From conflict to peace-The life of Martin McGuinness.

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This is an A-political blog just highlighting the many facets of Martin McGuinness, a man who has made an impact on Ireland.I believe that ultimately history will portray him as a peacemaker.

Martin McGuinness, pictured circa 1972, holding a Luger pistol

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Martin McGuinness with masked IRA men at the funeral of Brendan Burns in 1988

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Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness

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Martin McGuinness was second-in-command of the IRA in Derry.

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The sinn Fein delegation led by Mr Martin McGuinness arriving for the opening of talks with a British Government delegation at Parliament Buildings, Stormont in 1994.

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Regardless what you think of either of these men, but if they can work together and have a laugh together anyone can.

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MI Rev Ian Paisley DUP Martin McGuinness Sinn Fein Stormount Photocall

Peter Robinson caught on camera in late 1984 during a visit to the Israel-Lebanon border with an automatic assault rifle.

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Leaving bygones be bygones ,former First Minister Peter Robinson and former deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness wave to the visitors.

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Shaking hands with the Queen.

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Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness.

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Martin McGuinness about Rev. Ian Paisley ”

“Over a number of decades we were political opponents and held very different views on many, many issues but the one thing we were absolutely united on was the principle that our people were better able to govern themselves than any British government.

“I want to pay tribute to and comment on the work he did in the latter days of his political life in building agreement and leading unionism into a new accommodation with republicans and nationalists.

“In the brief period that we worked together in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister I developed a close working relationship with him which developed into a friendship, which despite our many differences lasted beyond his term in office”

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A shadow of the man he used to be.

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St Patrick’s day in WWII

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Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

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While the Republic of Ireland was neutral during WWII, Northern Ireland became an important Allied sea and airbase.And besides that there were a great number of allied soldiers who identified themselves as being Irish through their Irish ancestry. Also there were many Irish who fought during the war, the Irish guards for example were pivotal to many WWII operations.

Below are some pictures of St Patrick’s day celebrations during WWII

While a piper plays, a special rum ration is issued to men of the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers to mark St Patrick’s Day in the Anzio bridgehead, Italy, 17 March 1944.

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American soldiers and Irish girls have a friendly chat during a St. Patricks Day Dance and Celebration, March 17, 1942girls

St Patrick’s Day 1944 – General Bernard presenting the shamrock to Major de Longueuil (later awarded the MC). On the Major’s right is Lieutenant Campbell.Lieut General Sir D J Bernard presenting shamrock to 2 RUR St Patricks Day 1944

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Major Basil Donlea MC and Montgomery – Hawick – St Patrick’s Day 17 March 1944Basil Donlea

Jess Barker, Genny Simms, Red Skelton, Edna Skelton, And Buster Keaton During The Cake Cutting Ceremony On St. Patrick ‘s Day At The Hollywood Canteenf76689fe2318c20ad2d036f57f6cdafa

Fifth Avenue was jammed with marchers out in force for the parade on March 17, 1943.This photo shows 49th Street just before passing the reviewing stand at St Patrick’s Cathedral.download

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Nelson’s Pillar, O’Connell Street. Crowds watching St. Patrick’s Day Parade 19404fa2106ca4661156977c8030274b6aa3

 

Cavan Orphanage fire

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In the early hours of 24 February  in 1943 fire broke out in the basement laundry of St. Joseph’s Orphanage & Industrial School run by the enclosed order of Poor Clare nuns in Main St., Cavan town. The fire very quickly turned into an inferno. The alarm was raised by horrified townspeople who tried to help. At first they could not gain access to the convent and when they were admitted it was almost too late too reach the terrified, screaming children, trapped in the top floor dormitories. A hugely inadequate fire service meant that within forty minutes the flames had taken hold, the roof had caved in and the building was left just a shell. Thirty five children and an elderly lay woman burned to death. The following day the remains of the thirty six bodies were recovered from the smoldering ruin. They were put in just eight coffins and buried subsequently in a mass grave.

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The subsequent investigation attributed it to a faulty flue. The sight of smoke coming out of the building alerted people on Main Street. They went to the front entrance and tried to gain entry. Eventually they were let in by one of the girls but not knowing the layout of the convent, they were unable to find the girls.

By this time all of the girls had been moved into one Dormitory. At this stage it would have been possible to evacuate all of the children but instead the nuns persuaded the local people to attempt to put out the fire. Two men (John Kennedy and John McNally) went down to the laundry to try to put the fire out. The flames were now too intense for this to be possible and McNally only survived by being carried out by Kennedy.

