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Unusual… February 17, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish History.
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Many thanks to those who sent this along, from the ST.

Fitzpatrick ballad Cambridge ST 17Feb13

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1. Gearóid - February 17, 2013

Very flippant take on a serious issue (and crass, to put it mildly).

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2. Dr. X - February 17, 2013

I was going to make the point about flippancy, but I see the G-man has beaten me to it, curse his eyes.

Does Fitzpatrick and his camp-followers realise how bad this makes them look?

I’ll guarantee you they don’t sing stupid songs about ethnic cleansing in Bosnia or Rwanda.

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Starkadder - February 17, 2013

Sounds extraordinarily unprofessional of FItzpatrick. He’s
supposed to be a historian, not the singer at a UVF
club night.

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WorldbyStorm - February 17, 2013

Agree with all above. There’s a sense that all this isn’t taken as seriously as it should be – particularly given the sensitivities of the central issues. And of course, if it’s okay to be flippant about it then it does undermine the supposed lessons that are meant to be drawn on it.

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CMK - February 17, 2013

What does it say about his approach as an historian if he can display this level of flippancy? I would have thought this would bring all sorts of unwanted questions in its wake and may well dog him for a long time to come.

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ejh - February 17, 2013

If he does karaoke he could confound the post title by singing it’s Not Unusual.

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3. Revisiting the Bandon Valley Killings of April 1922 - Page 85 - February 17, 2013

[...] Fitzpatrick has made two recent contributions to this debate: An article in the journal History And this Sign in or Register Now to [...]

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4. Florrie O'Donoghue - February 17, 2013

A very apt title for this discussion.

Reading that article… I don’t even understand what Fitzpatrick is doing. What is he doing with that?

It would appear that ,having publicly and repeatedly lost the historiographical debate along with Eve Morrison in the eyes of all but the most dogged defenders of Hart’s more controversial work, Fitzpatrick is in some sort of screw-ye-all-I-have-tenure tailspin where he just doesn’t care anymore.

Still, it’s good to see he is following in the noble footsteps of Ruth Dudley Edwards in writing a history of the Orange Order. Standing on the shoulders of giants and all that.

Is mise srl.,

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EWI - February 25, 2013

Like Hart and certain other well-known contrarian ‘academic’ types, he would appear to tailor his language to the audience.

I cannot imagine him being brave enough to try his little ditty out on *this* side of the Irish Sea.

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5. Hank Tree - February 17, 2013

He says his intention was “to dramatise the fears”. Two things to be said on this. Firstly, such fears were irrational – there was no Spectre of Ethnic Cleansing in revolutionary Ireland, not in any objective sense anyway. Secondly, hijacking a republican/nationalist ballad is a very odd way of achieving this dramatisation.

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Starkadder - February 17, 2013

Two questions:

1) Is Gillian Coughlan correct in fearing that the
behaviour of David Fitzpatrick could “stir up animosity”?
I think she is.

2) A more general one; why did this “1920s IRA were
religious sectarian” concept take off around 1998
(date of Hart’s TIAIE) when the Provos had ceased
their armed campaign?

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WorldbyStorm - February 17, 2013

A very interesting question (2).

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EWI - February 25, 2013

Because the last material witnesses who could call Hart out for the liar and fabricator that he was from first-hand knowledge, had just died?

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Niall Meehan - February 17, 2013

Point two a very good question, though Kevin Meyers started pushing the point immediately prior to the 1994 IRA ceasefire. And that is just as if not more curious.

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Starkadder - February 17, 2013

I wonder if, after the Mountain Lodge shootings
in 1983, some historians might have gone through
the archives to see if similar attacks had occured
in the past.

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Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 17, 2013

Or indeed after Kingsmills

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Tel - February 18, 2013

1998 is a publication date. Hart would have started his research years before – circa 1987/88. His publications in the late 90s and early 2000s played, one would imagine, a big role in the Tan War sectarianism line. So it is from the era of Enniskillen as much as from the era of the GFA.

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Claire - February 21, 2013

Interesting question – I seem to recall that it became a staple of Dublin Castle pro-partition propaganda circa the War of Independence.

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Joe - February 18, 2013

To Hank Tree. What is “irrational” about fearing for your safety when some of your fellow-Protestant friends and neighbours are being killed?
The fact is Protestants were killed. Some were killed because they were believed to be informers or collaborators. But I have had present-day conversations with (Catholic) people from west Cork who were dubious about the motivations for some of the killing and other actions.
So Hank, it may be that as you say “in any objective” sense there was no spectre of ethnic cleansing in revolutionary Ireland at that time. But it’s hard to remain “objective” when your neighbours are being killed.

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6. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 17, 2013

Cllr Coughlan, (FF) ‘It is very insulting to the families of the men who were killed…that the motivation for their deaths was not primarily political.’
And its not insulting to their families to assert that they were killed because they were informers?

