viewed rationally and in the context of the history of the time – a time when the Roman Catholic church (where they had power) burnt people at the stake.

    Wake-up, stop moaning, move on.

  • CW

    It reminds me of the classic incident back in 1990 when An Post issued a set of stamps to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

    I don’t remember the exact details, so anyone more familiar with this can correct me if inaccurate. But I recall that the Orange Order complained to Royal Mail that they hadn’t issued similar commemorative stamps. Royal Mail replied with something to the effect of they were inundated with similar such requests from all kinds of other groups every year and just couldn’t accommodate everybody!

    Oh the irony!

  • Framer

    Reading those posts, it is hard to believe the tricolour has an orange band.

    Perhaps John Waters could agitate for its removal and replacement with the papal colours that so many manufacturers produce (by popular demand) making it properly green, white and gold.

  • exile

    Anyone who takes John Waters seriously or begins to engage with him needs their head examined. The man’s an attention-seeking moron with nothing of interest to say. End of.

    Fair play to An Post. I just wish that some of my fellow Irish nationalists on this site would stop embarassing themselves.

  • “that a stamp will be issued on September 4th to commemorate the Plantation of Ulster.” … John Waters

    It’s worse than he thinks; there’ll be TWO stamps.

  • Observer

    Lads,

    pretty sure that the John Waters who wrote the letter is a different John Waters from the Irish Times Columnist.

    Just an observation.

  • OC

    Interesting that you site the Irish Rebellion of October 1641.

    This particular conflict was just the first of many (Does Shane’s Rebellion count as an even earlier example of Irish vs Scottish conflict in Ulster?) where what began as a political rebellion against the British government quickly dissolved into the sectarian genocide (typical of agrarian conflicts) against the Ulster Scots.

    Just as some Irish nationalists still foam at the mouth like rabid dogs over the Plantation (et al), the collective unconsiousness of Ulster unionists might still recall all the times that even when partnered with Irish nationalism against the Crown: inevitably it was down to genocide against them.

    The events of the last Century hardly allay that fear. Until that fear is ameliorated, no unitary Irish government is possible, unless an ard rí co fressabra status quo is acceptable.

  • Trev

    Ah! The ‘Ireland of Equals’. I can’t wait I’m feeling all loved-up already.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Mick

    Is rap music a ‘gift’ of slavery? Should slavery be celebrated in the US because it brought people to the States whose offspring many generations later would excel at basketball?

    Perhaps so, but chiding people for pointing out that certain events in history are less worthy of ‘celebrating’ than others is somewhat disingenous.

    With regard to Cromwell, it is not without reason that many Irish people hold a firm view that, in our modern world, he would be correctly accused of leading a genocidal campaign.

    To my mind, there is nothing wrong with such a stamp. Better still, I’d like to think that An Post would extend the idea to cover all major occurrences in Irish history, not least because the teaching of history has become increasingly marginalised in the education systems in this country. The more exposure of it through other means, the better.

  • “expressed socially and intellectually”

    Let’s not forget that ‘silly loon’, Francis Hutcheson, from Drumlig.

  • John45

    United Irishman – … Catholic church at the time burnt people at the stake …
    The Catholic church, and certainly not in Ireland, burnt nobody at the stake at the time.

  • Ulster McNulty

    CO

    “This particular conflict was just the first of many (Does Shane’s Rebellion count as an even earlier example of Irish vs Scottish conflict in Ulster?) where what began as a political rebellion against the British government quickly dissolved into the sectarian genocide (typical of agrarian conflicts) against the Ulster Scots.

    The plantation, and the war that facilitated it, was “just” the first of many.

    Shane’s rebellion occured before either and was an example of a Gaelic Irish v Gaelic Scottish v Old English v English power struggle.

  • “he would be correctly accused of leading a genocidal campaign.”

    A reciprocal gesture, Chris?

  • skibbereen eagle

    In terms of the cycles of history the Plantation came into an area whose culture and governance was in those contemporarty times archaic. All the minus elements have been well documented.

    However interms of an infusuion of new blood and vitatity this island must benefit in the long run and its about time the rest of us on the island appreciate the many positive contributions which eminate from the Plantation and the later Protestant immigrations.

