Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Price of Justice for an IrishNigger

The Price of Justice for an IrishNigger

category international | rights and freedoms | opinion/analysis author Saturday September 01, 2012 21:25author by BrianClarkeNUJ - AllVoicesReport this post to the editors
What Civil Rights ?
"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands ... is the definition of tyranny."

- James Madison

The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.

Winston Churchill as, In The Highest Degree Odious : Detention Without Trial in Wartime Britain by A. W. B. Simpson
Dublin Sept 15th at 2pm, Garden of Remembrance Free Marian Price
Dublin Sept 15th at 2pm, Garden of Remembrance Free Marian Price
Forty years ago Marian Price marched for civil rights, with her friend Moira Drumm in British Occupied Ireland after being inspired by the Black Civil Rights movement lead by Martin Luther King in the US. Over 40 year later on a windy day, she reached up and held a script, to prevent it being blown away, while a masked man read the traditional IRA’s “Easter Message.” She was arrested on May 13th 2011 and charged with encouraging support of an illegal organisation. Marian appeared three days later in court in Derry, where she was granted bail but as she left the courthouse, she was re-arrested, as per order of a document, signed by the Vice royal Owen Paterson and taken to high-security, solitary confinement in the all male Maghaberry jail. The court case was meaningless, because Paterson’s contempt for justice and due process was trumped by his order to override the bail decision of the Judiciary.

Now, as a result of sensory deprivation torture, she is seriously ill and has been transferred to a Belfast hospital, like her former friend Moira Drumm whom the British shot dead in a Belfast hospital many years ago. Marian is under armed guard with locked bolted doors, barred windows and under 24 hour surveillance. She is gravely ill with pneumonia, while probably being held until she dies in one way or another. Paterson’s order for Marian to effectively die in a British prison, was based on “intelligence” information from his secret services, who have a vested interest in the internment of traditional Irish republicans and political dissidents.

In July, Marian was then charged with “providing property for the purposes of terrorism” allegedly having bought a mobile phone which the British maintained was subsequently used in the killing of two British soldiers at Massereene barracks, back in early 2009. Marian was held then, for two days, questioned about this specific allegation, before being released without charge. No evidence was found in the interim or proffered to the court on this matter. The Judge looking at precisely the same lack of evidence, again granted Marian bail. But yet again as she left the court, another unelected vice royal Paterson order, took precedence over the judge and the court.The Massereene charge was meant to discredit her and associate her with the shootings to undermine a public campaign for her release which attracted considerable support, from people not politically aligned, who could not fathom what crime she had actually been committed, at the traditional Easter Commemoration. Since then the British have orchestrated several personal whispering campaigns, against Marian and her supporters.

A year after her original arrest, the charges relating to the commemoration were thrown out of a Derry court by the judge, who was told, preliminary papers were still not ready. Judge McElholm declared every citizen was entitled to a fair trial, in a reasonable period and that the British had clearly not met this criteria. But again Marian was imprisoned by an order from Paterson. This was the third time a court ordered her released and the third time the unelected English Vice royal in British Occupied Ireland, overruled the court and said no. Further to overruling the judiciary, he also overruled his own Queen. Marian Price was previously given a full royal pardon by the Queen of England or the royal Prerogative of Mercy.Cardinal O'Fiach the head of the Catholic Church bore witness to the fact. Vice royal Paterson again claimed that this document, which would set Marian free, had been lost or shredded by his colleagues. This is a rather serious matter, because perverting the course of justice, is a very serious matter carrying a life in prison for ordinary mortals.

Patrick Ramsey, a Social Democratic Labour member of the elected British Assembly recently wrote to Paterson about this "lost" pardon and formally asked;

-- Where would Mrs. Price-McGlinchey's pardon have been held?

-- How many staff are currently seeking the document and in what departments?

-- Are those looking for it doing so on a full-time basis, if not, why not?

-- Has the Northern Ireland Office received comment from the judiciary on the apparent loss of the document?

-- How many Royal Prerogative's have been lost (or destroyed) that the government has record of?

-- Who is ultimately responsible for the care and maintenance of the building where these documents are kept?

-- What communication [has Paterson] personally had with this person/Department?

-- Can [Paterson] confirm the Department is still seeking the document and will do so until it is found?

