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A Tentative Question on Ireland's memories


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#1 Joe Walsh

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:45 PM

I've been thinking about this for many years now, but I'm basically asking where should Ireland place itself in remembering the Great War?

I'm from Galway in Ireland and I some of my ancestors joined the army on the outbreak of war. Others were fenians. In fact my great-Grandfather fought in the war, and his brother took part in the Easter Rising in Athenry.

Whilst there's a growing interest in the Irish involvement in the war, evident through the increasing amount of publications, nothing is being done to commemorate the fallen Irish soldiers from the Republic. Whilst there are a number of memorials across the country to the men and women who died in establishing Irish independence. I think a part of the issue is that if memorials were erected it would open up some contradiction on Irish history. Because Ireland played a key part in the British Empire - certainly making up a large contingent of the armed forces (over 40% of the army was Irish in the mid 19th century).

But should something be done?

#2 corisande

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 08:57 PM

I don't really want to get involved in the politics of it, but statistically I would point out that the proportion of Irish in the UK Army by and large followed the population. Pre-famine in 1841 population of Ireland was 8.1 million and of UK was 26.8 million, so that Ireland was 30% of the UK population.

By 1911 as WW1 loomed, Ireland only represented 10% of UK population (4.4 million out of 40.7 million)

Having said that, yes the Army was an important part of Irish (and indeed British life) n terms of jobs

#3 FitzroyPC

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 09:20 PM

Joe

Having visited the Islandbridge Memorial in Dublin, I feel that it is a far better memorial to those who served than the memorial in Belfast.

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#4 truthergw

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 10:30 AM

If I, a Scot, might be allowed to throw in my tuppence worth? No Irish person will need reminded that the fight for freedom was a cause of great dissension. Even after the Civil War had come to an end and the Free State established, there was great bitterness between the parties involved. It was in this atmosphere that the Irish government of the time did its best to distance itself from the British Empire and its wars. All that was a long time ago but anyone who frequents the threads of this forum will know just how easily passions can flare over events of that time. Memories can be very long indeed and events in a family history seem like yesterday. All that being said, it seems to me that some means of memorialising the men of Ireland who fought, should and could be found, given goodwill on the part of the Irish government. Perhaps this is a time when a referendum could be useful, to see if there is a general desire for a memorial. I have been to the Ulster Peace Park near Messines and was most impressed. This is a question which is hedged around with very real problems but I would like to see some solution which meets the wishes of the majority of the Irish people.

#5 BLee

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:36 PM

I think a few suggestions on what should be done would be helpful, bearing in mind the financial situation of the country at the moment. I was going to suggest a nationwide two minute silence but we would probably start WW3 trying to agree on which day.



#6 Keith Roberts

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:53 PM

Surely the fact that there are many ceremonies in Eire on November 11th these days determines the day of remembrance.

BTW I found this link today http://www.britishpa...nce-aka-ireland

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#7 truthergw

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:09 PM

I think a few suggestions on what should be done would be helpful, bearing in mind the financial situation of the country at the moment. I was going to suggest a nationwide two minute silence but we would probably start WW3 trying to agree on which day.



I am very reluctant to suggest anything. I know what reaction that would get if an Irishman tried to advise Scotland on the matter. My preference in war memorials here in Scotland is for memorial halls or recreation parks. Something which is of use to the community rather than a statue. That is a personal observation, rather than a suggestion. ( Think I'll get away with that?)

#8 BLee

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:14 PM

Surely the fact that there are many ceremonies in Eire on November 11th these days determines the day of remembrance.

BTW I found this link today http://www.britishpa...nce-aka-ireland

Keith

No, would upset the Republicans. I think to make it successful you would have to include everyone, WW1, 1916 Rising, War ofIndependence, Civil War and so on, make it so inclusive no one would feel left out. A free virtual drink to anyone who can name the day.



#9 corisande

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:18 PM

I think to make it successful you would have to include everyone, WW1, 1916 Rising, War of Independence, Civil War and so on, make it so inclusive no one would feel left out.


That is the nub of the matter

How about Easter Monday as a day to remember the fallen in all those conflicts?