By this point it was no longer possible for the girls to get out through the main entrance or the fire escape. The local fire brigade had then arrived but their equipment was not sufficient for this fire. Wooden ladders were not long enough to reach the dormitory windows. In the absence of any other solution girls were encouraged to jump. Three did so, though with injuries, however most were too frightened to attempt it. By the time a local electricity worker, Mattie Hand, arrived with a long ladder, and a local man, Louis Blessing, brought five girls down. One child left by way of the interior staircase while it was still accessible. One child made it down the exterior fire escape. One child escaped by way of a small ladder held on the roof of the shed. the fire completely engulfed the dormitory and the remaining girls died.

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Incredibly, when alerted to the gathering smoke by a orphan girl, a senior nun made the decision not to evacuate the children, instead she directed them to the top floor dormitory and closed the doors.

Being an enclosed order, the nuns were reportedly reluctant to leave the building themselves, which they considered would be a violation of their vows.

Over concerns about the causes of the fire and the standard of care, a Public Inquiry was set up. The report’s findings stated that the loss of life occurred due to faulty directions being given, lack of fire-fighting training, and an inadequate rescue and fire-fighting service. It also noted inadequate training of staff in fire safety and evacuation, both at the orphanage and local fire service.

This finding has been disputed by many, including in a piece of verse (to be precise, a Limerick) written by the secretary to the Inquiry Brian O’Nolan, better known as the author Flann O’Brien, and one of the counsel representing the Electricity Supply Board, Tom O’Higgins, later Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and presidential candidate.

“In Cavan there was a great fire,Judge McCarthy was sent to inquire,
It would be a shame, if the nuns were to blame,
So it had to be caused by a wire.”

It was alleged that the nuns prevented firefighters entering the building in case they saw the girls inside in a state of undress.

Due to the nature of the fire, the remains of the dead girls were placed in 8 coffins and buried in Cullies cemetery in Cavan. A new memorial plaque was erected in 2010 just inside the convent gates at Main Street, Cavan. The plaque was anonymously donated to the Friends of the Cavan Orphanage Victims group.

The WWII Bombings of Ireland-Why Ireland should not have stayed neutral.

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It has always been a puzzle to me why Ireland stayed ‘neutral’ during WWII. Aside from the German attacks on Irish merchants ships. The country was also bombed several times in deliberate acts of war against the republic.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/05/10/forgotten-history-irish-wwii-losses/

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On 26 August 1940, the German Luftwaffe bombed Campile in broad daylight. Three women were killed  Mary Ellen Kent (30), her sister Catherine Kent (26), both from Terrerath, and Kathleen Hurley (27) from Garryduff. Four German bombs were dropped on the creamery and restaurant sections of Shelbourne Co-op on that day.

The railway was also targeted by the bombers. The attack has never been fully explained, although there are numerous theories as to why the bombing occurred. In 1943, the German government paid £9000 in compensation.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the bombing, a plaque was erected on the co-op walls in memory of the three women.

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20 December 1940: At approximately 7:30 in the evening, two bombs fell on Sandycove near Dún Laoghaire (the first at the junction of Rosmeen Park and Summerhill Road and the second between Rosmeen Park and Rosmeen Gardens), injuring three people. A third bomb fell about half an hour later near Carrickmacross in County Monaghan, slightly injuring one person.

1–2 January 1941: bombs fell in Counties Meath, Carlow, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford and Dublin. In Meath, five bombs fell at Duleek and three at Julianstown, without casualties;In Carlow, a house in Knockroe was destroyed, killing three people and injuring two others;In Kildare three high explosive, as well as many incendiary, bombs fell in the Curragh area; two sea mines were dropped by parachute near Enniskerry in Kildare; Ballymurrin in Wexford saw three German bombs fall without casualties;and in Dublin, German bombs hit Terenure, two falling at Rathdown Park, with another two at Fortfield Road and Lavarna Grove,with injuries but no loss of life.

3 January 1941: Dublin was again hit by the German Luftwaffe, with bombs falling on Donore Terrace in the South Circular Road area with 20 people injured. Just before 4 am on the morning of 3 January 1941, a bomb fell at the rear of the houses located at 91 and 93 Donore Terrace in the South Circular Road area of Dublin Three houses were destroyed and approximately fifty others damaged. Donore Presbyterian Church, the attached school and the Jewish Synagogue in Donore were also damaged. 20 people were injured, but there was no loss of life.

