History UsefulNotes / TheIrishQuestion

8th Mar '16 7:48:46 PM Fireblood
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Broadly, most of those who wished for Irish independence were Catholic, and equally broadly those who supported the union of Ireland with England and Scotland ("unionists") were Protestants. Exceptions abounded [[labelnote:*]]Usually, though ''by no means always'' those exceptions were working- and middle-class Nationalist Protestants, of which there were many - usually, but again ''not always'', outside Ulster. The rare Catholic Unionists tended to be nobility. [[RunningGag But again, not always.]][[/labelnote]]

The situation was soured by an undeniable streak of anti-Irish feeling in Britain. The Irish were often ridiculed in newspapers and magazines, portrayed as shambling ape-like thugs in political cartoon (such as the image above), are deemed unfit for self-government even by better-minded Britons, and are often despised (and feared) for their poverty, [[FightingIrish propensity for violence]], and -- above all -- their insistence on their Catholic faith. Since the sixteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church is frequently identified with foreign enemies seeking to invade and destroy British culture; against the backdrop of the Spanish Armada, the Gunpowder Plot, the Jacobite uprisings, and near-constant war with France, it is easy to see why British Catholics are almost always treated with suspicion. This view changed over the course of the 19th century, as anti-Irish rancor faded and by the late 1880s had largely died down.

On the other side of the Irish Sea, hostility was worsened by a truly horrific [[IrishPotatoFamine famine in Ireland]] in the late 1840s, which killed a million and a half people and forced another one-and-a-half-million to go elsewhere. Many Irish believed that it was caused by utter stupidity at best and deliberate malice at worst on the part of London, who preferred starvation in Ireland to chaos in Britain should the former stop exporting food to industrial towns. (The famine could have been avoided altogether had there been a basic crop rotation system, or the Irish themselves grew multiple varieties of potato -- both tried-and-true agricultural practice for centuries; this gets glossed over a lot but is important to know, because at the time most farmers were tenants who could not afford to feed their families any other way.) A policy often pointed to is the Corn Law forbidding Irish farmers from growing this crop and thus competing with English ones. They then turned to potatoes, which failed, and the famine struck.

to:

Broadly, most of those who wished for Irish independence were Catholic, and equally broadly those who supported the union of Ireland with England and Scotland ("unionists") were Protestants. Exceptions abounded abounded.[[labelnote:*]]Usually, though ''by no means always'' those exceptions were working- and middle-class Nationalist Protestants, of which there were many - usually, but again ''not always'', outside Ulster. The rare Catholic Unionists tended to be nobility. [[RunningGag But again, not always.]][[/labelnote]]

The situation was soured by an undeniable streak of anti-Irish feeling in Britain. The Irish were often ridiculed in newspapers and magazines, portrayed as shambling ape-like thugs in political cartoon (such as the image above), are deemed unfit for self-government even by better-minded Britons, and are often despised (and feared) for their poverty, [[FightingIrish propensity for violence]], and -- above all -- their insistence on their Catholic faith. Since the sixteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church is was frequently identified with foreign enemies seeking to invade and destroy British culture; against the backdrop of the Spanish Armada, the Gunpowder Plot, the Jacobite uprisings, and near-constant war with France, it is easy to see why British Catholics are were almost always treated with suspicion. This view changed over the course of the 19th century, as anti-Irish rancor faded and by the late 1880s had largely died down.

On the other side of the Irish Sea, hostility was worsened by a truly horrific [[IrishPotatoFamine famine in Ireland]] in the late 1840s, which killed a million and a half people and forced another one-and-a-half-million to go elsewhere. Many Irish believed that it was caused by utter stupidity at best and deliberate malice at worst on the part of London, who preferred starvation in Ireland to chaos in Britain should the former stop exporting food to industrial towns. (The towns (the famine could have been avoided altogether had there been a basic crop rotation system, or the Irish themselves grew multiple varieties of potato -- both tried-and-true agricultural practice for centuries; this gets glossed over a lot but is important to know, because at the time most farmers were tenants who could not afford to feed their families any other way.) way). A policy often pointed to is the Corn Law forbidding Irish farmers from growing this crop and thus competing with English ones. They then turned to potatoes, which failed, and the famine struck.



There were many political attempts to reconcile Ireland into a Home Rule arrangement that would (like the current devolution of Scotland and Wales) keep Ireland in the UK. These were the efforts of the moderate nationalists of the Irish Parliamentary Party (or simply, "Home Rule Party") and Gladstone's Liberal Party, but they were systematically crippled by the joint efforts of the Unionists and the Tories. The first Bill was summarily shot down, the second attempt passed through the House of Commons but could not make it through the conservative stronghold of House of Lords. Finally, the third attempt passed through both Houses and even received Royal Assent, but its implementation was not-at-all-co-incidentally delayed by the onset of WorldWarOne - destroying Germany and submerging domestic tensions (safe and humane working conditions, provision of living wages, women's suffrage, the future of Ireland) were the prime motivations for war among the hard-liners in the Liberal-lead Coalition Cabinet, though it was ultimately safe-guarding the post-Napoleonic order that Britain had helped established in 1815 (''vis à vis'' the preservation of Belgian independence) that won over the undecided ministers and the voting public. In 1916, during the war, a couple of hundred radicals staged an armed uprising on Easter Monday in Dublin, declared the free and independent Irish Republic, and were almost all killed or imprisoned by the British Army. The public took a dim view of the rising initially, with reactions ranging from bewilderment to outright contempt, considering it something of a betrayal, especially as many Irishmen were then serving with the British Army in France. However, public opinion then changed to general shock and outspoken disapproval at the brutal (by British standards) treatment of the dozens of captured rebels, the summary execution of many of the surviving leaders, and a Draconian policy of repression to cut down on further would-be-martyrs.

to:

There were many political attempts to reconcile Ireland into a Home Rule arrangement that would (like the current devolution of Scotland and Wales) keep Ireland in the UK. These were the efforts of the moderate nationalists of the Irish Parliamentary Party (or simply, "Home Rule Party") and Gladstone's Liberal Party, but they were systematically crippled by the joint efforts of the Unionists and the Tories. The first Bill was summarily shot down, the second attempt passed through the House of Commons but could not make it through the conservative stronghold of the House of Lords. Finally, the third attempt passed through both Houses and even received Royal Assent, but its implementation was not-at-all-co-incidentally delayed by the onset of WorldWarOne - destroying Germany and submerging domestic tensions (safe and humane working conditions, provision of living wages, women's suffrage, the future of Ireland) were the prime motivations for war among the hard-liners in the Liberal-lead Coalition Cabinet, though it was ultimately safe-guarding the post-Napoleonic order that Britain had helped established in 1815 (''vis à vis'' the preservation of Belgian independence) that won over the undecided ministers and the voting public. In 1916, during the war, a couple of hundred radicals staged an armed uprising on Easter Monday in Dublin, declared the free and independent Irish Republic, and were almost all killed or imprisoned by the British Army. The public took a dim view of the rising initially, with reactions ranging from bewilderment to outright contempt, considering it something of a betrayal, especially as many Irishmen were then serving with the British Army in France. However, public opinion then changed to general shock and outspoken disapproval at the brutal (by British standards) treatment of the dozens of captured rebels, the summary trial by military courts and subsequent execution of many of the surviving leaders, and a Draconian policy of repression to cut down on further would-be-martyrs.



Then came the end of the war and the 1918 general election, which was contested by the newly-relevant Sinn Féin ("We ourselves"), running on a platform of abstention from Westminster and the establishment of an independent Irish Republic. They took the election in a ''massive'' landslide, taking all but two constituencies in the country (outside of the Unionist stronghold of East Ulster, naturally, where they won nothing) - helped by the fact that Westminster had just granted suffrage to all men over 21 and women over 30, giving the nationalist majority the electoral advantage for the first time (A textbook case of NiceJobFixingItVillain from the Nationalist perspective!). They also elected Countess Constance Markievicz, the first woman elected as MP to Westminster, though of course she would never sit there. Soon afterwards the Irish Parliamentary Party (moderate nationalists who were the principal drivers behind Home Rule since the 1870s) would dwindle to nothing, replaced by Sinn Féin as the main political force in Ireland. Sinn Féin formed the First Dáil Éireann in January of 1919 and began the long task of setting up the new architecture of state. That same day, however, [[UsefulNotes/TheIrishRevolution the War of Independence began]]. At first confined to small local raids on police and army barracks, the scope of the conflict gradually increased as the British government took a more aggressive stance against the IRA. Assassinations of officials and acts of violence against and murders of 'pro-English' citizens increased, and resulted in increasingly heavy-handed government repression with many hundreds of Irish citizens being beaten, arrested, killed extra-judicially, sentenced to prison and hanged. The decision to recruit WWI veterans to serve as armed policemen (the 'Black and Tans' and 'Auxies') in particular proved to be a bad move, as they hired people trained and indoctrinated to exact vengeance upon a hated enemy for use in a delicate domestic political situation that called for a great deal of understanding and self-restraint. [[note]] The millions-strong British Army of 1916 onwards was a vastly different beast to the 100 000-strong peacetime army of 1914 (not least because the latter were dead to a man). The cycle of revenge on The Western Front had made many if not most of the army's surviving members into bitter and vengeance-driven people who lived for the opportunity to (brutally) murder the hated enemy (in hand-to-hand-combat). This was a far cry from the 'live and let live' attitudes of 1914 which the leadership of both sides had tried so hard to eradicate.[[/note]] Even those 'Black and Tans' who ''did not'' [[ShellShockedVeteran have a psychological dependency on warfare]] or [[BloodKnight sign up for the opportunity to kill people]], usually with complete [[SociopathicSoldier impunity]] had received fundamentally different training and conditioning for what their new role required.

Hundreds died in the cycle of violence and (increasingly lethal) repression that followed until the [[TheIrishRevolution Irish War of Independence]] was concluded with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The Irish Free State was acknowledged independent, while Northern Ireland remained British. Following this there was some severe disagreement within Sinn Féin with the terms of the Treaty partitioning the country, and there followed a brief and exceedingly bitter civil war [[{{Irony}} that sadly killed more than the War of Independence]]. The civil war still affects [[UsefulNotes/IrishPoliticalSystem Irish politics to this day]]--the two major modern parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are descendants of the Anti- and Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin factions, respectively. The Civil War is the ElephantInTheLivingRoom in Irish culture, and doesn't get mentioned much for fear of causing offence; notable exceptions are Sean O'Casey's play ''Juno and the Paycock'' and the recent Ken Loach Film ''Film/TheWindThatShakesTheBarley''.) The Irish Free State eventually went on to become the current state of Ireland by unilateral declaration in 1949 (but they didn't change the license plates until 1987). For Northern Ireland see TheTroubles.

to:

Then came the end of the war and the 1918 general election, which was contested by the newly-relevant Sinn Féin ("We ourselves"), running on a platform of abstention from Westminster and the establishment of an independent Irish Republic. They took the election in a ''massive'' landslide, taking all but two constituencies in the country (outside of the Unionist stronghold of East Ulster, naturally, where they won nothing) - helped by the fact that Westminster had just granted suffrage to all men over 21 and women over 30, giving the nationalist majority the electoral advantage for the first time (A (a textbook case of NiceJobFixingItVillain from the Nationalist perspective!). They also elected Countess Constance Markievicz, the first woman elected as MP to Westminster, though of course she would never sit there. Soon afterwards the Irish Parliamentary Party (moderate nationalists who were the principal drivers behind Home Rule since the 1870s) would dwindle to nothing, replaced by Sinn Féin as the main political force in Ireland. Sinn Féin formed the First Dáil Éireann in January of 1919 and began the long task of setting up the new architecture of state. That same day, however, [[UsefulNotes/TheIrishRevolution the War of Independence began]]. At first confined to small local raids on police and army barracks, the scope of the conflict gradually increased as the British government took a more aggressive stance against the IRA. Assassinations of officials and acts of violence against and murders of 'pro-English' citizens increased, and resulted in increasingly heavy-handed government repression with many hundreds of Irish citizens being beaten, arrested, killed extra-judicially, sentenced to prison and hanged. The decision to recruit WWI veterans to serve as armed policemen (the 'Black and Tans' and 'Auxies') in particular proved to be a bad move, as they hired people trained and indoctrinated to exact vengeance upon a hated enemy for use in a delicate domestic political situation that called for a great deal of understanding and self-restraint. [[note]] The millions-strong British Army of 1916 onwards was a vastly different beast to the 100 000-strong peacetime army of 1914 (not least because the latter were dead to a man). The cycle of revenge on The Western Front had made many if not most of the army's surviving members into bitter and vengeance-driven people who lived for the opportunity to (brutally) murder the hated enemy (in hand-to-hand-combat). This was a far cry from the 'live and let live' attitudes of 1914 which the leadership of both sides had tried so hard to eradicate.[[/note]] Even those 'Black and Tans' who ''did not'' [[ShellShockedVeteran have a psychological dependency on warfare]] or [[BloodKnight sign up for the opportunity to kill people]], usually with complete [[SociopathicSoldier impunity]] impunity]], had received fundamentally different training and conditioning than for what their new role required.

