Welcome

Welcome
John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Peace








I'm a big big Fan of Bukowski 

The Doctors found a stint in my heart wasn't working and they had to replace it...






Then I slipped in the ice when I was taking Bart the dog for a walk and ruptured my quad in the left leg. The operation to put it back together is in April, I'm in a leg brace and crutches till then.

In the emergency room


Then, as if the left leg wasn't bad enough, I stepped on a piece of glass with my right heel and had to have that sewn up



Since I busted up my leg and had another stint placed in my hear two weeks ago, I've more or less been stuck in the house so Mary and I went out to a local Turkish place last night....it was great, really truly great, to get out of the house, eat a good meal and relax.








Sculpture this and Sculpture that

Jacky de Maeyer (1938 Ostende, Belgique)

DON'T YOU JUST LOVE POP ART?
Ushiro Shinohara

GOOD WORDS TO HAVE …………

Uxorial \uk-SOR-ee-ul\ of, relating to, or characteristic of a wife. With help from -ial, -ious, and -icide, the Latin word uxor, meaning "wife," has given us the English words uxorial, uxorious (meaning "excessively fond of or submissive to a wife"), and uxoricide ("murder of a wife by her husband" or "a wife murderer"). Maritus means "husband" in Latin, so marital can mean "of or relating to a husband and his role in marriage" (although maritus also means "married," and the "of or relating to marriage or the married state" sense of marital is far more common). And while mariticide is "spouse killing," it can also be specifically "husband-killing."


HERE'S SOME NICE ART FOR YOU TO LOOK AT....ENJOY!

Marià Fortuny - The Spanish Wedding (1870)

Maurice Sapiro - Moonglow

Mickalene Thomas, Untitled #1, 2014


THE ART OF PULP






HERE'S PLEASANT POEM FOR YOU TO ENJOY................

After Forty Years of Marriage, She Tries a New Recipe For Hamburger Hot Dish
Leo Dangel
“How did you like it?” she asked.
“It’s all right,” he said.
“This is the third time I cooked it this way. Why can’t you ever say if you like something?”
“Well if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t eat it,” he said.
“You never can say anything I cook tastes good.”
“I don’t know why all the time you think I have to say it’s good. I eat it, don’t I?”
“I don’t think you have to say all the time it’s good, but once in awhile you could say you like it.”
“It’s all right,” he said.



TODAY'S ALLEGED (Irish-American) MOB GUY


Coll, Vincent (far left in the photo above) AKA The Mad Mick. Gangster The poverty that hung over the Irish ghettos of New York continued to spew out a whole array of gunmen well into the 20th century including the Mad Mick, Vincent Coll Coll, was born in New York the son of Irish immigrant parents. And although his up bringing was working class stable, Coll's brief 23 years on the planet were marked by deadly violence and bloodshed. After a series of petty crimes as a teenager, Coll joined up with the Dutch Schultz gang as a gunman and rumrunner for a salary of $150.00 a week, a sizeable amount of money in depression racked America.






Coll and his squad of thugs enforced Schultz will in the Bronx and in Harlem, and his reign in those places was described as brutal and sadistic.
It was commonly agreed in both Police and criminal circles that Coll was mentally disturbed. He seemed to enjoy his ghastly work, just a little to much. Other gangsters feared him and stayed clear of his path. It was during this time that the Mafia's Castellammarese war broke out between old boss Salvatore Maranzano and the young Turks Lucky Luciano and Vito Genovese. Maranzano heard about Coll's ruthless reputation and hired Coll to kill both Luciano and Geneovese and he almost got around to it but Maranzona was killed first. Had Coll followed through on his contract to kill the two legendary crime bosses, there is no telling what could have happened to organized crime in America, since it was Luciano and Genovese who honed the Mafia into a more mainstream, business like criminal organization. In 1931, Coll and his brother Peter decided that they would go into the bootlegging and loansharking business for themselves. The brothers had enough. They had excelled at breaking heads, maiming and killing anyone who stood in Schultz's way, but not everyone feared the Coll brothers.
There were many gangsters in Harlem who would (and did) shoot back. And for all this they were earning spare change while Schultz racked in tens of millions of dollars. The brothers broke off on their own, first enlisting two other Schultz gunmen.
To ensure that Schultz understood that Coll was in business for himself, the Mick set up his headquarters in a speakeasy a block away from Schultz office and then went about the business of hijacking Schultz's beer trucks and invade his lucrative policy rackets in Harlem. To regain the upper hand Schultz had Coll brother followed to Harlem and shot dead. 
Desperate for cash to hire more gunmen in his war against Schultz Coll kidnapped gangster George "Big Frenchy" Demange, a partner to crime Czar Owny "The Killer" Madden and held him captive for $35,000. Maden paid the ransom and Big Frenchy was released un¬harmed, but it was a mistake the Mick should not have made. Coll's second biggest mistake came in July of 1932 when Coll and several of his gunman spotted one of Schultz top gunmen, Joey Rao on East 107th street. It was one of those awful, humid and hot New York summers day and the streets were filled with playing children. It didn't matter to Coll. He and his men revved their car to full speed and chased Joey Rao down the street firing their machine guns and pistols out the window as they drove by.  When it was over, Rao was alive and five innocent children, ages three to four years old lay in a pull of their own blood, struck down by the Mick's gangs bullets. All of the children would survive except for five year old Michael Vengalli, whose chest and stomach were blown apart  by several .45 caliber slugs.
Although that even to this day it has never been established exactly who fired the shots, Coll or one of his men, Coll was named as the killer and one of the cities largest man hunts took place, with hundreds of cops searching for the Mick across the city.


Lottie Kreisberger

Coll surrendered to Police, was tried for the shooting, but remarkably was acquitted and set free back on to the streets. To celebrate his short lived good fortune, Coll married the very over weight and homely Lottie Kreisberger. But his legal bills were enormous and to pay them off Coll stupidly decided to once again kidnap one of Owney Maddens gunmen and hold him for $30,000.00 in ransom. That was his third and final mistake. The day after he kidnapped Owney Maddens gun slinger, Dutch Schultz had placed a $50,000.00 price tag on the Mick's head. Two days later, four of Schultz's gunmen tracked Coll down to a pay phone inside a neighborhood drug store. As Coll sat in the stores glass enclosed phone booth, threaten¬ing Owney Madden with more kidnapping unless the ransom was paid, the Schultz gunmen fired 15 slugs into the Mad Mick's head, chest and throat. 






Colls burial on Long Island





















Madden Owney "The Killer" was a leading English (of Irish extraction) gangster in Manhattan during Prohibition.




 He also ran the famous Cotton Club and was a leading boxing promoter in the 1930s. Owen "Owney" Madden was born at 25 Somerset Street LeedsEngland on 18 December 1891. His parents Francis and Mary (formerly O'Neil), were also Leeds-born according to the 1891 census, although Madden claimed Irish parentage in later life. In search of work the family moved first to WiganEngland and then to LiverpoolEngland.

 It was Francis' intention to take the family to the United States but he died before this ambition could be fulfilled. In 1901 Mary Madden sailed to New York on the RMS Oceanic (1899) to stay with her widowed sister Elizabeth O'Neil at 352 10th Avenue. Owen Madden and his older brother Martin were left in the care of a children's home at 36 Springfield Terrace Leeds, England until Mary paid passage for them to join her in 1902. Owen maintained a sentimentality for his native Yorkshire and England throughout his life, refusing to give up his British passport until in his 50's when he was threatened with deportation. Unlike his elder brother Martin, who adopted a New York drawl, Owney kept his Northern English accent and saved clippings from the Yorkshire Post up until he died.
On 4 June 1902 Madden, together with Martin and his younger sister Mary, sailed from LiverpoolEngland on board the SS Teutonic (1889). Settling in New York's Hell's Kitchen, Madden soon joined the Gopher Gang later that year. Described by associates as "that banty little rooster from hell", Madden quickly became a fierce fighter known for his skill with a lead pipe and gun in fights with rivals the Hudson Dusters. By 1910, at age eighteen, Madden had become a prominent member of the Gophers and was suspected in the deaths of five rival gang members. His reputation soon gained him leadership of one of the three factions of the Gophers. He was earning as much as $200 a day from the Gophers' criminal activities, such as the gang's protection racket which forced local businessmen to pay in the face of firebomb threats.

During this time Madden enjoyed an opulent lifestyle and he was often accompanied by several women. However, he became known for his violent jealousy when he shot and killed a store clerk named William Henshaw who had asked out one of the girls often seen with Madden, while onboard a trolley. Henshaw initially survived the attack and was able to identify Madden as his assailant. When Henshaw later died of his wounds, police arrested Madden. Despite the attack having happened before dozens of people, the case had to be dismissed after no corroborating witnesses came forward.






Over the next three years, the Gophers reached the height of their power as Madden recruited various gunmen into the gang. As Madden began encroaching into rivals' territory, particularly the Hudson Dusters, he was ambushed and shot eleven times on November 6, 1912 outside of a 52nd Street dance hall by three members of the Dusters. Madden survived the attack, however, and refused to identify his attackers to police, stating "Nothing doing. The boys'll get 'em. It's nobody's business but mine who put these slugs in me !". Within a week of his release, several members of the Hudson Dusters had been killed.

In 1914, Madden became involved in a dispute with Little Patsy Doyle, a prominent member of the Hudson Dusters, over a woman named Freda Horner. In a breach of Irish gangland ethics, Doyle informed police of Madden's operations. Following Doyle's assault on Madden's close friend, Tony Romanello, Madden arranged for Doyle's murder. Madden relayed a message to Doyle through a friend of Freda Horner's named Margaret Everdeane to meet him, supposedly in order to reconcile. As Doyle arrived on November 28, 1914, Madden ambushed Doyle killing him. The police questioned Horner and Everdeane who both confessed to their role. Madden was eventually sentenced to twenty years at Sing Sing Prison.
 The 1920s
After serving nine years of his sentence, Madden was released on parole in 1923. The Gopher gang had broken up, and many members of his own faction were either in jail or working for bootlegging gangs. Madden initially became a strikebreaker for a New York taxi company but soon found work under Dutch Schultz in his fight against Jack "Legs" Diamond, Waxey Gordon, and Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll during the struggle to control New York City's bootleg liquor trade. He later opened the Cotton Club, formerly Jack Johnson's Club Deluxe, which became one of the city's most popular nightclubs. Madden also operated legitimate laundry and coal delivery businesses. With the support of Tammany Hall politician Jimmy Hines, he received considerable police protection.
 The 1930s
In 1931, shortly before the end of Prohibition, Madden left Shultz's organization and entered into partnership with boxing promoters "Broadway" Bill Duffy and George Jean "Big Frenchie" DeMange. Between them, they controlled the careers of the top five boxing champions including Rocky Marciano, Max Baer, and Primo Carnera. As Primo Carnera's manager, Madden arranged fixed fights which led eventually to Carnera's winning the NBA World Heavyweight Championship in 1933. Carnera held onto the title for nearly a year, until suspicions from reporters about fixed fights led to Madden deserting the Italian strongman, setting up Carnera's famous defeat at the hands of Max Baer on June 14, 1934.
In 1932, Madden was involved in the murder of Vincent Mad Dog Coll who had been extorting several mobsters including DeMange and Madden. After being arrested for a parole violation that same year, Madden began facing greater harassment from police, until he finally left New York in 1935.
 Arkansas
Leaving behind racketeering, Madden settled in Hot SpringsArkansas where he opened the Hotel Arkansas, a spa and casino, in 1935. He also became involved in local criminal activities. The Hotel Arkansas became a popular hideout for mobsters; Charles Luciano was apprehended there in 1935. Madden became a naturalized US citizen in 1943, and eventually married the daughter of the city postmaster. He lived in Hot Springs until his death in 1964. At the time of his death he was said to have left $3 million in assets.
Madden Owney
Owney Madden was born in 1892 in LiverpoolEngland. His father worked on the docks, but moved the family to the United States in 1903. They eventually settled in New York City's "Hell's Kitchen" neighborhood.
At a young age, Owney and his brother joined a group of hoodlums known as the Gopher Gang. He quickly developed a reputation for his fighting skills during battles with rival gangs. Over time, he became a leader in the gang and was soon making about $200 a day from the gang's criminal activities.
In 1910, he shot and killed a man who had asked out one of his many girlfriends. The man was named William Henshaw and he later died of the wounds, but not before identifying Owney as the attacker to police. However, Owney was able to get himself acquitted of charges after threatening all of the twelve witnesses before the trial.
On November 6, 1912, Owney was leaving the Arbor Dance Hall in a drunken state when several members of a rival gang, the Hudson Dusters, approached him. They shot him eight times, but he managed to survive. After leaving the hospital, six members of the gang turned up dead, but there was no evidence linking the crimes to Owney.
In late 1914, Owney became involved in a dispute with a man name Patsy Doyle, a member of the Hudson Dusters. Owney had gotten involved with one of Doyle's girlfriends and Doyle took revenge by informing police of many of Owney's criminal actions. Doyle took things even further by attacking one of Owney's friends, Tony Romanello. On November 28, 1914, Owney ambushed Doyle and shot him dead.
The police were able to pin the murder on Owney and he was sentenced to twenty years in prison. He spent the next nine years serving time at Sing Sing Prison before he was released on parole in 1923.
After returning to his neighborhood, Owney found out that the Gopher Gang had been broken up in pursuit of bootlegging ventures. He eventually landed a job working for a taxi company as a strike breaker. He was very unhappy with his pay, however, and sought criminal work once again. He was hired by Dutch Schultz and helped fight Schultz's bootlegging opponents.
After a short time, he opened a popular night club known as the "Cotton Club". He was also able to open laundry facilities and coal delivery businesses citywide. In 1931, he joined a group of boxing promoters to fund the careers of Max Baer, Rocky Marciano, and Primo Carnera. He spent much of his time arranging fights, but also directly managed Primo Carnera.
In 1932, Vincent Mad Dog Coll tried to blackmail Owney, but he was killed by a drive by shooting. Owney was arrested for violating his parole that same year and began shifting himself away from criminal activity.



In 1935, he decided to move to Hot SpringsArkansas, where he was able to open the Hotel Arkansas. The hotel was a spa and a casino that became popular as a hideout for mobsters. In 1943, Owney became an official United States citizen and married a woman that lived in town. On April 24, 1965, he died from natural causes.




AND HERE'S SOME ANIMALS FOR YOU................... 










THE ART OF WAR............




This photo, taken at the end of the war shows a young boy terrified by the sounds of battle. He even wet his pants!  You can see he is being told to toughen up!




THE ART AND BEAUTY OF BALLET


Three Shades - Renata Shakirova, Yekaterina Ivannikova and Xenia Ostreikovskaya in La Bayadere



Plato


1.Two of Plato’s uncles, Critias and Charmides, were members of the Thirty Tyrants of Athens, a brutal oligarchy that rose to power in 404 BC after the city’s defeat in the Peloponnesian War.
2.Plato believed that artists were a corrupting influence on society.
3.In the Republic, Plato described how the structures of the soul are analogous to those of the state.
4.Government, according to Plato, should be controlled by an intellectually-trained elite.

5.According to Plato, a virtuous person can only be created by a virtuous state.




We could have been the good guys…..almost..

The Post's View
Why is President Obama threatening to side with China against the Senate?

By Editorial Board February 19

IN 1984, the U.S. Senate responded to the persecution of Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov by renaming the site of the Soviet Embassy on 16th Street NW Andrei Sakharov Plaza. It was a symbolic act, but one that sent a persistent message to Soviet diplomats, who were unavoidably reminded of Sakharov every time they received a piece of mail. The dissident’s stepdaughter told us in 2014 that the renaming “definitely made a difference ... it raised the level of awareness. Two years after the change, Sakharov was released from internal exile.
Now the Senate has taken a comparable and equally worthy step by voting overwhelmingly to rename the location of the Chinese Embassy, on International Place NW, 1 Liu Xiaobo Plaza, in honor of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident. Mr. Liu, who wrote a 2008 petition calling for an end to China’s totalitarian system, has been imprisoned by the regime since 2009; he was sentenced to 11 years on charges of inciting state subversion. His wife, Liu Xia, has been under house arrest since 2010, even though she has not been charged with or convicted of any offense.
This is a particularly good time to impress upon China’s diplomats and their masters that Mr. Liu and other defenders of human rights will not be forgotten. President Xi Jinping is in the midst of a sweeping crackdown against critics and independent voices of all kinds, inside and outside China. Lawyers who for years have worked to expand rights have been jailed on trumped-up charges; five editors at a Hong Kong publishing house that was to publish a critical book on Mr. Xi were abducted, in at least two cases outside of mainland China, and detained. Western governments, many of which have shied away from criticizing these offenses, need to make clear that they will not be silenced on Beijing’s violations of human rights.
That’s why it is particularly disturbing that the State Department has indicated that President Obama will veto the Senate measure if it reaches his desk. Mr. Obama already has a poor record of speaking out for Mr. Liu and other Chinese dissidents, despite his occasional promises to do so. Now he apparently thinks it more important to avoid offending Mr. Xi than to stand up for a man who will be remembered as the Sakharov of China, a peaceful advocate for democratic reform.
Of course, the regime is bristling. “If the relevant bill is passed into law, it will cause serious consequences,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a news conference. He went on to “demand the U.S. Senate stop promoting the bill.” Those words ought only to fortify Congress’s resolve. It’s sickening to think that Mr. Obama would respond to such crude threats by exercising a veto — or that legislators would back down. The House should quickly approve the legislation; and if Liu Xiaobo Plaza must be created as an override of Mr. Obama’s veto, it will be a sad but accurate reflection of his record on human rights.





MISH MOSH..........................................



Mish Mash: noun \ˈmish-ˌmash, -ˌmäsh\ A : hodgepodge, jumble The painting was just a mishmash of colors and abstract shapes as far as we could tell. Origin Middle English & Yiddish; Middle English mysse masche, perhaps reduplication of mash mash; Yiddish mish-mash, perhaps reduplication of mishn to mix. First Known Use: 15th century


Union steamboat “Sultana”. Loaded with ex-prisoners from the notorious Confederate prison camp at Andersonville. The war was over. Lincoln had been assassinated. On April 27, 1865… the ship’s boiler exploded. 1,800 Union soldiers died.


Morbid traditions

One of the most morbid traditions of the Victorian Era definitely has to be that of memento mori photography. Professional photography was extremely expensive back in that era meaning that many families only got photographs of their loved ones after they had perished. Photographers often attempted to make the subjects of the photographs appear to still be alive, whether by sticking their eyes open or propping them in an upright position. In this day and age such practice would be seen as extremely bizarre and taboo but during this era, it was very normal but still very creepy. Regardless of the fact that these images are extremely creepy, the sentiment was there as they served as mementos of their loved ones who had passed.






Second Class Saloon...The saloon that Wyatt Earp and wife owned in Nome, Alaska between 1887-1901

1976 NASA concept art by Don Davis gives an exterior view of a future toroidal space colony, also known as the Stanford torus. Population 10,000-140,000 humans. (NASA)

A decommissioned Soviet rocket is the centerpiece for this sculptural cast-concrete office

Beautiful Saturn, observed by the Cassini space probe on March 22, 2004.


I LOVE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS FROM FILM

Parade, New Orleans, 1960.



Worker charged with faking visits to foster children

At least half of this clowns income came from federal funds. She should be indicted on federal charges. That would set an example that American's take the care of foster children seriously. John William Tuohy

By The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE — A Louisiana foster care worker faces criminal charges that she faked documents to cover up her failure to visit foster children.
The Advocate reports that Kimberly Deann Lee, a 49-year-old Calhoun resident, faces 20 counts of filing false public records and one count malfeasance in office, according to an arrest warrant filed by the Office of Inspector General in the 19th Judicial District Court on Feb. 10.
Inspector General Stephen Street said Lee is expected to surrender this week at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.
He said the misconduct isn't linked to child abuse, but says the case is significant because there is a potential for abuse or other problems when children are not properly supervised.
The warrant says Lee was hired in December 2012 and required to make monthly in-home visits in the Ruston area.
At least 20 times between July 31, 2013 and August 15, 2014, Lee used the state computer system to log fake reports, the warrant says. Foster parents in four foster homes confirmed that Lee did not conduct the visits, according to the document. The investigation started with a complaint from DCFS on Dec. 5, 2014, the warrant says.
Attempts to reach Lee were unsuccessful Monday. Spokespeople for the Department of Family and Children' Services did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
In an interview with OIG investigators held in Monroe in June, Lee explained her actions by saying she was committed "to getting things done no matter what." She said her supervisors gave her a heavy workload and pressured her to use "buzz words" in her reports, according to the warrant.
"This is the sort of behavior that cannot be tolerated. Matters of child welfare are of the utmost importance and we will seek to hold people criminally accountable whenever we uncover this kind of misconduct," Street said Monday.
Street said he does not expect more arrests in the immediate future linked to this case.





