That’s a lot of Irish there, what the hell are they talking about & why has Áine’s answer shocked Fiona?
Those answers come after the break alas. Bata Neart takes a scheduled break next Friday but will return on Friday May 6th for more
Until then, a little something extra…
This special poster is in honor of this Sunday’s 100th anniversary of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
As an ex-pat I often encounter two misconceptions about Ireland that I often have to address:
- Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom (anymore)
- The conflicts between Ireland and the British have never been about religion (the whole Protestant / Catholic thing)
The upcoming anniversary which I’m illustrating here, covers a point in Irish history which I feel best explains ‘why’ Ireland is the way it is.
For those of you who are not too familiar with Irish history, 1916 is considered a fairly major year which featured an event called the ‘Easter Rising’. This happened during the height of World War 1, where many of the Irish revolutionary organisations had finally come together and planned an attempt to end nearly 700 years of British rule in Ireland.
On Monday 24th of April 1916, Irish rebels were initially successful in catching the British Army in Dublin off guard, and managed to capture large sections of the city center. Once the fighters were all in place, the Proclamation of the Republic was read out from the steps of Dublin’s General Post Office (GPO) while it was also made into an iconic poster which features in the background of my image.
Despite initial success, the resulting battle ended in failure. The British Army regrouped & reenforced with new troops & weapons from Great Britain before advancing onto the city. The Irish rebels fought impossible odds, and continued to resist the British advance as best they could, but in the end they were too few, and poorly armed.
The short lived Irish Republic surrendered.
Although the Easter Rising was a failure, it triggered the start of the Anglo-Irish War, which in Ireland is known as the Irish War of Independence. That war saw the development of guerrilla warfare which eventually wore down the British to a stalemate. By 1921, there was a ceasefire which resulted in the first ever treaty between Ireland and the UK.
Ireland attained independence as a ‘Free State’ within the British Dominion, but it would have the British Crown as head of state and also give up the northern 6 counties to another entity which would be known as Northern Ireland. The treaty was divisive, and soon after independence those divisions resulted in the Irish Civil War.
Eventually in 1949. Ireland abolished the ‘Free State’ and reorganised as the Republic of Ireland. All ties to the British were severed, and the Crown was replaced by an elected Irish President.
Due to the earlier civil war and other factors, Northern Ireland chose not to join the rest of Ireland, and remained in the UK.
And so, there you have it, a really brief summation of Irish geo-politics from the first half of the 20th century. The legacy of all this lasted for many decades, and are still present. I am however pleased to say that Ireland and the UK have long since put away their animosity, and have become the best of friends among nations.
It’s a long, dark & complex history, and I could go on for even longer about it, but I am hopeful that this snippet might give you some insight.
Thanks for reading my crazy ramblings yet again! Next time we’ll be back to the more fun magic-filled history of Bata Neart