required there.

Hundreds died in the cycle of violence and (increasingly lethal) repression that followed until the [[TheIrishRevolution Irish War of Independence]] was concluded with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The Irish Free State was acknowledged independent, while Northern Ireland remained British. Following this there was some severe disagreement within Sinn Féin with the terms of the Treaty partitioning the country, and there followed a brief and exceedingly bitter civil war [[{{Irony}} that sadly killed more than the War of Independence]]. The civil war still affects [[UsefulNotes/IrishPoliticalSystem Irish politics to this day]]--the two major modern parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are descendants of the Anti- and Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin factions, respectively. The Civil War is the ElephantInTheLivingRoom in Irish culture, and doesn't get mentioned much for fear of causing offence; notable exceptions are Sean O'Casey's play ''Juno and the Paycock'' and the recent Ken Loach Film ''Film/TheWindThatShakesTheBarley''.) The Irish Free State eventually went on to become the current state Republic of Ireland by unilateral declaration in 1949 1949, subsequently recognized by the UK (but they didn't change the license plates until 1987). For Northern Ireland see TheTroubles.



The conventional, conciliatory view is that British people should [[InnocentlyInsensitive bear in mind the people who were imprisoned or died as a result of a couple of centuries of repression, neglect and mismanagement by British governments]], and that perhaps if a nation has five separate armed rebellions for independence in a hundred years and two separate political parties dedicated ''solely'' to that cause, [[ObliviousToHints you should maybe take the hint]]. The Irish (a nation with a [[SarcasmMode long and noble history of grudge-holding]]) in turn promise to stop holding grudges over grievances that can, in some cases, be [[UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar four hundred years old]]. British-Irish relations are, after all, important to both countries - and neither a culture of historical ignorance nor one of victimisation and grudge-holding is healthy - or, incidentally, a recipe for future harmony between two very close geographical, economic, and cultural neighbours. Of course, in truth, almost everybody under the age of fifty from either nation (outside professional politics and outside UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland, which has its own problems) takes no particular heed of an increasingly-distant history, or at least don't take it personally.

to:

The conventional, conciliatory view is that British people should [[InnocentlyInsensitive bear in mind the people who were imprisoned or died as a result of a couple of centuries of repression, neglect and mismanagement by British governments]], and that perhaps if a nation has five separate armed rebellions for independence in a hundred years and two separate political parties dedicated ''solely'' to that cause, [[ObliviousToHints you should maybe take the hint]]. The Irish (a nation with a [[SarcasmMode long and noble history of grudge-holding]]) in turn promise to stop holding grudges over grievances that can, in some cases, be [[UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar four hundred years old]]. British-Irish relations are, after all, important to both countries - and neither a culture of historical ignorance nor one of victimisation victimization and grudge-holding is healthy - or, incidentally, a recipe for future harmony between two very close geographical, economic, and cultural neighbours.neighbors. Of course, in truth, almost everybody under the age of fifty from either nation (outside professional politics and outside UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland, which has its own problems) takes no particular heed of an increasingly-distant history, or at least don't take it personally.
29th Jan '16 3:00:39 AM Morgenthaler
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->''"Gladstone spent his declining years trying to guess the answer to the Irish Question; unfortunately, whenever he was getting warm, [[MovingTheGoalposts the Irish secretly changed the Question]]..."''

to:

->''"Gladstone spent his declining years trying to guess the answer to the Irish Question; unfortunately, whenever he was getting warm, [[MovingTheGoalposts the Irish secretly changed the Question]]...Question..."''
29th Jan '16 2:49:57 AM Morgenthaler
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Hundreds died in the cycle of violence and (increasingly lethal) repression that followed until the [[TheIrishRevolution Irish War of Independence]] was concluded with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The Irish Free State was acknowledged independent, while Northern Ireland remained British. Following this there was some severe disagreement within Sinn Féin with the terms of the Treaty partitioning the country, and there followed a brief and exceedingly bitter civil war [[{{Irony}} that sadly killed more than the War of Independence]]. The civil war still affects [[UsefulNotes/IrishPoliticalSystem Irish politics to this day]]--the two major modern parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are descendants of the Anti- and Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin factions, respectively. The Civil War is the ElephantInTheLivingRoom in Irish culture, and doesn't get mentioned much for fear of causing offence; notable exceptions are Sean O'Casey's play ''Juno and the Paycock'' and the recent Ken Loach Film ''TheWindThatShakesTheBarley''.) The Irish Free State eventually went on to become the current state of Ireland by unilateral declaration in 1949 (but they didn't change the license plates until 1987). For Northern Ireland see TheTroubles.

to:

