May 30, 2017

Degrees of Irishness?

The Rt Hon Timothy Healy, Governor General of the Irish Free State, by Sir William Orpen
'My dear Boy, come and see me whenever you like in the bee-loud glade,' is what Tim Healy reputedly wrote in a letter response to W.B. Yeats, a story told by Lady Gregory and recalled by Conor Cruise O'Brien.

'A brilliant disaster' is what Thomas Kettle called the Home Ruler and Irish parliamentarian Timothy Michael Healy. 'A terrible beauty' is what W.B. Yeats called the Irish rebellion and revolutionaries of 1916.

The famous Irish Parliamentary Party politician Tim Healy said:
"Although a Unionist, [Edward Carson] was never un-Irish."
Sir Edward Carson said in 1914:
"We’re both [Tom Kettle, Home Rule nationalist] Irishmen, and that is what matters."
Healy said:
"I wish to say at the outset that in my opinion this Empire owes him [John Redmond] a debt of gratitude which it can never repay, and I wish also to say of him as an opponent that in my opinion, if his advice had been taken by the War Office, it is absolutely true, as he contends, that you would have marshalled in Ireland from two hundred thousand to three hundred thousand men, from whom large drafts could have been drawn; and I will further say I believe if his advice had been taken the elements of rebellion would have been appeased."
Tom Kettle, the IPP MP who died in the western front wrote:
"These men will go down in history as heroes and martyrs. And I will go down, if I go down at all, as a bloody British officer."
He had written:
"Used with the wisdom that is sown in tears and blood, this tragedy of Europe may be and must be the prologue to the two reconciliations of which all statesmen have dreamed; the reconciliation of Protestant Ulster with Ireland and the reconciliation of Ireland with Great Britain."

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