Churchill was Britain's greatest but Ireland's greatest enemy

Breadan O'Connor

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Ryle Dwyer in the Irish Examiner claims Churchill was a consistent enemy of Ireland for most of his career.

In 1920 he was largely responsible for forming the black and tans and the auxiliaries. During the treaty negotiations he insisted on retaining navy bases in Ireland. In 1938 those bases were handed back to Ireland.

However in October 1939 Churchill proposed capturing Berehaven base by force. Dwyer suggests this proposal was a ploy to divert attention from the sinking of the British batleship Royal Oak in the Orkneys.

Later in 1941, after the bombing of Belfast, in which more people died than in Coventry, Churchill supported a plan to introduce conscription in NI. This would have disproportionately affected Catholics since large numbers of Protestants worked in the vital war industries. Dwyer claims Churchill was again using the controversy to divert attention from the sinking of HMS Hood by the German battleship Bismark. Once Churchill knew Bismark was sunk, he dropped his support for conscription in NI.

Dwyer claims Churchill used controversies over Ireland to distract attention from setbacks which happened in the war. ‘Britain’s Greatest’ was our worst enemy when the chips were down | Irish Examiner
 


Aspherical123

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Ryle Dwyer in the Irish Examiner claims Churchill was a consistent enemy of Ireland for most of his career.

In 1920 he was largely responsible for forming the black and tans and the auxiliaries. During the treaty negotiations he insisted on retaining navy bases in Ireland. In 1938 those bases were handed back to Ireland.

However in October 1939 Churchill proposed capturing Berehaven base by force. Dwyer suggests this proposal was a ploy to divert attention from the sinking of the British batleship Royal Oak in the Orkneys.

Later in 1941, after the bombing of Belfast, in which more people died than in Coventry, Churchill supported a plan to introduce conscription in NI. This would have disproportionately affected Catholics since large numbers of Protestants worked in the vital war industries. Dwyer claims Churchill was again using the controversy to divert attention from the sinking of HMS Hood by the German battleship Bismark. Once Churchill knew Bismark was sunk, he dropped his support for conscription in NI.

Dwyer claims Churchill used controversies over Ireland to distract attention from setbacks which happened in the war. ‘Britain’s Greatest’ was our worst enemy when the chips were down | Irish Examiner

Britains greatest?

He gave away the empire.
 

Warren Poynt

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But was he Ireland's greatest enemy ?

While we know that he disliked De Varera, I think it is fair to say this dislike was and is shared by a significant portion of the Irish population.

But didn't Churchhill offer Dev and this country the prospect of re-unification in return for fighting with the Allies against Fascism and Nazism.

That does not sound like the greatest enemy Ireland has ever had.

Furthermore, he (Churchill) did not give away the Empire. This was done at the behest of post-war British Governments of which he was not a part. Sir Harold Macmillan you are probably thinking of.

In any case, T Ryle Dwyer is not exactly an impartial observer of Irish 20th century history, is he ?
 
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ocoonassa

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He got over half a million working class lads killed at Gallipoli trying to get supplies through to his mate the Tsar. I don't think that ranks him as one of their greatest, on the contrary. The only reason anybody forgave him and rated him was because the Russians who beat his mate Tsar later managed to beat Hitler, and he happened to be leader at the time.
 

Estragon

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But was he Ireland's greatest enemy ?

While we know that he disliked De Varera, I think it is fair to say this dislike was and is shared by a significant portion of the Irish population...
Absolutely right, that's why he performed so very poorly at the polls.

:roll:
 

Catalpa

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Ryle Dwyer in the Irish Examiner claims Churchill was a consistent enemy of Ireland for most of his career.

In 1920 he was largely responsible for forming the black and tans and the auxiliaries. During the treaty negotiations he insisted on retaining navy bases in Ireland. In 1938 those bases were handed back to Ireland.

However in October 1939 Churchill proposed capturing Berehaven base by force. Dwyer suggests this proposal was a ploy to divert attention from the sinking of the British batleship Royal Oak in the Orkneys.

Later in 1941, after the bombing of Belfast, in which more people died than in Coventry, Churchill supported a plan to introduce conscription in NI. This would have disproportionately affected Catholics since large numbers of Protestants worked in the vital war industries. Dwyer claims Churchill was again using the controversy to divert attention from the sinking of HMS Hood by the German battleship Bismark. Once Churchill knew Bismark was sunk, he dropped his support for conscription in NI.

