Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rules of Engagement

The British Army had rules of engagement which we were expected to abide by in Northern Ireland which dictated when we could use our weapon. This is the famous "Yellow Card":






This card details when the baton round could be fired:




Even though we had a certain amount of latitude in using our weapons, we were not allowed to shoot wildly. Soldiers did find themselves up against boards of inquiry if a civilain was accidentally shot. The case that comes to mind for me was when the SAS trooper shot a farm kid who had found an IRA weapons cache and had come back to see if it was still there.

See this on self-defence by the military in English law

46 comments:

  1. Interesting, although not relevant to the question of civilian ownership and use of firearms. This does bring up the point that the British really had no business in Ireland to begin with. Eirinn go Brach!

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  2. Greg Camp:

    Are you Irish as well? Or are you just one of those RWA who hates authority being used against him?

    Most of my grandparents or their parents came from Ireland. Ireland was, for better or worse, made part of the United Kingdom in the early 1800's and most of it became a sovereign nation within the British Empire Ca. 1922.

    Northern Ireland remained part of the British Empire.

    "This does bring up the point that the British really had no business in Ireland to begin with. Eirinn go Brach!"

    Your comment brings up the point that you really are full of shit.

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  3. Democommie,

    As a matter of fact, I have Irish ancestry in the mix, and I also hate authority that has no business standing over another. The English invaded Ireland in the Middle Ages and kept mucking about until they were largely expelled. It's a sad fact that they remain in Northern Ireland.

    Perhaps you'd like to explain why the British had any right to be in Ireland. Go ahead--I really do want to watch you explain how a foreign invader that exploited the country for centuries was justified in doing so.

    Otherwise, I see no fecal matter in what I wrote.

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  4. "The English invaded Ireland in the Middle Ages

    Seriously, you have a college degree and you think this way.

    Christopher Columbus discovery of the "New World" began the process of over 400 years of conquest, rapine and pillage in what is now the continental U.S., Hawaii, Central and South America and a largish chunk of Canada. "Mucking about" in the Americas by the europeans caused directly/indirectly the subjugation, enslavement, persecution and in some cases the extirpation of indigenous peoples.

    The British have as much "right" to be in Northern Ireland as the U.S. army has to be in any U.S. State. I know that you're a "states rights" kindaguy (with the exception of any federal laws that you think are GOOD for gunzloonz) but Northern Ireland is as much a part of the United Kingdom as is Wales, Scotland and assorted other fomerly sovereign states.

    The IRA and the loyalist militias that opposed them BOTH committed horrific crimes against the average citizen in Northern Ireland and other places, particularly London, England. Both the IRA and the protestant loyalists have a lot of innocent blood on their hands. Back during "The Troubles" I often wondered why either side attacked the defenseless instead of simply confronting one another. It's obvious from the number of political assassinations that took place from 1960 on that they knew each other's rolls.

    The british government did not simply invade Northern Ireland.

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  5. Democommie,

    Are you serious? The English invaded Ireland first during the Norman period in the 1100s. From then on, wave after wave of invasions happened, until Ireland was entirely under the control of the British Empire.

    And while we're on the subject, yes, what Eurpoeans did to many native tribes in the Western Hemisphere is one of the great evils of history. (I don't weep for the Aztecs, given their behavior.)

    The point that you are avoiding, though, is that there is a Republic of Ireland, independent of Great Britain, thanks to an armed resistance.

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  6. So you think the british should leave Northern Ireland? How do you feel about getting the fuck off the land you now live on? It was stolen from the original people who lived there, by conquest. First the spaniards, then the french, then the U.S. Let me know where you'd like to move to in Europe--or in whatever land was actually bought and paid for by the europeans from native americans.


    Ireland won freedom in the same manner the U.S. did. They began a war with a distracted and war weary U.K. Having been involved in the carnage of WW1 for nearly 4-1/2 years, the British Army was battered and battle weary. Had the Prime Minister and parliament mustered the political will to call up several divisions of regular army troops, well led and properly equipped, the IRA would have fared much worse (and Ireland laid waste).

    Your notion that the gunz of the IRA are what won Ireland's independence is as wrongheaded as it is romantic.

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  7. The Irish resistance began a long time before the 1916 Easter rebellion.