    Look across the water; England has had waves of immigration all positive and has had the knack of by an large integretating those people over time

  • OC

    Posted by Ulster McNulty on Aug 17, 2009 @ 04:42 PM, quo he:

    “Shane’s rebellion occured before either and was an example of a Gaelic Irish v Gaelic Scottish v Old English v English power struggle.”

    My question was did Shane’s Rebellion presage the Irish vs Scottish conflict of the 1641 Rebellion that has helped shape the opinion of NI unionists against a UI today?

    Besides these two instances, one should probably include the 1798 UI Rebellion, as well as more modern cases where Protestant allies were turned on for no other reason than that they were Protestant.

  • United Irishman

    John – “The Catholic church, and certainly not in Ireland, burnt nobody at the stake at the time.”

    Being pedantic – there is a significant difference between the “Catholic Church” and the “Roman Catholic church”.

    Again being pedantic the Roman Catholic church never, at any point in its history, burnt anybody – no after the heretic was tried and condemned the victim was committed to the temporal/civil authorities (their lackeys) to do the dirty work – the RC church could shed no blood. Hypocrisy….?

    Regarding Ireland you are probably right, England saw to it that their wings were well clipped – for that we should at least be thankful.

    The Spanish Inquisition only ended officially in 1834
    The Roman Inquisition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Inquisition in 1860

    I don’t know when the RC church stopped the burnings but certainly they were still at it in 1600 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno

    The point I am making is that the Ulster Plantation was a product of its time.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Nevin

    …in itself a ‘reciprocal gesture’ to ethnic cleansing coupled with murder to create the lebensraum for the arriving ‘new’ Irish???

  • 6countyprod

    ‘Should slavery be celebrated in the US?’

    I’m not sure ‘celebrate’ is the right word, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with acknowledging that it occurred for a period in the Americas. Of course only 5% of the slaves brought across the Atlantic actually ended up in the USA, although, when you listen to whingy lefties you would think they all went there!

    I discovered something interesting when, on two separate occasions, I spoke with African-American women visiting Africa. They both said how much they had enjoyed their visit to continent of their ancestors but went on to say how glad they were that they had been born in the US. Maybe there is an element of celebration in there after all!

    Would you like to suggest something to the USPS, Chris, or shall I?

  • michael

    “I don’t know when the RC church stopped the burnings but certainly they were still at it in 1600 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giordano_Bruno

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Murphy_(counterfeiter)
    technically hanged then immolated

    however
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Wightman

    Gawddd bless the english for saving us poor paddies from such a barbaric practice

  • The Raven

    Medieval whataboutery abounds! And all over a stamp. Would be interesting to get a few teenagers in here and see if they have an opinion.

    It reminds me of the Roger Taylor maelstrom in a mug, and its subsequent nonsense.

  • John45

    United Irishman re: Catholic church.
    I will reply this way:
    I will not accuse the Anglican or Protestant churches in Ireland of any sins (Do you think they committed any?),for a very good reason.
    There is the parable of the righteous man who went to the synagogue and thanked the Lord he was not like other sinners.
    I am too scared to face the Lord if he can accuse me of suchnhypocrisy. Worse still will be my fate if I am found guilty of promoting religious hatred on this earth.

  • “in itself a ‘reciprocal gesture’”

    How far back did you jump for that one, Chris!

    I read somewhere that the 1641 uprising in Ulster during the Wars of the Three Realms was triggered by a rumour that the Scots were going to pop over to convert everyone to Presbyterianism.

  • “get a few teenagers in here”

    Raven, I think the oldies here would seem reasonably civilised compared with that lot. They’re at the cutting edge of the New Sectarianism with their paramilitary affiliated marching bands, orange and green. Whatever happened to red? It seemed to die a death in the 60s?

  • 6countyprod

    ‘1641 uprising … triggered by a rumour’

    Ay indeed, that was a good excuse for the Maguinesses in Portadown to drown all those Protestants in the River Bann.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    ……An Post to mark the plantation of Ulster?

    I dunno what all the hullabaloo is about.

    It’s an important aspect of Irish history, it’s only right to mark it.

