Oliver Cromwell and The Siege of Drogheda – Glenroe Airs on RTE

September 11: TODAY in Irish History:

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Siege of Drogheda

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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1649: The Sieged of Drogheda ends.

Drogheda, Co Louth which had been under siege since September 3 finally falls to Oliver Cromwell’s forces. What happens after ensures Cromwell will forever be the most hated Englishman in Irish history.

On Cromwell’s orders, the town was put to the sword. Military and civilians were slaughtered without mercy. An estimated 25% were civilians.

According to British Civil War: “Up to 6,000 Parliamentarians were in the town overwhelming all resistance and slaughtering officers and soldiers. A cavalry screen outside the walls prevented escape to the north. Catholic priests and friars were treated as combatants and killed on sight. Many civilians died in the carnage. A group of defenders who had barricaded themselves in the steeple of St Peter’s Church in the north of Drogheda were burned alive when the Parliamentarians set fire to the church. Around 2,000 people died in the storming and massacre of Drogheda; a number of prisoners who surrendered before Cromwell gave the order for no quarter were murdered in cold blood. Surviving members of the garrison captured the following day were transported to Barbados. Parliamentarian losses were around 150.”

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Siege of Drogheda
Drogheda is put to the sword

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Cromwell could justify his actions on two counts (as he perceived it.)

1)      At that time, it was not unusual for garrisons that failed to surrender to be put to the sword and inhabitants massacred.

2)      The righteously religious protestant saw Catholics as essentially the spawn of the devil and saw it as revenge for the massacre of hundreds (and probably thousands) of Protestants by rebelling Irish Catholics in Ulster in 1641. “I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgement of God upon these barbarous wretches, who have imbrued their hands in so much innocent blood, and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood for the future, which are the satisfactory grounds for such actions, which otherwise cannot but work remorse and regret.”

Cromwell’s brutal logic did work,  as in short order Trim, Dundalk, Carlingford, Newry, and several other places in the North surrendered and their inhabitants spared.

oliver cromwell siege of drogheda
The not very attractive Oliver Cromwell

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As with so much of history, (Irish or not) one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. In today’s world, Cromwell would surely be found guilty of war crimes. On the converse side according to Professor John Morrill at BBC History, Cromwell has more roads named after him than any other Englishman and woman except Queen Victoria! None in the Republic of Ireland!

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READCromwell at Drogheda at Skeptic Ireland

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1983: First Episode of Glenroe airs on RTE

You kind of had to be there. Glenroe was one of RTE’s most popular productions featuring a wonderful cast of character based in rural Ireland. The show would run for eighteen years.

The following clip of the opening credits will bring back memories for many. It is worth noting the comments to show what Glenroe meant to so many.

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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)

   

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