Cromwell, Lord Protector of Ireland! – American Committe for Relief – Wolfe Tone

December 16: TODAY in Irish History:

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Ireland’s Lord Protector – Oliver Cromwell!

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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1653: Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of Ireland

oliver cromwell siege of drogheda
Oliver Cromwell – Lord Protector of Ireland!

Oliver Cromwell becomes The Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Cromwell may well be the most hated English figure in Irish and indeed Scottish history. His campaign in Ireland (1649-1650) bordered on genocide and ethnic cleansing as he “encouraged” a devastated Catholic population to leave their homesteads and go to “Hell or Connaught.”

At both the Siege of Drogheda and the Siege of Wexford, Cromwell’s troops massacred thousands of Irish, many of whom were non-combatants.

According to British Civil War: the Lord Protector of Ireland didn’t exactly live up to his moniker at Drogheda! “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.”


Siege of Drogheda
                 Drogheda is put to the sword




1796: Wolfe Tone and French Fleet Set Sail for Ireland

A French fleet of more than forty ship and fourteen thousand troops set forth for Ireland with Wolfe Tone on board. Tone had secured the support of the French with a promise of an Irish rebellion. The founder of the United Irishmen had an abiding hatred of England declaring his objective was”to subvert the tyranny of an execrable government, to break the connection with England—these were my objects. To unite the whole people of Ireland, to abolish the memory of past dissensions…”

Primarily due to appalling weather which prevented the French fleet disembarking troops, the mission was eventually abandoned.


wolfe tone
wolfe tone 1763-1798




1920: The American Committee for Relief in Ireland

The American Committee for Relief in Ireland is founded in New York to provide support for those affected by the War of Independence. The purpose of the ACRI was “to devise and consider ways and means of relieving the acute distress due to the recent (1920) occurrences in that country.”

An appeal penned by the late Cardinal Gibbons  of Baltimore (his parents were from County Mayo) appeared in the 1922 annual report:

“I earnestly beg all kind hearted and generous Americans to contribute to the fund for the relief of the many thousands now suffering want in Ireland. Authentic information reveals that villages, towns and cities have been in large part burned or wrecked, homes laid in ruins, factories and creameries destroyed and thousands of persons thrown out of employment, while they and their families are left dependent for food and shelter upon the charity of others. In many places the situation is acute and relief is now being administered by a committee of American and Irish Quakers without distinction of religion or politics.”


READ: The American Committee for Relief in Ireland report



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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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