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  8. Greg, I hate to start on how much of a moron you show yourself up for with your comments here.

    First off, you demonstrate that you are indeed ignorant enough to not be able to pour piss our of your boots with the instructions written on the bottom with the statement "although not relevant to the question of civilian ownership and use of firearms". The thing is that Law Enforcement and the Military are limited by law in their use of firearms, which is demonstrated by points 2 & 3 of the Yellow Card:

    2. Never use more for than the minimum necessary to enable you to carry out your duties
    3. Always first try to handle the situation by other means than opening fire.

    Operation Flavius is a famous incident where British Soldiers found themselves up before a board of inquiry for "excessive force", which I don't believe was justified given the circumstances. And I mentioned Amadou Diallo.

    So, if the Military and cops can be charged, you can bet that a stupid civvy is gonna find themselves in deep shit if they shoot without justification.

    Then, we get into Greg's ignorance of history--his failure to realise that most of the Blitzkrieg occurred in Belgium is forgivable, but his ignorance of his own heritage is downright pathetic.

    My question for hism was what was the largest regiment in the British Army during the troubles?

    How did Northern ireland come about, Greg? Are you aware that the proper name for the UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

    What was Ulsterisation?

    Greg, also again demonstrates he has no idea of Irish history, or European for that matter by saying that the Normans were British, they were French and they had colonies all over Europe (e.g. Sicily). That's just the short form since it would take a book to demonstrate that Greg lacks knowledge of Irish and European history and my previous comment was trashed by the system.

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  9. Laci the Dog,

    The Normans were Norse in origin, not French, and they were the rulers of Britain since 1066. You may have heard of Wilhelm and his claim to the British throne? When the Normans invaded Ireland in the 1100s, they were living in England. But how about the Tutors? Are they English enough for you? They also invaded Ireland and conquered Irish land and set up English lords over Irish lands. You may have heard of the English writer Edmund Spenser? He's an example of such.

    But why should I bother trying to remind you of what you claim already to know? I do note that nothing in the article here has any relationship to the situation in the United States. We fought our own revolution to chuck out the English wankers and their lackeys, so the cited rules don't matter here.

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  10. Jesus, Greg, everytime you open your mouth you show you are dumber and dumber.

    you can't even look in Wikipedia:

    The Normans were the people[1] who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish[2] and Gallo-Roman stock.[3] Their identity emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and gradually evolved over succeeding centuries.

    The Normans spoke French, not any of the Nordic languages. Norman is a Romance language and one of the Oïl languages. Norman can be classified as one of the northern Oïl languages along with Picard and Walloon. The name Norman-French is sometimes used to describe not only the Norman language, but also the administrative languages of Anglo-Norman and Law French used in England. For the most part, modern French and Norman are intercomprehensible.

    William, which is his correct name, had more than a claim to being King of England--he WAS King of England from 1066-1087.

    REPEAT--The Normans are the reason the region of France they came from is called Normandy.

    greg, thanks for again showing that you are indeed a shit for brains who can't keep from showing the world how ignorant you are.

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  11. Greg, I did this to see you show the world how fucking stupid you are.

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  12. the Tutors

    You mean Tudors--greg, didn't you even watch the crappy TV series about them?

    They were Welsh:

    Again from Wikipedia:
    The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor was a European royal house of Welsh origin

    So, they weren't Englisth at all.

    Again, thanks for showing you poorly informed you are.

    No wonder the job opportunity for your students is making meth.

    They aren't very well suited for anything that requires thought.

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  13. Laci the Dog,

    As pointed out, William and company were descendents of the Norse people. What do you imagine was the origin of the name, Norman? Northman, since you can't figure it out. Yes, they adopted a variety of French as their language, although not the Parisian dialect, as we see in Chaucer's comment about the Prioress and her English version of French.

    Regarding William's name, if you consult the Bayeux Tapestry, you'll see it spelled a number of ways, all of them according to the Germanic way, even though the writing is in Latin.

