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The study of Irish history is complex as it takes in a layer cake of thousands of years of change. Change over thousands of years is more likely than continuity, yet, through it all trends emerge. These trends form a framework that helps us on the road to approaching understanding. They are just handles, however, and rarely point to any one direction. They might help you to get a grip. One thing is certain. One must discard a few things if one is to hold on.

 Discard to Enter Irish History
ANGLO PHOBIA- Try if you can to think of the English as neighbors. As in any neighborhood the management of the relationship is the key, not so much the neighbors themselves.

CULTURAL RELATIVISM- A culture is simply a solution for a group of people to the problems they face in their environment. It might be helpful to judge a culture and on should be able to judge one's culture fairly as it is after all just a flawed human construct lacking perfection in all things, on the basis of efficiency, pain and suffering and freedom. Is the culture helping survival or holding it back? Does it create more psychological and physical pain than good feelings, and can one enter and leave freely? All cultures are not created equal.

FOLKLORE- Folklore is important but one must know what is fact and what is still not proven.

GENETIC NATIONALISM- There should not be a concept of a state determined by genetics. Culture is learned and politics is subscribed to. Practice should be the determining factor not genetics.

RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE- As with nationalism there is no one religion for a people.

NETWORK NEWS- What you hear in the news is more often far from the truth. Consult many sources...

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Evolving Chronology Chronology

A Tragedy of Many Dimensions and Many Causal Influences on all Sides:The Irish Potato Famine

Click for famous quotes about Ireland 

Click here for a pictorial survey of Ireland's History 

The Battle of the Boyne and Orange Perspectives Orange

Some general thoughts on trends in Irish history clickit here

Trends in the development of politics and government Thoughts on the Evolution

A few important persons in Irish History click here



Some thoughts on Irish History.....

-One important factor influencing the discussion of Irish History is the nature of Ireland as an island. To a certain extent water does protect a people however, human life, contrary to some opinions did not evolve in Ireland as a "garden of Eden". At some point in prehistory- as early as the Paleolithic and certainly by the Mesolithic human beings reached Ireland. Therefore....while more isolated than most; the inhabitants of Ireland could be visited by and could visit other inhabitants of Europe or other lands.

 -Relative isolation over a significant period of time within the same environment will produce a population with a similar genetic relationship and a gene pool which has been configured to some extent by the pressures of environmental adaptation. If this is the case it is quite possible that the inhabitants of Ireland have more in common with each other than learned culture. Over time with greater interaction with other groups the level of sharing will diminish. It is very important to put these relationships into context. They may not be the most important causal dimension but, as scholars have argued these relationships do play a role which needs to be viewed objectively allowing them to find their own appropriate level in explanation.

-Another aspect of Irish history and culture which has been oft discussed is the apparent survival of Celtic philosophy through time. Scholars point out that the Irish tend to think more in terms of interpreted law rather than codified law, the early church in Ireland- the Celtic Church operated successfully with a decentralized administration. Roots of these trends are seen to be in tribal organization involving Brehon law and the equal employment of achieved and ascribed pathways to power. Scholars debating these qualities scholars have tended to credit the absence of Roman conquest and imposition of Roman law.

-In regard to the influence of the Roman empire and Roman law one must recognize that many inhabitants of the island of Ireland traveled and worked within the Roman empire. Recently it has been revealed that the Romans did indeed have forts and settlements on the island of Ireland. Although one must be acknowledge perhaps, that the Romans did not dominate Celtic Ireland, it is clear that the inhabitants of the island did have access to Roman ideas, technology and culture. The question therefore becomes that of the choices made by the inhabitants of the island. Was local culture so dominant that ideas and philosophies could not be adopted or did continuity prevail through choice?

-It should be noted that in addition to Roman influences we must also admit Scandinavian and British ideas and philosophies into the mix.

-At the end of the ancient period c. 500 A.D. the inhabitants of Ireland participated in governments by leaders of tribes ruling via ascribed powers, groups of elites such as the Druid classes or Christian religious or by leaders of larger groups who had achieved their overarching power by conquest or  politics. It is not entirely clear how democratic these governing institutions were. By the 16th century reports indicated that Ireland was ruled by warlords who had achieved their power by the domination of others. It is likely that the governance of the people of Ireland over a significant period was by a diverse collection of political paradigms with local variations.