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At approximately 2 am on 31 May 1941, four German bombs dropped on north Dublin.[One bomb fell in the Ballybough area, demolishing the two houses at 43 and 44 Summerhill Park,injuring many but with no loss of life. A second fell at the Dog Pond pumping works near the Zoo in Phoenix Park, with no casualties but damaging Áras an Uachtaráin, the official residence of the Irish President (Douglas Hyde at the time).

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A third made a large crater in the North Circular Road near Summerhill, again causing no injuries. A fourth fell in North Strand destroying 17 houses and severely damaging about 50 others, the worst damage occurring in the area between Seville Place and Newcomen Bridge. The raid claimed the lives of 28 people,injured 90, destroyed or damaged approximately 300 houses, and left 400 people homeless.

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One of the pilots said after the war that Belfast had been the target but mistakenly they bombed Dublin instead. However no explanation was ever given about the Wexford bombing.

However William Joyce AKA Lord Haw Haw had mentioned that Ireland would be bombed in his Nazi propaganda broadcasts.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/05/28/william-joyce-aka-lord-haw-haw/

 

Bloody Sunday-1972

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Today marks the 45th anniversary of Bloody Sunday sometimes also referred to as the Bogside Massacre.

Sunday January 30th 1972 started as any other Sunday in Derry but would end with tragedy and a population thrown into a dark backlash of opinion towards the British.

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British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians during a peaceful protest march against internment. Fourteen people died: thirteen were killed outright, while the death of another man four months later was attributed to his injuries. Many of the victims were shot while fleeing from the soldiers and some were shot while trying to help the wounded. Other protesters were injured by rubber bullets or batons, and two were run down by army vehicles.The march had been organised by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA). The soldiers involved were members of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment, also known as “1 Para”.

The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) organised a march to start at 3PM from the Bishops Field area of the Creggan. The march had already been deemed illegal by the British and from previous march’s the police force and the British proved too ruthless against peaceful demonstrators such as the attack on a civil rights march at Burntollet bridge.

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The plan for the march was to walk down Creggan Hill, into William Street and onto the Guildhall Square, in the City Centre area. Over 15,000 people attended the march which proceeded from Creggan. The marchers were singing songs with some describing it as a carnival like event. As they reached the William Street area the British Army had set-up barricades so the march was diverted into the Bogside and towards Free Derry Corner, a small area that  isolated itself from the Northern Ireland state known as as no-go area for the British forces.Despite this, a number of people continued on towards an army barricade where local youths threw stones at soldiers, who responded with a water cannon, CS gas and rubber bullets.

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As the riot began to disperse, soldiers of the 1st Parachute Regiment were ordered to move in and arrest as many of the rioters as possible. In the minutes that followed, some of these paratroopers opened fire on the crowd, killing thirteen men and injuring 13 others, one of whom died some months later.

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A large group of people fled or were chased into the car park of Rossville Flats. This area was like a courtyard, surrounded on three sides by high-rise flats. The soldiers opened fire, killing one civilian and wounding six others.This fatality, Jackie Duddy, was running alongside a priest, Father Edward Daly, when he was shot in the back.

While the British Army maintained that its troops had responded after coming under fire, the people of the Bogside saw it as murder. The British government was sufficiently concerned for the Home Secretary to announce the following day an official inquiry into the circumstances of the shootings.

Opinion was further polarised by the findings of this tribunal, led by the British Lord Chief Justice, Lord Widgery. His report exonerated the army and cast suspicion on many of the victims, suggesting they had been handling bombs and guns. Relatives of the dead and the wider nationalist community campaigned for a fresh public inquiry, which was finally granted by then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1998.

Headed by Lord Saville, the Bloody Sunday Inquiry took 12 years and finally reported in 2010. It established the innocence of the victims and laid responsibility for what happened on the army.

Prime Minister David Cameron called the killings “unjustified and unjustifiable”. The families of the victims of Bloody Sunday felt that the inquiry’s findings vindicated those who were killed, raising the question of prosecutions and compensation.

 

How Neutral was Ireland during WWII-Ireland and the Third Reich.

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The Republic of Ireland was and still is a neutral country but during WWII there were many Irish volunteers who fought with the allies against the Axis power.Like The first RAF bomber pilot to be shot down and killed in 1939 was Willie Murphy from Cork. His navigator, Larry Slattery, from Thurles, became the longest-serving ‘British’ POW of the war.(pictured below in a Berlin POW hospital bed)

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On the other hand there were a great number of Irish who were sympathetic to Hitler and the Nazi regime.One of the most famous ones was the Irish playwright, critic and polemicist George Bernard Shaw.