Dwyer claims Churchill used controversies over Ireland to distract attention from setbacks which happened in the war. ‘Britain’s Greatest’ was our worst enemy when the chips were down | Irish Examiner
Rubbish - Churchill was an advocate for Home Rule prior to WWI

- and he was one of the chief negotiators at the Treaty talks in 1921 when Ireland was made an offer of a large measure of independence

- but within the Empire:?

He actually liked the Irish People - but not her politicians!

Churchill always believed in playing Hardball whether in the House of Commons or on the field of battle.

He was our enemy from time to time but he was not by any stretch of the imagination the worst one.
 

readytogo

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In Tim Pat Coogan’s Ireland in the Twentieth Century (p. 297) he quotes Henry Harrison, a former Parnellite who distinguished himself fighting for the British in WW1. Harrison is responding to a critique of Irish neutrality in the New York Times by Professor Comager.

“You proclaim that the Irish people have ‘missed out somehow on the greatest moral issue of modern history’….Presumably when Britain and France declared war upon the Axis in September 1939, ‘the greatest moral issue in modern history’ for two and a quarter years until Hitler invaded her territory in June 1941, and America herself ‘missed out on the greatest moral issue of modern history’ for two and a quarter years until December 1941, when Japan struck her the assassin blow at Pearl Harbor. These two great leviathan Powers were no voluntary crusaders leaping into the arena in unreflecting and disinterested enthusiasm for high moral principle. They remained neutral when Denmark and Norway, Holland and Belgium, Jugoslavia and Greece were, in turn, ravaged and enslaved. They fought because they were attacked, because being attacked, they might fight or submit to a conqueror’s yoke. And little Ireland was not attacked. That is the difference. That is the sole difference. For there is nothing more certain than that Ireland also would have fought back if she had been attacked.”
 

MauriceColgan

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Maurice, what did you think of him at the time and have your views changed at all in retrospect?
I tried not to think of him back then. He was all over the RADIO news and newspapers. (Only the wealthy had TVs in those times) A great many working class English people thought of him as a war monger.

Later after all the books, documentaries, and discussions spread over 6 decades I see his elevation like Marx said about Mill, was due to the flatness of the surrounding countryside.

Great speeches. He didn't wrte them. Great battles, he fought in none of them.

He did learn to lay bricks though. We all have a saving grace.
 

readytogo

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He actually liked the Irish People - but not her politicians!
I don't think so. Didn't he even plan to gas Irish civilians in the event of a land invasion?

Julian Ellison wrote this in a letter to the Irish Times (September 5, 2008)

"Not long after the second World War, my late father-in-law, Tom Stoney, was a senior pupil at Harrow School. Winston Churchill, who was a former pupil there, was paying a visit and a group of prefects were lined up to be presented to him. When Churchill reached Tom, his housemaster introduced him: “This is Thomas Stoney, from Co Mayo in Ireland.”.

Churchill harrumphed and disdainfully remarked: “The bloody Irish, what have they ever done for our wars?” Tom, only 17 years old, drew himself to his full height and retorted: “Thanks to your wars, sir, I have no male relatives; no father – he died in the last war, and no uncle, he died in the Great War.”
 

soubresauts

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Another set of quotes to balance the Churchill-as-hero-and-saint view: The Churchill you didn't know
I do not understand the squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisonous gas against uncivilised tribes.
Writing as president of the Air Council, 1919
It is alarming and nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half naked up the steps of the viceregal palace, while he is still organising and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parlay on equal terms with the representative of the Emperor-King.
Commenting on Gandhi's meeting with the Viceroy of India, 1931
I do not admit... that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia... by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race... has come in and taken its place.
Churchill to Palestine Royal Commission, 1937
The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with a steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks, constitutes a national and race danger which it is impossible to exaggerate... I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed up before another year has passed.
Churchill to Asquith, 1910
One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as admirable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.
From his Great Contemporaries, 1937
 

Aspherical123

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But was he Ireland's greatest enemy ?

While we know that he disliked De Varera, I think it is fair to say this dislike was and is shared by a significant portion of the Irish population.

