Boer War: Irish Fight Irish – W.B. Yeats Nobel Speech – Peace Declaration at Today in Irish History

Dec 15: 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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1899: Irish fight Irish in Boer War

The American Civil War was not the only campaign where Irish fought Irish in foreign lands. During the Battle of Colenso (Second Boer War,) members of The Irish Transvaal Brigade under John MacBride fought British forces that included the 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. MacBride would be executed in 1916 as one of the leaders of the Easter Rising. MacBride’s son, Sean received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974.

12,000 Boer troops defeated 16,000 troops of the British army.

Irish related regiments who fought at Colenso were

The 5th Irish Brigade (Major General Hart)

2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers: disbanded in 1922.

1st Inniskilling Fusiliers: disbanded in 1922.

1st Connaught Rangers: disbanded in 1922.

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A memorial arch is dedicated at St. Stephens Green Dublin in honor of the Irish soldiers who died fighting for “King and country” in the Boer war. Thousands of Irish fought in the Boer War for the British Army.

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Memorial Arch Stephen's Green Dublin
Memorial Arch Stephen’s Green Dublin

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1921: Collins’ Office Raided

In an extremely hostile environment over the Treaty debate, Michael Collins smell some dirty work and addresses the House:

“Mr. Speaker, there is just a little matter to which I would like to refer before anything else is said. It is this. My private office was raided last night and important books and documents were taken. Is there any member here who accepts responsibility for that raid?”

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1923: William Butler Yeats accepts the Nobel Prize for Literature.

His Nobel Lecture is a fascinating insight into the mind of early 20th century Ireland. Referencing Lady Gregory’s play,  he said “The Rising of the Moon could not be performed for two years because of political hostility. A policeman discovers an escaped Fenian prisoner and lets him free, because the prisoner has aroused with some old songs the half forgotten patriotism of his youth. The players would not perform it because they said it was an unpatriotic act to admit that a policeman was capable of patriotism. One well known leader of the mob wrote to me, ‘How can the Dublin mob be expected to fight the police if it looks upon them as capable of patriotism?’ ”

When Yeats suggested “that we would like to perform ‘foreign masterpieces’, a Nationalist newspaper declared that ‘a foreign masterpiece is a very dangerous thing’ !

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WB Yeats in For the Love of Being Irish

Illustration of W.B. Yeats in For the Love of Being Irish by author Conor Cunneen

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1993:  Joint Peace Declaration

Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and Prime Minister John Major sign a Joint Declaration of Peace at Downing Street. The agreement allowed for Loyalist and Republican paramilitaries to take part in formal negotiations if they abided by a three month ceasefire. While the declaration was another step to peace in Northern Ireland, it was denounced initially by both sides. It would be August 1994 before the IRA announced a ceasefire followed by loyalist forces in October. The ceasefires would not hold.

Joint Declaration of Peace Major and Reynolds
John Major and Albert Reynolds

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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

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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)

   

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