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  14. Greg, it's a sad statement that Wikipedia knows more about this than you do:

    In Ireland
    Norman keep in Trim, County Meath.
    See also: Norman Ireland, Castles in the Republic of Ireland, and Hiberno-Norman

    The Normans had a profound effect on Irish culture and history after their invasion at Bannow Bay in 1169. Initially the Normans maintained a distinct culture and ethnicity. Yet, with time, they came to be subsumed into Irish culture to the point that it has been said that they became "more Irish than the Irish themselves." The Normans settled mostly in an area in the east of Ireland, later known as the Pale, and also built many fine castles and settlements, including Trim Castle and Dublin Castle. Both cultures intermixed, borrowing from each other's language, culture and outlook. Norman descendants today can be recognised by their surnames. Names such as French, (De) Roche, D'Arcy and Leacy are particularly common in the southeast of Ireland, especially in the southern part of County Wexford where the first Norman settlements were established. Other Norman names such as Furlong predominate there. Another common Norman-Irish name was Morell (Murrell) derived from the French Norman name Morel. Other names beginning with Fitz (from the Norman for son) indicate Norman ancestry. These included Fitzgerald and Fitzmaurice.

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  15. The funny thing is that greg claims to be an "expert" in this topic.

    I think his real expertise is in the topic of making an idiot of himself in public.

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  16. greg, Greg, greg, you just can't admit that you have been shown to not know what you are talking about.

    You just keep rabbiting on the same old shit not having read wikipedia which sides with me and the other people who have knowledge of this topic. See also

    By the time of the Norman Invasion, the Normans had pretty much assimilated into French culture. Like the Celts, the Normans were very good at "going native", which the Norman-Irish experience demonstrates.

    But thanks for shooting off your mouth to continue to confirm your ignorance, Greg.

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  17. BTW, Greg, Chaucer was writing 300 years after the Norman Conquest--so your comment about the Prioress is irrelevant.

    The English language had gone through enough of a change by Chaucer's time to be different from the French of the Continent. Chaucer's Middle English had assimilated a fair amount of the French vocabulary and syntax from that spoken in 1066.

    Likewise, The English of Shakespeare and his contemporaries (Early Modern English) is different from Modern English.

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  18. On the subject of the Tudors, Henry Tudor was indeed part Welsh, through his father's side, although his mother was of an English noble house. By the time that family gained the throne, they were about as Welsh as Prince Chuck.

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  19. I descend from one of the families of "the Pale" in Ireland. They were established in 12th century England but originally came from Normandy with The Conqueror and were Norse before that.

    At least according to the internet which couldn't possibly be wrong.

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  20. The Normans never left Normandy. Some British kings ruled England from France--in particular the Angevins.

    And while some left to move to England, others moved around the world.

    While Queen Elizabeth claims to be Duchess of Normandy, That title was confiscated by King Philip II of France in 1204 and subsumed the french Territory into the French crown's lands. Only the Channel Islands remained under John's control. In 1259, Henry III of England recognised the legality of French possession of mainland Normandy under the Treaty of Paris.

    English monarchs made subsequent attempts to reclaim their former continental possessions, particularly during the Hundred Years' War, and even claimed the throne of France itself.

    So, they were French.

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  21. OK, William I, AKA the Conqueror and the Bastard created the Royal House of Normandy which was succeded by the Plantagenets. The former ruled between England and Normandy and latter mainly ruled from France.

    But for nearly two centuries after the conquest, England was ruled from France by the Angevins

    As I said, Greg loves to show the world his ignorance.

    And FWM can be a real clown when he wants to (not meant in a bad way).

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  22. Oh, Laci, please do go back in time and call Elizabeth French. I'd enjoy watching the result.

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  23. From www.royal.gov.uk/HistoryoftheMonarchy/KingsandQueensofEngland/TheNormans/TheNormans.aspx

    The Four Norman kings presided over a period of great change and development for the country...he social landscape altered dramatically, as the Norman aristocracy came to prominence. Many of the nobles struggled to keep a hold on their interests in both Normandy and England, as divided rule meant the threat of conflict.

    This was the case when William the Conqueror died. His eldest son, Robert, became Duke of Normandy, while the next youngest, William, became king of England. Their younger brother Henry would become king on William II's death. The uneasy divide continued until Henry captured and imprisoned his elder brother.

    The question of the succession continued to weigh heavily over the remainder of the period. Henry's son died, and his nominated heir Matilda was denied the throne by her cousin, Henry's nephew, Stephen.