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eamonncork - February 18, 2013

I have to agree with Branno here. There’s no point in anyone who described the dead people as informers weeping crocodile tears over the effect of this nonsense on the families of the dead. It’s sleevenism and hypocrisy pure and simple.
But Fitzpatrick’s capering is extremely stupid. I’d hope he made it clear that this ballad was something he’d knocked up himself in a moment of madness and not some genuine song about the killings. I wonder if he did.
Because it makes him seem like a very silly man with a very crude mind and more or less prevents him from being taken seriously on the question ever again. And there’s also an element of Paddywhackery about his behaviour, getting up on his hind legs to amuse the Magdalen audience with a bit of the ould tradition.
I’m not sure where people are going with the question of why Hart brought up the subject around or after the time or the ceasefire. I don’t know you’d have been much happier if he’d brought it up at the height of the conflict when surely it would have been an even more useful propaganda weapon for the anti-republican cause.
Next time I’m at a GAA match in Dunmanway I might try a few lines of Fitzpatrick’s dismal dirge in one of the local pubs. Or maybe not. Though I’d imagine the local reaction would be more along the lines of, ‘What was wrong with the eejit who wrote that wrote that, he must have been well drunk,’ than ‘musha between us and all harm ’tis slandering the noble cause that he is.’

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Blissett - February 18, 2013

I didn’t think singing was allowed in Dunmanway..

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tomasoflatharta - February 18, 2013

Plus 1

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eamonncork - February 19, 2013

I think the entire debate could be enlivened by adopting Fitzpatrick’s tactics. John Regan’s next rebuttal could include a few ballads in the good old cockney knees up style.

Oh my old man’s a black and tan
He wears a black and tan’s hat
He likes to kill civilians
Now wot d’you think of that, Oi

Or

My old man said follow the Tans
And don’t dilly dally on the way
I shot the paddies to keep me ‘and in
In Ballinadee, Macroom and Bandon.

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Michael Carley - February 19, 2013

Sure and isn’t it the proper occasion for the singing of The Gentle Black and Tan?

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7. CB - February 18, 2013

We interviewed David Fitzpatrick for the History Show when Terror in Ireland came out last year. http://nearfm.ie/podcast/the-history-show-episode-six/
We also interviewed John Regan about the Peter Hart controversy and the debate about revisionism. http://nearfm.ie/podcast/the-history-show-episode-eleven/

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CL - February 18, 2013

David Fitzpatrick gave academic legitimacy to Peter Hart. Listening to Professor John M. Regan on the podcast it is clear that Fitzpatrick and Hart are propagandists and polemicists rather than historians.

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Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 18, 2013

Your judgement comes from having read a few of Fitzpatrick’s and Hart’s books of course.

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CL - February 18, 2013

“The historical demarcation of revolution which brought an Irish independent state into being away from the Provisionals’ attempt at revolution has been an imperative of the Irish Republic’s (and to some extent British) counterinsurgency since 1970. It is argued here that the experience of revolutionary violence informs the historicisation of Irish state formation.”-John M.Regan
Regan praises many aspect of Hart’s work. But if Irish historiography cannot be severed from counterinsurgency then ‘history’ as polemic and propaganda is not too far-fetched.
http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/416

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Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 19, 2013

So you’ve read some of their books then?

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8. James - February 18, 2013

not surprised – after all, Fitzpatrick’s still defending Hart, and it’s beyond doubt now that Hart fabricated evidence.

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Florrie O'Donoghue - February 18, 2013

Politics man.

If you’re hanging on to a rising balloon you’re presented with a difficult decision: let go before it’s too late or hold on and keep getting higher. Posing the question how long can you keep a grip on the rope?

Is mise srl.,

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9. Bartholomew - February 18, 2013

Fitzpatrick’s father was also a contrarian, but probably much more to the taste of posters here.

Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Fitzpatrick_(Australian_author)

Australian Dictionary of Biography:

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/fitzpatrick-brian-charles-10195

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10. John Dorney - February 18, 2013

This stuff gets crazier by the day. What was he thinking?

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Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 19, 2013

I’d love to hear a recording or see a transcript of the lecture

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11. CB - February 19, 2013

http://vimeo.com/35893747 The History Ireland Hedge School from last year featured Regan, Fitzpatrick and Morrisson.

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12. eamonncork - February 20, 2013

The attempt to justify, on the spurious grounds that they were informers, the murder of six Protestants in the Dunmanway area between April 28 and 29 1922 is in stark contrast to the position taken by the republican leadership at the time.
On April 30, speaking in Longford, Eamon De Valera said, “The Palatines, the French Huguenots, and the English Protestants fleeing from the fires of Smithfield, and later the Wesleyans, and the Jews who were persecuted in every land, in this land of ours always found safe asylum. Let us not tarnish that glorious record, that is unequalled in any country in the world, by acts against a helpless minority.”
On May 1 Tom Hales, Brigade Commandant of the 3rd Brigade Cork IRA, said that capital punishment would be ‘meted out’ if found necessary to any IRA soldier who disobeyed his order not to interfere with people in the area. Any civilian who did so, he said, should be handed over and judged by a military tribunal. Hales promised to, ‘give to all civilians in this area, irrespective of creed or class, every protection within my power.’
On April 30 a peace conference in the Mansion House, where De Valera, Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith were meeting issued a statement, declaring that, “these murders were unprecedented and alien to the Irish character. It is the duty of all good citizens to assist in the apprehension of the murderers and the prevention of similar crimes.”
It’s pretty clear from those statements that the killings were viewed as an indefensible stain on Irish republicanism. Hales, who presumably would have known what was going on as he lived not far from Dunmanway, doesn’t attempt to justify them. There’s not a word about informers. Indeed had there been any question of the dead men being informers there wouldn’t have been all these calls for the murderers to be brought to justice.
In a letter to the Irish Independent in 1929 the Fianna Fail TD Frank Fahy said that “the general opinion was that the murders had been carried out as reprisals for the murders of Catholics in Belfast.” There were widespread attacks on Protestant businesses in retaliation to what was going on in Belfast at the time. Seven years on Fahy makes no mention of any informer theory either.
Though perhaps De Valera, Collins, Griffith and Hales were, at a time when the Civil War was still going on, collaborating in the ‘historical demarcation of revolution which brought an Irish independent state into being away from the Provisionals’ attempt at revolution.’
Unlikely though.

