Posts tagged ‘dan breen’

August 11,

Dan Breen – IRA Fighter. Ballymurphy Massacre. Eamonn De Valera 1927. First Catholic Bishop of Adelaide on this day in Irish History

August 11: TODAY in Irish History:

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Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks

Chicago Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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For the Love of Being Irish

BUY Author signed copy of For the Love of Being Irish For a unique perspective on Ireland featuring History and Humor.

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August 11: TODAY in Irish History:

1817:  Christopher Augustine Reynolds is born in Dublin. Reynolds was the first Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Australia (1873-1877)

Archbishop Christopher Augistine Reynolds 1815-1907 at today in Irish history Christopher Augustine Reynolds (1834-1893), by unknown photographer

Archbishop Christopher Augistine Reynolds      1815-1907

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READ DETAILD BIO of Archbishop Reynolds.

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1894: One of the most famous fighters in the fight for Irish freedom,  Dan Breen is born in Co. Tipperary. Hewas an iconic IRA figure in both the War of Independence and also the Civit War.
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Dan Breen Wanted Poster IRA
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Breen was involved in what is accepted as the first action of the War of Independence 1919-1921 when with Sean Treacy and others, he ambushed and killed two RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) constables James McDonnell and Patrick O’Connell, both of them Catholic and reputedly popular in the community in what has become known as the Soloheadbeg Ambush (Co. Tipperary.)

In his memoir, My Fight for Irish Freedom Breen outlines what happened at the ambush:

‘Hands up!’ The cry came from our men who spoke as if with one voice. ‘Hands up!’ In answer to our challenge they raised their rifles, and with military precision held them at the ready. They were Irishmen, too, and would die rather than surrender. We renewed the demand for surrender. We would have preferred to avoid bloodshed; but they were inflexible. Further appeal was useless. It was a matter of our lives or theirs. We took aim. The two policemen fell, mortally wounded.”

The action was unauthorized by Irish leadership, but shortly after all, British armed forces and policemen were deemed legitimate targets.

The British government offered a reward £1,oo0 for Breen and later raised it to  £1o,o00. Breen writes “Nobody ever tried to earn it with the exception of a few members of the RIC. They failed; many of them never made the second attempt.”

Breen was seriously wounded on a number of occasions during the conflict. Following the Irish Civil War where he fought  on the Anti-Treaty side, he was elected to Dail Eireann in Jan 1927, lost his seat later that year, but went on to represent Tipperary from 1932 through 1965.

READ EXCERPT from My Fight for Irish Freedom is an interesting memoir about the escapades of a man who like many of his compatriots could often be chillingly brutal in a brutal war. The following interview shows the mindset of the IRA during the War of Independence.

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1927: In the General Election, Eamonn De Valera’s Fianna Fail party wins 44 seats. Despite originally stating they would not enter Dail Eireann and take the Oath of Allegiance to the King, Dev reversed policy, declared the oath was an empty formula and proceeded to take their seats in the Irish parliament.

The “brilliant, austere De Valera” as JFK described him was on his way to dominating Irish political life.

Eamonn De Valera

Eamonn De Valera

Five years later, Fianna Fail would win election and De Valera would become Taoiseach (PM).

SELECTION OF EXCELLECT PICs of Dev

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1971:  BallyMurphy Massacre: Two days after the introduction of internment without trial in Northern Ireland, 11 people have been killed by British paratroopers in the Nationalist Ballymurphy area of Belfast. Community activists who are still trying to get a neutral inquiry into those terrible two days claim all 11 killed were innocent civilians. To those not involved at the time, that claim may seem ludicrous, but those killed include a Catholic priest Father Hugh Mullan who was helping a wounded parishioner and a mother of eight who was involved in a similar exercise. Almost certainly, the most aggressive activity (if any) of those killed would have been stone-throwing and goading of the British soldiers.

