The secret lives of Ireland’s Protestants - Major UCD Protestant Folk Memory Project

YesSireeeBob

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The secret lives of Ireland


Great article in the IT about protestants - we don't get to hear their experiences very often - there seems to be a fear within that community of giving their opinion which is why most would not allow their name to be published.

In 2016 there is a man who carries what he says is the "heavy burden" of his family coming in with Cromwell and doesn't want his name / location published as he doesn't want anyone to know.

Some seemed to have a hard time growing up - the 80+ year old man still upset that at school in the 1930s, children were told not to play with him, is very sad.
But then they wanted to remain separate, they didn't want their children mixing with other Catholic children too much, in case they married out.



Their stories and recollections span include folk history, supernatural and medical traditions, relations with Catholic neighbours, social diversity and uniquely Protestant traditions.

The majority of people interviewed by Nuttall – both Protestants and people of Protestant descent – chose to stay anonymous.
When they talk of their family history they tend to focus on Quakers, Pallatines or Hugeunots; Cromwell remains taboo.
“One man told me that his ancestors came with Cromwell; then he asked me to delete it; then said I could include it but not to mention where he is from, as he didn’t want anyone to know,” she says.
“Even though it was a long time ago, it is a heavy burden to bear.
Another woman from the northwest of Ireland talks of her people coming from Scotland but does not want to be identified.”
“Verbal abuse was common and I’d hear that, if you run backwards around a Protestant church seven times, you’d see the devil. It was horrible, but I had to get on with it.
One neighbour used to say hello to us every day, but after he discovered we were Protestant, he never even looked at us again.
One man from the southwest of Ireland told Nuttall that he had a tough time growing up in the 1930s.
“The other children were told not to play with him, that he was going to the devil.
On his long walk home from school, he had to contend with other kids threatening him.
His parents didn’t believe him.
More than 80 years later, he was very upset as he spoke to me about it.”

People in rural communities might thresh together, or share a plough, but observant Protestants did not take part in Sunday sports and this excluded them from many community events.
“It was sometimes a polite way of not taking part, because there was some anxiety that if your children socialised with Catholics too much, they may marry out.
They were already watching their community shrink, and one of the reasons was Ne Temere.
It wasn’t just that they were preserving their religion; they were afraid their Catholic grandchildren could be subtly turned against them.”

“A lot of older people believe in the idea of the Protestant work ethic,” she says.
“There are stereotypes: Protestants are good at growing daffodils and can make a meal out of barely any food.”
“Home baking is popular among Protestants, especially jam-making,” says David Thomas, who was born in 1959. “I was recently at a funeral and everything was home-baked.
Someone brought along Aldi buns but they stood out like a sore thumb.”
 


statsman

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The secret lives of Ireland


Great article in the IT about protestants - we don't get to hear their experiences very often - there seems to be a fear within that community of giving their opinion which is why most would not allow their name to be published.

In 2016 there is a man who carries what he says is the "heavy burden" of his family coming in with Cromwell and doesn't want his name / location published as he doesn't want anyone to know.

Some seemed to have a hard time growing up - the 80+ year old man still upset that at school in the 1930s, children were told not to play with him, is very sad.
But then they wanted to remain separate, they didn't want their children mixing with other Catholic children too much, in case they married out.
As someone who in real life have what is a distinctly 'Protestant' name (although not actually a Protestant) I can relate to some of this in a small way. I've often been treated with a certain suspicion on the basis of my name alone by people who were almost relieved to learn that I'm a pagan, not a Prod.
 

Boy M5

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This looks an interesting project.
My view is whilst jobs in Guinness, BoI etc. were saved for the boys especially senior jobs. Most working class and lower middle class prods had no benefit - perhaps opposite
 

Deadlock

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There has been a lot of intermarriage between CoI and RC in my extended family - I'd imagine like a great deal of posters here. What astounds me is that now in my mid-40s I have only recently found out that that was the case.

Both a great-Aunt and an Uncle converted from CoI to RC, to marry the RC partner that they loved - and people just shut up about until recently.

Ne Temere has much to answer for.
 

dalyp

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Interesting that a number of them both in the article and comments section were keen to distinguish themselves from the Northern Scottish protestants
 

Dadaist

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On my road growing up there was a protestant couple (at least I think they protestant), who were quite introverted and on occasion would move us on from playing football outside their house. They were not the first nor last to do this. For all my young life on the road they were referred to as 'The Prods', i.e. a perception of being dower and miserable.

The thing is, I didn't find out till later in life that a family across the road, who were very close friends of my family, were also protestant. It was known in my family but was never brought up as there was no issue.

Friendly protestants = Friends

Unfriendly protestants = Nasty Prods
 

A REASON

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Most of the suspicion that surrounded prods was because of the informant scumbags. Also the disgusting way many protestants behaved in the north of Ireland.
 

former wesleyan

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There has been a lot of intermarriage between CoI and RC in my extended family - I'd imagine like a great deal of posters here. What astounds me is that now in my mid-40s I have only recently found out that that was the case.