But didn't Churchhill offer Dev and this country the prospect of re-unification in return for fighting with the Allies against Fascism and Nazism.

That does not sound like the greatest enemy Ireland has ever had.

Furthermore, he (Churchill) did not give away the Empire. This was done at the behest of post-war British Governments of which he was not a part. Sir Harold Macmillan you are probably thinking of.

In any case, T Ryle Dwyer is not exactly an impartial observer of Irish 20th century history, is he ?

Churchill promised the Indians and others independence for fighting in the war.
 

Aspherical123

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But was he Ireland's greatest enemy ?

While we know that he disliked De Varera, I think it is fair to say this dislike was and is shared by a significant portion of the Irish population.

But didn't Churchhill offer Dev and this country the prospect of re-unification in return for fighting with the Allies against Fascism and Nazism.

That does not sound like the greatest enemy Ireland has ever had.

Furthermore, he (Churchill) did not give away the Empire. This was done at the behest of post-war British Governments of which he was not a part. Sir Harold Macmillan you are probably thinking of.

In any case, T Ryle Dwyer is not exactly an impartial observer of Irish 20th century history, is he ?

Churchill promised the Indians and others independence for fighting in the war.

He was right about Gandhi though, Gandhi was a fraud.
 

SlabMurphy

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He got over half a million working class lads killed at Gallipoli trying to get supplies through to his mate the Tsar. I don't think that ranks him as one of their greatest, on the contrary. The only reason anybody forgave him and rated him was because the Russians who beat his mate Tsar later managed to beat Hitler, and he happened to be leader at the time.
He got over half a million British soldiers killed at Gallipoli - well at least he did something useful then so !!!!
 

ocoonassa

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He got over half a million British soldiers killed at Gallipoli - well at least he did something useful then so !!!!
Tens of thousands of them were Irishmen, working class lads from Dublin Cork, Belfast and the like. Of course to you they deserved death. Most of the people who egged them on to go out to their deaths by the time the survivors returned had turned their backs on them. Slippery people.....good tune

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnu3TqDKXZY]YouTube - Talking Heads - Slippery People[/ame]
 

Catalpa

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He got over half a million working class lads killed at Gallipoli trying to get supplies through to his mate the Tsar. I don't think that ranks him as one of their greatest, on the contrary. The only reason anybody forgave him and rated him was because the Russians who beat his mate Tsar later managed to beat Hitler, and he happened to be leader at the time.
er half a million British soldiers were not killed at Gallipoli!

Churchill was not even there himself

- it was the Commanders on the spot who screwed it up.
 

owedtojoy

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Churchill was never Ireland's "greatest" enemy.

Our greatest enemy in 1939-45 was Adolf Hitler, who would have sold out Ireland immediately (assuming he won the war) to the right-wing regime he planned to see established in Britain.

Hiitler wanted to guarantee the British Empire & let the British keep out of Europe while he first committed genocide in the countries to the east of Germany, and then settled them with Germans. Can you imagine the fate Ireland would have suffered in such a regime? No doubt the Fuehrer would have been highly amused at the bleating of Republicans who considered that the Nazis owed them something over a few bicycle bombs.

And then, of course, there was Hitler's stated ambition to make Europe "Jew-free". One wonders what the Republicans would have done when the demand arrive to hand over Irish Jews for "resettlement".

Here is quote from Winston Churchill and Ireland

"In November 1948, Churchill met the Irish High Commissioner, subsequently Ambassador, John Dulanty in London: Winston said to him - “I still hope for a United Ireland. You must get those fellows from the North in, though you can’t do it by force. There is not, and never was, any bitterness in my heart towards your country.

Winston Churchill believed in magnanimity after the battles of history. And he was also prophetic, in two measures. Firstly, he always said that when Ireland became more prosperous that would heal the wounds of history and make Anglo-Irish relations harmonious. And that, I think, has come to pass. "

People can laugh at Mary Kenny, if they wish, but she is still a better historian than that idiot, T. Ryle Dwyer.

Churchill always was, by his own lights, a friend to Ireland from his days as a Liberal Home Ruler. I recall that sometime in the 1950s he and De Valera met in London for dinner (Dev was on his way to Switzerland for an eye operation) and passed an amicable evening together.
 


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