    Gréagóir O Frainclín

  • Mick Fealty

    Chris,

    I think you misconstrue my point, which is that the not all of the legacy of the Plantation was as traumatic as we’re invited to believe. Like I suggest above there’s more Tone and the UIs than a cold grave in Bodenstown. Indirectly, they were products of the Plantation.

    Strangely, I think I agree with the broad thrust of 6cp’s tongue-in-cheek riposte on the slavery thing.

    Night all…

  • Ulster McNulty

    OC

    “My question was did Shane’s Rebellion presage the Irish vs Scottish conflict of the 1641 Rebellion that has helped shape the opinion of NI unionists against a UI today?”

    The very simple answer to your question is a definate no.

    “Scottish” in the context you use it means “Gaels” (commonly known to the English and lowland “Scots” of the time as “the Irish”). Shane O’Neill employed Gaelic highlands Scots to fight Gaelic highland Scots, you’d be hard pressed to find any kind of Scottish / Irish ethnic conflict in it.

    “Besides these two instances, one should probably include the 1798 UI Rebellion, as well as more modern cases where Protestant allies were turned on for no other reason than that they were Protestant.”

    You must be talking about 1641, and that’s a bit like saying – the American Indians attacked white settlers for no other reason than they were white, or during the battle of Britain the RAF attacked the Luftwaffe for no other reason than they were German. While that is technically true, it’s also only half the story entirely useless for historical understanding

    I think you are also talking about scullaboge and sectarian atrocities against protestants. Bear in mind that at exactly this same time the presbyterian north went republican and egalitarian, giving us the UI, it also went with violent religious supremacism- giving us the OO. People seem to forget this.

    Mary Kenny’s take on this is valid – she writes with the myths of irish nationalism in mind, her opinion is equally valid for the myths of ulster unionism.

  • OC

    Ulster M:

    ‘“Scottish” in the context you use it means “Gaels” (commonly known to the English and lowland “Scots” of the time as “the Irish”). Shane O’Neill employed Gaelic highlands Scots to fight Gaelic highland Scots, you’d be hard pressed to find any kind of Scottish / Irish ethnic conflict in it.’

    If you gallowglasses were imployed, the question there is, did they seek to exterminate the MacDonnels on their own initiative, or at the behest of Irish paymasters? Had not gallowglass families like the MacSweenys become “more Irish than the Irish” by this point?

    But I would accept your analysis of Shane’s Rebellion if:

    1. The MacDonnels hadn’t been seen by the Irish as foreigners deserving nothing less than extermination or expulsion;
    OR ELSE
    2. The later Ulster Scots had no identification whatsover with the MacDonnels as atempted victims of genocide at the hands of the Irish.

    “While that is technically true…”

    That’s my point. Once imbedded in the collective unconscious, it can’t be dislodged except by actions that prove it false, and over along period.

    And I was thinking more of the June 17 1934 Bodenstown commemoration where Protestant participants from the Skankill were attacked by the IRA. For God’s sake, in 1941 there existed a Protestant IRA company in Befast!

    And don’t think that I’m unaware of the collective unconscious of Irish nationalists. It’s the same irrational prejudices. And for similiar reasons.

  • Dewi

    “Of course only 5% of the slaves brought across the Atlantic actually ended up in the USA”

    That is interesting – where did the rest go?

  • OC

    Posted by Dewi on Aug 18, 2009 @ 04:33 AM, quo he:

    “That is interesting – where did the rest go?”

    Caribbean islands, Brazil, etc.

    Think sugar cane. Tobacco. The usual suspects.

  • Greenflag

    ‘1641 uprising … triggered by a rumour’”

    It was’nt . It was triggered by the actual execution of Thomas Wentworth -Earl of Strafford – King Charles man in Ireland whose head was demanded by the Puritans . While Strafford was no friend of Ireland his ‘execution’ signalled that the Puritans were taking control of England and the Irish could expect even worse from them .

    The Irish got that right as subsequent events unfolded .Following news of Strafford’s execution, Ireland rose in rebellion in October 1641.

    When Charles I was executed eight years later, amongst his last words were that he suggested that God had permitted his execution as punishment for his permitting Strafford’s execution.

    Not that any God gave a bugger anyway but that is of course from a 21st century perspective.