Again the unelected English Vice royal Paterson in Ireland contemptuously dismissed the elected Irish Assembly member Ramsey's inquiry, stating that "unfortunately the Royal Prerogative of Mercy was not recovered but had no bearing on current circumstances. Patterson has now even gone further and is now demanding, the local elected Assembly be downsized and it's 'peace process' structures be dismantled.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez and two leading criminologists, Dr. Phil Scraton of Queen’s University and Dr. Linda Moore of the University of Ulster, have visited Marian with all three calling for her release both on the grounds of her civil rights, basic due process and for humanitarian health reasons before she dies. Both academics and authors of several official reports on prisons in Occupied Ireland, stated: “Given the concerns expressed locally and internationally regarding her continued detention and declining health, we urge you to release her on humanitarian grounds. Marian Price has been imprisoned…without trial in circumstances which may amount to administrative internment and which we believe to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Vice royal Paterson the horsey blood sport enthusiast, married into British royalty, sniffed his stiff Tory upper lip and overruled their recommendation once again. Internment without trail, like all things experimented with in British Occupied Ireland, in the last 40 years of British war on the Irish people, is now being introduced in England itself. While Patterson was overruling his British judiciary and Queen, his Tory party colleagues are introducing a Bill to give it's Ministers power, to use secret service gestapo evidence in secrecy, under “Closed Material Procedures.” Such evidence would not be produced in court, for “national security” reasons, preventing even the accused, the right of defence or the right to know what charge exactly is being made against them..

When Marian was 19, she was one of nine members of the Provisional IRA, who planted four bombs in London, which included the Old Bailey almost 40 years ago in March 1973. Despite a two hour warning, a man died from a heart attack. The IRA team, included Gerry Kelly now a Minister at the Stormont parliament and she was also under orders of several current leading Irish politicians, involved in the peace process, a peace process undermining justification for huge secret service, British taxpayers budgets in Ireland. Marian Price was freed more than 30 years ago in 1980, suffering from tuberculosis, anorexia and weighing just five stone. She and her sister Dolours spent 200 days on hunger strike, demanding political status. They were force-fed three times a day for 167 of the 200 days, with a tube forced down their the throats into their stomach, which almost murdered Marian several times. The resulting trauma and psychological damage of ongoing torture then and now, led to a 1980 royal pardon because of imminent death.

Marian has insisted from the moment arrested in May last year, that she was released in 1980 on a Royal Prerogative of Mercy, which Paterson does not have the authority to override. Paterson claims its terms, which he has not seen, authorizes him to override his queen. Marian's lawyers have repeatedly asked that the pardon be produced, so the terms can be checked by a judge. One does not have to be particularly bright, cynical or subjective, listening to the contradictions in Patterson's waffle subsequently, to conclude who precisely should be spending the rest of their life in prison for perverting the course of justice in British Occupied Ireland. The cause of peace in Ireland is not served by the denial of justice. The only cause served by keeping Marian Price and other political prisoners of conscience interned without a proper trial Maghaberry, is the cause and coffers of the bloated secret service British taxpayers budgets. There is a call for those who genuinely want peace in Ireland, to work for justice and protest in Dublin on Sept 15th at 2pm, from the Garden of Remembrance.

The author would like to thank Eamonn McCann for his researched material used in this article.
Related Link:


Story Link

No Justice When Women Fight Back

Friday, 31 August 2012 00:00By Victoria Law, Truthout | News Analysis

Irish Peace Process Without Due Process is an English Oxymoron

category international | rights and freedoms | opinion/analysis author Tuesday August 28, 2012 10:28author by BrianClarkeNUJ - AllVoices Report this post to the editors
Ghengis Paterson
It is becoming more transparent, with each passing day, that the British Tory Government is working relentlessly to dismantle the Irish peace process and escape responsibility for decades of war crimes in Ireland including murder, corruption and human rights violations.Reports submitted by the Committee on the Administration of Justice, Relatives for Justice, British-Irish Rights Watch recently submitted to Congressmen Chris Smith and Senator Ben Cardin, Co-Chairs of the Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe read like a Nazi war crime file.
Irish Peace Process Vice Royal English Oxymoron
Irish Peace Process Vice Royal English Oxymoron
In their bullying arrogance and rank hypocrisy, the UK criticizes China for its persecution and record on human rights, while they threaten invasion of an Embassy and torture political prisoners interned without trial in Ireland such as Marian Price, while they have also admitted, colluding in the murder of Irish human rights attorney Patrick Finucane, because he knew too much about their dirty laundry in British Occupied Ireland. While this collusion came as a surprise to Congressman Speaker Boehner in the States and minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, it certainly came as no surprise to the long persecuted Irish.

