The Luck of the Irish in the New Year
The Roots of Irish America Part I
The Molly Maguires
The Molly Maguires were a secret society started in Ireland in the 19th century. Originally known as the Ribbon Society before its expansion outside of West Munster and Northern Connacht, they conducted their meetings in lodges across Ireland. The champions of the poor, they sent threatening letters, boycotted, or used violence against wealthy landowners who were charging ridiculous prices for rent and anyone accused of acquiring land where starving peasants were evicted.
An Irish mafia in America.
Women on Different Continents fighting for a common cause.
Both Eva Gore Booth, Edna Purtell, and others fought for women’s rights, especially the right to vote but their battles would take different tactics to be fought on different shores.
Eva Gore Booth, an Anglo-Irish woman from County Sligo Ireland, had always been sensitive to the plight of others, as was her more famous sister, Constance Gore Booth or the Rebel Countess as she became known during Ireland’s rebellious past. Both women grew up educated, well cared for, and worldly. While Constance would live most of her adult life in Ireland, Eva moved to Manchester, England to live with her lifelong companion, Esther Roper. Both women worked toward women’s suffrage, a journey they spent their lifetime traveling through themselves. They wrote letters, created posters and banners, and gave speeches. Had anyone listened though? Constance gave speeches, wrote manifestos, and eventual put on a uniform. She thought that if Irish freedom were obtained Women’s rights would follow.
Eva, however, did not believe in violence and never took up that particular battle. she felt the power of the pen was more beneficial. Not so for many of her comrades.
The fight for women’s suffrage was not a new war nor an unusual battle at this time in history yet the way Eva and Esther fought was different from many who spoke out in England and even in America. Eva and Esther were pacifists while the rest of the world moved toward more controversial and often risky means of protest.
The media labeled them, Suffragettes.
These women believed the only way to win women the vote was to force the general public, specifically men, to stand up and take notice of their demands. The only way to do that .. was to shock them.
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. While not unusual for Irish women to challenge social norms, a brave step for a 22 year old. After all, Irish women have been known to take much greater risks. They challenged the authority of the British Empire in 1916.
How 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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
Political Facts About the Easter Rising
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.
HOW DOES IRELAND SPELL CHRISTMAS?
(C) Candles are often placed in the windows of Irish homes to welcome the Christ child on Christmas Eve. In addition, candles were once used as a signal for priests that it was alright to say mass during Penal times.
Dublin and Five True Facts
Guest Post by Elena Clancy
As a local resident of Ireland, I took a slightly different route in my travels and my experience was perhaps different than the average tourist. During my travels I’ve come up with 5 Insane, but True facts about Dublin.
- Dublin is home to many of Ireland’s famous acts in music, from Thin Lizzy and U2 to more recent sensations Script and Kodaline.
I am not a fan of Thin Lizzy myself, not a huge one anyway, but one of my friends is and other friends befriended members of the band. I was impressed by their association and I learned a lot about the band. This iconic band is from North County Dublin. The Script became popular when I was still in college; their songs appealing to my generation. Many are based on what it was like to live in Dublin and hit fame across the globe. Kodaline is a recent addition to the music scene but they are just as raw and Irish as many other bands in Ireland.