    I don’t understand all the bother about a postage stamp . The plantation happened and succeeded for several reasons unlike earlier attempts in Munster and Leinster to turn the Irishry into law abiding englishman . Why ignore it ? For better and for worse it has had a major effect on the island’s political and economic and social history .

    As we can see from the law abiding Northern Irelanders many are still having a problem with the ‘law ‘ but that’s nothing to do with the ‘plantation’ eh 😉

  • Fr Garnett

    Michael

    The English not only skinned Jesuit priests like Fr Garnett of Guy Fawkes plot fame alive but they used his skin to bind a book. The book and skin recetnly went on sale to great amusement by the BBC and other supremacist groups.

  • michael

    I’ve heard the book gives details on summoning legions of undead jesuits.

    More importantly, why hasn’t Dan Brown crapped out another masterpiece based on the rumour I’ve just started?

  • RepublicanStones

    I think the broohaha regarding this stamp is a storm in a teacup. Whilst those of an orange tinge may look at the reaction of those with a greener tinge and wonder why on earth they cannot see any positives in it (influx of skilled artisans etc), those of a greener tinge look at their orange tinted brethern and are dismayed at the complete absence of any criticism nevermind condemnation, of such a policy.

    Admittedly, I fall into the second category.

    Perhaps if releasing a stamp which neither seeks to condemn nor celebrate the event is a step towards neutralising such polar opposite stances, then it can be no bad thing.

    Btw I had to laugh, but given the thread and some of the responses, it brought to mind the episode of the Sopranos called “Christopher”.

  • sinless

    So when will the self styled Church of Ireland hand back the churches and cathedrals it looted from the Catholic Church? When will the Prtoestants start to make amends? I am not suggesting all of them should be micro chipped but their difference should be institutionalised and taxed.

    Also, laws on Holocaust denial (1649, 1847 etc) would be a help.

  • de Cardeville

    Fr Garnett above seems to be running on some pretty spectacular exaggeration: the original Fr Garnett was beheaded for treason, having refused to defend himself at his trial. He certainly wasn’t skinned alive. The book that was sold a couple of years back had long been rumoured to be bound with his skin, although there’s no firm evidence that the binding is human skin at all. The BBC’s coverage was, as far as I can ascertain, amusement-free.

  • michael

    Was that the episode where Tony spoke of his admiration for “Scotch-Irish” stocism?

    Classic episode.

  • michael

    As a side note.

    Any chance a mod could take a brick to this site’s navigation?
    If i want a new window, i’ll right-click.

    Unless I’m on a mac that is, in which case I’ll leave my over-priced fashion statement on a stylish coffee table unused.

  • 6countyprod

    Dewi, after visiting the former slave post on Gorée Island, Senegal a couple of years ago I read a National Geographic piece about slavery in the Americas written by a Black Jamaican-born historian called Colin Palmer.

    He said that of an estimated 10-12 million slaves transported mainly by Europeans (Portuguese French, English, Dutch) across the Atlantic, around 95% of them were taken to the Caribbean and Latin America.

    About 500,000 slaves, less than 5% of the total, went to the US mainland north of Spanish Florida. Approximately 5 million slaves were brought to Brazil; 2 million to Spanish colonies; and more than 3 million to the British, French, Dutch and Danish colonies in the Caribbean.

    According to Palmer, 80% of all slaves were captives taken in wars between rival tribes and states. Other slaves were those in debt and criminals, and a small number were abducted.

    The Gorée museum exhibitions and numbers broadly lined up with those in Palmer’s article.

  • sinless

    http://search.bbc.co.uk/search?go=homepage&scope=all&q=garnet+jesuit+skin

    Here is a link to the BBC and the skinning of Fr Garnett. I note the way de Cardeville dismisses it as of no import: just like the genocide of the Irish and Tasmanians. Still, at least the Brits introduced fox hunting ot the lands they cleansed.

  • David

    “I think the broohaha regarding this stamp is a storm in a teacup. Whilst those of an orange tinge may look at the reaction of those with a greener tinge and wonder why on earth they cannot see any positives in it (influx of skilled artisans etc), those of a greener tinge look at their orange tinted brethern and are dismayed at the complete absence of any criticism nevermind condemnation, of such a policy.