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CL - February 20, 2013

So sectarianism and ethnic cleansing is at the core of the republican movement’s armed struggle for Irish independence?

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CL - February 20, 2013

A useful discussion here from John Dorney.
“All of this also occurred during a period of Truce, so by the IRA’s own standards, the killings were illegitimate – a fact that is indicated by the Brigade leadership’s apparent disapproval of the killings.
But on the central question – do the killings show that the IRA was engaged in a sectarian or ethnic campaign? – the evidence seems ambiguous. ”
http://www.theirishstory.com/2011/11/01/peter-hart-and-the-dunmanway-killings-controversy/

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eamonncork - February 20, 2013

In Jesus’ name CL. Do you honestly think I think that? I’ve never made any comment to that effect. In any event even if the Dunmanway killings were sectarian, it doesn’t mean that sectarianism is at the core of the republican movement’s armed struggle for independence. They were a pretty isolated incident and it’s pretty clear that they disgusted republican opinion at the time. If I was claiming that sectarianism was at the core etc etc I’d hardly be quoting condemnations from Tom Hales, Eamon De Valera and Michael Collins.
That’s an unbelievably stupid response from you, I don’t even mention Peter Hart in the post. And putting a question mark at the end of your post doesn’t render it any less obnoxious. The implication is clear. Anyone who departs from your reading of this is apparently a demoniser and enemy of Irish republicanism. Which is bollocks and you know it’s bollocks. There were right wing trolls on here who were paragons of logical argument by comparison.
But I’ll retire from this slurry pit of a debate and leave yourself and Niall Meehan to admire each other’s conspiracy theories. You have more in common with Kevin Myers, Eoghan Harris and their ilk than you think.

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CL - February 21, 2013

EC. I know that you don’t believe that ‘sectarianism and ethnic cleansing is at the core of the republican movement’s struggle for Irish independence’ and my terse comment (yes, with a question mark) was not intended to suggest that you do. If i did I would hardly have almost immediately posted my second comment and the link to John Dorney’s article which gives support to what you were saying.
The work of Peter Hart whether mentioned or not cannot be ignored in this debate since it was instigated by him. And his work has been used by polemicists and propagandists to delegitimize the
republican movement and to claim that at its core the armed struggle was sectarian. John Regan raised the issue of historiography and I think rightly so. The very title of the balladeer’s talk at Cambridge is instructive here.
EC my apologies for the distress I caused you and I hope that this clarifies my position.

republican movement and to claim that the Id

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eamonncork - February 21, 2013

Fair enough CL, no hard feelings at all. I’m just not convinced on the informer theory. I agree with you on the opportunistic use being made of the incident by people who want to tar the entire republican struggle with the same brush, which is why I’m a bit sensitive about any hint that I’m at the same thing. After all I came on to this thread pointing out the stupidity of Fitzpatrick’s behaviour.
My personal feeling, and I suppose it’s not empirically provable any more than your theories are, is that there probably was a desire for retribution after the death of Michael O’Neill but that the idea this made West Cork a killing field for Protestants doesn’t follow from this at all and neither does the idea that this invalidates the War of Independence in some way. Also, the use of the phrase Ethnic Cleansing is an attempt to draw parallels with an entirely different phenomenon or, to put it more bluntly, to ponce off someone else’s tragedy.
We’ll agree to disagree CL and I think I probably should stay out of this argument from now on. It’s just the fact that I live down here makes it fascinating for me I think.

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CL - February 21, 2013

Also the notion that there are different ethnicities in West Cork is dubious. The Hales family, republicans, descendants from Cromwellian settlers, Busteeds, some Catholic, some Protestant, some republilcan, Fitzpatrick’s ballad refers to a Protestant man named Buttimer, there are also Catholic Buttimers, some in the IRA, …there is Sam Maguire…. and there are many Cadogans in Barbadoes. Of course to make the case for ethnic cleansing one would first have to assign the people of West Cork to different ethnicities… a truly tangled web.

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CL - February 21, 2013

Just for the record: any and all allegations that I believe in a conspiracy theory is coming from a New World Order black-bag, psy-ops cabal.

