Author: djwolfenden

Just another bloke .........

Irish Government Report Details Europe’s Worries Over The “Chaos” Gripping Britain

the United Kingdom is being viewed by many administrations across Europe as a bad, disruptive and potentially unwelcome neighbour. And no one did that to the British but themselves.

AN SIONNACH FIONN

For those of us who grew up under Fine Gael taoisigh like Garret Fitzgerald and John “Union Jack” Bruton, the evident annoyance of the FG-led government with their Conservative Party counterparts in the United Kingdom makes for an odd spectacle. This is especially true of the current Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, a right-wing politician very much in the mould of the more socially liberal wing of the Tories. The shine has very much been taken off the London apple in the eye of the Dublin establishment as the outworkings of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union continue to cause international confusion and uncertainty. Ireland’s ministers and diplomats find themselves in the unusual position of receiving a more sympathetic hearing in the capitals of Europe than their British rivals. Arguably, not since the days of Charles Haughey and Francois Mitterrand  – or indeed, Helmut Kohl – has the country and…

View original post 315 more words

Advertisements

The Paradise Papers And The Intricate Tax-Affairs Of Irish Celebrities

The poor people pay …

AN SIONNACH FIONN

I must confess that I have yet to watch an episode of the joint BBC-RTÉ co-production,Mrs. Brown’s Boys, a bawdy sitcom popular with television audiences in Britain and Ireland – and despised by TV critics in both countries. Nor have I seen any of the ribald stand-up comedy work of the show’s creator, the frenetic Brendan O’Carroll. That said, I’m certainly aware of the show and its pop-culture successes, from the small screen to the big screen; not to mention theatrical and literary spin-offs. Unlike many others, though, I have no negative feelings about the Dublin entertainer and his career, or his habit of employing close family members in his showbiz productions. If anything, I admire his generosity in spreading some well-earned late-life success around those who supported him down through the years. These include his wife, Jennifer, three offspring, Daniel, Fiona and Eric, and their spouses and…

View original post 605 more words

The Inevitable Unionist And Alt-Unionist Failure

Definition of political insanity? Believing after a century of failure that the partition of Ireland is still the solution, not the problem!

AN SIONNACH FIONN

On the issue of the United Kingdom’s poisonous legacy colony in Ireland it’s rare to find a bit of non-apologist opinion in the pages of the right-wing Irish and Sunday Independent newspapers, but every now and again an article challenging the in-house consensus slips through. Joe Brolly offers some unusually realistic thoughts on the future of the UK-administered Six Counties and the running sore that is partition.

“Northern Ireland is a dysfunctional entity, a pretence.

The consensus that existed around the 1998 Good Friday Agreement has disappeared.

Unionism, in particular the now all-powerful DUP, has systematically squandered that opportunity. They have had almost 20 years to sell the idea of a fair, pluralist, respectful Northern Ireland. Twenty years to make us comfortable with the new state, to create a proper partnership, basically to do what they had signed up to do both in the Good Friday Agreement and later with…

View original post 295 more words

The DUP Orders UK Conservative Party Government To Push For Hard Brexit

AN SIONNACH FIONN

The finance minister of the United Kingdom, Philip Hammond, is regarded by most commentators as one of the less enthusiastic members of the British government when it comes to implementing Brexit or the UK’s exit from the European Union. Despite his lead role in the country’s negotiations with the EU, and occasional expressions of frustration with the process, many critics believe that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would rather the referendum of 2016 had never happened. This has made him an object of derision, and even hatred, among some anti-EU politicians and newspapers in the country. Chief among these are members of his own Conservative Party, who have turned to the Tory’s parliamentary allies, the xenophobic Democratic Unionist Party, to bring the wayward cabinet member to heel. According to PoliticsHome, the DUP has instructed lameduck prime minister Theresa May to sack Hammond if he won’t stick to a consistent…

View original post 223 more words

The Exaggerated Myth Of Terrorist Incompetence

AN SIONNACH FIONN

In the aftermath of the latest terror attack in Britain, the international press has published a wide range of articles examining why the improvised bomb left in the passenger carriage of a London underground train may have failed to explode. So far, the suggestion that the initial blast stemmed from the detonator rather than the main charge seems to be the most popular, as the media await details from the police. This has led to some poorly framed conclusions by more than one newspaper. From the Guardian:

The incompetence of terrorists has spared hundreds of lives in recent years. The recent attacks in Barcelona could have been much worse if the leader of the plot had not blown himself up – along with the network’s stockpile of bomb components – hours before they occurred.

