Did Irish Republican violence ever achieve anything?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by angular, Jan 27, 2010.

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  1. angular
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    angular LE

    I was at a loose end in Dublin recently, and decided to wander round the key sites of the 1916 Rising. It got me to thinking, what was the point? Home Rule had been promised for after the War, so why fight in 1916, without overwhelming popular support?

    Furthermore, the various rebellions in the 18th and 19th centuries hadn't won enough popular support to gain independence, either.

    IRA campaigns through to the present day didn't result in the unification of Ireland, and haven't yet. SF can point to their democratic mandate, but that's votes won, not bodies buried. They may achieve control of the North through demographics, but again, that's not a direct result of how many British soldiers they've killed. From an English point of view, I would even contest that this violence achieved an atmosphere in which their demands were taken seriously.

    Unionist violence, or the threat of it, well that's a different story, I would submit.

    I don't live there, and my friends and colleagues don't discuss this with any kind of ease, so I'm looking for informed opinion in the anonymity of the internet.
  2. Bouillabaisse
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    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Overall the 1916 rising gave the republucans some modern martyrs to hang on to and a growing feeling in southern Ireland that nothing less than independence would do. As a military effort it was a dasaster but as a rallying symbol it was highly effective. It also demonstrated Irish determination for self governance, raised the issue higher up the agenda in the USA and caused some repugnance (at least the executions) in the chattering classes in England.

    And Home Rule may have been promised but it was no means certain it would happen. The arming of the loyalists in the north and the support they were perceived to have in the army and amongst the Tories meant that it could conceivably been prevented.
  3. thegimp
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    thegimp LE

    put murderers into power?
  4. hairyhandbag
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    hairyhandbag War Hero

    It taught the Americans to give to the good old boys back in the old country

    and when it happened to them big time they told the world how supporting terrorism was a bad thing



    (PS Gonna delete this in a minute..... :twisted: )
  5. Why, it's class!
  6. seaweed
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    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Irish terrorist violence appears to me to have been highly successful, first in separating the South from the UK and then in destroying the will of the UK Govt to put down crime in the North, where numerous murderers and terrorists seem to me to have got off scot free and the law enforcement has been handed over to the criminal filth themselves.
  7. mistersoft
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    mistersoft LE

    Does shooting Tropper66 count?
  8. Bouillabaisse
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    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    Its a shame this thread is about Irish terrorism, which will be terribly emotive on arrse, rather than terrorism in general. Speaking generally, using terrorism as a mechanism for solical or political change does work if the majority of the inhabitants either support or don't care about the issues and if you're prepared to go in for the long haul. It also depends on how robust the civil power is at dealing with the terrorists. In NI we got to a point where the terrorists realised they couldn't win by terrorism as the British government was in for the long haul and we realised that, within the political and legal framework we voluntarily constrained ourselves by, that we couldn't win. So negotiation and compromise is the answer.
  9. PaddyK
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    PaddyK Old-Salt

    Good summary of NI. I'll try and learn that off by heart to recite to the next person who, on learning that I'm Irish, asks me about "the war" and how things are going.

    PK
  10. Ruckerwocman
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    Ruckerwocman LE

    Was it a cold night? :? :wink:
  11. HarryPalmer
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    HarryPalmer War Hero

    For a viewpoint of recent years, see Henry MacDonald's "Gunsmoke and Mirrors."

    As for 1916, when Tim Collins was in Dublin a couple of years ago he pointed out that the hamfisted responce to the Rising turned the aims of a band of fanatics into the will of a nation.
  12. loyalandtrue
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    loyalandtrue Swinger

    the only thing it did was make thousands of young ulster men like myself join the army and fight til the last breath we hold... there just murdering SCUM....
  13. gloworm
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    gloworm War Hero

    In Winter??? :?
  14. Onetap
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    Onetap LE

    Have a read of Wikipedia about Home Rule and the 1918 Irish Elections.
    Home Rule, as envisioned in 1914 would have had Ireland remaining as a part of the UK, more like what is now referred to as devolved government. The status quo would have continued. Ireland was an agricultural country and a lot, or the majority, of the land was owned by absentee British landlords.

    Sinn Fein won 73 of 103 seats in the November 1918 Irish election. From that time, the British had no mandate in the south of Ireland, yet the Anglo-Irish war began and continued until July 1921. Why was that? Why were the British still there?

    They stayed because rule from Britain had never been voluntary, it was imposed and maintained by force of arms. Since the British didn’t leave when asked, armed force got them out and changed the country from a land of tenant farmers. The function of the British Empire was always to exploit its colonies.

    1969 on; I haven't a clue. The Civil Rights movement hoped to rectify the discrimination and inequalities which would never have been tolerated elsewhere in the UK. The violent response to a march on Bloody Sunday resurrected the IRA.
  15. jonwilly
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    jonwilly LE

    "put murderers into power? "

    Yes Gimp
    I'll agree with that.

    Violence allows the extremist's to rise to the top with their blood stained hands.
    john
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