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.
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.
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.
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?
I am pleased to introduce the readers of Celticthoughts.com to author, Shannon Haire who has just released her new book, Petticoat, Patriots, and Partition. Shannon also writes a blog called Choosing the Green,
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.
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………….
Why the rebels of the Easter Rising would not give their names
Frongoch Concentration Camp in north Wales was not without its sacrifices for the rebels of the Easter Rising in 1916. While it is true the men had considerably more freedom at Frongoch in the old distillery compared to Kilmainham Gaol, Knutsford, or Wandsworth Prisons in England where they suffered solitary confinement, one of the biggest personal price they paid was inflicted on themselves by themselves.
After the Easter Rising, the Irish Republican Brotherhood,( soon to become the IRA) targeted RIC officials with violence and murder. On the suggestion of Winston Churchill, the Black and Tans were formed in 1918 to assist the RIC to get rid of the IRA, or so they thought. They roamed free looking for vengeance. They committed murder, lead a reign of terror and violence throughout Ireland. The easiest targets were women, especially in the more rural parts of Ireland. To remain secret, they attacked after curfew dragging men and women out of their beds in the middle of the night..