1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free! If you aren't ready for that, try posting your question or comment as a guest!

England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland: The high points!

Discussion in 'Campfire Chat - General Discussions' started by Elennsar, May 10, 2009.

  1. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    12,870
    Location:
    California
    This thread set up for discussion of the four countries named and...well, Mark, Glorybound, anyone else, where do you want to go with this?

    I'd personally like to see something on the Irish issue. The Potato Famine (mishandling of, that is) aside, I can't think of anything the English did to the Irish to merit such vehemate hatred.

    I mean, sure they conquered Ireland and took over, but that happens. England itself was seven plus major kingdoms at one point or another before being united under the royal line of Wessex and then taken over by the Normans.

    As someone who is mostly of Anglo-Saxon/English extraction, though with a healthy streak of Irish blood, I don't really feel any emotional ties to the Emerald Isle.

    But anyway, this is for whatever we want to make the topic. It just seems that Irish-English relations would be one that would have some good food for thought in it - you don't get vehemate hatred without doing something (or failing to do something, which in its own way is doing something...okay, rambling.) to provoke it - even if that something was meant with the very best intentions.
     

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. Brit

    Brit Private

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    Hi Elennsar,

    I would be glad to join you! As I mentioned, I hope I am not permanently on the defensive, but I will give it a go. :smile:

    Perhaps, if talking about Ireland, I should say that I am half Irish myself; I had family members leave Ireland during the famine to go to the US and Canada and one of my great uncles was murdered by the ‘Black and Tans’ (British sponsored death squads). So I will not be blithely protecting Britain. As I said elsewhere, my country, like every other, has much to be ashamed of.

    ‘Glory’ let me see if I can address your points about the soldier who ‘sighted’ on you and Drumcree.

    English involvement in Ireland began during the reign of Henry II during the 12th century. Over the centuries these occupiers mostly assimilated with the Irish and ‘went native.’ If you know anyone called Fitgerald, Fitzmartin, Fitzpatrick etc, they are descendant of English knights who settled in the ‘Pale’ around Dublin. Again, I won’t claim all sweetness and light, but it wasn’t too bad for about 300 years. Then the reformation came along. England (with Wales) became protestant as did the Independent country of Scotland. Scottish and British settlers decided that they had the right to land in ‘Godless’ Ireland, settle it and convert it to true Christianity. These were the planters – the forerunners of the modern day unionists. So as I said, they have been there over 400 years. And this is where British people get so frustrated/angry with idiot groups like Noraid who campaign for a free Ireland. They don’t see how ironic it is; that what happened in Ireland was the same as what happened in Virginia 100 years later (or dare I say, the difference is the colour of the ‘victims’ skin).

    Now clearly the indigenous Irish (Catholic) population did not like that and there were troubles on and off and freedom fights to kick the settlers out. The British government (united with Scotland in 1707) responded by protecting its subjects. There was unpardonable arrogance and mismanagement. The potato famine in the mid nineteenth century even borders uncomfortably close to genocide. The indigenous Irish had every right to ‘hate’ the British. But remember; most of the ‘British’ by this point had family histories going back 300 years in the country.

    Eventually Ireland was divided in 1922. At this point the people of what is now Northern Ireland opted to remain part of Great Britain. And so it has remained. Many people in Northern Ireland / Ulster do not want this and they would mostly be Catholic. Unfortunately neither side showed a huge amount of maturity which led to ‘the troubles’ which began in the 1960s.

    This is where Drumcree fits in. At Drumcree and several other towns across Northern Ireland, Irish people (of British/Scots descent) march to celebrate the battle in the seventeenth century that kept them part of a united Britain. This is the irony – because other Irish people (of ‘pure’ Irish descent) object.

    Which brings me to the British soldier. The British are not occupying NI. Those soldiers are supporting the civil authorities and upholding the law and trying to keep the peace between the two sides. The provisional IRA decided to wage an indiscriminate war, blowing up and shooting not only soldiers and police, but civilians. They also conducted a campaign here on mainland Great Britain. The vast majority of Irish people, on either side of the border want nothing to do with them.

