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AndyHollinger

War of Irish Independence

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AndyHollinger

I am trying to understand if this is now the current title of the struggles or is it Rebellion, or whatever. My history classes (that I don't teach) are now over 30 years distant and wondered if this is the new title and if so, what it encompasses?

How is this taught? Obvously it is taught differently in Ire than in GB ... (or is it?) I imagine that, much like Reconstruction in the US, it is still fraught with emotion and regional bias.

But I have much the same set of questions about the American War for Independence as it is taught in UK ... but this is not the place ...

Ideas? Thoughts?

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Steven Broomfield

Depends, I imagine, on which side of history you sit.

Similarly was it the Indian Mutiny or the Sepoy Rebellion/Revolt?

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corisande

In going round a military museum in Cairo, where there was no sign of the Israelis ever have succeeded with anything, on questioning the guide, he explained to me

History is written by the home team

It is like that with Irish history, depends who writes it. English history books tend not to give much depth to England's inglorious defeats, like the loss of half of France during the middle ages or indeed the Americas in 1776 or the defeat in Ireland post WW1

Equally well I am baffled by Irish history books keen to write about "The War of Independence" but not so keen to talk about the "Irish Civil War" that followed it.

And over the years of Dev being in power, Collins tended to have been written out of Irish history, but is now being written back in. The quote attributed to De Valera being "It is my considered opinion that in the fullness of time history will record the greatness of Michael Collins and it will be recorded at my expense. "

And we joke about Stalin airbrushing his opponents out of history.

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Desmond7

In simple terms, for children in state sector schools in Northern Ireland (bear in mind that Catholic Church chooses to run its own education system) .. the focus on this subject is pretty limited.

With a child in and around the relevant age bracket and from my own personal experience, the issues are covered:-

Largely from a British perspective; the guerilla war between Republican and Crown Forces (no attempt is made to gloss over the sometimes heinous acts committed on either side); the political wrangling which led to British withdrawal (again focus on the British 'wants and needs' as opposed to the Irish Republican movement's aspirations.

From a 16-17 year old's perspective, the issues which plagued Republicanism (pro and anti-treaty) in the run up to and during the extremely vicious Irish Civil war are difficult to take in so I can remember memorising large chunks of text for examinations.

I can point you towards a very good podcast on the subject. Browse itunes for 'Judging Dev' which gives a very good insight into the machinations of Eamon De Valera, his relationship with Collins etc etc

One more thing - the school which my daughter attends did show her class 'Michael Collins' with Liam Neeson in the title role. I won't comment on the movie which is a somewhat rosey picture of the era.

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corisande

It certainly is a difficult issue as regards Northern Ireland schools - always has been.

When I was a t school in Belfast, the problem was solved by not teaching anything at all about Irish history. Times had to change, though I am sure even 15 years ago few could have forseen Martin McGuinness as Minister of Education in Northern Ireland

the school which my daughter attends did show her class 'Michael Collins' with Liam Neeson in the title role. I won't comment on the movie which is a somewhat rosey picture of the era.

Interesting ray of light on how things have moved. By the same token would they have shown the class "The wind that shakes the barley", not withstanding some of the scenes in the film not being suitable for children.

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Desmond7

Sorry - forgot to mention they used that film too.

Out ot the mouths of babes ... 'that film was so biased ..'; daughter's reaction.

I had to tell daughter that the much vaunted director does not do unbiased work.

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corisande

"they used that film too" Fascinating how education has opened up in NI

Ken Loach

A member of the Labour Party from the early 1960s, he left in the mid-1990s. In November 2004, he was elected to the national council of the Respect Coalition and has also stood for election to the European Parliament on a Respect mandate. He is a supporter of the Socialist Resistance organisation. Also, he supports the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural boycott of the State of Israel (http://www.pacbi.org/), which is supported by a wide spectrum of Palestinian civil society, including writers, filmmakers, students, trade unions and human rights groups. PACBI is in turn part of a wider global international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli State

Mind you the article does not record whether he is Catholic or not :-)

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corisande

If I can indulge myself with another question.

Having shown the class "The wind that shakes the barley" and "Michael Collins" what is used to show the other point of view?

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Desmond7

Indulge away ...

There ain't nothing to show!

Any attempt to put a positive 'movie spin' on British dominance of Ireland would, I suspect, not find many financial or historical backers.

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corisande

Thanks

It is easier to indulge from Spain than from the Shankhill

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Stanley_C_Jenkins
I am trying to understand if this is now the current title of the struggles or is it Rebellion, or whatever. My history classes (that I don't teach) are now over 30 years distant and wondered if this is the new title and if so, what it encompasses?

How is this taught? Obvously it is taught differently in Ire than in GB ... (or is it?) I imagine that, much like Reconstruction in the US, it is still fraught with emotion and regional bias.

But I have much the same set of questions about the American War for Independence as it is taught in UK ... but this is not the place ...

Ideas? Thoughts?

