June 24: TODAY in Irish History:
Today in Irish History: Curated by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks
ON THIS DAY
1850: Birth of Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener in Ballylongford, County Kerry, the son of Lt. Col. Henry Horatio Kitchener who settled in Ireland under a scheme to encourage the purchase of land after the recent potato famine. The father was an unpopular tenant-evicting landlord. The young Kitchener was commissioned into the Royal Engineers on 4 January 1871.
Kitchener saw active service in numerous British colonial conflicts: Africa, where he achieved fame as Lord Kitchener of Khartoum; he Boer War where he conducted an aggressive campaign herding many Boer civilians into concentration camps and India. At the outset of World War I, he was appointed Secretary of State for War.
The iconic Kitchener poster stating “Your Country Needs You” means he will never be forgetten.
Kitchener was one of a number of high-profile English military personnel born in Ireland, the most famous being the Duke of Wellington.l
1921: British Prime Minister David Lloyd George writes to Irish leader Eamonn De Valera inviting him to a conference in London “to end the ruinous conflict which has for centuries divided Ireland and embittered the relations of the peoples of these two islands, who ought to live in neighbourly harmony.” The invitation would ultimately result in the cessation of violence related to the War of Independence with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, a treaty that would result in the Irish involved in another vicious conflict this time against each other in the Irish Civil War.
Letter from Lloyd George to De Valera.
The British Government are deeply anxious that, so far as they can assure it, the King’s appeal for reconciliation in Ireland shall not have been made in vain. Rather than allow yet another opportunity of settlement in Ireland to be cast aside, they felt it incumbent upon them to make a final appeal, in the spirit of the King’s words, for a conference between themselves and the representatives of Southern and Northern Ireland, I write, therefore, to convey the following invitation to you as the chosen leader of the great majority in Southern Ireland, and to Sir James Craig, the Premier of Northern Ireland:
(1) That you should attend a conference here in London, in company with Sir James Craig, to explore to the utmost the possibility of a settlement.
(2) That you should bring with you for the purpose any colleagues whom you may select. The Government will, of course, give a safe conduct to all who may be chosen to participate in the conference.
We make this invitation with a fervent desire to end the ruinous conflict which has for centuries divided Ireland and embittered the relations of the peoples of these two islands, who ought to live in neighbourly harmony with each other, and whose co-operation would mean so much not only to the Empire but to humanity.
We wish that no endeavour should be lacking on our part to realise the King’s prayer, and we ask you to meet us, as we will meet you, in the spirit of conciliation for which His Majesty appealed.
I am, Sir, Your obedient servant,
D. Lloyd George
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
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
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.
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