    Thankfully, through the bravery of campaigners from both sides of the community, politicians from Great Britain and the Republic and the support of the US government, we are now in a peaceful time when, hopefully, democratic process will consign the stupidities and injustices of the past, to history – only time will tell

    Sorry for the essay :frown:

    M
     
  4. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    12,870
    Location:
    California
    Sounds like a great deal of unmerited trouble has been stirred up, to me.

    On one hand, by the British (United Kingdom) government.

    On the other hand...well...

    In the sense the term means anything at all, the IRA is (was?) a terrorist organization. Intentionally.

    I can see a fight of rebellion (not sure I'm convinced it is justified - but it makes sense).

    Beyond that? Well, speaking as stated as someone mostly English and partially Irish as the majority of my ancestors go - no. Not at all. Even if such things are justified at all, which is beyond the scope of this thread.

    I'd like to say I'm sympathetic to the Irish - but what does that mean? As you said, the Scottish/English settlers are just as Irish.

    By the way, what of the attempted rebellion of sorts (don't think it went very far, I only know of it in terms of what little the French tried) in...1798, I think?
     
  5. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    16,412
    Location:
    Virginia
    Dear Brit;

    Please do not apologize for an essay. I think you have expressed extremely well what you know and give more insight to history.

    The 'Victorian' age began in President Buchanan's Administration and would see many a US President come and go.

    I find it refreshing, what you wrote and appreciate your efforts in doing so.

    Respectfully submitted,
    M. E. Wolf
     
  6. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    30,653
    Location:
    Near Kankakee
    I've always wondered about the earlier tribes -- Picts, Gaels, Angles, etc. For example, what people were there during Roman occupation, and how were they hammered together to make the country under, say, the mythical King Arthur?

    Even a skimpy understanding would put a foundation under a much more modern look at the UK.

    And thanks for relieving "The American Revolution."

    Ole
     
  7. Brit

    Brit Private

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    Ole, you are welcome (it was getting little Anglocentric back there wasn’t it?)

    Let me try to answer your question (in a very tortuous way!)

    Our little island (islands) has had its fair share of comings and goings. The original peoples were replaced by Celts in the iron age. Celts devolved into lots of different tribes and at the time of the Roman invasion it was essentially Celtic tribes that they fought against. Once Britain (by which I mean England and Wales) were brought under Roman rule (Ireland and most of Scotland were not invaded), the next 350 years or so was one of assimilation with most Britinaii became Romanised. Much as when India was governed by Great Britain, local magnates aspired to have their sons educated in the ways of the occupier. The Romans left in 410, but they left behind a largely ‘Roman’ society. The empire was under threat from invaders, one group of whom were The Saxons, Jutes and Angles. These were the peoples who the mythical King Arthur fought against. There is some evidence to support a ‘real’ King Arthur, who would have been some sort of Romanised, Christianised Briton. Any resistance was crushed however and the Celtic tribes were pushed westwards. Ironically the people of Wales and the Gaelic speaking peoples of Ireland and Scotland have more claim to being ‘British’ than those who displaced them.

    The Saxons and their Northern European ‘co-invaders’ liked the place so much that they decided to stay; became Christian, stopped raping and pillaging and became farmers. This is Anglo Saxon England. The Vikings were next to arrive and there was some ’fallings out’ with them before they eventually assimilated too (strangely, some of our ‘Anglo Saxon’ kings were actually Viking). Finally (from an invasion point of view) there were the Normans (who were themselves rusticated French Vikings). They imposed the feudal system upon the country and established a ruling, French speaking elite. This elite gradually melded with Anglo Saxon society (remember, the occupiers were a tiny proportion of the population, the majority of whom remained Middle English speaking). In time, the melding produced the English language and society.

    The feudal system was, as I am sure you know, all to do with swearing fealty to the one above you socially, in return for military service. There was little notion of ‘England’, ‘Scotland’ ‘Wales’ etc – all were ‘principalities’ effectively ‘leased’ from the Pope. It was only over the course of the Middle Ages that the notion of nation states began to evolve. The English Kings got into fights with the Irish, the Welsh, the Scots and the French, ostensibly to do with who was the feudal lord. This is the period of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce etc. (Incidentally Wallace fought for the English as well as against them and Bruce swore loyalty to the English crown – strange how that is airbrushed from history, isn’t it?)