Hundreds died in the cycle of violence and (increasingly lethal) repression that followed until the [[TheIrishRevolution Irish War of Independence]] was concluded with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The Irish Free State was acknowledged independent, while Northern Ireland remained British. Following this there was some severe disagreement within Sinn Féin with the terms of the Treaty partitioning the country, and there followed a brief and exceedingly bitter civil war [[{{Irony}} that sadly killed more than the War of Independence]]. The civil war still affects [[UsefulNotes/IrishPoliticalSystem Irish politics to this day]]--the two major modern parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are descendants of the Anti- and Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin factions, respectively. The Civil War is the ElephantInTheLivingRoom in Irish culture, and doesn't get mentioned much for fear of causing offence; notable exceptions are Sean O'Casey's play ''Juno and the Paycock'' and the recent Ken Loach Film ''TheWindThatShakesTheBarley''.''Film/TheWindThatShakesTheBarley''.) The Irish Free State eventually went on to become the current state of Ireland by unilateral declaration in 1949 (but they didn't change the license plates until 1987). For Northern Ireland see TheTroubles.
24th Dec '15 4:56:48 PM nombretomado
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Until 1916, most Irish nationalists were ''not'' republican; most even envisioned an autonomous state which recognizes the sovereignty of the [[BritishRoyalFamily House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha]] (later Windsor post-UsefulNotes/WorldWarI), often citing Canada as a model. Both UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria and [[TheEdwardianEra Edward VII]] were popular and received enthusiastic welcomes on visits to Ireland. Indeed, Victoria had a particular personal fondness for Ireland, often holidaying in Kerry. The full break only came later on when things had gotten worse.

to:

Until 1916, most Irish nationalists were ''not'' republican; most even envisioned an autonomous state which recognizes the sovereignty of the [[BritishRoyalFamily [[UsefulNotes/TheBritishRoyalFamily House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha]] (later Windsor post-UsefulNotes/WorldWarI), often citing Canada as a model. Both UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria and [[TheEdwardianEra Edward VII]] were popular and received enthusiastic welcomes on visits to Ireland. Indeed, Victoria had a particular personal fondness for Ireland, often holidaying in Kerry. The full break only came later on when things had gotten worse.
25th Nov '15 10:14:36 AM MasoTey
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As a sense of national identity developed, many Catholics became nationalists, seeking independence, or at least local autonomy. Scottish Protestant settlers formed the core of the segment of the Irish people who identified more with Britain, most of which lived around Ulster. That their sympathies would be such was deliberate, as they had been sent to settle for this very purpose; that they settled down in Ulster was more a question of its proximity to Scotland (Ironically, the earliest Scots ''did'' migrate from Ulster centuries ago). Likewise, Dublin had a long history of English immigration, and was a broadly Anglican area. Over time, the Protestant community in and around Dublin came to identify more with Irish culture than their Ulster counterparts (for example, Creator/JonathanSwift, a Dublin-born Englishman, wrote platitudes to the Irish), whose more standoffish faith led them along much more firm religious and eventually nationalist lines.

to:

As a sense of national identity developed, many Catholics became nationalists, seeking independence, or at least local autonomy. Scottish Protestant settlers formed the core of the segment of the Irish people who identified more with Britain, most of which lived around Ulster. That their sympathies would be such was deliberate, as they had been sent to settle for this very purpose; that they settled down in Ulster was more a question of its proximity to Scotland (Ironically, the earliest Scots ''did'' migrate from Ulster centuries ago). Likewise, Dublin had a long history of English immigration, and was a broadly Anglican area. Over time, the Protestant community in and around Dublin came to identify more with Irish culture than their Ulster counterparts (for example, Creator/JonathanSwift, a Dublin-born Englishman, wrote platitudes plaudits to the Irish), whose more standoffish faith led them along much more firm religious and eventually nationalist lines.



On the other side of the Irish Sea, hostility was worsened by a truly horrific [[IrishPotatoFamine famine in Ireland]] in the late 1840s, which killed a million and a half people and forced another one-and-a-half-million to go elsewhere. Many Irish believed that it was caused by utter stupidity at best and deliberate malice at worst on the part of London, who preferred starvation in Ireland to chaos in Britain should the former stop exporting food to industrial towns (The famine could have been avoided altogether had there been a basic crop rotation system, or the Irish themselves grew multiple varieties of potato -- both tried-and-true agricultural practice for centuries; this gets glossed over a lot but is important to know, because at the time of most farmers were tenants who could not afford to feed their families any other way). A policy often pointed to is the Corn Law forbidding Irish farmers from growing this crop and thus competing with English ones. They then turned to potatoes, which failed, and the famine struck.

to:

On the other side of the Irish Sea, hostility was worsened by a truly horrific [[IrishPotatoFamine famine in Ireland]] in the late 1840s, which killed a million and a half people and forced another one-and-a-half-million to go elsewhere. Many Irish believed that it was caused by utter stupidity at best and deliberate malice at worst on the part of London, who preferred starvation in Ireland to chaos in Britain should the former stop exporting food to industrial towns towns. (The famine could have been avoided altogether had there been a basic crop rotation system, or the Irish themselves grew multiple varieties of potato -- both tried-and-true agricultural practice for centuries; this gets glossed over a lot but is important to know, because at the time of most farmers were tenants who could not afford to feed their families any other way). way.) A policy often pointed to is the Corn Law forbidding Irish farmers from growing this crop and thus competing with English ones. They then turned to potatoes, which failed, and the famine struck.
1st Nov '15 10:46:33 AM nombretomado
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Until 1916, most Irish nationalists were ''not'' republican; most even envisioned an autonomous state which recognizes the sovereignty of the [[BritishRoyalFamily House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha]] (later Windsor post-UsefulNotes/WorldWarI), often citing Canada as a model. Both [[QueenVicky Queen Victoria]] and [[TheEdwardianEra Edward VII]] were popular and received enthusiastic welcomes on visits to Ireland. Indeed, Victoria had a particular personal fondness for Ireland, often holidaying in Kerry. The full break only came later on when things had gotten worse.

to:

Until 1916, most Irish nationalists were ''not'' republican; most even envisioned an autonomous state which recognizes the sovereignty of the [[BritishRoyalFamily House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha]] (later Windsor post-UsefulNotes/WorldWarI), often citing Canada as a model. Both [[QueenVicky Queen Victoria]] UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria and [[TheEdwardianEra Edward VII]] were popular and received enthusiastic welcomes on visits to Ireland. Indeed, Victoria had a particular personal fondness for Ireland, often holidaying in Kerry. The full break only came later on when things had gotten worse.
2nd Oct '15 6:00:39 AM moloch
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Broadly, most of those who wished for Irish independence were Catholic, and equally broadly those who supported the union of Ireland with England and Scotland ("unionists") were Protestants. Exceptions abounded.