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eamonncork - February 21, 2013

One other thing CL. On the subject of ethnicities in West Cork, you mention the Cadogans. There are quite a few Irish Catholic Cadogans in West Cork, one of them is the mother of my three daughters. The story of where the surname came from, which may be apocryphal, is that when local names were being translated into English one of the ancestors thought he was being asked how many cows they had and said, ‘Cead gamhna.’ Hence Cadogan, many of whom originate on the island of Cape Clear. As far as I know there’s no connection claimed with the English name. So the family lore goes anyway.
But your general point is an interesting one because it often doesn’t follow that an English sounding name connotes Protestant ancestry in West Cork.

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Joe - February 21, 2013

This to the stuff from CL and EamonnCork on surnames and ethnicities. It’s hugely complicated (apart from the fact that getting into “ethnicity” in all this is iffy in the extreme). So one might think that the names Rabbitte and Pigeon, found in the west of Ireland, must be of English origin. But,no, when some Irish names (O Coinín and MacColum) were being angliciized, they were literally translated.
And of course there are many Catholics in west Cork and elsewhere with Protestant sounding names (Busteed and Buttimer were mentioned). Why? Because when their Protestant forebears married Catholic women, they converted to Catholicism. And vice versa.
Last story. I was told by an in-law from that neck of the woods that the Bandon Rugby club was dominated by Protestants up to the 1960s or thereabouts. Not so now – a good healthy mix. But anyway, the team made it to the Munster Junior Cup final in 1990ish. Only one Bandon team had achieved this before – in the 1960s. Their picture is on the clubhouse wall – good Protestants every man. Bar one RC by the name of Buttimer – “and sure he only got on the team because, with a name like that, they assumed he was a Prod.”

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Niall Meehan - February 21, 2013

EamonCork: “…. leave yourself and Niall Meehan to admire each other’s conspiracy theories.”

Eh? How did I get into this spat? My views are here:

http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/unusual/#comment-154182

Stick to the substance of the discussion.

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eamonncork - February 21, 2013

Is that an order? Just so I know,

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Niall Meehan - February 20, 2013

Rather long comment stemming from Eamon Cork’s point, but please bear with me – new information that most will be unaware of …..

We should get away from any suggestion that an understanding of why these killings happened is an attempt to either justify or condemn them. The events are at almost 91 years remove from us today. That war is over. We do not know who pulled the trigger(s). We do not fully understand the circumstances of the events.

Condemnations of the ten (not six) killings of Protestant civilians from April 27-29 came thick and fast from both sides of the Treaty divide. EamonCork has summarised them well above.

In addition, the IRA put guards on the homes of those thought to be vulnerable. AJS (Stephen) Brady in his memoir (Briar of Life, 2010) mentions Charlie Browne (Adjutant, 7th Battalion, Cork No1 Brigade) calling on his father, the Rector of Macroom, to assure him that no one wished him any harm but, to be sure, a guard was going to be put at his door. The Rector thanked Brown. At a seminar in UCC in 2011, I heard retired professor of Modern History, Professor John A Murphy, announce that his father was the guard in question. Brady reported that the Rector stated that he had no complaints of sectarian treatment (see, http://www.academia.edu/1328920/, p8).

Brady also commented in his memoir on the simultaneous arrest in Macroom of three British intelligence officers on active duty, their driver (and dog) on the 26th of April, and their subsequent execution (ibid, p5). This came immediately after the killing at nearby Ballygroman House of IRA officer Michael O’Neill by a British officer, Captain Herbert Woods and two loyalists named Hornibrook (father and son), who themselves disappeared and were never seen again. Sometimes these three killings are lumped in with the subsequent ten killings, making 13 Protestant victims over 26-9 April.

The secret IRA arrest and disappearance of the intelligence officers almost derailed the withdrawal of British troops from southern Ireland and nearly caused 17th Infantry Brigade-Major Bernard Montgomery to re-start the War. Wiser councils prevailed and the withdrawal continued. The bodies were recovered after the Civil War in 1923.

It is sometimes remarked that there was little attention given to the April killings of the Protestant civilians. They received more attention than the simultaneous secret arrest and execution of the senior British intelligence officers.

One reason for the press and public attention given to the April killings is that killing Protestants for no reason seemed comparatively odd, outrageous even (odd and outrageous in the sense that killing civilians was decreasingly treated as such when unionists or unionist forces did it to Catholics in Northern Ireland). Besides extensive press attention and condemnation, Dorothy Macardle devoted a page to the April killings in The Irish Republic (1937). She termed them, ‘violently in conflict with the traditions and principles of the Republican Army’ (p705). Macardle cited the de Valera comments repeated above by EamonCork, and commented that the killings received more attention than the killings of Catholics in the North, which increasingly ‘occupied little space in the press’ (p704) – killing Protestants for no apparent reason appeared exceptional, a case of ‘man bites dog’.

As far as I am aware, the disappearance and killing of the Intelligence officers received its first public outing in Eoin Neeson’s 1966 history of the Civil War, then in Nigel Hamilton’s 1981 Vol I biography of Montgomery (Viscount, of Alemein), before being dealt with in Twohig’s Green Tears for Hecuba (1994).

