Rebels as German Spies

Rebels or German Spies in 20th Century Ireland

Of all the Petticoat Rebels I have written about I think Sidney Gifford is one of my favorites. Perhaps it was because she never let anyone tell her she couldn’t do something. Like so many other female rebels in 20th century Ireland she accomplished extraordinary goals in a male dominated world.

Irish Freedom paper 2Sidney Gifford was a writer but not just any writer. While it was acceptable for females to write about subjects such as housekeeping and cooking Miss Gifford took another path entirely with pen and paper. She wrote political and considered radical essays about Irish freedom and British tyranny. She did this in not one but 2 countries. Ireland and the  America and took the pen name, John Gifford to make sure her articles were read.

 

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10 Amazing Books for Kids

10 Irish  Books for Kids about Ireland

It is difficult to choose books for kids in this age of technology and instant gratification. Add a child’s short attention span, especially in the very young and you may as well be trying to teach him or her how to fly a plane! But wait. Can’t we use this to our advantage? Isn’t there a way to add knowledge and especially amazing facts into those sponge-like minds and how do we teach them something as important as history?

Enter the fabulous mind-bending, earth-shattering world of story-telling told in the form of Audio books, specifically, Irish myths and legends such as…………

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Petticoat Rebels in Medicine/ Kathleen Lynn

Petticoat Rebels in Medicine and Doctor Kathleen Lynn

The most unlikely Petticoat Rebel after the Easter Rising was Doctor Kathleen Lynn. Appointed Chief Medical Officer of the Irish Citizen Army she  trained the rebels in first aid and was active in smuggling arms before the Easter Rising ever took place but her accomplishments go far beyond these simple facts.

Kathleen Lynn 2After the Easter Rising two things  continued. Sinn Fein, the new Provisional Government of Ireland and only one in Europe to include women on its board of trustees, gained massive political and pubic support especially with its anti-conscription bill.

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Petticoat Rebels in Ireland?

womens trade unionPETTICOAT REBELS IN IRELAND

Some of the most unlikely rebels were women who grew up in Protestant Unionist households, in other words part of the Anglo Irish elite

.They went to private schools, socialized with those of their own class, lived in large Georgian houses in the same neighborhoods as their peers, supposedly sharing the same values and ideals.

The lines were strictly drawn and it was considered scandalous for women to speak up against establishment, write editorials, or do almost anything outside of homemaking. In fact, after the Easter Rising, Nellie Gifford was thrown out of her mother’s  house. So how did these women become rebels in Ireland?

GovernessSeveral reasons.

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The Ladies School Dinner Committee

In 1911,The Ladies School Dinner Committee or the LSDC organized a free  lunch for every poor child in Dublin regardless of religion, parents political backgrounds, or race.

Irish-schoolsBefore this time, the School Meals Act of 1906 allowed government money to be allocated for the provision of meals to school children in England. It had not been extended to Ireland however. In early 20th century Dublin hundreds of children went to school without any breakfast. They did not bring lunch with them either.  At this time, Dublin had one of the highest poverty rates in all of Europe! One free lunch could make all  the difference in the world.

Dublin Corp. nowIn November of 1911, Helen Laird, a teacher at Alexander College and Maud Gonne MacBride addressed the monthly meeting of Dublin Corporation, explaining the poor health conditions of school children and how a free lunch every day would keep their minds strong and their bodies fit, preventing them from living off the government in the future. Dublin Corporation referred the matter of whether money could be dispensed toward school lunches to their law agent. The law agent’s recommendation was to neglect any money at all toward school lunches.

lady_aberdeen 2Lady  Ishbel Aberdeen, founder of the Women’s National Health Organization and wife of the lord lieutenant in Ireland came under extreme criticism by the Nationalist movement.By 1910, the WNHA was the  main children’s charity of the country.

The Ladies School Dinner Committee accused her of patronizing the poor in Ireland and setting up the WNHA because she hoped to influence Queen Victoria to give her a title. She was seen as meddling in Irish affairs.

Irish stewSo the Ladies School Dinner Committee took over school lunches and this is how they did it.

The meals were cooked in a communal kitchen and had to be carried by the ladies to each school.

Dublin Family 20th century

Some children paid and some did not. It was left up to the teachers to know who was not able to pay. This was kept secret and no one was allowed to know who did or did not pay for the food. This way it kept all politics and favoritism out of the pot

School When the children left at lunch time, they often did not return to class..

