The one hundredth anniversary of the Irish Easter 1916 uprising

by on March 27, 2016 at 2:50 am in Current Affairs, Economics, Education, History, Law, Political Science, Religion, Uncategorized | Permalink

Maria Farrell writes:

The events that precisely triggered the Easter Rising are a little murky. They involve the capture of Roger Casement’s arms shipment, and feature the great hero of the Rising, Padraig Pearse, lying to MacNeill, forging documents and kidnapping and holding his socialist rivals until they acquiesced. Whether the leaders were about to be rounded up and imprisoned is unclear. MacNeill believed it, until he didn’t, but by then it was too late.

How many of you (non-Irish that is, Irish try this) are emotionally stirred by that description, one way or the other?  How many of you recall reading about those events at all?

What I find most striking is how little I, as an Irish-American, emotionally identify with any of the sides in this conflict.  I recall being asked in New Jersey seventh grade, by another Irish-American, whether my family was Protestant or Catholic in background and I wasn’t even sure (Catholic, it turned out, though my paternal grandparents also had been non-believers).

I was born in Kearny, New Jersey, a working class town full of Irish and Scot atavisms, including bars where they raised money for the IRA, fish and chips, and good soccer teams.  My father was more interested in Barry Goldwater, and by the time we moved to the more suburban northern rim of the state all that old country history was forgotten.

On the other side of the water, Ireland is one of the few countries to break through the middle-income trap, and last year it grew at 7.8%, an increasingly embarrassing fact for many “the long run is forever” commentators, not to mention investment up more than 28%.

(Yes, there is fairly rapid post-austerity catch-up growth when institutions are even moderately healthy, and if you are not seeing such growth the economy is probably at its new frontier or structural reforms are required.  And to point out that households are not capturing all of those gains — gdp vs. gnp —  is to save the pessimistic mood at the expense of the theory.  Without a Russian collapse, the Baltics probably would have continued along a similar track.)

Brexit of course would hit both Ireland and Northern Ireland fairly hard; it is strange how the Republic of Ireland has turned out to be the stable political unit in the family.

Here is a BBC piece on how to commemorate 1916.  The embarrassing parallel is that the modern IRA cites the 1916 heroes and considers their more recent terror acts to hold comparable status.  Somehow the balls must be juggled to avoid this conclusion, especially since there has been a recent uptick in unrest in Northern Ireland.

Various “victim monger” commentators don’t radiate too much sympathy for the Northern Irish republican cause.  Is it because the stereotypical representation of the fighters is a little too male, a little too grizzled, too conservative, too white Christian, too chauvinistic, and maybe even too mumbly?  I have to listen so closely to those movies to understand at all, and in the end they still bore me.  John Lennon’s John Sinclair song never seemed to stick.  Yeats too tried his best.


I am struck by how underrepresented this topic is in my Twitter feed.

1 In the sky March 27, 2016 at 4:07 am

“The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens, and declares its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally”

That’s an emotionally stirring call to arms. The Rebels were brave men committed to establishing a liberal democracy against a rather less forgiving empire. Their personal integrity was inspiring. And the President of Ireland said this week that his position would not exist without them. War is disgusting, but those men did their country great service.

2 prior_test2 March 27, 2016 at 4:43 am

Come now, Prof. Cowen only cries when he lands in England, not Ireland – ‘Every time my plane lands in England I shed at least a tear, maybe more, out of realization that I am visiting a birthplace (the birthplace?) of liberty.’

3 Millian March 27, 2016 at 7:34 am

I think this is the explanation. If you identify with the classical-liberal British Empire after 1783, then Ireland was the first chink in the armour among the countries which were denied self-determination, and the Rising was intrinsically regrettable. Even most Britons don’t really identify with that empire any more – they see nationalism (e.g. Brexit) as more important than spreading a pan-national ideology.

4 anon March 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

Many of you here are widely read, but I think most people (from the merely schooled to the moderately read) think in terms of cultural succession. For the American audience it is: America came from England came from Rome came from Greece came from Mesopotamia. The hubris of course is that each is inheritor from the previous. Sorry England, and other dead branches.

I say throw out the arc, and choose the world’s best stories (of which I’m not sure the Easter Rising is one).

5 anon March 27, 2016 at 11:41 am

(The niece is learning which wives of English kings got their heads chopped, which seems a really weird thing for an 11 year-old to learn in California in 2016.)

6 Too Late March 27, 2016 at 2:31 pm

There is most likely a feminist/SJW message, which is pretty common in California in 2016.

7 anon March 27, 2016 at 8:44 pm

Even in California “feminist/SWJ” is something you hear about on the Internet, not in real life.

8 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 11:02 pm

Except for the vicious crew of head-case lesbians who have secure employment as ‘women’s studies professors’ on half the arts and sciences faculties in the country.

9 Maurice de Sully March 28, 2016 at 12:30 pm

As a Californian I must say, your real life must be incredibly sheltered.

10 Norman Pfyster March 28, 2016 at 11:41 am

Divorced, beheaded, died; divorced, beheaded, survived. One of the funniest things I saw in one of Henry’s castles was a wall with pictures of his six wives, each one captioned with the appropriate word of the rhyme.

11 So Much For Subtlety March 27, 2016 at 6:46 pm

I hate to break it to you but those people did not want to create a liberal democracy. A democracy perhaps. But liberal, no. Their heirs did create pretty much the only theocracy west of Saudi Arabia.

Britain was a liberal democracy. That is what they did not like.

12 Millian March 27, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Utterly overblown and cringing Anglophilia.

Britain’s democracy included hundreds of millions of unrepresented Indians. Its distinctive liberalism included jailing campaigners for womens’ suffrage while Irish women took up arms.

13 So Much For Subtlety March 28, 2016 at 3:52 am

So we are agreed the British Empire wasn’t all bad then.

Britain’s Empire might have included a lot of very lucky Indians, but Britain did not. It did include Ireland. They had a liberal democracy. That is not what they were fighting for. As can be seen by the fact that the main backers for the Irish Republicans over the years have been the Nazis – and Dev remembered to send his condolences when Hitler died but not when FDR did – and the USSR.

14 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 11:00 pm

Their heirs did create pretty much the only theocracy west of Saudi Arabia.

