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A STRAIGHT DEAL (chapter16)

2006-08-28 14:08

    CHAPTER XVI: An InternationalImposture

    A part of the Irish is asking our voice and our gold to help independence for the whole of the Irish. Independence is not desired by the whole of the Irish. Irishmen of Ulster have plainly said so. Everybody knows this. Roman Catholics themselves are not unanimous. Only some of them desire independence. These, known as Sinn Fein, appeal to us for deliverance from their conqueror and oppressor; they dwell upon the oppression of England beneath which Ireland is now crushed. They refer to England's brutal and unjustifiable conquest of the Irish nation seven hundred and forty-eight years ago.

    What is the truth, what are the facts?

    By his bull "Laudabiliter," in , Pope Adrian the Fourth invited the King of England to take charge of Ireland. In  Pope Alexander the Third confirmed this by several letters, at present preserved in the Black Book of the Exchequer. Accordingly, Henry the Second went to Ireland. All the archbishops and bishops of Ireland met him at Waterford, received him as king and lord of Ireland, vowing loyal obedience to him and his successors, and acknowledging fealty to them forever. These prelates were followed by the kings of Cork, Limerick, Ossory, Meath, and by Reginald of Waterford. Roderick O'Connor, King of Connaught, joined them in . All these accepted Henry the Second of England as their Lord and King, swearing to be loyal to him and his successors forever.

    Such was England's brutal and unjustifiable conquest of Ireland.

    Ireland was not a nation, it was a tribal chaos. The Irish nation of that day is a legend, a myth, built by poetic imagination. During the cen- turies succeeding Henry the Second, were many eras of violence and bloodshed. In reading the story, it is hard to say which side committed the most crimes. During those same centuries, violence and bloodshed and oppression existed everywhere in Europe. Undoubtedly England was very oppressive to Ireland at times; but since the days of Gladstone she has steadily endeavored to relieve Ireland, with the result that today she is oppressing Ireland rather less than our Federal Government is oppressing Massachusetts, or South Carolina, or any State. By the Wyndham Land Act of , Ireland was placed in a position so advantageous, so utterly the reverse of oppression, that Dillon, the present leader, hastened to obstruct the operation of the Act, lest the Irish genius for grievance might perish from starvation. Examine the state of things for yourself, I cannot swell this book with the details; they are as accessible to you as the few facts about the conquest which I have just narrated. Examine the facts, but even without examining them, ask yourself this question: With Canada, Australia, and all those other colonies that I have named above, satisfied with England's rule, hastening to her assistance, and with only Ireland selling herself to Germany, is it not just possible that something is the matter with Ireland rather than with England? Sinn Fein will hear of no Home Rule. Sinn Fein demands independence. Independence Sinn Fein will not get. Not only because of the outrage to unconsenting Ulster, but also because Britain, having just got rid of one Heligoland to the East, will not permit another to start up on the West. As early as August th, , mention in German papers was made of the presence in Berlin of Casement and of his mission to invite Germany to step into Ireland when England was fighting Germany. The traffic went steadily on from that time, and broke out in the revolution and the crimes in Dublin in . England discovered the plan of the revolution just in time to foil the landing in Ireland of Germany, whom Ireland had invited there. Were England seeking to break loose from Ireland, she could sue Ireland for a divorce and name the Kaiser as co-respondent. Any court would grant it.

    The part of Ireland which does not desire independence, which desires it so little that it was ready to resist Home Rule by force in , is the steady, thrifty, clean, coherent, prosperous part of Ireland. It is the other, the unstable part of Ireland, which has declared Ireland to be a Republic. For convenience I will designate this part as Green Ireland, and the thrifty, stable part as Orange Ireland. So when our politicians sympathize with an "Irish" Republic, they befriend merely Green Ireland; they offend Orange Ireland.

    Americans are being told in these days that they owe a debt of support to Irish independence, because the "Irish" fought with us in our own struggle for Independence. Yes, the Irish did, and we do owe them a debt of support. But it was the Orange Irish who fought in our Revolution, not the Green Irish. Therefore in paying the debt to the Green Irish and clamoring for "Irish" independence, we are double crossing the Orange Irish.

    "It is a curious fact that in the Revolutionary War the Germans and Catholic Irish should have furnished the bulk of the auxiliaries to the regular English soldiers;…… The fiercest and most ardent Americans of all, however, were the Presbyterian Irish settlers and their descendants." History of New York, p. , by Theodore Roosevelt.

    Next, in what manner have the Green Irish incurred our thanks?

    They made the ancient and honorable association of Tammany their own. Once it was American. Now Tammany is Green Irish. I do not believe that I need pause to tell you much about Tammany. It defeated Mitchel, a loyal but honest Catholic, and the best Mayor of Near York in thirty years. It is a despotism built on corruption and fear.

    During our Civil War, it was the Green Irish that resisted the draft in New York. They would not fight. You have heard of the draft riots in New York in . They would not fight for the Confederacy either.

    During the following decade, in Pennsylvania, an association, called the Molly Maguires, terrorized the coal regions until their reign of assassination was brought to an end by the detection, conviction, and execution of their ringleaders. These were Green Irish.

