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David Filsell

Easter Rising

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BrendanLee

Point is people believe it when it works in their favour but don't when it doesn't and that's true world over. And you should come to Londonderry, plenty of people agree with me. Irish Nationalists believe Ireland should be one and indivisible, Irish Unionists agree but believe the same of the British Isles.

1534 is an arbitary date, you could always go back to the Normans, Vikings, Gaels, just pick your period. But now it's all over, no more Constable O'Briens, Colonel Smyths, Gunner Curtis

Ireland North and South does belong to the British Isles because that is what Great Britain and Ireland are collectively known as, Northern Ireland can never be part of Great Britain unless you find a way of cutting it off from the island of Ireland and attaching it to Great Britain. The reason the political definition is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is because Great Britain is one geographical location and Northern Ireland is part of another geographical location.

1534 is the earliest recorded date when two Irish Clans fought over the political determination of the island of Ireland and as such would fit the definition of a Civil War., the conquest of another nation be it by Viking Norman or whatever would not constitute a Civil War.

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jdoyle

perhaps time for this thread to be locked?

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spconnolly007

perhaps time for this thread to be locked?

Why? I know its moved away from its origin of book suggestion, but its turned into one of the most courteous arguments Ive read on here for a while.

Regards

Sean.

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Why? I know its moved away from its origin of book suggestion, but its turned into one of the most courteous arguments Ive read on here for a while.

Regards

Sean.

Yes we're off topic but we're keeping it civilized

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BrendanLee

perhaps time for this thread to be locked?

Time to put the keyboards beyond reach? I think it would be a pity to lock this topic, anyone studying the 1916 Rising will soon learn that it is not possible to understand it without going back at least 700 years.

Getting back on topic the Bureau of Military History has some of the statements of the Rebels who fought in the Battle of Mount Street Bridge in which the Sherwood Foresters suffered heavy losses, it would be interesting to compare the accounts of the Rebels with the 2/5th, 2/6th and 2/7th Sherwood Foresters War Histories. James Grace WS310 was a Rebel section leader who fought in the battle and there is also a statement by Captain E Gerrard WS 348 who was A.D.C of the British Forces in Ireland, he was in Beggars’ Bush Barracks during the Rising, the Barracks are just round the corner from Mount Street.

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AlanCurragh

Please can we stay on topic - thanks

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Steven Broomfield

I have to say, as an interested observer, I think this thread has been surprisingly well-behaved. Compared with some issues which crop up from time to time, this is a topic with amazing abilities to descend into rancour and name-calling, but by and large it hasn't happened. And I've also picked up some good reading tips, so thanks to all who have played a part (on both sides - or should that be all three sides whereh the English are concerned?).

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Murrough

Yes but Unionists feared that they would be persecuted and murdered by Irish Nationalists who would stab Britain in the back in wartime. And how right they were! The UVF never did jack all, never killed anyone before joining up en masse to fight the Germans in 1914 they were in many ways a body to just convince Asquith that they were serious. Your argument might have more weight if they were trying to forcefully keep all of Ireland in the Union but that would have been wrong

The UVF were very active(intimidation, coercion) and would have taken action against the British Army but for the Curragh Mutiny when Unionist leaning Army officers indicated that they would decline to follow the orders of the democratically elected goverment of the day and thus their actions defused the situation,the Nationialists/Homerulers knew then where the British Army officer class stood and that no action would be taken aginst the UVF.

With regard to the UVF joining en masse the most reliable figures that I can find come from Terence Denman's "Irelands Unknown Soldiers" where it is stated that up to the 9/10/1915,that of the 132,000 Irishmen in the Army, 27,412 were Ulster Volunteers and 27,504 were National Volunteers (the same Irish Nationalists,who you accuse of stabbing Britain in the back or are you referring to the couple of thousand Sinn Feiners/Citizen army,et al,who rebelled in Dublin in 1916?)Do try to be precise when referring to the different strands of Irish Nationalism as it can be misleading to other readers of the thread.

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

The UVF were very active(intimidation, coercion) and would have taken action against the British Army but for the Curragh Mutiny when Unionist leaning Army officers indicated that they would decline to follow the orders of the democratically elected goverment of the day and thus their actions defused the situation,the Nationialists/Homerulers knew then where the British Army officer class stood and that no action would be taken aginst the UVF.

