October 22: 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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1920: Toureen Ambush
In one of the first major engagements of the Irish War of Independence in the Cork area, about thirty members of the IRA West Cork Brigade ambush a British patrol. Five soldiers from the Essex Regiment of the British Army are killed. No IRA men were harmed.
The attack prompted the following exchange in the House of Commons the following week:
Mr. PENNEFATHER: asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland what steps have 1956W been taken, or will be taken, to increase the number of armoured cars for the use of the military in Ireland, and to equip them with quick-firing guns in order to prevent, as far as possible, repetitions of what happened to soldiers of the Essex Regiment on Friday last?
Mr. CHURCHILL: My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply. The question of the provision of armoured cars for use in Ireland is very seriously engaging the attention of the military authorities. Large numbers, armed with machine guns, are already in Ireland, and steps are being taken to effect a considerable increase in these numbers.
1935: Death of Edward Carson
Dublin born Edward Carson was one of the giants of Ulster Unionism and a man who could be called the Father of Northern Ireland. Early in life, Carson was a very successful lawyer, At age thirty-five (1889), he became the youngest Queen’s Counsel in Ireland where he often represented landlords in their actions against non-rent paying tenants. In his most famous case, he represented the Marquess of Queensbury in his action against Oscar Wilde. Wilde is reported to have said “No doubt he will perform his task with the added bitterness of an old-friend.” Irrespective of emotion, Carson’s advocacy resulted in the (self-imposed) ruin of the great Irish wit who was prosecuted for perjury following the Queensbury trial.
Carson was not anti-Catholic, (he supported demands for a Catholic university) but he was totally opposed to Home Rule. He was a founding member of the Ulster Unionist party in 1905 and the para-military Ulster Volunteer Force in 1912. As with much of Ulster Unionism, Carson was a strong advocate of English law, until it impacted the union between Ireland and England. Carson was the first signatory of the Ulster Covenant in 1912, agreeing to use “all means necessary” to resist Home Rule.
A popular ditty of the time went:
“Sir Edward Carson had a cat,
It sat upon the fender
And every time it caught a rat,
It shouted, ‘No Surrender!’”
However as Home Rule became more and more inevitable, Carson accepted that a form of partition would be a solution. During the war, he served at various times as government as Attorney General, First Lord of the Admiralty and in the War Cabinet.
Following partition, he effectively returned to a legal life, but urged his Unionist colleagues to maintain equality for Northern Irish Catholics (something they totally ignored). “We used to say that we could not trust an Irish parliament in Dublin to do justice to the Protestant minority. Let us take care that that reproach can no longer be made against your parliament, and from the outset let them see that the Catholic minority have nothing to fear from a Protestant majority.”
READ: Bio of Edward Carson
1962: JFK announces Cuba Blockade
Six days previously, national security advisor McGeorge Bundy had advised Kennedy that the Russians were building a missile base in Cuba and that”onstruction has begun on at least a half-dozen launching sites for intermediate range tactical missiles.”
WATCH: A Short History of Ireland
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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.
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