On sale now at Amazon.Com and Barnes and Noble



DON'T YOU WANT TO SEE THE ENTIRE WORLD? 


I DO

Zermatt Switzerland

Warwick England

Mannes Norway




On sale now at Amazon.Com and Barnes and Noble


"Is maith an t-anlann an t-ocras" (Hunger is the best sauce)



Breakfast

Full Irish breakfast

A typical full Irish breakfast, which can change slightly depending upon the area, can include sausages, black and white pudding, bacon and fried eggs, toast, sautéed, sliced potato, fried tomato and sautéed mushrooms.  (Black pudding may not appeal to the American senses. Basically, Black Pudding is a type of sausage made by cooking dried blood with a filler until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled off. White Pudding is essentially the same thing, but without the blood. Rather, it (usually) contains bits of pork meat and fat, or suet or bread or oatmeal, which is then formed into a sausage. Breakfast is usually topped off with tea (served with milk) and fried potato bread.


   Ingredients needed for this dish
 1 link pork sausage
 5-6 slices lean bacon
 1 inch of thickly sliced disks of white pudding sausage
 1 inch of thickly sliced disks of blood pudding sausage
 5 button mushrooms
 4 eggs
 1 tablespoon of butter
 Salt and pepper
 Irish brown bread
 Heinz ketchup
 2 glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice
 Irish tea, 1 pot
Cooking Instructions
Heat a frying pan with a little oil. Fry the sausages slowly over a medium heat - keep turning. Add the pudding to the pan and continue to cook. Put sausages and pudding on a plate and keep warm in the oven. Place rashers on frying pan and cook until color has darkened and they crisp - transfer to oven. Add more oil to the frying pan and sauté the mushrooms. Add eggs (Your own preference) and fry in any desired style. Add the salt and pepper to the mushrooms. Serve all Ingredients on a plate with crusty French bread.  Add ketchup to taste 


“A silent mouth is melodious.” Irish Proverb



An Ulster Fry

A full Ulster Fry is the Northern Ireland version of the full Irish breakfast. The traditional Ulster Fry consists of bacon, eggs, sausages (either pork or beef) soda bread and/or potato bread, mushrooms, baked beans and/or pancakes.


Egg in Bacon Nests

Ingredients needed for this dish

4 Rashers back bacon

4 Small Eggs

1oz Dubliner Cheese


Cooking Instructions
Remove the rinds from the bacon and fry the rinds until the fat begins to run.

Fry the rashers for a few minutes until they are cooked but not crisp.

Remove from pan, curl each one in to a circle and secure with cocktail sticks.

Place bacon circles back in pan, crack an egg in to them and cook gently, spooning fat over the egg to help it cook.

Place bacon nests on slices of toast, grate Dubliner cheese over them, remove cocktail sticks.

“The light heart lives long.” Irish proverb

  

Dubliner Flat Omelets

Ingredients needed for this dish        
3 Eggs

50g cooked diced potatoes

50g of grated cheese

40g of cooked shrimp

10g chopped chives

20g of Butter

White Pepper

1 Large Tomato


 Cooking Instructions
Chop the tomato in to small cubes,

Beat the eggs, season with pepper

In a large pan, melt the butter

Add the Potato and Shrimp and cook for 2 minutes

Add eggs and let cook for a few minutes

Add tomato and grated cheese

Finish under the grill

Garnish with chives



“What butter and whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for” Irish proverb





Anglo-Irish Relations

An old handicapped man lived in the countryside of Northern Ireland and had only one relative, a son. The son was in prison for revolutionary activities.
The father wrote the son.  “Now that you’re in prison, I have no one to dig up my garden. How can I plant my potatoes if I can’t dig up my garden?”
The son wrote back: “Don’t dig up the garden; that’s where I’ve buried all the guns.”
The next day a troop of British soldiers descended on the farm and turned up all the soil. When they found nothing, the old man was confused. He wrote his son: “What’s going on? There were no guns.”
The son wrote back: “Just plant your potatoes.”

Two Irish guys are making letter bombs.
Pat say's "Do you think I have put enough explosives in this envelope?"
"Dunno" says Mick "open it and see"
"But it will explode" says Pat
Mick says "Don’t be effing stupid......it's not addressed to you"

 In London a homeless Irishman walks up to a proper Englishman and asks for some spare change.    The Englishman says "Neither a borrower nor a lender be. Shakespeare."
 The Irishman man says, "Fuck you. Brendan Behan"

An Irishman and an Englishman are hunting out in the woods when the Englishman falls to the ground. He doesn’t seem to be breathing. His eyes are rolled back in his head. The Irishman whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps to the operator: “My friend is dead! What can I do?” The operator, in a calm soothing voice says: “Just take it easy. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, a shot is heard. The man’s voice comes back on the line. He says: “OK, now what?” 

A boastful Englishman said to an Irishman "take away your friendliness, your wit, your charm and your good looks, your mountains, glens & lochs what have you got?"
"England" replied the Irishman.

One day a priest was walking in Dublin, and he encountered a Protestant minister. They chatted for a while and then the minister invited the priest to his home for a cup of tea. When they got to the minister’s home, the priest noticed how shabby the outside was. Inside, the priest noticed how run down the place seemed to be. Then the minister introduced the priest to his wife.
“Father O’Neill,” said the minister, “I’d like you to meet my better half.”
And so the minister’s missus then made them tea.
A few days later, the two clergymen met each other again. This time, they went to the priest’s rectory, which was a fancy well-appointed Georgian mansion. The minister was very impressed. The priest led him to the kitchen where he began to make the tea. The kitchen, too, was set up with all the modern conveniences. Finally the minister commented on the wonderful housing the priest had.

“Well,” said Father O’Neill, “Here in Ireland, the Protestant ministers have the better halves, but the Catholic priests have the better quarters.”







IN THEIR OWN WORDS


THE STARVING

"No vegetable ever effected the same amount of influence upon the
physical, moral, social and political condition of a country as the
potato exercised over Ireland”  TABLES OF DEATH 1851

"Only a handful of potatoes are left and they were so small that it
took twelve of them to weigh four and a half ounces the weight of an
average, edible tuber but even these were poor remnants of little
value, being soft and watery" IRISH FARMER

"Where no disease was apparent, a few days ago.. all is now black" 
                                                  IRISH NEWSPAPER

"The failure this year is universal, for miles a person may proceed
in any direction without perceiving an exception to the awful
destruction"  IRISH NEWSPAPER

The disease appears to be of the most malignant character, the leaves
and stalks appear to be tainted as if with a corroding mildew or as
if vitriol or some caustic material had been thrown on them"
 IRISH NEWSPAPER

"Fearful progress of the disease in cork, Mayo and Sligo, the stench
from the fields was intolerable, the odor from decaying flesh could
not be more offensive" IRISH NEWSPAPER

“...that within the last three days the blight has committed dreadful
ravages and is now so decided that we can no longer flatter ourselves
with even the chance of escape, it is north south east and west of
us"  IRISH NEWSPAPER

"On the 27th of last month I passed from Cork to Dublin and this
doomed plant bloomed in all the luxuriance  of an abundant harvest.
Returning on the 3rd instant (the following month) I beheld with
sorrow one wide waste of putrefying vegetation. In many places the
wretched people were seated on the fences of their decaying gardens,
wringing their hands and wailing bitterly the destruction that had
left them foodless" FATHER THEOBALD MATHEW 1848

"God have mercy on us, there will be nothing left but for us to lie
down and die"  IRISH WOMEN


"If the English desert us now, God. .in his glory ..they'll never see"
IRISH FARMER, GALWAY   

"I swear by the broken heart my mother died of, the hand of God is
in this. Its a curse that has fallen on the land" IRISH FARMER GALWAY
                           
"Its over there in America I'd be now, only for the pig. .the landlord
took from me for his rent. .the passage money was in that pig.. but its
the landlord always has the bailiff on his side" IRISH FARMER GALWAY

"A widow with two children who for a week had eaten nothing but
cabbage...and then nothing...save water...famine was written in the
faces of this women...and her children"
AMERICAN NEWSPAPER REPORTER OUTSIDE GALWAY
 
"In a very short time, there was nothing but stillness ,a mournful
silence in the villages, in the cottages grim poverty and emaciated
faces.. the tinkers.. fled to the cities, the musicians ..disappeared
and.. never to return. Many of the residents too made their escape
at once, finding employment or early graves elsewhere.. there were
no more friendly meetings at the neighbors houses in the afternoons,
no gatherings on the hillsides on Sundays, no song no merry laugh of
the maidens, not only were the human beings silent  and lonely, but
the brute creation also, for not even he bark of a dog or the crowing
of a cock was to be heard.." HUGH DORIAN, DONEGAL

"Anybody's house you come into, talk is all of misery and starvation,
there is no fun at all among them now.. their natural vivacity and
lightheartedness has been starved out of them" ENGLISH TRAVELLER
           
"There, amidst the chilling damp of a dismal hovel see you famine
stricken fellow creature, see him extended on his scanty bed of
rotten straw, see his once manly frame, that labor had strengthened
with vigor, shrink to a skeleton, see his once ruddy complexion, the
gift of temperance, changed by hunger and concealment disease to a
sallow ghastly hue. See him extend his yellow withering arm for assistance; hear how he cries out in agony for food....for since
yesterday he has not even moistened his lips!
FATHER THEOBALD MATTHEW
  
"In the good years the beggars shared the farmers potatoes and warmed
themselves at his blazing turf fires...there are many differences
between the English and the Irish  and one of the most marked is the
difference in their attitude towards beggars. The English regard the
beggars as being, if not exactly criminals, then close to the
criminal class. The Irish, on the contrary, regard their relief as
a sacred duty that kindly sympathy enabled these poor outcasts to
exist but now all was changed and the wolf was at the farmers door,
there was absolutely nothing to give away"                        
 LANDLORDS DAUGHTER

"Sure this land is full of barley, wheat’s and oats. The English have
only to distribute it!" IRISH FARMER              

"It could hardly be possible to conceive; to see the faceless arms
grasping one part  of a loaf, whilst the fingers bone handled forks dug into the other, to supply the mouth. Such mouths too! With an
eagerness as if the bread were stolen, the thief starving and the
steps of the owner heard; was a picture, I think neither of us will
easily forget"   Rev. S. Godolphin Osbourbe

"The culminating point of mans physical degradation seems to have
been reached in Eris.. the population last year was computed  at about
28,000..there is left a miserable remnant of little more then 20,000
of whom 10,000 at least, are strictly speaking within forty eight
hours journey of the metropolis of the world living, or rather
starving upon turnip toes, sand eels and seaweed, a diet which no one
in England would consider fit for the meanest animal which he keeps"
James H. Tuke report to the Quakers

"It didn't matter who you were related to, your friend was who ever
would give you a bite to put in your mouth. Sports and pastimes
disappeared. Poetry, music and dancing stopped, they lost and forgot
them all….the famine killed everything"  Irish Farmer

"Food became both a dream and an obsession, and the scarcer it became
the more degrading and revolting were the alternatives left to those
trying to survive. In county down, a beggar women and her two children went to the home of a comfortable farmer asking for alms .When
they approached the doorstep, they saw the pigs in the style eating
food. Before the mother could stop them, or feel that she wanted to
or had a right to, the children ran over to the trough and, like pigs
themselves, gobbled up what the pigs had not yet eaten"
 Paddy's Lament








A drink precedes a story.
A friend's eye is a good mirror.
A hen is heavy when carried far.
A hound's food is in its legs.
A lock is better than suspicion.
A silent mouth is melodious.
A trade not properly learned is an enemy.
Age is honorable and youth is noble.
As the big hound is, so will the pup be.
Be neither intimate nor distant with the clergy.
Both your friend and your enemy think you will never die.
Even a small thorn causes festering.
Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.
He who comes with a story to you brings two away from you.
He who gets a name for early rising can stay in bed until midday.
If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn.
If you want to be criticized, marry.
Instinct is stronger than upbringing.
It is a bad hen that does not scratch herself.
It is a long road that has no turning.
It is better to exist unknown to the law.
It is not a secret if it is known by three people.
It is sweet to drink but bitter to pay for.
It is the good horse that draws its own cart.
It is the quiet pigs that eat the meal.
It takes time to build castles. Rome wan not built in a day.
It's not a matter of upper and lower class but of being up a while and down a while.
Lack of resource has hanged many a person.
Listen to the sound of the river and you will get a trout.
May you have a bright future - as the chimney sweep said to his son.
Mere words do not feed the friars.
Nature breaks through the eyes of the cat.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Necessity knows no law.
Need teaches a plan.
Patience is poultice for all wounds.
Youth does not mind where it sets its foot.
You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.
People live in each other's shelter.
Put silk on a goat, and it's still a goat.
Quiet people are well able to look after themselves.
The day will come when the cow will have use for her tail.
The hole is more honorable than the patch.
The light heart lives long.
The man with the boots does not mind where he places his foot.
The mills of God grind slowly but they grind finely.
The raggy colt often made a powerful horse.
The smallest thing outlives the human being.
The wearer best knows where the shoe pinches.
The well fed does not understand the lean.
The work praises the man.
The world would not make a racehorse of a donkey.
There is hope from the sea, but none from the grave.
There is no fireside like your own fireside.
There is no luck except where there is discipline.
There is no need like the lack of a friend.
There is no strength without unity.
Thirst is the end of drinking and sorrow is the end of drunkenness.
Three diseases without shame: Love, itch and thirst.
Time is a great story teller.
Two shorten the road.
Two thirds of the work is the semblance.
Walk straight, my son - as the old crab said to the young crab.
When a twig grows hard it is difficult to twist it. Every beginning is weak.
When fire is applied to a stone it cracks.
When the apple is ripe it will fall.
When the drop (drink) is inside, the sense is outside.
When the liquor was gone the fun was gone.
Wine divulges truth.
You cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
You must live with a person to know a person. If you want to know me come and live with me.
Youth sheds many a skin.
The steed (horse) does not retain its speed forever.

"Nil aon tintean mar do thintean fein." (There's no fireside like your own fireside.)
Never bolt the door with a boiled carrot.
Man is incomplete until he marries. After that, he is finished.
Three things come without asking: fear, jealousy, and love.
Idleness is a fool's desire.
Good luck beats early rising.
If a cat had a dowry, she would often be kissed.
To the raven her own chick is white.
Everyone praises his native land.
"Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde" (Beware of the anger of a patient man.)
A diplomat must always think twice before he says nothing.
A heavy purse makes for a light heart.
Those who get the name of rising early may lie all day.
A lie travels further than the truth.
Marriages are all happy. It's having breakfast together that causes all the trouble.
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.
A scholars ink lasts longer than a martyrs blood.
If you want an audience start a fight.
Don't break your shin on a stool that is not in your way.
If you dig a grave for others, you might fall into it yourself.
What will come from the briar but the berry.
"Meallan muilte dé go mall ach meallan siad go mion." (God's mill may grind slowly, but it grinds finely.)
















IRISH HISTORY


THE TUATHA DE DANANN
     Such a great people were the De Danann, and so uncommonly skilled in the few arts of the time, that they dazzled even their conquerors and successors, the Milesians, into regarding them as mighty magicians. Later generations of the Milesians to whom were handed down the wonderful traditions of the wonderful people they had conquered, lifted them into amystic realm, their greatest ones becoming gods and goddesses, who supplied to their successors a beautiful mythology. Over the island, which was now indisputably De Danann, reigned the hero, Lugh, famous in mythology. And after Lugh, the still greater Dagda - whose three grandsons, succeeding him in the sovereignty, were reigning, says the story, when the Milesians came. The Dagda, was the greatest of the De Danann. He was styled Lord of Knowledge and Sun of all the Sciences. His daughter, Brigit, was a woman of wisdom, and goddess of poetry. The Dagda was a great and beneficent ruler for eighty years. 
                    THE MILESIANS
     The sixteenth century scholar, O’Flaherty, fixes the Milesian invasion of Ireland at about 1000 B.C. - the time of Solomon. It is proven that the Celts whenceover they came, had, before the dawn of history, subjugated the German people and established themselves in Central Europe. At about the date we have mentioned, a great celtic wave, breaking westward over the Rhine, penetrated into England, Scotland, and Ireland. Subsequently a wave swept over the Pyrenees into the Spanish Peninsula. Other waves came westward still later.
     A celtic cemetery discovered at Hallstatt in upper Austria proves them to have been skilled in art and industries as far back as 900 B.C. - shows them as miners and agriculturists, and blessed with the use of iron instruments. They invaded Italy twice, in the seventh and in the fourth centuries before Christ. In the latter tie they were at the climax of their power. They stormed Rome itself, 300 B.C. The rising up of the oppressed Germans against them, nearly three centuries before Christ, was the beginning of the end of the Continental power of the celt. After that they were beaten and buffeted by Greek and by Roman, and even by despised races - broken, and blown like the surf in al directions, North and South, and East and West. A fugitive colony of these people, that had settled in Asia Minor, in the territory which from them (the Gaels) was called Galatia, and among whom Paul worked, was found to be still speaking a Celtic language in the days of St. Jerome, five or six hundred years later. Eoin MacNeill and other scientific enquirers hold that it was only in the fifth century before Christ that they reached Spain - and that it was not via Spain but via northern France and Britain that they, crushed out from Germany, eventually reached Ireland. In Caesar’s day the Celts (Gauls) who dominated France used Greek writing in almost all their business, public or private.
     Of the Milesians, Eber and Eremon divided the land between them - Eremon getting the Northern half of the Island, and Eber the Southern. The Northeastern corner was accorded to the children of their lost brother, Ir, and the Southwestern corner to their cousin Lughaid, the son of Ith. The oft-told story says that when Eber and Eremon had divided their followers, each taking an equal number of soldiers and an equal number of the men of every craft, there remained a harper and a poet. Drawing lots for these, the harper fell to Eremon and the poet to Eber - which explains why, ever since, that the North of Ireland has been celebrated for music, and the South for song.
     The peace fell upon the land then, and the happiness of the Milesians, was only broken, when, after a year, Eber’s wife discovered that she must be possessed of the three pleasantest hills in Eirinn, else she could not remain one other night in the Island. Now the pleasantest of all the Irish hills was Tara, which lay in Eremon’s half. And Eremon’s wife would not have the covetousness of the other woman satisfied at her expense. So, because of the quarrel of the women, the beautiful peace of the Island was broken by battle. Eber was beaten, and the high sovereignty settled upon Eremon. 
THE CELTS

Long, long ago beyond the misty space
of twice a thousand years,
In Erin old there dwelt a mighty race,
Taller than Roman spears,
Like oaks and towers they had a giant grace,
Were fleet as deers
With winds and waves they made their ‘biding place,
These western shepherd seers.
Their ocean god was Mannanan MacLir,
whose angry lips,
In their white foam, full often would inter
Whole fleets of ships;
Crom was their day god, and their thunderer,
Made morning and eclipse,
Bride was their queen of song, and unto her
They prayed with fire-touched lips.
Great were their deeds, their passions, and their sports;
With clay and stone
They piled on strath and shore those mystic forts,
Not yet over thrown
On cairn-crowned hills they held their council courts
While youths alone,
With giant dogs, explored the elks’ resorts,
And brought them down. 
 SOME NOTABLE MILESIAN ROYALTIES
     All the stories say that the greatest king of those faraway times was the twenty first Milesian king, known to fame as Ollam Fodla who blessed Ireland in a reign of forty years, some seven or eight centuries before the Christian Era. His title, Ollam Fodla, Doctor of Wisdom, has preserved his memory down the ages. The legends indicate that he was a true father to his people, and an able statesman. He organised the nation for efficiency, dividing it into cantreds, appointed a chief over every cantred, a brugaid over every territory, and a steward over every townland. Some traditions say that he established a School of Learning. And as crowning glory he established the celebrated Feis of Tara, the great triennial Parliament of the chiefs, the nobles, and the scholars of the nation, which assembled on Tara Hill once every three years to settle the nation’s affairs. This great deliverative assembly, almost unique among the nations in those early ages, and down into Christian times, reflected not a little glory upon ancient Ireland. One queen, famous and capable, whom early Ireland boasted was Macha Mong Ruad (the red-haired, who reigned over the land about three hundred years before Christ. Her father, Aod Ruad was one of a triumvirate - the others being Dithorba and Cimbaoth - who by mutual agreement, took seven year turns in reigning. For many, the reign of Cimbaoth - which synchronises with that of Alexander the Great - marks the beginning of certainty in Irish history - because of the famed remark of the trusted eleventh century historian, Tighernach, that the Irish records before Cimbaoth were uncertain. When Cimbaoth died this able woman took up the reins of government herself, becoming the first Milesian queen of Ireland. 