Counter-terrorist specialists in the west recognise that the “Four Lions factor” – a reference to…

View original post 232 more words

Things Irish Protestants  should know about Ireland

By Sam Smith

 According to Edward T. O’Donnell in theHistory News Network:

“The practice of honoring St. Patrick on March 17, traditionally understood as the day of his death (c. 493) at Downpatrick in County Down, is a tradition that comes from old Ireland. For centuries the people of Ireland marked the day as a solemn religious event, perhaps wearing green, sporting a shamrock, and attending mass, but little more. No one knows for sure when the first commemoration of St. Patrick’s Day in America took place. One of the earliest references is to the establishment of the Charitable Irish Society, founded on St. Patrick’s Day in Boston in 1737. Another early celebration took place in New York City in 1762, when an Irishman named John Marshall held a party in his house. Although little is known of Marshall’s party, it is understood that his guests marched as a body to his house to mark St. Patrick’s Day, thus forming an unofficial ‘parade.’ The first recorded true parade took place in 1766 in New York when local military units, including some Irish soldiers in the British army, marched at dawn from house to house of the leading Irish citizens of the city. With few exceptions, the parade in New York has been held every year since 1766. Thus was a tradition born – an American tradition only recently adopted in Ireland itself.”

 Thus, thanks hanks to Irish-American Protestants, St. Patrick’s Day became secularized rather than, as in Ireland, considered a day of holy obligation. In fact, until the 1970s the bars in Dublin were closed on March 17.

 Early, groups such as the Hibernians, the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, and Irish Aid societies sprung up in America as a reflection of Irish loyalty and concern for Irish immigrants.

 The idea spread. For example, on March 17, 1812, in Savannah GA, thirteen men founded the Hibernian Society dedicated to aiding destitute Irish immigrants, largely Catholic. A few months later, the group, now up to 44 members, adopted a constitution and the motto, “non sibi sed alis” (not for ourselves, but for others). Not one charter member was a Catholic. One year later, on March 17, the group marched in procession to a Presbyterian church for a service and oration.

 The Catholics were not the only religion persecuted by the English. Presbyterians, who had fled Scotland to escape persecution, found a similar fate in Ireland. It was one of the causes of Irish emigration to America prior to the potato famine. As one history recounts:

“Though they naturally contributed to the stipend of their own preachers, Presbyterians (and other dissenters: Quakers, Baptists and, later, Methodists, as well as Roman Catholics) were obliged by law to financially support the Church of Ireland, through payment of tithes; this provoked deep resentment. Ulster Presbyterians deeply resented being obliged to submit to, support and obey the Episcopalian church interests of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy . . . By the archaic Test Act, Presbyterians were barred from holding public office — unless they took the communion sacrament according to Church of Ireland rites.”

This account also describes a fundamentalist twist that may seem odd to today’s reader:

“The radical biblicism of Ulster Presbyterians meant that they took most seriously scriptural concern for social and political justice. When oppressive, despotic government denied them civil and religious liberty, liberal Presbyterians in late 18th century Ulster began to clamor for constitutional reform of their (Irish-based) British parliament. Political questions, they contended, were ultimately moral and religious concerns and Presbyterians saw it as their duty to create a just society; the state needs be ‘born again.'”

 1791 saw the creation of the multi-denominational United Irishmen. Its members initially merely sought political and economic reforms, but within four years had begun arming themselves and talking of liberation. They also revised their oath to read:

“In the awful presence of God, I do voluntarily declare that I will persevere in endeavoring to form a Brotherhood of affection among Irishmen of every religious persuasion. And that I will also persevere in my endeavors to obtain an equal, full and adequate representation of all the people of Ireland.”

 While many Presbyterians declined to support or withdrew from the United Irishmen, the group was central to the uprising of 1798. This largely Protestant revolt was a failure and, with the exception a minor skirmish in Tipperary in 1848 and one at Chester Castle in 1867, there would not be another Irish armed rebellion until the 20th century.

 Irish Protestant emigrants played a major role in the American Revolution and the revolution in turn influenced events in Ireland. For example, the first copy of the Declaration of Independence to be printed outside of North America appeared in the pages of the ‘Belfast Newsletter.’ A less direct influence came when England was forced to rely on Irish volunteer companies to defend Ireland because its regular troops were in America. After the war, the 80,000-strong Volunteers pressed for political reform.

 Some Irish Protestants and Catholics joined in support of the French revolution and in encouraging a French invasion of Ireland on behalf of the Irish cause. The French national assembly even promised military and financial support for an uprising against the English.

 Among the influences on Irish Protestants were the writings of Tom Paine. His ‘Rights of Man’ was declared “the Bible of Belfast.’ 40,000 copies were sold in Ulster and it was reprinted in four Irish newspapers.

 Following the American revolution, Paine encouraged similar uprisings in Europe, suggesting, “it is not difficult to believe that the spring is begun”.