Now, as to whether the killings were sectarian. The jury is still out on that one (and may never come it). I say that for two reasons.

One, my analysis of the geography of the killings gave (with maps) a more accurate time-line than Peter Hart’s in 1998 (www.academia.edu/612672/, p10-14). He was unnecessarily vague as to both geography and sequencing. My analysis suggests directed killing of targeted individuals by a possibly small group travelling from Dunmanway to Ballineen-Enniskeane, with a detour to Clonakilty. In other words, these did not seem like random assassinations. In that analysis I also looked at Southern Loyalist Relief Association compensation applications to the British government that commented on the killings. They all referred to the killing of ‘well known loyalists’ (a formulation taken from RB McDowell’s Crisis and Decline, the Fate of the Southern Unionists, 1997, p127). Just one commentary mentioned religious affiliation, from injured April killings victim Rev’d Ralph Harbord, who referred to ‘Protestant loyalists’ (ibid, p16).

Second, we have the Bureau of Military History testimony of Michael V O’Donoghue, engineering Officer, 2nd Battalion, Cork No1 Brigade (and GAA president 1952-55, BMH WS 1741, Part II). After the killing of IRA officer Michael O’Neill by Captain Woods, ‘a British secret service agent’:

‘several prominent loyalists – all active members of the Anti-Sinn Fein Society in West Cork, and blacklisted as such in I.R.A. intelligence records – in Bandon, Clonakilty, Ballineen and Dunmanway, were seized at night by armed men, taken out and killed … All were Protestants. This gave the slaughter a sectarian appearance. Religious animosity had nothing whatever to do with it. These people were all done to death as a savage, wholesale, murderous reprisal for the murder of Mick O’Neill. They were doomed to die because they were listed as aiders and abetters of the British Secret Service…

(http://www.bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie/reels/bmh/BMH.WS1741%20PART%202.pdf, p227)

[NOTE: this information was first uncovered by Cork historian Barry Keane, who researched the vexed question of ‘ethnic cleansing’. Surprisingly, Eve Morrison, whose PhD field of expertise is the Bureau of Military History, never brought this WS to public attention in her commentary on the Peter Hart debate or in the NLI debate linked above. Perhaps she had not read it.]

While O’Donoghue was not an eyewitness these are arresting comments requiring careful consideration. They support Meda Ryan’s contention in Tom Barry IRA Freedom Fighter (2003) that there was a list of informers and that the April Killings victims were on it. O’Donoghue’s comments were made confidentially during the 1950s, long before Peter Hart’s highly controversial contention in 1998 that the killings were sectarian, and part of a pattern of IRA sectarian attacks on Protestants (see http://www.academia.edu/612672/, p1-3).

As I say, we can’t say for sure why the killings occurred, whether they were in any way linked to the arrest of the intelligence officers in Macroom, whether the arrival in Macroom of the British officers was related to the earlier disappearance of Captain Woods (also allegedly an intelligence officer), whether the later civilian killings were prompted by Woods killing O’Neill, or whether it was a random sectarian episode.

Either way, the killings are neither justified nor unjustified. They happened and we are interested in answering the questions, who, what, where, when and, most interestingly, why. That’s history.

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Gearóid - February 21, 2013

There’s an article in the ‘Connacht Sentinel’ from 1954, reprinting an earlier article from 1922, in which Fahy and Liam Mellows condemn sectarian intimidation of Protestants in Ballinasloe at a ‘large and enthusiastic meeting’. “[Fahy] wanted to say that he did not want the votes of men who persecuted others on religion, and neither did the other men on the platform. Because Belfast had lost its civilisation, were they, in God’s name, going to follow in the footsteps of Belfast and disgrace themselves (… ) the seizure of grasslands and the persecution of Protestants were done by selfish people for selfish ends”. The article goes on: “Aggression in Ballinasloe has now taken the form of a warning to a number of Protestants to leave the town. Some have actually left’

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13. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 20, 2013

Now, how could you read that into Eamoncork’s point? he is saying that in 1922 nobody claimed the Protestants who were killed were informers and in fact republicans CONDEMNED their killings. Surely that proves the opposite?

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CL - February 20, 2013

Note the question mark at the end of my first post. Hart’s work has been used as to delegitimize Irish republicanism and I’m not aware that Hart before his untimely and unfortunate demise ever resiled from this characterization.

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14. Starkadder - February 21, 2013

The Fitzpatrick story hasn’t been picked up by other media outlets
so far- nothing about it on the IT, Indo or Examiner.

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Gearóid - February 21, 2013

The Irish media aren’t exactly history buffs, if the ‘Lenin in Ireland’ debacle last August is anything to go by.

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15. Ally - February 21, 2013

Because who gives a fook

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WorldbyStorm - February 21, 2013

Obviously most people contributing to this thread do.

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Ally - February 21, 2013

5 people and 2 sock puppets

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eamonncork - February 21, 2013

‘Fook’ off.

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WorldbyStorm - February 21, 2013

Oh ally, how glib (and I feel a presence I haven’t in a while, though i could be wrong must check out the IP addresses). Sock puppets? Only two I can think of off hand but at least 17 individual commenters excluding yrslf.

