January 20, 2018

Irish Republican's lack of self-awareness

Postcard showing the 'Ulster Cow'. A priest and John Redmond portrayed trying to tax an Ulster farmer. The cow, labelled ‘Ulster,‘ belches 'defiance' - 'Now All of you try and milk her, dairymaid Redmond Don't Funk. We have been beaten, not hands down, but horns up, Carson's a Holy terror.'

Alex Kane wrote an article in the Irish Times pointing out that unionists and republicans in Northern Ireland both suffer from having a blind spot in their view of the world.

If you listen to or read an Irish republican view of the world, you will see that the British government and the Orange Order are the cause of all ills in Ireland.

Never is the role of the Catholic Church ever sincerely considered as a stumbling block to Irish unity, even though for Irish protestants the position of the Catholic Church is seen as ominous and threatening.

Patrick O’Brien, former Parnellite MP said:
"[The priests had] done more to defeat Home Rule than all the bluster and drumming of the Ulster Orangemen."
As for the Orange Order, they are never seen as authentic Irishmen with their own autonomy and agency, rather they are perceived as playthings of the British. Donal Barrington wrote in 1957:
"Little is to be gained by counting all the Tory leaders who came to Ireland to speak to the Orangemen and ignoring all the Orange leaders who went to England to speak to the Tories."
This is the problem I highlighted in the post 'Irish Ireland, not Ireland'.

I also highlighted the lack of republican awareness in this post, where I quoted John Whyte:
"The Protestant school flew the Union Jack daily, a practice on which a catholic teacher commented: “They fly the flag down there to show that they are more British than the British themselves. It’s also to let us know that they are the lords and masters and we (Catholics) should be continually aware of it.” 
On the other hand, the catholic school was full of religious symbols, and a Protestant teacher commented: “it’s hard to escape the view that a special show is being put on for our benefit… they must know that these are the very things that we object to, yet still they are flaunted everywhere.”"

See the original cartoon at the top via the National Museums Northern Ireland here.

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