Irish Troops at Gallipoli – De Valera Resigns – Playwright Brian Friel

January 9: 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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WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

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1916: The Irish at Galllipoli

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10th (Irish) Division – here at a church service – fought at Gallipoli

Final evacuation from the ill-advised Gallipoli invasion which saw the death of 3,500-4,000 Irish soldiers fighting either in Australian, New Zealand or British uniform. An estimated 44,000 allied soldiers died. As with most Irish who fought in WWI, their sacrifice received scant recognition by parochial Irish government until 2010.

Of the 1,100 of the 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers who landed on April 25th 1915 where “the water of the bay ran red with blood,” the Military History Society of Ireland, states that only 11 would survive the entire campaign unscathed. The botched campaign forced the resignation of Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty.

Liam Clancy’s rendition of Eric Bogle’s masterpiece And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda sums up the horror of the campaign.

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The Irish in Gallipoli by Francis Ledwidge

Poet Francis Ledwidge

Poet Francis Ledwidge fought with the 10th Irish in Gallipoli. Ledwidge was one of many with strong nationalist feelings who signed up with the British Army believing both in the cause to free small nations and also believing it would ultimately hasten Irish freedom. Ledwidge was killed in Flanders July 31, 191.

The Irish in Gallipoli by Francis Ledwidge

Where Aegean cliffs with bristling menace front
The Threatening splendour of that isley sea
Lighted by Troy’s last shadow, where the first
Hero kept watch and the last Mystery
Shook with dark thunder, hark the battle brunt!
A nation speaks, old Silences are burst.

Neither for lust of glory nor new throne
This thunder and this lightning of our wrath
Waken these frantic echoes, not for these
Our cross with England’s mingle, to be blown
On Mammon’s threshold; we but war when war
Serves Liberty and Justice, Love and Peace.

Who said that such an emprise could be vain?
Were they not one with Christ Who strove and died?
Let Ireland weep but not for sorrow. Weep
That by her sons a land is sanctified
For Christ Arisen, and angels once again
Come back like exile birds to guard their sleep.

For MORE on FRANCIS LEDWIDGE

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1922: De Valera Resigns

In Dail Eireann, Eamonn De Valera resigns as President of the Republic stating: “In view of the vote that was taken here on Saturday and which I had definitely to oppose as one that was tending to subvert the Republic which I was elected to my present position to defend and maintain; and as it appeared to me also to be a vote which would tend to subvert the independence of the country, I could no longer continue—as I was beaten in that —I could no longer continue in my present office feeling I did not have the confidence of the House. I therefore wish to place my resignation in the hands of the Assembly.”

A motion to re-elect De Valera as President is defeated along pro and anti-treaty lines by 60 votes to 58.

arthur griffith
Arthur Griffith

Following the vote, De Valera opponent and former colleague Arthur Griffith said: “Before another word is spoken I want to say: I want the Deputies here to know, and all Ireland to know, that this vote is not to be taken as against President De Valera. It is a vote to help the Treaty, and I want to say now that there is scarcely a man I have ever met in my life that I have more love and respect for than President De Valera. I am thoroughly sorry to see him placed in such a position. We want him with us.”

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1929: Playwright Brien Friel is born in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Brien Friel
Brien Friel

Friel is one of the most successful Irish playwrights ever. His work includes Philadelphia, Here I Come and Dancing at Lughnasa

The latter won three Tony awards in 1992 for Best Play, Best Featured Actress in a Play – Brid Brennan as Agnes and Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play – Patrick Mason

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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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