 Among pro-nationalist Protestants of the time was Theobald Wolfe Tone, who wrote an early “Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland.” He also served as secretary of the Catholic Committee. Tone, upon his capture in 1798, was refused a soldier’s execution by gunshot and was sentenced to be hung. He made an eloquent speech about the virtues of republicanism in court and then returned to his cell where he cut his own throat.

 Irish Protestant Thomas Addis Emmett, brother of 1798 uprising leader Robert Emmett, was captured and condemned but later won a reprieve. In 1804, a year after his brother was hung, he emigrated to America. He became the highly regarded attorney general of New York, well enough known nationally that a New Orleans attorney said of him, “his name rings down the valley of the Mississippi, and we hail his efforts with a kind of local pride.” Tom Paine liked him well enough to leave him $200 in his will.

 A 20th century Protestant fighter for the Irish cause, Erskine Childers, was executed on charges of possessing a small pistol after helping Eamon de Valera and other IRA members lead a rebellion against the Irish free state government. His son would become president of Ireland in the 1970s. Childers, regarded as the father of the modern spy novel (“Riddle of the Sands”), used his 50-foot ketch to smuggle arms to the Irish rebels. In support of his execution, Winston Churchill said, “no man has done more harm or done more genuine malice or endeavored to bring a greater curse upon the common people of Ireland than this strange being.”

 Although he would later become far more conservative, Protestant poet WB Yeats as a young man was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. An 1899 police report called him as “more or less revolutionary” and he wrote a poem about the 1916 uprising:

Now and in time to be,
Wherever the green is worn,
All changed, changed utterly;
A terrible beauty is born

 Yeats said of Irish Protestants during a 1925 Senate debate on divorce, “We . . . are no petty people. We are one of the great stocks of Europe. We are the people of Burke; we are the people of Swift, the people of Emmet, the people of Parnell. We have created most of the modern literature of this country. We have created the best of its political intelligence.”

 History News Network –In several polls and surveys conducted in the 1970s and 1980s, researchers discovered what at first seemed an astonishing fact: a majority of Americans who identify themselves as Irish also identify themselves as Protestant. For a nation (and an ethnic group for that matter) that had grown so accustomed to conflating Irishness with Catholicism, this announcement was greeted with disbelief. Among some Irish Catholics, the reaction was anger.

The explanation for the find is actually quite simple. Huge numbers of Irish immigrants came to America in the colonial period (indeed, 30 percent of all immigrants from Europe arriving between 1700 and 1820 came from Ireland) and the great majority of them were Presbyterians from Ulster. Of the many thousands of Catholics who came in the 17th and 18th centuries, most appear to have converted to some form of Protestantism.

The Protestant descendents of these early Irish arrivals have been multiplying ever since. In contrast, the great migration of Irish Catholics began only in the 1830s (during which time, of course, many Protestant Irish continued to come). A poll conducted by the National Opinion Research Center makes this point clear: in the 1970s, only 41% of Irish Catholics were fourth generation or more as compared to 83% of Irish Protestants.

Missippi Burnin’ or Belfast Burnin’

Culture ˈkəlCHər

Belfast Burnin

as seen by

Ku Klux Klan

Change all occurences of Missippi with Loyalist …
American change to British, Irish, Irish Scots, whatever …

Clayton Townley – Local business man

“I told you, I’m a businessman. I’m also a Mississippian, and an American! And I’m getting SICK and TIRED of the way us Mississippians are getting our views distorted by you newsmen and on the TV. So let’s get this straight. We do NOT accept Jews, because they REJECT Christ! And their control over the International Banking Cartels are at the root of what we call Communism today. We do not accept Papists, because they bow to a Roman dictator! We do not accept Turks, Mongrels, Tartars, Orientals nor Negroes because we are here to protect Anglo-Saxon Democracy, and the American way!”

Clayton Townley – also KuKluxKlan  leader

Ignorance breeds hate …

Lets educate …

 

The Uneasy Peace In Britain’s Legacy Colony On The Island Of Ireland

Toxic Past

AN SIONNACH FIONN

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the United Kingdom’s militarised policing force in the Six Counties, has released its 2016-17 statistics for paramilitary-related incidences in the contested region and they make for grim reading:

  • 61 paramilitary gun attacks, resulting in 28 casualties (25 by Republican groupings, 3 by pro-UK Loyalists)
  • 23 paramilitary bombings
  • 5 deaths in paramilitary incidences or attacks
  • 66 paramilitary physical assaults, a majority related to so-called “punishment beatings” (10 by Republicans, 58 by pro-UK Loyalists)
  • 137 arrests related to paramilitary offences
  • 19 charged with membership of a paramilitary organisation and/or carrying out paramilitary-related activities

An occupied territory is an ungovernable territory, one where peace will always be no more than a façade. That is the essential truth of Irish and British history and it remains unaltered by three decades of political progress and compromise. We are all prisoners of Britain’s toxic past.

View original post