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Dr. X - February 21, 2013

And here we have further evidence that children shouldn’t be allowed on the internet.

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16. Red Hand - February 21, 2013

Have to say I never heard about these killings until I read about the controversies about them.

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Dr. X - February 21, 2013

That was the case with me as well.

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17. Joe - February 21, 2013

I hesitate but here goes.
The piece up there from Gearóid about an incident of some Protestants being warned to leave Ballinasloe. I know a little bit about a village in Leitrim where, in 1921/22, there was an armed raid on a Protestant-owned shop and one or two of the Protestant family were killed. The local person who told me the story said to me that “the raiders claimed to be from the IRA but they weren’t, they were just local baddies and the proper IRA then came after them and they had to leave the area”.
Then there’s the Coolnagrease (?) story in Offaly. (Not saying this was sectarian, just saying it’s contested as to what the motivations were).
I also read an account somewhere about an alleged sectarian killing of Protestants in Sth Armagh (involving Frank Aiken? – I say alleged, the account I read was from some of the victims’ families, who had witnessed the event).
And I’m sure there are plenty more from around the country.
So what I’m saying is that similar stuff to what happened in Cork, happened in other parts of the country. What happened in Cork was perhaps on a larger scale.

It seems to me anyway that there were instances of sectarian intimidation and worse including murder of Protestants during the War of Independence and the Civil War. But that was not IRA or Sinn Féin policy. In fact it was strongly opposed by the IRA leadership.
So I don’t go with any line that the IRA’s motivations in the War of Independence were sectarian. But I do believe that there were many instances of sectarian attacks, intimidation and murder during that period.

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Dr.Nightdub - February 21, 2013

Re the south Armagh incident, Robert Lynch had a very interesting article, “Explaining the Altnaveigh Massacre” in the Fall/Winter 2010 edition of Eire/Ireland, which I think is a US journal.

He separates the events of that particular night into two: (a) the massacre of seven protestant men and women at Altnaveigh, which was a reprisal for the killing of two local catholics shortly before, and (b) the ambush mounted at nearby Dromintee (spelling?) on a patrol of Specials from Forkhill, which was a reprisal for their raid the previous night on a pub belonging to a prominent SF official, whose wife was allegedly gang-raped by them. Using documents in PRONI, the BMH and press reports, he places Aiken at the Dromintee ambush on the night along with approx 50 IRA, whereas about 20 or so were sent to Altnaveigh. Based on the evidence he presents, it’s a convincing account.

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18. Brian Hanley - February 21, 2013

The argument that these killings were sectarian is not new. In 1972 Cork republican socialist Jim Lane, in ‘On the IRA: Belfast Brigade Area’ (on the CLR Left Archive) described the events thus:

‘In April 1922, at the time of the Truce, a pogrom every bit as vicious as any one in Belfast, took place in West Cork. Following the shooting dead of an IRA officer by a Protestant, armed men visited Protestant homes in the districts surrounding Bandon, and on one day alone nine Protestants were shot dead. A young boy of 18 years was shot in his home in Clonakilty, a married man with a young family was shot in Dunmanway, as well as two old men in their 70s and 80s. Elsewhere, in Ballineen, Enniskeane, and Castletown-Kenneigh the story was similar, a knock at the door at dead of night and the men of the house were taken out and shot before their families. By the weekend Protestants poured out of West Cork, taking the Rosslare boat to Britain. The week was finished off with the shooting of an old Protestant, aged over 70 years and crippled with arthritis.’

Now Lane went on to point out that these killings were almost universally condemned. ‘Pogrom’ is an emotive term. But by the standards of the War of Independence and Civil War the killings were notable, for the numbers killed, and the fact they occurred during the Truce; as well as the religion of the victims. But until Hart’s book in 1998 they had not been examined in detail. That in itself is not unusual, in that vast areas of the 1919-23 period are only being uncovered now. Partly that is because of new sources and partly because Hart’s research has inspired/angered/disgusted many others- but even many of those who disagree with him are examining questions he asked.

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Niall Meehan - February 21, 2013

Hart’s partial and provocatively expressed analysis did encourage deeper investigation. We should thank him for that though not possibly for the fake-republican song it inspired at the top of this thread that has angered and disgusted some (and also sharpened the discussion somewhat).

Jim Lane (p.6) who Brian cites concluded:

‘The important difference between this pogrom and the ones in Belfast was in the reaction of the Catholic bourgeoisie who roundly condemned it and took all necessary steps to protect the Protestant minority… The determination and success of the Catholic bourgeoisie in preventing a reoccurrence of the West Cork pogrom, came about because there was no objective reason for the persecution of Protestants in the south.’
http://cedarlounge.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/cork-workers-club.pdf

Since ‘IRA leader Tom Hale’s, and others such as Tom Barry and sean Buckley took the steps described, are they ‘the Catholic bourgeoisie’? I think Lane means the leadership of Irish nationalism that was in the proces of splitting over the Treaty and which was not necessarily coterminous with the nascent southern Irish bourgeoisie (that included a significant number of Protestants).