IRELAND IN THE LORE OF THE ANCIENTS
SCOTIA (A name transferred to Alba about ten centuries after Christ) was one of the earliest names of Ireland - so named, it was said, from Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, one of the ancient female ancestors of the Milesians - and the people were commonly called Scotti or Scots - both terms being frequently used by early Latin historians and poets. One of its ancient titles was Hibernia (used by Caesar) which some trace from Ivernia, the name, it is said, of a people located in the south of the Island. But most trace it from Eber or Heber, ther first Milesian king of the southern half, just as the much later name, Ireland, is by some traced from Ir, whose family were in the northeastern corner of the island. Though it seems much more likely that this latter name was derived from the most common title given to the Island by its own inhabitants, Eire - hence Eireland, - Ireland. It was first Northmen and then the Saxons, who, in the ninth and tenth century began calling it Ir-land, or Ir-landa - Ireland.
In the oldest known foreign reference to Ireland, it was called Ierna. This was the title used by the poet Orpheus in the time of Cyrus of Persia, in the sixth century before Christ. Aristotle, in his Book of the World, also called Ierna. It was usually called either Hibernia or Scotia by the Latin writers. Tacitus, Caesar, and Pliny call it Hibernia.
"This Isle is sacred named by all the ancients,
From times remotest in the womb of Chronos,
This Isle which rises over the waves of ocean,
Is covered with a sod of rich luxuriance.
And peopled far and wide by the Hiberni"
By Rufus Festus Avienus, who wrote this at beginning of the fourth century. 
CONOR MAC NESSA
At the time of Christ, as said, there reigned over Ulster - residing at Emain Macha (Emania) - a king noted in ancient song and story, Conor MacNessa. He was the grandson of Rory Mor, a powerful Ulster ruler who had become monarch of Ireland, and who was the founder of the Rudrician line of Ulster kings. The memory of Conor MacNessa is imperishably preserved in the tale of the sons Of Usnach and in the greater tale of the Tain Bo Cuailgne. His first wife was the Amazonian Medb (Maeve) just mentioned, a daughter of Eochaid the Ard-Righ of Ireland (High King). Conor separated from her and she became Queen of Connaught. He found his happiness with her sister, Ethne, whom he took to wife then, and who proved to all that was indicated by her name - Ethne, that is "sweet kernel of a nut". He was a patron of poetry and the arts, and a practical man who is said to have struck from learning, the oppressive shackles of tradition that hitherto had cramped and bound it. Till his day the learned professions, both for sake of monopoly and of effect upon the multitude used an archaic language that only the initiated understood, and that awed the mass of the people. Conor ordered that the professions should not henceforth remain in the hereditary possession of the ancient learned families - but should be thrown open to all, irrespective of family or rank. Conor’s reverence for poets was such that he saved them from expulsion, when, once they were threatened with death or exile, because having grown so vast numbers, and got to be lazy, covetous, tyrannous, they had become an almost unbearable burden upon the multitude. Conor gathered twelve hundred poets, it is said, into his dominion, and protected them there for seven years, till the anger of the people had abated, and they could scatter themselves over Ireland once more.
Conor died by a brain ball that sunk into his skull - fired by the hand of Cet MacMagach, the Connaught champion, whom he had pursued after a Connaught cattle raid. The legend attached to Conor’s death is curious. The brain ball fired by Cet did not directly kill him. It sank into his skull - and his doctor, Faith Liag, would not remove it, because that would cause instant death. With care, Conor might live long, carrying the brain ball. Henceforth, however, he must be moderate in all things, avoiding violent emotion, which was rare in those days for kings. Under his doctor’s wise care he lived for seven years. But one time, his court was thrown into consternation by finding broad day suddenly turned into blackest night, the heavens rent by lightning, and the world rocked by thunder, portending some dread cataclysm. Conor asked his wise men for explanation of the fearful happening. The druids and wise men told him that there had been in the East, a singular man, more noble of character, more lofty of mind, and more beautiful of soul, than the world had ever before known, or ever again would know - he was the noblest and most beautiful, most loving of men. And now the heavens and the earth were thrown into agony because on this day the tyrant Roman, jealous of his power over the people, had nailed him high upon a cross, and between two crucified thieves, had left the divine man to die a fearful death. Conor was so fired to rage at this thought, that he snatched his sword and tried to fiercely hew down a grove of trees. Under the strain of the fierce passion that held him the brain ball burst from King Conor’s head - and he fell dead. 
CUCHULLAIN
Those days when Conor MacNessa sat on the throne of Ulster were brilliant days in Ireland’s history. Then was the sun of glory in the zenith of Eire’s Heroic period - the period of chivalry, chiefly created by the famous Royal or Red Branch Knights of Emania. Though, two other famous bands of Irish warriors gave added lustre to the period- the Gamanraide of the West (who were the Firbolgs) and the Clanna Deaghaid of Mulster led by Curoi MacDaire. All three warrior bands had their poets and the seanachies, who chanted their deeds in imperishable song and story which, down the dim ages, have since held spell bound the clan of the Gael. But the greatest, the most belauded, and the most dazzling of all the heroes of the heroic age was undoubtedly Cuchullain, of whose life and wondrous deeds, real and imaginary, hundreds of stories still exist.
CUCHULLAIN was a foster son of King Conor. "I am little Setanta, son to Sualtim, and Dectaire your sister" he told the questioning King, when, as a boy, in whose breast the fame of the Red Branch warriors had awaked the thirst for glory, he came up to the court of Emania. When he arrived there and the youths in training were playing caman upon the green. Having taken with him from home, his red bronze hurl and his silver ball, the little stranger, going in among them, so outplayed all the others, that the attention of the court was drawn to him. And it was then that the little stranger gave the above reply to the question of the admiring king. The eager attention of the warriors of the Red Branch was drawn to the lad and they foresaw great things for him, when they heard him express himself nobly and wonderfully, on the day that, in Emania, in the Hall of Heroes, he took arms. He stood before the Druids in the Hall of Heroes and exclaimed "I care not whether I die tomorrow or next year, if only my deeds live after me". The greatest, most exciting portion of this hero’s stories is the account of his fight with his friend, Ferdiad, at the ford, where , single handed, he is holding at bay the forces of Connaught. Ferdiad is the great Connaught champion, chief, of the Connaught knights of the Sword, the Fir Domniann and a dear friend and comrade of CUCHULLAIN, since, in their youth, they were training for the profession of arms. And it is now sore for CUCHULLAIN to fight the soul friend whom the Connaught host has pitted against them. He would dissuade Ferdiad from fighting, by reminding him of their comradeship, when they were together learning the art of war from the female champion, Scathach, in Alba.
"We were heart companions,
We were companions in the woods,
We were fellows of the same bed,
Where we used to sleep the balmy sleep.
After mortal battles abroad,
In countries many and far distant,
Together we used to practice, and go
Through each forest, learning with Scathach".
But Ferdiad had not the tenderness of CUCHULLAIN, and would not let fond memories turn him from his purpose. Indeed lest he might yield to the weakness of temptation, he forced himself to answer Cuchullain’s tenderness with taunts, so as to provoke the Compat. An fight they finally did. They fought for four days. On the fourth day, CUCHULLAIN rallies to the fight more fiercely, more terribly, more overpoweringly than ever, and at length gives to his friend, Ferdiad, the coup de grace. CUCHULLAIN laid Ferdiad down then, and a trance, and a faint, and a weakness fell on CUCHULLAIN over Ferdiad there.
CUCHULLAIN died as a hero should - on a battlefield, with his back to a rock and his face to the foe, buckler on arm, and spear in hand. He died standing, and in that defiant attitude (supported by the rock) was many days dead ere the enemy dared venture near enough to reassure themselves of his exit - which they only did when they saw the vultures alight upon him, and undisturbed, peck at his flesh. 
CONN OF THE HUNDRED BATTLES
The celebrated Conn of the hundred Battles was a son of Feidlimid, the son of Tuathal - though he did not immediately succeed Feidlimid. Between them reigned Cathari Mor, who was father of thirty sons, among whom and their posterity he attempted to divide Ireland, and from whom are descended the chief Leinster families. As Conn’s title suggests, his reign was filled with battling. Conn’s strenuous militancy and the suggestive title that it won for him, made him famed beyond worthier men - the greatest pride of some of the noblest families of the land a thousand years and more after his time trace back their descent to him of the Hundred Battles. Conn’s life and reign were ended by his assassination at Tara. Fifty robbers hired by the king of Ulster, came to Tara, dressed as women, and treacherously despatched the Monarch. Conn’s son in law, Conaire II, who succeeded him as monarch - for his son Art was then but a child - is famed as father of three Carbris, namely Carbri Musc, from whom was named the territory of Muskerry, Carbri Baiscin, whose descendants peopled Corca Baiscin in Western Clare, and most notable of them, Carbri Riada, who, when there was a famine in the South, led his people to the extreme Northeast of Ireland, and some of them across to the nearest part of Scotland, where they settled, forming the first important colony of Scots (Irish) in Alba, and driving there the edge of the Irish wedge which was eventually to make the whole country known as the land of the Scots (Irish).
CORMAC MAC ART
Of all the ancient kings of Ireland, Cormac, who reigned in the third century, is unquestionably considered greatest by the poets, the seanachies, and the chroniclers. His father Art was the son of Conn of the Hundred Battles, and was known as Art the Lonely, as he had lost his brothers, Connla and Crionna - both slain by their uncles. It was at the court of Lugaid at Tara, that Cormac first distinguished himself, and gave token of the ability and wisdom, which were, afterwards, to mark him the most distinguished of Eirinn’s monarchs.
From his exile in Connaught, Cormac, a green youth , had returned to Tara, where, unrecognised, he was engaged herding sheep for a poor widow. Now one of the sheep broke into the queen’s garden, and ate the queen’s vegetables. And King Lugaid, equally angry as his queen, after he heard the case, ordered that for penalty on the widow, her sheep should be forfeit to the queen. To the amazement of Lugaid’s court, the herd boy who had been watching the proceedings with anxiety, arose, and, facing the king, said, "Unjust is thy award, O king, for, because thy queen hath lost a few vegetables, thou wouldst deprive the poor widow of her livelihood?" When the king recovered from his astoundment, he looked contemptuously at the lad, asking scathingly: "And what, O wise herd boy would be thy just award?" The herd boy, not one little bit disconcerted, answered him "My award would be that the wool of the sheep should pay for the vegetables the sheep has eaten - because both the wool and the green things will grow again, and both parties have forgotten their hurt." And the wonderful wisdom of the judgement drew the applause of the astounded court. But Lugaid exclaimed in alarm: "It is the judgement of a King." And, the lad’s great mind having betrayed him, he had to flee. He returned and claimed the throne when Lugaid was killed, but at a feast which he gave to the princes whose support he wanted, Fergus Black Tooth of Ulster, who coveted the Ard Righship, managed, it is said, to singe the hair of Cormac - creating a blemish that debarred the young man temporarily from the throne. And he fled again from Tara, fearing designs upon his life. Fergus became Ard Righ for a year - at the end of which time Cormac returned with an army, and, supported by Taig, the son of Ciann, and grandson of the great Oilill Olum of Munster, completely overthrew the usurper in the great battle of Crionna (on the Boyne) where Fergus and his two brothers were slain - and Cormac won undisputed possession of the monarchy. Taig was granted a large territory between Damlaig (Duleek) and the River Liffi, since then called the Ciannachta. He became the ancestor of the O’Hara’s, O’Gara’s, O’Carroll’s, and other now Northern families. In Cormac’s time, the world was replete with all that was good and the food and the fat of the land, and the gifts of the sea were in abundance in this king’s reign. There were neither woundings nor robberies in his time, but every one enjoyed his own, in peace. Cormac rebuilt the palace of Tara, with much magnificence. He built the Teach Mi Chuarta, the great banqueting hall, that was 760 feet by 46 feet, and 45 feet high. Until quite recently, the outline of the foundations of this great hall with the traces of its fourteen doorways, were still to be observed on Tara Hill. In the Book of Leinster is related "Three thousand persons each day is what Cormac used to maintain in tara; besides poets and satirists, and all the strangers who sought the king; Galls, and Romans, and Franks, and Frisian, and Longbards, and Albanians and Saxons, and Picts, for all these used to seek him, and it was with gold and with silver, with steeds and with chariots, that he presented them. They used all to come to Cormac, because there was not in his time, nor before him, any more celebrated in honour, and in dignity, and in wisdom, except only Solomon, the son of David. The remarkable king died in the year 267 - more than a century and a half before the coming of St. Patrick. By reason of his extraordinary wisdom, the righteousness of his deeds, judgements and laws, he is said to have been blest with the light of the Christian faith seven years before his death. The traditions about Cormac also state that having been inspired by the faith he made dying request that he should be buried, not with the other pagan kings at their famous burying ground, whence would dawn the holy light that should make Eirinn radiant. Disregarding his dying wish, the Druids ordered that he should be interred with his ancestors at Brugh of Boyne. But when, in pursuance of this, the bearers were bearing his body across the river, a great wave swept it from their shoulders, down the stream, and cast it up at Ros na Riogh, where, according to his wish, he was then buried.

TARA
Tara, which attained the climax of its fame under Cormac, is said to have been rounded by the Firbolgs, and been the seat of kings thenceforth. Ollam Fodla first gave it historic fame by founding the Feis or Triennial Parliament, there, seven or eight centuries before Christ. It is said it was under, or after, Eremon, the first Milesian high king that it, one of the three pleasantest hills in Ireland, came to be named Tara - a corruption of the genitive form of the compound word, Tea Mur - meaning "the burial place of Tea" the wife of Eremon, and daughter of a king of Spain. In its heyday Tara must have been impressive. The great, beautiful hill was dotted with seven duns, and in every dun were many buildings - all of them, of course, of wood, in those days - or of wood and metal. The greatest structure was the Mi Cuarta, the great banqueting hall, which was on the Ard Righ’s own dun. Each of the provincial kings had, on Tara, a house that was set aside for him when he came up to attend the great Parliament. There was a Grianan (sun house) for the provincial queens, and their attendants. The great Feis was held at Samain (Hallowday). It lasted for three days before Samain and three days after. But the Aonach or great fair, the assembly of the people in general, which was a most important accompaniment of the Feis, seems to have begun much earlier. At this Feis the ancient laws were recited and confirmed, new laws were enacted, disputes were settled, grievances adjusted, wrongs righted. And in accordance with the usual form at all such assemblies, the ancient history of the land was recited, probably by the high king’s seanachie, who had the many other critical seanachies attending to his every word, and who, accordingly, dare not seriously distort or prevaricate. This highly efficient method of recording and transmitting the country’s history, in verse, too, which was practised for a thousand years before the introduction of writing, and the introduction of Christianity and which continued to be practised for long centuries after these events was a highly practical method, which effectively preserved for us the large facts of our country’s history throughout a thousand of the years of dim antiquity when the history of most other countries is a dreary blank.
As from the great heart and centre of the Irish Kingdom, five great arteries or roads radiated from Tara to the various parts of the country the Slighe Cualann, which ran toward the present County Wicklow, the Slighe Mor, the great Western road, which ran via Dublin to Galway, the Slight Asail which ran near the present Mullingar, the Slighe Dala which ran southwest, and the Slighe Midluachra, the Northern road. "Great, noble and beautiful truly was our Tara of the Kings."
  
THE BREAK OF ULSTER
Of the line of Ir, son of Milesius, to whom Ulster had been apportioned, that Branch called the Clan na Rory (after its great founder, Fory, who had been King of Ulster, and also High King of Ireland) now ruled the province for nearly 700 years, namely, for more than 300 years before the Christian Era, and more than 300 years after. And their capital city and the king’s seat had been at Emain Macha. During practially all of ths time, from that fort’s first founding by Queen Macha, the royal Court of Ulster had been a court of splenour, and ever noted as a centre of chivalry and the home of poetry. But in the beginning of the fourth century, Ulster’s power was irrevocably broken, and by far the greater portion of her territory wrested from her - her people driven into miserably narrow bounds from which, ever after, they can hardly be said to have emerged.
It was when Muiredeach Tireach, grandson of Carbri of the Liffey, was High King of Ireland, that Ulster was despoiled and broken by his nephews, the three Collas, who, on the ruins of the old kingdom of Uladh, founded a new kingdom - of Oirgialla (Oriel) which was henceforth for nearly a thousand years to play an important part in the history of Northern Ireland. The ostensible cause of their attach upon Ulster was the ancient grudge borne that province because many generations before, the Ulster king, tiobraide, had sent to Tara fifty robbers discuised as women, who had slain Conn of the Hundred Battles and because, a generation later, the Ulster prince, Fergus Blacktooth, had, by setting fire to his hair at a feast, put a blemish upon Cormac MacArt, which, for a time, debarred him from the throne which Fergus then usurped. The Collas first went to their kin in Connaught and there gathered a great army for the invasion of Ulster. On the plain of Farney in Monaghan they met the Ulstermen under their king, Fergus, and on seven successive days broke battle upon them, finally slaying Fergus and putting the Ultach (Ulstermen) to complete rout. Of the conquered portion of Ulster, from Louth in the south to Derry in the north, and from Loch Neagh to Loch Erne, the Collas made themselves the new kingdom of Oirgialla (Oriel). 

NIALL OF THE NINE HOSTAGES
Niall of the Nine Hostages was the greatest king that Ireland knew between the time of Cormac MacArt and the coming of Patrick. His reign was epochal. He not only ruled Ireland greatly and strongly, but carried the name and the fame, and the power and the fear, of Ireland into all neighbouring nations. He was, moreover, founder of the longest, most important, and most powerful Irish dynasty. Almost without interruption his descendants were Ard Righs of Ireland for 600 years. Under him the spirit of pagan Ireland upleaped in its last great red flame of military glory, a flame that, in another generation, was to be superseded by a great white flame, far less fierce but far more powerful and the bounds of neighbouring nations to the uttermost bounds of Europe. That is the great flame that Patrick was to kindle, and which was to expand and grow, ever mounting higher and spreading farther, year by year, for three hundred years.