to:

Broadly, most of those who wished for Irish independence were Catholic, and equally broadly those who supported the union of Ireland with England and Scotland ("unionists") were Protestants. Exceptions abounded.
abounded [[labelnote:*]]Usually, though ''by no means always'' those exceptions were working- and middle-class Nationalist Protestants, of which there were many - usually, but again ''not always'', outside Ulster. The rare Catholic Unionists tended to be nobility. [[RunningGag But again, not always.]][[/labelnote]]
2nd Oct '15 5:53:00 AM moloch
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Depending on how you consider it, the Irish Question might cover the whole of Irish-British relations from well before the incomplete Norman conquest during the TheMiddleAges to the present. Usually, however, it refers to the period between 1801 and 1922, when Ireland was formally a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Wales had long been assimilated into English society, while Scotland entered into a mutual agreement (encouraged, according to [[RobertBurns Robbie Burns]], by [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney copious amounts of English gold]] paid to the Scottish negotiators) with England in 1707 to become the Kingdom of Great Britain, which suited the Lowland Scots quite well and the Highland Scots not at all, as they benefited little from the ensuing economic boom and then staged two failed rebellions to destroy the Union and preserve their power. The Kingdom of Great Britain had the Kingdom of Ireland under its thumb for nearly a century by the time the Irish Parliament voted to join the Union and its members went to sit at the National Parliament in Westminster, like everyone else.

to:

Depending on how you consider it, the Irish Question might cover the whole of Irish-British relations from well before the incomplete Norman conquest during the TheMiddleAges to the present. Usually, however, it refers to the period between 1801 and 1922, when Ireland was formally a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Wales had long been assimilated into English society, while Scotland entered into a mutual agreement (encouraged, according to [[RobertBurns Robbie Burns]], by [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney copious amounts of English gold]] paid to the Scottish negotiators) with England in 1707 to become the Kingdom of Great Britain, which suited the Lowland Scots quite well and the Highland Scots not at all, as they benefited little from the ensuing economic boom and then staged two failed rebellions to destroy the Union and preserve their power. The United Kingdom of Great Britain had the Kingdom of Ireland under its thumb for nearly a century by the time the Irish Parliament voted to join the Union and its members went to sit at the National Parliament in Westminster, like everyone else.



There were many political attempts to reconcile Ireland into a Home Rule arrangement that would (like the current devolution of Scotland and Wales) keep Ireland in the UK. The first attempt was shot down. The second attempt passed through the House of Commons but did not make it through the House of Lords. Finally, the third attempt passed through both Houses and even received Royal Assent, but its implementation was not-at-all-co-incidentally delayed by the onset of WorldWarOne - destroying Germany and submerging domestic tensions (safe and humane working conditions, provision of living wages, women's suffrage, the future of Ireland) were the prime motivations for war among the hard-liners in the Liberal-lead Coalition Cabinet, though it was ultimately safe-guarding the post-Napoleonic order that Britain had helped established in 1815 (vis a vis the preservation of Belgian independence) that won over the undecided ministers and the voting public. In 1916, during the war, a couple of hundred radicals staged an armed uprising on Easter Monday in Dublin, and were almost all killed by the army. The public took a dim view of the rising initially, with reactions ranging from bewilderment to outright contempt, considering it something of a betrayal, especially as many Irishmen were then serving with the British Army in France. However, public opinion then changed to general shock and outspoken disapproval at the brutal (by British standards) treatment of the dozens of captured rebels, the somewhat summary execution of many of the surviving leaders, and a Draconian policy of repression to cut down on further would-be-martyrs.

The continued 'revival' of neo-Gaelic culture, and general war-wariness, increased popular support for revolutionary nationalist groups. This was dramatically exacerbated in 1918 when - with the country's manpower reserves exhausted - the possibility of extending the 1916 Conscription Act to Ireland was contemplated by the Cabinet. This was staunchly opposed by many within Ireland, and [[EnemyMine both the Unionist and Nationalist parties condemned the proposal]][[labelnote:*]] The nationalists because it would force them (many had volunteered but nobody wanted to be forced) into what they regarded as a foreign war, the Unionists because it would result in even more Nationalists trained in the use of firearms.[[/labelnote]].

Then came the end of the war and the 1918 general election, which was contested by the newly-relevant Sinn Féin ("We ourselves"), running on a platform of abstention from Westminster and the establishment of an independent Irish Republic. They took the election in a ''massive'' landslide, taking all but two constituencies in the country (outside of the Unionist stronghold of Ulster, naturally) - helped by the fact that Westminster had just granted suffrage to all men over 21 and women over 30, giving the nationalist majority the electoral advantage for the first time (A textbook case of NiceJobFixingItVillain from the Nationalist perspective). They also elected Countess Constance Markievicz, the first woman elected as MP to Westminster, though of course she would never sit there. Soon afterwards the Irish Parliamentary Party (moderate nationalists who were the principal drivers behind Home Rule since the 1870s) would dwindle to nothing, replaced by Sinn Féin as the main political force in Ireland. Sinn Féin formed the First Dáil Éireann in January of 1919 and began the long task of setting up the architecture of state. That same day, however, [[UsefulNotes/TheIrishRevolution the War of Independence began]]. Assassinations of officials and acts of violence against and murders of 'pro-English' citizens increased exponentially, and resulted in increasingly heavy-handed government repression with many dozens of terrorists being beaten, arrested, killed extra-judicially, sentenced to prison and hanged. The decision to recruit WWI veterans to serve as armed policemen (the 'Black and Tans' and 'Auxies') in particular proved to be a bad move, as they hired people trained and indoctrinated to exact vengeance upon a hated enemy for use in a delicate domestic political situation that called for a great deal of understanding and self-restraint. [[note]] The millions-strong British Army of 1916 onwards was a vastly different beast to the 100 000-strong peacetime army of 1914 (not least because the latter were dead to a man). The cycle of revenge on The Western Front had made many if not most of the army's surviving members into bitter and vengeance-driven people who lived for the opportunity to (brutally) murder the hated enemy (in hand-to-hand-combat). This was a far cry from the 'live and let live' attitudes of 1914 which the leadership of both sides had tried so hard to eradicate.[[/note]] Even those 'Black and Tans' who ''did not'' [[ShellShockedVeteran have a psychological dependency on warfare]] or [[BloodKnight sign up for the opportunity to kill people]] [[SociopathicSoldier with impunity]] had received fundamentally different training and conditioning for what their new role required.