-In regard to Political and Cultural Imperialism it is helpful to understand that either due to isolation or cultural resistance  foreign dominating powers and institutions generally made only sporadic inroads into Irish culture and political life. External powers with the possible exception of Roman Christianity generally rested content with incomplete domination. Even within the church scholars continue to argue for a strong continuation of Celtic tendencies in the religious of Ireland. External powers pursued a start and stop approach. Relatively quick and partially successful inroads were often followed by significant periods of neglect. These periods saw the resurgence of Celtic culture and at times in the case of the Norman invasion resulted in domination of the invading group by the cultures of the inhabitants of the island.

-Cultural and philosophical beliefs also affected the survival of individuals. Cultural beliefs restricted the consumption of food as well as the cooperation of groups for the achievement of common ends. Family groups competed in fishing industries, technologies for the preservation of fish for example were rejected and cultural preference of flavors prohibited the diversification of crops.

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(This will expand as time permits....)


.3000BC Megalithic tombs first constructed.
c.700BC Celts arrive from parts of Gaul and Britain. Ireland divided
into provinces. (This according to a contributor is reconstructed
folk history and not based on the archaeology.)
c.AD350 Christianity reaches Ireland.
432 Traditional date for the arrival of St. Patrick in Ireland.
700-800 Irish monasticism reaches its zenith.
795 Full-scale Viking invasion.
1014 Brian Boru/ defeats Vikings at Clontarf, but is murdered.
1169 Dermot MacMurrough, exiled king of Leinster, invites help
from 'Strongbow'.
1172 Pope decrees that Hery II of England is feudal lord of Ireland.
1366 Statues of Kilkenny belatedly forbid intermarriage of English and
Irish. Gaelic culture unsuccessfully suppressed.
1534-40 Failed insurrection by Lord Offaly.
1541 Herny VII proclaimed king (rather than feudal lord) of Ireland
1558-1603 Reign of Elizabeth I. Policy of Plantation begins. System of
counties adopted.
1595-1603 Failed uprising of Hugh O'Neil.
1607 Flight of the Earls; leading Ulster families go into exile.
1641 Charles I's policies cause insurrection in Ulster and Civil War in
1649 Cromwell invades Ireland.
1653 Under the Act of Settlement Cromwell's opponents stripped of land.
1689-90 Deposed James II flees to Ireland; defeated at the Battle of the
1704 Penal Code enacted; Catholics barred from voting, education and the
1775 American War of Independence forments Irish unrest.
1782 Grattan's Parliament persuades British to declare Irish
independence, but in name only.
1795 Foundation of the Orange Order.
1798 Wolfe Tone's uprising crushed.
1801 Ireland becomes part of Britain under the Act of Union.
1829 Catholic Emancipation Act passed after Daniel O'Connell elected
as MP.
1845-48 The Great Famine.
1879-82 The Land War; Parnell encourages boycott of repressive landlords.
1914 Implementation of Home Rule postponed because of outbreak of World
War I.
1916 Easter Rising. After the leaders are executed public opinion backs
1920-21 War between Britain and Ireland; Irish Free State and Northern
Ireland created.
1922 Civil war breaks out.
1932 De Valera elected.
1969 Rioting between Catholics and Protestants. British troops called in.
1971 Provisional IRA begins campaign to oust British troops from Ireland.
1972 UK and Republic of Ireland join European Community. 'Bloody Sunday'
in Derry.
1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement signed.

Detailed 19th-20th century

1800-Act Of Union-Free Trade

1807-Daniel O’Connell Emancipation 29

1845-Sept.9 Famine Begins

1867-Fenian Rising

1877-Parnell Joins Home Rule/Michael Davitt

1893-Gaelic League

1899-Sinn Fein ,Griffith /Socialists Connolly

1922-Anglo Irish Treaty /Devolution

1994 - IRA announces ceasefire in September. Pro-British "Loyalist" guerrillas

                           follow weeks later.


                           1996 - IRA abandons ceasefire in February by detonating a bomb in east

                           London's Docklands district, killing two people and wounding 100.


                           Multi-party talks on the future of Northern Ireland begin in Belfast in June but

                           Sinn Fein is excluded.


                           1997 - IRA announces "unequivocal" ceasefire in July, two months after Tony

                           Blair's Labour Party sweeps John Major's Conservatives from office. Six weeks later

                           Sinn Fein joins peace talks for first time.