    By the late middle ages, things had settled – there were independent nations of England and Scotland. Then came the Reformation – and we started fighting again (see earlier essay!!)

    We really are a war like lot! I think you did the right thing telling us to ‘clear off’

    Mark
     
  8. Glorybound

    Glorybound Major Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    9,274
    Location:
    Indiana
    Oh really? Forgive me, Mark, but I think you're glossing that over a bit. If England is not an occupier in Northern Ireland and only supporting the local authorities, then why does that province the only one outside the rest of the Republic to have English currency? Why has there been such a violent effort by the IRA to oust the British since the revolution against England in 1916? I bought copies of the Dublin newspapers from those days after the Easter Rising in 1916, and read where Irish leaders were summarily executed on the street...by British soldiers.

    http://users.bigpond.net.au/kirwilli/1916/

    When in Belfast I got the distinct impression that the British were despised as occupiers by the Catholic population, and welcomed by the Protestants, the Unionists. The fight is not just between Catholics and Protestants in NI, it's a bit more complicated than that, and I can tell you that the British are not liked at all in the rest of the Republic outside of Northern Ireland, and are very much viewed as occupiers in that region.







    Lee
     
  9. Glorybound

    Glorybound Major Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    9,274
    Location:
    Indiana
    The Aftermath

    [​IMG] The General Post Office after the Easter Rising.
    (source: Irish Stamps)


    After five days of intense fighting Dublin laid in ruins. For a local rising the number of casualties was extreme high. Approximately 130 soldiers and police officers lost their lives in the Easter Rising. The number of civilian casualties, including the fallen volunteers, varies from 180 up to 450.

    Especially the large number of civilian victims is stunning and the cause was veiled in mist until 2001. In that year the Public Record Office opened the War Office files, which gave insight in the combat instructions given to the British soldiers. The instructions given by the commanding officer, General Low, were explicit: by their [the rebels] actions they had placed themselves outside the law, and that they were not to be made prisoners.. Hence, the slightest suspicion was sufficient to get executed on the spot.

    About 90 men were trailed by court martial for treason and collaboration with the enemy and 15 of them were sentenced to death by firing squad. Between 3 May and 12 May 1916 14 of the Leaders of 1916 were executed in Kilmainham Gaol.

    Among the executed men were the seven signatories of the proclamation of Poblacht na hÉireann, or Irish Republic: Pádraic Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, Thomas J. Clarke, Joseph Plunkett, Eamonn Ceannt, James Connelly and Sean Mac Diarmada. They are buried together with the other executed volunteers (Edward Daly, Michael O'Hanrahan, William Pearse, John MacBride, Con Colbert, Michael Mallin and Sean Hueston) at Arbour Hill Cemetery in Dublin.

    The executions of Willie Pearse, who was by no means a leader, but just a man who had followed his brother, Joseph Plunkett, a sick and invalid man who had married Grace Gifford just hours before his execution, and James Connolly, who was unable to stand up in front of the firing squad due to his wounds and was shot while bound on a chair, disgusted Ireland.

    Numerous songs refer to the Easter Rising. The Foggy Dew is however considered as the Easter Rising song.
    Other songs, such as Boys of the Old Brigade, commemorate all Republicans killed during and executed after the Easter Rising, while Blood Stained Bandage is a tribute to the executed men. Leaders like Pádraic Pearse and James Connolly are memorised individually in songs.
    Not the Easter Rising itself but the executions enabled the will power and the preparedness to make sacrifices needed to engage the British in the War of Independence.



    http://www.triskelle.eu/history/easterrising.php
     
  10. Baggage Handler #2

    Baggage Handler #2 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,229
    Location:
    Old Northwest Territory
    Had a history prof who observed that for whatever reason "whenever someone hostile to the interests of England occupied the land south of the English Channel, England went to war."

    That it would also be thus with the Irish Sea should be no surprise. The threat of Ireland as a staging area for invasion by the Spanish, French, or Germans was always present in military planning.

    The Catholic/Protestant angle, IMO, hides the shift of the locus of power away from Rome to a more decentralized system - and if Ireland in the 15-18th centuries remained strongly allied with the Spanish and French, then that thread must be examined, and dealt with. It - to me - comes squarely into the category of taking Someone's name in vain, but YMMV.
    That there might be many ways of dealing with Ireland other than the one selected is too obvious to merit discussion. That one was felt necessary should be just as apparent.

