Tuesday 17 March 2009

St Patrick's Day: remembering the real Irish heroes

Instead of the appalling plastic Paddy poppycock that passes for the celebration of St Patrick's Day in the streets of Boston and New York, complete with fluffy toy leprechauns and trashy outsize toy top-hats and green ribbands, I invite you to consider the real Irish heroes whom many of their countrymen and kin have too easily and readily forgotten.

As well as the gallant Irish who fought for the Royal Stuarts at the Boyne, Aughrim and Limerick let us remember those in the Irish Brigade of King Louis under Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, and Lord Mountcashel, Butler, Feilding, O'Brien, Dillon, Bulkeley, Clare, Rooth, Berwick and Lally, not to mention O'Callaghan de Tallahagh and Fitz James's cavalry, all fighting at Steenkirk (1692), Neerwinden (1693), Marsaglia (1693), Blenheim (1704), Malplaquet (1709), Fontenoy (1745), Battle of Lauffeld (1747); and Rossbach (1757). Let us also remember, too, those who fought for the Spanish kings, like O'Donoju (O'Donoghue) and Obregon (O'Brien), and for the Holy Roman Emperor, like Lacy, O'Donnell von Tyrconell, Taafe and many others.

Patrick Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, one of the more famous of the Irish "Wild Geese"

Let us remember the two senior Dillon officers who remained in the French army, of whom Theobald was murdered by his French soldiers, turned revolutionaries when in retreat in 1792, and Arthur who was executed in 1794 by the revolutionaries during The Terror.

Let us particularly remember the Irish Zouaves who fought in the papal army, alongside the descendants of the generals and heroes of the Vendee in France like Charette and Cathelineau, against the revolutionaries of Garibaldi, Cavour and the faithless Sardinians and Piedmontese who sacrilegiously attempted to overthrow the Papal States.

Zouaves were originally Algerian troops in the French army coming from the Berber tribe of the Zwawa. They wore baggy trousers as were commonly worn by some Muslim troops. Eventually they were replaced by Frenchmen but the baggy-trousered uniform was retained. Soon they became fashionable and other armies introduced regiments of Zouaves including, eventually, the Papal army.

A Pontifical Zouave of Major O'Reilly's Brigade

Sir Patrick Alphonsus Buckley was one of these swashbuckling heroes who fought in the Pontifical Zouaves for the defence of the States of the Church and Blessed Pius IX.

A soldier, lawyer, statesman, judge, he was born near Castletownsend, County Cork, Ireland, in 1841 but died at Lower Hutt, New Zealand, 18 May, 1896. He was educated at the Mansion House School, Cork; St. Colman's College, Paris; the Irish College, Paris; and the Catholic University, Louvain. He was in Louvain when the Piedmontese invaded the States of the Church in 1860, and at the request of Count Charles MacDonnell, Irish Private Chamberlain to Pius IX, conducted the recruits of the Irish Papal Brigade from Ostend to Vienna, where they were placed in charge of representatives of the Holy See.

He served under the heroic Belgian Zouave commander, General Lamoriciere, and was received a prisoner after Ancona. After the war he returned to Ireland. Thence he emigrated to Queensland, where he completed his legal studies and was admitted to the Bar.

After a short residence in Queensland he settled in New Zealand, and commenced the practice of his profession in Wellington. Soon after his arrival in New Zealand, he became a member of the Wellington Provincial Council, and was Provincial Solicitor in the Executive when the Provincial Parliaments were abolished in 1875. He was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1878 (in the days when there were still appointees and a property qualifying franchise for the Upper House); he was Colonial Secretary and leader of the Upper House in the Stout-Vogel Ministry (1884-87), and Attorney-General, Colonial Secretary, and leader of an overwhelmingly Opposition Upper House under the Ballance Administration from 1891 till 1895, when he was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court.

Sir Patrick Buckley KCMG,
who served as an Irish Pontifical Zouave defending the Papal States and then later
became a Supreme Court Judge in New Zealand

He was created Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George in 1892 by Queen Victoria.

Here is what the Belgian cardinal, Xavier de Merode, Papal Pro-Minister for War, wrote of the Irish Zouaves after they were released from their Genoese prison following capture after the gallant stand at Castel-Fidardo:

"At the moment in which, in consequence of the present sad state of affairs, the brave soldiers of the Battalion of St Patrick, who had hastened hither for the defence of the States of the Church, are about to leave the Pontifical army, the undersigned Minister of War experiences the liveliest satisfaction in being able to express to those soldier his entire satisfaction and in bestowing upon them the highest praise for their conduct. Nothing more could be expected from them. The Battalion of St Patrick at Spoleto, at Perugia, at Castel-Fidardo, and in Ancona, has show the power of faith united to the sentiment of honour, in the treacherous and unequal contest in which a small number of brave soldiers resisted to the last an entire army of sacrilegious invaders. May this recollection never perish from their hearts! God, who defends His Church, will bless what they have done."