There was no theocracy. The Irish Free State had an unremarkable parliamentary constitution. Elites and people also had a lively sense of who they were and the principles which should animate law and policy. That offends latter-day sensibilities, because latter-day sensibilities are not worth a pitcher of warm spit.

15 So Much For Subtlety March 28, 2016 at 3:43 am

It did a very good imitation of a theocracy. But it did have an unremarkable constitution. But then a theocratic population will elect a theocratic government. I agree strongly with your last sentence.

16 Art Deco March 28, 2016 at 10:52 am

But then a theocratic population will elect a theocratic government.

This is a nonsense statement.

17 Adrian Ratnapala March 28, 2016 at 1:50 am

The thing that gives me pause about 1916 was, well, the date.

I’m hardly an expert, as most of my knowledge on the topic comes from a single visit to the Irish National Museum. The picture I got there was that there was that by that time there had been a long series of political compromises that was set to deliver liberal demoracy to Ireland _within_ the UK, and that this had majority support within Ireland. In that context, the uprising and the British response were a successful move by the the nationalists to poison the political political atmosphere.

So I’m not sure if the above interpretation is correct, I tend to view it in terms of subsequent history. Ireland has been a pretty typical, good, democracy. On the other hand the IRA has been a pretty typical, bad, bunch of terrorist scum.

18 Chris March 28, 2016 at 1:39 pm

British attempts to implement Home Rule in Ireland almost lead to a civil war right before World War I, as the Unionists were prepared to use violence. There was actually a mutiny by British officers in Ireland who were sympathetic to the Unionists and wouldn’t act against them if they rebelled against Home Rule. However, as Britain entered WWI, the crisis was averted as Britain shelved implementing Home Rule while the war was going on.

When the Republicans rebelled in 1916, most Irish were actually against them. However, it was the severe British reprisals against the Republican prisoners (almost the entire leadership were executed after they surrendered) that turned the Irish into supporters of a republic instead of in favor of Home Rule.

19 prior_test2 March 27, 2016 at 4:39 am

You have to love a link to a Japanese registered web site called

This is definitely a step up (or down) from your typical spammer.

20 Steve Sailer March 27, 2016 at 4:54 am

Ireland was Britain’s safety valve that allowed Britain to have a remarkably settled distribution of property over so many centuries. When politicians fought civil wars in Britain, typically the winners went over to Ireland and stole the property of Irish rebels, so they didn’t feel as much urge to steal property in England or Scotland.

The existence of poor Ireland did wonders for the rule of law in Britain. But it’s not surprising that the Irish grew sick of this relationship.

21 Heorogar March 27, 2016 at 10:40 am

I think we can look upon the Easter Rising as Texans view the Alamo. Shortly after, Michael Collins’ guerrilla war caused the English to agree to the Free State and Home Rule. The Free State was not enough for De Valera and the hard-line Republicans who waged a fratricidal, civil war in which Michael Collins was killed in an ambush. As Collins had said would happen, the Irish shortly attained complete independence and the Republic.

The long-suffering Irish are the only conquered people in the so-called British Isles that were able to wrest their national independence from the English.

Truth, as early as the 1090’s, Norman pirates sailing from England began stealing Irish lands. During the reign of Elizabeth I, the pushy and aggressive English tried to colonize Munster igniting another of the long string of rebellions, massacres, debacles, famines, etc. The failure of the Elizabethan Irish colonization was shortly followed by the Virginia colonization.

The early rebellions were clannish and dynastic, not nationalistic or religious. Until the twentieth century, the nationalist movement was led by both Catholics and Protestants.

In the early 1600’s, Ulster was populated (plantation) with English and Scots protestants after the English had reduced the powerful Celtic clannish lords (O’Neill, O’Donnell, et al) who fled to Europe – “The Flight of the Earls.”

22 prior_test2 March 27, 2016 at 4:58 am

You linked to the BBC when talking about the founding of the Irish Republic, which provides a fascinating view into the sort of liberty the English remain fans of – ‘In the Republic, where the population is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, it is easier to revere the leaders of the 1916 rebellion as founding fathers. For Ulster Protestants they have historically represented the old fear of destruction at the hands of Catholics.’

A bit of Irish history about those Ulster Protestants and their fears – ‘Begun privately in 1606, the Plantation of Ulster became government-sponsored in 1609, with much land for settlement being allocated to the Livery Companies of the City of London. Colonising Ulster with loyal Scottish and English settlers, the vast majority of whom were Protestants, was seen by the ministers of King James as a way to prevent further rebellion in the province, which had been the region of Ireland most resistant to English control during the preceding century. By 1622 there was a total settler population of about 19,000,[3] and by the 1630s somewhere between 50,000[4] and as many as 80,000. Ulster Protestants descend from a variety of lineages, including Scots (some of whose descendants consider themselves Ulster Scots), English, Irish, and Huguenots.[5][6] Another influx of an estimated 20,000 Scottish Protestants, mainly to the coastal counties of Antrim, Down and Londonderry, was a result of the seven ill years of famines in Scotland in the 1690s.[7] This migration decisively changed the population of Ulster, giving it a Protestant majority.[4] While Presbyterians of Scottish descent and origin had already become the majority of Ulster Protestants by the 1660s, when Protestants still made up only a third of the population, they had become an absolute majority in the province by the 1720s.[8]

Divisions between Ulster’s Protestants and Irish Catholics have played a major role in the history of Ulster from the 17th century to the present day, especially during the Plantation, the Cromwellian conquest, the Williamite War, the revolutionary period, and the Troubles.’

23 prior_test2 March 27, 2016 at 5:04 am

Really, this is BBC comedy gold – ‘The fact that the rebels rose up without asking the people of Ireland what they felt, and did so in defiance of their moderate comrades, tends to be glossed over in the official remembrance of a modern democratic Ireland.’

Change ‘Ireland’ to ‘Continentals,’ and the odds are that the BBC would still consider that to be accurate depiction from an English liberty loving perspective of what happens when unruly colonies use violence to throw off the benefits of England’s blessings.

24 Millian March 27, 2016 at 7:35 am

And what does the BBC think about the French Resistance, not asking the French people what they thought of fighting Pétain, hain?