    There then followed a period of civil war. Matilda married Geoffrey Plantagenet of Anjou, who took control of Normandy. The duchy was therefore separated from England once again.

    A compromise was eventually reached whereby the son of Matilda and Geoffrey would be heir to the English crown, while Stephen's son would inherit his baronial lands.

    It meant that in 1154 Henry II would ascend to the throne as the first undisputed king in over 100 years - evidence of the dynastic uncertainty of the Norman period.

    Which take us to the Angevins:

    The first Angevin King, Henry II, began the period as arguably the most powerful monarch in Europe, with lands stretching from the Scottish borders to the Pyrenees. In addition, Ireland was added to his inheritance, a mission entrusted to him by Pope Adrian IV (the only English Pope).

    A new administrative zeal was evident at the beginning of the period and an efficient system of government was formulated. The justice system developed. However there were quarrels with the Church, which became more powerful following the murder of Thomas à Becket.

    As with many of his predecessors, Henry II spent much of his time away from England fighting abroad. This was taken to an extreme by his son Richard, who spent only 10 months of a ten-year reign in the country due to his involvement in the crusades.

    The last of the Angevin kings was John, whom history has judged harshly. By 1205, six years into his reign, only a fragment of the vast Angevin empire acquired by Henry II remained. John quarrelled with the Pope over the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, eventually surrendering.

    He was also forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215, which restated the rights of the church, the barons and all in the land. John died in ignominy, having broken the contract, leading the nobles to summon aid from France and creating a precarious position for his Plantagenet heir, Henry III.

    The Royal Website says:

    The five sovereigns of the Tudor dynasty are among the most well-known figures in Royal history. Of Welsh origin, Henry VII succeeded in ending the Wars of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York to found the highly successful Tudor house. Henry VII, his son Henry VIII and his three children Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I ruled for 118 eventful years.

    Greg, you are a well-known blowhard who has shown that you are more than willing to claim expertise in subjects youknow nothinig about.

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  24. Laci the Dog,

    I'll hear the opinion of an objective observer of our respective comments here, but your opinion of me is none of my business. Are you seriously claiming that the people of Ireland looked at their English invaders and rued the arrival of the French or the Welsh? You can fill the pages here with minutiae about the kings of England, but the actions of one nation on another was England against Ireland.

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  25. Laci The Dog:

    That you need any help (or that the meathead Greg would profit from it) but there's this:

    http://www.irelandseye.com/aarticles/history/events/dates/norman.shtm

    about the Norman conquest of Ireland.

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  26. Greg, I can do better than that--Historian Simon Schama. He is a University Professor of History and Art History at Columbia University in NYC.

    The story of Ireland in the Middle Ages is both more complicated and more tragic than any simple 'natives against imperialists' story could possibly suggest.

    The devastating wars of the British nations, which had seen Edward I invade Wales and then Scotland in the 13th century, left Ireland largely unaffected.

    However, Edward, the Caesar of Britain, had inherited the English Crown's claim to be Lord of Ireland, along with the rest of his estates. Irish gold contributed to his campaigns in Wales, 3,000 Irish men invaded Scotland with him, and while Irish grain fed his war machine, Edward never visited the island himself; indeed no English king did so between John and Richard II.

    Significantly, and for the first time, the grant of Ireland to Edward: 'provided that the land of Ireland shall never be separated from the crown of England...', and so left it forever a part of the Plantagenet estate.

    Anglo-Norman lords had settled in Ireland in the 12th century and never left. Its landscape now featured Norman castles and abbeys, just like the British mainland.

    With the king of England so distracted at home, it came as no surprise that many English lords equally stayed away from their Irish estates, allowing the gradual reassertion of influence by the native Irish princes and kings. It was into the middle of this vacuum that Robert the Bruce dispatched his ambitious brother, Edward, in 1315.

    For all the devastating completeness of the Scots victory at Bannockburn in 1314, Robert I, King of Scotland, knew that it was only a battle that he had won there, certainly not the whole war.

    A year later, his claim to the crown of Scotland had still not been recognised by Edward II, King of England. Bruce and the Scottish nation also knew there was always the possibility that before long another great army of English knights and Welsh archers would come lumbering up over the Tweed.