With regard to the UVF joining en masse the most reliable figures that I can find come from Terence Denman's "Irelands Unknown Soldiers" where it is stated that up to the 9/10/1915,that of the 132,000 Irishmen in the Army, 27,412 were Ulster Volunteers and 27,504 were National Volunteers (the same Irish Nationalists,who you accuse of stabbing Britain in the back or are you referring to the couple of thousand Sinn Feiners/Citizen army,et al,who rebelled in Dublin in 1916?)Do try to be precise when referring to the different strands of Irish Nationalism as it can be misleading to other readers of the thread.

The term Curragh 'mutiny' is a misnomer. The officers would always obey the orders of the government but would choose to resign rather than carry out their orders (one reason why the Free State Army retained its' ex-British officers after 1923 and sacked its' ex-IRA ones, they were professional soldiers who knew their job was to obey the democratic government's orders rather than the other way around). The UVF never harmed anyone until Republican victims ran into the hundreds (except the Germans/Turks), they, like the officers declaration were intended to make the government realise the depth of feeling and how great their ultimately realised ideas were.

I accuse the Easter Risers and De Valera's government in WW2 of betrayal. I honour the men of the Irish volunteers which until the Celtic Spring the Southern Government didn't. But thankfully attitudes like that are of the past.

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Murrough

The term Curragh 'mutiny' is a misnomer. The officers would always obey the orders of the government but would choose to resign rather than carry out their orders (one reason why the Free State Army retained its' ex-British officers after 1923 and sacked its' ex-IRA ones, they were professional soldiers who knew their job was to obey the democratic government's orders rather than the other way around). The UVF never harmed anyone until Republican victims ran into the hundreds (except the Germans/Turks), they, like the officers declaration were intended to make the government realise the depth of feeling and how great their ultimately realised ideas were.

I accuse the Easter Risers and De Valera's government in WW2 of betrayal. I honour the men of the Irish volunteers which until the Celtic Spring the Southern Government didn't. But thankfully attitudes like that are of the past.

Good one LT, you managed to get DEV,the UVF( is that the later 70's version)and WW2 in there,( but this is a ww1 forum)your anti Irish Nationialism rhetoric knows no bounds.The Volunteers were remembered in the Republic (but we did not attach a political dimension to it ) we just go about our business, you can go on with your own versions if it makes you feel better but I would imagine that the fact that Irish Nationalists contributed to the war effort must be a hard one for you to swallow

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Steven Broomfield

The term Curragh 'mutiny' is a misnomer. The officers would always obey the orders of the government but would choose to resign rather than carry out their orders

Even an Englishman like me can see that doesn't make sense. They either obey orders or they don't.

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connaughtranger

I've never come to terms with a large group of men drilling and marching and armed with 20000 rifles and 1m rounds of ammunition in order to defy the wishes of the British Govt. Their leader, Carson, became a Lord. Was anyone arrested or imprisoned?. A smaller group also attempted to use German rifles to defy the will of the Govt; 15 leaders executed and 1 hanged. Some might point to the war, but these were Irishmen in Ireland, not British in Britain.

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David Filsell

Another thank you to all contributors. I now have a great book list. I did not anticipate that the topic would linger so long.

More opinions on the topic than I expected, mostly courteous, some a little silly in view of the topic heading.

For what it's worth I do not have a pro Brit or Irish or anti Brit or Irish view. Nor did I intend to stir things up.

I am merely interested in the topic and wish to read more.

Having spent some of my youth, not enough sadly, in Galway and most of my adult life in Britain I remain nuetral and simply take the view that it happened and I want to know more about the hows and the whys.

So thank you all.

