Ireland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It is an island green and unspoilt and home to the Irish race for centuries. In the West, wild and haunting, a brilliant light often casts its ancient spell over hills and dales of wild heather, brush and peat turf. It is breathtaking and spectacular.
In this land a remarkably talented, poetic, romantic and often most delightfully charming and religious people have, for centuries, lived: the Irish. Of this people the oldest races amongst them are Celtic of which the largest by far are the Gaels, the latest Celtic race in time to arrive on Ireland's shores. They are thought to have originated in the Middle East, possibly Scythia or even Galatia.
The Gaels speak and write a very unusual and mystical language called Gaelic, as do their close cousins the Scottish Gaels of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. In Roman times Ireland was variously called Hibernia or Scotia and the Scotti or Scots were originally from Ireland before some of them travelled across to the Mull of Kintrye and later gave their name to what is now Scotland.
Never conquered by the Romans the Irish Gaels nevertheless imbibed the Roman culture and, above all, the true religion of which Rome became the great guardian and mistress. This they were taught by a Roman Briton, one Patrick, the son of a Deacon of the ancient British race, the Cymri, but himself Romanised.
St Patrick was taken captive to Ireland but later found his way back to Britain. He then later returned with a mission – a mission to convert the heathen Gael and make of them a land of saints and scholars to witness to the Gospel and and a people who, far on the outer reaches of the known world, the very edge of Christendom, would come to demonstrate to the rest of Christendom a loyalty to Roman Christendom and to the See of St Peter that lasted.
Divided into 5 kingdoms - Ulster, Leinster, Munster, Meath and Connaught - the land of Erin came to be ruled by one High King, the Ard Ri Eireann, who regarded himself as an emperor, modelled upon the Emperor Charlemagne, ruling over kings. After the death of Brian Boru, the Empire of Erin fell into some disarray and corruption in both Church and State.
Eventually, the Pope – an English pope, Nicholas Breakspeare, Pope Adrian IV - in a Bull entitled Laudabiliter, issued after an invitation from various of the Irish Chiefs, particularly the King of Leinster, gave approval to King Henry II of England to invade Ireland.
King Henry sent Richard Fitzgilbert de Clare, Earl of Pembroke and later Lord of Leinster, nicknamed "Strongbow", to invade Ireland on behalf of himself and the Pope and to restore order.
In 1168 Dermot MacMorrough (Diarmuid mac Murchada), King of Leinster, driven out of his kingdom by Turlough O'Connor (Tairrdelbach mac Ruaidri Ua Conchobair), High King of Ireland with the help of Tiernan O'Rourke (Tigernán Ua Ruairc), came to solicit help from Henry II.
He was pointed in the direction of Strongbow and other Welsh Marcher barons and knights by King Henry. King Dermot secured the services of Richard, promising him the hand of his daughter Aoife (Eve) and the succession to Leinster. An army was assembled that included Welsh archers, which would lead to Richard's nickname, "Strongbow" (though it was first recorded in 1223, in a charter for Tintern Abbey).
The army, under Raymond le Gros, took Wexford, Waterford and Dublin in 1169 and 1170, and Strongbow joined them in August 1170. The day after the capture of Waterford, Strongbow married MacMorrough's daughter Aoife of Leinster.
The wedding of Strongbow with Princess Aoife MacMurrough of Leinster
After various rebellions challenged Strongbow, he called upon the King of England for aid and Henry invaded in October 1172, staying six months and putting his own men into nearly all the important places. He was made Lord of Ireland by Pope Adrian IV.
The new Anglo-Welsh later became more Irish than the Irish and remained staunchly Catholic when the times changed and Protestantism came to threaten Ireland. They were often called the "Old English" despite being more accurately described as Cambro-Norman.
Though Ireland was a papal fief entrusted to the English king, as Lord of Ireland, it was the Protestant tyrant Henry VIII who usurped the title King of Ireland. He and his bastard daughter, Elizabeth I, persecuted the Irish and imposed a Protestant Ascendancy upon the country.
When Mary restored Catholicism, her husband, King Philip of Spain, was recognised by the Pope as King of England but also King of Ireland.
Thereafter, the early Stuarts maintained the Protestant Ascendancy but with the conversion of King James II to the Catholic faith, Catholicism was increasingly released from its bondage throughout the "Three Kingdoms" of England, Scotland and Ireland.
But the so-called “Glorious Revolution” which rebelliously and treacherously overthrew King James, brought in one of the most brutally oppressive and cruel penal codes ever to oppress a Christian nation.
It was against this illegal and immoral code that the Irish, including the old Cambro-Normans (or "Old English"), gave lawful resistance. They loyally supported the Jacobite cause and supported the Catholic Stuarts at home and abroad producing such great men as Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, and many another of the “Wild Geese” who went to serve in the armies of Catholic Europe, many reaching the highest ranks in Army and State in the Empire and the kingdoms of Christendom.
Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, best known of the "Wild Geese"
But this all changed with the advent of the French Revolution and the gradual marginalisation of the Gaelic language in which Ireland’s true history had been written and preserved.
A new, unnatural, unholy and rebellious spirit entered into the otherwise tranquil and gentle culture of the Irish people.
Ironically, it was introduced by sons of the very Protestant Ascendancy that had been oppressing Irish Catholics for centuries. Not content with directly oppressing the Irish Catholic people, the Protestant and secular liberal Ascendancy now, through its rebellious sons, sought to poison the souls of the loyal Catholic people with devilish ideas of rebellion and revolution - not just against illegitimate usurpers but also against legitimate governments.
This was, in effect, to attack the very Catholicism of the Irish Catholic people in even more subtle and dangerous ways than the earlier direct, physical persecution of the savage Penal laws. Not a few Irishmen were duped into imbibing the spirit of revolution and so lost their faith - the very faith their ancestors had died for.
It was a foreign, alien spirit – a spirit engendered by the so-called Enlightenment and specifically by the French Revolution – but brought to Ireland by Irish-born liberal Protestants, men like Theobald Wolfe Tone, Lord Edward Fitzgerald and Robert Emmet, all of them Protestants.
They formed the Society of United Irishmen with the express purpose of severing the connection with England and, ironically, many of these men were from Ulster in the North of Ireland. Many were Ulster Presbyterians - Orangemen - and the remainder were largely Anglicans or secularists.
Theobald Wolfe Tone, a Protestant-born, secular revolutionary who founded the Society of United Irishmen to foment revolution and who was later to cut his own throat in prison awaiting trial for treason (he is a hero of the Irish Communist Party)
Later, secularists and lapsed Catholics joined the movement as it became more and more revolutionary, secular and rebellious and deeply hostile to the Catholic Church which condemned it.
But how many today know these facts?
They know about the IRA and Sinn Fein. Some know about the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries who ravaged Ireland after 1918. But they know little of what came before these terrorist groups.
The “Tans” were a bunch of thugs (and the Auxies worse) employed by the British Liberal government (led by Welshman David Lloyd-George) who misused them gravely.
But… the IRA were founded not by Catholics but by secular revolutionaries who originally called the movement the Irish Revolutionary (later Republican) Brotherhood and the IRA (in all its manifestations: stickies, provos, etc) has killed at least as many Catholics in its bloody history as it has non-Catholics, and almost certainly many more.
Sinn Fein/IRA is a crypto-Marxist organisation dedicated to revolution by the spilling of innocent blood.
(To be continued)