General Custer, Garryowen and Irish Troops – Treaty Negotiations Get Tough – Taoiseach Jack Lynch

December 5: TODAY in Irish History:

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George Custer 1839-1876

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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1839: General George Armstrong Custer is born.

Custer had no native connection with Ireland, but a large percentage of the 7th Cavalry that he led to slaughter at the Little Big Horn, June 25 1876 were Irish. At least 34 of the 268 soldiers killed were Irish-born including Captain Myles Keogh from County Carlow. Keogh served with distinction in the Union army during the civil war being commended for actions at Gettysburg where he received a battlefield promotion. It is estimated that about 25% of the 7th Cavalry were of Irish extraction.

The Irish song Garryowen was the marching song of Custer’s 7th Cavalry.

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Irish born Myles Keogh was killed at battle of Little Big Horn

Myles Keogh on left. Seated is General John Buford, Keogh’s commanding office at Gettysburg.

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SEE: Site dedicated to Myles Keogh

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READ: List of Irish who died at Battle of Little Big Horn

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1921: Final Stages of Treaty Negotiations. Lloyd George Gets Tough

Negotiations on Irish independence from Britain enter final and crucial stage at Downing Street. The Irish delegates including Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith had returned from an acrimonious cabinet meeting in Dublin where unfortunately clarity did not exist. The negotiators again met with the British team which included Lloyd George and Churchill.

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It was an extremely testy meeting with much debate about the status of the north of Ireland and Loyalist reaction. Minutes of the meeting taken by Irish delegate Robert Barton show the aggressive negotiating style of Lloyd George who “stated that he had always taken it that Arthur Griffith spoke for the Delegation, that we were all plenipotentiaries and that it was now a matter of peace or war and we must each of us make up our minds. He required that every delegate should sign the document and recommend it, or there was no agreement. He said that they as a body had hazarded their political future and we must do likewise and take the same risks. At one time he particularly addressed himself to me and said very solemnly that those who were not for peace must take full responsibility for the war that would immediately follow refusal by any Delegate to sign the Articles of Agreement.

Prime Minister Lloyd George told Collins that if they did not accede to the treaty which they finally signed in the early hours of the following morning, Britain would recommence hostile activities.

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1979: Jack Lynch resigns as Taoiseach of Ireland.

He is succeeded by Charles J Haughey, a man who would make Nixon and Machiavelli look like choirboys and bring disgrace to the office of Taoiseach.

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Lynch’s first term as Taoiseach was during a particularly difficult time in 20th Century Irish history 1966-1973 when the Troubles in Northern Ireland erupted and a Southern government was riven by actions that should be taken. He sacked two ministers Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney for their alleged involvement in diverting government funds to support IRA gun-running. In criminal proceedings, both were found not guilty of gun running although Haughey – quite likely the most corrupt politician in  Republic of Ireland history –  probably perjured himself during the trial.

Despite some missteps, Lynch’s even hand maintained relationships with  Britain during an explosive period including the Bloody Sunday shootings and the burning of the British Embassy in Dublin .

Lynch’s second tenure in power between 1977-1979 was riven by internal Fianna Fail disquiet as Charles Haughey engineered his successful efforts to gain leadership of the party and thus Taoiseach. Although a likable man, Lynch was not above blatant manoevering for political benefit. Fianna Fail’s return to power in 1977 was on the back of a promise to abolish rates on private houses – an action that was totally unjustified and blatant political vote-buying. It is an action that the Irish economy still suffers from today, supported as it is by a very narrow tax base.

In his younger days, Jack Lynch was a superb hurler and footballer winning one All Ireland football medal and five All Ireland hurling medals for the rebel county.

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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed 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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