September 6,

War Comes to Galway – Passport Problems – Irish Army Officers

September 6: TODAY in Irish History:

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Athenia survivors at Galway

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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1929: Passport Problems

Despite now being an independent state, Ireland still faced challenges in terms of basic administration.

On this day diplomat John V. Fahy wrote a memorandum decrying that Irish Free State Passports in the United States of America had to be issued via Britain.

“The present position is that all Irish nationals in the U.S.A. who have not acquired American citizenship and who do not possess either British passports or Irish Free State passports must apply to the British Consular officers who will issue British passports to enable them to visit this country or to travel to any other country outside the U.S.A.

The continuance of the anomalous position whereby the British authorities, notwithstanding the establishment of the Legation and of our offices in New York, still continue to perform functions of this character on our behalf has been the subject of a good deal of adverse criticism. The Minister Plenipotentiary2 has at various times pointed out the urgency of the question of the issue of our own passports in the U.S.A., stressing that the fact of having to refer our nationals to British Consulates has resulted in loss of prestige for the constitutional and international position of the (country). Action is at present being taken with a view to the inauguration of satisfactory machinery for the issue of our own passports early in the coming winter, that is, some time about November.”

Source: Documents on Irish Foreign Policy.

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1934: 100,000 tyres required annually in Ireland

Interesting debate in Seanad (Senate) on allowing one tyre (tire) manufacturer (Dunlop) a monopoly in Ireland

Senator Crosbie: “I listened with very great interest to Senator Sir John Keane’s speech, and, to a very large extent, I agree with it. I know that monopolies are very undesirable, but in the present circumstances we have to face the situation as it is to-day. There is no question about it, there is an enormous amount of money going out of this country for tyres. I think Senator Sir John Keane mentioned that there were 100,000 tyres required annually in Ireland. Roughly, I reckon that would mean at least £200,000 to £300,000 a year. This is a trade that can only be undertaken by a very big combine such as Dunlops, and in order to induce them to come into this country you have to give them very considerable advantages. I happen to know that, because I tried to get another company to do exactly what the Dunlop Company are doing. Looking at it from a business point of view, I think it is a perfectly sound proposition. Senator Sir John Keane has talked of the labour that will be displaced. Even though the company may have a monopoly, I still believe that all these distributing agents will be required. I can hardly follow him when he says an enormous amount of money has been sunk by these distributing agencies in Ireland, for, beyond the tyres that they have in stock, and which will probably go up in value now, and the houses they have built, I do not really see what other expense they have been put to. One extraordinary thing about making tyres is that it apparently requires an enormous variety of machinery.

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1935: Commissioning of Irish Army Officers 

The Catholic Herald reported on the commissioning of officers in Irish army in the presence of Eamonn De Valera

“The first commissions in the volunteer force were conferred at Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, on Wednesday. Mass was celebrated at 11 o’clock by the Rev. J. Fitzsimons, who later blessed the officers’ swords. When Mr. de Valera arrived the National anthem was played and the President inspected the guard of honour, under Captain F. Tummon. The general salute was sounded as the colours were marched into the square. The 79 new lieutenants then took the oath to the colours in presence of Mr. Aiken, Minister for Defence, and were presented with their commissions, swords and epaulettes.”

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1940: War comes to Galway

The horror of a war declared just days previously comes to Galway.  German U-boat 30 torpedoed the SS Athenia 250 miles north-west of the Donegal coast resulting in the deaths of 112 of over 1,400 passengers and crew. The Athenia was bound for Quebec carrying civilians fleeing the situation in Europe. It was the first ship to be sunk in the war.

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Athenia – First ship casualty of WWII

Survivors were picked up by the Norwegian freighter Knute Nelson and brought to Galway.

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ss athenia survivors at today in Irish history
Athenia survivors at Galway

READ: The day war came to Galway

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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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

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This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – 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 7,

The Saddest Day in Irish History?

January 7: TODAY in Irish History:

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De Valera

Former allies: Civil War foes, Michael Collins and Eamonn De Valera

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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1922: Dail Approves Treaty – Civil War Looms

January 7th 1922 is possibly the saddest day in Irish history when a vote on the Treaty unfortunately set the scene for the Irish Civil War.

Thirty-two days after Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith sign the treaty in London  granting Ireland legislative and financial independence for the first time since 1800, the divided Dail votes on the Treaty: sixty-four for approval and fifty-seven against.

De Valera and his supporters’ refusal to accept the democratic vote of the Dail meant civil war was inevitable.