25 Nathan W March 27, 2016 at 7:01 am

It is possible that the UK is both a) the main source of modern principles of freedom and democracy, and b) that they applied such principles to themselves but not the colonies for a very long time before the contradiction ultimately fell in upon itself and colonies were ushered into their own freedom and democracy.

In fact, that’s basically what happened. Much like, in America, the contradiction between freedom and slavery eventually became apparent, recognizing the humanity in the slaves, and the moral necessity to end slavery.

26 prior_test2 March 27, 2016 at 7:48 am

‘but not the colonies for a very long time before the contradiction ultimately fell in upon itself and colonies were ushered into their own freedom and democracy’

I wonder what people in Hong Kong would think of such sentiments.

‘Much like, in America, the contradiction between freedom and slavery eventually became apparent’

There is no eventually about it. As expressed by Lincoln – ‘”In the first place, I insist that our fathers did not make this nation half slave and half free, or part slave and part free. I insist that they found the institution of slavery existing here. They did not make it so, but they left it so because they knew of no way to get rid of it at that time.”‘ The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, “Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Quincy” (October 13, 1858), p. 276

The contradiction was there from the very start, and everyone was aware of it.

27 Nathan W March 27, 2016 at 8:09 am

There are 50-odd members in the Commonwealth. The counterexample of HK is hardly an indictment, and anyways, it was always to go back to China and establishing a truly thriving democracy in HK would only have led to problems later. Also, even when it was administered by the British, regardless of the legislatures having some pretty anti-democratic elements, they were primarily full of HK power holders, consistent with a fair degree of autonomy from the British Crown.

Whether Lincoln correctly interpreted the intent of the writers of the Constitution 80 years after the fact is debatable. Certainly they did not intend to authorize gay marriage, for example, but it was the eventual realization that the basic principles of legal equality should not apply to people of one seuxal orientation rather than another, that drove the change. Consistent with the constitutionally established principles, but certainly not exactly what they had in mind. If the Founding Fathers had recognized slaves as equally human and deserving of the same rights, why would they not have penned opinions to say as much?

28 prior_test2 March 27, 2016 at 9:32 am

‘There are 50-odd members in the Commonwealth.’

Oddly enough, two countries that declared themselves republics after successful armed insurrection against the UK are not among its members.

‘Whether Lincoln correctly interpreted the intent of the writers of the Constitution 80 years after the fact is debatable.’

Lincoln was not talking about ‘intent,’ he was talking about historical reality. Including the compromises required to allow the Constitution to be adopted.

‘If the Founding Fathers had recognized slaves as equally human and deserving of the same rights, why would they not have penned opinions to say as much?’

We can agree, one hopes, that the slave owning founding fathers would not have been at the forefront of expressing such sentiments. And one should never confuse being anti-slavery and anti-racist. Slavery was considered evil on its own terms, as illustrated by Lincoln – ‘It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, “You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.” No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.’ — October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton, Illinois

This is the sort of thinking that Lincoln expressed in terms of blacks, separate from slavery itself – ‘I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together on the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position. I have never said anything to the contrary, but I hold that, notwithstanding all this, there is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence,—the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man. I agree with Judge Douglas that he is not my equal in many respects, certainly not in color, perhaps not in intellectual and moral endowments; but in the right to eat the bread without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal, and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every other man.’

Slavery and equal rights for Americans descended from slaves are not the same subject in American historical terms, though clearly they are entwined. It was very rare indeed to find anyone in the U.S. in the 1700s or 1800s who felt that black people were equal to white people in any sense, though Lincoln was willing to grant the same rights to black men that were granted white men, as long as whites retained their superior position. However, many non-slave owning Americans felt that slavery was no different than any other form of tyrannical oppression, regardless of whether blacks were equal to whites or not.

29 mulp March 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm

“Whether Lincoln correctly interpreted the intent of the writers of the Constitution 80 years after the fact is debatable.”

Right, the Constitution states that it defines the most perfect union possible forever, and slavery should never have been prohibited because that led to banning indentured servitude, and that leads to creeping liberty to more minorities, something never contemplated by the authors of the Constitution.

Why the founders never contemplated taxing Americans, and they would be appalled that Congress has passed any taxes! The conservatives like Cruz are correct in arguing Federal taxes are unconstitutional!


30 chuck martel March 27, 2016 at 12:38 pm

” in America, the contradiction between freedom and slavery eventually became apparent, recognizing the humanity in the slaves, and the moral necessity to end slavery.”

The slavery issue then, as now, was a political one and a continuation of the English Civil War, a battle between the Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony and the religiously heterodox southern Colonies. The fight against slavery was important only in establishing a political moral high ground unattached to reality. This fact is easily recognized by the attitude of Saint Lincoln and his masters toward the native Americans, whose land was pillaged and stolen, wives and children murdered, the survivors being herded on to the most inhospitable areas of the country that once belonged to them in its entirety. While the southern slaves were emancipated in 1863, native Americans were not allowed citizenship in their own country until 1928, 300 years after the arrival of the Cromwellian invaders. Lincoln’s number one assassin, Gen. Phil Sheridan, continued the atrocities he ordered in the Shenandoah Valley on the natives of the Great Plains. That particular moral necessity has never really been ended.

31 Careless March 27, 2016 at 7:38 pm

Careless – imagine that countries on the receiving end of Western bombardments were to have a similar outlook to your. How would they deal with Westerners? Oh … not well … maybe they can be understood after all.

Yes, Nathan, you moron, you’re arguing against them importing American drones that will kill their people, and against what you meant to be your own point

32 dearieme March 27, 2016 at 5:21 am

My Irish grandfather strongly recommended believing not a word of Irish history. Still, there must be something to be learnt from it all. I had long wondered why they bothered with their uprising: the Home Rule Act was on the statute books, waiting only for the war to end before being put into operation.

A few years ago I saw the argument that the urgency to act was dominated by the fear that the population would realise that Ireland didn’t subsidise Britain, but vice versa. The immediate cause would be Old Age Pensions, introduced a few years before: when Irish codgers realised that independence would cost them their state handout they would cool on the idea. I’m not sure that there would have been enough codgers to have been decisive, though I can see that such a lesson might cause plenty of people to ponder the economic downside of independence.