#10 museumtom

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:41 PM

When compiling the Tipperary War Dead began, anyone I asked warned me of the backlash it would bring and how no one wanted to know about these casualties etc. The more the book became a reality I found no such resistance to it and can honestly say once everyone knew it was going to happen, that was an end to it. Empty buckets make the most noise. It was the vast silent majority who supported it. I found the most support came from the old women ( being an old man I can call old women old women without them getting the hump now). The old women knew that when they died, their husbands side of the family would not 'remember' her ancestors who died in ww1. I find that 99% of the resistance to remembrance of these Irish heroes is a perceived resistance and not as big a problem as you expect it to be.
Kind regards.
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#11 BLee

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:43 PM

That is the nub of the matter

How about Easter Monday as a day to remember the fallen in all those conflicts?


Considering the amount of Ulster Volunteers that gave their lives in WW1 Easter Monday may not suit some Loyalists.



#12 archangel9

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 02:52 PM

I find that 99% of the resistance to remembrance of these Irish heroes is a perceived resistance and not as big a problem as you expect it to be.
Kind regards.
Tom.

Agreed Tom.

Take a look at the Mayo Memorial Peace Park, located in the county town of Mayo, traditionally a strong republican area -

http://www.mayomemorialpeacepark.org/

If this can be achieved in Mayo then it can also be achieved nationally.

John

#13 Magnumbellum

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 03:08 PM

It seems strange that no-one on this thread so far has mentioned the Day of Commemoration in Ireland, which, I understand, was devised precisely to avoid partisanship in relation to the many conflicting motivations and loyalties within the Republic. I have not immediately to hand the precise formula for the settling the day, but it is usually observed on the second Sunday in July, commemorating all Irish dead in all wars, with the President of the Republic taking a leading part.

#14 BLee

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 03:23 PM

It seems strange that no-one on this thread so far has mentioned the Day of Commemoration in Ireland, which, I understand, was devised precisely to avoid partisanship in relation to the many conflicting motivations and loyalties within the Republic. I have not immediately to hand the precise formula for the settling the day, but it is usually observed on the second Sunday in July, commemorating all Irish dead in all wars, with the President of the Republic taking a leading part.



The nearest Sunday to July 11th, Lá Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta, July 11th 1921 is the day the truce was signed which ended the War of Independence.

#15 C.TIERNEY.

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:47 PM

The nearest Sunday to July 11th, Lá Cuimhneacháin Náisiúnta, July 11th 1921 is the day the truce was signed which ended the War of Independence.



As 'BLee' says there is a memorial day held each year in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham to remember all Irish killed in past wars and on UN duty. See below link:

http://www.rte.ie/ne...memoration.html

regards,
C.T.

#16 Jammydodgers

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 09:13 PM

When compiling the Tipperary War Dead began, anyone I asked warned me of the backlash it would bring and how no one wanted to know about these casualties etc. The more the book became a reality I found no such resistance to it and can honestly say once everyone knew it was going to happen, that was an end to it. Empty buckets make the most noise. It was the vast silent majority who supported it. I found the most support came from the old women ( being an old man I can call old women old women without them getting the hump now). The old women knew that when they died, their husbands side of the family would not 'remember' her ancestors who died in ww1. I find that 99% of the resistance to remembrance of these Irish heroes is a perceived resistance and not as big a problem as you expect it to be.
Kind regards.
Tom.


Must agree with Museumtom, the vast majority of resistance is perceived (bar stool republicans aside). Certainly within my own family there were family members in the British Army (WW1), fighting the War of Independence and on both sides in the Civil War and later in the Irish Army and in the British Army during WW2 - there was never any conflict / division amongst them ever, this encompassed extended family & in-laws as the years / wars went on. Maybe we're an exception but I don;t think so.

Just my 2cents, I wasn't aware that there was a ceremony of rememberance held every year, I am a Dubliner with interest in this as well as coming from a family with a military tradition - perhaps it's something that should be better publicised as we approach the centenary of both WW1 and the easter Rising?? I may well get on to Michael D about this.

Catherine

#17 MGB

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:18 AM

Hi all,

I have been thinking about the suggestion of a remembrance day and what day it should be, my two cents worth would be to suggest that we adopt the 25th of April ANZAC day.

That way we could remember everyone,including the people involved in the Easter Rising.then people could wear the poppy the lily or the sprig of rosemary and keep everyone happy.


Martin