Niall was grandson of Muiredeach Tireach. His father, Eochaid Muig Medon, son of Muiredeach, became Ard Rich mid way of the fourth century. By his wife, Carthann, daughter of a British king, Eochaid had the son Niall. By another wife, Mon Fionn, daughter of the King of Munster, Eochaid had four sons, Brian, Fiachar, Ailill, and Fergus. Mong Fionn was a bitter, jealous and ambitious woman, who set her heart upon having her son, Brian, succeed his father as Ard Righ. As Niall was his father’s favourite, Mong Fionn did not rest until she had outcast him and his mother, Carthann, and made Carthann her menial, carrying water to the court. The child was rescued by a great poet of that time, Torna, who reared and educated him. When he had reached budding manhood, Torna brought him back to court to take his rightful place - much to his father’s joy. Then Niall, showing strength of character, even in his early youth, took his mother from her menial task, and restored her to her place. Of Niall’s youth there are many legends, but one in particular show the working of his destiny. One day, the five brothers being in the smith’s forge when it took fire, they were commanded to run and save what they could. Their father, who was looking on (and who, say some, designedly caused the fire, to test his sons), observed with interest Neill’s distinctiveness of character, his good sense and good judgement. While Brian saved the cariots from the fire, Ailill a shield and a sword, Fiachra the old forge trough, and Fergus only a bundle of firewood, Niall carried out the bellows, the sledges, the anvil, and anvil block - saved the soul of the forge, and saved the smith from ruin. Then his father said: "It is Niall who should succeed me as Ard Righ of Eirinn".
Niall’s first expedition was into Alba to subdue the Picts. The little Irish (Scotic) colony in that part of Alba just opposite to Antrim had gradually been growing in numbers, strength, and prestige - until they excited the jealousy and enmity of the Picts, who tried to crush them. Niall fitted out a large fleet and sailed to the assistance of his people. Joined then by the Irish in Alba, he marched against the Picts, overcame them, took hostages from them and had Argyle and Cantire settled upon the Albanach Irish. After obtaining obedience from the Picts, his next foreign raid was into Britain. When Maximus and his Roman legions were, in consequence of the barbarian pressure upon the Continental Roman Empire, withdrawing from Britain, Niall, with his Irish hosts and Pictish allies, treaded upon their hurrying heels. Yet did the Romans claim victory over Niall. For it is said his was the host referred to by the Roman poet, Claudian, when in praising the Roman general, Stilicho, he says Britain was protected by this bold general.
"When Scots came thundering from the Irish shores,
And ocean trembled stuck by hostile oars".
Niall must have made many incursions into Britain and probably several into Gaul. He carried back hostages, many captives, and great booty from these expeditions. Yet how often out of evil cometh good. It was in one of these Gallic expeditions that the lad Succat, destined under his later name of Patrick to be the greatest and noblest figure Ireland ever knew, was taken in a sweep of captives, carried to Ireland and to Antrim, there to herd the swine of the chieftain, Milcho. Many and many a time, in Alba, in Britain, and in Gaul, must Niall have measured his leadership against the best leadership of Rome, and pitted the courage and wild daring of his Scotic hosts against the skill of the Imperial Legions. Yet his fall in a foreign land was to be compassed, not by the strategy or might of the foreign enemy, but by the treachery of one of his own. He fell on the banks of the River Loire, in France, by the hand of Eochaid, the son of Enna Ceannselaigh, King of Leinster, who, from ambush, with an arrow, shot dead the great king. 




 PART TWO 
 Irish Invasions of Britain

In spite of the apparently isolated position of the Irish, they seemed to have kept up contact with many foreign countries. Many foreign mercenaries were employed in Irish wars and foreign matrimonial alliances were common among the Irish royal families. The Irish, although not a sea going nation were well equipped for sea transit and quite expert in the art. The Book of Acaill contains sea-laws and defines the rights and duties of foreign trading vessels.
In the year 222 Cormac’s fleet sailed the seas for three years. Niall brought his fleet when he invaded Britain. St Patrick as a slave boy, quit his slavery and arrived at the sea just in time to find a ship about to sail for foreign lands. When Columbanus is deported from France, they readily find a ship just about to sail to Ireland. These happenings imply that there must have been fairly regular travel between Ireland and other lands.
In pre-Christian days, all Irish foreign military expeditions were into Alba and Britain.
The Romans never once ventured into Ireland - it was considered though - the want of a strong and permanent autocratic central authority in Ireland, commanding the respect and obedience of the various sub-kingdoms and unifying Irelands power, always left the nation open to the great danger of foreign conquest. Yet the Romans never attacked Ireland - their discovery of the fierceness of Irish fighters may have played a part in dissuading them from the Irish venture. The recklessness and persistency of Irish fighters taught them to respect Irish fighters and Irish commanders. The Romans even recruited Irish regiments for Continental service.
Though the Irish nation was weak for defence, it was strong for offence. It was only the Romans discipline and numbers that overcame the Irish attacks in Britain. When the Romans were called home, it was the Irish and Picts who drove them south and eventually out of Britain. Britain was now left at the mercy of her northern and western neighbours, and suffered greatly.
 

The Irish Kingdom of Scotland

Our most ancient poets and seanachies claim that an early name for Eirinn, Scotia, was derived from Scota, queen-mother of the Milesians. The poet Egesippus tells how "Scotia which links itself to no land, trembles at their name" - the term Scotia is, by Continental writers, applied to Ireland more often than any other name. And Scot is the term by these writers most constantly applied to a native of Eirinn. Orosius, the third century geographer, uses "Hibernia the nation of the Scoti". An Irish exile on the continent, the celebrated Marianus Scotus referred to his countrymen as Scots.
The modern name of Ireland seems to have originated with the Northmen, in about the seventh century - being probably formed from Eire, they called it Ir or Ire, and after that the English called it Ireland, and its natives Irish. For several centuries longer, however, these terms were not adopted by Continental writers, who still continued to speak of Scotia and the Scot, and designated the Irish scholars on the Continent by the term Scotus. The new name Ireland was on the Continent, first used only in the eleventh century (by Adam De Breme).
To Alba (the present Scotland) was transferred the term Scotia, and to its people the term Scot, because the Scoti of Hibernia, having again and again colonised there, built in it a strong kingdom, which gave the Scotic (Irish) people dominance there, and soon made the Scotic kings the kings of the whole country.
The Picts naturally jealous of these usurpers on their soil, continued exerting the utmost pressure upon them, in the hope of crushing them out, till Niall of the Nine Hostages, going to their assistance with an army, overcame and drove back the Picts, establishing the Scotic kingdom in Alba on a solid foundation, and, it is said, got the submission of the Picts and the tribute of all Alba. Now that the Scotic people got complete dominance over all or the main part of the country, it began to be called Scotia - at first Scotia Minor, in contradistinction to Eire, which was called Scotia Major - but gradually the title Scotia fell away from Eire, and solely came to signify Alba.
In the eleventh century a number of leading English families who fled or were driven from the south, flocked into southeastern Scotland and came into favour at court. When, at the end of the eleventh century, Malcolm’s son, Edgar, English both by name and nature, was crowned king - the Gaelicism of royalty and of the court waned more rapidly, till in the thirteenth century it went out altogether; and the last of the Irish royal line became extinct with Alexander the Third, who died without heir in 1287.
So, though the greater portion of the country was, and still is, Gaelic - with Gaelic manners, customs, dress and language, still holding in the Highlands and the Islands - the end of the thirteenth century saw the end of the Scotic (Irish) rule in Alba

 The Centuries of the Saints
The news impetus and aim that Patrick gave to the Irish nation, turning it from war-love to ideals much higher, wrought in the island a phenomenal transformation. While foreign warring and raiding ceased, and internal warring became more rare, tens of thousands of every rank and class in the nation vied with one another, not, as formerly, for skill in handling war weapons, but for ease in conning the Scriptures; not for gaining fame in fighting, but for gathering favour in the sight of God. The religious development and spiritual revolution were extraordinary.
Christianity and learning went hand in hand in Ireland. Almost every one of her multitude of holy men became scholars, and every holy scholar became a teacher.
Those centuries had three orders of saints, namely : the Patrician or secular clergy, missionaries who travelled and preached Christ to all the land during the hundred years succeeding the coming of Patrick ; the monastic saints, who, during the next hundred years, cultivated Christianity in, and radiated it from, their monastic establishments and monastic schools ; and the anchorites, the hermit saints, who, succeeding the great ones of the second order, cultivated Christ in solitude. On lonely islands, on wild mountain tops and in the impenetrable wilderness.
One of the most honoured and most beloved of the second order was Finian of Clonard. For, from his famous school at Cluain-erard - Clonard, on the river Boyne - went forth the twelve saints who were styled the Twelve Apostles of Eirinn : the two Ciarans, the two Brendans, the two Colms, Mobi, Ruadan, Lasserian, Ciannech, Senach and Ninnid of Loch Erne. 
Manner of Living in Ancient Ireland
In very early Ireland practically all residences were of wood or wicker work and most of them were in circular from. They were usually thatched with straw, rushes or sedge. Stone was very seldom used in building residences before the eighth century. The wooden and wicker work houses were washed with lime on the outside.
Linen sheets and ornamented coverlets were in use. Small low tables for serving meals were supplied with knives, cups, jugs, drinking horns, methers and occasionally napkins. Wheat meal, oat meal, eggs, meat, milk and honey, with some vegetables and few fruits supplied the table. Light was furnished by candles of tallow or of beeswax, rushlights, spails of bog fir, and sometimes oil lamps. All of the better class houses had basins for bathing. After their day’s exertion, and before taking their evening meal, hunters and warriors treated themselves to a bath. And a bath was always a common courtesy to which to treat a newly arrived guest.
The women had mirrors made of highly polished metal. They used cosmetics and had combs. Both sexes devoted the greatest attention to the care of their hair, which was often elaborately curled and plaited. Both women and men (of noble rank) wore beautiful wrought brooches, for fastening their mantle. Other ornaments were bracelets, rings, neck torques, diadems, crescents of gold and silver - all of which may be seen in the National Museum in Dublin.
The chief articles of dress were, in the case of women, one long robe that reached to the ankles, and of the men a short jacket combined with a sort of kilt. Over these both sexes frequently wore a cloak or mantle. The substance of the dress was usually either of linen or wool.
In the poem of the Bruidean de Derga, the Saxon chief Ingcel, in describing King Conaire Mor as he saw him in the Bruidean gives a glorified description of a king’s dress in the early days :
"I saw his many-hued red cloak of lustrous silk,
With its gorgeous ornamentation of precious gold bespangled
upon its surface,
With its flowing capes dexterously embroidered.
"I saw in it a great large brooch,
The long pin was of pure gold;
Bright shining like a full-moon
Was its ring, all around - a crimson gemmed circlet
Of round sparkling pebbles -
Filling the fine front of his noble breast
Atwixt his well proportioned fair shoulders.
"I saw his splendid line kilt,
With its striped silken borders -
A face-reflecting mirror of various hues,
The coveted of the eyes of many, -
Embracing his noble neck - enriching its beauty.
An embroidery of gold upon the lustrous silk -
(Extended) from his bosom to his noble knees." 
Structural Antiquities

The structural antiquities which we can still observe in Ireland arrange themselves under five heads : cromlechs, tumuli, the great duns of the west, ancient churches, and round towers. The cromlechs, sometimes called dolmen, are each composed of three great standing stones, ten or twelve feet high with a great flat slab resting on top of them, and always inclined towards the east. Sometimes these are surrounded by a wide circle of standing stones. The cromlechs are of such very remote antiquity - ancient - at the beginning of the Christian era - that all legends of them are lost. The invariable inclination to the east of the covering slab suggests altars dedicated to sun-worship. The name cromlech may mean either bent slab or the slab of the god Crom. And this latter derivation suggests to some that they were sacrificial altars used in the very ancient worship of that god.
But some of the best authorities have concluded that they were tombstones - because beneath every one of them under which excavations were made, were found the bones, or the urns and dust of the dead. From this, however, we cannot necessarily conclude that they were erected as tombstones - any more than we should conclude that the various Christian temples and altars under which honoured ones have been interred were only intended as monuments to the dead beneath them.
The tumuli or enormous burial mounds found in the Boyne section of eastern Ireland show the race in a much more advanced stage of civilisation. These tumuli, as proved by the decorative designs carved upon their walls, were erected at least before the Christian era - and maybe many centuries before it. They are great stone roofed royal sepulchres, buried under vast regularly shaped, artificial mounds. Every one of the tumuli so far explored has shown urn burial. The greatest, most beautiful, of these royal tombs are those as Knowth, Dowth and New Grange, on the Boyne.
After the tumuli, the next structures in order of time are the great duns of the west coast, such as Dun Angus, and Dun Conor, on the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. The great duns were erected sometime during the first three centuries of the Christian era. They consist of enormously thick walls, of stone, which, though built before the discovery of any kind of cement, are of marvelously fine, firm and impregnable construction. These great walls, in the interior of which are sometimes chambers and passages, surround an amphitheatre of about a thousand feet in diameter. In the amphitheatre are stone huts, the residences of the dun - some of them are bee-hive shape, some of them are of the shape of an upturned boat. Tradition says that these great duns were erected by the Firbolgs who maintained themselves along the western fringe for long centuries after the Milesians possessed themselves of the land.
About the round towers, the antiquarians are now pretty generally agreed that they are of Christian origin always built as adjuncts to churches, and erected after the marauding Danes had shown the harassed ecclesiastics the need of some immediate, strong, and easily defended place of refuge for themselves, and of safety for the sacred objects, and the rich objects of church art which the Northmen constantly sought. The round towers of Ireland range in height from about a hundred to a hundred and twenty feet; they are from twelve to twenty feet in external diameter at the base, and a little narrower at the top. They are of six or seven storeys high; with one window usually to each floor - except in the upper most storey which has four. The lowermost of these openings is always about ten feet or more from the ground - giving good advantage over attackers. The walls are usually three and a half to four foot thick.
There are still eighty round towers in Ireland, twenty of them perfect. They are always found in connection with churches - and almost invariably situated about twenty feet from the north west corner of the church - and with the door or lowermost window facing the church entrance. Almost all of the earliest Irish churches were of wood. It was practically in the tenth century that the use of stone for building the large churches began. And it was only in the eleventh and twelfth centuries that it became general. In these last named centuries the Romanesque style was introduced, and some beautiful churches erected, like that of St Caimin at Inniscaltra by Brian Boru, and Cormac’s chapel at Cashel. In the decorating of doorways and windows, sculpture began to show in the churches of the tenth century. But Irish sculpture is best exemplified probably on the high crosses of the tenth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries. There are some forty five of these high crosses still remaining, most of them very beautiful There was an Irish cross, having the circle of the Greek cross placed upon the shafts of the Latin. The sculpture on the high crosses include carvings of the saints, scriptural scenes, judgment scenes, royal processions, hunting scenes, stags at bay, horsemen, chariots etc
The sculpture of the Irish at this period was infinitely superior to that produced by their neighbours, the Welsh, the Anglo Saxons and the Scottish. But the soul of the artist breathed through the work of the Irish sculptor. 

