Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St Patrick's Day

Once again, it is St Patrick’s Day, an occasion to honor the patron saint of Ireland who converted the Emerald Isle to Christianity and to celebrate all things Irish. Unfortunately, one of the things most associated with Ireland today is revolutionary republicanism. This should not be so. In all of Irish history, republicanism was practically unknown before the Easter Uprising and entirely unheard of prior to the horrific French Revolution. The history of old Ireland, prior to the arrival of the British, was entirely royalist. Ireland had not only one king but a number of kings at any given time, occasionally united by one “High King”. Prior to independence, the only time Ireland had known republican rule was actually the most brutally horrific period of Irish history when the republican dictator of England, Oliver Cromwell, waged what some have not without merit termed a genocide in Ireland. For Cromwell, the Irish had committed two offenses which he deemed most deplorable; they had thrown their support behind the King and they had refused to renounce their Catholicism and embrace the Protestant religion he favored.

The Irish did ultimately take the side of King Charles I, who was opposed to the persecution of Catholics like themselves and they later also supported the cause of his son King James II, adding the Battle of the Boyne to the long list of tragedies in Irish history. Later, during the Jacobite Uprisings, the Stuart heirs were also not without some Irish support. Even Sinn Fein was originally founded with the intention of Ireland being a monarchy, independent but in personal union with the British after the fashion of Austria-Hungary. Even at the time of World War I, some Irish nationalists, knowing that their cause basically depended on a German victory, proposed making the German Kaiser's son, Prince Joachim, the King of an independent Ireland. In any event, today is a proper occasion to take a look back at a few of the subjects related to Ireland covered here in the past from a perspective that is, to say the least, not mainstream when it comes to the Emerald Isle.

A Short look at the life of Irish High King Brian Boru

The Villain and Enemy of Monarchy Oliver Cromwell

The great Irish monarchist general Patrick Sarsfield

Irish Jacobites in the 1745 Uprising

When Irish Republicans tried to seize Canada

Although quite obscure, it is also worth noting that the monarchist cause is not totally absent from Ireland and one does not have to be confined entirely to Ulster in order to find it. There are a faithful few who support the restoration of the Kingdom of Ireland, some as a confederation of kingdoms under a "High King" as in the old days and some support a return of the Kingdom of Ireland in union with England and Scotland as in the more recent past.

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