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Public Inquiry >>
A Call For a United Island of Ireland:
history and heritage |
Wednesday January 13, 2010 20:14 by Ruairí Ó Conghaile - The Temple of Danú rconnollytmp at gmail dot com
The repressed history of Ireland and a call for unity
A brief look at Irelands lost history of genocide and slave trading. A call to re-engage the spirit of revolution that burns deep in the contemporary Irish psyche and use this common heritage to take serious consideration of once again uniting the Island of Ireland. Peace and unity within the borders of our own land.
THE TRIBULATIONS OF TIME:
As far back as history dares thread, Ireland has always been an Island which has suffered invasion from foreign forces. It is even spoken about in the Irish oral tradition, known historically as the mythological cycle, which describes Ireland as having been invaded six times prior to the coming of Christianity in the 4th century C.E. Indeed there has rarely been an Irish generation that hasn't felt the effects of an invading power in one form or another.
For 700 years the Irish were dominated and divided by the British. 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland, and the death, suffering and division caused by this plantation have left a permanent scar on our Island. Most recently the Island has been targeted in a more coercive, but no less damaging bureaucratic battle for sovereignty, handing over much power and control to an emerging European super state, much to the concern of the Irish population.
As a result of the unfortunate fact that history is written by the victors, much of the true history of Ireland has been buried and repressed. The devastating inflictions imposed upon this island over the centuries has shaped within the contemporary Irish psyche a certain sense of rebellion, a sense of defiance against all forms of control and oppression.
As we move into an age where world peace must truly be on the agenda, we need once again to find peace and unity within the borders of our own Island, and progress as a unified nation to lead the way in creating a world where human life will take priority over profits, and make war and division a repugnant memory.
It is this writers opinion that the Irish people need to be made aware of this repressed chapter in our history, in order to fully recognize the many mechanisms by which we have been kept divided, unorganised and in servitude to corrupt rulers and bureaucracies. Understanding our true history is the first step toward a truly United Island of Ireland.
THE IRISH SLAVE TRADE:
Very few Irish people today are aware of the history of slavery in our land. Indeed, when presented with the numbers I fear many would find the extent to which slavery has ravaged Irish society utterly shocking. It is recorded that well over one-half of white immigrants to the West Indies during the 17th century were Irish slaves, being shipped in by the British to build the colonies. This forms an integral part of Irelands lost history, and is crucial to one's understanding of the repressive forces that have been levied against the Irish people for centuries.
The earliest known case of Irish slavery dates back to 1612, where there were settlements of Irish slaves put to work in British settlements along the Amazon.
In 1625 James II, the English monarch, issued a proclamation that all Irish political prisoners were to be sold as slaves to English planters who were colonising the new world. When it became apparent that there were not enough political prisoners to meet the demand for slaves, the British began going after the local population. The slaves were primarily sent to South America and the Caribbean Islands to build the English colonies. Irish slaves were preferred to African slaves as they did not cost as much and were more easily obtained.
By 1636, Ireland was considered a prime source of supply for servants throughout the British colonies.
By 1637, on the Island of Montserrat in the Caribbean, the Irish heavily outnumbered the English colonists, and 69 percent of Montserrat's white inhabitants were Irish.
In 1641, Ireland's population was 1,466,000, but by 1652, in just over a decade it had dwindled to just 616,000.
From 1651 to 1660, between 80,000 to 130,000 Irish were transported by English slavers. It is worth noting, that these are only the figures that were recorded, while it is known that the English did not see it as necessary to record the transport of all Irish slaves. When viewed with the fact that very often Irish slaves were classified as being English, it becomes clear that the actual figure is much higher.
In 1656, English military leader Oliver Cromwell's Council of State voted that 1,000 Irish girls and 1,000 Irish young men be sent to Jamaica. Cromwell’s measures against Irish Catholics are widely considered to have been bordering on genocidal.
In June of 1657, the monarchy passed a law that attempted to cleanse the land of the Irish people stating:
"Those who fail to transplant themselves into Connaught or Clare within six Months... Shall be attained of high treason... Are to be sent into America or some other parts beyond the seas..." Those who return are to "suffer the pains of death as felons by virtue of this act, without benefit of Clergy"
Or as it has been more poetically put... 'To hell or to Connaught'. The province of Connaught was not desired by the English due to the poor quality of the land. Many lives were destroyed in this great upheaval.
The affects of these racist laws, the degradation and suffering caused by the slave trade, and the sudden but massive decline in Irish population would forever shape the Islands future, both socially and psychologically.
The United Nations define the term "genocide" as "the systematic killing of, or a program of action intended to destroy a whole national or ethnic group..."
Blight to the Irish potato crop DID NOT cause the Irish famine and genocide 150 years ago. During 1846, Ireland exported enough wheat, barley, oats, oatmeal, pigs, eggs, and butter to feed its entire population. Many modern historians have noted outrage at this export, which was heavily guarded by British troops against starving crowds.
Ireland remained a net exporter of food throughout most of the five-year famine.