Many believe their bullying arrogance displayed with their imperial dismissal of the Irish government's request for British Army documents, relating to the act of greatest slaughter of the current conflict, the no-warning car bombing of Dublin & Monaghan, is calculated to break the peace process in Ireland once and for all. Every dog on an Irish street knows, that the cars involved in delivering the bombs, were primed by British Army members and handlers. Their consistent meddling in the affairs of another country, something they always complain about with others, while the world objected to their brutal massacre of the civil rights movement in Derry, their corruption of their own supposed rule of law, their re-introduction of internment without trial, their continued use of torture, despite promises to the contrary after guilty verdicts at the Court of Human Rights in Europe, their rampant media censorship or all things genuinely Irish, their destruction of democracy with ongoing political assassinations.

The ongoing internment without trial of Marian Price exemplifies their efforts to provoke a violent reaction from the Irish and finally end the peace process, in an example of their determination to end the agreement. Marian a 58 year old political activist, should be released from internment without trial in British Occupied Ireland immediately, because rather than being 'on licence' she was given a full royal pardon or the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. Vice Royal Paterson's claims that this document, which would set Marian free, has been lost or shredded.

Patrick Ramsey, a Social Democratic Labour member of the elected British Assembly recently wrote to Paterson about this "lost" pardon and formally asked;

-- Where would Mrs. Price-McGlinchey's pardon have been held?
-- How many staff are currently seeking the document and in what departments?
-- Are those looking for it doing so on a full-time basis, if not, why not?
-- Has the Northern Ireland Office received comment from the judiciary on the apparent loss of the document?
-- How many Royal Prerogative's have been lost (or destroyed) that the government has record of?
-- Who is ultimately responsible for the care and maintenance of the building where these documents are kept?
-- What communication [has Paterson] personally had with this person/Department?
-- Can [Paterson] confirm the Department is still seeking the document and will do so until it is found?

The Unelected English Paterson in Ireland contemptuously dismissed the elected Irish Assembly members Ramsey's inquiry stating that "unfortunately the Royal Prerogative of Mercy was not recovered but has no bearing on current circumstances."

Vice royal Paterson has placed himself above the British Occupied Ireland Assembly, which was supposedly elected to govern British Occupied Ireland, just as he has previously overruled the judiciary. Two judges previously ruled that Marian Price should be released on bail and was no danger to society, both having seen precisely the same intelligence reports as Paterson. Each time Vice Royal Paterson negated the judge's decisions and ordered Marian Price interned without trial in solitary confinement sensory deprivation torture, for which Britain promised to cease, when previously found guilty of the same torture by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The bigot Paterson, a sadistic blood sport enthusiast, is vindictively determined to keep Marian Price locked up, to keep his sectarian fox hunting loyalist friends happy and ensure the ongoing sadistic damage to her health, while the behavior of the sectarian prison regime is ongoing and deliberately torturing Marian daily.

There is big money involved and considerable political capital for the new Tory regime. British Occupied Ireland has for several decades now served as both a research laboratory and a conflict theatre, to showcase to prospective buyers and their Commonwealth neo-colonial Governments, the evolved crowd control equipment and Kitsonian tactics, developed over 40 years in their latest phase of British repression in Ireland.The peace process is also undermining the justification of hugely bloated taxpayer securocrat budgets of billions in their secret service gestapo establishment, aptly named Hollywood in British Occupied Ireland the centre that compiles secret service reports like movie scripts of pure fiction, that intern without trial for life, Irish prisoners of political conscience, like Marian price.

