Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday Five: Ireland

"I was raised in an Irish-American home in Detroit where assimilation was the uppermost priority. The price of assimilation and respectability was amnesia. Although my great-grandparents were victims of the Great Hunger of the 1840's, even though I was named Thomas Emmet Hayden IV after the radical Irish nationalist exile Thomas Emmet, my inheritance was to be disinherited. My parents knew nothing of this past, or nothing worth passing on."
Tom Hayden
Moone Cross Co Kildare, picture credits unknown

"Could he not find in his heart the generosity to acknowledge that there is a small nation that stood alone not for one year or two, but for several hundred years against aggression; that endured spoliations, famines, massacres in endless succession; that was clubbed many times into insensibility, but that each time on returning [to] consciousness took up the fight anew; a small nation that could never be got to accept defeat and has never surrendered her soul?”
De Valera, on VE Day May 8, 1945, responding in a radio speech to criticism by Churchill of Ireland’s neutrality in WWII
"I tell you this - early this morning I signed my death warrant."
Michael Collins, after signing the treaty on December 6, 1921 with England creating the Irish Free State as a dominion within the British Commonwealth
"No person knows better than you do that the domination of England is the sole and blighting curse of this country. It is the incubus that sits on our energies, stops the pulsation of the nation’s heart and leaves to Ireland not gay vitality but horrid the convulsions of a troubled dream."
Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), in an 1831 letter to Bishop Doyle

"Ireland, thou friend of my country in my country's most friendless days, much injured, much enduring land, accept this poor tribute from one who esteems thy worth, and mourns thy desolation."
George Washington, speaking of Ireland's support for America during the revolution

Sean O'Casey says it best: "Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity."

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