    All his instincts - strategically sharp as always - told Bruce he needed to hit the English while they were still on the floor, and hit them where it hurt. The war was taken over the border into Northumbria, now subjected to raids of unsparing ferocity. For over 20 years the Scots held the initiative in northern England, terrorising the population and carrying off their goods.

    And then in May 1315, Bruce did something much, much, bolder. His brother, Edward, landed a formidable Scottish army, at least 5,000 strong, near Carrickfergus in the north-east of Ireland. In effect, this opened a second front in the war against the English empire.

    Robert had smoothed his brother's way by writing a remarkable letter to: 'all the kings of Ireland, the prelates and clergy and to the inhabitants of all Ireland, our friends'.

    The Scots would come, he said, not as invaders but as liberators, for: 'our people and your people, free in times past, share the same national ancestry and are urged to come together more eagerly and joyfully in friendship by a common language and common custom'.

    What he was proposing was a Gaelic alliance, across the Irish Sea, 'so that God willing, nostra natio - our nation - may be restored to her former liberty'.

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  27. more importantly

    How, and when, had their liberty been taken from the Irish?

    The 'when' is easy enough to pinpoint - the fateful decade when an Anglo-Norman colony of barons established itself in northern and eastern Ireland; and the fateful year, 1171, when the kings of Ireland had knelt before Henry II, in a specially built palace made of wattle, and had submitted to him as their overlord and High King.

    So you would suppose that the 'how' is also a story of depressing simplicity. The aggressive, expansionist English - under the king most famous for gobbling up duchies and kingdoms - take a look out west, see something they fancy, push their horses onto ships, bludgeon their way into the land they want with blood and fire, and force themselves on the peaceful natives as conquerors. Then they sit there for the next 800 years, daring the conquered people to do something about it.

    But that's not what happened. What did happen is ugly enough - and reflects no credit on the English intruders - but it was, as history often is - both more complicated and more tragic, than any simple 'natives against imperialists' story could possibly suggest.

    Just as in Scotland a century later, the trouble with the English began with a civil war among the natives. In 1166, the King of Leinster, Diarmait MacMurchada was forced to flee from Dublin and from his kingdom by an alliance of Irish enemies, including the new High King, Ruaidri Ua Conchobair. 'Awful the deed done in Ireland today', wrote the chronicler of Leinster, 'the expulsion overseas by the men of Ireland of Diarmait...'.

    And awful were its consequences. For Diarmait landed in Bristol and asked for help from King Henry II to get his throne back. Now what happens when you ask the Godfather for a favour? He expects something, some day, in return. And, as the Song of Dermot made clear, from the beginning that something was:

    To you I come to make my plaint, good sire In the presence of the barons of your empire. Your liege-man I shall become henceforth all the days of my life, On condition you be my helper so that I do not lose at all You I shall acknowledge as sire and lord...

    Then the King promised him, the powerful king of England That willingly would he help him as soon as he should be able.

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  28. But these were the years of Henry's great crises: the feud with Becket and the church - and the coming wars with his son, the future Richard I. In 1155, the Pope had asked Henry to invade Ireland to clean up what was reported to be a corrupt and lax Christianity.

    But then, as now, Henry had more urgent things to do than get directly involved in an obscure island west of England's shores. On the other hand, Diarmait's appeal had presented him with a windfall too good to turn down. So he gave Diarmait permission to recruit help from among his barons.

    This is when the trouble became big trouble. For Diarmait promptly went shopping for mercenaries among the nastiest and greediest possible bunch of knights. These were the Anglo-Normans who, around the 1160s, seemed to be on the losing end of the war against the Welsh princes of Gwynedd.

    They had lost castles, land and peasants. They were in an ugly mood and they were looking for somewhere to recoup their losses. Enter Diarmait.

    Spread the word, the likes of Robert fitzStephen and Richard fitzGilbert de Clare (known to his friends, and especially to his many enemies, as 'Strongbow') must have said: 'Forget about Wales; forget about those unpleasantnesses in the mountains and valleys. Come west young knights. Ireland will be a piece of cake. It's said that the natives are primitive. But the pastures are green. So what are you waiting for?'.

    Within a year Diarmait had his throne back in Dublin. But he also now had an army of Anglo-Normans who weren't about to go away now that the job was done. In fact, from the beginning, Diarmait had known this. He not only expected but wanted the likes of Strongbow to stick around, lest his old enemies get ideas of booting him out again.