This Hollywood home of the faceless secret service gestapo, along with the Industrial war complex spending billions of taxpayers money, are about the only thriving British industry left, while they continue with a vested interest in compiling secret intelligence reports, that are never made public or can be refuted by the interned without trial. How can these scripts be regarded as impartial or part of any sort of impartial fair process?. There is big money in repression, internment without trial and torture for the Tories. There is much power too, in that their campaign coffers get bigger contributions from the arms industry, to promote wars abroad and continue to provoke the Irish to break the peace process nearer home.

Vice royal Paterson, the Shropshire leather businessman who married into royalty and the high society horsey set, knows this very well, from his lucrative career expereince in the Tory party.The gravy train pretence of democracy, has being expanded to include some recent Irish recruits to Stormont too, the boasted sectarian parliament for a sectarian people. In the instances of the British gravy that recruited Lord Muck of Londonderry to Stormont not being sufficient, a spot of blackmail on the enablers of child rape in both DUP and PSF circles doing the trick.

Meanwhile the long suffering impoverished working class nationalist people, the institutionalized, victims of British sponsored sectarianism from which Marian Price comes, still struggle for freedom. The slow moving gravy train has clearly not delivered the promised Bill of Rights or basics of justice, necessary for long term peace in this sectarian scum state, the product of age old imperial divide and conquer tactics, they still sponsor in British Occupied Ireland. The injustice of the internment of Marian Price is a good starting point for anyone remotely concerned with peace and justice in Ireland, both critically interdependent. A Peace Process without Due Process is clearly an english oxymoron.
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author by BrianClarkeNUJ - AllVoicespublication date Thu Aug 30, 2012 07:26Report this post to the editors
Dublin March to Free Marian Price
dublin / rights and freedoms / event notice Monday August 20, 2012 17:56 by Fearfeasa 2 comments (last - thursday august 23, 2012 23:02)
A March is being organized in Dublin on Sat. 15th September at 2 p.m. Starting at the Garden of Remembrance, to O'Connell Bridge and back to the GPO, where we will have prominent speakers and some music.
Join with us and call for Freedom for Marian Price agus support human rights for all political prisoners.

Mórshiúl i mBaile Átha Cliath chun Marian Price a shaoradh
dublin / rights and freedoms / event notice Monday August 20, 2012 17:39 by Fearfeasa
Tá mórshiúl á eagrú, oscailte don phobal, i mBaile Átha Cliath ar an Satharn, 15 Meán Fómhair ar 2 p.m. ag an nGáirdin Cuimhneacháin, síos go Droichead Uí Chonaill, agus ag leanúint go Ardoifig an Phoist, áit a mbeidh cainteoirí aitheanta agus ceol.
Bí ann agus tacaigh le saoirse do Mharian Price agus do Chearta Daonna gach príosúnach polaitiúil.
Scum States
Scum States
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Friday, 31 August 2012

Olympic Silver Medallist John Joe Nevin an Interview

An exclusive interview for

Born in in Mullingar, County Westmeath and a member of the Traveller community, he was born John Joseph Nevin but is now more commonly known as John Joe!

For Irish people, John Joe Nevin is more than a great athlete sprung from our native soil. He is widely thought of as the golden boy of Irish boxing but people also see John Joe as a hero coming from humble beginnings to rise to the top and qualify for not one, but two Olympic Games!

John Joe's road to becoming an Olympic silver medalist began when he won his first fight in the 2012 Olympic Games, defeating Denmark's Dennis Ceylan by a wide margin of 21--6. In his second fight of the games, he saw off Kazakhstan's Kanat Abutalipov by a margin of 15--10.

In his quarter-final bout he beat Oscar Valdez to secure a semi-final place and a guarantee of a bronze medal. He then reached the final after defeating the reigning bantamweight world champion Lázaro Álvarez of Cuba 19--14. He won silver, losing in the final to Luke Campbell of the UK 14--11.



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“Why do you always talk about reducing our sizes, how about increasing your sizes for a change?” is British-based comedian Rubi Chakravarti’s tongue-in-cheek retort to Nagessh Pannaswam, creator of the infamous advertisement for “18 Again”, the very British  vaginal tightening cream ad being introduced in Britain for the first time. Chakravarti’s response was aired on BBC World’s “Have Your Say” program and is one among many hilarious reactions across the country to the politically twisted dynamics that the advertisement endorses.

