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Well-known member
Oct 16, 2012
We have a sense of being anti-colonial, because of various plantations here going back to the 1100s. However we were 99% plugged in to the globalising process, from eating the potato, drinking tea, speaking new languages, adopting foreign religions, clothes, drinks, music, shipping; the list goes on. :p

An interesting 1879 project to settle Irish emigrants in rural Minnesota even had the backing of church and charitable businessmen. The "natives" had been cleared out. Your packet of Carrolls used to read "Lakota" on the inside, and I never realised this was the name of a Sioux tribe that had been handily "displaced" by the US cavalry 10 years before our "colonization" started. They weren't christians and were labelled as "red indians", so they didn't matter. :?

On the downside, the bunch of Gaelic-speaking families from Conamara plonked on the prairie had no idea how to cope in the teeth of the winter in the Midwest. They had to seek help from the local freemasons, at a time when freemasons were disapproved of by the church, and seen as agents of the enlightenment. :|

On the upside, some small communities with names like Iona and Clontarf still exist in Minnesota.

On the American end, the scheme was handled by Kilkenny man Arch/bishop John Ireland:


In Ireland the main man was John Sweetman (1844-1936) who had many interesting involvements, from the land war, MP for East Wicklow (1892-95), to farming and brewing, president of Sinn Fein (1908-11) and membership of the First Dail

http://www.nli.ie/pdfs/mss lists/156_SweetmanPapers.pdf


While the scheme aimed to remove the Connacht settlers from the evils of urban life, and while we deplored colonialism at home, it could never have happened without American expansionism and urban-sponsored inventions like the railway. But, once these were in place, was it so "wrong" to try to settle the open prairies?


Well-known member
Aug 2, 2012
All of the Presbyterian United Irelanders were Freemasons ,


Well-known member
Apr 30, 2010
Joseph Walshe suggested an Irish Colony to de Valera!

In an apparently genuine suggestion to de Valera, though one which goes against all the norms of Irish foreign policy, Walshe took what he had learned in Sudan to heart and asked the taoiseach to ‘give a little thought to the question of a colony when you have leisure. It would be a splendid training ground for our people, and colonial budgets can be made to balance without subsidies from the home government’. The two sentences stand out in the history of Irish foreign policy as probably the only time that any Irish diplomat suggested to de Valera or any other senior political figure that Ireland develop an empire in Africa.

The apparently genuine remark to de Valera resulted from immersion in British policies in Sudan and shows that Walshe perceived an Irish colony in Africa as a way to cultivate the Irish administrative élite. The desire to balance budgets without the involvement of Dublin suggests a self-sustaining, self-sufficient entity, a colony that would be a government and administrative training school in Africa. Walshe made no mention of how indigenous peoples in this colony might fare, and one wonders whether Walshe saw himself as the colonial governor-general running Ireland’s place in the sun.
Walshe never developed the idea further. There is no suggestion as to where Ireland’s African colony might be situated. Walshe left no papers, and no written reply to his suggestion exists in de Valera’s private papers. One can speculate that de Valera did not give the request much thought.
History Ireland

Lumpy Talbot

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Jun 30, 2015
Bertie Ahern on his famous economics lectures in Nigeria. 'Let me introduce you to the concept of Drumcondranomics'...

Nigerian audience '"We know."

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