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Friday, February 23, 2018

Churchill on Ireland

Posted by Jim on February 3, 2018

black-and-tans

“We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English” – Churchill

In 1904 Churchill said “I remain of the opinion that a separate parliament for Ireland would be dangerous and impractical”. Churchill’s ancestry is linked to loyalism to Britain, he is a direct descendent of the ‘Marquis of Londonderry’ who helped put down the 1798 United Irishmen rising. He would live up to his families reputation when it came to suppressing revolutionary forces in Ireland.

The Black and Tans were the brainchild of Churchill, he sent the thugs to Ireland to terrorise at will. Attacking civilians and civilian property they done Churchill proud, rampaging across the country carrying out reprisals. He went on to describe them as “gallant and honourable officers”. It was also Churchill who conceived the idea of forming the Auxiliaries who carried out the Croke Park massacre, firing into the crowd at a Gaelic football match, killing 14. Of course this didn’t fulfill Churchill’s bloodlust to repress as people who he described as “odd” for their refusal “to be English”, he went on to advocate the use of air power in Ireland against Sinn Fein members in 1920. He suggested to his war advisers that aeroplanes should be dispatched with orders to use “machine-gun fire or bombs” to “scatter and stampede them”.

Churchill was an early advocate for the partitioning of Ireland. During the treaty negotiations he insisted on retaining navy bases in Ireland. In 1938 those bases were handed back to Ireland. However in 1939 Churchill proposed capturing Berehaven base by force. In 1941 Churchill supported a plan to introduce conscription in the North of Ireland.

Churchill went on to remark”the bloody Irish, what have they ever done for our wars”, reducing Ireland’s merit to what it might provide by way of resources (people) for their imperialist land grabs.

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