    Robert fitzStephen was quite right when he told his followers that Diarmait 'loves our race; he is encouraging our race to come here and has decided to settle them in this island and give them permanent roots...'. And Diarmait even went to the trouble of marrying his daughter to Strongbow to make sure that the alliance had staying power.

    Their agreement spelled out that if none of Diarmait's sons survived (and one had been blinded, another been taken hostage, another was illegitimate), then Strongbow could even inherit the throne of Leinster himself!

    At which point Henry II suddenly sat up and took notice of what was going on in the west. He had meant to use Diarmait's appeal to get a foothold in Ireland.

    What he had inadvertently created was a monster: a colony of Anglo-Normans, who answered to exactly the kind of jumped-up superbaron Henry was busy sitting on in every other part of his enormous empire.

    So in the winter of 1171, Henry crossed the Irish Sea himself, coming with an army big enough to give the likes of Strongbow serious second thoughts. It was then, in the wattle palace of Dublin, that he took the homage of all the six Irish kings, including Ruadrai Ua Conchobair.

    And though everything that happened afterwards in the sad history of England and Ireland wants to say this was the moment when Ireland lost her freedom, no one at the time saw it that way at all.

    The Irish kings did homage to Henry as they would to any High King, building the ritual hall through which they entered as his men, promising him one of every ten of their cattle hides in tribute.

    And they saw him not as imperial conqueror at all, but as their protector against the Strongbows and the Anglo-Norman barons.

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  29. At the Treaty of Windsor in 1175, Henry in his turn made it clear that he also thought of himself as protector rather than conqueror, since he restored Ruadrai to his kingship of Connacht and to all the rights and honours he had had from other Irish lords before the coming of the English.

    It wasn't Henry II's presence in Ireland that lost them their freedom, then, but his absence. With Henry in France, fighting off his children, his wife and the King of France, the Anglo-Norman barons had absolutely no intention of making his Irish settlement, with its careful attention to the claims of native Irish rulers, work.

    What they wanted was a colony; the nice, obedient, feudal territory they had lost over in Wales, transplanted to Ulster and the east coast. And the first thing they did to make sure they got it, was to do what barons do best - build a castle that said - unmistakably - 'We're in charge'.

    At first the castles were a primitive throwback to Norman history - just a heaped up earth motte with an encircling wooden 'bailey' wall. But it was enough to do the job of dominating the countryside against Irish attacks.

    In due course came the much more formidable stone buildings, such as Carrickfergus Castle, which entrenched their power in Ulster beyond any possibility of eviction.

    And from these power-bases, something utterly new was created in Ireland: feudalism. Within two or three generations, northern and eastern Ireland had been totally transformed, from a country living off herding and horses, and ruled by clans, to a place of manors.

    The land taken - and taken is the word - by the Anglo-Normans, was divided up in the usual way and given to their knights, as reward for military service.

    But somehow - and does this sound familiar everyone? - they weren't quite English either. Almost from the beginning they knew this, since one of the Anglo-Normans, Maurice fitzGerald, rather pathetically complained that no one would help his kind: 'for just as we are English as far as the Irish are concerned, likewise to the English we are Irish and the inhabitants of this island and of the other assail us with an equal degree of hatred'.

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  30. The Scots invasion, 1315

    By the time that Edward Bruce arrived in 1315, there was an entrenched English colony in eastern Ireland. But the native Irish kings and much of their way of life had managed to hold on in the centre and west of the country - taking advantage of the chaos of English politics in the middle of the 12th century.

    So there was reason for the Bruces to hope that their clarion call to revolt would be heard loud and clear, and that oppressed Ireland would rush to their banner to evict the imperial conquerors, much as they had done in Scotland.

    Together the Gaelic brothers would rid Caledonia and Hibernia of the English scourge. And the two Bruces - Robert in Edinburgh and a King Edward in Dublin would rule the Irish Sea.

    This is not what happened. And perhaps it served them right. For all their ringing national rhetoric, some of it undoubtedly sincere, Robert and Edward Bruce were transparently using Ireland to force the English to divert resources away from Scotland to this second front, and to make them accept their claim to the crown in Scotland.