Maybe the key reason was that Home Rule would cost Pearse and his like the prospect of political power, which would presumably come into the hands of more conventional politicians. You could argue that independence reduced the political power of Irishmen in total since they could no longer hope to have sway in the Westminster parliament but would instead be left as cock o’ the walk in a little third world dump. But then they presumably had every hope that it wouldn’t become such a dump. If so they must have been disappointed.

33 Millian March 27, 2016 at 7:40 am

Ireland subsidised the United Kingdom through rents on lands that had been taken by force over the preceding 300 years.

Pearse died and knew he would die. His standard-ideological beliefs are to some extent a mystery. He seems to have been a believer in violence and self-destruction as bloody rhetorical tools, but not personally ambitious for office.

Irishmen held zero power in 1912, only a temporary veto at best. Compare to the feeble power of the Welsh at Westminster today, if Welsh Methodism was as hated as Catholicism.

34 dearieme March 27, 2016 at 9:14 am

“Ireland subsidised the United Kingdom” makes no sense: Ireland in 1916 was part of the UK; it had been since 1801. By 1916 Ireland was, apparently, being subsidised by the rest of the UK. That could have been an accounting illusion, of course, but independence made it clear that it was true. Your argument about rent is flimsy: suppose the bulk of the landowners had emigrated to America – would you then say that Ireland subsidised the USA? That’s not what’s meant by subsidies.

“He seems to have been a believer in violence and self-destruction”: yes it had occurred to me that he was a murderous psychopath; the wonder is that so many followed him. Damn near a Godwin’s law moment here, eh?

“Irishmen held zero power in 1912, only a temporary veto at best”: given the endless disruption that Irish parties had caused at Westminster through the 19th and early 20th century, that’s a bit far-fetched. Whenever the Liberals and Conservatives were nearly evenly balanced the Irish MPs had lots of power. The comparison with Wales isn’t much cop because (i) Wales has far fewer MPs than Ireland had, partly because it has a smaller population, and (ii) because the bulk of Welsh MPs aren’t members of a one-issue party capable of upsetting the balance of power. (I have no idea why, but if you take England and its population as the standard, Ireland was then over-represented and Scotland then under-represented at Westminster. Currently Scotland is over-represented: whether Wales is I don’t know.)

35 Thor March 27, 2016 at 2:38 pm


36 Millian March 27, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Tell us what the Irish could do with that power, then. Home Rule? Right, that didn’t happen of course. A veto, nothing more.

“Scotland is over-represented”

No. Some of Scotland’s islands are over-represented, but Scotland qua Scotland has been represented in line with the Westminster average since 2005.

This all makes me treat the rest of the analysis with due suspicion.

37 Adrian Ratnapala March 28, 2016 at 2:09 am

Scotland is a little overrepresented, about 90k Scots per MP compared 99k English per MP. This is perfectly reasonable for a small country within a large one.

Traditionally this has loomed large because it was part of a general overrepresantation of Labour dominated areas. Now it looms large because the SNP landslide hands Scotland a huge block-vote. But such things are part and parcel of parliaments, and nothing to get too upset about.

38 Brian Donohue March 27, 2016 at 11:01 am

I imagine the success of modern Ireland comes as a surprise to the crusty old English part of your lineage.

I mean, I presume your “bug in amber” 19th century attitudes to, say, Catholicism came from somewhere.

39 dearieme March 27, 2016 at 4:01 pm

My attitude to Roman Catholicism is influenced by the experience of my catholic family members. Little of that does credit to the RC church. Much of the problem may be the Irish influence. Protestant family members have no equally disobliging tales to tell. One atheist was once disgruntled by the actions of a Protestant minster, one by the actions of an RC priest.

40 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 4:39 pm

My attitude to Roman Catholicism is influenced by the experience of my catholic family members.

I take it they weren’t impressed with their snotty shirt-tail relatives.

41 Steve Sailer March 27, 2016 at 6:38 pm

The grand strategy of the Democratic Party — lets lot of immigrants to vote Democratic to show those horrible Republicans who is really in charge — reminds me of Irish thinking c. 1167 A.D.:

Back then, one Irish lord, King Diarmait Mac Murchada of Leinster, was losing a struggle with another Irish nob, High King Ruaidri mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair. But King Diarmait had a great idea: he’d ask King Henry II of England to send over some Norman knights to help him put that other Irishman in his place.

The Normans were Vikings who had conquered a chunk of France, learned French, then conquered England, to which they brought first names that might strike you as still rather familiar-sounding, like William and Henry. I.e., they were super-scary guys. What could possibly go wrong if King Diarmait invited some Normans into Ireland? What? Were the English Normans going to conquer Ireland and own it for most of a millennium? Hah! Likely story …

Was the really important thing for the Irish to hang on to this nice green island they had out in the ocean so they could squabble over it amongst themselves? No, of course not. The truly important priority was to show High King Ruaidri mac Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair that he couldn’t push King Diarmait Mac Murchada of Leinster around. These cool new English/Norman underlings of King Diarmait’s would show High King Ruaidri who’s boss!

What could possibly go wrong?

42 Gafiated March 27, 2016 at 5:51 am

How much should the British government have paid the IRA to use the loo?

43 Stuart March 27, 2016 at 6:30 am

Irish independence was one of two of Kaiser Willhelm’s initiatives with a lasting legacy. The other, of course, being releasing Lenin to start the Bolshevik revolution.

44 Aidan March 27, 2016 at 6:46 am

The mythology of the Rising has always focused on the subsequent execution of the rebel leaders, rather than the Rising itself. Martyring oneself for a greater cause, at Easter, turned out to fit in rather well with the Irish Catholic narrative.

45 Derek March 27, 2016 at 6:53 am

I wonder if it was the collapse of political Catholicism that resulted in the fizzling out of the troubles?

46 Millian March 27, 2016 at 7:41 am

No. The Troubles were 90 per cent a phenomenon in the north of Ireland, political Catholicism 90 per cent in the south. Partition separated the two parts of the island in modern political development, probably to the point of irrevocable and non-unifiable difference.

47 Andrew McDowell March 27, 2016 at 1:58 pm

The writing was on the wall as soon as 911 persuaded romantic but misguided Americans that it wasn’t cool to give money that would be spent on plastic explosive.