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He despised democracy, supported Lenin, Stalin and the Soviet purges, and denied the Ukrainian Famine happened. He also supported Hitler, and denied the Holocaust happened.After Hitler’s suicide in May 1945, Shaw approved of the formal condolences offered by the Irish Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera, at the German embassy in Dublin.

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Shaw disapproved of the postwar trials of the defeated German leaders, as an act of self-righteousness: “We are all potential criminals”.

Charles Henry Bewley was raised in a famous Dublin Quaker business family (Bewleys Coffee and Cafes)and embraced Irish Republicanism and Roman Catholicism. He was the Irish envoy to Berlin who reportedly thwarted efforts to obtain visas for Jews wanting to leave Nazi Germany in the 1930s and to move to the safety of the Irish Free State.

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Inhis reports to Dublin during the 1930s he gave the impression that German Jews were not threatened; that they were involved in pornography, abortion and “the international white slave traffic”. He explained the Nuremberg Laws “As the Chancellor pointed out, it amounts to the making of the Jews into a national minority; and as they themselves claim to be a separate race, they should have nothing to complain of.” He reports that he had no knowledge of any “deliberate cruelty on the part of the [German] Government … towards the Jews”. He criticised Irish refugee policy as “inordinately liberal, and facilitating the entry of the wrong class of people” (meaning Jews). Bewley was dismissed just as World War II was breaking out, and never received a pension. However, Joseph Goebbels gave him a job writing propaganda. For a time he worked for a Swedish news agency, which was part of Goebbels’ propaganda machine.

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Dr. Adolf Mahr was an Austrian archaeologist who was Gruppenleiter (group leader) of the Dublin branch of the Nazi Party Auslandsorganisation (NSDP-AO).He arrived in Ireland in 1927 to work as keeper of antiquities in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

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In 1934 Éamon de Valera appointed Mahr Director of the Museum.As the Nazi Party rose to power in Germany in the 1930s, Mahr joined in 1933 and became the Local Group Leader (Ortsgruppenleiter) in Ireland. During his spell as Nazi leader he recruited roughly 23 Germans. Mahr’s children were raised in Dublin in the 1930s but ended up in post-war Germany.

The IRA supported the Nazis in WW2 (the real ones, not just rhetorical ones). They ran safe houses for Nazi spies, aided Nazi intelligence, and even helped Nazi bombers. They planned to bring about a Nazi German invasion of Ireland, and would no doubt have been installed as a quisling government had Germany occupied Ireland.Chief-of-Staff of the IRA at this time was Seán McCool.

Hitler would of course have done to Ireland what he did to every other country. In the Wannsee Conference notes of Jan 1942, Ireland’s 4,000 Jews were listed for extermination. No doubt Irish quislings would have helped in this, as quislings helped in every other country.

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Luckily, the IRA failed in their plans, and the Jews of Ireland were not exterminated.

Andrija Artuković (19 November 1899 – 16 January 1988) was a Croatian lawyer, politician and senior member of the Croatian nationalist and fascist Ustaše organisation, who held the Interior and Justice portfolios in the Government of the Independent State of Croatia during World War II.

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He signed into law a number of racial laws against Serbs, Jews and Romani people, and was responsible for a string of concentration camps in which tens of thousands of civilians were murdered and mistreated. On 18 May 1945, British extradited some Croatian ministers and Prime Minister Nikola Mandić to the Yugoslav authorities. Artuković was not extradited, but he was released soon with remaining ministers. He left the British occupational zone, then went via the American to the French occupational zone, where his family was. With a Swiss passport under the pseudonym of Alois Anich, he traveled to Ireland. In 1948, he left Ireland with his wife and children, and entered the United States on a tourist visa and settled in Seal Beach, California.

Helmut Clissman was a German spy, active in Ireland during World War II.When war broke out in 1939, Mr Clissmann was ordered, along with other Germans living in Ireland, to return to Germany. This was later seen by the German intelligence services as a bad mistake, but they tried to use his expert knowledge to find out the strength of the IRA and whether Germany could use it to launch guerrilla attacks and sabotage in Northern Ireland.

Mr Clissmann also played a role in the release of Frank Ryan from a Spanish jail where he was under sentence of death for fighting on the republican side in the Civil War. Mr Clissmann knew Ryan as an IRA activist when in Ireland.

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He died on the 6th of November 1997 in Dublin.

Hermann Görtz (15 November 1890 – 23 May 1947) was a German spy in Britain and Ireland before and during World War II.