                           1998: April 10 - Good Friday, a deal is struck at talks between the British and Irish

                           governments and eight political parties.


                           May 22 - Voters flock to polling stations north and south of the Irish border in a

                           referendum which endorses the peace deal.


                           Jun 25 - Elections to the new Northern Ireland assembly take place; final results

                           on June 27 show supporters of the Good Friday peace deal won 80 seats and

                           those opposed to it 28.


                           Aug 15 - A car bomb blast in Omagh, Northern Ireland, kills 29 people in the worst

                           single attack in nearly 30 years of violence. The Real IRA splinter group claims

                           responsibility on August 18, then declares an immediate ceasefire a day later.


                           Sept 14 - Northern Ireland's new power-sharing parliament starts work.


                           Dec 18 - Pro-British Loyalist Volunteer Force becomes first paramilitary

                           organisation in Northern Ireland to start to hand over its weapons for



                           1999: July 2 - Britain and Ireland announce a plan - but not a formal agreement -

                           to set up a coalition Northern Ireland government and start aguerrilla arms



                           July 15 - Plan founders when First Minister David Trimble leads his Ulster

                           Unionists in a boycott of the assembly and Seamus Mallon resigns as deputy first



                           Sept 6 - U.S. peace mediator George Mitchell begins review of peace process.


                           Nov 17 - IRA says it ready to discuss disarmament once power-sharing government

                           for Northern Ireland created.


                           Nov 18 - Mitchell says basis exists for disarming guerrillas and creating coalition

                           government for the province.


                           Dec 1 - Northern Ireland gets its own government, a coalition of Protestants and

                           Roman Catholics, ending 27 years of direct rule from London.


                           2000: Feb 11 - Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson suspends

                           Northern Ireland assembly over Protestant dissatisfaction with progress on IRA



                           Feb 15 - IRA announces it intends to end its involvement with the commission

                           overseeing guerrilla disarmament.


                           March 18 - U.S. President Bill Clinton holds St Patrick's Day talks with Northern

                           Ireland leaders.


                           March 21 - Mandelson says he is keen to restore power-sharing administration in



                           March 25 - Ulster Unionist leader Trimble fights off a leadership challenge, but

                           the party adds fresh conditions for rejoining the fledgling Belfast executive.


                           April 12 - Queen Elizabeth honours the controversial Royal Ulster Constabulary

                           with the George Cross - Britain's highest civilian award for gallantry.


                           April 18 - British Prime Minister Blair begins fresh round of talks with his Irish

                           counterpart Bertie Ahern to try to restart the Northern Ireland peace process.


                           April 19 - IRA in an Easter statement says it wants to see permanent peace in

                           Northern Ireland but blames British rule of the province as the root cause of the



                           May 2 - Intensive talks in London between the parties to the conflict end without a

                           breakthrough, but the leaders agree to try again.


                           May 5 - Blair and Ahern announce that Britain will reinstate the Belfast

                           power-sharing executive if political parties and guerrilla groups embrace fresh



                           May 6 - Britain pushes back a May 22 deadline for IRA disarmament until June



                           May 6 - IRA in a statement announces it is ready to put its weapons into storage

                           dumps and allow them to be inspected.


                           May 6 - British and Irish governments say two international statesmen, former

                           Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and former South African union leader Cyril

                           Ramaphosa, will lead the inspections.




1981: Ten IRA prisoners starve to death in hunger strike designed to secure political

                  prisoner status.


                  1982: Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) republican guerrillas bomb Ballykelly

                  pub, killing 17 people. New Northern Ireland assembly elected but boycotted by



                  1984: IRA bomb at British Conservative party conference kills five. Prime Minister

                  Margaret Thatcher escapes injury.


                  1985: Anglo-Irish agreement gives Dublin government consultative voice in daily

                  running of Northern Ireland, prompting Protestant demonstrations.


                  1987: Eight IRA gunmen killed in ambush by British Special Air Service commandos.

                  IRA bomb kills 11 at Enniskillen war memorial ceremony.


                  1989: Eleven killed in IRA bomb at marines music school in southern England.


                  1991: IRA mortar attack on 10 Downing Street. No one injured.


                  1992: IRA car bomb in City of London financial district kills three and injures 91.


                  1993: IRA bombs busy shopping street in Protestant part of Belfast, killing 10.

