--- Did you Know ---

Newgrange

that Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


World population in 1801

that in 1801 when the first complete world census was carried out, the world’s population was 1 billion. China had 295 million people, India 131 million, Russia 33 million, France 27 million, Ottoman Empire 21 million, Germany 14 million, Spain 11 million, Britain 10 million, Ireland and the USA 5 million


The origin of the nickname  “The Fighting 69th”

that none other than enemy commander Robert E. Lee bestowed the nickname “The Fighting 69th” on the 69th New York Regiment. Upon hearing that the 69th NY was moving into position to face his troops across the battlefield at Fredericksburg in December of 1862, Lee remarked, “Ah yes, that Fighting 69th.”

The Battle Cry of the Irish Brigade, and historically of other Irish Regiments that have served in armies around the world is the Gaelic “Faugh A Ballagh”, “Clear the Way” (the Irish are coming). It is still the official battle cry of the modern 69th.

Eleven Members of the Irish Brigade were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Three of the Irish Brigades Commanding Officers fell in battle.

Source:  AOH Division 3, Pearl River, New York


The origin of the name "croppy"

that the name "croppy" derives from Ireland in the 1790's as a reference to people with closely cropped hair, a fashion which was associated with the anti-wig (and therefore, anti-aristocrat) French revolutionaries of the period. Those with their hair cropped were automatically suspected of sympathies with the pro-French underground organization, the Society of United Irishmen, and were consequently liable to seizure for interrogation by pro-British forces. Suspected United Irish sympathizers were often subjected to torture by flogging, picketing and half-hanging but the reactive contemporary torture, pitchcapping, was specifically invented to intimidate "croppys". There is evidence of United Irish activists retaliating by cropping the hair of loyalists to reduce the reliability of this method of identifying rebel sympathizers.


Citizen ceremony for Irishmen killed in Korea

that twenty-eight Irishmen who were killed in the Korean War were made posthumous citizens of the United States at a special ceremony held in Washington, D.C. on October 30, 2003

One by one the names were called and in answer, sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces and cousins stood up to accept the specially framed certificates of posthumous citizenship made for the occasion by the U.S.

The citizenship ceremony, which was held in the offices of the US Senate on Capitol Hill was the culmination of a lifelong campaign by Korea veteran and Kerry native Mr John Leahy to see his dead comrades fully embraced by their adopted country


Brehon Law

that prior to English rule, Ireland had its own indigenous system of law dating from Celtic times, which survived until the 17th century when it was finally supplanted by the English common law. This native system of law, known as the Brehon law, developed from customs which had been passed on orally from one generation to the next. In the 7th century AD the laws were written down for the first time. Brehon law was administered by Brehons (or brithem). They were the successors to Celtic druids and while similar to judges; their role was closer to that of an arbitrator. Their task was to preserve and interpret the law rather than to expand it.


The Know Nothing

that the Know Nothing was a nativist American secret political organization of the 1840s and 1850s. The main object of the organization was the proscription of foreigners, particularly  German and Irish Catholic immigrants, by the repeal of the naturalization laws, and the exclusive choice of native Americans for office.
Membership was limited to Protestant males of British lineage over the age of twenty-one. There were few prominent leaders amongst the largely middle-class membership.

Irish Catholics bore the brunt of their wrath as they were regarded as hostile to Anglo-Saxon Protestant values and controlled by the Pope. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856 there efforts efforts met with little success.


The Sullivan Brothers

that on November 13, 1942 five Irish-American brothers, Albert, Francis, George, Joseph and Madison (Sullivan)who served together on the light cruiser, the USS Juneau, lost their lives when a Japanese submarine torpedoed and sank their ship. 

The tragedy received extensive press coverage in the United States, resulting in a new Navy policy prohibiting family members from serving together in the same ship. 
The story of the Sullivan Brothers was commemorated in the patriotic film, The Fighting Sullivans. 

The Navy commemorated the Sullivans by naming a destroyer in their honor. The USS The Sullivans served the Navy until final decommissioning in 1965.  A second The Sullivans was launched in 1997 and is homeported in Mayport, Florida


Brigadier General Richard Montgomery

that the first American general to die during the Revolutionary War was Irish.

Dublin born and Trinity College educated Richard Montgomery served in the British Army during the French and Indian War. After completing his service in the colonies and the Caribbean he returned to England.  In 1773 he returned to the colonies to take up farming.

When the American Revolutionary War broke out, Montgomery took up the Patriot cause. He was elected to the New York Provincial Congress in May 1775.  Shortly afterwards he was commissioned as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army. In December of 1775 he was killed while leading the attack on Quebec City. 

The U.S. has honored Montgomery in numerous ways. The Navy has named several ships USS Montgomery after the Irishman, Philadelphia has a statue of Montgomery in Fairmount Park and several schools in the country are named after the Revolutionary War general


Ireland's blasphemy law

that Ireland's new profoundly repressive blasphemous law passed by the Irish parliament and signed into law by the president, Mary McAleese,  in July of 2009  criminalizes anyone who "publishes or utters matter grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion, and he or she intends by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned to cause such outrage."