48 Kevin Denny March 27, 2016 at 7:46 am

The GDP growth numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt as they are distorted by multinationals. The economy is growing but nothing like that.
Tyler: why not visit the old country?

49 Adrian RatnapalaIt has 9% of seats and 8% of the population. March 28, 2016 at 2:14 am

Ireland was famous for hosting multinationals even before the Euro crisis. Without knowing more detail, I would have expected that to result in variations within Ireland to be *underestimated* on both the down and upswings.

50 Adrian Ratnapala March 28, 2016 at 2:15 am

Of course in fact have any percentage of seats, or of the population.

Neither do I have an edit button.

51 Alan March 27, 2016 at 7:58 am

Just like the last story ( and maybe WWII ). Punish by force, then pay them to act right. Because continuing punishment leads to revolution, war, and murder.

52 ChrisA March 27, 2016 at 8:11 am

Irish independence was not worth the fighting and dying for, the rest of the UK was perfectly liberal before and after independence and people did come and go at will between the two countries. Just compare an Irish high street with an English one, and try to tell the difference. Arguably the UK was more free than Eire in many ways. Like the recent Scotland debate, only fool would think it worth getting upset about where the rulers lives, unless they had a plan to be the ruler themselves.

Nationalism to me is just about the worst political philosophy, even worse than socialism which at least pretends to have some noble goal.

53 Millian March 27, 2016 at 8:41 am

Presumably they wanted democratic self-determination rather than being a minority in a country overseeing a global Empire. That’s something worthwhile to stand up for, right?

54 ChrisA March 27, 2016 at 9:56 am

Millian – Irish people could vote in UK elections. Not sure what the rest of your comment means, perhaps there was some aesthetic reason to dislike being part of the Empire, but was that really worth even one death?

55 prior_test2 March 27, 2016 at 10:30 am

‘perhaps there was some aesthetic reason to dislike being part of the Empire, but was that really worth even one death’

Cromwell seems to have thought it was worth a significant percentage of Ireland’s population to ensure the blessings of continuing English rule – ‘The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland or Cromwellian war in Ireland (1649–53) refers to the conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Cromwell landed in Ireland with his New Model Army on behalf of England’s Rump Parliament in August 1649.

Following the Irish Rebellion of 1641, most of Ireland came under the control of the Irish Catholic Confederation. In early 1649, the Confederates allied with the English Royalists, who had been defeated by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War. By May 1652, Cromwell’s Parliamentarian army had defeated the Confederate and Royalist coalition in Ireland and occupied the country—bringing to an end the Irish Confederate Wars (or Eleven Years’ War). However, guerrilla warfare continued for a further year. Cromwell passed a series of Penal Laws against Roman Catholics (the vast majority of the population) and confiscated large amounts of their land.

The Parliamentarian reconquest of Ireland was brutal, and Cromwell is still a hated figure in Ireland.[4] The extent to which Cromwell, who was in direct command for the first year of the campaign, was responsible for the atrocities is debated to this day. Some historians[5] argue that the actions of Cromwell were within the then-accepted rules of war, or were exaggerated or distorted by later propagandists; these claims have been challenged by others.[6]

The impact of the war on the Irish population was unquestionably severe, although there is no consensus as to the magnitude of the loss of life. The war resulted in famine, which was worsened by an outbreak of bubonic plague. Estimates of the drop in the Irish population resulting from the Parliamentarian campaign range between 15–25%[7]-50%[8][9]-83%.[10] The Parliamentarians also deported about 50,000 people as indentured labourers. Some estimates cover population losses over the course of the Conquest Period (1649-52) only,[11] while others cover the period of the Conquest to 1653 and the period of the Cromwellian Settlement from August 1652 to 1659 together.’

56 dearieme March 27, 2016 at 11:06 am

My impression is that Cromwell was indeed harsh, but I understand that the great war crime with which he is charged, the slaughter of civilians at Drogheda, simply didn’t happen – it’s a fabrication. But then as I said above, my Oirish grandpa recommended believing no Irish history at all.

57 prior_test2 March 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

‘but I understand that the great war crime with which he is charged, the slaughter of civilians at Drogheda, simply didn’t happen – it’s a fabrication’

Well, that Cromwell may not have ordered the massacre of civilians is certainly reasonable.

However, a bit of background from what is considered to be historical fact, not fabrication – ‘The Siege of Drogheda took place on 3–11 September 1649 at the outset of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. The coastal town of Drogheda was held by the Irish Catholic Confederation and English Royalists when it was besieged and stormed by English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell. In the aftermath of the assault, much of the garrison and an unknown but “significant number” of civilians were killed by the Parliamentarian troops.[1] Historians debate the legality of Cromwell’s killing of the garrison of Drogheda and the extent to which civilians were targeted during the massacre.’

A bit of background – ‘On Monday 10 September, Cromwell had a letter delivered to the governor, the English Royalist, Sir Arthur Aston, which read:

Sir, having brought the army of the Parliament of England before this place, to reduce it to obedience, to the end that the effusion of blood may be prevented, I thought fit to summon you to deliver the same into my hands to their use. If this be refused, you will have no cause to blame me. I expect your answer and remain your servant,
— O. Cromwell

The contemporary laws of war were clear: if surrender was refused and a garrison was taken by assault, then its defenders could lawfully be killed.’

Then this occurred – ‘Cromwell, upon riding into the town, was enraged by the sight of heaps of Parliamentarian dead at the breaches. Morrill states “it was the sight of fallen comrades that was the occasion of Cromwell issuing the order for no quarter”.[18] In Cromwell’s words, “In the heat of the action, I forbade them [his soldiers] to spare any that were in arms in the town…and, that night they put to the sword about two thousand men”.

After breaking into the town the Parliamentarian soldiers pursued the defenders through the streets and into private properties, sacking churches and defensible positions as they went.[22] There was a drawbridge that would have stopped the attackers reaching the northern part of the town, but the defenders had no time to pull it up behind them and the killing continued in the northern part of Drogheda.’

