Disregard 1916 and go back to Tone?

Anglo Celt

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Interesting letter in an edition of this weeks IT. That section of letters is quite long so I highlighted the one I'm referring to by a Pierce Martin

(Ref: 1916) In the end the idealists were dumped and the power elites – as Diarmaid Ferriter has argued – took over and handed social and moral policy to an avaricious and oppressive Roman Catholic Church. There is no evidence that it would have been any different if all of the 1916 signatories had lived.

A country founded on such a flawed, and undemocratic ideology as Fenianism is bound to falter and collapse from the weight of its own corruption and essential problem with real democracy, including inherent contradictions regarding which comes first, the country or individual political advancement.

We should not really be that surprised at our national implosion. What we need is a new republic inspired by one of our most missrepresented patriots Theobald Wolf Tone - not Patrick Pearse, nor James Connolly.

For all his well-intentioned, but misguided actions, Connolly destroyed the prospect of progressive politics in Ireland by aligning himself with the far nationalist right. A point made by John Newsinger in his book Rebel City. The problem with Irish history – especially when it comes to 1916 – is that we often get a populist romantic myopic perspective on it, rather than an objective one. This serves no purpose other than to obfuscate our past and render us intellectually impotent. – Yours, etc,
 


Scipio

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That 1798 didn't succeed is one of the great "what ifs" in Irish history, similarly so for the shut down of Grattan's parliament and subsequent barrier towards any peaceful evolution towards general Irish independence/self-government.

As for disregarding 1916 and going back to the ideals of the likes of Tone, Orr, and McCracken, I couldn't agree more.

Unlike 1916, 1798 is a movement which was shared between Catholic and Protestant, Anglican and Dissenter and whose ideals have not been impugned by subsequent corruption and censorship.
 

Scipio

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Sadly that is a myth about 1798
It's hardly a myth in the sense it was meant. Participation in the movement (and indeed the rebellion itself), certainly as regards the leadership, was mostly Anglican and Presbyterian.

Large numbers of Catholics, excluding the Church leadership after 1795, also got behind it. Unlike 1916, which was almost exclusively Catholic, and devoid of Northern Protestant support, 1798 was another ball-game.

That is not to say of course that sectarian conflict was erased in the country either before, or after, the rebellion but it is a testament to the movement that they could rally large numbers of Northern Presbyterians to the cause, even with the mighty divisions that existed at the time.
 

Cruimh

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Sorry Scipio - Tone was not an egalitarian. He wanted a different elite to run the place. And the ideals of the early members were knocked on the head when they allied themselves to the sectarian defenders. By 1798 that business of an alliance of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter was well and truly dead.
 

Scipio

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Sorry Scipio - Tone was not an egalitarian. He wanted a different elite to run the place. And the ideals of the early members were knocked on the head when they allied themselves to the sectarian defenders. By 1798 that business of an alliance of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter was well and truly dead.
Tone was born to an élite, certainly, but his ideals as inspired by the French Revolution were an utter change to the ancien régime that had gone on before.

As for an alliance with the "sectarian" Defenders, that is a highly polarizing interpretation of an alliance reconciling two conflicting sides.

Robert Kee certainly takes a different view in The Most Distressful Country - it was the British government's brutal actions in 1797, as well as overt use of the Orange Order, that broke large parts of the North, not any disillusion with an alliance with the Defenders.
 

Cruimh

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Tone was born to an élite, certainly, but his ideals as inspired by the French Revolution were an utter change to the ancien régime that had gone on before.

As for an alliance with the "sectarian" Defenders, that is a highly polarizing interpretation of an alliance reconciling two conflicting sides.

Robert Kee certainly takes a different view in The Most Distressful Country - it was the British government's brutal actions in 1797, as well as overt use of the Orange Order, that broke large parts of the North, not any disillusion with an alliance with the Defenders.
Yes - he wanted his elite in control.

Sorry - the United Irishmen radicalized in part because of the Fitzwilliam business and Tone was in France from 1795. Part of the radicalization process involved playing the Orange Bogey - this pre-dated the Dragooning of Ulster.
 

