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AndyHollinger

War of Irish Independence

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irishmen1916
Happily for you Stanley, I am a long way from Oxfordshire at this moment ;)

I was just about to ask Stanley to step outside....... :lol:

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Stanley_C_Jenkins
I was just about to ask Stanley to step outside....... :lol:

So can anyone explain why the term "Troubles" is now deemed (in some quarters) to be offensive?

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irishmen1916

During the late 70's and early 80's in the course of my work I came into contact with a number of

1916-1923 veterans, some of them would call the period 1919-21 as the Tan War, others would call it the

"War of Independence", it really depended on what side they took during the later Civil War 1922-23.

My Grandparents would always refer to 1919-23 simply as the Troubles.

In fact today if I hear the word Troubles in connection to Ireland, I tend to think of the North.

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depaor01

I have a letter from my grandmother from the 1950s who was attempting to get a pension from the Department of Defence for her husband who was on "Active Service" in the '20s. A dyed-in-the-wool republican, she refers in the letter to "The Trouble Times".

Typically Irish understatement. A bit like our "Emergency" from 1939 to 1945!

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Stanley_C_Jenkins
In fact today if I hear the word Troubles in connection to Ireland, I tend to think of the North.

This is a logical explanation why the term "Troubles" may be going out of favour in the ROI, but at the same time I have detected an active dislike of the term. Indeed, it has been suggested that I should no longer be using it, which is odd, because it seems to me to be entirely neutral in the political context.

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dfaulder
This is a logical explanation why the term "Troubles" may be going out of favour in the ROI, but at the same time I have detected an active dislike of the term. Indeed, it has been suggested that I should no longer be using it, which is odd, because it seems to me to be entirely neutral in the political context.

I am not sure that those who wanted independence would see describing their war of independence as mere "troubles", is entirely neutral. It's a bit like us (in the UK) referring to the American War of Independence as "the unpleasantness". As far as I can make out it was an armed conflict between those ruling and those desiring independence. If it sounds like a duck ...

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Stanley_C_Jenkins
I am not sure that those who wanted independence would see describing their war of independence as mere "troubles", is entirely neutral. It's a bit like us (in the UK) referring to the American War of Independence as "the unpleasantness". As far as I can make out it was an armed conflict between those ruling and those desiring independence. If it sounds like a duck ...

This surely brings us back to the serious question posed at the very start of this thread. To the extreme republicans the "Troubles" were a indeed a "War of Independence", whereas to the ultra-loyalists republican violence was a purely criminal activity. As I have said before, I used to think that "The Troubles" was a neutral term, but in reality this may not be the case.

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corisande

As they say :-

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter

Ireland always has to search for neutral term - as with "Ulster" "Northern Ireland" "6 Counties".

For the outsider it is sometimes difficult to know what is neutral and what is insulting (depending on the persuasion of the person you are talking to)

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Unknownsoldier

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

Dear god will the correctiness never end......! Why do we need to change these names, it just makes trouble with research!

In30 years time the war in afghanistan will become the "Allied-Afghan misunderstanding" at this rate.

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corisande

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xhosa_Wars

They seem to have had 8 of them

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cathal1972

Andy, excellent question (original post).

My usage of these terms would be:

1918-1921:War of Independence

"The Troubles" I would take to refer to the more recent conflict (1969-late 1990s-early 2000s)-thankfully now becoming history rather than current affairs.

Corisande's point that the victor writes the history is well made. I studied history in secondary school in Ireland mid-late 1980s. There was much taught about the War of Independence, less about the Civil War,and virtually nothing about Irish participation in the Great War. I think there may have beeen literally one sentence in our text about the Volunteers that enlisted, at John Redmond's urging, which even then I thought strange. At the time I suppose it was still not palatable that so many had chosen to fight in the in the British Army.

It took curiousity about this many years later that led me to,amongst other things, this Forum (wasn't I fortunate!)

Good discussion.

Regards,

Cathal.

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GlenBanna

Over twenty years ago I visited the museum in Kilmanham Jail. The displays were excellent but the tour did not mention the Civil War. When we got to Erskine Childer's yacht (which at that time was kept there), we were told about his part in smuggling guns. However when I asked the guide what happened to him, I was was met by a stony silence.

I am sure times have changed and a more balanced approach prevails now.

Glen

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corisande
I am sure times have changed and a more balanced approach prevails now.

Not necessarily everywhere. I inquired last year at the Shelbourne Hotel about where the machine guns had been situated in the hotel by the British Army to command St Stephens Green - I was met by a stony silence and a denial that there were ever machine guns doing that there.

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Stanley_C_Jenkins
I am sure times have changed and a more balanced approach prevails now.

Glen

Balanced Approach? You should have a look at the history discussions on the "Politics.ie" website, which suggest that the collective Irish republican memory remains as selective as it ever was.

