Mrs. Tom Clarke

On this day in 1972 Ireland lost a valiant soldier in its continued quest for freedom. Mrs. Tom Clarke was how she preferred to be addressed in spite of being a staunch suffragist. She gave up her fight on September 29th at the ripe old age of 94, after living a life that would have sent anyone else to the grave much sooner.

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Jailbreak

In honor of the MASSIVE escape from the Maze (Long Kesh) that happened on this day in 1983, I give you this song – played very loudly. 38 IRA prisoners left that day and half that succeeded in escaping. Good on ya boys

Scotland, the ___________

Scotland the Brave? Only about 45% of them. Proud? Not so much. Unless you count the 55% of them full of British pride and the subset of them who were enjoying the violence as they attacked anyone wearing blue or carrying a Scottish flag. Or maybe we’re speaking of the people who stormed a park in Glasgow while smugly displaying nazi salutes, singing God Save the Queen and waving a Union Jack. It was like the 12th of July all over again…except that it was September and seemed like it would go on forever. This fascist “victory” behavior, along with the fear-mongering and condescension of the Better Together bullshit campaign leaves a sour taste and a confused “what the hell just happened in Scotland?” question rolling around in my head.

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Gratitude

I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who reads my little ramblings and stories here. When I began it was just a place to put the things I was so passionate about and now it has blossomed into a tiny sparkling gem that makes me so very happy. Today I was given a gift that let me know I had moved someone enough to find and leave flowers on a grave and it damn near made me cry in a wonderful way.

Two things happened last week. I got to write the story of a woman who has been in my head and heart for years and then Scotland took over everything. Between writing about Anne Devlin, one of my passions and heroes, and the heartbreak of Scotland’s no vote, I have felt a little spent. I am still trying to find the words for a Scotland post – which is still coming to be sure – and have been focused on that quest.  The radio has been silent for a bit as I puzzle out just what I want to say.

However, today I got a notification from a stranger named Annie (ha!) who had read my story of Anne Devlin on a recommendation from a friend and who is currently visiting Ireland. She let me know that she had gone hunting for Anne’s grave in Glasnevin and then sent a picture of the bright red flowers she had left there for Anne – and for me – because she had been touched by my telling of her tale. It brought tears to my eyes and a giddy smile to my face that has yet to go away. To know someone reads an entry and is inspired by it is amazing. It is motivating me to quit my stumbling and get back into the writing patterns I had started before hitting the roadblock in my brain and heart that is the Scottish Referendum.

So thank you Annie, and everyone else, for occasionally stopping by and reading this silly little dream of a journal. It was just a place for me to ramble on about Ireland and history without driving all of my friends batty and now it is a thing that sometimes brings other people joy and inspiration. For that, I am eternally humbled and grateful.

Annie left flowers for Anne

Annie left the red flowers for Anne today

Anne Devlin, Ireland’s Almost Entirely Ignored Hero

Today is not the day Anne Devlin died but September 18th is. Given that the Scottish vote will be the news of that day this year, I thought I would step back for a minute into my favorite subjects. I started this blog because I am incredibly passionate about history in general – and Irish history in specific. I make an effort to highlight Irish women – the rebels, suffragists, and strong women who fought for Ireland just as much as their male counterparts but who rarely get the same credit. The Scottish referendum on Independence is HUGE news but their vote falls on an all too forgotten date in Irish history as well – and to ignore that would be yet another travesty inflicted upon Anne Devlin. Given that she suffered more brutality in her life than most would ever survive, the least I can do is mark the anniversary of her passing and give her the recognition that she deserves – even if I tell my tale of her life and death a day early.

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Too Little Too Late

This is Scottish Independence week (one would hope). With the vote 3 days away, it’s about time someone British starts talking about it as a likely possibility and viable option. The irreverent and humorous way that he did it is entertaining – but here’s hoping his mockery of a plea doesn’t sway a single vote, unless it’s someone switching to vote Yes.

AN SIONNACH FIONN

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