    Ironically, it was a similar decentralization of power from England to the Colonies just a century or two later that brought another conflict, although on more commercial rather than ecumenical grounds.
     
  11. Glorybound

    Glorybound Major Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    9,274
    Location:
    Indiana
    The Northern Irish Conflict: A Chronology

    A history of the conflict and the slow progress towards peace


    by Ann Marie Imbornoni, Borgna Brunner, and Beth Rowen
    Click here for recent news on the Irish peace process.
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]HISTORY OF THE PROBLEM: BRITAIN AND IRELAND [/FONT][​IMG]
    Full size map: Ireland

    A Centuries-old Conflict
    The history of Northern Ireland can be traced back to the 17th century, when the English finally succeeded in subduing the island after successfully putting down a number of rebellions. (See Oliver Cromwell; Battle of the Boyne.) Much land, especially in the north, was subsequently colonized by Scottish and English Protestants, setting Ulster somewhat apart from the rest of Ireland, which was predominantly Catholic.

    The Nineteenth Century
    During the 1800s the north and south grew further apart due to economic differences. In the north the standard of living rose as industry and manufacturing flourished, while in the south the unequal distribution of land and resources—Anglican Protestants owned most of the land—resulted in a low standard of living for the large Catholic population.
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]Political separation of Northern Ireland from the rest of Ireland did not come until the early 20th century, when Protestants and Catholics divided into two warring camps over the issue of Irish home rule. [/FONT]

    The Twentieth Century
    Political separation of Northern Ireland from the rest of Ireland did not come until the early 20th century, when Protestants and Catholics divided into two warring camps over the issue of Irish home rule. Most Irish Catholics desired complete independence from Britain, but Irish Protestants feared living in a country ruled by a Catholic majority.

    Government of Ireland Act
    In an attempt to pacify both factions, the British passed in 1920 the Government of Ireland Act, which divided Ireland into two separate political entities, each with some powers of self-government. The Act was accepted by Ulster Protestants and rejected by southern Catholics, who continued to demand total independence for a unified Ireland.

    The Irish Free State and Northern Ireland
    Following a period of guerrilla warfare between the nationalist Irish Republican Army (IRA) and British forces, a treaty was signed in 1921 creating the Irish Free State from 23 southern counties and 3 counties in Ulster. The other 6 counties of Ulster made up Northern Ireland, which remained part of the United Kingdom. In 1949 the Irish Free State became an independent republic.

    "The Troubles"
    Although armed hostilities between Catholics and Protestants largely subsided after the 1921 agreement, violence erupted again in the late 1960s; bloody riots broke out in Londonderry in 1968 and in Londonderry and Belfast in 1969. British troops were brought in to restore order, but the conflict intensified as the IRA and Protestant paramilitary groups carried out bombings and other acts of terrorism. This continuing conflict, which lingered into the 1990s, became known as "the Troubles."

    Despite efforts to bring about a resolution to the conflict during the 1970s and 80s, terrorist violence was still a problem in the early 90s and British troops remained in full force. More than 3,000 people have died as a result of the strife in Northern Ireland.

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]THE PEACE PROCESS [/FONT]

    An Early Attempt
    A serious attempt to bring about a resolution to the conflict was made in 1985 when British and Irish prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and Garrett Fitzgerald signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement, which recognized for the first time the Republic of Ireland's right to have a consultative role in the affairs of Northern Ireland. However, Protestant politicians who opposed the Agreement were able to block its implementation.

