Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Great Gun of Athlone

The Easter Rising of 1916 was probably not something my Scots grandfar liked to celebrate.

My Scots forebears were not Scots but "Scotch-Irish" which is to say they were the thugs the English planted in "The Pale" around Dublin and in the North to keep the boot on the neck of the Catholic proles. They and theirs went a long way into making the bloody calvary that has been the history of the Six Counties since the Rising cleared the way for the founding of free Ireland. The "Ulster Scots" have long been the Boers of Europe; stiff-necked bastards who could fuck up a child's birthday party.

On the 97th anniversary of the Éirí Amach na Cásca it's worth remembering, amid our rush to hate and fear "terrorism", that one man's "terrorist" is another's freedom fighter, and one man's "military tribunal" is another's "judicial murder".

And to recall a time when men like James Connolly openly fought for the working man and woman, when those of us not in the two-yacht family stood together, holding strongly to the now-"outdated" notion that the rich and the well-born were (and are) no more our friends than the wealthy farmer is the friend to the sheep, the cow, or the pig.

(h/t to Pierce for the outstanding cover of the Ballad of James Connolly.)

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