Trying to make sense of what happened is impossible but SEE:

OFFICIAL SITE of Family Members

Paratrooper Account

Guardian Newspaper Article

Internment was a disaster for the people of Northern Ireland no matter what side of the divide. Within six months, approximately 1,600 of those who had been unceremoniously arrested were released without charge, but, internment, Ballymurphy and the events of Bloody Sunday some months later encouraged many young men to join the IRA which itself was involved in numerous atrocities including Bloody Friday. On the other side of the divide, Loyalists perpetrated massacres like the McGurk Pub bombing which killed 15 Catholics.

The madness would continue for more than twenty more years.

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

BUY Quality Quality Guinness and Ireland Rugby Shirts
Guinness Rugby Shirts - Brilliant!Rugby Shirt - Ireland


For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish

Watch For the Love of Being Irish author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks on his Youtube channel IrishmanSpeaks. Laugh and Learn.

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)



January 21,

Big Jim Larkin. Soloheadbeg Ambush. First Meeting Dail Eireann

January 21: TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)

1876: James “Big Jim” Larkin is born to Irish parents in Toxteth, Liverpool.

Larkin became of the most effective labor leaders in Irish history leading major strikes of 1907 (Belfast and Dublin), 1911, and the 1913 Dublin Lockout, a six-month ultimately failed standoff between Dublin workers and employers.  In 1908, he founded the Irish Transport and General Workers Union.

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Big Jim Larkin

Big Jim Larkin

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Larkin who stood well over six feet tall was an excellent orator. On hearing him speak, Constance Markievicz said: “I realized that I was in the presence of something that I had never come across before, some great primeval force rather than a man.”

Unusual for his time in working class Dublin, Larkin was a proponent of the temperance movement and strongly anti-sectarian. “I have tried to kill sectarianism, whether in Catholics or Protestants. I am against bigotry or intolerance on either side.”

At the same time, he was somewhat blinded to the vices of the new Soviet regime, “Russia is the only place where men and women can be free.”

Big Jim was a thorn in the side of authority everywhere. While in the United States, he was indicted along with many other socialists for attempting to overthrow the government, a charge he denied. In 1920, he was sentenced to 5-10 years jail. He was pardoned by incoming New York Mayor Al Smith in 1922 and returned to Ireland.

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Big Jim Larkin NY Police photo 1919

Big Jim Larkin NY Police photo 1919

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Larkin won election to Dail Eireann on a number of occasions and was sufficiently reconciled with Irish society at the time of his death in 1947, that his funeral mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid.

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1919: The first meeting of Dáil Éireann occurs in the Mansion House, Dublin. Cathal Brugha was elected Speaker (Ceann Comhairle) (chairman or speaker). The membership was composed of elected to the Westminster parliament. Only 27 MPs were in attendance with a further 35 reported as “imprisoned by the foreign enemy.” Unionist MPs, primarily from the North of Ireland refused to attend.

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1919: On the same day, the first Dail was meeting, an ambush took place in Soloheadbeg, County Tipperary that is seen as being the opening skirmish in the War of Independence that would ultimately see much of Ireland gain independence from Britain. An unauthorized attack led by Sean Treacy and Dan Breen resulted in the deaths of two RIC constables, James McDonnell and Patrick O’Connell. Although much of nationalist Ireland went on to support the war against Britain, this attack evoked outrage. Breen, a ruthless fighter later said “The people had voted for a Republic; now they seemed to abandon us who tried to bring that Republic nearer, for we had taken them at their word. Our former friends shunned us. They preferred the drawing-room as a battleground.”

For different perspectives on the ambush incident, see An Phoblacht and Royal Irish Constabulary

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish

BUY Quality Quality Guinness and Ireland Rugby Shirts
Guinness Rugby Shirts - Brilliant!Rugby Shirt - Ireland


For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson which is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish

Watch For the Love of Being Irish author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks on his Youtube channel IrishmanSpeaks. Laugh and Learn.

___________________________________

This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaksto Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History

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