Bestests

David

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Good one LT, you managed to get DEV,the UVF( is that the later 70's version)and WW2 in there,( but this is a ww1 forum)your anti Irish Nationialism rhetoric knows no bounds.The Volunteers were remembered in the Republic (but we did not attach a political dimension to it ) we just go about our business, you can go on with your own versions if it makes you feel better but I would imagine that the fact that Irish Nationalists contributed to the war effort must be a hard one for you to swallow

Not at all, it is only with the Celtic Spring that the Irish Government is FINALLY giving the heroism of the Southern Irish regiments their due (and finally honouring those who served in WW2 and suffered discrimination afterwards as well). The Irish Free State banned Rememberance Day just one more action in the death by a thousand cuts suffered by Irish Unionists in the South. Irish Unionists in Northern Ireland could only look upon what was happening and think how right they were to insist on partition (and in fact the centenary of the signing of the Ulster covenant is at the end of this month).

Again I honour the Irish Nationalists who fought for Britain in the Great War, such a shame that Southern Ireland waited until they were all dead before they could do the same.

One suggestion I've heard recently is that the colours of the Irish regiments (Connaught Rangers, Dublin Fusiliers etc) could be restored to Dublin from where they're currently held in Windsor, that would be a great reconcillatory gesture, we could have Prince William do it as the honorary Colonel of the Irish Guards.

One story that strikes me of this time is that off William Redmond;

http://en.wikipedia..../Willie_Redmond

brother of John Redmond who won Home Rule for Ireland in 1912. Badly wounded on the battlefield he was carried to safety by men of the 36th Ulster Division who did not care what his religion, ethnicity or political views were. But he died anyway, a terrible metaphor for the tragedy which would befall Ireland in the years to come.

Even an Englishman like me can see that doesn't make sense. They either obey orders or they don't.

In peacetime with a volunteer army you can resign your commission. It would only be a mutiny if they kept their posts and refused to obey orders

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

I've never come to terms with a large group of men drilling and marching and armed with 20000 rifles and 1m rounds of ammunition in order to defy the wishes of the British Govt. Their leader, Carson, became a Lord. Was anyone arrested or imprisoned?. A smaller group also attempted to use German rifles to defy the will of the Govt; 15 leaders executed and 1 hanged. Some might point to the war, but these were Irishmen in Ireland, not British in Britain.

Nothing the UVF did was actually illegal, Britain had practically no gun laws until 1918 and they were only introduced as the Government feared returning veterans would stage a Bolshevik style revolution. As for drilling, well would you arrest the Scouts/Boys Brigade? The UVF never actually defied the wishes of the Government or rule of law. The only people the UVF ever used their German supplied rifles on were the IRA after 1919 and then reputedly supplied them to the Ethiopians to resist Mussolini in the 30s and to the anti-Franco forces during the Spanish Civil War (wouldn't it have been ironic if they were used by the IRA members fighting against Franco as well as Black and Tans like George Nathan?)

The Easter Risers by contrast sided with the Germans in wartime, murdered over 400 people and destroyed Dublin. Tell the famillies of those they killed that they shouldn't be punished for their crime, that their loved ones' lives were of no consequence?

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Steven Broomfield

In peacetime with a volunteer army you can resign your commission. It would only be a mutiny if they kept their posts and refused to obey orders

Depends how you interpret it. A legitimate order by a democratic government is issued: officers refuse to obey. OK, they resign, but if that's not a mutiny I don't know what is. The fact they had the luxury of resignation makes it no less of a mutiny.

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squirrel

Looks like a lot of reading of KR's and MML to sort that question out. If acting as individuals they could only be charged with wilfully disobeying an order from a Superior Officer.

Mutiny seems a very difficult case to prove and not a charge that was brought lightly. Presumably if your letter of resignation was received before the order was given then the latter did not apply.

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archangel9

If acting as individuals they could only be charged with wilfully disobeying an order from a Superior Officer.

Very true. They acted together - conspired - hence a mutiny.

John

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Murrough

Again I honour the Irish Nationalists who fought for Britain in the Great War,

Does that include all men who later fought for Independence in 1919/1922, men like Lieut.Emmet Dalton MC,L/C George Adamson DCM,Martin Doyle VC,MM,even Tom Barry? or did they forfeit the right to be honoured by you because of their political beliefs?

This is not intended to be a combative question,I just want clarification of your views regarding men like the above.

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Murrough

Nothing the UVF did was actually illegal, Britain had practically no gun laws until 1918 and they were only introduced as the Government feared returning veterans would stage a Bolshevik style revolution. As for drilling, well would you arrest the Scouts/Boys Brigade? The UVF never actually defied the wishes of the Government or rule of law.

