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Irish Harp

I'm intrested in the period of history covered by the Young Irelanders, or correctly titled Irish Confederation. This is a deeply interesting stage in Irish History. In it we find the origins of the Republican physical force tradition. Through their writings we see the evolution of Irish Nationalism forged into a coherently articulated force.
While they have left us a boundless spring of primary sources, the misconceptions created around them by unscrupulous writers, who believe they can shape the present by manipulating our understanding of the past is a challenge to all right thinking people who believe that history belongs to us all.

Through the far lands we roam,

Through the wastes, wild and barren;

We are strangers at home,

We are exiles in Erin.

“Perhaps in no country, but only Ireland, would a plain narrative of wars and revolutions that are past and gone two centuries and a half ago, run any risk of being construed as an attempt to foster enmity between the descendants of two races that fought so long since for mastery in the land. Yet the writer of this short record of the life of the greatest Irish chieftain [Hugh O’Neil] is warned that such construction may, and by some assuredly will, be put upon the following story and the writer’s manner of telling it. But as to the narrative itself undoubtedly the only question ought to be—is it true? And if so—is the truth to be told, or hidden —Is it not at all times, in all places, above all things, desirable to hear the truth instead of a lie?”

John Mitchel

“There are transactions in history so falsified and misunderstood, that the chief difficulty in dealing with them springs from the rooted prepossessions of the reader. Whenever important interests have been in conflict and one has succumbed, the facts are certain to be misjudged by the next generation, who commonly hear only the story of the successful competitor…Of the period which I am now about to describe a fixed idea has got possession of the public mind—that certain immature politicians, of whom it is not clear, to critical persons, whether they were generous enthusiasts or only rash and contumacious youngsters, broke away from the veteran leader of the Irish people, set up a theory of physical force in opposition to his constitutional doctrines, and having unfortunately got the lead, led the country to disgrace and disaster…And yet in all history there is no theory fatally contradicted by the facts of the case, when the facts come to be known.”

Charles Gavan Duffy