All legal warfare by then contemporary standards, and not a fabrication. Followed by more of what can be considered legal warfare – ‘Some 200 Royalists under Arthur Aston, the garrison commander, had barricaded themselves in Millmount Fort overlooking the south-eastern gate, while the rest of the town was being sacked.[24] Cromwell was wary of trying to storm the fort, which he described as “a place very strong, and of difficult access, being exceeding high, having a good graft, and strongly palisaded”.[25] Parliamentarian colonel, Daniel Axtell, “offered to spare the lives of the governor and the 200 men with him if they surrendered on the promise of their lives, which they did”.[18]

According to Axtell, the disarmed men were then taken to a windmill and killed about an hour after they had surrendered.[18] Arthur Aston was reportedly beaten to death with his own wooden leg, which the Parliamentarian soldiers believed had gold hidden in it.[26] Cromwell wrote of the incident, “our men getting up to them, were ordered by me to put them all to the sword”.[25]

Another group of about 100 Royalist soldiers sought refuge in the steeple of St Peter’s Church at the northern end of Drogheda.[13] Parliamentarian soldiers led by John Hewson, on Cromwell’s orders, set fire to the church steeple.[22] Around 30 of the defenders were burned to death in the fire and 50 more were killed outside when they fled the flames.’

To tally up what happened, here is the result of some of Cromwell’s explicit orders – ‘The heads of 16 Royalist officers were cut off and sent to Dublin, where they were stuck on pikes on the approach roads.[29] Any Catholic clergy found within the town were clubbed to death—or “knocked on the head” as Cromwell put it[30]—including two who were executed the following day.[31]

Cromwell wrote on 16 September 1649: “I believe we put to the sword the whole number of the defendants. I do not think Thirty of the whole number escaped with their lives. Those that did, are in safe custody for the Barbadoes”.[32] Specifically, he listed Royalist casualties as 60 officers, 220 cavalry troopers and 2,500 infantry.’

Again, no fabrications seem involved, as Cromwell is generally noted for his honesty. But there is some dispute as to whether Cromwell’s own words are accurate – ‘However Colonel John Hewson wrote “those in the towers being about 200, did yield to the Generals mercy, where most of them have their lives and be sent to Barbados”. Other reports spoke of 400 military prisoners.[34][35] Some of the garrison escaped over the northern wall, while according to one Royalist officer, Dungan, “many were privately saved by officers and soldiers”, in spite of Cromwell’s order for no quarter.’

The civilian massacre part does seem overstated, however. Killing priests? Well, for someone of Cromwell’s undoubted beliefs, no problem, as they were undoubtedly not seen as civilians in our sense of the word. If one assumes the count of the dead is accurate, 20% civilian casualties seems almost mild by modern warfare methods.

Of course, Cromwell’s own summation is open to interpretation – ‘I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgement of God on these barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands with so much innocent blood; and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which are satisfactory grounds for such actions which cannot otherwise but work remorse and regret.’

58 stephen March 27, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Some Irish historians maintain, and your post doesn’t exactly contradict this, that the garrison of Drogheda – mostly killed, according to the laws of war at the time, when the town was taken by storm after they had refused to surrender – were principally English Royalist Protestants who have been posthumously renationalised and converted.

Compare the near-contemporary capture of Protestant German Magdeburg by a Catholic army that resulted in about 25,000 dead, mostly civilian, for an insight into early C17 laws of war.

59 Millian March 27, 2016 at 7:39 pm

Plenty of Irish boys were dying in the First World War. That wasn’t worth one death, but the Empire did it anyway, so wasn’t that worth getting out of?

60 So Much For Subtlety March 27, 2016 at 6:59 pm

Except the Irish have been begging to be part of the European Union for some time. So they are happy being an insignificant minority as long as the majority hate the English.

61 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Same deal with the Scottish Nationalists. Totally unserious.

62 Christine March 27, 2016 at 9:46 am

I’m with you, ChrisA.

63 anon March 27, 2016 at 1:07 pm

Agree. In general don’t die for anything you can achieve politically over say 50 years.

64 stan March 27, 2016 at 8:38 am

Estimates of the damage that will be caused by Brexit should be assumed to have the same accuracy as claims by Obama about the cost savings of Obamacare. Or predictions of climate models as to temperatures in the 21st century. Or calculations by the EPA regarding the benefits that flow from its regulations.

65 mulp March 27, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Rather they should be judged by that standards of “tax cuts pay for themselves”, “corporate profit tax cuts create jobs by making labor costs cheaper”, “tax cuts put more money in your pockets should the way to get rich is to reduce income to qualify for EITC”, “$2 gas from drill baby drill will put so much money in your pockets you will be rich and spend tens of thousands more driving unemployment to 3%”.

66 John Samples March 27, 2016 at 9:12 am

What? No mention of “Odd Man Out” from Carol Reed, the director of “The Third Man.” The estimable James Mason, not Irish to my knowledge, made a strong case for them. Perhaps Tyler could post on “top films favoring the IRA.”

67 Christine March 27, 2016 at 9:44 am

I read about this in NYRB yesterday. What a lot of senseless violence.

68 Ray Lopez March 27, 2016 at 9:52 am

The author sounds a bit jaded. Perhaps she is writing for shock effect, or maybe she’s clinically depressed.

Bonus trivia: they used to call (maybe they still do?) the Irish, “the Greeks” as a pejorative term.

Bonus trivia II: they have orange and green toilet paper in Dublin…wait, no, Belfast, Ireland.

As for the Easter Uprising of 1916, seems it was more serious than I thought, and by the standards of the time (WWI was in progress, 1916 was a bloody year for the allies) the executions are not remarkable nor out of context. Note the “Irish on Irish” violence (the British killed were of Irish extract):

(Wikipedia): The Easter Rising resulted in at least 485 deaths, according to the Glasnevin Trust.[1] Of those killed:

260 (about 54%) were civilians
126 (about 26%) were British forces (120 British soldiers, 5 Volunteer Training Corps members and one Canadian soldier)
82 (about 16%) were Irish rebel forces (64 Irish Volunteers, 15 Irish Citizen Army and 3 Fianna Éireann)
17 (about 4%) were police (14 Royal Irish Constabulary and 3 Dublin Metropolitan Police)[1]

More than 2,600 were wounded; including at least 2,200 civilians and rebels, at least 370 British soldiers and 29 policemen.[86] All 16 police fatalities and 22 of the British soldiers killed were Irishmen.[87] British families came to Dublin Castle in May 1916 to reclaim the bodies and funerals were arranged. British bodies which were not claimed were given military funerals in Grangegorman Military Cemetery.