Funny that,but I would have thought there would have been some sanction against forming your own private army.(BTW British intelligence were quite aware of the arms smuggling but did nothing to intervene) The experiences of the National Volunteers in the south was quite different when the Army and police tried to intervene and stop the illegal importation of arms(the reason given for the intervention by the army) 3 civilians were shot and one other was bayoneted in the ensuing debacle.It is quite obvious that some in positions of power had a benign attitude towards the formation of the UVF and may have facilitated the establishment of same.

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jdoyle

Nothing the UVF did was actually illegal, Britain had practically no gun laws until 1918 and they were only introduced as the Government feared returning veterans would stage a Bolshevik style revolution.

after the Royal Proclamation of December 1913, the importing of arms, ammunition etc in Ireland for anything other than sporting activities was banned. The UVF imports after this date were illegal acts in defiance of the Government.

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/28779/pages/8997

This proclamation was revoked on the outbreak of WW1.

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irishmen1916

I have been away from the GWF for a while, so when I pop back on, I see this really interesting topic, on books about the 1916 Rising, if fact most of the really good books have been mentioned, but some of the other stuff is nothing to do with what the first poster asked for in the first place.

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kildaremark

Interesting topic.

We might some day reach a point where we can agree that both 'sides' lost out as a result of 1912-23. Nationalists in the north and unionists in the south ended up as minorities who needed to keep their political persuasions under raps. I firmly believe that the very Catholic-Gaelicised outlook would not have happened if the country had been allowed to develop normally i.e. with a mix of religious and political views.Remember that the Act of Union 'only' occurred in 1801. The country had its own Government until then, albeit not well run, but somethings don't change. If Home Rule had come in, I believe that we may have ended up still in the UK, or at least in the Commonwealth like Canada or Australia. Just as southern nationalists abandoned northern nationalists, it is fair to say that northern unionists abandoned their southern counterparts to protect what they perceived as their own interests.

It is quite clear that despite a nationalist/Gaelic revival in the early 1900s, the majority were relatively content with the status quo. It is just a pity that unionists could only see the numbers game. The hard-line nationalist rhetoric would never have taken without the British reaction to 1916, perceived lack of response to nationalist concerns after the war and the spiral of violence. It has echoes in the modern period. The overwhelming majority in the south never had much liking for the IRA but it was the concept of injustices, internment, bloody sunday(s) that gave some sympathy to these causes. Extremists have always stepped in where Governments are indecisive, and it has suited traditional views of the other side to declare 'I told you so' to further their aims.

Read any literature from the time, especially in terms of the transfer of power in 1922. The same civil servants stayed in power, the ex-British soldiers stayed in the army. There were no purges like other countries. There were cases of revenge, murder, Unionists leaving the south just as happened in the North but not on the scale that has happened in any other European country in the 20th century.

I believe Carson himself though the partition of Ireland the worst outcome and I often thought it a dreadful shame that Unionists north of the border cannot call himself Irishmen/women in the same way that the Scottish or Welsh do irrespective of their allegiance to either state.

Mark

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Depends how you interpret it. A legitimate order by a democratic government is issued: officers refuse to obey. OK, they resign, but if that's not a mutiny I don't know what is. The fact they had the luxury of resignation makes it no less of a mutiny.

They didn't refuse to obey. If they had that WOULD have been mutiny. And in peacetime that is their right, it's not desertion either. They're resigning on a point of principle. It's largely a gesture, eventually you would have found army officers who'd have been prepared to act for the Government but it showed the strength of feeling on the issue

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Lt Colonel Gerald Smyth

Does that include all men who later fought for Independence in 1919/1922, men like Lieut.Emmet Dalton MC,L/C George Adamson DCM,Martin Doyle VC,MM,even Tom Barry? or did they forfeit the right to be honoured by you because of their political beliefs?

This is not intended to be a combative question,I just want clarification of your views regarding men like the above.

They didn't forfeit that right due to their political beliefs, civil and religious liberty remember? They forfeit that right when they took to the mass murder of innocent people, including many of their former comrades in arms whom they had served alongside in the trenches for the previous 4 years. How could they? How could they betray their neighbours, their brothers in arms?

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