 An added benefit of having meals in the school was that it kept them inside the building. Previously, they left to go a communal kitchen on Meath St. (the same kitchen that would provide the free meals now) When they left at lunch time, often the boys and girls did not return to class.

As is today, the Ladies School Dinner Committee came under attack from the media who claimed the free lunch program was simply a ruse for nationalist propaganda though I doubt the children cared at all.

Do you have your free report yet? Read more news of Women in Ireland that made a difference. Ten Irish Heroines of 1916

NEWS:  Watch for Free Promotion Oct. 7, 8, and 9h for 100 Things You Didn’t Know About Ireland. with added BONUS Content.

How To Travel Ireland by Irish Bus

HOW TO TRAVEL IRELAND BY IRISH BUS AND WHY ITS BEST FOR SOME

Bus in Dublin

An Irish bus is the only way to travel for some people. Let’s face it. Driving in Ireland is not for everyone. The drawbacks are numerous including expense, lack of street signs, dangerous roads and definitely driving on the left if you come from the states or Poland. For some these are just part of the experience but for others it can scare someone into neglecting a trip to Ireland in the first place. DON’T LET THAT STOP YOU! There are other options. Bus travel may be the way to go.

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How British Trained Irish Rebels @ Frongoch

HOW THE BRITISH TRAINED IRISH REBELS AT FRONGOCH PRISON

 “The University of Revolution”

After the Easter Rising in 1916, England was faced with what to do with the several thousand men they’d arrested.The answer was Frongoch Internment Camp in Wales.

Frongoch-Internment-Camp_thumbFrongoch Internment Camp, a converted whiskey distillery did not squash the desire for Irish independence among the Irish rebels. 

The dream of a free Ireland continued to thrive in the hearts and souls of  of the men, despite being ripped from their homeland and families and the hardships of prison life. In fact, Frongoch was so beneficial to the War of Independence that it was nicknamed” the University of Revolution.”

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Grosse Isle and the Great Famine

Grosse Isle and the Great Famine

Grosse Isle was another tragedy made possible from the great famine, a mass death and heartbreaking tale of desparation continued from Ireland across the sea.

Any local from Dublin will tell you there was no famine but  there was …

a potato blight which destroyed the only food the British  allowed us enough land f to grow our own food from‘ It was more of a terrible hunger,  for if not for the British shipping every morsel of food out of our own country, there would be no famine at all..”

Famine shipsSeeing no other way to survive the famine, the Irish fled to America and Canada, bringing with them the lice in their clothes that created the dreaded ship fever (typhus) . Most knew absolutely nothing about the ocean. Nothing about ship travel, or how to prepare for their journey. Many died on board as surely as they would have died of the famine. Only the healthiest survived to land in Quebec or New  York City.

What happened at Grosse Isle  In the winter of 1847?

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Tale of the Great Sham

Tale of the Great Sham and The Land League of Ireland

By Liam Brennan

The height of the Land War (1879-1882) saw the founding of the Ladies Land League in Ireland. The League was the forerunner for other organizations  such as Inghinidhe na hEireann and Cumann na mBan. Anna Parnell, one of the Anglo-Irish protestant elite, was their leader. Anna’s League was not just for fund-raising or a stand-in until the men of the Land League returned from prison. It was Anna who showed women how to fight for what they believed in. Both the Men’s and the Ladies Land League supported withholding rent from landlords and boycotting but more importantly the ladies helped support evicted tenants and oversaw the building of new shelters . For a considerable time the Anna Parnell never received the credit she deserved, second to her more famous brother, Charles Stewart Parnell.

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Beer Saved Ireland and How

How Beer Saved Ireland

Beer? Seriously? As my grand daughter would say. How did that happen.

With  the history of the Great Hunger barely hundred years before, I was surprised by this trivia fact. England wrought what some would call heartless vengeance onto her own people once again.

Belfast Air Raids, WWII

Belfast Air Raids, WWII

During the Second World War, Ireland remained neutral, despite the fact Northern Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. The mother country was deeply engaged in mortal combat with Germany.

This decision did not bode well with England. In fact, Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England was furious and resented Ireland’s neutrality. In an effort to bring Ireland into the war, he implemented several strategic actions by controlling ports and shipping supplies to Ireland. These strategies had disastrous consequences, hitting the Irish population at its poorest.

Churchill at deskWith the European conflict raging, Churchill prepared to deliver several embargoes that would devastate Ireland; that is until she brought out her secret weapon to defend herself. Check out the facts below.

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