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Murrough

In my opinion a much more balanced view does now exist in the Republic, you only have to look at the succession of books commemorating the Irish dead in both wars,the erection of memorial parks,and the large numbers of ordinary people who are researching ancestors in the British army.Unfortunately not everyone in Ireland would have the same interest in these events as the members of this forum,so their knowledge may be lacking in some areas(I didnt know about the machine guns in the Shelbourne but I know that the rising involved Irishmen fighting fellow Irishmen),Stanley I would not take too much notice of that haven of the bored and disaffected.

Regards,

Murrough.

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Dez

In Belfast up to the mid-1960's, whenever any of the civil disturbances of the previous 40 odd years, was mentioned or discussed, the term 'The Troubles' was invariably used and a date would be appended ie. 1920/21, 1932, 1935 etc. So in Belfast at least, 'The Troubles' had come to mean civil disturbances between different sections of the community with the police and military often fully employed keeping the warring factions apart. For these periodic outbursts, 'The Troubles' was a collective term and brought to mind, curfew, snipers, baton charges by the police, tramcars with chicken wire over the windows to keep out bombs, at least it did to my parents who lived through these years. In those years 'The Troubles' unfortunately had the same impact on both communities and was not a political comment in any way.

Dez

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corisande
I didnt know about the machine guns in the Shelbourne

The Shelbourne claimed not to know either. From Wikipedia

The rebel position at St Stephen's Green, held by the Citizen Army under Michael Mallin, was made untenable after the British placed snipers and machine guns in the Shelbourne Hotel and surrounding buildings. As a result, Mallin's men retreated to the Royal College of Surgeons building.

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Stanley_C_Jenkins
Stanley I would not take too much notice of that haven of the bored and disaffected.

When I read some of the stuff on Poitics.ie I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It does, however, have a dedicated History section, which may be of interest to users of this forum.

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

Thus it never happened.

You are not alone as a people, here. Reconstruction was a prime example of where Terrorism wins. History for more than a century and a half has airbrushed the death and destruction Confederate Vetrans handed out against black folk. It is simply a sociological lie that we White People decide not to remember how the South's future was, indeed, going to be a White Future till the 1950s and 60s and manufactured a history to gloss over 1865 to 1876. The research being unearthed today about the killing and terror is frightening. It really comes down to Yankees wanted to get back to making money and didn't want Blacks there. White Southern Republicans wanted to make money but woudn't kill White Democrats to protect Blacks or their own powerbase and White Democrats would allow a certain amount of Republican voting and even Blacks to vote as long as they controlled all. And, to get that done, White Southern Democrats were willing to kill and maim anyone who said different. Even today you have a hard time teaching that - even though it happened.

But, alas, it is always so ... What ever happened to those Celtic Gold Mines Ceaser was after?

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Murrough

Corisande,thanks for the reply but maybe you were expecting too much if you thought an hotel employee would know the deployment of British units in Dublin during the rising,I would hardly think that it is official hotel policy to deny that British MG's were stationed there, I would rather think it was just a case of not knowing.

Unfortunately forums all over the world attract people with hidden agendas and an axe to grind(even this one) and I am sure I could find some non Irish forums with an interpretation of Irish history that would leave me in horror, but I have to accept that some people are like that and will never change. I do not see anything as black or white but a shade of grey and that the probable truth lies between the two extremes.For too long the extremists have set the politicial landscape with their jaundiced views but as I mentioned earlier views are changing and Irish people can now take pride in their ancestors who joined the British Army as well as their relatives who fought for Independence.

Regards,

Murrough.

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Desmond7

Quote Murrough: "I do not see anything as black or white but a shade of grey and that the probable truth lies between the two extremes."

Concise and accurate.

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irishmen1916
Over twenty years ago I visited the museum in Kilmanham Jail. The displays were excellent but the tour did not mention the Civil War. When we got to Erskine Childer's yacht (which at that time was kept there), we were told about his part in smuggling guns. However when I asked the guide what happened to him, I was was met by a stony silence.

I am sure times have changed and a more balanced approach prevails now.

Glen

Hi Glen,

As a former guide in Kilmainham Gaol, I always mentioned the civil war during the tour, the Gaol closed just after the Civil War

in fact Dev was the last prisoner, so the history of the civil war is part of the history of the Gaol.

In fact the very spot in the Gaol where the Asgard stood is where the first executions took place during that Civil war, (four eighteen year old lads)

they where followed a week later by the execution of Childers in Beggersbush Barracks.

There where some guides who had no real interest in history, to them it was just a job, you may have just got a bad one that day.

Peter

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Murrough

Corisande,thanks for the reply but maybe you were expecting too much if you thought an hotel employee would know the deployment of British units in Dublin during the rising,I would hardly think that it is official hotel policy to deny that British MG's were stationed there, I would rather think it was just a case of not knowing

On reflection I should also say, that had the Rebels mounted a heroic stand at the hotel,the management or some historicial group would have had commemorative plaques mounted on the building.;

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