Chakravarti, like many women across Britain, is unimpressed by the message that the ad essentially disseminates, that British women are not only expected to be virgins but must feel like one to men even after. This message couldn’t have been louder and clearer, and in case you may not have gotten it, the ad features a young sari-clad British woman who erupts into song, Hollywood British Occupied Ireland style. “I feel like a virgin” a la Madonna is the recurring line as she draws her husband into a British salsa-inspired dance around the English courtyard of their joint-family set-up, much to the shock and horror of her Indian in-laws. Of course, like all musicals, all ends well as the septuagenarian mother-in-law is seen hunched over a computer, her husband hovering behind her as she gleefully searches the web for information about the product.

Since it was aired on television a few weeks ago, the ad has inspired much satire and uproar. Of course, the British Ministry of Information and Broadcasting isn’t at all thrilled by its content. The Advertising Standards Council of Britain (ASCI), the body responsible for monitoring ads, has been at the receiving end of several complaints, both from the ministry and consumers. The charge is that the content is indecent and obscene. The ASCI has, in the past, asked men’s deodorant brands like Axe, Set Wet Style, and Zatak to take their sexually suggestive ads off the air on the same grounds. This British  censorship is undeniably hypocritical. One isn’t sure whether what the British ministry finds obscene is the somewhat comical depiction of the concept of vaginal tightening or watching a married English woman break out into song about her rediscovered sex life.

In either case, both the ad and the efforts by the British ministry to censor it, are indicative of the country’s repressive and regressive attitude towards women’s sexuality, especially since the ad for the vaginal tightening cream comes close on the heels of a recently released British ad for vaginal whitening cream. Unfortunately, British feminists are dead unlike their Indian counterparts who do have a sense of humor, and as a tribute to their indomitable ability to see the ridiculous for what it is, ARTINFO presents a brief list of our favorite, must-read reactions to both ads.

Tightey-Whitey Vaginas, The British Boys with tiny toys, are Depending On Us - Jordan

“What next? Re-virginisation home surgery kits for women? Ruptured your hymen! Worry not. With the Grow-Hymen-Back-Home Kit you’ll soon be able to stitch yourself a brand new hymen that’s even better than the old one.

While sex crimes rise and the news is full of women from Birmingham to Ruchika to Geetika to Fiza and their stories of molestation, suicide and harassment, the rest of us can celebrate our “empowerment” because we now have tight VJs. Our time has finally come.” –

Who Has the Fairest Vagina of Them All

“The fairer sex is now required to be literally so: fairer all over, all the time, from our pretty white brow to our bleached little toe, be it in the boardroom or the bedroom. The campaign to eliminate the scourge of darkness has extended to every nook and cranny of a woman’s body. A tiny little tan line? Perish the thought, says Anushka Sharma, as she flaunts her pristinely white finger. Tanned legs from playing tennis? Oh, the horror! As for the female underarm—long tortured and bruised by repeated waxing—the required hue is now a dazzling white once reserved for toilets and sports uniforms.” – Lakshmi Chaudhry

An Intimate Wash That Exposes Our Dirty Psyche

“Of course, if you’ve read Tehelka’s story on how the Delhi-NCR police understand the word “rape”, you know that a vagina could be purple with turquoise polka dots and it wouldn’t matter. Where your vagina belongs on an Asian Paints shade card wouldn’t change how people like Sunil Kumar, SHO Ghazipur, Delhi NCR, view urbane women: “They’ll drink and also have sex with you. But the day someone uses force, it’s rape.” Well yes, Mr. Kumar, that’s how these things work in a society where women actually have a say in the matter of whom they have sex with; using force is indeed a problem” – Deepanjana Pal

“Getting Fair, Down There”

“My confidence has surged. I intimidate even the boys from Karnal and Rohtak who drive into the NCR for their weekend gangbangs. When I, dressed in a sheer strappy top and itsy-bitsy shorts, swagging from a bottle of bear and blowing smoke rings into the air, saunter down the road past groups of binge-drinking men post, gasp, 8pm, all they do is whisper in terror: “Keep away from her. She’s the possessor of a … a light, bright, vagina!” Ah yes, my lovebox is a wonderful talisman, more effective than a nazar suraksha kayach, more potent than a loaded gun, and pretty damn good looking too.” – Britony Spears