Various Arts of Ancient Ireland
Save that of the scribe, there was no other art in ancient Ireland carried to such beautiful perfection as that of the metal worker. And we have, still remaining, hundreds of beautiful pieces of this work. These ancients objects are of various kind; articles of personal adornment, bell-shrines, cumdachs or shrines for books, croziers etc
Among the personal ornaments we have brooches, bracelets, rings, necklaces, torques (twisted ribbons of gold or silver) for wearing around the neck, minns or diadems, crowns, amulets, ear-rings, beads, balls, crescents, gorgets, the niam-lann (a flexible plate of burnished gold, silver, or findruine worn around the forehead) etc - a lavish wealth of beautiful ornaments exquisitely wrought, which, after a long count of centuries, tell us the story of the rarely skilled, noble artificers of Ireland, whose genius in metal was not only unsurpassed, but even unequalled, in western Europe. Of all the many beautiful articles of personal adornment that remain to us from those ancient times in Ireland, probably the most luxurious are the delgs or brooches - the size and costliness of some of which may be judged from the Dal Riada brooch, which was dug up in an Antrim field in the last century, contained two and one-third ounces of pure gold, was five inches long, and two and an eighth inches in diameter.
But for beauty none of them all equals the Tara brooch. Both the face of the brooch and the back are overlaid with beautiful patterns, wrought in an Irish filigree or formed by amber, glass and enamel. These patterns of which there are no less than seventy-six different kinds in this single article are wrought in such minute perfection that a powerful lens is needed to perceive and appreciate the wonderful perfection of detail. There are many other handsome brooches, such as the Ardagh brooch, the Roscrea brooch etc - each with particular beauties of its own.
Only by a very different kind of object, the celebrated Ardagh chalice, is the Tara brooch surpassed in richness and beauty of workmanship.
There are in existence many wonderful bell shrines, like that of St Patricks bell, St Cualanus bell - and shrines like the shrine of St Mogue, the cross of Cong, the crozier of St Dympna, the crozier of Liosmor etc all of them displaying the extraordinary work of the artist of those days.
The making of beautiful shrines called cumdachs, for prized books, rarely occurred in any part of the world except for Ireland. Some of the most finest and most celebrated cumdachs are those of the Book of Kells, the Book of Armagh, the Book of Durrow and many more. 
The English Invasion
It was in 1171 that Henry the Second invaded Ireland. He received approval from the newly elected English Pope, Nicholas Breakspeare, Adrian the Fourth, on the grounds that morals in Ireland had become corrupt, and religion almost extinct, and his purpose was to bring the barbarous nation within the fold of the faith and under church discipline. But if we supposed Ireland to be irreligious then, strange indeed would be the choice of an apostle in Henry, a man of vicious life, a supporter of anti-Popes, and reasonably suspected of, and all but excommunicated for, instigating the murder of the holy Thomas a Becket. Those who contend that the Bull was an English fabrication for impressing the irreligious Irish and making easy their conquest point to the fact that the most ancient copies of the document discovered lack both date and signature.
In May 1169, with a small but efficient body of thirty knights in full armour, sixty horsemen in half armour and three hundred archers, Fitz Stephen landed at Bannow, Wexford - and another Knight Maurice de Prendergast with a company of about three hundred. On receiving the news of the landing, MacMurrough raised a body of five hundred from among his Leinster subjects and joined them. And, together they marched against the Danish city of Wexford, which, after repulsing two assaults, capitulated to the strange army with its armoured horses and horsemen and its wonderfully skilled and disciplined army. MacMurrough bestowed the city upon Fitz Stephen and settled near by lands upon de Prendergast and de Mont Maurice.
The Ard Righ and princes of the other provinces looked on inactive. Every prince, occupied as usual with his own problems was not much concerned about what did not immediately affect his own territory.
Strongbow followed in a few months with two hundred knights and a thousand men and immediately took over the city of Waterford. Then they marched into Meath and Breffni laying waste as they went. Henry hearing of Strongbows successes in Ireland grew jealous and summoned Strongbow and all his subjects to return to England. Eventually Strongbow went and laid his successes before Henry. As a result Henry himself went with five hundred knights and four thousand horse and foot soldiers, and landed at Waterford. Slowly the Irish chiefs submitted. When Henry left, the Irish began to wake up to what they had done and slowly began to rise up against the enemy. Now more familiar with the Norman discipline and equipment the Irish princes set strategy against skill and discovered that the Normans were not omnipotent. O’Brien of Thomond inflicted a big defeat upon them at Thurles. Every Norman chief warred on his own account, for purpose of extending his power and possessions and of course every Irish chief and prince, when opportunity offered, warred against the invader. But such demoralisation set in, that in short time not only was Irish chief warring upon Norman baron, but Irish chief was warring with Irish chief, Norman baron warring with Norman baron, and a Norman-Irish alliance would be warring against Normans, or against Irish. Or against another combination of both. The Normans not only marked their progress by much slaughtering and many barbarities, but signalised themselves by robbing and burning churches and monasteries, and oftentimes slaughtering the inmates. They harried, robbed, ravished and destroyed wheresoever they went. And against one another, in their own feuds, they oftentimes exercised as much barbarity as against the Irish. Fearfully true is the Four Masters’ word that MacMurrough’s treacherous act "made of Ireland a trembling sod". 
Trade in Mediaeval Ireland
In Spain and Portugal, the ‘noble Irish’, as they were called obtained more valuable privileges than the English. The great Italian financial houses, the bankers of Lucca, the Ricardi, the Friscobaldi, the Mozzi were active agents in Mediaeval Ireland. The wine trade, as shown by the Pipe Roll accounts and other sources was of great dimensions, with Clan and Town. Bordeaux, Dordogne, Libourne, St Emilian besides Spain, Portugal and Oporto, traded direct with the Irish ports. With France, the records of our trade go back to the days of St Patrick. Rouen was the chief port of Normandy and obtained from Henry II the ‘monopoly of Irish trade’. Bordeaux had a colony of Irish merchants - as had St Omar, Marseilles, Bayonne, St Malo, Nantes and other ports - who were importers of Irish wool skins, hides, fish, woollen cloth, fine linen, leather and corn, and they sent to Ireland their own manufacturers and products. The enterprising Flemings were stationed in many of the Irish ports. Their influence on maritime and inland trade was as beneficent here as it was in England. Irish merchants had their own settlements in all the leading ports of Flanders. Irish leather goods were renowned throughout Europe, so it is not a surprise that Irish names should figure on the Tanners Guild of Liege, then the most extensive and famous body of this craft on the Continent. Antwerp, too, had its Irish trade, linen being mentioned amongst other items. Lubeck had commercial intercourse with Ireland and Irish woollens were carried down the Rhine : Cologne being one of the marts. Through the Hansen Towns Irish commerce flowed on to Russia. Irish cloth, mantles, rugs and serges were highly esteemed in Spain and Portugal, likewise. The Irish merchants traded with the Canaries and pushed their way into the Land of the Moors. Prince Henry, the Navigator had his own agent in Galway. There is unimpeachable evidence that agriculture was skilfully and extensively pursued from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century. The exportation of enormous quantities of wheat, oats, barley, rye and of other cereals and of flax, beef, mutton, and wool point to intensive land cultivation and stock raising. To a modern Irishman, the quantities of these products exported to France, Scotland, Flanders and England seem incredible. 
Learning in Mediaeval Ireland
After the defeat of the Norsemen by King Brian at the Battle of Clontarf (1014) there was a flowering of the National Mind in literature. So the political freedom of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries saw a re-birth of intellectual, as well as of agricultural and commercial activity in Ireland. It was a Golden Age of Gaelic Literature. As the wider gates of Irelands commerce opened on the South and West coasts, so her scholars, pilgrims. Clerics and craftsmen followed in the wake of her merchants, through the Gaulish seas into France and Italy. The universities of these lands knew a long succession of our brilliant scholars. In the knowledge of Astronomy mediaeval Ireland was in advance of most European lands. All the greater Lords of the Gaels and Sean Ghalls had their official astronomers. It was but natural that a nation of rovers and travellers should have maintained a sound standard of geographical learning in their schools.. In medicine, Europe could teach the Gaels but little. The King of England had not better pharmaceutical lore or more adept surgical skill at his command than the O’Briens’s in Munster or The Mac Cailin Mor in the Western Isles of Scotland. The Irish Brehon Law Code goes back to a much earlier epoch than the days of St Patrick. Its interpreters were deeply reverenced by the Irish people because of their even handed justice. There is not a single instance in recorded history of a brehon accepting a bribe. The Irish brehons were men of deep learning, of wide influence and of riches. Three signs marked their abodes, ‘wisdom, information and intellect’. In the Annals we read of many of them being professors of new and old laws, Civil and Canon Law. In history, Irelands fame stands high. She was justly styled a ‘Nation of Annalists’. Each sept, each province had its own genealogist and chronicler whose business it was to record the deeds of the clan and its princes and the deaths of its leading personages, lay and ecclesiastical. Truth and accuracy were regarded as of paramount importance. ‘To conceal the Truth of History’, ran one saying ‘is the blackest of infamies’. The scribes travelled throughout the whole country to verify their references and their facts. The Philosophy of History was unknown in those ages. The office of scribe and genealogist was usually continued in certain families, the son succeeding his father as a matter of course. The Annalists were held in the highest esteem, ranking next to the head of the clan; they fed at his table and were supported by his bounty. No important public business was conducted without their presence and their directing influence. The greater portion of the existing annals have been the resultant of the Revival of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. 
The Geraldines
The history of the Gaelicised Fitzgeralds (the Geraldines) is in a sense the history of the fortunes of Southern Ireland for an extensive period. In Desmond, South Munster and the lands adjoining they ruled as absolute monarchs over a hundred miles of territory. The Geraldines of Kildare held the entire county of Kildare, with parts of Meath, Dublin and Carlow, while their castles stretched beyond Strangford Lough on the coast of Down to Adare. They had their own fleet to patrol the seas. Intermarriages with the great houses in England and with Norman and Gaelic families in Ireland were at first a settled part of Geraldine policy. When they tasted of the pure milk of Gaelicism they never forgot its savour, so they became kindly Irish of the Irish, root and branch. The Geraldines afford the most numerous instances of mere men of blood, apostles of the sword, turning, under the influence of Gaeldom into gentle sages and wise scholars.
The eight Earl of Desmond was the flower of the Southern Geraldine stock. The Irish people have taken this Thomas Fitzgerald to their hearts, and enshrined him there as a ‘Martyr of Christ’. He was the first of a long and fine line of Sean Ghalls to be martyred in the cause of Irish freedom. Thomas of Desmond tried to re-establish a National University and for that purpose had an Act of Parliament passed at Drogheda (1466). By precept and by practice he endeavoured to unify the two races in Ireland. He was a promoter and a patron of trade and commerce between Ireland and the Continent. He was murdered by the Earl of Worcester, afterwards known as ‘The Butcher’.
Gerald the eight Earl of Kildare (1477-1513) was named by Ireland ‘Gerait Mor’ - Gerald the Great. His mild just government drew the hearts of his people to him in passionate devotedness. By lines of blood-relationships he obtained great influence amongst the great Irish houses. Gerait Og ‘Gerald the Younger’, Ninth Earl of Kildare (1487-1534) although educated in England was even more Irish than his father. He continued the policy of intermarriage with the Irish and so consolidated the power of his house. Maynooth under him was one of the richest earls houses of that time. ‘His whole policy was union in his country, and Ireland for the Irish’. He was first appointed Lord Deputy by his cousin Henry VIII, in 1513. After seven years rule he was removed, charged by the English with ‘seditious practices, conspiracies and subtle drifts’. His cousin, the Earl of Desmond. Had entered into a solemn league and covenant with Francis I, King of France (1523) to drive the English out of Ireland, whilst Scotland was to render assistance to the cause by invading England. But the heart of the leader of the Scottish army, the Duke of Albany, failed him at the last moment and the gallant Scots dejectedly turned homewards. Kildare was summoned (1526) to England by Cardinal Wolsey to answer the charge of complicity in the plot. Wolsey denounced Kildare as a traitor. Before his departure from Dublin he appointed as vice Deputy his son, the famous Silken Thomas. Disregarding his fathers advice to be guided by his elders, he fell an easy prey to the veteran English of Dublin Castle, who had been secretly mining the foundations of the House of Kildare for generations. A forged letter was shown round in official circles in Dublin claiming his father was killed. Lord Thomas, having consulted with the young bloods, inopportunely raised the standard of revolt - against the entreaties of all the wisest heads. His enemies rejoiced - his well wishers were in despair. At first Lord Thomas swept all before him. Then England poured troops lavishly into Ireland - accompanied by the new invention, the canon, which proved the young leaders undoing. Eventually he submitted and was sent to the Tower of London - where his father had already died of a broken heart, on learning of Thomas’s insurrection. He was hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn (1537). The extirpation of the Geraldines became policy and the Act of Parliament (1537) decreed all the Geraldines countries to be forfeited to the Crown. 

Henry VIII’s Policies
From the beginning of his reign (1515) Henry VIII undertook to destroy the basis of Irish resistance. With this object in view he issued ‘most secret’ instructions to his officials to capture our trade and commerce, by every subtle device. All the laws against Irish civilisation, against marriage, fosterage and gossipred, against the use of native literature and its language, against every phase and aspect of National life was re-enacted. By a Parliament (May 1536) composed of English colonists only, and convened by fraud, corruption and terror, Henry was acknowledged as Head of Church and State; and the Catholic religion, with its ritual and teachings, declared null and void, ‘corrupt for ever’. Five years later the same body proclaimed Henry ‘King of Ireland’. The Lord Deputy, St Leger, preached and acted on this Gospel. The unfortunate result was the submission of O’Neill, O’Donnell, O’Brien, the MacCarthy, the Burkes, and all the rules of the Irish, Old and New. They went through the form of acknowledging Henry as King of Ireland, as Head of Church and State in Ireland, and promised to substitute English for Brehon Law, and English manners, and customs for Irish. ‘They have turned, and sad is the deed, their back to the inheritance of their fathers’. Yet in spite of ‘doing knee-homage, they would not get from the King of England for Ireland a respite from misery’. The people, faithful to Ireland in woe as in weal, resented, lamented, and even cursed their ‘diplomatic’ chiefs.
Another of Henry’s devices for the conquest of Ireland was the kidnapping of noblemen’s sons and having them reared and educated in England, hostile to every tradition and instinct of their nationality. Chiefs could be ensnared one by one in misleading contracts, practically void. A false claimant could be put on a territory and supported by English soldiers in a civil war, till the actual chief was exiled or yielded the land to the King’s ownership. No chief, true or false, had power to give away the people’s land, and the king was face to face with an indignant people, who refused to admit an illegal bargain. Then came a march of soldiers over the district, hanging, burning, shooting, ‘the rebels’, casting the peasants out on the hillsides. There was also the way of ‘conquest’. The whole of the inhabitants were to be exiled, and the countries made vacant and waste for English peopling: the sovereign’s rule would be immediate and peremptory over those whom he had thus planted by his sole will, and Ireland would be kept in a way unknown in England. Henceforth it became a fixed policy to ‘exterminate and exile the country people of the Irishry’. Henry hoped to have a royal army of Ireland as ‘a sword and a flay’ to his subjects in England and to his enemies abroad. His dream seem to be realised when Earl Con O’Neill and other Irish lords, in the full flush of faith and confidence in English justice, sent an army to aid Henry’s troops against Francis I, King of France - Ireland’s best Continental friend - at the siege of Boulogne (1544). The false, disillusioned Irish did not repeat this experiment.
Also, Henry believed he could raise a big revenue out of Ireland’s pockets for his sensualities and his political objects. But this likewise failed, because his ‘cormorants and caterpillars’ were too busy amassing wealth for themselves. The introduction of the Protestant Reformation principles added sources of fresh outrages, new oppressions. In Ireland Protestantism was not given a chance to appeal to the people by any ethical, religious or political ideals. The licentious unpaid English soldiery who had to maintain themselves by plunder and rapine, were accompanied by incendiaries who left not a homestead standing. The soul of Ireland, resurrected through the crucifixion of her body, became the most devoted daughter of the Catholic Church. Poets and historians were put to the sword, and their books and genealogies burned, so that no man ‘might know his own grandfather’. Henry’s well-defined policies were religiously pursued by his successors, Edward and Mary. The ministers of his, Edward VI, intensified the vigour of his religious crusade. Religion was to be made sweet to the heretical Irish - ‘with the Bible in one hand, in the other the Sword’. Mary’s Irish rule was no less merciless than that of her two predecessors.
The O’Connors of Offaly and the O’Mores of Leix having dared to defend their lands against the English invaders were outlawed and their countries forfeited to the Crown. A long and bloody warfare, conducted with terrible ferocity, was the result. Even in Ireland there is nothing so heroic, so persistent, so indefatigable as the efforts made by these two gallant clans to recover their homes and altars. The struggle was maintained for generations. Even to this day O’More and O’Conor are the principal families in the district, where their forefathers ruled as just, munificent princes. 

Shane the Proud

Shane was a bad man in private life, but a born soldier, a sagacious ruler, and a believer in his rights. When Conn, the Lame, his father, accepted an English title, and became Baron of Dungannon, Shane went into rebellion. On his father’s death, he slew his half brother, the next baron, and was inaugurated the O’Neill. Shane the Proud, Ulster called him. He stood across England’s advance into the province. Elizabeth and her Lord Deputies tried to cajole him, to deceive him, to defeat him, to capture him, to murder him. Then when his soldiers had pierced to the Pale, they recognised him as the O’Neill. Sinner, soldier, chieftain, he was a strong figure in the century. Shane’s territory was now supposed to be safe from English interference or invasion. He and England’s queen were friends. Sussex, the Lord Deputy, wrote offering him his sister in marriage with a safe conduct to Dublin. His intention was to capture Shane. Later he sent him a present of wine. Elizabeth knew of the gift; knew what was in it.
Shane and his household drank the wine - and just escaped death. But Shane knew now forever with whom he had to deal. It was the second attempt that English statesmen had secretly made to assassinate him.
Shane flung off his allegiance. After that draught of wine he thought his sword was his best security. He won a victory notable of its name. They were three hundred English soldiers, not in buff but in scarlet coats. So that battle was called the battle of the red coats. But hard were the strokes of his enemies - ‘Queens’ O’Donnels, ‘Queens’ O’Neills, Elizabeths forces - and the Proud was left the choice of submission or an appeal to the Scots mercenaries. He choose the latter, freed Sorley Boy McDonnel, and went to a banquet they gave. To that banquet also went a man whom the Lord Deputy had maintained privately in Tyrone when he and Shane were in friendship and peace. The spy waited till the wine had made men drunk and think of their wrongs. Then O’Neill was slain. The spy hastened to Dublin Castle and received from Sir Henry Sidney a thousand marks from the public treasury. So Shanes head went upon the north-west gate of Dublin.

Elizabeth continues the Conquest

The conquest of Ireland had been going on four centuries. The rock against which every attempt to complete it had broken was the immemorial laws of Ireland, the Brehon Laws. These bound Irishmen within the four seas to one social and legal rule. All attempts to plant the feudal system in Ireland by England went down before them.
The strongest Norman house in Irish history was the Geraldines. They must be suppressed. The Ormonds were castle men, guardians of English authority. The Black Earl of Ormond seized Gerald, Earl of Desmond, and sent him to London, and Elizabeth sent him to the tower. A little later his brother was seized and sent there too. Their cousin, James Fitzmaurice, drew his sword to protest against the seizures. They won victories; they routed a queens army. Then Elizabeth made peace with Fitzmaurice. And she then directed a plot for the treacherous murder of himself, his brothers and cousins - which by discovering in time, he escaped. After a time the new Earl had to fly to Spain for safety and succour. He visited Rome, too, got Italian mercenaries, fourscore Spaniards, a promise of more and returned to Ireland, where he vanished out of life in a skirmish. Spain remembered her promise. Eight hundred Spaniards landed on the coast of Kerry. Gray sent in his soldiers and massacred seven hundred men. The massacre was directed by Sir Walter Raleigh and an officer named Wingfield.
The Earl and his kinsmen, fighting now for their religion and their homes, joined hands with the MacCarthys, the O’Sullivans and other Munster chiefs. Carew, a Devonshire knight, claimed Desmond territory, and brought an army to seize it and ‘pacify’ the province. The Desmond war lasted three more years, altogether five. The Earl, finally defeated, was at last captured and beheaded.
English Law had made a breach in Connacht. The head of the Burkes, Clanrickard, a ‘queens’ man, was seized and sent to Dublin. Then all the Burkes loosened their swords in their scabbards and sprang into rebellion. The rebellion grew and strengthened, before the ‘strong measures’ of the Lord President. Soon, the disarmed Catholics were taken and hanged. Surrendered garrisons were put to the sword; a search for rebels in West Connacht saw women, and boys and old men, and all who came in Binghams way, slain.
Into Leinster, too, English Law had driven a wedge. Mary of Englands Deputies had seized Offaly and Leix, the territories of the O’Conors and the O’Mores. They had planted English settlers there; abolished the ancient territorial names and in Irish blood rechristened them Kings and Queens counties. The dispossessed chiefs and their clansmen bided their time. A noble boy grew up among them, and in manhood became an avenging sword. This was Ruari Og O’More. After six years of successful guerilla warfare he fell when reconnoitring a force brought against him. His soldiers avenged his death and put the army to flight. His name remained an inspiration to oppressed Irish, down to the present day. ‘God, and Our Lady, and Rory O’More!’.

Red Hugh

In the North the smouldering fire had flamed forth again. The predestined boy had come whose advent a Tir-Conaill seer had long ago foretold. Young Hugh O’Donnell, Aod Ruad, the golden-haired, minatory, deadly foe to England. The fame and renown of him had reached the ears of Lord Deputy Perrot, illegitimate son of Henry VIII. The dreaded lad was being fostered by MacSwiney, Lord of Fanat on the Northern sea’s verge. When the boy was fourteen a merchant ship sailed into Loch Swilly, and anchored under the stone castle of MacSwiney. The captain invited MacSwiney and his family aboard the ship where they were tricked and captured. All but Red Hugh were released. Red Hugh was carried away to Dublin and placed in the Birmingham tower of the castle. In Fanat, throughout all Tir-Conaill and indeed through Eirinn there was weeping, wrath, shame and anger. After three years the boy made a wonderful and daring escape on a December night - but alas ! was retaken. After another year, this time spent in irons, in company with Henry and Art, the sons of Shane O’Neill, both in irons also, he made another daring attempt - and this time succeeded in freeing all three. Red Hugh’s escape sent a thrill through Ireland. Messengers rode north and south and east and west with the joyous word. On a May day the lad was made The O’Donnell. Sir Hugh his father, gladly gave place to a son so fit to rule. Thus Red Hugh’s star rose and shone high in the north over Ireland; and still shines in the dark sky of her history.
The Nine Years War had begun. A spear darted through Tir-Conaill. The invader was driven out; chiefs who had given their allegiance to the foreigner were taught that the O’Donnell was their chief and prince. He swept through Ulster and drove out the English sheriffs. He entered Connacht and hurled Binghams forces before him. Hugh O’Neill watched events; waited, held his hand, still uncertain.
So the issue of an independent Ireland or a conquered country was now to be put to the sword. Almost for the first time since the invasion Ireland had a statesman who saw the root of her weakness, and who placed the politics of the nation before the politics of the clan.
Red Hugh. A spear darted through Tir-Conaill. The invader was driven out; chiefs who had given their allegiance to the foreigner were taught that the O’Donnell was their chief and prince. He swept through Ulster and drove out the English sheriffs. He entered Connacht and hurled Binghams forces before him. Hugh O’Neill watched events; waited, held his hand, still uncertain.
So the issue of an independent Ireland or a conquered country was now to be put to the sword. Almost for the first time since the invasion Ireland had a statesman who saw the root of her weakness, and who placed the politics of the nation before the politics of the clan.


                                                  The Ulster Plantation
Within a decade of the ‘Flight of the Earls’ came the Ulster Plantation. It was the excuse needed for the wholesale robbing of the clans. That the lands belonged to the whole clan community was of no consequence to the English. According to English law and custom it should belong to the lords (chiefs). The English Lord Lieutenant, Sir Arthur Chichester, and the Attorney General, Sir John Davies, were the instruments , for giving effect to the great Plantation. The natives were driven to the bogs and the moors where it was hoped that they would starve to death. The conditions upon which the new people got their land bound them to repress and abhor the Irish natives , admit no Irish customs, never to intermarry with the Irish, and not to permit any Irish on their lands. As a result many of the Irish starved to death. Many others sailed away and enlisted under continental armies.



