Re: Memory

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Posted by murrisk on December 18, 2000 at 01:25:57:

In Reply to: Re: Memory posted by Scrawny on December 17, 2000 at 23:09:46:

I wonder if this deals with 'The Belle Epoch' which was destroyed by the unlikely
alliances of Orthodox Russia + Catholic France + Protestant Britain versus
Protestant/Catholic Germany + Catholic Austria + Muslim Turkey (Ottomans). Too many
Irish lives were lost in that war. In 1898, county government in Ireland was reformed
and control over local affairs was transferred to popularly elected bodies i.e. county
councils and urban councils. These bodies allowed nationalists to gain experience in
local government. On November 21, 1918,the Act entitling womewn to sit and vote in the
house of commons was passed. In the General Election of December 14-28, 1918,
(this time 82 years ago) Sinn Fein ousted the parlimentary party (Redmonites): Sinn Fein 73,
home rulers 6, unionists 25, independent unionists 6. Countess Markievicz (nee Gore-Booth),
Sinn Fein M.P. was the first woman elected to the house of commons. Victorious Sinn Fein
formed the first Dail Eireann. Eamon de Valera became head of the Dail, Arthur Griffith
was his deputy and Michael Collins was the organiser of military resistance. In 1922, after
the Treaty was accepted but before civil war erupted, General Eoin O'Duffy was Chief of Staff
and I have heard he had Castlebar connections. In 1933, a General O'Duffy, the same man I think,
was dismissed as chief commissioner of the Garda Siochana. Under the leadership of General
Eoin O'Duffy, the blue shirts (aka Army Comrades Association)adopted the name National Guard in
July 1933. The National Guard was declared an unlawful association in August 1933. On September 2,
1933, the United Irish party was created under the leadership of General O'Duffy. This party
was later known as Fine Gael. General O'Duffy resigned from Fine Gael on September 21, 1933.
In 1936, General O'Duffy and his followers went to Spain to fight on the side of Franco
in the Spanish civil war. In December 1936, a man named Frank Ryan led a left-wing group of Irishmen
to Spain to fight on the side of the Republicans. In Castlebar, on a mid December's night in 1992,
I first heard Christy Moore's lovely song of the Cinq Brigade entitled "Lets All Remember
Them Tonight". The Fifth Brigade was the International Brigade in Spain. Hemingway (For Whom
The Bell Tolls ?)was one of its more famous members. So much strife before and since, it seems
strife will always be with us in one form or another regardless of religious belief or ethnic
background. Particularly at this time of year when I think of the many victims of strife, I
think it appropriate to say "let us remember them tonight - all of them". Put another way:
"If you survive to see the sight of friend now greeting foe, then you won't believe in if anymore".

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