About 65 of the surviving Irish returned to Rome to form the Company of St Patrick. Some, like Buckley, returned home to further labours and honour.

These are the men to remember and praise - not the parcel of traitors, apostates and murderers who sought to introduce revolutionary principles into Ireland from 1798 onwards, siding with the enemies of the Church to become the terrorist outlaws of the IRB, the IRA and the Fenians. These sons of Belial were excommunicated by the Irish Bishops and Pope Pius IX and were repeatedly condemned by Cardinals McCabe and Cullen and all the Irish bishops throughout the 19th century. Their legacy is the continuing "troubles" which, thanks to Adams and McGuinness among others who re-opened the Pandora's Box of revolution in the 60s and 70s, continues to spread its poison with the recent murders perpetrated by the so-called "Continuity IRA" and "Real IRA".

For heroes let us turn instead to the Wild Geese, their successors in the Pontifical Zouaves and all those many Irishmen who still remain loyal to the Holy See whatever the hardships and temptations.

St Patrick, pray for us!



Anonymous said...

It's a great shame that most people, when looking back on Irish "history", will swallow the medacious twaddle peddled by the "experts". That was a wonderful post. Thanks.

David Lindsay said...

The Pope first gave the Kings of England the Lordship of Ireland. A Papal Blessing was sent to William III when he set out for Ireland. The Lateran Palace was illuminated for a fortnight when news of the Battle of the Boyne reached Rome. During the 1798 Rebellion, the staff and students of Maynooth sent a Declaration of Loyalty to the King. The tiny number of priests who adhered to that Rebellion were excommunicated, the bishops calling them “the very faeces of the Church”.

Into the nineteenth century, Catholic priests participated in the annual prayer service at the Walls of Derry, an ecumenical gesture with few or no parallels at the time. Jacobite and Hanoverian were always united in supporting the closest possible ties among the historic Kingdom of England (including the Principality of Wales), the historic Kingdom of Scotland and the historic Kingdom of Ireland.

Prominent Belfast Catholic laymen chaired rallies against Home Rule, with prominent Catholic priests on the platforms. There were numerous Catholic pulpit denunciations of Fenianism, which is unlike any of the three principal British political traditions in being a product of the French Revolution. Hence its tricolour flag. And hence and its strong anti-clerical streak, always identifying Catholicism as one of Ireland’s two biggest problems.

Jean Bodin’s theory of princely absolutism, held by the Stuarts and their anti-Papal Bourbon cousins, was incompatible with the building up of the Social Reign of Christ, subsequently the inspiration for all three great British political movements. Likewise, ethnically exclusive nation-states deriving uncritically from the Revolution do not provide adequate means to that end.

By contrast, the absence of any significant Marxist influence in this country has been due to the universal and comprehensive Welfare State, and the strong statutory protection of workers and consumers, the former paid for by progressive taxation, and all underwritten by full employment. These are very largely the fruits of Catholic Social Teaching.

Such fruits have been of disproportionate benefit to ethnically Gaelic-Irish Catholics throughout the United Kingdom. Even in the 1940s, Sinn Féin worried that they were eroding its support. She who led the assault on these things remains a Unionist hate figure, since the Anglo-Irish Agreement is an integral part of any Thatcherism honestly defined.

Only an industrial or post-industrial economy, not one built on the sands of EU farm subsidies and film-making, can make provision such as existed before Thatcher. A United Ireland would exclude therefrom people who would otherwise participate in it.

Northern Ireland has both a large bourgeoisie and a large proletariat, like the rest of the United Kingdom, but unlike the Irish Republic. Gaelic-Irish Catholics are to be found in large numbers in Northern Ireland’s middle and working classes alike. Many bourgeois and proletarians in Great Britain are ethnically Gaelic-Irish, devoutly Catholic, or both.

Middle-class expansion since the Second World War, like the civilised intellectual and cultural life of the pre-Thatcher working class, was in no small measure due to the Catholic schools. The only way to maintain the Catholic school system in Northern Ireland is to keep Northern Ireland within the Union.