                                                      The Rising of 1641
The Irish were not content to starve and die upon the moors. The Rising of 1641 was the natural outcome of this great wrong. Rory O’Moore is chiefly credited for this great resurgence of the Irish race. For years he patiently worked among the leading Irish families, Irish Generals in the Continental armies, and other Irish representatives in the European countries. Plans being matured, the Rising broke in Ulster on the night of the 21st October 1641. Practically in one night they reconquered their province, having sent the Planters scurrying into the few Ulster cities that they still could hold. It was Ulster only that had risen that night - the other quarters remained quiet due to a miscarriage of plans and through a traitor. For the purpose of inciting the English at home , the English invented stories of massacres and Irish cruelty - many of which are still believed today. The fearful cruelties perpetrated by Sir Charles Coote, leader of the English army in Leinster, and by St Leger, English commander in Munster, combined with fear for themselves and their estates, drove the Anglo-Irish Catholic lords and their fellows in Munster to join the Rebellion. When the great and historic Synod met in Kilkenny in May ’42, the Irish practically owned Ireland, English power merely clinging by its teeth to some outer corners of the country.
                                                  The War of the ‘Forties
The Confederation of Kilkenny proved to be perhaps more of a curse than a blessing to Ireland. The establishing of the Confederation was the establishing of a Parliament in Ireland. In England Charles and his Parliamentary Government were now at bitter odds - beginning the great civil conflict there. They manacled, and thwarted the great Irish figure of the Forties - the truly admirable man and signally great military leader, Owen Roe O’Neill. With Owen Roe’s coming arose Ireland’s bright star of hope - and with his passing, that star set. Owen Roe was a nephew of Hugh O’Neill, ‘Earl of Tyrone’, who fled at the century’s beginning, and had died abroad. Owen Roe was a young man at the time of the Flight of the Earls, had fought in that last disastrous fight at Kinsale and going abroad also, had won signal distinction as a military commander in the Spanish Netherlands. He had never ceased to hope that he would yet be the means of freeing his Fatherland. And through the years in which his sword had been in the service of Spain, his heart was ever with Ireland. He came to his own North, when, close following its first bright burst the clouds of despair had come down, and begun to sit heavy on it again. On the 6th July 1642, with a hundred officers in his company, the long wished for saviour stepped off a ship and was given command of the Northern army. So potent was the name and fame of Owen Roe that even while his army was still in embryo, Lord Levin from Scotland at the head of twenty thousand men refused to meet such a formidable battler and strategist. In June 1646 he fought and won his great pitched battle, the famous victory of Benburb. Here he met and smashed the Scottish General Monroe, who then held the British command in Ulster. All remaining Scottish forces were, by his signal victory sent scurrying into the two strongholds of Derry and Carrickfergus. The province was Owen Roe’s and Ireland’s.
So would the whole country soon have been - but unfortunately the Supreme Council, flinging away the golden opportunity, not only signed a peace with Ormond, acting for King Charles, but went so far as to put under his command all of the Confederate Catholic Army. Owen Rose hurried south with his forces to overawe the traitors and try to counteract the harm they had done. But every move made by Owen Rose, and every combination, was wisely directed toward the great end. Yet the noble man held steadily to his task, and when eventually Cromwell came like an avenging angel Owen Roe was the one great commanding figure to which the awed and wasted nation instinctively turned.
But, as by God’s will it proved, their turning to him was in vain.

                                                       Cromwell
It was in August of ’40 that Cromwell landed in Dublin. The great leader of the grim Ironsides, himself, was destined to leave behind him in Ireland for all time a name synonymous with ruthless butchery. The first rare taste of the qualities of this agent of God the Just, and first Friend of the Irish was given to the people at Drogheda. Only thirty men out of a garrison of three thousand escaped the sword. After Drogheda, Cromwell in quick succession reduced the other northern strongholds, then turned and swept southward to Wexford - two thousand were butchered here. Cromwell reduced the garrisons of Arklow, Inniscorthy and Ross on the way to Wexford. After Wexford he tried to reduce Waterford, but failing in his first attempt, and not having time to waste besieging it, passed onward - and found the cities of Cork an easy prey. He rested at Youghal, getting fresh supplies and money from England. In January he took the field again, reduced Fethard, Cashel and eventually got Kilkenny by negotiation. Against his new and powerful cannon, the ancient and crumbling defences of the Irish cities were of little avail. The conqueror then - in the end of May - sailed from Youghal for England after having in eight months, subdued almost of Ireland, destroyed the effective Irish forces, and left the country prostate at the feet of the Parliament. He left in command his general, Ireton, who on his death soon after, was to be succeeded by Cromwells son, Henry. It took his successors another two years to finish up the remnant of work that he had left unfinished. Waterford, Limerick and Galway still held out. Scattered bands of fighters here and there, and an army of the North, under Heber MacMahon, kept Ulster resistance still alive. The few towns - Waterford, Limerick, Galway - and the scattered fighting forces were gradually conquered or capitulated. Till on the 12th May ’52, Articles of Kilkenny signed by the Parliamentary Commissioners on the one hand and the Earl of West Meath on the other - yet fiercely denounced by the Leinster clergy - practically terminated the longest, the most appallingly dreadful and inhumane, and the most exhausting, war, with which unfortunate Ireland was ever visited. 
The Cromwellian Settlement
But Irelands sufferings, great and terrible as they had been, were yet far from ended. "Ireland , in the language of Scripture, lay void as a wilderness. Five-sixths of her people had perished. Women and children were found daily perishing in ditches, starved. The bodies of many wandering orphans, whose fathers had been killed or exiled, and whose mothers had died of famine, were preyed upon by wolves. In the years 1652 and 1653 the plague, following the desolating wars had swept away whole counties, so that one might travel twenty or thirty miles and not see a living creature". In September 1653, was issued by parliament the order for the great transplanting. Under penalty of death, no Irish man, woman or child was to be found east of the River Shannon, after the 1st May 1654. Sir William Petty, in his Political Anatomy of Ireland, estimated that the wars had reduced the population.
The Later Penal Laws
When fire and sword had signally failed to suppress the Irish race new means to that end must be found. So the fertile mind of the conqueror invented the Penal Laws. The object of the Penal Laws was threefold ;
1) To deprive the Catholics of all civil life
2) To reduce them to a condition of most extreme and brutal ignorance
3) To dissociate them from the soil
The Penal Laws enacted or re-enacted in the new era succeeding the siege of Limerick, when under the pledged faith and honour of the English crown, the Irish Catholics were to be "protected in the free and unfettered exercise of their religion", provided amongst other things that :
The Irish Catholic was forbidden the exercise of his religion,
He was forbidden to receive education.
He was forbidden to enter a profession.
He was forbidden to hold public office.
He was forbidden to engage in trade or commerce.
He was forbidden to live in a corporate town or within five miles thereof.
He was forbidden to own a horse of greater value than five pounds.
He was forbidden to purchase land.
He was forbidden to lease land.
He was forbidden to vote.
He was forbidden to keep any arms for his protection.
He was forbidden to hold a life annuity.
He could not be guardian to a child.
He could not attend catholic worship.
He could not himself educate his child.
The law soon came to recognise an Irishman in Ireland only for the purpose of repressing him.
The Volunteer movement in the 1780’s first began to take the edge off Protestant prejudice. In the year 1793, an Act was passed relieving the Catholics of many of their disabilities - in theory at least. Another thirty-six years were to elapse before the next step was taken, under compulsion from the O’Connell agitation, and the Act known as Catholic Emancipation made law.


 
The Suppression of Irish Trade

In the early centuries of the Christian Era the highly civilised Celt was inclined to trade and commerce. The early Irish, were famous for their excellence in the arts and crafts - particularly for their wonderful work in metals, bronze, silver and gold. By the beginning of the 14th Century, the trade of Ireland with the Continent of Europe was important. This condition of things naturally did not suit commercial England. So at an early period she began to stifle Irish industry and trade.
The Irish woollen manufacturers began to rival Englands. So in 1571 Elizabeth imposed restriction upon the Irish woollen trade that crippled the large Irish trade with the Netherlands and other parts of the Continent.
Ireland tried its hand at manufacturing cotton. England met this move with a twenty-five per cent duty upon Irish cotton imported into England. And next forbade the inhabitants of England to wear any cotton other than of British manufacture.
Ireland attempted to develop her tobacco industry. But a law against its growth was passed in the first year of Charles the Second.
Four and five centuries ago and upward the Irish fisheries were the second in importance in Europe. Under careful English nursing they were, a century and a half ago, brought to the vanishing point. Then the independent Irish Parliament at the end of the eighteenth century saved them. Here we have set down only examples of the principal Acts and devices for the suppression of Irish manufacturers and Irish industries, but yet sufficient to show how England protected her beloved Irish subjects in the enjoyment of all they have - how Ireland prospered under English Rule in a material way - and how England in her step-motherly way, took each toddling Irish industry by the hand, led its childish footsteps to the brink of the bottomless pit, and gave it a push - thus ending its troubles forever.
And thus is explained in part why Ireland, one of the most favoured by nature and one of the most fertile countries in Europe, is yet one of the poorest. And why it is that, as recent statistics show, ninety-eight per cent of the export trade of the three kingdoms is in the hands of Britain and in Ireland’s hands only two per cent.

The Volunteers

The Volunteers needed no special perspicacity to see that the most formidable enemy even of the English colony in Ireland was the English trade interest, to which their advantages were ruthlessly sacrificed. The first invasion they set themselves to repel was that of English manufacturing goods. Shopkeepers and merchants who imported foreign goods or tried to impose them on their customers as Irish manufacture, were warned of the consequences. The Volunteers were there to see that the boycott was duly observed. When Parliament met in October 1779, Grattan moved his celebrated amendment to the Address to the Throne, demanding Free Trade for Ireland - that is the right to import and export what commodities she pleased, unrestrained by foreign legislation. The amended address was carried by a huge majority, and next day it was borne to the Castle and dispatched to England. Acts were rushed through the English Houses of Parliament in a few weeks which restored to the Irish the trade rights of which they had been robbed. At any moment England might revoke the concessions she had granted under duress. There still remained on the Statute Books of the two countries the Acts which gave her this power - Poyning’s Act , and the Sixth of George 1.



Poyning’s Act
 Poyning’s Act bound the Irish Parliament to legislate only as the British Parliament permitted it. The Sixth of George 1, also called the Declaratory Act declared that the King had full power and authority to make or amend laws. The following year, 1783, under pressure from the Volunteers and Flood a ‘Renunciation Bill’ was carried through the British parliament. It declared that the ‘right claim by the people of Parliament of that Kingdom in all cases whatever, and to have all actions and suits at law, or in equity, which may be instituted in the Kingdom, decided by His majesty’s courts therein finally, and without appeal from thence, shall be and is hereby declared to be established and ascertained for ever, and shall at no time here-after be questionable’.


 
The United Irishmen

The first general meeting of the United Irishmen was held on 18th October 1791, and the following resolutions were proposed and carried ;

1) That the weight of English influence in the Government of this country is so great as to require a cordial union among all the people of Ireland, to maintain that balance which is essential to the preservation of our liberties and the extension of our commerce
2) That the sole constitutional mode by which this influence can be opposed is by a complete and radical reform of the people in Parliament
3) That no reform is just which does not include Irishmen of every religious persuasion.
During the year 1796, events had moved in Ireland with extraordinary rapidity. On the one hand the Government had let loose on the country a storm of organised terrorism, and on the other the country, as a measure of self-protection, if nothing else - had gone solidly into the ranks of the ‘United’ men. Among the sinister measures adopted by Government to break the ‘Union’ was the establishment of the Orange Society.
The Rising of 1798
The insurrection long delayed in the hope of the promised aid from France, now broke out under the worst possible conditions. for success. Left without leaders, it is astonishing that it should have been confined to only a portion of the country and that the efforts of the counties that ‘rose’ were speedily suppressed. Between 24th and 27th May there were engagements with the military at Naas, Clane, Prosperous, Kilcullen and Monasterevin in Kildare, at Dunboyne and Tara in Meath, at Baltinglass in Wicklow, at Lucan, Rathfarnham and Tallaght in Dublin. The only other important engagements in Ulster were at Saintfield and Newtownards, where the insurgents were successful, and at Ballinahinch where Monroe and his United Men were defeated by General Nugent. News of those events came in due time to Tone in France, and made him frantic with anxiety and impatience to be with his comrades in Ireland. Tone was called to Paris to consult with the Ministers of War and Marine in the organisation of a small expedition.
Wolfe Tone
 Wolfe Tone accompanied eight frigates under Commodore Bompard and 3000 men under General Hardy to Ireland. However they were set upon by the English fleet. Tone was not recognised at first but his disguise was soon upturned. He made a gallant figure as he stood before his judges in the uniform of a French Colonel, making his last profession of faith in his principles to which he had devoted all that was his to give. "From my earliest youth I have regarded the connection between Ireland and Great Britain as the curse of the Irish nation, and felt convinced, that while it lasted, this country would never be free or happy. In consequence, I determined to apply all the powers which my individual efforts could move, in order to separate the two countries. that Ireland was not able, of herself, to throw off the yoke, I knew. I therefore sought for aid wherever it was to be found.......Under the flag of the French Republic. After such sacrifices, in a cause which I have always considered as the cause of justice and freedom - it is no great effort at this day to add the sacrifice of my life".
Tone is buried at Bodenstown alongside his brother who had died for the same glorious cause a few weeks earlier.  And there, side by side, those two mangled bodies - each broken so cruelly in the conquerors murder machine - await the Resurrection - in the ‘green grave’ which Ireland cherishes as the most precious thing she owns.



Robert Emmet
Everybody knew that the war between France and England, to which the peace of Amiens had put a temporary cessation, would soon break out again; and it was common belief likewise that when the war did break out, an invasion by Bonaparte either of England or Ireland would be attempted. The United Irishmen, both on the continent and in Ireland therefore were prepared to sacrifice their just resentment against France for her failure to keep her engagements with them in ’98 and enter into a new alliance with her. The Agent of the United Irishmen in Paris, was Thomas Addis Emmet, who left Brussels for the French Capital early in 1803, to act in that capacity on definite instructions from the Provisional Government in Ireland. In the first place there was an absolute promise on the part of the French of a large expeditionary force to aid the Rising in Ireland. In the second there was an understanding with, and guarantees of co-operation from the revolutionary societies in England and Scotland. In the third, there were pledges from men of the highest social, military and political standing in Ireland to aid the movement with money, moral and other backing. If ever an effort for Irish Liberty seemed destined to succeed, it was that to which Robert Emmet found himself committed when he returned to Ireland, after his ‘Grand Tour’ on the continent, in the Autumn of 1802. His primary object was to get the country organised and armed, ready to co-operate with the French landing. Emmets own work was mainly confined to Dublin, but he was in close touch with the men of Carlow, Wicklow and Wexford. On the 16th July an explosion took place in a house in Patrick Street, which Emmet had taken as a depot for arms and explosives. This event, which made him regard the discovery of his plans as imminent, caused him to fix an early date for the Rising without waiting for the promised French help. Assurance came from all over the country that if Dublin rose the rest of Ireland would speedily follow. Saturday, the 23rd July was the day arranged for the Rising. But on the day appointed it was discovered that only a small fraction of the men expected to help had turned up.
The romantic sequel of Robert Emmets story has given to the occurrences of the 23rd July an importance which the men who organised the conspiracy of which they were only an incident, did not recognise. One part of the plan, the Rising in Dublin, had miscarried, through no fault of Robert Emmets; but if the French had been true to their plighted word the rest of the country would have risen later, according to the plan, and the dream to which the gallant youth sacrificed fortune, life and love, might yet have come true. But the French failed their Irish allies once more, and Thomas Addis Emmet, though he still continued for a time his negotiations with the agents of the First Consul, had at length to convince himself that ‘Bonaparte was the worst enemy Ireland ever had’. As for his brother, Robert, when he saw the blood of Lord Kilwarden, he dispersed his followers and was determined to do nothing more until the promised French aid had arrived. To expedite its coming he sent Myles Byrne to France with an urgent message to his brother, Thomas Addis. Before Myles Bryne had arrived in Paris, Robert had been arrested at Harolds Cross, to whose dangerous neighbourhood he had been drawn by an overpowering desire to see once more his ‘bright love’ the exquisite Sarah Curran. On the 20th September the sacrifice was consummated. The brave youth was publicly beheaded on a Dublin street.



Daniel O’Connell

Throughout almost the first half of the nineteenth century Irelands history is reflected in the life of Daniel O’Connell. In Dublin he associated with the United Irishmen and shred their national sentiments. When the Emmet alarm burst on the country in 1803, he flew to arms to preserve the Constitution. He was one of the Lawyers Corps that was formed for defence of the realm against the assault of French principles. It was in 1808, that O’Connell first got marked prominence in Irish affairs. When in ’13 those Protestant champions of Catholic Emancipation, Grattan and Plunkett, had introduced in Parliament a Catholic Relief Bill which had every chance of passing, and which had the approval of the Irish Catholic aristocratic party and the English Catholics, O’Connell aroused Ireland against it because it was saddled with the objectionable veto and also gave to the British the right to supervise all documents passing between Rome and the Roman Catholic hierarchy in these islands. The passion of O’Connell, the people, and the prelates had the desired effect. The rights of the Irish church were no longer to be considered a negotiable security at Rome.
  


Catholic Emancipation
 
O’Connell now had complete control of the national mind. And his voice was the voice of Ireland. The unquestioning faith of his multitudinous following put in his hands a power which he unsparingly wielded to work out the peoples emancipation. The Catholic Board, under O’Connells direction of course, passed the celebrated "witchery" resolution, which gave to the scandal-mongering multitude the tid-bit that it was a bigoted anti-Catholic mistress who had compelled the Princes anti-Irish attitude. To cap the absurdity, O’Connell was not more delighted at lavishing servile homage upon his royal master than the royal master himself was childishly delighted to receive it. O’Connell in organising the reception so worked upon his faithful people with his lavish eloquence that, arising out to welcome George with wild delight, they seethed with enthusiasm during every day of his stay. So touched was George with his reception by his "beloved Irish subjects", that he bestowed on Lord Fingall, the ranking Catholic layman, the Order of St Patrick. And immediately after his return to England he sent to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland a message of gratitude, and hope for the bright future of his Irish people - which assured O’Connell and his followers, if assurance were needed, that their fondest hopes for religious freedom would now at length be satisfied. It is true that in ’21 the English House of Commons passed the Catholic Relief Bill which, while proposing to make Catholics eligible for Parliament and for offices under the Crown was again saddled with the impossible veto, and with another equally un-acceptable condition, namely, that the Roman Catholic clergy should take oath to elect only bishops who were loyal to the British Crown. He found it a particularly good time for agitation because it was a particularly bad time for the country. The year ’22 and again ’23 brought with them much want and hardship to the nation. Richard Lalor Shiel, orator and Catholic leader, who had differed with and separated from O’Connell, now consented to join forces with him. So O’Connell founded a new Catholic Association and resolving to bring into politics a new great power that had never before been systematically enlisted, namely, the priests, organised the Association by parishes with the priest in each case as natural leader. The Association, too, was more virile and determined in its demands. So dangerous became the peoples attitude that the English Government was forced to take a decisive step. The Catholic Association was suppressed, and an Emancipation Bill brought in. O’Connell, nothing daunted, started to build anew. Hen the Catholic Association was suppressed, he penned a valedictory, wherein, still strong with irrepressible loyalty he urged upon the people ‘attachment to the British Constitution, and unqualified loyalty to the king’. Though the general election in England went very happily for the n-popery party, the new no-popery Government was frightened to discover that the election in Ireland had gone entirely the other way. The mighty power of combined priest and people was taking form, and the Irish nation now realise the solidity of their power more surely and more boldly than ever before. Lecky says that this election of ’26 won Emancipation. But with far more force, it can be said that Emancipation was won by the epoch making Clare election. That was the first truly golden milestone met by the Irish people upon their weary march from the centurys beginning. The Clare election was to Ireland a joyful surprise and a fearful one to England. County Clare had conquered England. The Emancipation Bill was brought in - and passed - but not without fierce opposition. The Emancipation Bill was passed, the commonest citizen rights from which Irish people had hitherto been debarred, because they were heretics and idolaters, were now permitted by law. And civil offices from which they had been, for their crime, shut out, were supposedly thrown open to them. But practically speaking Irish Catholics continued, for many decades after, to labour under their former disability. And in many parts of Ireland, even down to a short generation ago, they were in practice still shut out from all offices except the most menial.
  