                  Protestant extremists kill seven Halloween revellers in revenge.


                  In peace-seeking Anglo-Irish Downing Street Declaration in December, Britain says it

                  would not block an end to British rule if a majority wanted it, and offers Sinn Fein

                  republicans a seat at peace talks if IRA violence ends.


                  1994: IRA announces ceasefire in September, with pro-British ``Loyalist'' guerrillas

                  following suit weeks later. British officials hold first open meeting with Sinn Fein in

                  more than 70 years.


                  1995: Britain ends 23-year ban on ministerial talks with Sinn Fein, but within weeks

                  Sinn Fein breaks off discussions. In November, British and Irish governments set

                  February 1996 as target date for start of all-party talks and establishing commission to

                  study handover of all guerrilla weapons.


                  1996: Former U.S. senator George Mitchell proposes talks alongside phased surrender

                  of guerrilla weapons. Major, enraging republicans, proposes elections in Northern

                  Ireland to pave way for talks.


                  The IRA abandons its ceasefire in February by exploding a bomb in east London's

                  Docklands district, killing two people and injuring 100.


                  Multi-party talks on the future of Northern Ireland begin in Belfast in June, but Sinn

                  Fein is excluded because of IRA violence. IRA detonates bomb in Manchester

                  shopping centre, injuring 200.


                  1997: IRA announces ``unequivocal'' ceasefire in July, two months after Tony Blair's

                  Labour party sweeps John Major's Conservatives from office. Six weeks later Sinn Fein

                  joins peace talks for first time.


                  1998: British government announces independent judicial inquiry into Bloody Sunday

                  killings of 1972.


                  Eighteen people killed over three months in spate of tit-for-tat violence between

                  Protestant and Republican splinter guerrilla groups outside the ceasefires. Sinn Fein

                  and pro-British UDP political party briefly suspended from peace talks because of

                  attacks allegedly involving their guerrilla allies.


                  On April 10, Good Friday, a deal is struck at talks between the British and Irish

                  governments and eight political parties.


                  Extremist splinter groups persist with sporadic killings and several bombs are defused

                  on both sides of the border in the run-up to referendums on the accord on May 22.

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Thoughts on the Evolution of Political and Social Structure

In order to appreciate the threads that run through Irish history it might be helpful to map out the structure of the major historical stages of Irish History. Note that the chart below illustrates only general trends. Eventually the Celtic peoples moved from a decentralized tribal/local structure to a mixture of structures which were either more or less, centralized (via church/invasion), mixed confederacy (Chieftain or warlord state), or local tribal (one family with hereditary ruler.) Each structure would have its own merits and relative selective advantages. One thing Irish structure has tended perhaps from earliest times to be is diverse. One can not even in the earliest times rule out any one of the popular forms.

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A Few Important Persons in Irish History

