Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

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Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby mountcashel on Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:58 pm

An Officer goes against his Commanders express orders. And Seems to have no regard for the survivabilty of the men under his command. And he becomes the subject of blind adulation. And did anyone pause to consider while England was certainly a ruthless bloody minded colonising Imperial power with little regard to the national aspirations of other peoples, so was Germany, if not worse? Historys a funny old thing.
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Re: Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby bannerman on Sat May 01, 2010 1:12 am

Hello Mountcashel,

An Officer goes against his Commanders express orders. And Seems to have no regard for the survivabilty of the men under his command. And he becomes the subject of blind adulation. And did anyone pause to consider while England was certainly a ruthless bloody minded colonising Imperial power with little regard to the national aspirations of other peoples, so was Germany, if not worse? Historys a funny old thing.


The I.R.B. leaders and Connolly who planned the 1916 Rising, did have some qualms about linking up with the Germans in WW1 - the argument being that when Republicans had sought foreign aid in the past, ie. from Revolutionary France in 1798 did so when France was a progressive / revolutionary power with very similar republican aims.

Really I think their strategy relating to Germany was motivated by two things:

1. England's difficulty being Ireland's opportunity and the age old theory of "My enemies enemy is my friend" - basically they sought German support for strategic and pragmatic reasons. NOT because they were necessarily ideological bed fellows with the Kaiser

2.The idea / belief that by allying themselves formally with the Germans - they might be assured "belligerent status" and formal representation at the peace conference which would follow WW1 where the Irish peoples claim to independece could be presented to the attending world powers.

An Officer goes against his Commanders express orders. And Seems to have no regard for the survivabilty of the men under his command. And he becomes the subject of blind adulation.


- I take it from the title of your post this is intended to be a reference to Pearse? Since Pearse was the President of the Irish Republic (well as far as the republicans were concerned at any rate -) who was the commanding officer whose expressed orders he went against?

No regard for the survivability of the men under his command? - I feel this is a very unfair charge against Pearse and the leaders of the Rising. You are clearly unfamiliar with the surrender order signed by Pearse, Connolly and Mac Donough which began: "In order to prevent the further slaughter of Dublin citizens, and in the hope of saving the lives of our followers..." I think this shows they had a lot more regard for their mens wellbeing than many Officers and Generals fighting in Europe at the time had for the enlisted men under their commands. It is also interesting that the leaders of the 1916 rising shared many if not all the same risks as their men in combat ie. Connolly being wounded twice(on two separate occasions) while directing the men under his command in organizing defenses, and Sean Connolly of the I.C.A. being killed in action at City Hall. The O Rahially being killed leading his men in Moore Street etc, etc etc...

Pearse the subject of blind adulation? Yes usually by people who have not read any of his writings, poetry, plays, essays, newspaper articles and accept that he was a 2 dimensional Irish Catholic nationalist - rather than an Irish republican.(there is a significant gulf in ideology and attitudes between the two)

Germany worse than England? Dont know cant say im an expert on World politics of the period. But if your baseing your argument on false propaganda stories about crucified Canadian soldiers, Germans lopping the hands and breasts off Belgian women and bayoneting their babies. WELL.....

History's a funny old thing - Yes especially if people make sweeping statements without evidence

For all those interested in the 1916 Rising I cant recommend Ferghal Mc Garry's new book on the rising strongly enough. i also consider his biography of Eoin O Duffy "Self made hero" an excellent work

Padraig
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Re: Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby bannerman on Tue May 04, 2010 8:31 am

Are You still with us Mountcashel? I was hoping for a debate on this one!
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Re: Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby knightofredemption on Tue May 04, 2010 12:31 pm

English empire?
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Re: Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby bannerman on Wed May 05, 2010 8:26 am

hello Paul
I only use the term england when quoting referring to some other source ie : "Englands difficulty was Irelands oppourtunity" - Charles J. Kickham the fenian leader who coined the phrase never described it as "Britains difficulty..." The other Time I use England worse than Britain is referring to Mountcashels claim that Germany was worse / or as bad as "England".

I am fully aware that it was the "British" and not the "English" Empire - however it must be admitted that the Empire largely promoted English rather than Scottish and Welsh culture and values - They werent colonising India to teach the "natives" Scots Gaelic and Welsh! However I also concede the point that the Scots were supposed to have benifitted materially from the Empire far more than the Welsh or Irish did!

In fairness too "our gallant allies" werent just "German" either The Central powers also included Austrians, Turks and originally Italy if im not mistaken.

Now Lets get back to the debate on Pearse...

