Ten Things You Didn’t Know About July 4th in America

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Independence Day

 

1  Thomas Jefferson (3rd U.S president) and John Adams (2nd president of the United States) both died on July 4th 1826, the 50th anniversary of the of the Declaration of Independence.

thomas jefferson

2  John Adams argued that Independence day should be July 2nd not July 4th as that was the day the Continental Congress voted for independence from Great Britain.

john-adams-and-the-american-flag-war-is-hell-store Continue reading

Confessions of an Irish Spy

CONFESSIONS OF AN IRISH SPY

The Real Story of Joseph Mary Plunkett

Joe Plunkett 1

Joseph Mary Plunkett, well known as one of the signatories of the proclamation and his involvement in Ireland’s fight for independence, suffered from tuberculosis all of his life, but that didn’t stop British soldiers from executing him. Historians have found his life fascinating, especially when they learned he married his sweetheart, Grace Gifford in Kilmainham jail a short time before his execution by firing squad.  It is his sister Geraldine, who knew her brother better than anyone however.

Who was Joseph Mary Plunkett?

Continue reading

Irish Dance and Tripping the Sod

Irish Dance and Tripping the Sod

Irish dance has gone through numerous changes since its inception from tan, wigs, and elaborate costumes to daring to wear pants during a competition. Such was the case in New Jersey where Breanna Broesler broke the mold of traditional Irish dance while competing in Glasgow, Scotland. It was quite a brave mood for the 22 year old, which is not unusual for women in Ireland to challenge social norms of the time. After all, Irish women have been known to take much greater risks. They challenged the authority of the British Empire in 1916.

irish danceHow I would have loved to see my little girls compete but would like to see it performed more simply, without the wigs, and extravagant dresses. My hats off to Brianna Broesler! when she dared to dance wearing trousers.

Continue reading

Why Irish Music Remains a Mystery

Irish music, traditionally, was learned and played by ear. Often this is still the way of it. In years past, it was handed down from teacher to student, father to son or daughter, family to family, without written instruction, sheet music, or anything else but the music itself. It was listened to, experienced, and relished by those within earshot and people played their tunes the same way it was enjoyed by others. Unfortunately, when the Irish suffered intolerable pressure to stop playing their tunes and there was no one to listen to Irish instruments, the music was temporarily lost.

music Continue reading

Gay Hero or Traitor to His Country?

 The Story of Roger Casement Part II

Roger Casement may  have been gay but is that important to his accomplishments? He was hung by the British for being a traitor. Some thought it was his homosexuality that tipped the scales of justice. Casement did admit being gay at his trial which probably did not help his case.  Today we probably would not care.

gay

Did you know there was a time in British history that sodomy was punishable by hanging?

That would be a whole new post wouldn’t it?

There  is the fact of whether he was a traitor or not?  But to which country?

gayLets look at the facts

Because Ireland was still part of the British Empire, Roger Casement’s activities promoting an insurrection were categorized as sedition, rebellion, and treason. But what does Ireland think? Other rebels during the Easter Rising were probably gay too. Are they traitors as well?

Continue reading

Roger Casement, the forgotten hero

The Story of Roger Casement, Part I

One man recanted what he wrote about Casement years later

Roger Casement is best known for his ‘Black Diaries’ which in my opinion have overshadowed the history of his  previous life in the British government as a humanitarian.   A man respected and loved by family and friends, he was not abandoned at his trial as the media and history books would have us believe.

In fact one man recanted what he wrote about Casement years later. Unfortunately, it came too late and Casement was executed. The real Casement story takes place years before the Easter Rising. He deserves more notoriety showing his contributions to his country and to society.Roger Casement

Continue reading

New Book

New Book Petticoat Rebels of 1916

Extraordinary Women in Ireland’s Struggle for Freedom

By Brighid O’Sullivan

Petticoat Rebels of 1916 ebook smallExcerpt from Chapter 7:

Continue reading

Radio Broadcast and the Easter Rising

Radio and 10 Things You didn’t know about the Easter Rising

Part 2

radioA Wedding Postponed

#6.  Thomas Dillon and Geraldine Plunkett were supposed to be married in a double wedding with Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett on Easter Sunday.

Joseph Plunkett was a leader and planner of  the Rising. The Sinn Fein Rebellion, as it was known by the British would not have happened without him. He was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and helped plan the Rising by studying military tactics although he’d never before been a soldier. He also was involved in getting word out to the rest of the world on a radio. As one of the signatories of the Irish Proclamation, he was executed as well.

Joseph postponed his marriage to Grace Gifford but with all the confusion the day before the Rising he said that if he was arrested he still wanted to get married in Kilmainham Jail, which he did. Just hours after the couple took their vows, Joseph Plunkett was shot by firing squad. He was already dying of tuberculosis.

Continue reading

Political Facts about Easter Rising

Political Facts About the Easter Rising

Part I

Irish Men and Irish Women / Political Statements

1. The  Irish Proclamation of the independence, (the first official political document of the Republic) addresses Irish women as well as men.

, ‘ IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: in the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.

The document was read for the first time on April 24th, 1916 by Patrick Pearse.

Women continued to play a role in politics as well as rebellion, notably Constance Markievicz, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, and Kathleen Lynn who was a doctor.

Continue reading

Guns to fuel a Fishing Boat?

Guns aboard the boat that started it all, the Asgard!

In June of 1914, 900 guns, specifically Mauser riffles and 29,000 rounds of ammunition were purchased from Germany and shipped to Ireland. The guns were supposed  to be used to protect Home Rule but in 1916 they would be used for an all-out rebellion against England. Several women were at the heart of this mission: Alice Stopford Green, Molly Childers, (wife of Erskine Childers who also was involved) and Mary Spring Rice.

rebellion

Mary Spring Rice as a child

Mary Spring Rice grew up in a wealthy Anglo-Irish household whose compassion and free-thinking atmosphere encouraged independent thinking and a love for Irish culture. The family spoke Irish fluently. When she was selling Irish lace in London she met Erskine and Molly Childers, Alice Stopford Green and eventually Roger Casement who were part of an Anglo Irish Committee. Motivated by the Ulster Volunteers ability to smuggle guns into Larne and march all over Belfast, the group was determined to find a way to arm the Irish Volunteers as well. But how?

Continue reading