August 29, 2016

When John Steinbeck came 'back to Ireland'


The website Steinbeck Now notes that John Steinbeck "returned repeatedly to his family roots in Northern Ireland". Steinbeck's grandfather Samuel Hamilton was a Scots-Irish immigrant who settled as a farmer in California’s Salinas Valley in the 19th century. The 1962 Nobel Prize winner's Irish forebears hailed from Mulkeeragh, an area outside Ballykelly in County Londonderry. His grandfather was born on October 7 1830 and emigrated 17 years later, leaving for New York at the time of the Great Famine.

August 23, 2016

Northern Ireland's Dance, Ctd

Mandan tribal dance - George Catlin (c. 1835)
I previously wrote about the Northern Ireland dance here. MCB alumnus now in Washington Niall Stanage wrote in the New York Times:

August 19, 2016

The lost Orange of Ireland

Royal Black Preceptory Parade, Cootehill, Cavan, 1920

In a previous post I noted that Martin McGuinness said in March 2015 that "The orange part of the flag is as important as the green", and Gerry Adams said at his party’s Ard Fheis that same year that "We need reminded again and again that our flag is Orange."

August 16, 2016

James Connolly's angry nativist language

James Connolly, by  Mick O'Dea
Hate and racism is a universal trait - it isn't specifically a Protestant or unionist thing. Irish travellers in Southern Ireland were in Southern Ireland what Catholics were in Northern Ireland, second-class, and thet continue to be. As Willie Kealy said, “We [Irish] have always been a bit racist about Travellers.”

August 15, 2016

Protestant, planter and guilt. Catholic, Gael and virtue.

Captain John Smith trading with Virginian Indians. Painting by Sidney E. King, National Park Service.
On Slugger O'Toole I wrote that being protestant is often a byword for outsider and guilt, while being Catholic is shorthand for Erin and virtue. In that I wrote:

August 01, 2016

Irish nationalism's xenophobia against long settled Protestants


Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan tweeted:
"Unionists didn't have a problem with immigration when their ancestors descended on Ireland to grab land from the native population..."
While, republicans don't have a problem with immigration, so long as it's not protestant immigration to Ireland of centuries past. As Eoin O'Malley of Dublin City University wrote in the paper 'Populist Nationalists: Sinn Fein and redefining the 'radical right'':
"Nationalism in Ireland cannot sit easily with anti-immigrant bigotry (as long as the immigrants are not long settled Protestants."

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