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Re: Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby knightofredemption on Wed May 05, 2010 9:12 am

By English culture and values I take it you refer to the culture and values of the ruling classes. If not, it would be interesting to see what you think English culture and values actually are...well we'll treat that as a rhetorical question as this is not really the place to discuss such things.
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Re: Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby bannerman on Thu May 06, 2010 1:19 am

"By English culture and values I take it you refer to the culture and values of the ruling classes."
- Thats right Id be thinking of the likes of Cecil Rhodes, Baden Powell, Arthur Balfour, Sir Henry Wilson etc.. As far as I can see it was minds like theirs that created and maintained the British Empire. Interestingly Wilson was born in Longford and Balfour in Scotland - but their social class and education made them proponents of Unionism, Imperialism, Conservatism which all tended to favour what were considered "English" ideals rather than Scottish, Welsh or even Irish ones.

I do feal there was a trickle down effect as well however, which often permeated ordinary middle and working class English society and indoctrinated them with very strong views about the Empire, "British" civilization and their place in the imperial global order.

Would be glad to discuss and debate it over a few pints at some future juncture - and to get your perspective on it (feal free to P.M. or e-mail me on the subject) - As you said this is not quite the right place. Until then...

Anyone else going to chip in on the original topic of Pearse and the German Military role in the 1916 Rising spurred by Mountcashels post? If not I guess we'll have to leave it there!

Padraig (2.16 a.m. - The Sun Never Sets... ;) )
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Re: Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby thepremier on Fri May 07, 2010 9:47 pm

I think certainly it could be argued that the organisers of the Rising were culpable for using their leadership positions in the Irish Volunteers to mobilise the soldiers under their command against MacNeill's explicit orders in service of the agenda of the IRB. In that case, as bannerman has mentioned, Pearse cannot shoulder the blame, as all commanders who brought their men and women out each made their decision to disobey the countermanding order - and that includes Kent, MacCurtain, Ashe, Mellowes, Manahan and Brennan as well as all the Dublin leaders. On the other hand, it was understood that they were fulfilling the function for which the IRB was established, the establishment of the Irish Republic. It was not a decision entered into lightly, and once the Rising was over many of the surviving leaders believed the organisation should be disbanded as its purpose had been served, and that with a mass movement behind the campaign for the Republic, it was no longer needed.

Another reason the leaders of the Rising were willing to ally with Germany (apart from the pragmatic ones already mentioned) is that England was seen by republicans as having engineered the war for the purpose of utterly destroying Germany's capacity to challenge the English empire, whether militarily or in trade. The excuse of defending "gallant little Belgium" was just a pretext. Belgium was itself a powerful empire, and had perpetrated the atrocities in the Belgian Congo which Casement exposed in all their horror. In any case, as Casement pointed out in The Crime Against Europe (1914):
Had the neutrality of Belgium been respected as completely as the neutrality of Holland, England would have joined her "friends" in the assault on Germany, as Sir Edward Grey was forced to admit when the German Ambassador in vain pressed him to state his own terms as the price of English neutrality.
England was fomenting aggression in Europe to ensure it alone maintained mastery of the seas. Casement's view was that a victory for this aggression would ensure that Germany and France would continue to be provoked against each other in a constant cycle of destructive warfare while England benefited. For some republicans, therefore, there may have been an ideological reason for throwing their lot in with Germany and its allies.
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Re: Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby mountcashel on Mon May 10, 2010 10:35 pm

Dia is Muire agat, Bannerman!
Sorry I dropped off the proverbial radar lately, thank you for your as usual illuminating and accurate information, and becoming a name to be reckoned with in the literary side, well done with the battle for Limerick! Always good to see subjects or topics tackled evenly, even if they may ruffle the feathers of the guardians of our historical "sacred cows".
Oh yeah by the way, Just read Douglas V Duff's material, not your stereotypical hound of England type Tan!
Keep up the good work, Bannerman.
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Re: Pearse fixation, and those "gallant allies"?

Postby bannerman on Tue May 11, 2010 12:26 pm

"thank you for your as usual illuminating and accurate information, and becoming a name to be reckoned with in the literary side, well done with the battle for Limerick! Always good to see subjects or topics tackled evenly"


Thanks for the Kudos Mount Cashel.

"Just read Douglas V Duff's material, not your stereotypical hound of England type Tan!"

No but Id imagine like R.I.C. District Inspector John M. Regan's memoirs published by Irish academic press a few years ago - Duff wasnt going to admit to any murders, rapes or robberies he may have carried out. Also dont forget the quote attributed to Tom Barry:

"There were good and bad in the Tans - but the Auxies were bastards to a man!"
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