In conclusion: hang ’em high! LOL. BTW it’s pretty well known that the IRA and FARC (South American Leftists) collaborate via Cuba (at least a decade old news), and these organizations are more or less criminal syndicates with an ostensible “noble cause” as a front for their money raising operations. That includes FARC, IRA, Shining Path, New People’s Army (Philippines), right-wing death squads in Columbia and Honduras, and probably a half-dozen other organizations I can’t even recall, not to mention all American motorcycle gangs (Hells Angels, the Pagans, the Outlaws, and the Bandidos, as well as lesser biker clubs). Needless to say, actual criminal syndicates like the Italian Mafia are not included since they don’t try and pretend they have a noble cause anymore.

69 Heorogar March 27, 2016 at 10:51 am

The author is Irish in name only.

The good news: We have almost a month to prepare. The 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising would be 24 April 2016. The official Irish commemoration will be celebrated Saturday, 23 April 2016.

So, the author and the rest of the crowd can spend a few hours and read up on Ireland’s century’s-long evolution from a Celtic clannish culture through hundreds of years of desultory conquests, debacles, massacres, famines to become a free nation (a nation once again) and a republic.

70 stephen March 27, 2016 at 4:37 pm

Query what would had happened after a pro-German Hispanic rebellion in Texas or California in 1918?

71 Steve Sailer March 27, 2016 at 6:23 pm

The Mexican Revolutionary government launched 30 incursions into Texas in 1915-1916:

72 Gas March 27, 2016 at 10:17 am

“last year it grew at 7.8%”

Ah, but it lost so, so much due to its mindless goosestepping to the austerity-mongers’ flute. Can’t think of Ireland without chuckling a little about Paul Krugman. What a twit.

73 Heorogar March 27, 2016 at 10:58 am


Interesting, and maybe more useful than the Irish recovery experience with the 2008 financial fiasco would be a critical (non-ideological if that is possible) review of Iceland’s actions relative to the financial crisis.

74 LR March 27, 2016 at 10:41 am

As we are seeing in the Mideast, when authoritarian rule gets unwound, it is not always pretty. The people involved are not always heroes, and there may be limited talent for self governance. There may be several iterations of attempts at more democratic rule before it looks functional to American eyes. It could take 100 years. Our example in the US should probably not be expected to be the norm.

75 dearieme March 27, 2016 at 11:08 am

“when authoritarian rule gets unwound”: Ireland had been represented in the Westminster parliament, indeed over-represented, for more than a century.

76 LR March 27, 2016 at 2:23 pm


77 dearieme March 27, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Please what? Do you deny the fact?

78 Millian March 27, 2016 at 7:42 pm

Ireland was represented fine at the time of the Act of Union in 1801.

Some events occurred later in the century to reduce the Irish population, but I’m sure you will tell us that the neglect of the famine was justified by the classical liberal God.

79 Roy LC March 27, 2016 at 9:51 pm

Read this before you tell me about Irish representation at Westminster

80 Hazel Meade March 27, 2016 at 10:48 am

I recommend watching ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’, if you want to start identifying emotionally with the Irish side. It’s probably overly harsh on the British, and not entirely historically accurate, but it’s certainly a stirring film.

81 stephen March 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm

But why would anyone interested in as-near-as-may-be objective truth want to identify emotionally with the Irish, or any other side?

I have been told Birth of A Nation is a stirring film, too; also Triumph of the Will.

82 Chris March 28, 2016 at 1:46 pm

The main thing I remember about ‘The Wind that Shakes the Barley’ is how incredibly stupid I thought the film’s far left radicals within the IRA were. You had the nationalist faction who just wanted independence and to resolve any internal domestic matters by democracy, and then you had the far left radicals who wanted to turn the nationalist war for independence into a socialist revolution. I kept wanting to throw pillows at the TV at Cillian Murphy’s character at the end.

But it’s what you should expect from a Ken Loach film.

83 Andrew McDowell March 29, 2016 at 12:53 am

The existence of left wing factions within Irish Nationalism is entirely realistic – see (Known during part of the troubles as “Republican Clubs”). The Irish government itself might yet be seen as far ahead of its time as a government whose economic policy was not oriented to growth – “a people who valued material wealth only as a basis for right living, of a people who, satisfied with frugal comfort, devoted their leisure to the things of the spirit”. During this time a large number of Irish, however, valued material wealth enough to emigrate elsewhere.

84 DanC March 27, 2016 at 12:01 pm

My mother was from Ireland. My family was blue shirts who supported Collins and preferred a Catholic Free State with the majority Protestant Northern remaining part of the Empire. They preferred a Catholic Free State over a united island.

My mother once asked me who wanted to be ruled by Royals – a collection of inbred eedjits.

The dislike, not really hatred, for the English went back to Cromwell and English action (or inaction) during the famine. However I was surprised when she would make snide remarks about the English from time to time. I.E. The British were often viewed as racists toward the Irish but my mother saw British trade as vital to Ireland. However she had little use for the British people.

Pride in Irish culture, deep religious faith, is what marked my mother’s generation. The memories of the famine shaped the view of England and the need for self determination. Socialism had some real appeal and seemed in line with religious education. My uncles would say socialism sounds great, too bad it doesn’t work.

As far as the Easter Rebellion it was rarely discussed. The few times I remember any comments the view seems to have been that it was poorly executed by more radical elements. My family had military training and saw the Easter Uprising as a futile exercise doomed to failure.

Even if granted home rule Ireland would only have control over local issues.

85 mulp March 27, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Well, tens of thousands of Irish were fighting in Belgium at the time.

86 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 4:33 pm

My mother once asked me who wanted to be ruled by Royals – a collection of inbred eedjits.

Since the Wars of the Roses, you’ve had just shy of 30 British monarchs. Three were the issue of parents who were closer than 2d cousins. Neither Prince William nor Prince Charles are idiots. Neither is the current Queen, nor any recent predecessor of hers bar Edward VIII, who was on the throne for 10 months. Which, of course, sets them apart from the average Irish particularist.

