12.CONTROLLING IRELAND’S NARRATIVE: IS
HISTORY ONLY WRITTEN BY THE WINNERS?
But this narrative is here rudely interrupted
by the second voice, impatient and imperious.
Listen –it is “History-Written-by-the-Winners”:
“STOP! Enough with the Saints & Scholars!
Your time is long-gone! Now it’s my turn! It is
Appetite & Force, not Peace, that is the Stuff
of History. Shake Things Up; Change the Rules,
–History’s Plots always need developing! Might
is right & will determine Ireland’s future.The
game’s afoot: “History-Written-by-the-Winners”
shakes things up! More Wives; Divorces! Split
the Church! Use English Force!(Not “Pirates”:
–now we call them…“Armed Adventurers”!)
Dispossess the Old; Plant the New! That
sort of thing!” [Ideas! We need more ideas!]
“Fix” Ireland first!Then let’s tame Wild America,
Land of Savages.(Like Ireland, only bigger!):
Forget that the Empire acquires & loses “The
Colonies” in just 169 years –& loses NOT to
Foreigners but –such irony– to ITS OWN
ungrateful Sons & Daughters of 1776 who
outgrow “Loyal Allegiance” to Their King& pursue
selfish desires for freedom, liberty & happiness.
[Does that have a bit of an “Irish” ring to it?]
[Dear Friends: Again we have run ahead of our-
selves & must return to: the “Dispossession of
Lynch” & “The Unpleasantness at Aherlow”] :
“Poor Lynch, relieved of his Aherlow lands; from
his hill he watches as below his newcome
English Lord & Master (armed-adventurer & no
doubt fop-aspiring) plays at shooting woodcock
in Lynch’s old glen. “Gleann na Creabhar” is now
translated as “Glen of the Woodcock.”
[Much –much TOO much– is lost in translation.]
(As it happened, family fragments of the O’Neill
& O’Donnell clans, displaced from Donegal after
the Battle of Kinsale (1601), settled nearby.
“We had no shoes;” said Grandma O’Neill (nee
O’Donnell) “& could not walk back to Donegal.)
13. THE EMPIRE BUSINESS: RULE ONE: YOU
MUST MAINTAIN AN EDGE OF HUMILIATION
Now we teach old Lynch some English manners:
Forelock-tugging; Indentured servitude, etc.
Change his tune –teach him the song, “Penury
& Poverty” Rent back his own lands to him!
Remember: in this new world of subjugation
you MUST maintain an edge of humiliation.
Enforce! Show who’s boss! Think “Evict-Eject-
Subject-Abject-Deject”. (What’s that you say?
Famine? Good thinking! Capital idea!)
Life is hard, Lynch; is not fair, Lynch; will kill or
make you stronger. History is written by the
winners (not the whiners!) Get used to it!
The losers & victims choice?: Like or Lump it!
The Imperial Rule is:”Oderint dum metuant”
(“Let them hate provided they fear.” –those
Roman Imperialists knew a thing or two!)
Big Question: How much crap will Lynch take?;
For how long?; What are his options?
Answers: Much; Long time; Zilch. [Lynch/
Ireland’s History Lesson lists 300 years of
troubles. (You say longer?; let’s not quibble.]
Part One: Starts badly & goes down from there:
Kinsale, Cromwell, Drogheda, Boyne, et al. All
your favorite crushing defeats:1601, 1649, 1691,
–up to the Guns ‘n’ Pikes Rebellion of 1798.
 THE ACT OF UNION, 1801: WAS IT GOOD
Followed by The Act of Union, 1801: England &
Ireland will be One! ( At this point need we ask…
”Which One?”) In that unhappy Nuptial Bed, be
assured that it is England’s Conquest (Mother
Ireland) who will be “on her back” and get
royally screwed! [Just “Wham” & “Bam”; –no
“Thank You, Ma’am”. And, please! Spare us the
faux-solicitudes of…“Was it good for you?”]
Part Two Gets worse! The Irish Famine (1841-47)
kills one million at home, forces another abroad.
Result: Death; Defeat; Despair.
14. LAISSEZ UNFAIR! AFTER THE FAMINE
(–BAD PR FOR UNREGULATED CAPITALISM!–)
IRELAND TAKES BACK ITS FUTURE HISTORY
If History is written by the winners, what more–
after Total Famine’s Death, Defeat, & Despair–
was there left to say? Or write? Does not “Total
Victory” suggest “An End of History”?
Hold on! Not quite!
History’s never-ending narrative (at least, SO far!)
covers more than “Victories”. And does not every
“Rise” carry the seeds of its own “Decline & Fall”?
That is –IF we wish to learn from history.
“The Union” has a crisis of conscience & “The
Winners” lose control of the narrative. (A first ever?)
“The Wretched of the Famine” take up the story &
write the next chapters of Irish history: Skeletal
victims expose The Great Hunger Holocaust on
the world stage & draw out sorrow, pity, anger.
(Not all landlords had been inhuman –just a lot!).
Just as had Slavery, the Famine was Very Bad
Publicity for Unregulated Capitalism. “Creative
Destruction?” Not when it’s one’s own family
that is starving to death AND getting evicted!
Could we pause here a moment & simply ask:
Who are we? What are we?
Even: What do we want to be when we grow up?:
Brother’s-Keeper? Or Pass-by-on-the-Other-Side?
[Certain Inconvenient Truths embedded in
Assorted SacredTexts emerge occasionally
–for occasional emergencies.]
Concerning Human Nature & History’s Crimes,
it has been said: “SOME are guilty; ALL are
responsible”. In London, Whigs & Tories argued
“Compassionate Conservatism” back & forth.
In the Irish Famine the Liberals exposed the
fatal flaw in Tory Obduracy. Conscience
questioned laissez-faire, bringing out its dark
side (its, may we say –at risk of glibness—)
Concerning Bullies: In the global schoolyard, it
is His Own Utter Friendlessness that ultimately
defeats the bully. It dawns on him that his Rule
for Bullies [“How does it go again? “Do (IT?)
unto others?”] has that odd second part, “As
you would be done by”, the consequences of
which gives some bullies pause –eventually.
Schoolyards “grow up”; become marketplaces.
Some “Enlightened self-interest” bullies notice:
“Hungry slave are bad consumers!” (Where
money is involved, be sure it will be noticed!)
To be sure, “Fox-in-charge-of-Henhouse” is no
recipe for order. But will The Fox accept
Regulation for a Fair & Balanced Henhouse?
15. IRISH NATIONALISM IS AFOOT. AND
LIAM LYNCH HAS SOME FAMILY BURDENS
The “Wretched of the Famine” force the door; set
free the Irish Political Genius for the Art of
the Possible. Land-Wars, Greedy Landlords,
WWI Conscripts? All are grist to its mill!
Two “difficult” family history items for Liam: his
grandfather (murdered by a local gang in
famine-hit 1847) & father (d.1914), were both
rent-collectors for English landlords & no doubt
had to gouge, even evict tenant-neighbors –(to
say the least) “unpopular” jobs in a community.
Might that not have hurt the Name of Lynch?
Added an edge to Liam’s resolve?
In World War I’s gathering storm, 140,000 Irish-
men enlist to fight “for King & Country”; 25,000
died for “their” King –5,000 at Gallipoli alone.
Gallipoli was a young Churchill’s “dulce &
decorum” debacle. Churchill’s punishment?
Demotion! And sent to run the war IN IRELAND!
The big question for The Irish: Why not fight for
Ireland? Die for it? More radically: why not
Live for Ireland? (What an outrageous idea!)