Both a great-Aunt and an Uncle converted from CoI to RC, to marry the RC partner that they loved - and people just shut up about until recently.

Ne Temere has much to answer for.
I think Ne Temere has lost its power. My two lads went to a nominally Protestant school and several of his mates were the products of mixed marriages where they were being brought up as protestant.
 

dalyp

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On my road growing up there was a protestant couple (at least I think they protestant), who were quite introverted and on occasion would move us on from playing football outside their house. They were not the first nor last to do this. For all my young life on the road they were referred to as 'The Prods', i.e. a perception of being dower and miserable.

The thing is, I didn't find out till later in life that a family across the road, who were very close friends of my family, were also protestant. It was known in my family but was never brought up as there was no issue.

Friendly protestants = Friends

Unfriendly protestants = Nasty Prods
I guess you could apply that logic to any demographic

Friendly old people = Friends
Grump old people = Grumpy oul bastards
 

stopdoingstuff

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Always felt bad for the Protestant kids growing up. I mean imagine believing in justification by faith and then having that faith tested by watching Rangers. Poor bastards.
 

dalyp

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In our secondary school back in the 80's some teachers had us stand and say a prayer before each class. We had one protestant lad who would remain sitting and if questioned would say "Church of Ireland Sir" which most teachers would be happy with, but for one aul c*nt from Kerry who would insist that the lad stand on his own say the Lords Prayer - along the lines of "you musth know some prayers bhouy"
 

Deadlock

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In our secondary school back in the 80's some teachers had us stand and say a prayer before each class. We had one protestant lad who would remain sitting and if questioned would say "Church of Ireland Sir" which most teachers would be happy with, but for one aul c*nt from Kerry who would insist that the lad stand on his own say the Lords Prayer - along the lines of "you musth know some prayers bhouy"
Things were a little better in my school at the same time. Local CoI kids were "excused" from religion, and allowed to sit it out in the cloakroom.
 

dalyp

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Things were a little better in my school at the same time. Local CoI kids were "excused" from religion, and allowed to sit it out in the cloakroom.
Same for the religion class with us - one other thing I remember is that the Protestant kids never ( probably generalizing a little here) took Honour's Irish even when excelling in all other classes - keeping in mind that it was worth extra points for university at the time
 

Boy M5

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Always felt bad for the Protestant kids growing up. I mean imagine believing in justification by faith and then having that faith tested by watching Rangers. Poor bastards.
They'll have last laugh. That's great penance, they'll get a rake of time off of purgatory
 

Boy M5

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Same for the religion class with us - one other thing I remember is that the Protestant kids never ( probably generalizing a little here) took Honour's Irish even when excelling in all other classes - keeping in mind that it was worth extra points for university at the time
Reminds me Ferriter reviewed a new book on Hyde last weekend in IT.
 

Deadlock

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Same for the religion class with us - one other thing I remember is that the Protestant kids never ( probably generalizing a little here) took Honour's Irish even when excelling in all other classes - keeping in mind that it was worth extra points for university at the time
I can't remember too well - I think some did take Honours Irish, if a particular teacher was teaching it. There were a few teachers of Irish and one was just a shockingly bad teacher and an ignorant abusive git on a good day. If he was on rotation for an exam year, the principal had to cajole students of all faiths and none to do Honours Irish,in an effort to control the class sizes.
 

Dr Lovemuffin

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I knew my great grandmother who lived in the East Wall and was a working class Dub. She died in the 1970’s and lived to 101. She was a C of I and was loyal. Her daughters were loyal as well and I remember them referring to Sean O’Casey (working class prod) as that ‘auld rebel’ when they saw me reading his plays. They were a bit mixed ups as they grew to love Dev for keeping us out of the war and when I knew them in their 70’s and 80’s they identified themselves as Irish and supported Irish teams. Their children (my parents) always brought us up to be Irish but still liked watching the Princess Diana etc. I myself always identified myself as Irish, married a catholic but I’m an Irish prod – the children are prods although they go to catholic schools (it’s character building). I lived in Scotland for 10 years and the ones that gave me the most stick was the Northern prods – we just didn’t get on. My position is that I’m the Orange, White and Green - F the pope and f the queen.
 

former wesleyan

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Always felt bad for the Protestant kids growing up. I mean imagine believing in justification by faith and then having that faith tested by watching Rangers. Poor bastards.
Wrong Rangers. Wrong shaped ball.
 

Deadlock

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One of the most ardent GAA supporters down our way was a CoI spinster in her 80s. Following her retirement she was out at every match the local and county teams were playing in - wherever. Never missed a match, and has a store of local GAA knowledge from her parents and her own era that astounds.
 

Dadaist

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I guess you could apply that logic to any demographic

Friendly old people = Friends
Grump old people = Grumpy oul bastards
Yes but in the context of my road, the couple in question were the only known protestants to us kids. It was a very specific and targeted insult.
 


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