87 DanC March 27, 2016 at 10:12 pm

I guess the English have low standards for Royal intelligence. Perhaps they were just edits by Irish standards

88 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 10:39 pm

Meeting “Irish standards” would be Mary Robinson and Enda Kenny. Given time and diligent effort, Ireland may produce politicians above the calibre of Justin Trudeau. Not yet.

89 TMC March 27, 2016 at 10:57 pm

Prince Charles is not an idiot? That’s your defense? Good luck.

90 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 11:06 pm

Don’t need any luck. Compare Prince Charles to Alex Salmond, Jeremy Corbyn, Enda Kenny, any person who has held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury in the last 40 years, or the standard-issue anti-semites who populate both the ranks of Britans university dons and the ranks of their opinion journalists.

91 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 4:36 pm

Pride in Irish culture, deep religious faith, is what marked my mother’s generation.

Rather more appealing than a vision of Ireland as a garbage dump of Scandinavians with brogues, that held by the current Taoiseach.

92 DanC March 27, 2016 at 10:15 pm

I suppose I should attend a Britsh soccer match to truly understand English high culture

93 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 10:53 pm

High culture is all very well and good. What was interesting about Ireland was its mundane culture. Ireland is no longer interesting; it is embarrassing.

94 DanC March 27, 2016 at 12:03 pm

BTW the British talk of home rule would not allow the Irish to control taxes from England or have a vote on international relations. It was really just the ability to control local issues.

95 Jack March 27, 2016 at 12:07 pm

Nice writing. I remember how in the late 80’s my friends in Ireland were appalled to learn that Irish Americans would give money for the IRA to the bartenders in the Irish bars on Second Avenue in New York City. They considered the IRA a bunch of thugs with unrealistic goals, who had caused death and destruction to lots of innocents in both Britain and Ireland and were tying to cow the Irish politicians then looking for a peaceful and practicable solution.

96 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Now it’s the New York bartenders’ turn to be appalled that the national icon is the bloke fellated by the Slane Girl.

97 NNM March 27, 2016 at 12:40 pm

You need to listen to the more traditional, old-school rebel music as interpreted by the Dubliners et. al., e.g. Rising of the Moon, Boulavogue, Fields of Athenry.

98 cthulhu March 27, 2016 at 12:52 pm

I think you have to go back to the British occupation of Ireland to understand the Easter Uprising and the Irish independence movement in general. Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” is a good place to start.

99 Benny Lava March 27, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Am I the only one who reads this in the context of the Great War? Didn’t you celebrate the centennial?

100 Merijn Knibbe March 27, 2016 at 2:32 pm

About Irish investments: look here: There is more than a little inter company transfer of property titles classified as investments, it seems.

When it comes to Irish statistics I’m flabbergasted by extreme price movements of industrial production and growth rates of sometimes 100%. Employment is growing at a brisk rate (surely when we look at hours). But an implied 4% rate of productivity growth is remarkable.

101 bill March 27, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Go Kearny!
I was born there too. 50 years ago.

102 Steve Sailer March 27, 2016 at 6:28 pm

It’s only natural for a people to want to rule their own land: hence 1916 is a lot like 1776.

The Irish, after some initial miscues, have done a pretty decent job of running the Republic of Ireland.

There are good reasons why nationalism has become the global default way to organize governments.

103 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 10:43 pm

have done a pretty decent job of running the Republic of Ireland.

Up to about 1990.

104 jon livesey March 27, 2016 at 6:40 pm

The Irish, after some initial miscues, have done a pretty decent job of running the Republic of Ireland.

Except for the bones of “illegitimate” infants that keep turning up in the grounds of children’s homes, of course. And depending on the Royal Navy to suppply Ireland in wartime, and British security to keep Ireland safe in peacetime. British war colleges to train irish officers. British shipyards to build patrol vessels for the Irish Maritime Service. And the population of Ireland being *smaller* today than in 1900. Apart from that, it’s all been brilliant.

105 Millian March 27, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Population future Republic of Ireland, 1901: 3.2 million
Population Republic of Ireland, 2013: 4.6 million

Most of the rest is a military hobby horse which hardly seems worth addressing but anyway. The UK and Ireland are good friends, certainly each other’s closest in Europe, and the larger assists the smaller in certain defence matters. (Obviously, not every country builds its own armed naval craft. Obviously.)

106 Steve Sailer March 27, 2016 at 8:11 pm

It seems in 2016 as if Ireland has more or less enjoyed a Happy Ending to 900 years of troubles.

The next question will be if the Irish have the fortitude to hold onto their country or, as the economy picks up again, they’ll go back to fashionable immigrationism.

107 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 10:45 pm

they’ll go back to fashionable immigrationism.

Like the Quebecois ca. 1965, they’ve been putty in the hands of their rancid elite, something they were not 30 years ago. Nice knowin’ ya, chaps.

108 Jack March 27, 2016 at 9:43 pm

The Good Friday agreement was largely a surrender to the Republican movement, in which the leaders got government jobs, soldiers were freed from jail and the implicit threat of violence retained. The Unionist movement has lost support among British conservatives and they will, when the time comes, lose the promised referendum on membership in the UK.

The Irish-American project/legacy is the American Catholic Church (see Charles Morris on such), which Tyler’s distance from is probably the cause of his confusion.

109 Art Deco March 27, 2016 at 10:51 pm

I suspect you’d discover that institutional health of any given diocese in our time is inversely related to the historic proportion of Irish in its clergy.

110 Steve Baba March 29, 2016 at 6:20 pm

Over the Easter weekend, PBS had a documentary on the 1916

“I am struck by how underrepresented this topic is in my Twitter feed”
The last hour, of three, “The Aftermath” largely tackles the question of of why nobody remembers or celebrates the Easter uprising, as compared to the Fourth of July in the USA,

The documentary argued that the Easter Revolution was/is largely forgotten because
1) it failed
2) the British handled it badly and don’t want to remember it either
3) it started a civil war
4) it failed so badly that it was not even a model of how to try a revolution; as opposed to India’s independence movement
5) and after almost a half century of peace, the IRA started again

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: