Did Charlie Flanagan Lie About Irish Men Who Served In The British Army And Helped Suppress The Easter Rising.

TruthInTheNews

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Did Charlie Flanagan Lie About Irish Men Who Served In The British Army And Helped Suppress The Easter Rising.

Charlie Flanagan wrote an article in yesterday's Irish Times about Irish Men who served in the British Army and helped suppress the Easter Rising.

The politics and society of Ireland in 1916 were both complex and in flux. The story of the Neilan brothers in many ways exemplifies this complexity and fluidity. Gerald, a lieutenant with the Royal British Fusiliers, was one of the first soldiers killed in the Rising.

There was no such regiment as the Royal British Fusiliers. It never existed.

Flanagan fails to mention that any Irish men in the British Army who refused to fight would have been shot. So you wonder how many were fighting voluntarily?

Is there any record of dissent in the ranks of the Irish regiments who did actually play a role in suppressing the Rising?
Charlie Flanagan: We must acknowledge British soldiers killed in the Rising
 


sgtharper

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Charlie Flanagan wrote an article in yesterday's Irish Times about Irish Men who served in the British Army and helped suppress the Easter Rising.

The politics and society of Ireland in 1916 were both complex and in flux. The story of the Neilan brothers in many ways exemplifies this complexity and fluidity. Gerald, a lieutenant with the Royal British Fusiliers, was one of the first soldiers killed in the Rising.

There was no such regiment as the Royal British Fusiliers. It never existed.
True, but The Royal Fusiliers, (7th. Foot, the City of London Regiment) DID most certainly exist and I suspect that it is the regiment he was referring to.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Fusiliers

Flanagan fails to mention that any Irish men in the British Army who refused to fight would have been shot. So you wonder how many were fighting voluntarily?

Is there any record of dissent in the ranks of the Irish regiments who did actually play a role in suppressing the Rising?
Charlie Flanagan: We must acknowledge British soldiers killed in the Rising
I've no idea if there was any dissent in the ranks etc, but I doubt it. The rising came as a complete shock to everyone and events unfolded so fast that I don't imagine many of the soldiers in Dublin had time to reflect on what was happening. I'd say most of them were stupefied at what was happening around them and once they realised that comrades of theirs were being killed and wounded by what most people at the time would have regarded as a bunch of nutters and obsessives at best then I'm sure that they got on and did their duty as they saw it.
But yes, in those days a refusal to obey a lawful order on active service was an offence punishable with death.
 

TruthInTheNews

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It appears that it was the Anglo Irish who provided the main body of opposition to the Rising within Ireland. The Anglo Irish formed the Officer Core of the Irish regiments and would have been Unionist in outlook.

The part played by the Anglo Irish in putting down the Rising has received little or not attention during the commemoration. Flanagan seems to be conflating Anglo Irish attitudes with Nationalist attitudes in general which were very different.

For example the infamous Bowen-Colthurst was from Cork but he certainly was not Nationalist. Fine Gael seem to be promulgating an Anglo Irish perspective of Irish History.

{53} Bowen-Colthurst, of an Anglo-Irish family from County Cork, was a captain in the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles stationed at Portobello Barracks. An honours graduate from Sandhurst and a veteran of the Boer War, India and Tibet, he had taken part in the Battle of Mons in August 1914 and had been severely wounded at the Aisne the following month, leading to his being invalided home. He had appeared before a medical board in March 1915 but had not been returned to the front, due more to an adverse report as to his competence written by his commanding officer than to his medical condition. Lieut.-Colonel W. D. Bird (later Major General Sir Wilkinson Dent Bird) had accused Colthurst of attacking a German position at the Aisne without orders, thereby leading to a counter-attack that resulted in the battalion's suffering many casualties, including Colthurst himself. Bird had also accused him of breaking down during the fighting. Colthurst denied Bird's charges, arguing that Bird had a personal vendetta against him because of an argument the two men had had in 1914 after Bird had offered the regiment for service in Belfast to enforce the Home Rule legislation. Colthurst later wrote, "[H]is crowning folly was volunteering the services of the Royal Irish Rifles he commanded for active service in Belfast and Ulster. … I as an Irishman declined to give my men orders to fire, on the peaceful citizens of Belfast."[SUP][55][/SUP]

{54} With the outbreak of the rising, Bowen-Colthurst once again found himself in action. On the morning of Wednesday, 26 April 1916, he transferred three prisoners, Sheehy Skeffington and two other journalists, Thomas Dickson and Patrick MacIntyre, from the barracks guardroom to an adjoining yard where he ordered a party of seven soldiers to shoot them, which they did. Were it not for the persistence of a fellow officer in the Royal Irish Rifles, Major Sir Francis Vane, the murders might have been hushed up. Colthurst had his supporters and to them he had simply done his duty under difficult circumstances. In her diary of the rising, Elsie Mahaffy wrote of Colthurst in glowing terms: "one of the best young men I have ever met" and described Skeffington as "a man whose life and principles were vicious" and the other two shot with him as "ruffians, editors of sedition & indecent papers".[SUP][56][/SUP] But Vane took the matter to the top, laying his allegations before the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, who ordered that Bowen-Colthurst be arrested and charged.

{55} On 10 June 1916 a General Court Martial found Bowen-Colthurst guilty of the murder of Sheehy Skeffington and the two other men. But the court also found he was insane at the time he committed those acts. It was largely the evidence of Major General Bird as to Colthurst's behaviour in France that persuaded the court martial that Colthurst was mentally unsound. Therefore, instead of being hanged for the murders, he was detained in Broadmoor criminal lunatic asylum at His Majesty's pleasure. This lasted less than two years, until January 1918, when Colthurst was granted conditional release. On 26 April 1921 – five years to the day after the murder of the three journalists – Colthurst, with his wife and four children, emigrated to Canada, where he resided until his death on 11 December 1965 at the grand age of 85 years.[SUP][57][/SUP]
 

TruthInTheNews

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True, but The Royal Fusiliers, (7th. Foot, the City of London Regiment) DID most certainly exist and I suspect that it is the regiment he was referring to.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Fusiliers



I've no idea if there was any dissent in the ranks etc, but I doubt it. The rising came as a complete shock to everyone and events unfolded so fast that I don't imagine many of the soldiers in Dublin had time to reflect on what was happening. I'd say most of them were stupefied at what was happening around them and once they realised that comrades of theirs were being killed and wounded by what most people at the time would have regarded as a bunch of nutters and obsessives at best then I'm sure that they got on and did their duty as they saw it.
But yes, in those days a refusal to obey a lawful order on active service was an offence punishable with death.
I think he was referring to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.

10th Battalion RDF during the Easter Rising
 

TruthInTheNews

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I don't like Flanagan's hypocrisy. He wants peace, reconciliation and respect for all traditions except, it seems, Sinn Fein.

An important part of the value of this centenary year is the opportunity afforded to challenge and broaden our understanding of what diverse influences contributed to making the Ireland of today. In doing so we also try to imagine a future in which peace, reconciliation and respect for all traditions on this island are irreversibly secured.
 

Boy M5

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I don't like Flanagan's hypocrisy. He wants peace, reconciliation and respect for all traditions except, it seems, Sinn Fein.

An important part of the value of this centenary year is the opportunity afforded to challenge and broaden our understanding of what diverse influences contributed to making the Ireland of today. In doing so we also try to imagine a future in which peace, reconciliation and respect for all traditions on this island are irreversibly secured.
Hang on, it's nothing to do with SF. Rather it's what once was mainstream Irish Republicanism - the national body politic's DNA.

Despite Daddy's well known anti semitism Char-les is a big zionist (& I know Zionism & Judaism are different)
 

Levellers

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Flanagan objects to people wearing an Easter Lily but likes to parade around with his Poppy.

 

dresden8

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He's a fncking idiot. Doesn't even know which arse he's licking.
 

Ireniall

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I don't like Flanagan's hypocrisy. He wants peace, reconciliation and respect for all traditions except, it seems, Sinn Fein.

An important part of the value of this centenary year is the opportunity afforded to challenge and broaden our understanding of what diverse influences contributed to making the Ireland of today. In doing so we also try to imagine a future in which peace, reconciliation and respect for all traditions on this island are irreversibly secured.
That is not the fault line. The fault line is between those who want reconciliation and those who don't. It would be unfair to say that SF don't want it perhaps but they are also often the biggest obstacle and naturally Flanagan will not identify with this. If SF put as much effort into genuine reconciliation instead of focusing so much on rehabilitating their murderous Provo past perhaps they would be more deserving of Flanagans respect.
 

sgtharper

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Bleu Poppy

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True, but The Royal Fusiliers, (7th. Foot, the City of London Regiment) DID most certainly exist and I suspect that it is the regiment he was referring to.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Fusiliers



I've no idea if there was any dissent in the ranks etc, but I doubt it. The rising came as a complete shock to everyone and events unfolded so fast that I don't imagine many of the soldiers in Dublin had time to reflect on what was happening. I'd say most of them were stupefied at what was happening around them and once they realised that comrades of theirs were being killed and wounded by what most people at the time would have regarded as a bunch of nutters and obsessives at best then I'm sure that they got on and did their duty as they saw it.
But yes, in those days a refusal to obey a lawful order on active service was an offence punishable with death.


Great to get a soldier's perspective.

Have a look at today's Irish Times- chap from Northumberland claiming that there wasn't a Royal British Fusiliers- perhaps Flanagan used the word to distinguish that London Regiment from the Dublin one.... much as some erroneously refer to the British Open to make it clear that they are not talking about the U.S. golf competition.

Or others refer to the British Navy, as they cannot bring themselves to give it the correct name- Royal Navy.
 

Nedz Newt

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Bit strong to accuse him of lying, it was just the casual ignorance of a politician whose mouth works better than his brain, not for the first time.
 

Clanrickard

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sgtharper

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Great to get a soldier's perspective.

Have a look at today's Irish Times- chap from Northumberland claiming that there wasn't a Royal British Fusiliers-
A chip on his shoulder I imagine, the local regiment having once been the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers (Fifth Foot), a very distinguished regiment in their day who later amalgamated with the Royal Fusiliers, Lancashire Fusiliers and the Warwicks to form the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.)
perhaps Flanagan used the word to distinguish that London Regiment from the Dublin one.... much as some erroneously refer to the British Open to make it clear that they are not talking about the U.S. golf competition.
He could have simply called it by it's own unique name, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, which would have helped him in making his point, that many Irishmen, nationalists even, found themselves fighting against the rebels in the rising.
 

Bleu Poppy

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It appears that it was the Anglo Irish who provided the main body of opposition to the Rising within Ireland. The Anglo Irish formed the Officer Core of the Irish regiments and would have been Unionist in outlook.

The part played by the Anglo Irish in putting down the Rising has received little or not attention during the commemoration. Flanagan seems to be conflating Anglo Irish attitudes with Nationalist attitudes in general which were very different.

For example the infamous Bowen-Colthurst was from Cork but he certainly was not Nationalist. Fine Gael seem to be promulgating an Anglo Irish perspective of Irish History.

{53} Bowen-Colthurst, of an Anglo-Irish family from County Cork, was a captain in the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles stationed at Portobello Barracks. An honours graduate from Sandhurst and a veteran of the Boer War, India and Tibet, he had taken part in the Battle of Mons in August 1914 and had been severely wounded at the Aisne the following month, leading to his being invalided home. He had appeared before a medical board in March 1915 but had not been returned to the front, due more to an adverse report as to his competence written by his commanding officer than to his medical condition. Lieut.-Colonel W. D. Bird (later Major General Sir Wilkinson Dent Bird) had accused Colthurst of attacking a German position at the Aisne without orders, thereby leading to a counter-attack that resulted in the battalion's suffering many casualties, including Colthurst himself. Bird had also accused him of breaking down during the fighting. Colthurst denied Bird's charges, arguing that Bird had a personal vendetta against him because of an argument the two men had had in 1914 after Bird had offered the regiment for service in Belfast to enforce the Home Rule legislation. Colthurst later wrote, "[H]is crowning folly was volunteering the services of the Royal Irish Rifles he commanded for active service in Belfast and Ulster. … I as an Irishman declined to give my men orders to fire, on the peaceful citizens of Belfast."[SUP][55][/SUP]

{54} With the outbreak of the rising, Bowen-Colthurst once again found himself in action. On the morning of Wednesday, 26 April 1916, he transferred three prisoners, Sheehy Skeffington and two other journalists, Thomas Dickson and Patrick MacIntyre, from the barracks guardroom to an adjoining yard where he ordered a party of seven soldiers to shoot them, which they did. Were it not for the persistence of a fellow officer in the Royal Irish Rifles, Major Sir Francis Vane, the murders might have been hushed up. Colthurst had his supporters and to them he had simply done his duty under difficult circumstances. In her diary of the rising, Elsie Mahaffy wrote of Colthurst in glowing terms: "one of the best young men I have ever met" and described Skeffington as "a man whose life and principles were vicious" and the other two shot with him as "ruffians, editors of sedition & indecent papers".[SUP][56][/SUP] But Vane took the matter to the top, laying his allegations before the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, who ordered that Bowen-Colthurst be arrested and charged.

{55} On 10 June 1916 a General Court Martial found Bowen-Colthurst guilty of the murder of Sheehy Skeffington and the two other men. But the court also found he was insane at the time he committed those acts. It was largely the evidence of Major General Bird as to Colthurst's behaviour in France that persuaded the court martial that Colthurst was mentally unsound. Therefore, instead of being hanged for the murders, he was detained in Broadmoor criminal lunatic asylum at His Majesty's pleasure. This lasted less than two years, until January 1918, when Colthurst was granted conditional release. On 26 April 1921 – five years to the day after the murder of the three journalists – Colthurst, with his wife and four children, emigrated to Canada, where he resided until his death on 11 December 1965 at the grand age of 85 years.[SUP][57][/SUP]
Bowen-Colthurst was not commemorated yesterday. Guilty but Insane is a verdict of guilt. As a legal determination it has been abandoned in many countries by the 'Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity' verdict as a reform of criminal law.

Having said that, it is obvious that Bowen-Colthurst's actions were inexcusable, as were those of his subordinates.

Great to see the ambassador of Bowen-Colthurst's adopted country playing such an active part at yesterday's event.

And by-the-by, what exactly did you think was meant by the government when it stated that the Decade of Commemorations and the 1916-2016 events were going to be inclusive?
 

Bleu Poppy

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Flanagan objects to people wearing an Easter Lily but likes to parade around with his Poppy.

Given that the Easter Lily is a symbol invented by those opposed to the Treaty can you point a finger of blame at him?

Claiming that the Easter Lily has anything to do with the Easter Rising is a lie. Straight up.
 

Bleu Poppy

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I don't like Flanagan's hypocrisy. He wants peace, reconciliation and respect for all traditions except, it seems, Sinn Fein.

An important part of the value of this centenary year is the opportunity afforded to challenge and broaden our understanding of what diverse influences contributed to making the Ireland of today. In doing so we also try to imagine a future in which peace, reconciliation and respect for all traditions on this island are irreversibly secured.
Golly, The Ballymurphy Wag, chose to be in Belfast on Easter Sunday, and not on the reviewing stand in Dublin.
 

Bleu Poppy

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That is a disgrace from Flanagan. Absolutely disgusting.
Wow!! I've heard of speed-reading. But speed-viewing? You managed to see through the full clip before making that comment!

PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!

The Easter Lily, so called, was a late 1920's invention by the defeated Irregulars and their supporters to raise funds for their nefarrious purposes after De Valera abandoned Sinn Féin's failed campaign of violence and founded the MaFFia. It, as a symbol, has nothing to do with 1916, or the War of Independence for that matter. It has everything to do with the Civil War.... hence Flanagan's valid viewpoint.
 


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