Green eyed monster

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There was no major difference between the Rising of 1798 and that of Home Rule Campaign+1916. In both cases the offer of inclusion was extended to Protestants and in both cases it was rejected by them. In 1798 they set up the Orange Order (that sort of makes their opinions clear don't it?) while during the Home Rule movement the world was introduced to the first UVF.

The first sectarian state that was declared was in the North, a Protestant state for a Protestant people... That's all it took for the leaders in the South to say that setting up some kind of semi-Catholic state was justifiable, each sectarianism expands the other - this is the way the British Island dwellers have always maintained control for themselves (over the two kinds of Paddys).

An island unified nation (unified religiously and accepting each other's culture (if not exactly embracing it) was always the best choice, an island is a fortress as Shakespeare said - and most of all it would put the bloodshed behind us (and we could have evolved a less-gombenised form of politics among ourselves as we waved goodbye to our obsession with Britain).

So i don't see any differences between 16 and 98 except that 16 actually achieved something (however partial). The opinions of the Unionists are clear and set, whenever it looks like some might be persuaded out come the banners of 1641, had Home Rule been put off they would still be unpersuadable Unionists today and Partition would be set down as a 'solution' today as easily as it was in the 20's (Kosovo proves that). So i think 1916 was well worth it and the right thing to do despite it's incomplete goals and the consequences.

If the Unionists want a change they can seek it, but we don't need any more Wolfe Tones in this day and age (and by that i mean wars that only widen divisions in the end) although Tone (like Pearse) was well ahead of his times and 100% correct to try way back then in 1798.
 

ocoonassa

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There was no major difference between the Rising of 1798 and that of Home Rule Campaign+1916. In both cases the offer of inclusion was extended to Protestants and in both cases it was rejected by them. In 1798 they set up the Orange Order (that sort of makes their opinions clear don't it?) while during the Home Rule movement the world was introduced to the first UVF.
The OO was Anglican afaik. You can't blame every single Irish Protestant alive in 1795 for setting up the OO. Also, in 1798 the offer of inclusion was extended to us Papists, you have it all the wrong way round. We were doing feck all about anything much and the Dissenters decided to include us in their revolution. Here you are now blaming them for setting up the OO. Keep it real!
 

Theobald

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Catalpa

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Tone himself though was just as much an elitist - he just wanted a different elite in charge.
Perhaps and maybe but he was a Revolutionary and wanted to do away with the Old Ascendancy and replace it with a society open to all with talent.

The writer to the Irish Times misses the point.

The rot set in the 1960s with the men in the mohair suits*

- and really took off under Lynch in 1977 when we started to borrow huge sums of money abroad to fund Government spending

- that was totally reliant on continual growth to have any hope of repayment.

That folly was checked for a while in the late 80s and early 90s but took off again post 2002.

On top of that the Banks and the Developers + other Irish businesses and individuals too started to indulge in the same antics

So now we end up with a Society at large that borrowed to the hilt and cannot realistically repay what it took out in loans...:oops:

Nothing to do with 1916 or Citoyan Tone etc...

* incl Lenny's Da
 

Green eyed monster

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Any letters to the 'Madame' (received and printed prominently) are unfortunately designed to undermine Irish nationalism and the foundational underpinnings of the state. As there is no United Ireland imminent (or let's be frank - likely) switching from Pearse to Tone as an object of veneration serves no purpose... except to disinherit and undermine 1916. They want us to swap our bone in our mouth for the one in the reflection dog in the water.

The OO was Anglican afaik. You can't blame every single Irish Protestant alive in 1795 for setting up the OO. Also, in 1798 the offer of inclusion was extended to us Papists, you have it all the wrong way round. We were doing feck all about anything much and the Dissenters decided to include us in their revolution. Here you are now blaming them for setting up the OO. Keep it real!
Whether you blame Protestants or not (and i am not blaming every Protestant for anything, don't straw me - i know also full well the role some Catholics played in 1798 against the United Irishmen) that doesn't change the fact that Ireland remains divided and will into the distant future and i can think of no possible historical avenue (barring remaining in the Union) that would have resulted in a change in that situation.
 