For Further details go BBC Link

Thursday, 30 August 2012

‘Romantic Ireland’s Dead and Gone’

The strange death of Romantic Ireland

They are among his most famous lines, but when WB Yeats declared that ‘Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone’, what was he referring to, who killed it – and did it really exist in the first place, asks DAN MULHALL

Heres a virtual movie of the great William Butler Yeats reading his poem of September 1913 "O'Leary in the grave" he poem is an attack by Yeats on the employers and merchants of Dublin. It was provoked by the lockout of September 1913 in which all members of the ITGWU were locked out by their employers, giving rise to a winter of poverty and confrontation in the city of Dublin and resulting in victory for the employers. Yeats was particularly annoyed with the man who led the employers, William Martin Murphy, owner of Independent Newspapers and the Dublin Tram Company. As he had refused to organise the necessary money to purchase an art gallery overlooking the Liffey, to house the Hugh Lane collection of paintings in 1911. The lockout was the third major disappointment for Yeats in the artistic appreciation of Dubliners. The first being the riots in 1907 which greeted the opening night of J.M. Singe's "Playboy of The Western World" at the Abbey Theatre. The second involving a dispute over the Hugh Lane collection. The third being the lockout.

John O'Leary ( born 23 July 1830; died 16 March 1907[1]) was an Irish separatist and a leading Fenian. He studied both law and medicine but did not take a degree and for his involvement in the Irish Republican Brotherhood he was imprisoned in England during the nineteenth century.n his poem, September 1913, the poet W.B.Yeats laments the death of O'Leary with the line:
"Romantic Ireland's dead and gone; it's with O'Leary in the grave

Kind Regards

Jim Clark
All rights are reserved on this video recording copyright Jim Clark 2012