Hundreds died in the cycle of violence and (increasingly lethal) repression that followed until the [[TheIrishRevolution Irish War of Independence]] was concluded with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The Irish Free State was made independent, while Northern Ireland remained British. Following this some Free Irish republican nationalists disagreed with the terms of the Treaty, and there followed a brief and bitter civil war [[{{Irony}} that killed more than The War For Independence]]. The civil war still affects [[UsefulNotes/IrishPoliticalSystem Irish politics to this day]]--the two major modern parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are descendants of the Anti- and Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin factions, respectively. The Civil War is the ElephantInTheLivingRoom in Irish culture, and doesn't get mentioned much for fear of causing offence; notable exceptions are Sean O'Casey's play ''Juno and the Paycock'' and the recent Ken Loach Film ''TheWindThatShakesTheBarley''.) The Irish Free State eventually went on to become the current state of Ireland by unilateral declaration in 1949 (but they didn't change the license plates until 1987). For Northern Ireland see TheTroubles.

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There were many political attempts to reconcile Ireland into a Home Rule arrangement that would (like the current devolution of Scotland and Wales) keep Ireland in the UK. These were the efforts of the moderate nationalists of the Irish Parliamentary Party (or simply, "Home Rule Party") and Gladstone's Liberal Party, but they were systematically crippled by the joint efforts of the Unionists and the Tories. The first attempt Bill was summarily shot down. The down, the second attempt passed through the House of Commons but did could not make it through the conservative stronghold of House of Lords. Finally, the third attempt passed through both Houses and even received Royal Assent, but its implementation was not-at-all-co-incidentally delayed by the onset of WorldWarOne - destroying Germany and submerging domestic tensions (safe and humane working conditions, provision of living wages, women's suffrage, the future of Ireland) were the prime motivations for war among the hard-liners in the Liberal-lead Coalition Cabinet, though it was ultimately safe-guarding the post-Napoleonic order that Britain had helped established in 1815 (vis a vis (''vis à vis'' the preservation of Belgian independence) that won over the undecided ministers and the voting public. In 1916, during the war, a couple of hundred radicals staged an armed uprising on Easter Monday in Dublin, declared the free and independent Irish Republic, and were almost all killed or imprisoned by the army.British Army. The public took a dim view of the rising initially, with reactions ranging from bewilderment to outright contempt, considering it something of a betrayal, especially as many Irishmen were then serving with the British Army in France. However, public opinion then changed to general shock and outspoken disapproval at the brutal (by British standards) treatment of the dozens of captured rebels, the somewhat summary execution of many of the surviving leaders, and a Draconian policy of repression to cut down on further would-be-martyrs.

The continued 'revival' Cultural Revival of neo-Gaelic culture, and general war-wariness, increased popular support for revolutionary nationalist groups. This was dramatically exacerbated in 1918 when - with the country's manpower reserves exhausted - the possibility of extending the 1916 Conscription Act to Ireland was contemplated by the Cabinet. This was staunchly opposed by many within Ireland, and [[EnemyMine both the Unionist and Nationalist parties condemned the proposal]][[labelnote:*]] The nationalists because it would force them (many had volunteered but nobody wanted to be forced) into what they regarded as a foreign war, the Unionists because it would result in even more Nationalists trained in the use of firearms.[[/labelnote]]. Leaders of both major parties were also jockeying for political brownie points by appearing to be the "moral high ground" on the conscription issue[[/labelnote]].

Then came the end of the war and the 1918 general election, which was contested by the newly-relevant Sinn Féin ("We ourselves"), running on a platform of abstention from Westminster and the establishment of an independent Irish Republic. They took the election in a ''massive'' landslide, taking all but two constituencies in the country (outside of the Unionist stronghold of East Ulster, naturally) naturally, where they won nothing) - helped by the fact that Westminster had just granted suffrage to all men over 21 and women over 30, giving the nationalist majority the electoral advantage for the first time (A textbook case of NiceJobFixingItVillain from the Nationalist perspective).perspective!). They also elected Countess Constance Markievicz, the first woman elected as MP to Westminster, though of course she would never sit there. Soon afterwards the Irish Parliamentary Party (moderate nationalists who were the principal drivers behind Home Rule since the 1870s) would dwindle to nothing, replaced by Sinn Féin as the main political force in Ireland. Sinn Féin formed the First Dáil Éireann in January of 1919 and began the long task of setting up the new architecture of state. That same day, however, [[UsefulNotes/TheIrishRevolution the War of Independence began]]. At first confined to small local raids on police and army barracks, the scope of the conflict gradually increased as the British government took a more aggressive stance against the IRA. Assassinations of officials and acts of violence against and murders of 'pro-English' citizens increased exponentially, increased, and resulted in increasingly heavy-handed government repression with many dozens hundreds of terrorists Irish citizens being beaten, arrested, killed extra-judicially, sentenced to prison and hanged. The decision to recruit WWI veterans to serve as armed policemen (the 'Black and Tans' and 'Auxies') in particular proved to be a bad move, as they hired people trained and indoctrinated to exact vengeance upon a hated enemy for use in a delicate domestic political situation that called for a great deal of understanding and self-restraint. [[note]] The millions-strong British Army of 1916 onwards was a vastly different beast to the 100 000-strong peacetime army of 1914 (not least because the latter were dead to a man). The cycle of revenge on The Western Front had made many if not most of the army's surviving members into bitter and vengeance-driven people who lived for the opportunity to (brutally) murder the hated enemy (in hand-to-hand-combat). This was a far cry from the 'live and let live' attitudes of 1914 which the leadership of both sides had tried so hard to eradicate.[[/note]] Even those 'Black and Tans' who ''did not'' [[ShellShockedVeteran have a psychological dependency on warfare]] or [[BloodKnight sign up for the opportunity to kill people]] people]], usually with complete [[SociopathicSoldier with impunity]] had received fundamentally different training and conditioning for what their new role required.