O’Connell’s Power and Popularity

Though it was in his character as political leader that he was greatest to his people, it was undeniably in his capacity as lawyer that Daniel O’Connell - "Dan" as they affectionately called him - got nearest to their hearts. They who had always been condemned before they were heard, were accorded human rights in the courts of law after O’Connell had successfully stormed those citadels of injustice. To the regular Crown prosecutors he made his name a name of fear. And indeed it was not much less a terror to those irregular Crown prosecutors who, on the Bench, masqueraded as judges. He was one of the most powerful pleaders that the Bar ever knew. His enemy, Peel, once said that if he wanted an efficient and eloquent advocate, he would readily barter all the best of the English Bar for the Irish O’Connell. In conducting an important case he called into play all of his wonderful faculties. He went from grave to gay, from the sublime to the ludicrous. He played with ease upon every human feeling. He carried away the judge, the jury, the witness that he was handling, and the very prisoner himself in the dock. He could in a few minutes cross-examination tear the ablest witness to shreds, and show the pitying court the paltry stuff he was made of. He might at first play his man, go with him, blarney him, flatter him, convince him that Dan O’Connell had become his most enthusiastic admirer and dearest friend. And when he had thus taken him off his guard, led him by hand into a trap, the Counsellor would come down upon his man with a crash that stunned and shattered him and left him a piteous victim at the great cross-examiners feet. And to judge and jury and the whole court it was now the witness, not the prisoner in the dock who was on trial for his life.
In the years when he was in his climax his word was to the Irish people electric, and his power was invincible. With joyous thrill these long-suffering ones felt that when Dan spoke there was fearful trembling in the seats of the mighty. In him the nation that was dumb had found a voice. The despised had found a champion and the cruelly wronged an avenger. He was to them in the ranks of the gods. After Emancipation was won O’Connell abandoned his law practice to devote himself entirely to the peoples cause
Through the ‘Thirties
When Emancipation was won, Repeal of the false and corruptly purchase "Union" of Ireland with England was the great issue that the Leader started. In 1810, the grand jurors of Dublin, all of them of course Tories and British-Irish, tried to start the Repeal movement. Now that Dan was free to throw himself into the repeal movement, and the Catholics almost to a man were behind him, no support could be got from their Protestant fellow-countrymen. There were two reasons for this - the fierceness of the fight for Emancipation had embittered the Protestants against their Catholic fellows; and besides all the offices and patronage of the country which had been securely theirs in pre-Emancipation days were getting shaky in their grasp now that Catholic disabilities were by law removed, Repeal of the Union would finally break their monopoly; so the overwhelmingly body of the Protestant population was henceforth as bitterly anti-Repeal as they had formerly been anti-Union - and more bitterly than they had been anti-Emancipation. To help the English Whigs in their great fight for Parliamentary Reform, O’Connell much against the wish of many wise ones, slackened the Repeal fight, while he let the popular fight against tithes forge to the front. And he cast all his weight to the English Whigs in their Reform struggle.
The established Protestant Church was supported in Ireland by the farmers of all religions paying to it tithes, a tenth of their products. The tithe war spread like wildfire. The people refused to pay the iniquitous imposition. Thousands of troops were poured into the country to protect the tithe proctors and process-servers. The Protestant clergy, unable to collect the tithes, were now in such real distress that the Government had to provide a Relief Fund for them. O’Connell wanted the tithe reduced two-fifths. The tithe-war dragged on, in varying intensity, till in ’38 was passed the Act which reduced the tithe by a fourth, and shifted it to the landlord. In his desire to help the English Whigs in their Reform struggle, O’Connell had put Parliamentary Reform temporarily before Repeal, worked for it with might and main, and with his Irish following finally gave the Whigs the margin of majority that carried the Reform Bill. When in ’31 he had been warned against abandoning Irish Repeal for British Parliamentary Reform, he said to the people: ‘Let no one deceive you and say that I have abandoned anti-Unionism. It is false. But I am decidedly of opinion that it is only in a reformed Parliament that the question can properly, truly, and dispassionately, be discussed’. Throughout the ‘Thirties O’Connell seemed to work in complete forgetfulness of the one big fact which the agitation of the ‘Twenties should have stamped indelibly on his mind, namely, that an Ireland lulled by the opiate of English friendship always proved to be an Ireland fooled; while an Ireland rebellious was an Ireland successful. It was little wonder that in the late ‘Thirties the Whig-befooled Dan found his popularity waning, got down-hearted, depressed, discouraged and in ’39 made retreat in Mt Melleray to regain his calm.
He came out of his Mount Melleray retreat - with a mind much calmed - able collectedly to review his position and make his plans. But only a miracle could rehabilitate him.
The Great Repeal Fight
In 1840 O’Connell founded the National Association of Ireland for repeal. The name of the Association was in ’41, improved into the Loyal National Repeal Association.
The Repeal movement was undoubtedly popularised, and materially stimulated by a couple of big happenings in the Dublin Corporation in these years. In ’41 was elected, for the first time in history, a Nationalist corporation in Dublin Corporation, citadel of ultra-Orangeism, was wiped out and replaced by one that was five-sixths Nationalist. And to the frenzied delight of Dublin, and all Ireland, Dan O’Connell was elected the first Nationalist Lord Mayor. The second stimulus was the great Repeal debate in the Dublin Corporation, where the new Lord Mayor made a Repeal speech, which, to the eager people who in every corner of the land devoured the report of it, was one of the most wonderful of his career. By overwhelmingly majority was carried a resolution to present a Repeal petition to Parliament. Now the Repeal movement was in full swing. And O’Connell filled the land with the agitation. In wonderful speech after speech bristling with urge, ringing with hope, and thundering with defiance, he fostered the ferment in which the populace found itself. The climax of the great Repeal fight came in ’43. That was the year of the Monster meetings, the year of the sublime hope and the undaunted resolve, of the mighty welding of two million men into one solid bulwark of freedom. And yet, alas, it was the sad year of real defeat ! The fighting spirit which stirred the hearts of the people that year expressed itself at those wonderful gatherings, unique in the cult for Irishmen. A quarter of a million people in attendance came to be considered moderate. But the greatest and most memorable of all the great meetings was that at Tara - when his eye swept over that human sea O’Connell himself must have marvelled at the spirit that animated the nation. "What", he said, "could England effect against such a people so thoroughly aroused, if, provoked past endurance, they rose out in rebellion". The government, now aroused to the imminent danger of these meetings, forbade the Clontarf meeting. Five regiments of soldiers, with canon and all the appliances of war, were stationed at vantage points. The gauntlet was thrown down to O’Connell. The country stood on tip-toe awaiting "the word" from O’Connell - whatever that word might be. And tens of thousands of eager ones prayed that it might be a bold one. But, Peace was the word given by the leader. The people implicitly obeyed. Yet time proved that on the day of Clontarf was dug the grave of O’Connell’s Repeal.



The End of O’Connell
But the movement and the man had an Indian summer. But Clontarf and its sequel, the trial and imprisonment, had marked a great turning point in Dan’s career. He studiously avoided any statements of future policy. And without giving the country a lead he went home to Derry, nane to rest and recuperate - to forget politics for a period. He was nevermore the old Dan, the bold Dan, whose magnetic power had gifted him to lead a nation. The Nation party, the Young Ireland party were rebelling against him and the Association and seeking an antidote to the Whigs’ opiate, were preaching revolution to the country. And henceforward to the sincerely grieved Daniel O’Connell and his lieutenants in the Association, the Young Ireland party, more than England were Irelands enemy.
Famine now fastened its clutch on the country. The potato crop of ’46, which was eagerly expected to cure the acute distress produced by the ’45 failure, was blighted. And the harvest of ’47 was yet to plunge the people in far deeper distress. The dreadful sufferings of the poor people now helped to complete the Liberators mental breakdown. The heart of him sank down into sadness. In the beginning of ’47, though feeling sick and worn both in body and soul, he set out upon the sore weeks journey to London to plead, this time, the material cause of the people. He made his last appearance, and last speech in Parliament, in February of that year. He was ordered by his physicians to go on a pilgrimage to Rome. At Genoa, he could go no further. The great mans end came, calm and painless, on May 15th 1847. Having been accorded the greatest funeral that Dublin had ever witnessed, the remains of Daniel O’Connell were laid under the earth in Glasnevin cemetery.
By his intimate and personal friend, O’Neill Daunt, it was truly said of O’Connell: "Well may his countrymen feel pride in the extraordinary man, who, for a series of years, could assail and defy a hostile and powerful government, who could knit together a prostrate, divided, and dispirited nation into a resolute and invincible confederacy; who could lead his followers in safety through the traps and pitfalls that beset their path to freedom; who could baffle all the artifices of sectarian bigotry; and finally overthrow the last strongholds of anti-Catholic tyranny by the simple might of public opinion".
The Great Famine
The Great Famine, usually known as the famine of ’47, really began in ’45, with the blighting and failure of the potato crop, the peoples chief means of sustenance. It is calculated that about a million people died - either of direct starvation, or of the diseases introduced by the famines, and about another fled to foreign lands between ’46 and ’50. To relieve the acute situation, their first step was to send over a shipload of scientists to study the cause of the potato failure. Their second step was to bring in a new Coercion Bill for Ireland. The third step was - after they had voted two hundred thousand pounds to beautify Londons Battersea Park - to vote one hundred thousand pounds for the relief of the two million Irish people who were suffering keen distress. The simple reader, who knows not the way of Britain with Ireland, would here naturally come to the conclusion that the tenderhearted gentlewoman, full of sympathy for the thousands who were dying of starvation was directing her Parliament to try to save a multitude of lives. But this would be a mistaken conclusion. She was here referring to the handful of Anglo-Irish landlords and agents, whose lives must be solicitously protected whilst in trying times, they were endeavouring to hack and hew their usual pound of flesh from the walking skeletons in the bogs and mountains of Ireland. Public committees had been formed in various countries and hundreds of thousands of pounds were collected for the relief of Irish distress. With the money thus collected, shiploads of Indian corn were imported to Ireland from America. As there were in the country hundreds of thousands of people in want of food, who yet would not accept it in charity, it was proposed that imported corn should be sold to these people at reduced price - but the paternal Government forbade the irregular procedure. At length when conditions reached their most fearful stage, in ’47, and that the uncoffined dead were being buried in trenches, and the world was expressing itself as appalled at the conditions, the Government advance a loan of ten million pounds, on half to be spent on public works, the other half for outdoor relief. And this carried with it the helpful proviso that no destitute farmer could benefit from that windfall unless he had first given up to the landlord all his farm except a quarter of an acre. As the famine sufferings increased, the Government met the more acute situation by proposing a renewal of the Disarming Act, increase of police and several other British remedies. True, the Government now shipped in Indian corn. But there was more corn went out of the country in one month than the Government sent in, in a year. In those terrible years the people began flocking from the stricken land in tens and hundreds of thousands - to America, and to the earths end.
 



The Passing Of The Gael

They are going, going, going from the valleys and the hills,
They are leaving far behind them the heathery moor and mountain rills,
All the wealth of hawthorn hedges where the brown thrush sways and thrills.
 
They are going, shy-eyed cailins, and lads so straight and tall,
From the purple peaks of Kerry, from the crags of wild Imaal,
From the greening plains of Mayo, and the glens of Donegal.
 
They are going, going, going, and we cannot bid them stay,
Their fields are now the strangers, where the strangers cattle stray,
Oh! Kathaleen Ni Houlihan, your ways a thorny way!

Of a certain ninety thousand only, of the emigrants to Canada in ’47, of which accurate account was kept, it is recorded that 6100 died on the voyage, 4100 died on arrival, 5200 died in hospital and 1900 soon died in the towns to which they repaired. And thus was the flower of one of the finest nations on the face of the earth in swarths mowed down, and thus in wind-rows did they wither from off earth’s face - under the aegis of British rule.
The Fenians
Fenianism began in Ireland at the end of the ‘Fifties - and at the same time in America. James Stephans who had been a very young man in the ’48 movement, and who had since been a tutor both in Paris and in Kerry, was the founder and great organiser of Fenianism. And from that modest beginning sprang, at first slowly, but after a few years with a rapidity that was magical, one of the greatest of Irish movements, with far reaching consequences. The Irish People, the Fenian organ, was founded in ’63 with John O’Leary as the editor. The Irish People obtained a large circulation - but not so great as did The Nation of Young Ireland days. In autumn ’65 the Government suddenly delivered a great coup - seizing The Irish People, its editors, Stephans and many of the leading figures in the movement in various parts of the country. This was truly a disaster, removing as it did from the direction of the movement some of the wisest heads that guided it. And every one of the hundreds of thousands of the rank and file severely felt the sad blow - from which indeed the movement never recovered - even though Stephans was given back. The other Fenian leaders were tried in December on a charge of high treason and sentenced to penal servitude. The invasion of Canada, which would undoubtedly have been a successful action of the American Government, which, having tacitly encouraged the scheme, and permitted the plans to be ripened, stepped in at the last moment to prevent it. In Ireland, where Stephans had been superseded by Colonel John Kelly, the Rising, arranged for March 5th, ’67, was frustrated by a combination of circumstance. The informer, Corydon, betrayed the plans; and, strangely, a great snow storm, one of the wildest and most protracted with which the country was ever visited made absolutely impossible not only all communications but all movements of men. One of the greatest Irish movements of the century ended apparently in complete failure. Apparently only, for though there was not success of arms, other kinds of success began to show immediately. Within two years after, that terrible incubus upon Ireland, the Established (English) Church was disestablished, and within three years the first Land Act of the century, the Act of ’70 was made law. And Prime Minister Gladstone afterwards confessed that it was the healthy fear instilled in him by the astonishing spirit of the Fenian movement, which forced him to these actions. Moreover, the spirit begotten by Fenianism went forward for future triumph.



Charles Stewart Parnell
From 1865-1870 the English courts in Ireland were kept busy with the trial of Fenian Prisoners. The leading counsel for the defence of the prisoners was Issac Butt QC, one of the most able and eloquent lawyers at the Bar. True, Butts definition of independence was not that of the Fenians. He invented a new term "Home Rule". The first meeting of the "Home Government Association" afterwards re-named the "Home Rule League" was held in a Dublin hotel in 1870. A resolution was passed "that the true remedy for the evils of Ireland is the establishment of an Irish Parliament with full control over our domestic affairs". Charles Stewart Parnell was the squire of Avondale, County Wicklow. To get elected to Parliament he made two trials - one in Wicklow, another in Dublin, and was on both occasions defeated. Then in 1875 he replaced John Martin in Meath. He was regarded as a nice, gentlemanly fellow, who would create no sensation in the House of Commons, - who might make one speech, but never another. Parnell remained a while a spectator, not quite sure which course to pursue. After consideration he decided to adopt Biggars. But Parnells obstruction was of a new brand. It was not just wanton like Biggars; it was scientific. The system was this : propose an amendment to practically every clause of every measure introduced by the Government, and then discuss each amendment fully, his friends forming relays to keep the discussion going. In 1877 Issac Butt was called into the House to remove Parnell. He did so. Parnell disposed of him in one short sentence. Parnell and Butt were obviously coming to blows. On September 1st 1877, the Home Rule Federation of Great Britain held their annual meeting at Liverpool. Parnell was elected president over Butt. Butt was annoyed and made no secret of the fact. In 1880, he was elected leader of the Irish Party. Explanations of his rise to power are somewhat contradictory. There are two words common to all explanations of his election - character and personality. Parnell had only a limited belief in the efficiency of parliamentarianism. He was of opinion that without a well organised public opinion in Ireland his power in Parliament would be slight. He publicly advised the Irish people to keep a keen watch on the conduct of their representatives in the House of Commons. He publicly stated that long association with the House of Commons would destroy the integrity of any Irish Party. He saw nothing but disaster in the policy of conciliating the English. Parnells wish for an energetic movement at home was gratified in an unexpected manner. Michael Davitt was released from prison. The name of Michael Davitt brings up the Land Question. Even in Ireland today, it is difficult to understand the condition of affairs in bygone days. During the year ‘76-’79 the distress of the Irish tenantry touched the line of famine. The rents were not reduced. The landlord demanded payment for land which the land never earned. England Parliament would do nothing to remedy matters. Between 1870 and 1876 fourteen attempts to amend the Land Laws failed. What wonder that the Irish people got restive. By 1876 their patience was giving out. That year a land agent was shot at in County Cork. In 1878 Lord Leitrim, whose reputation for rack-renting was notorious was shot in Donegal. His slayers were never discovered, though the whole population was supposed to know who they were. A great public meeting was held at Irishtown. The keynote of the speech was "the land for the people". The speakers in advocating peasant proprietary broke away notably from the more moderate land policy of Butt, "the three F’s" ie Fixity of Tenure, Fair Rents and Free Sale. A land revolution was in progress. Parnell was naturally, interested in this new movement. Butt had already warned him against the dangers latent in widespread organisations. He decided to take the risk. The ‘National Land League" was established at Castlebar. Parnell finally agreed to recognise the "National Land League" and to become its president. He did not interfere in the plans of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, neither did he give himself away. He had espoused Parliamentarianism and was determined to see what could be got out of it. Any outside help was all to the good.
 


The Land Struggle Begins
The following is a list of acts "at once liberal and prudent" which the British Parliament, with "almost unanimous sanction", did bestow upon Ireland in those years :
  1830 Importation of Arms Act
1831 Whiteboy Act
1831 Stanleys Arms Act
1832 Arms and Gunpowder Act
1833 Suppression of Disturbance
1833 Change of Venue Act
1834 Disturbances Amendment and Continuance
1834 Arms and Gunpowder Act
1835 Public Peace Act
1836 Another Arms Act
1838 Another Arms Act
1839 Unlawful Oaths Act
1840 Another Arms Act
1841 Outrages Act
1841 Another Arms Act
1843 Another Arms Act
1843 Act Consolidating all Previous Coercion Acts
1844 Unlawful Oaths Act
1845 Unlawful Oaths Act
1846 Constabulary Enlargement
1847 Crime and Outrage Act
1848 Treason Amendment Act
1848 Removal of Arms Act
1848 Suspension of Habeas Corpus
1848 Another Oaths Act
1849 Suspension of Habeas Corpus
1850 Crime and Outrage Act
1851 Unlawful Oaths Act
1853 Crime and Outrage Act
1854 Crime and Outrage Act
1855 Crime and Outrage Act
1856 Peace Preservation Act
1858 Peace Preservation Act
1860 Peace Preservation Act
1852 Peace Preservation Act
1862 Unlawful Oaths Act
1865 Peace Preservation Act
1866 Suspension of Habeas Corpus Act
1866 Suspension of Habeas Corpus
1867 Suspension of Habeas Corpus
1868 Suspension of Habeas Corpus
1870 Peace Preservation Act
1871 Protection of Life and Property
1871 Peace Preservation Con.
1873 Peace Preservation Act
1875 Peace Preservation Act
1875 Unlawful Oaths Act
Fall of Parnell and of Parliamentarianism
  Parnell was now the man of the hour. He had triumphed over all who had crossed his path. He had broken Forster; he had humbled even Gladstone. Captain O’Shea who had given what was meant to be damaging proof against him at the Times Commission, filed a petition for divorce against his wife, naming Parnell as co-respondent. There was no defence, and no appearance for the defence. Parnell ignored the whole business as if it were of no importance, whatever. When the decree was made absolute he promptly married Mrs O’Shea. If others had taken matters as coolly as Parnell, it might have been better. But a meeting of the party was called and a resolution of confidence in Parnells leadership was passed. The Irish Party met. Parnell simply asked them not to sell him without getting his value. Envoys of the party called on Mr Gladstone and they learned the nothing which deputation’s learn of Cabinet Ministers. It was a duel between Parnell and Gladstone. The latter won. Then came the Kilkenny election and Parnell crossed over to Ireland. That night, Parnell spoke a sentence that lived for ever in the hearts of those who heard it, and ought to live in the hearts of their descendants. He said : "I don’t pretend that I had not moments of trial and of temptation, but I do claim that never in thought, word, or deed, have I been false to the trust which Irishmen have confided in me".
Irishmen are kind to the memory of Parnell.
 He sinned and he was punished. No other man - not even O’Connell - always excepting men who had sealed their allegiance to Dark Rosaleen with their blood - was more dearly beloved by the Irish Catholic people than this Protestant. The people of Ireland were all Parnellite at heart. They did not wish to oppose him. If he had only bowed for a time before the storm he would have come back in triumph. But Parnell was too proud for compromise. He would lead or break the Irish Party. He tried diplomacy. But in Ireland, at least, there is a greater force, which sometimes becomes powerful. It is truth.
Parnells last meeting was at Creggs, County Galway. He was warned by his medical advisors not to go. This was on September 27th 1891. There was death in his face, as he delivered his speech. On October 6th, he died at Brighton. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, close beside O’Connell.
Shortly after Parnells death there was a General Election. Gladstone had a working majority of about forty-two. The Home Rule Bill of 1893 was passed in the House of Commons by a majority of forty-three. It was rejected by the House of Lords. Next year the "Grand Old Man" resigned and was succeeded by Lord Rosebery. John Redmonds party (the Parnellites), Dillons party, O’Briens party and Healys party, floundered rather hopelessly for years, disputing plenty, achieving little.
During the Boer war which broke out in 1899 the sympathies of the Irish people were, of course, on the side of the Boers, and no attempt was made to dissemble the delight in Ireland when the Boers scored a victory over the English. Major John MacBride held command of an Irish Brigade fighting with the Boer forces.
In 1902 on the initiative of Captain Shawe-Taylor, representatives of landlords and tenants met in conference to investigate the possibility of an agreed solution of the Land Question. An agreement was reached on the basis of long term purchase which would secure the landlords against loss, and while making the purchase money of their farms higher to the tenants would enable them to secure money at a low rate of interest, and secure them their land at a fixed annuity which would be lower than the actual rent. Mr George Wyndham, Chief Secretary, proceeded to give effect to these recommendations and the result was the Land Act of 1903.
In 1906, Mr Davitt passed away. He succeeded; and dear to Irish hearts is that grave in Mayo, which encloses the mortal remains of a man whose spirit could not be broken.
In 1914 a so-called "Home Rule" Act was passed - empowering the Irish people to play at a "Parliament" in Dublin, whose enactment’s could be vetoed by either the British Lord Lieutenant or the British Parliament. The Irish Parliamentary Party grasping at any straw that might save it from being finally engulfed, begged Ireland to believe that this was the nations "great charter of liberty". When the "Home Rule" Bill became law, it was postponed on the plea that the war was on - in reality because Sir Edward Carson forbade its application. The British Government kept postponing it period after period, till eventually it never went into force. The Irish people most of whom had at first been deceived into regarding it as a desirable step toward larger liberty, eventually disillusioned, would not in the end accept it. In the English House of Commons John Redmond in 1914, unreservedly offered the services of the manhood of Ireland in one of Englands wars. The Parliamentary leaders, Redmond, Dillon, Devlin and O’Connor, came out openly as Englands recruiting sergeants - and their followers in the country, the scales at length fallen from their eyes, began a wholesales desertion - which in startlingly short time left the leaders looking in vain to find any followers. They were to be formally wiped out in the next general election. The Parliamentary Party, having compromised Irelands every claim to nationhood, and touched the depths of disgrace, then disappeared from history. And Ireland severed itself from the bad tradition of British Parliamentarianism.
  