    Admittedly, I fall into the second category.”

    If the influx of your neighbours’ ancestors is a “grievance” to you, the implication would seem to be that the very existence of those neighbours as a community is also a grievance to you.

  • RepublicanStones

    Ahh David, such a euphemism ‘influx’ is when discussing the plantation. Its not the very existence of those ancestors or current neighbours which is a grievance to me, it is the manner in which that ‘influx’ occurred (But you knew that). I tried a little bit of honesty in my post, pity you could’nt have done the same.

  • OC

    BTW would it be correct to say that the Ulster Scot settlements east of the Bann weren’t technically part of the Plantation Of Ulster?

  • sinless

    “If the influx of your neighbours’ ancestors is a “grievance” to you, the implication would seem to be that the very existence of those neighbours as a community is also a grievance to you.”

    This has been the accepted academic orthodoxy for ages, at least 30 years.
    The only trouble was that all the Croppies were not liquidated like the Abos, the Injuns and the others Perfidious Albion totally exterminated.

    Also, these low landers seemed to have been held in very low repute. The 17th century equivalent of soccer hooligans. Not a proud tradition at all.

    The flag trailing, kerb paiting and the other symptoms of thsie strange people are all a throwback to that time when they stole the land, slaughtered the people and didn’t finish the job.

  • Pentium

    @sinless

    The problem being that the only importance that such a “grievance” can serve today is as a justification for present and future evil. For the assignment of groups whereby they have unequal rights, whether Cossacks in the Caucasus or Turks in Cyprus, all a similar story. No good can come from it.

  • Harry T

    The Plantation attempted to put manners on the bog Irish. It is disappointing that the introduction of soap etc was not well received.

    More disappointingly living on the same island as the Oirish these past few hundred years seems to have corrupted the incomers to the extent that they now mirror the local savagery; a bit like a long term dog owner ending up looking like his mutt.

  • “It was triggered by the actual execution of Thomas Wentworth”

    Apparently not, Greenflag. Turns out it was more than a rumour; there was a letter. Also the details appear in a remonstrance.

  • Gréagoir O Frainclín

    “More disappointingly living on the same island as the Oirish these past few hundred years seems to have corrupted the incomers to the extent that they now mirror the local savagery; a bit like a long term dog owner ending up looking like his mutt.”

    Ruff ruff! fetch boy fetch! sit, sit!

    So ye’s were failures then, admit it, ye’s were absolute failures at putting manners on us savage “Oirish”. No prob in putting manners on the native North American “Injuns” and carving out and creating the United States, but all ye’s could hold onto is the wee six counties of Ireland for yerselves. It must be really awful for you to be surrounded by such Oirish “savages” today….. and nearly it’s 50/50 too in the NI population. Poor Harry T! So will ye be leaving then?

    Gréagóir O Frainclín

  • Can anyone help –
    What price are the stamps?
    When do they come out?
    Can we buy them anywhere up here or do we have to go down there?

  • Greenflag

    ‘Nevin ,

    ‘Turns out it was more than a rumour’

    Right. Wentorth did lose his head in real life sorry death .

    ‘ there was a letter.’

    There was ? Not the 1948 one again shurely not of relevance to the hapless Wentworth ?

  • Greenflag

    sinless,

    ‘The only trouble was that all the Croppies were not liquidated like the Abos, the Injuns and the others Perfidious Albion totally exterminated.”

    Perfidious albion may have butchered more than her fair share of the indigenes above but the truth is 95% of these people were exterminated by not having any natural resistance to various microbial born diseases to which Europeans, Asians and also many Africans were resistant to .

    Even today in Australia you don’t need to guess which section of the population is less resistant to or suffers more from the side effects of the swine flu than others ? yes you guessed it the Aborigines and not recent asian or european immigrants .

    Truth not fiction!

  • Greenflag

    PS -The reason why the Croppies did not go the way of the Abo or Injuns was because your average Croppy had the same immunity to infectious diseases that his would be çonqueror had !

  • Dublin Exile

    This debate has descended pretty badly lads….