Hundreds died in the cycle of violence and (increasingly lethal) repression that followed until the [[TheIrishRevolution Irish War of Independence]] was concluded with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The Irish Free State was made acknowledged independent, while Northern Ireland remained British. Following this there was some Free Irish republican nationalists disagreed severe disagreement within Sinn Féin with the terms of the Treaty, Treaty partitioning the country, and there followed a brief and exceedingly bitter civil war [[{{Irony}} that sadly killed more than The the War For of Independence]]. The civil war still affects [[UsefulNotes/IrishPoliticalSystem Irish politics to this day]]--the two major modern parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are descendants of the Anti- and Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin factions, respectively. The Civil War is the ElephantInTheLivingRoom in Irish culture, and doesn't get mentioned much for fear of causing offence; notable exceptions are Sean O'Casey's play ''Juno and the Paycock'' and the recent Ken Loach Film ''TheWindThatShakesTheBarley''.) The Irish Free State eventually went on to become the current state of Ireland by unilateral declaration in 1949 (but they didn't change the license plates until 1987). For Northern Ireland see TheTroubles.



The conventional, conciliatory view is that British people should [[InnocentlyInsensitive bear in mind the people who were imprisoned or died as a result of repression and neglect/mismanagement by British governments]]. Likewise it is held that Irish people would be much happier, and find dealing with British people much easier, if they could be more forgiving and less bitter/vindictive about what happened to long-dead people they merely share an island with - an equally amazing number of Irish people will blame (all) Irish problems on Britain[[note]]regardless of where the actual cause or fault may lie, and regardless of the obviousness of said actual cause/fault[[/note]]. In certain places there are people still holding grievances (and 'grievances'[[note]]sometimes regarding ''individual people''[[/note]] dating back ''centuries'').

British-Irish relations are, after all, important to both countries - and neither a culture of historical ignorance nor one of victimisation and grudge-holding is healthy - or, incidentally, a recipe for future harmony between two very close geographical, economic, and cultural neighbours.

to:

The conventional, conciliatory view is that British people should [[InnocentlyInsensitive bear in mind the people who were imprisoned or died as a result of repression a couple of centuries of repression, neglect and neglect/mismanagement mismanagement by British governments]]. Likewise it is held governments]], and that perhaps if a nation has five separate armed rebellions for independence in a hundred years and two separate political parties dedicated ''solely'' to that cause, [[ObliviousToHints you should maybe take the hint]]. The Irish people would be much happier, and find dealing (a nation with British people much easier, if they could be more forgiving a [[SarcasmMode long and less bitter/vindictive about what happened noble history of grudge-holding]]) in turn promise to long-dead people they merely share an island with - an equally amazing number of Irish people will blame (all) Irish problems on Britain[[note]]regardless of where the actual cause or fault may lie, and regardless of the obviousness of said actual cause/fault[[/note]]. In certain places there are people still stop holding grudges over grievances (and 'grievances'[[note]]sometimes regarding ''individual people''[[/note]] dating back ''centuries'').

that can, in some cases, be [[UsefulNotes/EnglishCivilWar four hundred years old]]. British-Irish relations are, after all, important to both countries - and neither a culture of historical ignorance nor one of victimisation and grudge-holding is healthy - or, incidentally, a recipe for future harmony between two very close geographical, economic, and cultural neighbours.
neighbours. Of course, in truth, almost everybody under the age of fifty from either nation (outside professional politics and outside UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland, which has its own problems) takes no particular heed of an increasingly-distant history, or at least don't take it personally.
2nd Oct '15 5:37:04 AM nightkiller
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Depending on how you consider it, the Irish Question might cover the whole of Irish-British relations from well before the incomplete Norman conquest during the TheMiddleAges to the present. Usually, however, it refers to the period between 1801 and 1922, when Ireland was formally a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Wales had long been assimilated into English society, while Scotland entered into a mutual agreement (encouraged, according to [[RobertBurns Robbie Burns]], by [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney copious amounts of English gold]] paid to the Scottish negotiators) with England in 1707 to become the Kingdom of Great Britain, which suited the Lowland Scots quite well and the Highland Scots not at all, as they benefited little from the ensuing economic boom and then staged two failed rebellions to destroy the Union and preserve their power. The United Kingdom had the Kingdom of Ireland under its thumb for nearly a century by the time the Irish Parliament voted to join the Union and its members went to sit at the National Parliament in Westminster, like everyone else.

to:

Depending on how you consider it, the Irish Question might cover the whole of Irish-British relations from well before the incomplete Norman conquest during the TheMiddleAges to the present. Usually, however, it refers to the period between 1801 and 1922, when Ireland was formally a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Wales had long been assimilated into English society, while Scotland entered into a mutual agreement (encouraged, according to [[RobertBurns Robbie Burns]], by [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney copious amounts of English gold]] paid to the Scottish negotiators) with England in 1707 to become the Kingdom of Great Britain, which suited the Lowland Scots quite well and the Highland Scots not at all, as they benefited little from the ensuing economic boom and then staged two failed rebellions to destroy the Union and preserve their power. The United Kingdom of Great Britain had the Kingdom of Ireland under its thumb for nearly a century by the time the Irish Parliament voted to join the Union and its members went to sit at the National Parliament in Westminster, like everyone else.
2nd Oct '15 5:12:54 AM moloch
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The continued 'revival' of neo-Gaelic culture, and general war-wariness, increased popular support for revolutionary nationalist groups. This was dramatically exacerbated in 1918 when - with the country's manpower reserves exhausted - the possibility of extending the 1916 Conscription Act to Ireland was contemplated by the Cabinet. This was staunchly opposed by many within Ireland, and [[EnemyMine both the Unionist and Nationalist parties condemned the proposal]]. Soon afterwards the Irish Parliamentary Party (moderate nationalists who supported Home Rule) was replaced by Sinn Fein as the main political force in Ireland. Assassinations of officials and acts of violence against and murders of 'pro-English' citizens increased exponentially, and resulted in increasingly heavy-handed government repression with many dozens of terrorists being beaten, arrested, killed extrajudicially, sentenced to prison and hanged. The decision to recruit WWI veterans to serve as armed policemen (the 'Black and Tans' and 'Auxies') in particular proved to be a bad move, as they hired people trained and indoctrinated to exact vengeance upon a hated enemy for use in a delicate domestic political situation that called for a great deal of understanding and self-restraint. [[note]] The millions-strong British Army of 1916 onwards was a vastly different beast to the 100 000-strong peacetime army of 1914 (not least because the latter were dead to a man). The cycle of revenge on The Western Front had made many if not most of the army's surviving members into bitter and vengeance-driven people who lived for the opportunity to (brutally) murder the hated enemy (in hand-to-hand-combat). This was a far cry from the 'live and let live' attitudes of 1914 which the leadership of both sides had tried so hard to eradicate.[[/note]] Even those 'Black and Tans' who ''did not'' [[ShellShockedVeteran have a psychological dependency on warfare]] or [[BloodKnight sign up for the opportunity to kill people]] [[SociopathicSoldier with impunity]] had received fundamentally different training and conditioning for what their new role required.