    The IRA Declares a Cease-fire
    Further talks between rival Catholic and Protestant officials and the British and Irish governments occurred during the early 1990s. Then, in late Aug. 1994 the peace process received a big boost when the pro-Catholic IRA announced a cease-fire. This made it possible for Sinn Fein, the political arm of the IRA, to participate in multiparty peace talks; hitherto Sinn Fein had been barred from such talks because of its association with the IRA and its terrorist tactics.
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]On Dec. 9, 1994, the first officially sanctioned, publicly announced talks took place between Sinn Fein and British officials. Negotiators for Sinn Fein pushed for a British withdrawal from Northern Ireland; Great Britain countered that the IRA must give up its weapons [/FONT]

    Sinn Fein Participates in Official Talks
    On Dec. 9, 1994, the first officially sanctioned, publicly announced talks took place between Sinn Fein and British officials. Negotiators for Sinn Fein pushed for a British withdrawal from Northern Ireland; Great Britain countered that the IRA must give up its weapons before Sinn Fein would be allowed to negotiate on the same basis as other parties. The issue of IRA disarmament would continue to be a sticking point throughout the negotiations.


    An Anglo-Irish Proposal for Peace
    In late Feb. 1995, the British and Irish governments released their joint proposal for talks on the future of Northern Ireland. The talks were to be held in three phases involving the political parties of Northern Ireland, the Irish government, and the British government. The talks would focus on the establishment of a form of self-government for Northern Ireland and the formation of Irish-Northern Irish "cross-border" bodies that would be set up to oversee such domestic concerns as agriculture, tourism, and health. Results of the talks would be put to referendums in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    The U.S. Gets Involved
    In Dec. 1995, former US senator George Mitchell was brought in to serve as mediator for the peace talks. His report issued in Jan. 1996 recommended the gradual disarmament of the IRA during the course of the talks, thus breaking the deadlock caused by the IRA's refusal to disarm.

    Multiparty Talks Open in Belfast
    On June 10, 1996, multiparty peace talks opened in Belfast. However, because of the breakdown of the IRA cease-fire the preceding Feb., Sinn Fein was turned away. Following the resumption of the cease-fire in July 1997, full-scale peace negotiations began in Belfast on Oct. 7, 1997. Great Britain attended as well as most of Northern Ireland's feuding political parties, including Sinn Fein and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), the largest Protestant political party in Northern Ireland. The more extreme Democratic Unionist Party and the tiny United Kingdom Unionist Party refused to join.
    Click here for who's who in the Good Friday Agreement.


    Good Friday Agreement
    The historic talks finally resulted in the landmark Good Friday Agreement, which was signed by the main political parties on both sides on Apr. 10, 1998. The accord called for an elected assembly for Northern Ireland, a cross-party cabinet with devolved powers, and cross-border bodies to handle issues common to both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Thus minority Catholics gained a share of the political power in Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland a voice in Northern Irish affairs. In return Catholics were to relinquish the goal of a united Ireland unless the largely Protestant North voted in favor of it.

    Real Hope for Peace
    With the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, hope ran high that lasting peace was about to become a reality in Northern Ireland. In a dual referendum held on May 22, 1998, Northern Ireland approved the accord by a vote of 71% to 29%, and the Irish Republic by a vote of 94%. In June 1998, voters chose the 108 members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the locally elected government.

    International recognition and support for peace in Northern Ireland came on Oct. 16, 1998, when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to John Hume and David Trimble, the leaders of the largest Catholic and Protestant political parties, respectively, in Northern Ireland.

    Hope Proves False
    In June 1999, the peace process stalled when the IRA refused to disarm prior to the formation of Northern Ireland's new provincial cabinet. Sinn Fein insisted that the IRA would only give up weapons after the new government assembled; the Ulster Unionists, Northern Ireland's largest Protestant party, demanded disarmament first. Consequently the new government failed to form on schedule in July 1999, bring the entire process to a complete halt.
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]RELATED LINKS [/FONT][FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]

    Who Was Who in the Irish Peace Process
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]Ireland [/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]Northern Ireland [/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]Home Rule [/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]IRA [/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]Sinn Fein [/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]Map of Ireland [/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica]St. Patrick's Day [/FONT]


    Sinn Fein, Over to You
    At the end of Nov. 1999, David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionists, relented on the "no guns, no government" position and agreed to form a government before the IRA's disarmament. If the IRA did not begin to disarm by Jan. 31, 2000, however, the Ulster Unionists would withdraw from the parliament of Northern Ireland, shutting down the new government.

    New Parliament Is Suspended

    Remainder of chronology is at this link:
    http://www.infoplease.com/spot/northireland1.html
     
  12. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,013
    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    I think you did a pretty fair job!
     