For each of this Kingdom’s parts contains a Catholic intelligentsia, whereas the Irish Republic’s is the most tribally anti-Catholic in the world. There are precious few Mass-going, and no ideologically Catholic, politicians, journalists, radio or television producers, or other public intellectuals. Rather, the memories of Samuel Beckett and James Joyce are venerated. Anyone who objects to even the most extreme decadence is accused of wishing to “return” to “the bad, old, repressive Ireland.” The Republic’s Catholic schools, among much else, are doomed.

As would be Northern Ireland’s, if Sinn Féin had its way. Under the pretext that they teach through the medium of Irish, wholly and militantly secular Sinn Féin schools are being set up at public expense, in direct opposition to the Catholic system, by the Sinn Féin Education Minister. Her exclusion of Anglican, Presbyterian and Methodist clergy from their historic role in the government of schools is the dry run for her party’s openly desired exclusion of the Catholic Church from schools throughout Ireland.

Furthermore, there is no desire in the Republic, either for the much higher taxes necessary to maintain British levels of public spending in “the Six Counties”, or for the incorporation of a large minority into a country which has developed on the presupposition of a near-monoculture.

The Civil Rights Movement was explicitly for equal British citizenship, not for a United Ireland. Even the old Nationalist Party, never mind Sinn Féin, was permitted no part in its early organisation. And it was classically British Labour in identifying education, health care, decent homes and proper wages as the rights of citizens, who are demeaned precisely as citizens when they are denied those rights. The fruits of Catholic Social Teaching, indeed.

So the Catholic case is for the Union. Look at the Ulster Unionist and Democratic Unionist votes in largely or entirely Catholic wards. Even Ian Paisley’s huge personal vote could not happen without Catholic support. With no corresponding Nationalist vote in Protestant wards, the Union, simply as such, is manifestly the majority will of both communities. As for Paisley’s theological opinions, the definitive Catholic answers to them have been available for centuries.

The left-wing case is also for the Union, which enables more people than would otherwise be able to do so to benefit from the building up of social democracy. The dismantlement of this by an enemy of the Union was mostly opposed by the old High Tory oligarchs of the Ulster Unionist Party, and consistently resisted by the Democratic Unionist Party, with its Old Labour electoral base.

And the all-Ireland case is for the Union. As is appreciated in the Irish Republic, what is now Northern Ireland has been profoundly different from the rest of the island, but very like Great Britain, since long before any prospect of partition. That was precisely what necessitated partition. The Irish Republic does not want, and could not sustain, the incorporation of Northern Ireland.

So Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

And God Save The Queen.

David Lindsay said...

As it was once put to me, "At least the EU's atheism is Catholic atheism, whereas the UK's atheism is Protestant atheism".

Well, I shall leave the EU for another day. But the United Kingdom has always been significantly more Catholic-friendly than any of the Three Kingdoms that I suppose any serious Jacobite would have to say still existed.

And yes, that certainly does include the Kingdom of Ireland as constituted on the eve of the Union. That was why those running that Kingdom signed up to the Union. Yet within thirty years, a consequence of that signing up had been Catholic Emancipation throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

We have not yet seen it fully in England, although we will soon enough, but it has long, perhaps always, been the case in Scotland and Wales that Catholics are at least as Unionist in relation to their own parts of the Kingdom as Ulster Protestants are in relation to theirs. And for the same reason: Catholics have no more desire to go down the road of who is or is not "really" English, Scots or Welsh than Ulster Protestants have to go down the road of who is or is not "really" Irish.

Even in Northern Ireland, voting for candidates and parties is one thing, as is voting for something that you know is not going to go through. But who on the Falls Road is ever really going to risk casting the vote that brings about their own transfer out of the United Kingdom and into a country where you have to pay to visit the doctor? No one.

A (not very likely) independent Scotland would probably become a Jacobin republic pretty quickly, while such an arrangement from the outset is Plaid Cymru's stated policy for a (really most unlikely) independent Wales. The Irish Republic, of course, already is one, even complete with a tricolour.

And there is actually quite a high probability that an independent England would follow suit, certainly if the other Commonwealth Realms had done so, as New Zealand very well might, and Canada certainly would, if Scotland did. The only thing that could save the monarchy in an independent Scotland would be its continuation in Canada.

And these would not be, as the Irish Republic is not, expressions of the pre-Revolutionary Catholic republicanism of, say, Venice, or, insofar as it is still operative anywhere, the Catholic half of Switzerland. These would not even be republics capable, with a lot of work, of becoming such expressions, as the American Republic is in principle, since 1776 came before 1789. No, these would be pure products of the Revolution, in all its Terror.

God Save The Queen.

Tribunus said...

Thank you both!

Tribunus said...

Dear Susan,

I don't need to do the research. I already agree.

Except for Sinead O'Connor who is a fraud, a liar and loser.