Hundreds died in the cycle of violence and (increasingly lethal) repression that followed until the [[TheIrishRevolution Irish War of Independence]] was concluded with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The Irish Free State was made independent, while Northern Ireland remained British. Following this some Free Irish republican nationalists disagreed with the terms of the Treaty, and there followed a brief and bitter civil war [[{{Irony}} that killed more than The War For Independence]]. The civil war still affects [[UsefulNotes/IrishPoliticalSystem Irish politics to this day]]--the two major modern parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are descendants of the Anti- and Pro-Treaty Sinn Fein factions, respectively. The Civil War is the ElephantInTheLivingRoom in Irish culture, and doesn't get mentioned much for fear of causing offence; notable exceptions are Sean O'Casey's play ''Juno and the Paycock'' and the recent Ken Loach Film ''TheWindThatShakesTheBarley''.) The Irish Free State eventually went on to become the current state of Ireland by unilateral declaration in 1949 (but they didn't change the license plates until 1987). For Northern Ireland see TheTroubles.

to:

The continued 'revival' of neo-Gaelic culture, and general war-wariness, increased popular support for revolutionary nationalist groups. This was dramatically exacerbated in 1918 when - with the country's manpower reserves exhausted - the possibility of extending the 1916 Conscription Act to Ireland was contemplated by the Cabinet. This was staunchly opposed by many within Ireland, and [[EnemyMine both the Unionist and Nationalist parties condemned the proposal]]. proposal]][[labelnote:*]] The nationalists because it would force them (many had volunteered but nobody wanted to be forced) into what they regarded as a foreign war, the Unionists because it would result in even more Nationalists trained in the use of firearms.[[/labelnote]].

Then came the end of the war and the 1918 general election, which was contested by the newly-relevant Sinn Féin ("We ourselves"), running on a platform of abstention from Westminster and the establishment of an independent Irish Republic. They took the election in a ''massive'' landslide, taking all but two constituencies in the country (outside of the Unionist stronghold of Ulster, naturally) - helped by the fact that Westminster had just granted suffrage to all men over 21 and women over 30, giving the nationalist majority the electoral advantage for the first time (A textbook case of NiceJobFixingItVillain from the Nationalist perspective). They also elected Countess Constance Markievicz, the first woman elected as MP to Westminster, though of course she would never sit there.
Soon afterwards the Irish Parliamentary Party (moderate nationalists who supported were the principal drivers behind Home Rule) was Rule since the 1870s) would dwindle to nothing, replaced by Sinn Fein Féin as the main political force in Ireland. Sinn Féin formed the First Dáil Éireann in January of 1919 and began the long task of setting up the architecture of state. That same day, however, [[UsefulNotes/TheIrishRevolution the War of Independence began]]. Assassinations of officials and acts of violence against and murders of 'pro-English' citizens increased exponentially, and resulted in increasingly heavy-handed government repression with many dozens of terrorists being beaten, arrested, killed extrajudicially, extra-judicially, sentenced to prison and hanged. The decision to recruit WWI veterans to serve as armed policemen (the 'Black and Tans' and 'Auxies') in particular proved to be a bad move, as they hired people trained and indoctrinated to exact vengeance upon a hated enemy for use in a delicate domestic political situation that called for a great deal of understanding and self-restraint. [[note]] The millions-strong British Army of 1916 onwards was a vastly different beast to the 100 000-strong peacetime army of 1914 (not least because the latter were dead to a man). The cycle of revenge on The Western Front had made many if not most of the army's surviving members into bitter and vengeance-driven people who lived for the opportunity to (brutally) murder the hated enemy (in hand-to-hand-combat). This was a far cry from the 'live and let live' attitudes of 1914 which the leadership of both sides had tried so hard to eradicate.[[/note]] Even those 'Black and Tans' who ''did not'' [[ShellShockedVeteran have a psychological dependency on warfare]] or [[BloodKnight sign up for the opportunity to kill people]] [[SociopathicSoldier with impunity]] had received fundamentally different training and conditioning for what their new role required.

Hundreds died in the cycle of violence and (increasingly lethal) repression that followed until the [[TheIrishRevolution Irish War of Independence]] was concluded with the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The Irish Free State was made independent, while Northern Ireland remained British. Following this some Free Irish republican nationalists disagreed with the terms of the Treaty, and there followed a brief and bitter civil war [[{{Irony}} that killed more than The War For Independence]]. The civil war still affects [[UsefulNotes/IrishPoliticalSystem Irish politics to this day]]--the two major modern parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, are descendants of the Anti- and Pro-Treaty Sinn Fein Féin factions, respectively. The Civil War is the ElephantInTheLivingRoom in Irish culture, and doesn't get mentioned much for fear of causing offence; notable exceptions are Sean O'Casey's play ''Juno and the Paycock'' and the recent Ken Loach Film ''TheWindThatShakesTheBarley''.) The Irish Free State eventually went on to become the current state of Ireland by unilateral declaration in 1949 (but they didn't change the license plates until 1987). For Northern Ireland see TheTroubles.
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