Hugh O'Neill
Daniel O’Connell

Theobald Wolfe Tone 1763-1798

To show that there is always hope-9 Famous Irishmen

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Strongbow 1130-1176 Richard Fitzgilbert De Clare
Curtis,Edmund.,A History of Ireland., Methuen,London 1968
Orpen,Goddard.,Ireland Under the Normans.
Keating,Jeoffry.,General History of Ireland.,Trtans.Dermod O’Connor.,James Duffy Sons and Co.,Dublin.
1152-Diramait MacMurchada abuts Devorgilla wife of Tigernan Ua Ruairc.
1155-Proposal for invasion of Ireland by Henry II discussed/rejected.
1156-Pope Adrian IV issues Bull Laudabiliter giving papal privilege approving projected conquest of Ireland by Henry II.
1162-Diarmait Mac Murchada gains complete control over Dublin.
1166-Tigernan Ua Ruairc destroys castle of Diarmait Mac Murchada and Mac Murchada is banished from Ireland to England.
1170 Richard De Clare(Strongbow)Earl of Straggle captures Waterford and Marries Aife daughter of MacMurchada and assists in the conquest of Ireland.1171-MacMurchada dies and is succeeded by his son in law Strongbow(Kingdom of Leinster)and Henry II lands to claim his land.
The history of the abduction of Devorgilla and the war prize of Aife has become a rich source of folk tale and Irish writing. In the case of Devorgilla(she was 44-He 42)Keating writes:”she had banished the conjugal esteem of her husband and resolved when opportunity offered to fly away from his court...””Diarmuid received this message with all the jouy of a transported lover and immediately prepared to accomplish an amour that had been long carried on,but by some unfortunate accidents had been always preplexed and dissapointed.He caught her in his arms and mounted her on hourseback...but the lady did not seem outwardly to be concerned in this design,for when she was seized she cried out for help as if she had been carried away by violence”In terms of politics the Norman invaders of Ireland represent in addition to an invasion the immigration of an old way of feudal government from the evolving centralized administration of England(bear in mind that in 1066 the Normans had invaded England)The nature of the feudal relationship is revealed by the necessity of Henry II to come personally to Ireland to stake his claim to the land conquered by his knights.The activities of the exiled MacMurchada pursuing the revenge of his great loss abroad-to bring foreign help to his aid are an early example of a trend which would torment Irish political history for centuries to come.This time-perhaps the only time in Irish History(!!) the outsiders came and did conquer.The Norman conquerors were in a way also (Celtic).They had as Curtis points out(p.47) been born and raised in Norman occupied Wales and were the cast off younger sons of the aristocracy.Described by Gerald of Wales Strongbow-(had reddish hair and freckles,grey eyes,a feminine face,a weak voice and a short neck...of a tall build...generous...easy going...what he could not accomplish by deed he settled by the persuasiveness of his words...he stood firm...immovable...steadfast and reliable in good fortune and had a like...lack of self restraint but it did not make him run amok when successful)(Moody p.1321)

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Hugh O Neill Tyrone 1550-1616

O’Faolain,The Great O’NeillDuell,Sloan and Pearce,New York,1942
C.p.Meehan.The Fate and Fortunes of Hugh O’Neill.
1542-Conn O’Neill created Earl of Tyrone
1559-Sean O’Neill Succeeds Conn as the O’Neill.
1561-7 Rebellion of Sean O’Neill
1568-Hugh O’Neill recognized as the Baron of Dungannon.
1584-Hugh O’Neill made Tannist to Turlough Luineach O’Neill
1585-Hugh o’Neill Takes seat in Parliament as Earl of Tyrone
1595-Turlough Luineach dies succeeded as the O’Neill by Hugh O’Neill.
1595-1603 Rebellion of Hugh O’Neill
1601-Spanish Army arrives to assist
1603-With Defeat first sheriffs appointed for Tyrone
1607-Flight of the Earls-1616-Dies in Rome.
Significance:Irish politicians,chiefs and strong men were players of two distinct political games. The first was that of their cultural power base in Ireland and the second and most important was that of the court and customs of the English monarch.For power in Irish politics the maintenance of the obligations inherent in the office was essential.Power gained through the English political system was that obtained by title and enforced by law.The English court was willing to govern through its support of titled strong men who happened also to be subject chiefs recognized through the principal of grant and re-grant.The Irish chiefs and strong men however, failed to adequately appreciate their obligations to compromise with the English and the realities of the balance of power.Hugh O’Neill doomed the Earls to their flight by his rebellion an act which violated his relationship with England.This was compounded by the invitation of the ill fated Spanish mission to Kinsale.The rebellion ended in the repossession of the Irish lands by the crown and to the creation of the Ulster Plantation-an attempt to safeguard the rights of the population while putting land and resources to use.Trained in military tactics at the court of Elizabeth O’Neill was a calculating and courageous leader.He loved power and did not realize that the English monarch would not tolerate his free exercise of it.Freedom from England was made impossible by the involvement of Spain.In 1601 Don Juan del Aguilla arrived with a Spanish force at Kinsale.With both the Pope and the Spanish involved England was strategically threatened.The rebellion was crushed through the use of superior forces.The Irish demonstrated that although they had been successful in the use of guerrilla tactics to hold off the English that they had failed to master successful modern Spanish Military techniques as they had failed to master the politics of the English Court.The Flight of the Earls was significantly a voluntary one as they had been allowed to return to their lands following the treaty of Melifont.They had been unable to accept the new order of life living under the now watchful eye of the English who had brought significant permanent military power to Ulster.The door was open to the extension of direct English power and the plantation into the entire island.While well intentioned the plantation system was poorly managed and led to the exploitation of the peasantry.