Therefore, anyone commenting on a cleric's pedophilic tendencies or the practice in some Islamic groupings to bury young girls alive for looking at boys need to look over their shoulder to make sure that they not within earshot of an adherent who may report then to the police.

If you are an unbeliever and consider all gods to be fictional inventions of the creative human brain -- keep it to yourself unless you are willing to part with €25,000.


Irish slave trade.

that   from 1625 thru 1659 between 50,000 and 100,000 Irish men, women and children were shipped to Barbados  Montserrat, Jamaica and Antigua as slaves.  Another 20,000 plus Irish slaves were sold to English settlers in the American colonies .

The Irish slave trade began when James II of England sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World.  His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were predominantly  Irish.


Irish emigration to the United States

that more than 7 million Irish immigrants have come to America since the 1600s. This mass migration  transformed Irish society and played a significant role in shaping American politics, religion, culture, and economics during the country's most formative years. More than 40 million people in the United States claim some degree of Irish ancestry.

Ireland’s population decreased dramatically throughout the nineteenth century. Census figures show an Irish population of 8.2 million in 1841, 6.6 million a decade later, and only 4.7 million in 1891.

It is estimated that as many as 4.5 million Irish arrived in America between 1820 and 1930.

Between 1820 and 1860, the Irish constituted over one third of all immigrants to the United States. In the 1840s, they comprised nearly half of all immigrants to this nation.


Preamble to the Irish constitution

that the preamble to the Irish constitution reads as follows:

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,

We, the people of Éire,

Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,

Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation,

And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,

Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.


Pickett's Charge

that the official name for Pickett's Charge was 'The Longstreet Assault'.

Pickett's Charge was a disastrous infantry assault ordered by Confederate General Robert E. Lee against Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's Union positions on Cemetery Ridge, on July 3, 1863, the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg. Its futility was predicted by the charge's commander, Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, and it was arguably an avoidable mistake from which the Southern war effort never fully recovered psychologically. The farthest point reached by the attack has been nicknamed the high-water mark of the Confederacy.

Approximately 12,500 men in nine infantry brigades advanced over open fields for close to a  mile under heavy Union artillery and rifle fire. Although some Confederates were able to breach the stone wall that shielded many of the Union defenders, they could not maintain their hold and were repulsed with over 50% casualties, ending the battle and Lee's campaign into Pennsylvania.

Union casualties were approx .1,500 dead and wounded


Segregated education in the British controlled six Irish counties

that  95% of children in  the British controlled six Irish counties attend either Catholic or Protestant managed schools.

In the school year 2006/2007 the number of registered pupils in the school system was approx.330,000. Of those 148,000 or 45% attended Catholic-managed schools, and 165,000 or 50% attended Protestant managed schools.

Integrated education is not a priority for the politicians and controlling elite in the occupied counties who view segregation, particularly at an early age, as a means of perpetuating the status quo, hence their power base and privileged  lifestyles.

This situation is not the peculiar to either powerbase in the sectarian enclave.


Irish-born architect James Hoban designed the original White House

that Irish-born architect James Hoban designed the original White House in Washington after winning a competition sponsored by President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson in 1792.  When the White House was burned by the British during the war of 1812, Hoban was contracted to oversee the  restoration of the building. He also supervised the construction of the U.S. Capitol and early offices for the Departments of the Treasury, State and Navy & War.
Hoban who was born in a thatched cottage near Callan in County Kilkenny, Ireland, rose from journeyman carpenter and wheelwright to become the architect of Americas most famous residence.


Irish emigration to the United States between 1820 and 1920

that during the period 1820 to 1920 over 4,400,000 people emigrated  to the United States from Ireland . The only other countries with comparable numbers  were Germany and Italy with  5,500,000 and  4,190,000 respectively.

 In 1840 Ireland was the  most densely populated country in Europe, however, by the early 1900's, due to British imposed depravation and  forced starvation, Ireland was the least densely populated European country.

According to the 1911 census  the population of Ireland was  4,390,000.  In 2008 the population, all 32 counties,  was approximately 6,100,000. 


Irish-born Major League baseball players.

that  41 Major League baseball players were born in Ireland. Eight of these played for only one season.  

The four longest playing carriers were those of  Patsy Donavon from Cork who played for 18 seasons (1890 – 1907), Jack Doyle from Kerry who played for 17 seasons (1889 – 1905, Jimmy Archer from Dublin who played for 15 seasons (1904 -1918),  and Tony Mullane from Cork who played for 14 seasons (1881 – 1894).

The last Irish born player was Joe Cleary from Cork who played for one season (1945 ).


Free State executions during Irish Civil War

that (77) anti-Treaty Irish Republican Army prisoners were summarily executed by the pro-Treaty regime during the Civil War. Kevin Higgins, the regime's Minister for Justice signed off on the executions including that of the best man at his wedding Rory O'Connor.

