Kilmichael Ambush 1920. Saturday Review Racist Rant on This Day in Irish History

November 28: TODAY in Irish History:

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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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1848:Saturday Review Racist Anti-Irish Rant

As Ireland hemorrhaged population via famine and emigration, it received little support from elements of the English press.

On this day in 1848, the The Saturday Review responded to comments from Archbishop John McHale (The Lion of St. Jarlaths)  as to how emigration was bleeding Ireland dry with an astonishingly racist rant.

“(A)nd in a letter to Mr. Gladstone he sighs…. over the departing demons of assassination and murder. Like his friend Mr. Smith O’Brien, he regrets the loss of the raw materials of sedition and murder. Ireland, he says, is relapsing into a desert , tenanted by lowing herds instead of howling assassins. The Lion of St. Jarlath’s surveys with an envious eye the Irish exodus, and sighs over the departing demons of assassination and murder. So complete is the rush of departing marauders, whose lives were profitably occupied in shooting Protestants from behind a hedge, that silence reigns over the vast solitude of Ireland.

Ireland has long been seething in the flames of misrule and agitation and sedition. Ireland is boiling over and the scum flows across the Atlantic and the more the Archbishop and the like of him blow at the fire, the more the scum will boil over.

It can be spared, and the many excellencies of the Irish people (not found among the Catholics) will only become more excellent by the present process of defecation.” Source: Ireland under English Rule, P319; Thomas Addis Emmet, 1903


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1905: Founding of Sinn Fein.

Sinn Fein is founded by Arthur Griffith with the policy “to establish in Ireland’s capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation.”


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1920: Kilmichael Ambush.

Just one week after Bloody Sunday an IRA column of 36 men under the command of Tom Barry kills seventeen members of the RIC Auxiliary division in a well-planned ambush at Kilmichael, Co. Cork. Three IRA men were killed in what was not just a grievous blow to British authorities but a huge psychological fillip for the Irish rebels. It was the largest loss of life for British forces in Ireland in a single incident until the Warrenpoint Bombing some fifty-nine years later.

Some days after the Kilmichael ambush,  British authorities introduced martial law to parts of Ireland.

Tom Barry and The Boys of Kilmichael

Tom Barry and The Boys of Kilmichael circa 1966


READ: Excellent overview of Kilmichael Ambush


READ: Graves of the Auxiliaries




1964: Four Irish on Manchester United Team

Four Irish players play on the Manchester United team that beats Arsenal 3-2 in London. Goalkeeper Pat Dunne and full backs Tony Dunne and Shay Brennan were all Republic of Ireland internationals. The youthful Northern Ireland genius George Best was the other player to hail from the Emerald Isle. Some of the pre-match commentary is provided by another soccer icon, Northern Ireland’s Danny Blanchflower.

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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


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)

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