    Many people seem unable to seperate the concepts of commemoration and celebration… reminds me of the guy on TV last year who insisted that it was his ‘civil rights’ to build a bonfire to ‘celebrate internment’.

  • “There was? Not the 1948 one again”

    I’m glad you remembered the 1948 letter, Greenflag 🙂

    “A letter,” says Carte, “was intercepted coming from Scotland to one Freeman of Antrim bringing intelligence that a covenanting army was ready to come for Ireland, under the command of General Leslie, to extirpate the Roman Catholics of Ulster, and leave the Scots sole possessors of that province … Hill’s “McDonnells of Antrim” p60

    Spalding in “Troubles of Scotland” attributes the following riposte to the Irish side: “saying as our covenant expelled prelates and papists, so they would expel both protestants and puritans.”

    You could interpret that as an early ‘Brits out’ reaction.

    In the Remonstrance of the Catholics of Ireland it was asserted that wagers were being placed ‘than within one yeare no Catholique should be left in Ireland’ [Hill above]

    Don’t know about you Greenflag but this looks like a sound reason for getting retaliation in first.

  • sinless

    Greenflag: Good to see you rewriting history but it won’t wash. The Australians were genocidal sc-m. Here is what some of Her Majesty’s finest had to say:

    • The final extermination was a large-scale event, undertaken with the co-operation of the military and the judiciary. Soldiers of the regiment drove the natives between two great rock formations, shot all the men and dragged the women and children out of fissures in the rocks to knock their brains out . Wilhelm Ziehr’s Hell in Paradise describing the actions of the Fortieth Regiment of the British Army in 19th century Tasmania.
    • The subject races in the British Empire … those whom we cannot utilise we exterminate … Tasmanians were useless, and are all dead. Go, if you dare, into a searching comparison between the treatment of the Queensland Kanakas, who were useful beasts of burden, and that of the Queensland aborigines, who were regarded as vermin, and you will bless the lot of the half-enslaved Kanaka . (Gilbert Murray (Oxford Regius Professor of Classics, President of the League Of Nations and Chairperson of the United Nations Association) describing the lot of Queen Victoria’s subjects in 1900. Strictly speaking, as Australia’s aboriginals were only officially recognized as human beings as recently as 1967, those at the beginning of the nineteenth century cannot be regarded as subjects as they were not regarded as humans by their exterminators.)

    All of this is well documented. The Brits and their off shoots were – and are – genocidal sociopaths.

    On another point: This blog is best when vignettes are thrown up. Where might one get this book on the McDonnells?

  • Greenflag

    sinless ,

    I’m aware of the history of the Tasmanians and how they were exterminated by the settlers and in that instance ‘genocide’is an accurate description . I’m not attempting to rewrite history but it would be wrong and misleading to assume that all the indigenous native americans were exterminated by the gun or by warfare /famine etc .

    Some 95% succumbed to the white man’s diseases many even twenty years before a ‘white ‘man entered their territory as was the case with the mound cultures of the middle Mississipi and with the South American Incas etc facing the Spanish.

    ‘The Brits and their off shoots were – and are – genocidal sociopaths.’

    Were perhaps, are ??? where ? . Britain has moved on . They’ve given up their Empire and would depart NI tomorrow if the natives could but agree not to eat each other following a departure ! If they were they were no alone . Genocidal intent and action is not peculiar to the British or their offshoots . Have a read of Jared Diamond’s ‘The Third Chimpanzee’and you’ll see the league table of genocides for the past century . The Brits don’t even rate a mention .

    I had never heard of the Kanakas of Queensland but their story does not surprise me . After all it was the age of laissez faire capitalism , and we all know how that worked out for millions of Indians on the sub continent and indeed some 30% of the population of Ireland who either died in the famine or emigrated to USA , Australia and most likely some to Tasmania .

    And if the neo con right wing nutters have their way economically over the coming decade it will be the same again . The victims next time out will be the surplus to requirements working and lower middle classes of the west and other developed economies who can be replaced by cheaper and more grateful and more non unionised labour from poorer countries . Meanwhile to them that hath shall be given and to them that hath not even that which they haven’t got will be taken from them.