Higgins was regarded as a lightweight even amongst his Free State cohorts including General Richard Mulcahy who described him "as a person who did not understand what was going on".

On July 10,1927, O’Higgins was assassinated in revenge for his role in the executions. No one was ever charged with his killing, perhaps an acknowledgment of the low esteem in which he was held.

As a point of comparison -- after the American Civil War which lasted four years with the loss of  620,000 lives, the victors executed only one individual, the psychopath responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Union prisoners at the infamous Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia.


Irish-born defenders who died at The Alamo

that twelve (12)  of the 189 men who died at The Alamo in March, 1836, fighting for the freedom and liberty of Texas, 12 were born in Ireland. Twenty (20) others including  Davy Crockett, William Travis and Jim Bowie were of Irish descent.

The Alamo was a pivotal point in the Texas Revolution. Following a thirteen-day siege, Mexican troops under the President of Mexico, General Antonio López de Santa Anna launched an assault, on what was then, the Alamo Mission in San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas). All but two of the defenders were killed. 

Irish born defenders who died  were: Samuel Burns, Stephen Denison, Andrew Duvalt, Robert Evans, Joseph Mark Hawkins, William Daniel Jackson, James McGee, Robert McKinney, James Nowlin, Jackson J. Rusk, Burke Trammel and William B. Ward.


Irish-born Medal of Honor Recipients

that of the  3,459 Medals of Honor recipients, 258 listed Ireland as their place of birth, by far the highest number of any of the other 33 countries listed as the birthplaces of  the recipients. Of the 258  listing  counties as the place of birth,  Cork has 19,  Dublin and Tipperary with having 11,  Limerick 10 , Kerry 8, Galway 7, Antrim and Tyrone 6 each, Kilkenny and Sligo each having 5.

Of the 19 individuals  who received a second Medal of Honor, 5  were born in Ireland. They are: Henry Hogan from Clare, John Laverty from Tyrone, Dublin’s John Cooper, whose name at birth was John Laver Mather, John King and Patrick Mullen.

Three double recipients were Irish-Americans: U.S. Marines Daniel Daly and John Joseph Kelly, and the U.S. Navy’s John McCloy.


Margaret Thatcher opposed German Reunification

that Margaret Thatcher vehemently opposed the reunification of Germany.

Kremlin documents that have recently  come to light disclose that two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher told  Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that Britain opposed the reunification of Germany and asked  him to do what he could  to prevent it from happening.

Another example of moral leadership and democratic values!


Irish children living in poverty

that the number of children living in poverty in Ireland remains alarmingly high. The latest EU-SILC statistics from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that 1 in 16 children in Ireland were living in consistent poverty in Ireland in 2008. That means over 65,000 children went without basic necessities – a warm meal, a winter coat, heating at home – because their families were too poor to provide these basics for them.

 Another 185,000 children, or just over one in 5 of all children, were at risk of poverty in 2008.  These children lived in households where the family income was less than 60% of the national median income per adult of €400 per week.


The Forgotten Ten

that The Forgotten Ten is the term applied to ten members of the Irish Republican Army executed  by the British in Mountjoy Prison during the Irish War of Independence. They were buried in unmarked graves  within the prison grounds.

The names of the ten martyrs are Kevin Barry, Patrick Moran, Frank Flood, Thomas Whelan, Thomas Traynor, Patrick Doyle, Thomas Bryan, Bernard Ryan, Edmond Foley and Patrick Maher.

The executions were carried out by the infamous English hangman Thomas Pierepoint and his assistant John Ellis.

In 1944, de Valera hired Pierrpoint's nephew, Albert, to hang Charlie Kerins, the IRA Chief of Staff


Irish immigrants who fought in the American Civil War

that 150,000 Irish-American immigrants served in the Union Army, most of them from Boston, New York and Chicago.

Between  40,000 and 50,000 fought in the Confederate Army.

Of all the Irish-American units involved in the conflict, the best known was the Irish Brigade of the Union Army of the Potomac, which distinguished itself at both Antietam and Fredericksburg,

 On the Confederate side one of the best known regiments,  with a large number of Irish, was  the 24th  Georgia who faced the Union’s Irish Brigade at Fredericksburg in 1863, where Union forces was soundly defeated.  The Union Irish may not have known they were fighting other Irishmen,  but the Confederate Irish knew and mourned  their countrymen’s deaths.


Grosse Isle - isle of sorrow

that a large Celtic cross monument of grey Stanstead granite stands high above the water on the rocky promontory at the western end of Grosse Isle, an island in the St. Lawrence River east of Quebec.

 The monument is dedicated to  the countless thousands of Irish emigrants who fled Ireland to escape the so-called "famine"  only to die from typhoid after enduring inhumane conditions aboard coffin ships during their passage across the Atlantic.

The monument bears the following inscription :

Children of the Gael died in their thousands on this island having fled from the laws of the foreign tyrants and an artificial famine in the years 1847-48. God's loyal blessing upon them. Let this monument be a token to their name and honour from the Gaels of America. God save Ireland".

 

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