    That, in the end, they didn't give two hoots about Ireland was obvious when, in return for the English government (now in the hands of Queen Isabella and the Lord Mortimer) recognising the independence of Scotland, King Robert promised that he would never aid any rebellion against the English in Ireland. So much for the Gaelic brotherhood of nations!

    And perhaps you could have forecast this from what actually happened once Edward Bruce's campaign got under way. For it proceeded with the usual indiscriminate slaughters and burnings - without making any nice distinctions between Gaelic friends and English foes.

    Perhaps things might have been different had not the years of the Scottish campaigns also been those of the worst famine in medieval history; so that there was nothing for the Scots soldiers to eat unless they took from the Irish. Which they did.

    And even then they were reduced to such desperate straits, that it was said by one chronicler that the Scots soldiers dug up freshly made graves to eat the corpses. It was the usual story: a victory over the Ulster English; then a march down towards Dublin.

    There the inhabitants tore down churches to use the stones to reinforce their walls. So they evidently were far from seeing the Scots as liberators. The city was never taken.

    Then at an immense and bloody battle between opposed Irish camps in the west, where 10,000 men were said to have lost their lives, the pro-Scots side came off worst. In 1318 Edward Bruce was himself was killed in battle at Fochart, and by the end of the year the Scots were gone.

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  31. The most important bit

    Declarations of national identity - the legacy of the invasions.

    As grim as the story was, the Scots in Ireland had left something behind apart from widows and tragic ballads. The Anglo-Norman colony stopped expanding out from Ulster and Leinster. And just as in Scotland, the idea of the unstoppable English Empire of the Plantagenets had had the shine knocked off its myth of invincibility.

    And, not least, the Bruces had given Irish leaders such as Domnal O'Neill, Edward's main ally, their voice of resistance. They wrote a 'Remonstrance of the Irish Princes' to the Pope, justifying the bestowing on Edward of the crown of Ireland.

    To, 'shake off the harsh and insupportable yoke of servitude and to recover our native freedom...', the Irish princes were, '... compelled to enter a deadly war ... preferring under the compulsion of necessity to face the dangers of war like men in defence of our right, than go on bearing their cruel outrages like women...'.

    In this you hear a language - eloquent, fierce, righteously belligerent - and you hear a voice which, for better or worse, would shout, roar and lament, down through the centuries.

    This was 1317. Three years later - a case perhaps of the Irish teaching the Scots rather than the other way about - something remarkably like it was spelled out at Arbroath, once again in a letter to the Pope.

    And so the wars of Britain had once again spilled into Ireland, with bloody consequences. The English estates remained, subdued to a degree but it would be over half a century before another English king set foot in Ireland to restore the crown's authority.

    It was Richard II who turned Ireland into his personal crusade, only this time it was to cost the English king his throne - and his life.

    ReplyDelete
  32. The upshot Greg is that you have no idea of Irish history.

    Let alone European history.

    Greg, I find it amazing that you claim to teach since you have less knowledge than the average British first former (roughly a 7th grader in US terminology).

    Yet, you are more than willing to demonstrate your ignorance in a multitude of subjects.

    I am a dilitante, but I have far more depth to my knowledge than you do.

    Your knowledge is simplistic at most and inaccurate at the worst.

    You are truly a pathetic case, Greg.

    ReplyDelete
  33. SO, Greg, my position has been backed up by two independent sources(actually a few more than that, but you are too stupid to understand English let alone teach it).

    Simon Schama and the One provided by Democommie.

    Greg, you are a total loser.

    No wonder you need a gun.

    ReplyDelete
  34. FWM, I knew you were beyond the pale, but I had no idea it was literal.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Count me as beyond the pale as well. In fact, call me a heathen--heath dweller, and thus uncivilized. But do lock the door to your monastery.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I take it Greg has just admitted that he has indeed been shown to be ignorant on yet another topic.

    ReplyDelete
  37. No, Laci the Dog, I've admitted to no such thing.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Well, then Greg, put up some scholarly evidence to back up your point of view.

    You haven't done that yet.

    So, you are like the person who is getting the shit pounded out of them, but won't give up.

    No matter how obvious it is that you are well over your head, Greg.

    ReplyDelete
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