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Theobald Wolfe Tone 1763-1798
Tone,Theobald,Wolfe.,Life of Theobald Wolfe Tone.,Ed. W.T.W. Tone 2 vols,Washington D>C> ,1826.
MacDermot,Frank,Theobald Wolfe Tone:A Bibliographical Study.,Tralee,1968.
Elliott,Marianne.,Wolfe Tone Prophet of Irish Independence.,Yale,New Haven,1989.
Dunne,Tom.Theobald Wolfe Tone,Colonial Outsider:An Analysis of His Political Philosophy.,Cork,1982.

Quotation:”The great object of my life has been the independence of my country. Looking upon the connection with England to have been her bane I have endeavored by every means in my power to break that connection... to create a people in uniting the Catholics and the Dissenters.For a fair and open war I was prepared,if that has degenerated into a system of assassination,massacre and plunder I do...most sincerely lament it.”
1791-Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man.,published,Wolfe Tone’s argument on behalf of the Catholics in Ireland Society of United Irishmen founded.
1792-Wolfe Tone appointed agent and assistant secretary of Catholic committee.
1795-Leaves for America
1796-Arrives in Ireland From France-fleet with Tone on board arrives in Bantry Bay.
1798-French squadron under Admiral Bompart with Tone on board defeated outside Lough Swilly,Captured,Convicted Suicide.
Significance:The life of Wolfe Tone illustrates more than does any other the many swift undercurrents which run throughout Irish political history.Standing in their vortex Tone demonstrated the essential traits of single mindedness,inflated sense of honor,and capacity for sacrifice and personified the romance of the democratic 18th century in his service as passionate revolutionarly.Tone’s revolutionary career grew out of the successful yet ploddingly slow independence of the Grattan parliament and the Irish Volunteer movement.Frustrations with the pace of political change were ignited by the actions and the thoughts of the French Revolution.While the track toward greater sovereignty was laid out, the sharing of corrupt parliamentary traditions and of the monarchy became intollerable.Volunteer corps and political clubs raised up the organization of the United Irishmen to secure immediate reforms.Tone,a Protestant,brought to the organization a strong belief in toleration and unity. He also brought in his own philosophy an elitist and Protestant perception of the Irish masses as well as a distrust of any emphasis upon Gaelic culture and language.His was the typical 18th Century democracy-for the men of property and classical culture.While extremely successful in enlisting Catholic support Tone hated the pope and clergy as much as he hated the English.He saw his mission as the uniting of all groups around a common republicanism and complete, immediate independence. As the lynch pin of unity Tone is criticized by all parties equally.Ulster Protestants see him as being taken over by the clergy and church while Catholics rejected his constant attacks upon the clergy and church as slaves of the English imperialism as well as a false prophet of the false religion of nationalism.The military movements for which Tone won significant French support flew rashly in the face of the realities of the balance of power and British insular invasion paranoia.While the Bantry Bay expedition had great potential Tone’s second and fatal adventure was ill timed and had little chance of success.As with his sentence to hang as a traitor rather than to die as a military officer of France Tone’s military and political activities in service of Republicanism earned Ireland the predictable English backlash as well as continued support for their concerns about Ireland being a potential cradle of invasion.In retrospect Tone’s significance lies in his violent Republicanism which gave inspiration to the actions of 1916 and the violence of the late 20th century.While the positive potential of incorporation of Ireland within the ill-fated Napoleonic Empire is written in the histories of those nations who gained their identity and independence through its very dissolution the people and culture of Gaelic Ireland would have found in Tone’s Republicanism a process of cultural sterilization and economic and political dominance by the mercantile elite.Despite being uplifted by the speeches of Pearse,Tone could never have shared the same hall or perhaps even the same country with James Connolly.

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  Daniel O’Connell 1775-1847