Scipio

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Yes - he wanted his elite in control.
The difference between an independent, democratic republic, and an ancien régime structure whereby only a small part of the aristocracy had any say is clear.

While an élite rules to a certain extent in any society, under French revolutionary ideals, everyone had a change to gain access to it.

"The aristocracy of Ireland which exists only by our slavery, and is maintained in its pomp and splendour by the sale of our livers, liberties and properties, will tumble in the dust; ... we shall have a wise and honest legislature, chosen by the People, whom they will indeed represent and whose interest, even for their own sakes, they will strenuously support. ... Your peasantry will no longer be seen in rags and misery, their complaints will be examined, and their suffering removed; ... The unnatural union between Church and state ... will be dissolved"
The Writings of Theobald Wolfe Tone

Sorry - the United Irishmen radicalized in part because of the Fitzwilliam business and Tone was in France from 1795. Part of the radicalization process involved playing the Orange Bogey - this pre-dated the Dragooning of Ulster.
None of which changes Tone's revolutionary ideals. The "Orange bogey" however, was originally, and later very effectively, played by the government.

"In the North nothing will keep the rebels quiet but the conviction that where treason has broken out the rebellion is merely popish"
Thranduil said:
In 1798 they set up the Orange Order (that sort of makes their opinions clear don't it?) while during the Home Rule movement the world was introduced to the first UVF.
The Orange Order was founded in 1795, and at first, only admitted Anglicans.
 

Theobald

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New Ireland anyone?

Whta about 2016, or 2021 for that matter.
 

Green eyed monster

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The Orange Order was founded in 1795, and at first, only admitted Anglicans.
I knew it wasn't founded in exactly 1798, i was using the term 1798 to refer to a general period and the events surrounding, leading up to and in Emmet's case - coming after that important year.

The OO was set up to create an umbrella Protestant movement in order to divide the nation and pit factions against one another. They were told (and spread the word) that 1798 was a sectarian Catholic uprising.
 

SlabMurphy

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The free state was set up by gombeens for gombeens. Many of those who became the political architects of the new state weren't even Republicans but the servile little gombeen men such as monarchists like Arthur Griffith or oppurtunists like Kevin O'Higgins who swithched from the IPP to Sinn Fein when he seen they were the coming force. Or Douglas Hyde whp had no association with Sinn Féin and left the Gaelic league in 1915 because he didn't like it's ranks that were swelling with those in favour of independence. These type of people created and made sure down the decades thanks to the likes of Sir Tony, their appointees in RTE and the boyos on the pulpit ofcourse that every progressive current of thought and action was snuffed out by empowering the most coservative sections of Irish soiety and finding common cause.
 

Theobald

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I knew it wasn't founded in exactly 1798, i was using the term 1798 to refer to a general period and the events surrounding, leading up to and in Emmet's case - coming after that important year.

The OO was set up to create an umbrella Protestant movement in order to divide the nation and pit factions against one another. They were told (and spread the word) that 1798 was a sectarian Catholic uprising.
Yep and even to this day some people still believe it was actually sectarian, even given the 'in your face' evidence that it wasnt.

After the rebellion as the process of creating this myth the OO began to encourage presbyterians and even former presbyterian united irishmen to join the OO.

This upset some OO members who then broke away to form the elitest royal black perceptory, they couldnt have allies who fought alongside papists now could they?

Modern-day sectarianism was invented by the OO, and fuelled consistently, even by De valeras misguided alignment to the catholic church.

Tone was waaaaaaaaaaaayyyy ahead of his time.
 

SevenStars

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The way some people on this site go on you would think that Roman Catholicism was some brand of Satanism or something....

I have no problem with people being Roman Catholics as long as they arent interested in forcing me to stop whorshipping God the way I choose and that they put the political interests of their community above those of the Vatitican...Irish Republicans from the word go no matter how devout RCs have passed on both those isssues.

This is getting seriously boring.
 


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