Sinn Fein
The world is witnessing in Ireland an extraordinary national renaissance which expresses itself in literature, art, industry, social idealism, religious fervour and personal self-sacrifice. Deprived of the means of learning, impoverished and ground down, the Irish people for 200 years have not known culture or freedom, and their history for that period is gloomy reading. In the closing years of the 19th century the untilled field was ploughed up and sown in by the Gaelic League. From this educational movement which began in 1893 the whole revival of Irish Ireland may be dated. Recovering some measure of strength at last after the exhaustion of the famine years, but disheartened and confused by the collapse of the Parnell movement, Ireland welcomed the Gaelic League as a new and hopeful means of exerting her national energies. The League spread like fire. The centre of gravity in national life changed from the anglicised towns to the rural population, sturdy, unspoilt, patriotic, virile, the offspring and living representatives of the traditional Gael. Hence Irish politics began forthwith to reflect the mind of the real Irish race. Extraordinary little newspapers and magazines began to appear. The most important was the United Irishman edited by Mr Arthur Griffith. In 1905 Mr Griffith and his friends put before the nation a new political movement. In a newly founded weekly, Sinn Fein (succeeding the United Irishman) Mr Griffith proceeded to show how the nation could thus conduct its won affairs even while the national parliament was denied recognition by outside powers. Thus, through the Harbour Boards, difficulties could be imposed in the "dumping" of foreign goods, which would amount to a system of protection for Irish industries. The public could be organised for the support of native industry, and capital could be encouraged by the offer of rate-free sites etc. Arbitration Courts could be set up everywhere, superseding the British courts in civil matters. National insurance could be undertaken. National banks could divert from foreign field the Irish money which could so much more profitably be invested in buying up Irish land, financing Irish developments and extending Irish control of home resources. A national mercantile marine could be co-operatively bought and set to carrying Irish produce to those Continental markets which offered so much better prices than the English markets to which English ships carried Irish cattle and manufactured goods. Irish commercial agents - consuls - could be sent to the great foreign trade centre. Though he alone could not have made Sinn Fein the power in Ireland that it is, yet those brilliant minds, those fighters and doers, who brought his movement to its present position, would without him have been disunited and perhaps conflicting forces. When Easter Week was over, and the insurgents were crushed, the country was not broken as after ’98 or ’48 or ’67, because the large fabric of the comprehensive Sinn Fein policy remained, and the sacrifice of Pearse and his comrades served but as a stimulus to the masses to carry on the work of industrial revival, language-restoration etc. When in 1910 Mr Redmond secured the Balance of Power in the British Parliament, Mr Griffith suspended the organising of Sinn Fein as a political party, giving the Parliamentary leader a free hand to achieve whatever he could achieve for Ireland with the parliamentary weapon. Unhappily Redmond allowed himself to be coerced by the threats of Sir Edward Carson, and early in 1914, accepted the principle of Partition. In Ireland, there was horror and almost despair. Meanwhile, Nationalists had organised a Volunteer force numbering up to 200,00 to repel the threat of Sir Edward Carson’s Volunteers, who were armed with the connivance of English military authorities and at the expense of the English Unionists. But the Great War found the Irish situation under the influence of another element than Unionism, Parliamentarianism and Sinn Fein - Fenianism or Republicanism. A Physical Force party, aiming at an independent Irish Republic exerted an influence on public opinion that was far from being negligible. The Fenians adopted from Fontana Lalor the motto : "Repeal not the Union, but the Conquest". These were lean years for Sinn Fein, but these two small parties of enthusiasts worked side by side without acrimony. Each was equally devoted to the full Irish-Ireland program of a Gaelicised nation. The Fenians were the active element in the Volunteers when that extraordinary armed movement came into being: but they did not at fist control the new development. Such, then, were the factors in the Irish situation on which the Great War descended in August 1914.


Easter Rising
Early in 1914 the Carsonite Volunteers, with the connivance of British sympathisers in high places, ran a big cargo of arms ashore at Larne. Forthwith the British Government prohibited the importation of rams into Ireland, lest the Nationalists should secure weapons too. The Irish Volunteers thus organised an illegal shipment of arms to Howth from the Continent. A rising had been planned for Easter Sunday. But on Easter Monday, soon after noon, the Irish Republic was proclaimed in Dublin, and the insurgent Tricolour suddenly broke on startled eyes from the flagstaff above the General Post Office in the heart of the Irish capital. The Easter Monday Rising, however, had no such military prospects of success. There was always, of course, the chance that a German success on the Western Front would break Englands defences and allow substantial help to be sent before the Rising was crushed, but this proved a vain hope. On the morning of Easter Monday, April 24th 1916, the Dublin battalions paraded, bearing full arms and one days rations. Shortly after noon, the General Post Office, the Four Courts, three of the railway termini, and other important points circling the centre of Dublin were rushed and occupied. The

Proclamation of the Irish Republic was published in big placards :
Poblacht na hEireann
The Provisional Government of the Irish Republic
To the People of Ireland
  Irishmen and Irishwomen ! In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives the old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag, and strikes for her freedom …….
We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible……In every generation the Irish people have asserted their right to National freedom and sovereignty; six times during the past three hundred years they have asserted it in arms. Standing on that fundamental right and again asserting it in arms in the face of the world, we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent Sate, and we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades to the cause of its freedom, of its welfare, and of its exaltation among the nations ……
The Republic guarantees civil and religious 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 of all its parts, cherishing all the children of the nation equally, and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past …….
We place the cause of the Irish Republic under the protection of the Most High God, whose blessing we invoke upon our arms…… In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valour and discipline, and by the readiness of its children, to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.
 
Signed on behalf of the Provisional Government
Thomas J Clarke
Sean MacDiarmada Thomas MacDonagh
P H Pearse Eamon Ceannt
James Connolly Joseph Plunkett


 
There was little fighting on the first day of the Rising. Wholly unprepared since it was believed that the Volunteers had abandoned the project, the British authorities were taken by surprise and could not immediately muster forces to attack the insurgents before they had "dug themselves in". It was on Tuesday that a British force of some 4500 men attacked the rebel strongholds and secured the Castle. A cordon was then drawn around the north of the city, some
of the rebel outposts being attacked and broken with rifle or artillery. Meanwhile large reinforcements were being hurried into Ireland. On the Thursday the encircling forces pressed closer and penetrated to the central scene of operations. Liberty Hall had been shattered by gunfire from the river, and now shells ignited great buildings in O’Connell Street. The lines of communication between the insurgent strongholds were broken, and the British Forces, concentrated on reducing headquarters, the General Post Office, over which the Republican flag still flew.
In Co Galway Liam Mellows led a large body of insurgents on Galway city. A gunboat in Galway Bay dispersed them by shellfire. At Athenry, the insurgent camp was surrounded and dispersed when the hopelessness of resistance became clear.
O Friday, a terrific bombardment had set the centre of Dublin city wholly ablaze. Banks, churches and business places were aflame and tottering. The loss of life among non-combatants was appalling. Commandant Daly had destroyed the Linen hall Barracks but was now surrounded at the Four Courts. Countess Markievicz, after being driven out of trenches in Stephens Green, was defending the College of Surgeons. Commandant McDonagh was surrounded in Jacobs factory. Commandant de Valera, whose men had so tenaciously resisted the advance from the south, was now holding Bolands Mills, while Commandant Ceannt held part of the South Dublin Union. On Saturday at 2pm Pearse surrendered to Sir John Maxwell unconditionally. And so the Rising ended, the outstanding forces laying down arms on the Sunday. All the signatories of the Republican declaration were put to death. Some death sentences were commuted to sentences of imprisonment for life, happily for Ireland, Commandant de Valera escaping thus. After a year the prisoners were released for the purpose of English propaganda in America. When one year later that is, in 1918, England decreed the conscription of Irelands manhood to save her from the great German advance, it was around deValera that the nation rallied. His coolness and wisdom saved Ireland from a bloody defeat, and secured a moral victory. In December, at the General Election, all Nationalist Ireland declared its allegiance to the Republican ideal, and the Sinn Fein policy of abstention from Westminster was adopted. In January, the republican representatives assembled in Dublin and founded Dail Eireann, the Irish Constituent Assembly, proclaiming the Republic once again. A message was sent to the nations of the world requesting the recognition of the free Irish Sate, and a national government was erected.
The Last War?
  No sooner had the new Government begun to flourish, established its Courts, appointed Consuls, started a stock-taking of the country’s undeveloped natural resources, and put a hundred constructive schemes to work, than Britain stepped in, with her army of Soldiers and Constabulary, to counter the work, harassing and imprisoning the workers. This move of Englands called forth a secretly built-up Irish Republican Army which, early in 1920, began a guerilla warfare, and quickly succeeded in clearing vast districts of the Constabulary who were ever Englands right arm in Ireland. Lloyd George met this not only by pouring into Ireland regiments of soldiers with tanks, armoured cars and all the other terrorising paraphernalia that had been found useful in the European War, but also by organising and turning loose upon Ireland an irregular force of Britons, among the most vicious and bloodthirsty known to history - the force which quickly became notorious to the world under the title of the Black and Tans. Yet the well planned campaign for the quick wasting of Ireland, and breaking of Irelands spirit did not come off on schedule. The atrocities which were meant to frighten and subdue, only stimulated the outraged nation to more vigour ; and by the time the fight was expected to end it was found to be only well begun. More than by anything else, probably, the world was awakened to the truth of the situation in Ireland through the extraordinary heroism of Terence MacSwiney, who in protest against the foreign tyranny which seized and jailed him as a criminal for the guilt of working for his country, refused to eat in British dungeon, till, after three months of slow and painful starving to death, with the wondering world literally by his bedside watching his death agonies, he at length went to join the joyful company of martyrs who had died that Ireland might live. The world was stirred. The terrible truth about Britains rape of Ireland began to be realise - and began to call forth muttered foreign protest. In the spring of 1921 there was galloped through the English Parliament a "Home Rule Bill" for Ireland - whose object was by giving the eastern part of Ulster, the Orange corner, a Parliament of its own, to detach it from the rest of Ireland, thus dividing the nation on sectarian lines, and by the Orangemens aid strengthening the foreign grip on the whole country. In deference to his Kings pious wish, the Prime Minister invited Sinn Fein to a parley. Ireland had proved unconquerable by any other means. President De Valera for the Irish Republic accepted the invitation. To De Valera in this parley, offer was made to give Ireland what George called "Dominion status" - supposedly that amount of freedom under the British Crown which is the lot of Canada and Australia - but less the control by Britain of the Irish harbours, seas, skies and some other perquisites - which offer was promptly and unanimously rejected by An Dail Eireann. Then, after resorting to threat of a renewed war upon Ireland far more fierce than had gone before, the English Prime Minister invited Ireland to send delegates to a peace conference, on the understanding that the idea of separating Ireland from the British Crown should not be considered. De Valera, for An Dail Eireann, refused such condition. Lloyd George finally called for a conference free of conditions to be held in London on October 11th 1921. President De Valera accepted the invitation. An Irish delegation headed by Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins met representatives of the British Cabinet in London, and after six weeks conference, the Irish delegates, compelled by threat of renewed ruthless warfare on their prostate land, signed a compromise treaty on December 6th. The British Parliament almost unanimously ratified the treaty for Britain. But in Ireland De Valera fought for a change in the treaty terms - and a change in the form of oath. He would "externally associate" Ireland with the British Empire and would have elected Irish representatives swear to "recognize" the English king as the head of the association of British nations with which Ireland now joined. An important group of the Irish workers and fighters held out for the Irish Republic, which had been consecrated by the blood of Pearse, Connolly, Clarke and their gallant companions, and by a thousand martyrs since. After long and hot debate, the Dail Eireann, on January 7th 1922, ratified the treaty by a narrow majority.
An, seemingly an end was put to one phase of Irelands struggle. But the end was not yet.


After the Treaty
The treaty was signed on behalf of Ireland by Arthur Griffith, Michael Collins, Robert Barton, Eamon Duggan and George Gavan Duffy. The first three were Ministers of the Irish Executive Council. The delegates returned to find the Dail already split - those members who were in favour of the Treaty on one side and those opposed on the other. President de Valera heading the opposition, opposed the Treaty because (1) the Partition clause (2) the inclusion of an oath of allegiance to the King of England (3) the appointment of a Governor General to represent the British King in Dublin (4) the retention by the British of certain Irish ports which were to be used by the British naval fleet as naval bases. The proponents of the Treaty held it would be madness to reject it because, while Ireland was too exhausted to continue the fight now, it gave Ireland an immensely greater measure of independence than had ever been offered in any Home Rule bill, involving complete control of Local Government, education, customs and excise, police force and a limited army.
Arthur Griffith believed that the Boundary clause in the Treaty would end partition. The vote, taken on January 7th 1922, revealed 64 of the deputies in favour of the Treaty and 57 against. The pro-Treaty party, under Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins, became known henceforth as the Free State party, the anti-Treaty party as the Republicans. A provisional government was formed with Arthur Griffith as President, Michael Collins of Finance, William Cosgrave as Minister for Local Government, George Gavan Duffy as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin O’Higgins as Minister for Economic Affairs and Richard Mulcahy as Minister for Defence. On January 14th the 64 pro-Treaty members met to form a Provisional Government and officially approve the Treaty. Evacuation of British troops from the twenty-six counties was begun at once, also disbanding of the disreputable Irish Constabulary and evacuation of the hated Auxiliaries and bloody-handed Black and Tans. An Irish police force, the Civic Guard was formed.
During the first six months of 1922 the country gradually drifted into Civil War. Republican troops had occupied the Four Courts and other public buildings in Dublin in April and were entrenched there. On June 1926 came what amounted to an ultimatum from Winston Churchill, speaking for the British Government, demanding that the Provisional Government should immediately dislodge the Irish Republican Army from these positions. The Free State troops opened fire on the Four Courts on June 26, the siege lasted two days and ended in the burning of the building.
The fighting continued intermittently throughout the country until May 1923, when De Valera called on the remnant of the Republicans to cease fire - but, despite this, many small bodies of them perseveringly carried on a harassing guerilla warfare. In August 1922, Arthur Griffith, President of the Dail, died suddenly. A few days later, Michael Collins, Commander-in-Chief of the Free State forces was killed in an ambush in Cork. During the succeeding months seventy-seven Republican prisoners were executed. They included Rory O’Connor, Liam Mellows and Erskine Childers. The first meeting of the newly elected Dail was held under heavy guard in the autumn of 1922. In September was begun the formulation of the Free State Constitution. William Cosgrave, who had been chosen as Vice President by Arthur Griffith, was President of this Dail. Cabinet members were Kevin O’Higgins, Richard Mulcahy, Ernest Blythe, Desmond Fitzgerald and Patrick Hogan. The Republican party did not take their seats in this Dail as they refused to take the oath of allegiance - so from 1923 to 1927 the Government party functioned without opposition except from a small Labour group and a few pro-British Independents.
In 1924, in accordance with terms of the Treaty, a Boundary Commission was set up - for altering or confirming the provisional boundary between "Northern" Ireland and the Free State. The situation was aggravated by the continuing bitterness between the Government party and the Republicans and by the severe agricultural depression - which was a part of the prevailing world depression. The second General Election was held in 1927, showing a decided gain for the Republicans. Fianna Fail (Republicans) still declined to sit because of the oath of allegiance and things seemed about to progress as before. But on Sunday July 10th 1927, Kevin O’Higgins, Vice President was assassinated. Faced with the alternative of seeing his party denied all power to register the amount of popular support accorded them, and being determined to embark on a constitutional movement, Mr De Valera after publicly declaring that he attached no binding power to an oath that was forced on them, led his party into the Dail and went through the form of oath-taking on August 12th 1927. Early in 1932 Cosgrave government was defeated on a vote in the Dail and a General Election was called.
De Valera took 72 of the 151 seats against Cosgrave’s 65, and assumed office forthwith. Heat once introduced a bill to remove the oath of allegiance and with the help of the Labour party carried it through the Dail. From the time the Fianna Fail party took office, payment of the land annuities to Britain were withheld, leading to a bitter quarrel between the two countries and developing into an economic war. In 1938 the British government called a halt, and began negotiations for settlement of the dispute. Mr De Valera refused to enter the negotiations unless the whole general field of relations between the two counties was brought into review. In the result, the British accepted the sum of ten million pounds in lieu of the annuities - a small fraction of their worth - and agreed to hand over the reserved ports of Cobh, Berehaven and Lough Swilly to the Irish government. The British refused however, to negotiate on the question of Irelands partition and that problem remained outstanding. In 1938 came one of the greatest achievements of the Irish government - the enactment of the new Constitution. The Constitution asserts that Ireland is a sovereign and democratic state, and all powers derive under God from the people, who are the final arbiters of any and every question. The principles of social justice which are set forth in the Constitution are of the highest order. Shortly after de Valera came to power, it was the turn of Irelands representative to preside at the League of Nations. De Valera did so with distinction and pride. Later in 1938 he told the world through the medium of the League, that civilisation was heading for disaster and destruction in another world war. He said that if and when that war came and was over, there would be another "Peace" conference - but why should not a real peace conference come first ? so that the world might be saved pain, misery, disillusionment and destruction. His words were not listened to.
The Dawning
The final chapter of the story of the Irish Race will not be written till, please God, many a long and glorious Irish day shall yet have come and gone.




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