    In Cork and Queenstown during the recent war, our American sailors were assaulted and stoned by the Green Irish, because they had come to help fight Germany. These assaults, and the retaliations to which they led, became so serious that no naval men under the rank of Commander were permitted to go to Cork. Leading citizens of Cork came to beg that this order be rescinded. But, upon being cross-examined, it was found that the Green Irish who had made the trouble had never been punished. Of this many of us had news before Admiral Sims in The World's Work for November, pages -, gave it his authoritative confirmation.

    Taking one consideration with another, it hardly seems to me that our debt to the Green Irish is sufficiently heavy for us to hinder England for the sake of helping them and Germany.

    Not all the Green Irish were guilty of the attacks upon our sailors; not all by any means were pro-German; and I know personally of loyal Roman Catholics who are wholly on England's side, and are wholly opposed to Sinn Fein. Many such are here, many in Ireland: them I do not mean. It is Sinn Fein that I mean.

    In , when England with her back to the wall was fighting Germany, the Green Irish killed the draft. Here following, I give some specific instances of what the Roman Catholic priests said.

    April st. After mass at Castletown, Bear Haven, Father Brennan ordered his flock to resist conscription, take the sacrament, and to be ready to resist to the death; such death insuring the full benediction of God and his Church. If the police resort to force, let the people kill the police as they would kill any one who threatened their lives. If soldiers came in support of the draft, let them be treated like the police. Policemen and soldiers dying in their attempt to carry out the draft law, would die the enemies of God, while the people who resisted them would die in peace with God and under the benediction of his Church.

    Father Lynch said in church at Ryehill: "Resist the draft by every means in your power. Any minion of the English Government who fires upon you, above all if he is a Catholic, commits a mortal sin and God will punish him."

    In the chapel at Kilgarvan Father Murphy said: "Every Irishman who helps to apply the draft in Ireland is not only a traitor to his country, but commits a mortal sin against God's law."

    At mass in Scariff the Rev. James MacInerney said: "No Irish Catholic, whatever his station be, can help the draft in this country without denying his faith."

    April th. After having given the communion to three hundred men in the church at Eyries, County Cork, Father Gerald Dennehy said: "Any Catholic who either as policeman or as agent of the government shall assist in applying the draft, shall be excommunicated and cursed by the Roman Catholic Church. The curse of God will follow him in every land. You can kill him at sight, God will bless you and it will be the most acceptable sacrifice that you can offer."

    Referring to any policeman who should attempt to enforce the draft, Father Murphy said at mass in Killenna, "Any policeman who is killed in such attempt will be damned in hell, even if he was in a state of grace that very morning."

    Ninety-five percent of those Irish policemen were Catholics and had to respect the commands of those priests.

    Ireland is England's business, not ours. But the word "selfdetermination" appears to hypnotize some Americans. We must not be hypnotized by this word. It is upon the "principle" expressed in this word that our sympathies with the Irish Republic are asked. The six northeastern counties of Ulster, on the "principle" of self-determination, should be separated from the Irish Republic. But the Green Irish will not listen to that. Protestants in Ulster had to listen in their own chief city to Sinn Fein rejoicings over German victories. The rebellion of , when Sinn Fein opened the back door that England's enemies might enter and destroy her-this dastardly treason was made bloody by cowardly violence. The unarmed and the unsuspecting were shot down and stabbed in cold blood. Later, soldiers who came home from the front, wounded soldiers too, were persecuted and assaulted. The men of Ulster don't wish to fall under the power of the Green Irish.

    "We do not know whether the British statesmen are right in asserting a connection between Irish revolutionary feeling and German propaganda. But in such a connection we should see no sign of a bad German policy." Thus wrote a Prussian deputy in Das Grossere Deutschland. That was over there. This was over here:-

    "The fraternal understanding which unites the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the German-American Alliance receives our unqualified endorsement. This unity of effort in all matters of a public nature intended to circumvent the efforts of England to secure an Anglo-American alliance have been productive of very successful results. The congratulations of those of us who live under the flag of the United States are extended to our German-American fellow citizens upon the conquests won by the fatherland, and we assure them of our unshaken confidence that the German Empire will crush England and aid in the liberation of Ireland, and be a real defender of small nations." See the Boston Herald of July , .

    During our Civil War, in , a resolution of sympathy with the South was stifled in Parliament.

    On June , , our Senate passed, with one dissenting voice, the following, offered by Senator Walsh, democrat, of Massachusetts:

    "Resolved, that the Senate of the United States express its sympathy with the aspirations of the Irish people for a government of its own choice."

    What England would not do for the South in , we now do against England our ally, against Ulster, our friend in our Revolution, and in support of England's enemies, Sinn Fein and Germany.

    Ireland has less than ,, inhabitants; Ulster's share is about one third, and its Protestants outnumber its Catholics by more than three fourths. Besides such reprisals as they saw wrought upon wounded soldiers, they know that the Green Irish who insist that Ulster belong to their Republic, do so because they plan to make prosperous and thrifty Ulster their milch cow.

    Let every fair-minded American pause, then, before giving his sympathy to an independent Irish Republic on the principle of self-determination, or out of gratitude to the Green Irish. Let him remember that it was the Orange Irish who helped us in our Revolution, and that the Orange Irish do not want an independent Irish Republic. There will be none; our interference merely makes Germany happy and possibly prolongs the existing chaos; but there will be none. Before such loyal and thinking Catholics as the gentleman who said to me that word about "spoiling the ship for a ha'pennyworth of tar," and before a firm and coherent policy on England's part, Sinn Fein will fade like a poisonous mist.

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