Throughout the entire Famine period, the British government would never allow for food aid to Ireland under the assumption that English landowners and private businesses would have been unfairly harmed by resulting food price fluctuations. Throughout this period the British Government also exported the vast majority of food produced in Ireland at gunpoint while allowing the Irish population to starve. This was seen as something of a solution to perceived problem of over population in Ireland at the time.
The British would succeed in exterminating over 2 million Irish. They did so by implementing these genocidal laws under the guise of Free Trade. So as not to interfere with the food market, Free trade decreed that no government surplus food -"no welfare"- be given to the starving.
"We do not propose," Prime Minister Lord John Russell told the House of Commons, "to interfere with the regular mode by which Indian corn and other kinds of grain may be brought into Ireland." Free trade insisted that the destitute work on the Public Works or in the workhouses, and that these hundreds of thousands should receive wages below the miserable levels prevailing, in order not to distort the labour market. This is at a time when 75% of the Irish population were feudal tenants for British landlords, effectively slaves. Thus labourers died in large quantities.
In 1845, The Irish population was officially 8.1 million. In the four years that would follow, 1.5 million Irish men women and children died of starvation and disease caused by a purposeful extermination being carried out by the British. One million Irish attempted to emigrate; of these, about 500,000 died--usually of typhus--in passage or in quarantine camps. Even today, the effects of this genocide can be seen with Irelands population still only reaching 6 million for the whole island, with most recent growth being attributed to the influx of migrants from eastern Europe.
Incredibly, large exports of foodstuffs from Ireland continued right through 1848 and 1849, which were the years in which the Irish population fell rapidly from 8 million to 6 million through death and emigration.
In November 1848, old dock records show exports of food from Cork in a single day to have been 147 bales of bacon, 255 barrels of pork, 5 casks of hams, 3,000 sacks and barrels of oats, 300 bags of flour, 300 head of cattle, 239 sheep, 542 boxes of eggs, 9,300 firkins [about one-fourth of a barrel] of butter, and 150 casks of miscellaneous foodstuffs. Again protected by heavily armed British soldiers.
Lord Clarendon, the British viceroy in Ireland during the famine wrote to Prime Minister Lord John Russell: "I don't think there is another legislature in Europe [other than the British] that would coldly persist in this policy of extermination."
Free trade laws imposed by the British left Irish farmers with few options when the potato crop failed. Farmers were forced to sell all their produce, at gunpoint, to pay rent to their British landlords. Landlords would bring harsh criminal charges against farmers failing to pay their rent. Irish were not legally able to fish or hunt under British law. Many Irish starved to death producing food to pay rent to their landlords.
Alternatives to this included work houses where one would have also very likely starve to death, and were subject to an incredibly meagre wage so as not to interfere in the Labour market.
Emigration, the only remaining option, only left a 50% chance of survival, and was only an option to people who could afford it.
To this day, no one has ever answered for the atrocities carried out against the Irish people during this dark period. It is one of the great scandals of history, and serves to remind us what imperialistic governments are capable of.
ALCOHOL, IRELANDS LIFE BLOOD:
Once known as the land of Saints and Scholars, we have been fooled into accepting alcohol as part of Irish 'culture'. It has been said that 'Alcohol is the life blood that flows through the veins of Ireland', it is hard to disagree when one views the extent to which alcohol affects Irish society.
A report published on Nov 01, 2007, shows that alcohol consumption in the Irish population has increased by 17% over the preceding 11 years, from 11.5 litres per adult in 1995 to 13.4 litres in 2006. This rise in consumption has led to increases in alcohol-related harm and disease, and has resulted in more than 1,775 deaths.
This in turn has come at great cost to the Irish health sector. The number of people discharged from hospital with alcohol-related problems or injuries increased by almost 90% in the ten years between 1995 and 2004, and have continued to climb since.
It is not by chance that we find such dramatic increases in alcohol consumption by the Irish public, for it has long been known that the drunkenness and lawlessness created by a society flush in alcohol was seen to lead to ruination and degradation of the working classes, and has long been used as a method of repressing the progress and unification of a people. It restrains the revolutionary spirit of the people, keeping them in a state of stupor. In fact, the Knights Templar built an innumerable amount of public houses and taverns for this very reason.
It is the opiate of the Irish masses and is detrimental Irelands future. There is hardly a family on the entire island that hasn't been affected by alcoholism one way or another. It serves to numb the aforementioned revolutionary spirit that burns deep at the core of the Irish psyche. It creates a distraction from circumstances, which may otherwise be very open to mass opposition.
The true cost of Alcohol abuse to Irish society has been immense, and it will take years to repair the damage.
A CALL FOR UNTIY:
This is a call for a United Island of Ireland. The purpose of the article is not to rouse hatred against others for past atrocities or modern oppression, but rather to show that the people of Ireland have a common and united history, history that is kept from us in a bid to keep us divided. The origins of our people truly are ancient. This island is the birthplace of the spiritual movement that would eventually find its way into Indian, Egyptian, Greek and Meso-American culture.
The ancient roots of Freemasonry, which has played a key role in shaping this world, grow deep from within Irelands hidden past (More on this in my upcoming book). The people of this island played a major role in shaping the ancient world.
It is now time to again to unite Ireland under one flag, and help to shape a new world.
-Ruairí Ó Conghaile