Think you know your Irish history and geography? Think again! here are some fascinating facts and figures.
1. Irish patriot Michael Collins’ father was 74 when his son was born. Michael Collins senior married a woman 37 years younger than him.
2. The Shannon is the longest river in both Britain or Ireland.
3. Ireland’s longest serving leader Eamon De Valera was born out of wedlock in New York to a Cuban immigrant and an Irish woman, Kate Coll. On De Valera’s original birth certificate, his name is given as George De Valero.
4. The entire size of Ireland would fit neatly into Indiana. Both populations are similar at 6 million.
5. There was a pogrom against Jews in 1904 in Limerick. It was instigated by a Redemptorist priest, Father John Creagh. Eighty Jews were driven from their homes. Later, Dublin elected one of Europe’s first Jewish Lord Mayors.
6. Ireland’s first president Douglas Hyde was a Protestant, as was President Erskine Childers.
7. Edward Carson, who did more to keep Northern Ireland separate from the Republic than anyone, he was born in Dublin.
8. Ireland once had Europe’s biggest brothel. It was called Monto located in north inner city Dublin and 1,600 hookers plied their trade there in the first part of the century. British troops were a large part of the clientele.
9. Phoenix Park is one of the biggest urban parks in Europe.
10. The Duke of Wellington, Napoleons conqueror at Waterloo, was born in Ireland at the site of the current Merrion Hotel. He is the only Irish-born Prime Minister of Britain.
Proving the Irish Famine was genocide by the British — Tim Pat Coogan moves Famine history on to a new plane
“The Famine Plot”, published by Palgrave MacMillan, was released in America last week and Coogan should have been here to launch it but in a separate but equally confounding plot he was denied a visa to come here by the American Embassy in Dublin.
The conclusion from his book is unmistakable. Ireland’s most prominent historian, who has previously created definitive portraits of both Michael Collins and Eamon De Valera, has now pointed the finger squarely at the British during the Famine and stated it was genocide.
It is a big charge, but Coogan is a big man, physically, intellectually, and in every sense and makes a very effective accusation. Coogan has painted a portrait of devastating neglect, abuse, and mismanagement that certainly fits the genocide concept.
I mean if we go back to that time, Ireland was the equivalent of Puerto Rico or Samoa, massive dependencies on the United States today.
If there were a massive food shortage in either of those two countries, we know the US would step up to the plate, literally.
Back in Famine time, the same potato crop disease occurred most heavily in Scotland, outside Ireland, yet there were relatively few casualties as the landowners and government ensured, for their own sakes as much as anything, that there was no mass death.
That was not the case in Ireland, where a very different mentality prevailed. The damned Irish were going to get what they deserved because of their attachment to Catholicism and Irish ways when they were refusing to toe the British line.
As Coogan painstakingly recounts, every possible effort by local organizations to feed the starving were thwarted and frustrated by a British government intent on teaching the Irish a lesson and forcing market forces on them.
Charles Trevelyan, the key figure in the British government, had foreshadowed the deadly policy in a letter to the “Morning Post”, after a trip to Ireland, where he heartily agreed with the sentiment that there were at least a million or two people too many in the benighted land and that the eight million could not possibly survive there.
“Protestant and Catholic will freely fall and the land will be for the survivors.”
Shortly after, he was in charge of a policy that brought that situation about.
One Trevelyan story and one quote suffice.
“British Coastguard Inspector-General, Sir James Dombrain, when he saw starving paupers, ordered his subordinates to give free food handouts. For his attempts to feed the starving, Dombrain was publicly rebuked by Trevelyan…”
The Trevelyan quote is “The real evil with which we have to contend is not the physical evil of the Famine but the moral evil of the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the people.”
Tim Pat Coogan has done an enormous service with this book.
Read it and weep.
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Noel Coonan “Who” I hear you ask… Well. I have been asking the same for sometime now, but alas, no one I have met seems to be, any the wiser.
So checked him out and discovered that he happens to be an elected Fine Gael TD for Tipperary North. Going through the record of this bright spark, I came away with the impression that he must be one of the most ineffective TDs ever to walk the corridors of Sinister House.
However, the man recently found his tongue and got the vocals going by saying.
“That protecting children, boosting job creation, and securing a better deal on our debt are top of the Government’s agenda in the coming months. Deputy Coonan was speaking as the start of the new Dáil term.
“A huge body of work lies ahead for the Government in this Dáil term. The Children’s Referendum will represent a major change in the way this country and all institutions of the State regard and care for children. Legislation on the Referendum will be published in the coming weeks, ahead of what I hope will be an informed and passionate debate on why it is so important to strengthen the protection we offer our children,” said Deputy Coonan.
“On the jobs front, we will continue our reform agenda through the Action Plan for Jobs, which is rebuilding our economy into a sustainable model based on enterprise, innovation, and strong exports. A long list of pro-jobs measures has been implemented over the last year aimed at improving access to credit, supporting small business and boosting high growth sectors. Work is already well underway on the Action Plan for Jobs for 2013, which will be even more ambitious in its scope,” continued Noel.
“The Government faces a huge challenge in implementing a further €3.5 billion adjustment in the upcoming Budget. Unfortunately, this level of adjustment is unavoidable as we seek to meet the terms of the bailout programme and bring our public finances under control. What the Government must do as part of this process is ensure the right decisions are taken for both our economy and our society,” concluded Deputy Coonan.
You can bet on one thing these words did not emanate from the brain of Mr. Coonan. One would have to be a right patsy to deliver such a speech and expect the public to believe in it. You will closely observe there is no mention of the offensive things our authorities plan for the population in General. The message given is nothing more than cynical optimism coming from a bare cupboard.
Yes – Let’s [take] Our Country Back – from those who handed it it over to the ECB and the IMF.
That said I like the pictures of Michael Collins who, I believe would never have worn a Blueshirt.