  13. Brit

    Brit Private

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    Glorybound

    Northern Ireland isn’t in the Republic!

    As to the Easter Rising and its follow up; as I mentioned, a relative of mine was executed by the Black and Tans in its aftermath so I will not try to defend the British treatment of the Irish at that juncture. It was wrong – no dispute. However, in 1922 the Irish Free state was created and the people of Northern Ireland opted to remain part of the UK. They have been, since the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922, two different countries. Eire is an independent republic; NI is part of Great Britain. This is why Ireland had its own currency (now the euro) and NI retains the British pound. When you crossed into Northern Ireland you crossed an international border, all be it one similar to that between the US and Canada.

    As to how the British are perceived in the rest of Ireland, then I think you are generally correct. However please remember, as I have said that the majority of people in NI wish to be part of the UK – that is why the British army are there. Believe me, most Britons from the mainland would have preferred that the Unionists didn’t wish this when, during the troubles, young British soldiers were being murdered. This is nothing to do with arrogantly retaining Empire; this is to do with maintaining law and order and preserving the lives and liberties of citizens of this country. You mention resentment and it is true, I am sure that there is resentment. But do not the native peoples of your country resent European settlers? As I have said, the unionists in NI (who British soldiers ‘protect’) are Irish; they have been Irish in most cases for more generations than any European can claim ‘American’ roots. I wonder how the US authorities would react if the native peoples decided that they wanted Tennessee back, for example?

    Baggage Handler, I am sorry, forgive me – I can’t quite follow your argument. I do agree with you that Britain would have been concerned with the possibilities of alliance between a free Ireland and Spain / France etc. This must be considered part of the equation. Unfortunately though religion is a massive part of Irish history. It is part of the identity and in most cases has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of relationship with God. The unionists in the north do not want to be part of a Catholic Ireland; they see themselves as British citizens.

    Maybe the professor you referred to was right. Maybe. It is called spheres of influence – which can lead to declarations such as the Monroe Doctrine?

    Mark
     
  14. Freddy

    Freddy 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,013
    Location:
    Worcester, MA
    The Siege of Drogheda and the Sack of Wexford where several thousand Irish civilians, women and children, were massacred by Cromwell's soldiers in 1649 is a start. This was always told to us by our Irish grandparent's generation. Cromwell later justified the killing of Irish women and children with his, "nits make lice" analogy.
     
  15. Glorybound

    Glorybound Major Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    9,274
    Location:
    Indiana
    by Brit:


    Yes I know. There's the rub. The rest of the republic wants her Irish, not English.

    Yes, I quickly learned that when I was in Belfast.



    Yes, the Protestants have the majority there, but not by much, and that small majority, in one province, in a country that is 92% Catholic (the republic of Ireland) justifies British ownership and control?

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=980

    Statistics shown at this link are for Northern Ireland only.
    http://www.csu.nisra.gov.uk/Religion_of_Household_Members_Trend.htm




    Ok, I knew that would find it's way in somehow. Whatever me and my country are guilty or not guilty of is not the issue. Start up another thread on that if you want.


    What about the Irish republicans? (who British soldiers shoot) Have they not also been there many generations?



    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20021219/ai_n12656651/


    Lee
     
  16. Glorybound

    Glorybound Major Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    9,274
    Location:
    Indiana
    [​IMG]







    [FONT=Arial, Verdana, Geneva, Helvetica, san-serif;][SIZE=-2]from the March 04, 2002 edition - http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0304/p09s01-woeu.html[/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=Georgia, Times,]In N. Ireland, census hints at shifting political equation[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, Verdana, Geneva, Helvetica, san-serif;][SIZE=-1]Demographers say the number of Catholics and Protestants will be even within two decades. [/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Arial, Verdana, Geneva, Helvetica, san-serif;][SIZE=-1]By Anne Cadwallader | Special to The Christian Science Monitor[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Verdana, Geneva, Helvetica, san-serif;][SIZE=-1]BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - In the mainly Protestant Oldpark neighborhood of north Belfast, newly renovated houses stand silent and empty, waiting for families who will never come.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, Verdana, Geneva, Helvetica, san-serif;][SIZE=-1]Across the nearby 12-foot-high brick fence, the so-called peaceline, children in the Catholic Ardoyne neighborhood ride bikes and kick balls along bustling streets where families of up to nine people are crammed into tiny, two-bedroom homes.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    Bursting Ardoyne and silent Oldpark illustrate a new demographic reality that could have dramatic implications in a province that has endured 30 years of sectarian strife: The Catholic population is rising at a faster rate than that of Protestants.