The debate took a huge emotional toll on the participants. The official Dail record states that at the end of the debate, when De Valera knew he had lost the vote:

“PRESIDENT DE VALERA: I would like my last word here to be this: we have had a glorious record for four years; it has been four years of magnificent discipline in our nation. The world is looking at us now——

(The President here breaks down).”

Civil war was now just months away between men who fought side by side during the War of Independence.
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First Dail Eireann – Happier Times

first dail eireann
Front Row: From Left to Right: Second Left Michael Collins (pro-Treaty), Cathal Brugha (anti), Arthur Griffith (pro) Eamonn De Valera (anti)

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The vote followed a vitriolic debate were each side accused the other of bad faith. Michael Collins—who when he signed the Treaty wrote “I have signed my death warrant—was a significant target for personal attacks from anti-Treaty members of the House.

Pro-Treatyite Cathal Brugha commented: “While the war was in progress I could not praise too highly the work done by the Head Quarters’ Staff. The Chief of Staff and each of the leaders of the subsections—the members of the Head Quarters’ Staff—were the best men we could get for the positions; each of them carried out efficiently, so far as I know, the work that was entrusted to him they worked conscientiously and patriotically for Ireland without seeking any notoriety, with one exception; whether he is responsible or not for the notoriety I am not going to say (cries of “Shame” and “Get on with the Treaty”). There is little more for me to say. One member was specially selected by the Press and the people to put him into a position which he never held; he was made a romantic figure, a mystical character such as this person certainly is not; the gentleman I refer to is Mr. Michael Collins.”

The Treaty vote may well have signaled the saddest day in Irish History.

READ: The Treaty Debate January 7th 1922

A brief timeline:

1916: Easter Rising. Michael Collins, Eamonn De Valera, Cathal Brugha take part in the Rising.

1918: Sinn Fein wins massive majority (73 seats) in General Election and refuses to take its seats in UK Parliament

1919: January 21: Sinn members meet in Dublin proclaiming the first Dail and declaring an Irish Republic (not recognized by Britain)

On the same day in 1919 in a totally unconnected incident, two Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) are ambushed and killed at Soloheadbeg, Co. Tipperary by IRA men including Dan Breen and Sean Treacy. The unauthorized attack is now accepted as the first incident in the brutal War of Independence which would eventually force Britain to the negotiating table.

1921: December 6thThe Anglo-Irish Treaty is signed in London. The following debate in Dail Eireann primarily centered on whether Collins, Griffith and company had the authority to sign an agreement on behalf of the Irish people.

1922: Dail Eireann votes to ratify the treaty. De Valera and anti-Treaty members refuse to accept the vote. Senior members of the IRA who had fought so hard to oust Britain from Ireland were now on different sides. The pro-Treaty side included Richard Mulcahy, Eoin O’Duffy, Michael Collins, Emmet Dalton, Piaras Bealsai. The  anti- Treaty side included Rory O’Connor,  Liam Mellows,  Cathal Brugha,  Austen Stack, Countess Markievicz and President of the Dail Eamonn De Valera.

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Happier Times: Kevin O’Higgins Wedding

Kevin O'Higgins and best man Rory O'Connor Wedding
De Valera, Kevin O’Higgins and Best Man Rory O’Connor. O’Higgins would approve  the execution of his friend O’Connor during the Civil War

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June 28th: Opening act of what would prove to be a vicious civil war when Irish government forces bombard the Four Courts in Dublin which anti-Treaty forces had taken by force.

Four Courts Bombardment

August 22ndMichael Collins killed in Cork by anti-Treaty forces.

December 6th: Irish Free State is formally established consisting of the whole Ireland of Ireland

December 7th: Six counties of Northern Ireland opts out of the Irish Free State and becomes a separate political entity with allegiance to England.

1923: Late May: Civil War ends with complete victory for Irish government forces. Atrocities had been carried out by both sides.

1926: Eamonn De Valera founds Fianna Fail

1927: Fianna Fail wins 44 seats in the general election and De Valera now enters Dail Eireann, prepared to take an Oath of Allegiance that he railed against during the Treaty debate now describing it merely as an “empty political formula.” Had he taken that view on January 7th 1922, it is quite likely there would have been no Civil War.

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Product Details

SHEIFGAB! Staying Sane, Motivated and Productive in Job Search.

An insightful, realistic, yet humorous book on the job search process by Today in Irish History Curator Conor Cunneen

Special accessible price for job seekers on Kindle of $2.99

.

shamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrockshamrock

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

___________________________________

This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – 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)