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

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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:

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10 Fun Quotes about the Easter Rising

10 Fun Quotes from The Easter Rebellion

Part 2

 Inside the GPO by Joe Good is both a personal and fun read. It actually reads like a novel so if you want something historical that is both accurate and enjoyable continue reading for some Excerpts from the book………….

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History, the 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland

History and the 5 things you didn’t know about Irelaand

History of Ireland is a vast subject and sadly what we think of most is the 1916 Easter Rising, the Great hunger, and stories of evictions, starvation, social injustice. While all these things are true, and I certainly would not want to downplay any of it, there were other more positive things going on in Ireland, despite all that heartache and hardship. Below are 5 things You Didn’t Know About Irish History, from my new book, 100 Things You Didn’t Know About Irish History.

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Irish Pride I Learned From My Father

My father was extremely proud of being Irish, though I would learn later, our family was  also  part Polish with a smattering of Russian in the pot. See my post on the Polish Jews in Ireland.  Polish is one of the most popular languages in Ireland right now, with many traffic signs in both English and Polish. Though my father would never admit to being anything but Irish, it wasn’t our Irishness that he instilled in me but something more valuable: that one is worthy, no mater what anyone tells you. Though the Irish disease consumed my father in the end, he was an intelligent proud man. He could answer every trivia question on Jeopardy, something I find, even now, astonishing. I’m lucky to get one answer right on this highly competitive game show,Americans K Conflict where only the most brilliant  are allowed to participate.

My father was also in the army, during the Korean Conflict; it was a war not categorized as important but many of his friends unfortunately met their doom, most having no knowledge of why they were in Korea in the first place. Politics! The Vietnam Conflict was more of the same. Continue reading

What was the Easter Rising in 1916 Irish History?

In  commemorating the Easter Rising of 1916  in Ireland, here are just a few of some less known facts, for all my Irish History Buffs out there.

FACT 1:. Did you know that the ‘Easter Rising of 1916’ which catapulted Ireland to its dream of Freedom from England , did not happen on Easter Sunday, but on the day after,  Monday in fact?. Do you know why?.

Arms were to be delivered from Germany to aid the Rebellion,  but the English got wind of the whole thing and the Royal navy sunk the ship, thus losing the cargo of arms..

A counter command, ordered by Eoin Mac Neill cancelled what was supposed to be a non-military parade by the Irish Volunteers on Easter Sunday, This threw all those involved into confusion. Mac Neill had not yet joined the Military Council of the IRB and was not aware that the parade was just a ruse for an actual  Rising until Bulmer Hobson informed him of such. When he found out he was completely uncooperative and wanted nothing to do with it.

When the Rebels in the outlying countryside heard of the counter command they laid down their guns for another day. They were not aware that the IRB planned to ignore the command and  forge ahead with the Rising, after all. This left Dublin in a less than advantageous state of affairs. They were outnumbered and outgunned. Patrick Pearse, who was leading the revolution knew what that meant. A blood sacrifice. He’d known it all along, actually and had accepted his fate for his country.

Constance Markievicz was the only woman arrested who was put into solitary confinement in Kilmainham Gaol. She was sentenced to death but then was  not executed, perhaps because she was a woman.  She wanted to die with her friends and countrymen and was  quoted as saying, “I do wish your lot would have the decency to shoot me!” She was released from jail in 1917 and happily  found a changed Ireland. Public opinion had shifted dramatically and made all the rebels who previously had been despised and hated into heroes and the executed, martyrs.  Constance was a fascinating woman and there is much more to her than this little bit of history.  I’ve dedicated a historical novel to her life and the love story she had with her husband, the Polish Count, to be released sometime in 2016, on the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising.

In the beginning of the Rising, women in black capes called ‘Shawlees’ threw bottles and anything they could get their hands on at the GPO, where the Rebels had taken up residence. They were aware the rebels previously had lectured and discouraged that Irishmen should not taking up arms for the British army when they themselves were being oppressed by the English here at home. The women were angry and vengeful because they were convinced that the Rebels were trying to keep them from obtaining their checks, sent home from husbands and sons, whom were fighting in WWI.  After all it was a Post Office.

 

Grace Gifford, a painter, married Joseph Mary Plunkett, who was then dying of TB, in Kilmainham Gaol, only hours before Plunkett’s execution. They had originally planned to have a double wedding on Easter Sunday with Plunkett’s sister Geraldine and Thomas Dillon, who did escape execution. One source I read claimed a boy-hood friend of Plunkett’s was one of the guards in Kilmainham Gaol and as Grace cried in her husband’s arms, the friend assured her, Joseph would probably not be executed, for the British would certainly not shoot a dying man. This boyhood ‘chum’ also was ordered to be part of the firing squad, which he refused, resulting in his own arrest.. Grace was misinformed  and he was shot a few hours after they took their vows. To take a crash course in Irish History go here and read 100 Things You Didn’t Know About Irish History now with Bonus Content..

James ConnollyAnother misprint of the Easter Rising that seems to have stuck thanks to the British is that James Connolly was strapped to a chair during his execution because he could not sit up straight. The reality was much worse. He was strapped to a stretcher and leaned upright against the wall while they fired on him! This description was recorded by the Sacristan to the Parish of St James by Fr McCarthy

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Warmly, Brighid O’Sullivan