For that reason, what happened in Cork in April 1922 was not a pogrom (irrespective of whether it was sectarian), one definition of which includes:

‘Mob attack, condoned by authorities, against persons and property of a religious, racial, or national minority. The term is usually applied to attacks on Jews in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.’
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pogrom

For that reason, also, what happened in Belfast could be incorporated into definitions of pogrom like activity.

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Gearóid - February 25, 2013

Tadhg Mac Lochlainn’s ‘Ballinasloe Inniu agus Inné’, published in 1971, clearly blames the IRA for the expulsion of local Protestants, predating Hart by nearly thirty years. (Apologies for the East Galway parochialism, but hopefully it provides a welcome relief from the West Cork parochialism which dominates this debate!). Dr. Andy Bielenberg of UCC has a very even-handed piece on the broader issue in the last edition of ‘Past & Present’.

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Niall Meehan - February 25, 2013

Yes, Bielenberg’s piece is excellent:
Exodus: The Emigration of Southern Irish Protestants During the Irish War of Independence and the Civil War
Past and Present (2013) 218(1): 199-233

Where might we get hold of the 1971 publication. PDF available?

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Gearóid - February 25, 2013

I found it in NUIG’s local history section, don’t think it’s online, but perhaps it’s in similar sections in other libraries or could be ordered by them.

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Gearóid - March 8, 2013

Niall, Cormac Ó Comraí deals with this very well in his new book ‘The Men Will Talk To Me: Galway Interviews By Ernie O’Malley’. Also, Conor McNamara’s forthcoming ‘Revolution In The West Of Ireland, 1913-1921′ apparently will discuss it as well.

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19. Dr. X - February 21, 2013

Another factor that I’ve not seen addressed (and I’m open to correction on this) is the fact that in the real cases of ethnic cleansing there’s a strong, explicit ideological push to legitimise the forced expulsion or murder of the targetted ethnic group as a whole.

You can see that in the run-up to the Rwandan genocide, when “Radio Milles Collines” pumped out a “Tutsis are cockroaches” message on a daily basis.

Could you really say that of Ireland prior to 1919-1921?

I was surprised when I read the Murder Machine to find that Pearse was arguing against those who apparently wanted Protestants to be forced to learn Irish in a Home Rule Ireland. I can’t remember the exact form of words off the top of my head, but it was something to the effect that you can’t do that to a minority group.

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Florrie O'Donoghue - February 23, 2013

‘I was surprised when I read the Murder Machine to find that Pearse was arguing against those who apparently wanted Protestants to be forced to learn Irish in a Home Rule Ireland.’

Why the surprise, can I ask?

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WorldbyStorm - February 24, 2013

I always think Pearse has been done down a bit subsequently. His writings on education are progressive given the period of time he lived through. He may have had an idealistic vision of matters, but I think there was a genuine consideration on his part.

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EWI - February 25, 2013

Ruth Dudley Edwards?

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Dr. X - February 25, 2013

Yes, the RDE factor was at work there.

I wouldn’t overestimate the progressive nature of Pearse’s views on education. He was a romantic conservative nationalist, and really was off in a little world of his own.

His other assertion in the MM, that the problems of human life have all been so same lved in some place at some time or other reeks of the complacency which characterises the Irish bourgeoisie as a whole.

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20. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 24, 2013

Letters on this in today’s Sunday Times

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21. Niall Meehan - February 25, 2013

Sunday Times, 24 February 2013, The Sunday Times. p16
Letters from Niall Meehan, David Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick’s fake song shames us all
The fake republican ballad by Professor David Fitzpatrick has no historic foundation. Indeed, his Cambridge University lecture on The Spectre of Ethnic Cleansing, following the song, is no more than a ghost story (“Lecturer ballad ‘insults’ victims of Dunmanway”, News, last week).

For some time Fitzpatrick has promoted the late Peter Hart’s view that there was ethnic cleansing of Protestants during the war of independence. He continued to do so even after Hart, who was Fitzpatrick’s PhD pupil, abandoned this opinion in 2003.

It appears Fitzpatrick has learnt nothing from his error, in that a song has been substituted for academic substance. Fitzpatrick excuses himself by stating that his audience did not take offence at his rendition of the song’s mock sectarian sentiments.

The “revisionist” trend in Irish historiography is often defended because it exposes nationalist shibboleths. Here, however, we have a fake “song” in poor taste, one that dishonoured the spirit of Charles Stewart Parnell, in whose name the lecture in question is held annually.

Niall Meehan, Griffith College, Dublin

Dramatic effect
You should have made it clear my lecture concerned the demographic outcome of violence against Protestants, not the motivation of those committing violent acts. I specifically refrained from discussing the influence of sectarian motives and attitudes on republicans and the IRA, arguing that all motives are mixed and ultimately impenetrable.

Having analysed fresh evidence from Methodist records, I concluded the sharp decline in Protestant population was largely due to reduced intake of new members and to some extent to emigration. I therefore suggested the demographic impact of violence and threats against West Cork Protestants has been exaggerated, and that many weathered the storm and fairly soon resumed normal communal life.