The term "War of Independence" seems to have come into general use within the Irish Republic for the period 1919-21, after which the "Troubles" became the Irish Civil War. I am informed that the use of the word "Troubles" is frowned upon insofar as it is associated with the loyalist or "West Brit" interpretation of these tragic events. On a purely personal note, I usually refer to the 1919-21 phase of the conflict as "The Black & Tan Campaign".

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geraldryan

The period has also been referred to as the "Tan War" see Tim Pat Coogans book "Where ever Green is Worn" Peter Cottrell whose book "The Anglo Irish War" The troubles of 1913-1922 published by Osprey publishing is a pretty compact history of the whole thing. It is interesting to note that as well as having VCs fighting on the British side you also had Martin Doyle VC on Collins side.

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geraldryan

I should add that there is a great interest in the South of Ireland now on the old Irish units of the British Army regiments, I was in Malahide a couple of weeks ago and there was an advert on a shop window for people who had relatives that served with the Dublin Fusiliers to come along with artifacts and stories of their ancesters involvment with the British Army at a meeting that week . There was also an explanation that the relationship with Ireland and the British Army had changed in recent years (not music to Gerrys ears). A friend of mine is also chairman of the Connought Rangers Historical past. It is also noted that a great number of men and officers of Collins Army of that period were ex British Army. Politics and History are funny old things!!!!!

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corisande
It is also noted that a great number of men and officers of Collins Army of that period were ex British Army.

About 1 in 5 of Casement's Irish Brigade continued to serve in the British Army after 1920. Few of their descendants today are happy to accept it at first, but tend to get used to the idea after a while.

Another change I saw was when I went to Dublin Castle and I was well looked after for a whole afternoon when they saw I had my grandfathers notes on his part in the relief of Dublin Castle by the Royal Dublin Fusiliers on Easter Monday 1916.

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geraldryan

I took the bus tour in Dublin and going through Phoenix Park the guide pointed out the hugh monument to a famous Irish Man who was once Prime minister of GB and defeated the French at Waterloo (Duke of Wellington)

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Andrew Hesketh
But I have much the same set of questions about the American War for Independence as it is taught in UK ... but this is not the place ...

Fear not, sir. Our esteemed governments over the years have airbrushed it out of the National Curriculum.

Thus it never happened.

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Unknownsoldier

Same as I was recently informed not to use the Term "Khaffir War", it is now the cape wars or something similar... total rubbish of course, I'll call it what it was called otherwise any student that looks up original material won't find any...... cll it what you like the events still happened. As for stuff being taught in the national curriculum, the history curriculum is a total joke, I've read more comprehensive comics than most of the books suggested for study, anything that is considered risque is cut, no mention of the troubles etc. or the wars in the america's, anyhing post WW2 is reserved for discussion in vaguery at a-level..... sad really as a lot is missed out on that explains to youngsters whats happening today...

Tom

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Stanley_C_Jenkins

I think the Kaffir War is now known as "The 7th Xhosa War".

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johnny_doyle

no sign of the "Birkenhead Drill" (Kaffir/8th Xhosa War) in the National Curriculum.

When I was at secondary school (Wootton Bassett Comprehensive, 1974-1979), history was my favourite subject and Ireland only cropped up as a very minor point when studying (skimming over) WW1 with a slight mention of the Easter Rising. Scottish and Welsh history were also missing.

My wife went to school in Dublin (Newpark 1975-1981) and has no recollection of Irish history being taught let alone War of Independence/Civil War.

The 2 films mentioned were pretty bad. Mise Eire and Saoirse are both worth a look if you can get hold of them.

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corisande
Mise Eire and Saoirse are both worth a look if you can get hold of them.

You can get them both on Amazon at the moment

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pietro

I guess I'm a Post Modern guy, but I wonder what my Grandfather would think now - he died in 1939. Before I was born.

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ulsterlad2

Back in my 'A' Level years at school, Irish History was definitely part of the deal.

The 2 year course consisted of:

1st Year: European History 1914 - 1960's

2nd Year: Irish History up to 1922. (I don't recall the start date but it wasn't that far back, maybe only 1900 - 1922)

I remember the terms Anglo-Irish War & Irish Civil War being used.

As Des says, In N.I the slant and focus put on it will depend on where you went to school

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Peter Mc

The whole period covering 1919 -1923 was always called "The Troubles" on both sides of my family, who lived through it, and I always thought it was a very distinctive Irish way of describing those times without causing offence.

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Stanley_C_Jenkins
The whole period covering 1919 -1923 was always called "The Troubles" on both sides of my family, who lived through it, and I always thought it was a very distinctive Irish way of describing those times without causing offence.

I used to think that describing the 1919-23 period as The Troubles was "a distinctive Irish way of describing those times without causing offence" but, from what I have recently been told, many republicans now reject the term as, in some way, being too pro-British. Having said that, there are people in Ireland who would start an argument if they were alone in a room.

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corisande
there are people in Ireland who would start an argument if they were alone in a room.

Happily for you Stanley, I am a long way from Oxfordshire at this moment ;)

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