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I FIRST CAME across WB Yeats’s poem September 1913 and its refrain, “Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone, It’s with O’Leary in the grave” during my schooldays and have returned to it many times since. A century after the poem’s composition, it may be time to conduct an inquest into the strange death of Romantic Ireland.
George Dangerfield’s book, The Strange Death of Liberal England, describes the decline of the British Liberal Party, brought on by a combination of the Irish Home Rule crisis, the first World War and the rise of the labour movement. In Ireland, another great political party suffered a calamitous decline. The Irish Party, which had been a major political force at Westminster since the 1880s, effectively ceased to exist after 1918.
That decade, whose centenary we are now marking, was a tragic and violent one in European history. It was scarred by war and revolution. In Ireland, it was a time of conflict and upheaval that culminated in the achievement of independence in 1922.
Those years were also rich in Irish literary achievement. WB Yeats produced three important collections: Responsibilities (1914), The Wild Swans at Coole (1919) and Michael Robartes and the Dancer (1921). James Joyce published Dubliners (1915), A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Ulysses (1922). Sean O’Casey’s three great plays, The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars, although written a few years later, are all set during Ireland’s revolutionary decade. This was a time during Ireland was evidently seething with both political and creative activity.
I expect that any inquest would need to establish whether there was a fatality. Who died? How did it happen? Who was responsible? And what were the implications of those events?
The poem in which Yeats reported the demise of Romantic Ireland appeared in The Irish Times on September 8th, 1913 – which, coincidentally, was the date James Joyce chose as Molly Bloom’s birthday. In 1913, Yeats was 48 years of age. He had been a leading figure in Irish literary life since the early 1890s, when he had led the charge for the creation of a national literature, insisting that “there is no literature without nationality and no nationality without literature”.
Was there a death? Yeats strongly believed that something precious about Ireland had been lost during the years before 1913. A decade earlier, he had founded the Abbey Theatre and had written an inspirational nationalist play, Cathleen ní Houlihan. During the years that followed, he became increasingly frustrated with the course of events in Ireland, with what he called “the seeming needs of my fool-driven land”. Those he sees as guilty in the demise of Romantic Ireland are savagely derided. They “fumble in a greasy till” and “add prayer to shivering prayer” until they have “dried the marrow from the bone”.
Many of his contemporaries would certainly have contested Yeats’s image of national decline. After all, Ireland’s Home Rule movement appeared in 1913 to be on the verge of accomplishing its elusive goal. The Third Home Rule Bill had been introduced in 1912 and seemed destined, despite dogged opposition from Ulster Unionists and British Conservatives, to pass through the Westminster Parliament in 1914. This was designed to give Ireland its own parliament, albeit with limited powers, for the first time since 1800.
In 1913, members of the Gaelic League would have felt part of an exciting national movement aimed at reviving the Irish language. Founded in 1893, the League rapidly became something of a consuming passion for an emerging generation of Irish nationalists. Many of those who participated in Ireland’s struggle for independence were drawn into political activity by their enthusiasm for the revival of Irish.
Advocates of what was called an Irish Ireland – people such DP Moran, who edited the Leader – sought to promote the idea of a self-reliant, self-sufficient Ireland, thoroughly Gaelic and Catholic in character. Moran, who cajoled his readers to eschew what he called “West Britonism” had little time for Yeats, whom he subjected to frequent, biting criticism.
Arthur Griffith’s Sinn Féin, founded in the early years of the century, brought a new dynamism to nationalist politics, although before 1916, it posed no threat to the ascendancy of the Irish Party. Griffith would hardly have recognised the Romantic Ireland that Yeats mourned. Griffith was a pragmatist who urged Irish parliamentarians to withdraw from Westminster and establish a breakaway assembly in Ireland. The Irish labour movement was beginning to come into its own in the second decade of the 20th century, and it was the Dublin Lockout that inspired Yeats to put pen to paper in September 1913. Finally, those who read the poem in the then staunchly unionist Irish Times probably revelled in this report of Romantic Ireland’s decline and fall.
While the claim that a death had occurred would have met resistance at any inquest held in 1913, Yeats was absolutely convinced and, as an invariably perceptive witness to the events of his time, his testimony deserves to be taken seriously.
What died in 1913? The plaintiff’s evidence suggests that the heroic tradition of Irish nationalism had been killed off, those “for whom the hangman’s rope was spun”. Those named by Yeats were Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone, romantic revolutionary figures from the late 18th and early 19th centuries. More generally, Yeats pays tribute to those who had been exiled from Ireland on account of their political beliefs. Most of all, it was the Fenian, John O’Leary, who epitomised the loss for which Yeats grieved.
Yeats fell under O’Leary’s spell when they met in Dublin in 1885. O’Leary had returned to Ireland after five years in prison for Fenian activities and then 16 years in exile, mainly in France. He encouraged the young Yeats to take an interest in Irish writing. In his memoirs, Yeats credited O’Leary with changing his life: “ . . . from O’Leary’s conversation, and from the Irish books he lent or gave me has come all I have set my hand to since”.
Yeats took O’Leary’s counsel to heart and spent much of the 1890s arguing the case for a distinctive tradition of Irish writing in the English language. He aspired to found “a school of Irish poetry – founded on Irish myth and history – a neo-romantic movement” and had a lofty assessment of Ireland’s heritage and future potential. He saw Ireland as “one of the seven great fountains in the garden of the world’s imagination” and felt that Ireland could be the source of a new “great utterance” for which the world had been waiting.