    It’s called by the way çarnivorous capitalism. I would like to be able to say that the historical alternative i.e communism was less carnivorous but it was actually worse 🙁

    Nevin btw is the fundi (expert) on matters dealing with the various clans who have inhabited Antrim since the landbridge between Scotland and Ireland was submerged circa 10,000 BC ?

    My own less than stellar knowledge of Ulster inter clan wars is rudimentary . The O’Donnell’s hated the O’Neill’s and the Maguires trusted neither of the above but preferred the new English who seemed to offer them greater security . The McDonnells liked not paying tribute to the O’Neill’s and no self respecting O’Donnell chieftain liked to go to sleep at night without the head of an O’Neill between his knees ( removed from the body of said O’Neill of course ).

    By the time the Ulster clans got their áct together the province was a wasteland and the men with new ways were able to make inroads while the old gaelic order passed into history .

    It was probably inevitable anyway . Today of course it’s deja vu time again . The old order is passing away but what will replace it is still a matter of conjecture .

    But the ‘settlers’have been here for over 300 years and will be here for another three hundred so it’s about time that they ‘became ‘native ‘or at least are perceived as ‘native’. The Irish Government recognises that fact but there seems to be a few 17th century merchants on both sides of the fence who prefer the past ?

    One has to presume that the same ilk would also prefer 17th century dentistry and medical practice . Why not go the whole hog if you want to live in the past say I ;)?

    Not that it bothers me unduly if both sides in NI prefer the past to the future . They will of course just be left behind and shure we all know that anyway eh 😉

  • sinless

    Grenflag: Your post may be divided into several sections

    1. Genocide is a crime is a crime. No excuses can be made for British or other imperialism. That is why low notes like scum, vermin etcf must be used.

    2. Warring clans: I know west of the bann, things were complicated with minor clans jumping sides and divide and conquer being the rule. However, this is where we get into academic quagmires as the footnotes drown us. Kevin Myers and the Daily Mail crowd used that about our boys on the Somme, Afghanistan etc.
    Red Huge O’Neill was married to bagenal’s sister, I believe so he had some sort of a Plan B/his own GFA in place, perhaps. I am sure many chieftains joined Red Hugh O’Donnell as he was progably a Jim Lynagh type, not to be trucked with. I was in Scotland recentl yand tried reading up on the rivalries prior to Culloden. i had to give up.

    3. Things are not inevitable. The Plantation of Ulster was wrong. Period. The genocide in Darfur is wrong and the Chinese should fuck off out if it. Period. But ain’t nobody gonna do it there or in most other places. So in that sense we are all guilty.

  • Greenflag

    sinless,

    ‘Genocide is a crime is a crime”

    Full marks for the obvious .I don’t recall stating it was’nt

    ‘I was in Scotland recently and tried reading up on the rivalries prior to Culloden. I had to give up.’

    I know . Whatever the Scots were thinking in 1745 supporting the grandson of Seamus a Caca I’ve no idea . I’m sure they had some reason for revolt.

    ‘Things are not inevitable’

    Somethings I agree others I don’t . Death and taxes being two . Corrupt politicians for three . Fat bishops and crooked bankers four and five . And no the impoverished millions or billions are not the sole possessors of honesty and justice either .

    ‘The Plantation of Ulster was wrong.’

    Indeed -So too was the Norman divvying up of Britain post the Norman conquest and before that there was and before that etc etc etc .

    The spoils of war . It’s still going on . The Chinese won’t give up Tibet . The Americans are hanging on to as much middle eastern oil as they can .

    ‘So in that sense we are all guilty. ‘

    If by we you mean the entire human race you have a theoretical point but lets face it it’s ponly in recent years that ordinary people in all countries ever got to hear about what really happened as opposed to the sanitised versions of history which is usually the standard for most curricula in all states

    ”But ain’t nobody gonna do it there or in most other places’

    Well the International Court at the Hague has tried a few notorious former politicians and generals /dictators for genocide . But re China you are correct . Our carnivorous çapitalist west is too busy making money and hoping to make more from the emerging world power that we pay lip service to any possibility of Chinese democracy .We (the west ) can export democracy to Iraq , and Afghanistan but China well that’s where principles make way for principal not least because the Chinese hold a trillion dollars of US securities and the USA is in no position to etc