You may have created the false impression that I endorsed the “ethnic cleansing” hypothesis, so causing needless offence to descendants of West Cork republicans and “loyalists”. By composing a ballad recounting attacks on West Cork Methodists, I hoped to dramatise incidents tending to create fear among Protestants, with a view to underlining the resilience of the minority and their determination to take a full part in the life of the new Irish state.

David Fitzpatrick, Cambridge

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EWI - February 25, 2013

I therefore suggested the demographic impact of violence and threats against West Cork Protestants has been exaggerated, and that many weathered the storm and fairly soon resumed normal communal life [...] incidents tending to create fear among Protestants, with a view to underlining the resilience of the minority and their determination to take a full part in the life of the new Irish state.

I count two exceedingly lame attempts at strawmen here by the good Mr. Fitzpatrick, no doubt with a view to making his (and Hart’s, although sometimes I think it’s difficult to know where master ends and pupil begins) claims look reasonable.

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Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 25, 2013

Not being funny, but I presume you’ve read Fitzpatrick and Hart’s books then?

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22. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - February 25, 2013

The other letter on the topic came from John Brickley, Bandon, Co. Cork. He said
“While Fitzpatrick’s “ballad” may have been in questionable taste, Mayor Gillian Coughlan’s reaction is laughable. To suggest the song could “stir up sectarian animosity” smothers the events of the Bandon Valley massacre in a cloak of triviality. Why is the idea that West Cork Protestants could have been killed because of their religious denomination such an unconscionable thought for contemporary society? If a song could threaten interdenominational harmony in 2013, as Coughlan alleges, does this not raise the possibility that people could have been killed a century ago due to a combination of greed, envy and sectarian hatred? The mayor does a disservice to her home town and those engaged in historical research to see it in such simplistic terms.’

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23. Niall Meehan - February 25, 2013

This would have been my second last paragraph, had it not been cut:

“Fitzpatrick’s Magdalen College Cambridge lecture examined the West Cork Methodist community in the early 1920s. Its leading Methodist was former Crown Solicitor, later independent TD for West Cork, Jasper Wolfe. Wolfe stated that attacks on him had nothing to do with his religion, but were triggered by his leading role in the British administration. His was the common southern Protestant understanding, namely, that IRA actions were directed at loyalist military or quasi-military activity in support of the Crown.”

Fitzpatrick referred in the spoken part of his Cambridge contribution to Wolfe as Methodist ‘victim’ of violence but did not, as far as I am aware, note Wolfe’s consistent view that his victimhood had nothing to do with his Methodism.

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24. Florrie O'Donoghue - February 25, 2013

Dr X. a chara,

With respect – and apologies for bringing the conversation off-topic – your remark seems quite glib (Ruth Dudley-esque):

‘I wouldn’t overestimate the progressive nature of Pearse’s views on education. He was a romantic conservative nationalist, and really was off in a little world of his own.’

Pearse was a human being and was as likely and entitled to change his views on serious matters as anybody else – compare his speech in Limerick, January 1914 to later writings, for example, to judge his views on the nation. The charge of ‘romantic conservative nationalist’ seems a little unfair as an assertion that takes into account all aspects of the man’s life.

Long before the majority of educators in Ireland, indeed Europe, advocated a pupil-centric approach to education, Pearse was doing so. Given this site is hosted by ‘Lefties’, I feel it is also worth pointing out that, in terms of a social outlook, there was a pre- and post-Lockout Pearse.

Is mise srl.,

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Dr. X - February 25, 2013

Mr. O’Donoghue, a chara -

Pearse certainly was very progressive for his time where education was concerned. I’m not denying that at all: I’m just pointing that in the same text where he puts forward some of those progressive views, he also deploys tropes that were part and parcel of the “romantic conservative nationalist” mindset all over Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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25. Florrie O'Donoghue - March 10, 2013

Although I can’t find it on their website right now, somebody is after linking me to theirishstory facebook page where they have posted a photograph of the oft-cited intelligence dossier on the Dunmanway area. Seemingly, it is now accessible – and has been for decades – in the NLI. Keep an eye on theirishstory website as it should appear soon.

Is mise srl.,

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Garibaldy - March 10, 2013

Thanks Florrie.

here’s the story

http://westcorktimes.com/home/?p=15898

Been there since 25th February! How did the national media miss that?

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26. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt - March 10, 2013

First comment underneath the news report:
‘Indeed much has been written about this by revisionists Kevin Myers and Eoin Harris alleging that there was pogrom against Protestants in that period. But it was right and proper that action was taken against informers who had done the dirty work for the British’

I don’t know if the person who commented looked at the dossier, but it might be important to check if the names it contains correspond to the names of the men killed in April 1922. It is also relevant that these killings took place during the Truce, and were against the IRA’s own orders. Funnily enough in 1922 nobody suggested that the dead men were informers and the killings (see Eamonn Cork above) were condemned by both pro and anti-Treaty forces. But Liam Lynch or Michael Collins wouldn’t have been as staunch republicans as the various people who justify these killings in 2013.

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27. skin cells - June 19, 2014

Tɦanks for fіnally talking aƅout >Unusսal| The Cedsr
Lounge Reѵolution <Liked it!

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