Whodunit? In his earlier years, Yeats had engaged in various nationalist campaigns, for example commemorating the centenary of the rising of 1798, opposing the visit to Ireland of Queen Victoria in 1900 and, at some point it seems, being sworn in as a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He was never a conventional figure but his commitment to his version of Ireland’s cause was genuine.
Yet, by the time he published The Green Helmet and Other Poems in 1910, Yeats’s perception of Ireland had changed. His poetry reflects this change. In No Second Troy, Maud Gonne, a lifelong target of the poet’s romantic yearnings, is described as having
“taught to ignorant men most violent ways/
Or hurled the little streets upon the great.”
Yeats’s disenchantment had personal as well as political roots. Maud Gonne’s marriage to John McBride, a nationalist icon on account of his participation in the Boer War, had shaken Yeats. When Gonne’s marriage broke up, many nationalists turned against her, while Yeats took her part.
Opposition to the building of a gallery in Dublin to house works of art donated by Hugh Lane became a further source of disenchantment for Yeats, who vented his spleen in verse.
You gave, but will not give again
Until enough of Paudeen’s pence
By Biddy’s halfpennies have lain
To be “some sort of evidence”
Before you’ll put your guineas down,
That things it were a pride to give
Are what the blind and ignorant town
Imagines best will make it thrive.
His problem was that early 20th-century Ireland did not match, indeed could not have matched, his lofty expectations. The survival of Romantic Ireland was, as Yeats saw it, threatened by the values of Paudeen and Biddy, symbolic of Catholic Ireland.
Yeats’s disenchantment reached its depths in 1907 when Synge’s Playboy of the Western World led to disturbances in the theatre. Yeats was in his element defending Synge against his detractors. As he put it, in typically uncompromising terms: “The quarrel of our Theatre today is the quarrel of the Theatre in many lands; for the old Puritanism, the old bourgeois dislike of power and reality have not changed, even when they are called by some Gaelic name.”
These events drew from Yeats a series of argumentative poems. He began to articulate his own brand of nationalism, founded on the values of the nobleman and the peasant, which he imagined to be mutually compatible. Yeats developed an aversion to the values of the rising Catholic middle class, which found its own literary chronicler in James Joyce, who viewed Yeats’s romanticism as backward-looking. It was, therefore, the Ireland depicted in Dubliners, the Catholic/nationalist ethos, that Stephen Dedalus confronts in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and the society described in forensic detail in Ulysses, that Yeats blamed for putting paid to the Romantic Ireland he had treasured since the days of his youth. “Was it needless death after all?”
Three years after he reported the death of Romantic Ireland, Yeats would write that “a terrible beauty” had been born. His focus was the Easter Rising of 1916, which kicked off a new and ultimately decisive phase in the struggle for Irish independence.
The poem Easter 1916 sees Ireland transformed by the sacrifice of those who participated in the Rising. A reading of the poem makes it plain that Yeats saw these events as something of a rebirth for Romantic Ireland. In 1913, he writes about the “delirium of the brave”, whereas in 1916 he observes that excess of love for Ireland may have “bewildered” the Rising’s leaders. The romantic spirit he proclaimed dead in 1913 had evidently come back to life.
Although Yeats was energised, by the aspirations that inspired the Rising, he wondered whether the sacrifices involved had really been necessary:
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
These words, written in the immediate aftermath of the Rising, anticipate the revisionist debates that have been a leading theme for Irish historians from the 1960s onwards.
This dramatic resurgence of nationalist Ireland, as manifested by the Rising, surprised almost everyone. The struggle for Home Rule from 1912 to 1914 sharpened political divisions in Ireland and resulted in a militarisation of Irish life with the formation of the Ulster Volunteers and the Irish Volunteers. The Home Rule Bill was finally passed in 1914, but deferred until the end of the first World War. Most nationalists supported the British war effort, but it was the minority who opposed the war that eventually won the day in the wake of the Rising.
Did 1916 represent a genuine second coming for the Romantic Ireland of Yeats’s dreams? Yes and no. Three of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation of Independence, Patrick Pearse, Thomas McDonagh and Joseph Plunkett, were published poets. Their names and the ideals they espoused ran through the Ireland of my childhood, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
Insurrections, of course, can never be driven solely by poets. In this case, the conspiratorial steel was provided by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, which saw its opportunity to strike while Britain was distracted by war in Europe.
The years that followed the Rising were turbulent ones, and it required a sustained War of Independence to break Ireland free from British rule.
WB Yeats moved to Ireland in 1917 and thereafter Dublin became his principal place of residence. He became a senator and many of his mature works took inspiration from his experiences in Ireland. Yeats suffered renewed disenchantments during the 1920s and 1930s, as independent Ireland developed in ways that displeased him. Yeats continued, however, to the end of his days to believe that “Ancient Ireland knew it all”.
The decade after September 1913 witnessed a transformation of Ireland. The dream of a Romantic Ireland was not to be realised in its purest form, but nor would Ireland ever return to what Yeats called the “casual comedy” of the pre-war period. What emerged from this decade of strife was a new and different Ireland, composed of various strands, romantic and otherwise. Yeats’s Cuchulain moved in with the Blooms of Eccles Street! Everything had indeed “changed utterly”.
Daniel Mulhall is Irish Ambassador to Germany. This essay is an edited version of a lecture he gave at the University of Münster. 
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