    Census figures to be released this summer are expected to show that, if current trends continue, the size of the Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland is likely to draw even within 20 years.

    The prediction by demographers of a coming 50/50 Protestant/Catholic split has come as a seismic shock to the Protestant community. Protestants, who support the current union with Britain, will soon have to adjust to living in a state where their Catholic neighbors, who wish to be united with the rest of the island of Ireland, are equal in strength, or even more numerous.

    "The debate is no longer whether the two communities will ever reach the same size, but what will happen after they do," says Colin McIlheney, head of research at the Belfast office of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, who has studied census figures for 25 years.
    A Catholic majority, however, is no guarantee of a united Ireland. About 10 percent of Catholics now support the union with Britain and may do so even when their community draws even numerically with Protestants, says McIlheney.

    Dr. Brian Feeney, a former Belfast city councillor for the moderate Catholic party, the SDLP, and now a commentator on social change, says: "The figures mean the rival communities may have to embark on a 'charm offensive' to persuade each other of their respective causes - whether that be the status quo or a united Ireland."

    The alternative could be a retreat from peace efforts here, and a society even more divided by bitterness, distrust, and violence, says Dr. Rick Wilford of the politics department of Queens University, Belfast.

    "Young Catholics have bought into the [1998] Good Friday peace agreement as a transition to a united Ireland, which they believe can be achieved within a generation," Professor Wilford says.

    "On the opposite side you have young male Protestants who are even more opposed than the older generation to a united Ireland. You can see that from the increasingly militaristic murals on the walls around Belfast, and from the fact that unionists who voted strongest against the Good Friday peace agreement were concentrated in this group."

    Professor Wilford says that a Queen's University survey last year showed that, although 70 percent of Protestants would probably live with a united Ireland if they had to, 30 percent would never accept a united Ireland under any circumstances.

    Some among the Protestant political leadership here have refused to acknowledge the demographic trends. Stephen King, an adviser to the Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble, rejects the inevitability of an imminent 50/50 split, saying "We believe this is the end of a trend, not the beginning."
    Northern Ireland, with a current population of 1.7 million, was created in 1921 from the island's six northeastern counties, where Protestants were concentrated, to retain the new state's link with Britain. For most of the past century, the unionist/Protestant majority held steady. The unwritten assumption underpinning Protestant political domination was a belief that Catholics would always be a minority.

    Protestants have yet to come to terms with the new demographics - partly because, until this year, there were two distinct camps within the small number of academics and statisticians who study population trends in Northern Ireland.

    One camp insisted that the Protestant majority would continue indefinitely, despite a higher Catholic birth rate, because of smaller Catholic families after the mass availability of contraception. The other said Catholic family sizes in Northern Ireland still remained larger than the Protestant equivalent and pointed to the relatively high number of Protestant middle-class students in British universities who never returned home after graduating.

    Now both camps agree that a 50/50 Protestant/Catholic breakdown is inevitable, perhaps within 10 years but almost certainly before the year 2020. The Protestant population is also older - 10,000 die every year, compared with 5,000 Catholics.

    The official census figures will be released later this year, but other indicators already support the expected statistics. There were 173,000 Catholic schoolchildren last year, compared with 146,000 Protestant. Northern Ireland's three largest cities - Belfast, Derry, and Armagh - all now have Catholic majorities.

    In last year's general election, 44 percent of voters supported the two parties who desire a united Ireland: the Social Democratic and Labour Party, and Sinn Fein (up 4 percent from the 1997 general election).

    This year's census is expected to show that between 44 and 46 percent of Northern Ireland's population is Catholic. The last census was in 1981, but since many Catholics boycotted it, the results were flawed.

    Professor Wilford says the recent economic "miracle" in the Irish Republic, along with increasing secularization and the decline of the authority of the Catholic Church, has made the prospect of a unified Ireland less frightening for the Protestant middle class, although a debate has yet to begin in working-class areas.