Macdonagh,Oliver,The Emancipist.,St.Martin’s Press,N.Y.1989
MacIntyre,A.,The Liberator.,London 1965.
Trench,C.C. The Great Dan.,.,London,1938.
1801-Union of Great Britain and Ireland
1823-Catholic Association Founded
1826-O’Connell successfully mobilizes Catholic electors for Villiers Stuart.
1828-O’Connell returned M.P. in by election in Clare
1829-Relief Act-Catholic Emancipation.
1834-O’Connell moves discussion of Repeal of the Union in Parliament
1840-forms National Association for Repeal
1841-Elected Lord Mayor of Dublin
1843-Year of Monster Repeal meetings.
1844-Found guilty of conspiracy(overturned by House of Lords
1846-dissagreement with Young Ireland over physical force
Daniel O'Connell brought a lawyer’s strategy to the solution of Irish political issues.As a politician O’Connell began his career in an Ireland faced with depression following a grand war boom which saw landlords pressing the peasantry to maintain high profits.Additionally the Irish had become responsible for the repayment of the costs of their uprisings to England as a result of joining the Union.As early as 1817 the storm of the great famine to come was beginning to be felt.The”uncrowned King”,the “Great Dan” arrived on the scene when the Protestant ascendancy spirit prevailed in the ruling classes and the monarchy had neglected all issues relating to Ireland.O’Connell finding that the Catholic Association had neglected the majority of the people as a result of its high membership dues, founded the Catholic Association of Ireland which collected the poor rent of only one penny a month and supported progress toward Catholic emancipation.In this way the Peasantry was transformed into an electorate.While even under O’Connell’s plan emancipation was limited to the extension of membership in the army,parliament,the professions and government to Catholics and dissenters of upper and middle class status, the peasantry also found a limited liberation.The Catholic Association set up tribunals which the people respected more than they did the state courts.O’Connell-a Catholic and speaker of Gaelic was a leader the people could accept and pursued the nationalistic compromise of loyalty to the crown and the use of legal means to obtain concession.In this way he secured election for himself to Parliament . Catholics could not take seats in Parliament but they could run for office.O’Connell’s skillful arguments forced parliament to change the rules,a credit to the system,but, again,not for all as there remained a property test. O’Connell mobilized the liberated Catholics to fill the political void created by the inaction or corruption of Protestant aristocrat,Catholic Peer and bishop alike. With the Catholic party holding the balance between Whig and Torry in Parliament and Lord Mulgrave as Viceroy progress for Ireland inched forward down the non-violent constitutional and legal path.Orange bigotry was on the decline and real improvement in Catholic rights occurred. O’Connell next turned to the repeal of the Union and the quest for national independence while preserving links with England. O’Connell hoped that progress would come through demonstrating the widespread support for this concepts through peaceful monster meetings,however, while concessions of the minor order continued major change was not forthcomming.O’Connel’s failure to overturn landlordism and end political dominance of the landed left the way open for those who advocated direct use of physical force:the Young Ireland movement. The significance of O’Connell’s political career lies in his successful incorporation of the Catholic Majority and the Peasantry into the political scene.He believed however, that the Gaelic Language was s stumbling block which should be removed and it is significant that interest in politics did not rise from the ranks of the peasantry but that it was brought to them by the mobilizing priests.The movement brought to the peasantry abstenance and the spirit of Cultural and political uniformity.The legalistic political solution was far from a cultural one or an”Irish”one. While the movement saw to it that all who played,played legally according to the rules and did their jobs ethically the people as a culture were being transformed into a homogeneous political action group which could be focused by the crafty politician upon solutions designed for the advancement of utopian goals at the expense of the preservation of cultural cohesion and equity.


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Nine Famous Irishmen

In the Young Irish disorders in Ireland in 1848 the following nine men were captured,tried and convicted of treason against Her Majesty, the Queen and were sentenced to death: John Mitchell,Morris Lyene,Pat Donahue, Thomas McGee, Charles Duffy, Thomas Meagher, Richard O’Gorman, Terrence McManus, Michael Ireland.
Before passing sentence the judge asked if there was anything that anyone wished to say. Meagher, speaking for all, said:”My lord, this is our first offense but not our last. If you will be easy with us this once, we promise, on our word as gentlemen to try to do better next time. And next time-sure we won’t be fools to get caught.”Thereupon the indignant judge sentenced them all to be hanged by the neck until dead and drawn and quartered. Passionate protest from all the world forced Queen Victoria to commute the sentence to transportation for life to far wild Australia. In 1874 word reached the astounded Queen Victoria that the Sir Charles Duffy who had been elected Prime Minister of Australia was the same Charles Duffy who had been transported 25 years before. On the Queen’s demand the records of the rest of the transported men were revealed and this is what was uncovered: Thomas F. Meagher:Governor of Montana,Terrence McManus,Patrick Donahue:Brigadier General,United States Army,Richard O’Gorman:Governor General of Newfoundland,Morris Lyene:Attorney General of Australia,Thomas D.MCgee:Member of Parliament:Canada,John Mitchell:New

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