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In the summer of 1940, Görtz parachuted into Ballivor, County Meath, Ireland (Operation Mainau) in an effort to gather information. He moved in with former IRA leader Jim O’Donovan.

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His mission was to act as a liaison officer with the IRA and enlist their assistance during a potential German occupation of Britain. However, he soon decided that the IRA was too unreliable. On landing, he lost the ‘Ufa’ transmitter he had parachuted with. Goertz, attired in a Luftwaffe uniform, then walked to Dublin. He was not apprehended despite calling into a Garda barracks in Co Wicklow, asking for directions to Dublin. Goertz made it to Dublin and a “safe-house” at 245 Templeogue Road, Templeogue. 

In May 1940, the Irish police raided the home of an IRA member of German descent, Stephen Carroll Held, who had been working with Görtz, at his house at Blackheath Park, Clontarf. They confiscated a parachute, papers, Görtz’s World War I medals, and a number of documents about the defence infrastructure of Ireland. The papers they took included files on possible military targets in Ireland, such as airfields and harbours, as well as detailed plans of the so-called “Plan Kathleen”. This was an IRA plan for the invasion of Northern Ireland with the support of the Nazi military. Held had brought this plan to Germany prior to Görtz’s departure but his superiors had dismissed it as unfeasible.

Görtz went into hiding, staying with sympathizers in the Wicklow area and purposefully avoided contact with IRA safehouses. He remained at large for a total of eighteen months. When another IRA member, Pearse Paul Kelly, visited Goertz’s hiding place in Dublin in November 1941, police arrested them both.

Görtz was interned until the end of the war. He was first detained in Mountjoy Prison but later moved to Custume Barracks, Athlone with nine others.

 

Hermann Goertz was released from jail in Athlone in August 1946. He went to live in Glenageary and became secretary of a charity called Save The German Children Fund. He was rearrested the following year and served with a deportation order by the Minister for Justice. He claimed to have been in the SS rather than a lieutenant in the Luftwaffe in an attempt to prevent his deportation but this claim was disproved by Irish Military Intelligence (G2) which also “promoted” him to Major when sending him messages allegedly from Germany. On Friday May 23, 1947 he arrived at the Aliens’ Office in Dublin Castle at 9.50am and was told he was being deported to Germany the next day. Although it had been stated to him that the Irish government had specifically requested that he not be handed over to the Soviets, he committed suicide.

The Irish Times reported that he: “Stared disbelievingly at the detective officers. Then suddenly, he took his hand from his trouser pocket, swiftly removed his pipe from between his lips, and slipped a small glass phial into his mouth. One of the police officers sprang at Goertz as he crunched the glass with his teeth. The officer got his hands around Goertz’s neck but failed to prevent most of the poison – believed to be prussic acid – from passing down his throat. Within a few seconds, Goertz collapsed.”He was driven to Mercer’s Hospital and died there shortly after arrival.

Görtz was buried three days later in a Dublin cemetery.

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In 1974 his remains were transferred to the German Military Cemetery at Glencree, Co. Wicklow.

Other notable Nazi’s who sought and found refuge in Ireland were Otto Skorzeny and Dutch War Criminal Pieter Menten.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/10/17/otto-skorzenyhitlers-scarfaced-henchman-irish-farmer-and-mossad-hitman/

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/02/18/forgotten-history-war-criminal-pieter-menten/

Controversially,de Valera formally offered his condolences to the German Minister in Dublin on the death of Adolf Hitler in 1945, in accordance with diplomatic protocol.This did some damage to Ireland, particularly in the United States – and soon afterwards de Valera had a bitter exchange of words with Winston Churchill in two famous radio addresses after the end of the war in Europe.

 

 

 

Herbert Brenon-Forgotten Irish Oscar nominated Movie Director

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I pride myself to be a bit of a movie buff, but to my amazement I had never heard of this Oscar nominated and ‘Photo Play-Medal of Honor’ winner.

Today marks his 137th birthday. He has been credited for directing at least 124 movie and shorts, which is an amazing feat by any measure.

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Herbert Brenon (13 January 1880 – 21 June 1958) born Alexander Herbert Reginald St. John Brenon was an Irish film director, actor and screenwriter during the era of silent movies through the 1930s.

He was born at 25 Crosthwaite Park, in Kingstown (now Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, to journalist, poet and politician Edward St John Brenon and Francis Harries.

In 1882, the family moved to London, where Herbert was educated at St Paul’s School and at King’s College London.

 

Before becoming a director, he performed in vaudeville acts with his wife, Helen Oberg. Started as a stagehand in New York. By 1909 he operated a small picture theatre in Pennsylvania. Two years later he was hired as a writer by Carl Laemmle, directing his first short the next year. Signed by William Fox in 1915, graduating to feature films.

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Some of his more noteworthy films were the first movie adaptations of Peter Pan (1924) and Beau Geste (1926),and Laugh, Clown, Laugh (1928) with Lon Chaney.

For the 1927 movie “Sorrell and Son” about a a decorated war hero, who raises his son Kit alone after Kit’s mother deserts husband and child in the boy’s infancy, he was nominated for the Academy Award for best director ,dramatic pictures, at the First ever Oscars(Academy Awards) in 1929.

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Unfortunately he lost out to Frank Borzage for his picture “7th Heaven”

Regarded sound pictures with a measure of apprehension. Returned to Britain in 1934, but his career was well on the decline and he retired in 1940.His last movie “The Flying Squad”  he shot in London in 1940. It was based on a novel by Edgar Wallace in which the officers of the Flying Squad attempt to tackle a drug-smuggling organisation. The novel had previously been filmed in 1929 and 1932.

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He died in Los Angeles, California and was interred in a private mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY. Survived by a son, Dr. Herbert Cyril Brenon.

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Hill 65-Irish Vietnam Hero;Patrick Gallagher.

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I don’t often listen to RTE Radio 1 documentaries,because they are usually about subjects I have no interest in. But today in the car stuck in traffic I listened to a documentary and it broke my heart.

Among the 58,000 names inscribed on the Vietnam war memorial wall in Washington DC is that of corporal Patrick ‘Bob’ Gallagher.

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Patrick grew up near Ballyhaunis in rural county Mayo before emigrating to the United States in the early 1960s. Patrick joined the US Marine Corps and was stationed in Vietnam during some of the most intense fighting of the war. Patrick was just  23 years old and a Marine Corporal when he was killed on duty in southeast Asia. Just before he died, Patrick was awarded a Navy Cross, the second highest honor in the US military. Like many war dead, Patrick is remembered by his family in Ireland and his friends and comrades who served with him in combat.

In 1962 Gallagher had traveled from Derrintogher, near Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo to stay with his aunt in New York. He worked in real estate and studied law. He also campaigned for Senator Robert Kennedy, in 1964.

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In February 1966 Gallagher returned home for three weeks. He did not tell his family that he had been drafted and joined the Marine Corps. In April 1966 he was deployed to Vietnam.

According to the petition, Gallagher and three others were “manning a defense post” when they came under attack. “Patrick kicked a grenade out of their position before it exploded” and then, according to the Navy Cross citation, “… another enemy grenade followed and landed in the position between two of his comrades. Without hesitation, in a valiant act of self-sacrifice, Corporal Gallagher threw himself upon the deadly grenade in order to absorb the explosion and save the lives of his comrades.

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“As the three other marines ran to safety two further grenades landed in the position and exploded, ‘miraculously injuring nobody.’ Patrick’s squad leader ordered him to throw the grenade he was lying on into a nearby river. It exploded on hitting the water. ‘Through his extraordinary heroism and inspiring valor in the face of almost certain death, he saved his comrades from probable injury and possible loss of life.'”

On the 30th of March his platoon was ambushed near Hill 65 by the Vietcong

Seven of the men were killed,including Gallagher,were killed that day and 2 others died the following day from their injuries.

The people of Ballyhaunis heard of his bravery and planned great celebrations for his homecoming. However, instead of celebrating his valor they buried him.

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/2016/1202/835992-mayo-boy-vietnam-hero/

Bobby Kennedy wrote to Gallagher’s family after his death. He quoted Winston Churchill saying “courage is rightly esteemed as the first of all human qualities because it is the one that guarantees all others.”

“This courage Corporal Gallagher gave to all of us. To him and to his family are due the thanks of a humbly grateful nation.”

According to a report in the Irish Times, in 2013 a group of Irishmen were discussing Gallagher’s tale at Marius Donnelly’s Trinity Hall pub, in Dallas, Texas. Pilot Martin Durkan, from Ballyhaunis, was present and supplied details of Patrick Gallagher’s story. Marius Donnelly, who owns the pub, launched the campaign to have the ship named in Gallagher’s honor. The New York Daily News adds that former Marine Donald O’Keefe from the Bronx is campaigning for Gallagher to get the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The online petition which can be found at www.patrickgallagherusmc.info and is titled “Help Us Honor A Marine Corps Hero”.

 

 

 

Michael Jackson-What’s in a name?

I am deviating a bit from my regular blogs for this more quirky and lighthearted blog.Living in an English speaking country my name is quite unique so my name is automatically associated to only me(at least where I live) , but the name Michael Jackson is fairly common and yet it is only associated with one man.

However there are several men who carry the same name and are famous(sometimes infamous) in their respective professions.

Starting off with that one man, the most famous of them all.

Michael Jackson: American singer-songwriter, dancer and record producer.

Called the “King of Pop”,his contributions to music, dance, and fashion along with his publicized personal life made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

The eighth child of the Jackson family (one of whom died in infancy), Michael made his professional debut in 1964 with his elder brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5.

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He began his solo career in 1971. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. His music videos, including those of “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, and “Thriller” from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an art form and promotional tool. The popularity of these videos helped bring the television channel MTV to fame. Jackson’s 1987 album Bad spawned the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man in the Mirror”, and “Dirty Diana”, becoming the first album to have five number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.

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He continued to innovate with videos such as “Black or White” and “Scream” throughout the 1990s, and forged a reputation as a touring solo artist. Through stage and video performances, Jackson popularized a number of complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk, to which he gave the name. His distinctive sound and style has influenced numerous artists of various music genres.Sadly he died on June 25 ,2009.

Michael Jackson is a UK male singer who was lead vocalist with the heavy metal band Satan/Pariah

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This is Michael Jackson is also a singer but from the complete opposite spectrum of the music industry. As the name of his band suggests it is not as clean cut as the other singer with the same name.

Michael was born in Lancaster, Lancashire in 1964 to Estelle & Michael Jackson. He was brought up by his mother in Morecambe, Lancashire from an early age. A fanatical Queen fan Michael Jackson dreamed of being a rock singer like his idol Freddie Mercury.

Entering the Merchant Navy straight from school Michael spent 5 years sailing all over the world while singing with the band Rough Edge between assignments. Eventually he decided to answer an advertisement, learned the required songs and traveled to London for his audition with the band Satan. After a successful interview at Clink Studios, Tower Bridge, London Michael moved there to join Satan.

General Sir Michael  Jackson,GCB, CBE, DSO, DL (born 21 March 1944)

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A retired British Army officer and one of its most high-profile generals since the Second World War. Originally commissioned into the Intelligence Corps in 1963, he transferred to the Parachute Regiment in 1970, with which he served two of his three tours of duty in Northern Ireland. On his first, he was present as an adjutant at the events of Bloody Sunday (1972), when soldiers opened fire on protesters, killing 13 people.

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On his second, he was a company commander in the aftermath of the Warrenpoint ambush (1979), the British Army’s heaviest single loss of life during the Troubles. He was assigned to a staff post at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1982 before assuming command of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment, in 1984. Jackson was posted to Northern Ireland for the third time, as a brigade commander, in the early 1990s.

Michael  Jackson (born 24 May 1956) is the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough since 2011.

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Jackson was born in Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, the son of Church of Ireland rector (latterly appointed Archdeacon of Elphin & Ardagh), and educated at Ballinamallard Primary School and Portora Royal School, Enniskillen. Trinity College, Dublin, before going on to do postgraduate studies at Cambridge University. He is married to Inez Cooke, a medical doctor who was born in County Fermanagh, and they have one daughter, Camilla.

Michael  Jackson (27 March 1942 – 30 August 2007) was an English writer and journalist.

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He was the author of many influential books about beer and whiskey. He was a regular contributor to a number of British broadsheets, particularly The Independent and The Observer.

Jackson’s books have sold over three million copies worldwide and have been translated into eighteen different languages.He is credited with helping to start a renaissance of interest in beer and breweries worldwide in the 1970s, particularly in the United States.He is also widely credited with popularising the idea of beer styles.His influential television series The Beer Hunter was shown in fifteen different countries.

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He was as equally versed in the world of malt whisky as well as beer, and his book, Michael Jackson’s Malt Whisky Companion (1989) is the best-selling book on the subject in the world.

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At the time of his death Jackson had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for at least a decade. He did not declare his illness until his symptoms caused some to think he was drunk.Any beer enthusiast, like me will know his books on beer.

 

Finishing up with a song from the most famous of all Michael Jacksons, Michael Jackson.

Hubert Butler-Ireland’s Holocaust Hero

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Hubert Marshal Butler (2 October 1900 – 5 January 1991) was an Irish essayist who wrote on a wide range of topics, from local history and archaeology to the political and religious affairs of eastern Europe before and during World War II, he also traveled to Nazi Austria on his own initiative and at his own expense and helped save Jewish people from being sent to concentration camps.

Hubert Marshal Butler was born on October 2, 1900 at the family home of Maiden Hall, near to the village of Bennettsbridge in Co. Kilkenny.Butler would later go on to gain a place at St John’s College, Oxford, from where he would graduate in 1922 with a degree in Classics.

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After working for the Irish County Libraries, under the famed Sir Horace Plunkett, for four years, Butler travelled throughout inter-war Europe.

Butler was deeply disturbed by some of the anti-Semitic sentiment found in Ireland prior to World War Two, particularly that of Fine Gael politician Oliver J. Flanagan.In a 1938 Dáil speech, Flanagan said: “They (the Jews) crucified our Saviour 1,900 years ago and they have been crucifying us every day of the week.”

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In response, Butler proclaimed: “I was as Irish as Oliver Flanagan and I was determined that Jewish refugees should come to Ireland.”

On the eve of the war, Butler moved to Nazi Austria to attempt to secure visas to Ireland for persecuted Jews.Working with both the Irish and American Quakers, he offered Jews safe passage to Ireland before helping them settle in the Americas.

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On the night of September 16th, 1938, a man called Erwin Strunz received a phone call at his flat in Vienna. The caller, a friend who had joined the Nazi party, warned Strunz that he had been chosen for deportation to the Dachau concentration camp. Strunz was a journalist and former trade-union official. He had also married a Jewish woman and converted to Judaism, making him especially obnoxious to the Nazis. His friend warned him that he would be taken away in two days’ time. Strunz turned for help to the great Irish essayist Hubert Butler. The latter had gone to Vienna entirely on his own initiative and at his own expense to do whatever he could to rescue Jews from the Nazis.

The exact number of Jews Butler saved from persecution and extermination is not agreed upon, but he certainly smuggled scores of people to safety.Butler’s daughter Julia recalled the family home in Bennettsbridge as always being full of refugees passing through.

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Butler attended the Evian international conference on the plight of Jewish refugees in July 1938 and was sickened by the attitudes of the Irish delegation, one member of which said to him: “Didn’t we suffer like this in the Penal days and nobody came to our help?”

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This was not mere individual idiocy. The Department of Justice delegated power over refugees to a body called the Irish Co-ordinating Committee for the Relief of Christian Refugees. The rule adopted was that only Jews who had converted to Christianity should be allowed to settle in Ireland. This committee was given the power to vet applications to settle in Ireland made by European Jews.

It is thus almost certain that Erwin Strunz, and his wife and two children, would never have been allowed into Ireland. When Strunz turned desperately to Butler for help, Butler and his wife, Peggy Guthrie, got the family out of Vienna to London and then to Peggy’s family home in Annaghmakerrig, Co Monaghan (now the Tyrone Guthrie Centre).

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The Strunz family subsequently settled in Ardmore, Co Waterford. In December 1938 Strunz was interviewed by the Cork Examiner and warned of what was happening in the concentration camps: “Life in these camps is terrible,” she said, “and the people there are treated like beasts.”

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Such warnings had little effect on policy, but Butler and Guthrie, working with Irish Quakers and with the American Quaker Emma Cadbury, continued to operate what was in effect a parallel Irish refugee policy. They secured exit visas for dozen of Jews to escape from Vienna, brought them to Ireland and, as they could not stay here, helped them to settle in the Americas.

After giving a broadcast talk in 1947 about Yugoslavia he was publicly criticised for failing to mention the alleged suffering of Catholics under Josip Broz Tito’s regime.

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He responded by trying to draw attention to another matter he had avoided in his radio talk, and which he saw as a greater scandal: the involvement of Catholic clergy with the Ustaša, a Nazi-installed puppet regime that had waged a genocidal crusade against non-Catholics in part of Yugoslavia during World War II.

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Butler’s efforts in this respect earned him notoriety and public opprobrium in clerical Ireland to the extent that he felt obliged to leave the archaeological society he had played a big part in reviving.

Butler was a keen market gardener as well as a writer and his circle of friends included the Mary Poppins creator Pamela Travers, the journalist Claud Cockburn, and the poet Padraic Colum. He believed strongly in the importance of the family and, as well as playing an active role in keeping his own extended family in touch, he was the founder of the Butler Society.

He is buried five miles from the family home at St. Peter’s Church, Ennisnag, Kilkenny. The Kilkenny Art Gallery Society’s Butler Gallery in Kilkenny Castle was named in honor of Hubert and Peggy.