    The mainly Catholic SDLP is deeply uneasy with any discussion about birth rates and demographic trends, fearing the predictions could rattle Protestants. But Sinn Fein, seen as the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, is eager to highlight the trends and predict the possibility of a united Ireland before the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916 (which kicked off the war of independence and the partial breaking of the link with Britain).

    Under the Good Friday agreement, a key section of the Government of Ireland Act, by which Britain governs Northern Ireland, was repealed. The British government now has no option but to legislate for Irish unity if a majority of Northern Ireland's residents approve it in a referendum.

    Most opinion polls in Britain show its people have little desire to hold on to its troublesome and costly "last colony." The most recent survey, for The Guardian newspaper in August 2001, showed that only 1 in 4 Britons wants Northern Ireland to remain part of the country, with 41 percent supporting the province's joining the rest of Ireland.
     
  17. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    12,870
    Location:
    California
    So long as that province wants to be part of the UK - unless the UK gives it to the Irish republic and it accepts - it will be under "British ownership and control". The reason it is occupied by British troops is because it is British soil.

    As stated, the Irish in control (locally) of "Northern Ireland" appear to want to be under the British flag.

    So the wishes of the other Irish are - in this case - foreigners, though that's a matter of the political division and not ethnicity.


    That's my take on it.
     
  18. Brit

    Brit Private

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    Glorybound

    My comment about Tennessee wasn’t meant to be offensive and if it caused such, then I apologise. What I am trying to point out is that the situation is similar. I used the analogy to try to bring the situation into focus. We all inherit the legacy (and faults) of our ancestors. The British made mistakes in Ireland and in many places, I will never deny this; but do not condemn the modern generations for the past – for none of us would then be innocent.

    Yes, the majority of the people of Ireland may wish that Ireland were Irish (I personally agree with them). However, where do you propose the unionist go? Are you suggesting they ‘go back’ to England? To Scotland? They are Irish – their families have been there for generations; it is their home. Whether the majority of people in Ireland like that fact or not!

    And please do not equate British soldiers with republican terrorists! The British Army has not planted bombs in war memorials in order to kill civilians; it did not detonate a bomb in a shopping centre in Britain that killed children. Again, I will not say that the army has been whiter than white – Bloody Sunday being a prime example. But to equate the two is frankly insulting.

    Yes the demographics may one day tip in favour of Republicans – in which case they will be free to decide their future. And yes, most mainland Brits have felt that retaining NI is a price they no longer wish to pay. But this again supports my contention that the army is there not to impose some sort of faded imperialism, but to do its duty in upholding the rule of law.

    As the article shows, there were terrible atrocities committed and thank goodness those days are hopefully behind us. But not over – just recently two unarmed British soldiers were murdered by dissident republicans the day before they were supposed to go to Afghanistan, whilst meeting a pizza delivery van. Two days later a (Catholic) police man was murdered by the same group.

    Finally, senator Mitchell has done and continues to do a fine job, as did President Clinton. But it was the British Prime Minister at the time who made the first steps towards peace, supported by the Irish Taoiseach. Mr Mitchell and Mr Clinton supported a process that was already in motion

    Mark
     
  19. Brit

    Brit Private

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    110
    Location:
    Worcestershire, UK
    Elennsar

    Thank you for the ‘back up’ – you put it much more succinctly than I

    M
     
  20. Baggage Handler #2

    Baggage Handler #2 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    3,229
    Location:
    Old Northwest Territory
    Mark/Brit,
    I appreciate your insights, considerate way of phrasing posts, and the unique insight you bring to the discussion by virtue of your geographic location.

    Thank you.

    Any thoughts/comments on the Palatinate Irish?

    Regards,

    BH2.
     
  21. Elennsar

    Elennsar Colonel

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    12,870
    Location:
    California
    Welcome. The evidence to support my post is from your report of the situation however, so I claim no credit other than underlining a truth stated before.

    It may well be a good day for "Ireland" for it to be united and free.

    But that day requires the support of the Irish within "Northern Ireland" to come to pass, and the fact there is such a place indicates that popular movement towards that hasn't happened yet.

    Yet may well be the key word.
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page