Asked By: Nathaniel Lopez Date: created: Apr 29 2024

What is the oldest surname in Ireland

Answered By: Nathaniel Jenkins Date: created: Apr 29 2024

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

O’Cleary Ó Cléirigh
Parent house Uí Fiachrach Aidhne
Country Kingdom of Connacht
Founder Cleireach mac Ceadach
Final ruler Mhic Mac Comhaltan Ua Cleirigh

King of Uí Fiachrach Aidhne Brehons of Tír Chonaill

Cadet branches Coulton Kilkelly Hynes

O’Cleary or O’Clery ( Irish : Ó Cléirigh ) is the surname of a learned Gaelic Irish family. It is the oldest recorded surname in Europe — dating back to 916 AD — and is cognate with cleric and clerk. The O’Clearys are a sept of the Uí Fiachrach dynasty, who ruled the Kingdom of Connacht for nearly two millennia.

As Connachta, the O’Cleary’s ruled the kingdom of Uí Fiachrach Aidhne for nearly 800 years. They are the descendants of Fiachrae, son of the High King Eochaid Mugmedon, and elder brother of legendary High King Niall of the Nine Hostages, According to legend, they ultimately trace their ancestry back to the mythical Fir Bolg, as well as to Milesius, and consequently to Japheth, son of Noah,

During the Norman conquest of Ireland, they were expelled from their land and replaced by their cousins the O’Shaughnessy ‘s. From the early 11th or 12th century, they were based in Tír Chonaill, located in modern-day County Donegal, where they served as poet-historians, scribes and secretaries to the O’Donnell dynasty of Tyrconnell,

Asked By: Leonars Walker Date: created: Jan 19 2024

Why are the Irish called Fenians

Answered By: Carlos Thomas Date: created: Jan 22 2024

Fenian, member of an Irish nationalist secret society active chiefly in Ireland, the United States, and Britain, especially during the 1860s. The name derives from the Fianna Eireann, the legendary band of Irish warriors led by the fictional Finn MacCumhaill (MacCool).

The society was founded in the United States by John O’Mahony and in Ireland by James Stephens (1858). Plans for a rising against British rule in Ireland miscarried, but the American Fenians staged abortive raids across the border into British Canada in 1866, 1870, and 1871 and were a cause of friction between the U.S.

and British governments. The Irish wing of the society was sometimes called the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a name that continued to be used after Fenianism proper had virtually died out in the early 1870s. Arthur Griffith, a member of the Brotherhood, founded the Irish nationalist party Sinn Féin (“We Ourselves”) in 1905. More From Britannica Ireland: The rise of Fenianism

Were the Black and Tans Catholic or Protestant?

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Features, Issue 3 (Autumn 2004), Revolutionary Period 1912-23, Volume 12 When the republican campaign against the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and others thought sympathetic to Dublin Castle became more violent and successful in late 1919, the police abandoned hundreds of rural facilities to consolidate shrinking ranks in fewer, fortified stations.

  1. The pressure exerted directly on RIC men, their families, friends and those who did business with them resulted in unfilled vacancies from casualties, resignations and retirements.
  2. Lloyd George’s government could not recognise the IRA or Dáil Éireann as belligerents and insisted that counter-insurgency was ‘a policeman’s job supported by the military and not vice versa’, which placed responsibility squarely on the RIC.

The role of the RIC as a largely domestic police force with strong community ties had been steadily compromised since 1916 by more aggressive tactics against nationalists and heavier reliance on the military. Faced with the need for more, better-prepared men wearing police uniforms, the government augmented RIC numbers and capabilities by recruiting Great War veterans from throughout the UK.

  • From early 1920 through to the Truce in July 1921, 13,732 new police recruits were added to the nearly 10,000 members of the ‘old’ RIC to maintain a constabulary strength that, at the end, reached about 14,500.
  • The new recruits stood out in RIC ranks anyway, but an initial shortage of complete bottle-green constabulary uniforms resulted in the temporary issue of military khaki and the name that stuck: the ‘Black-and-Tans’.

The Black-and-Tans were sworn as constables to reinforce county stations and their experience with weapons and tactics gave the RIC a tougher edge. The IRA campaign led to another recruitment initiative in July 1920, the Auxiliary Division (ADRIC) or ‘Auxies’, former military officers who wore distinctive Tam o’ Shanter caps and operated in counter-insurgency units independent of other RIC formations.

Even though the Auxiliaries were a separate category of police, they were often combined under the shorthand of ‘Black-and-Tans’. They were never regarded as ordinary Irish constables, by the communities in which they served or by other policemen, and are popularly remembered for brutality and the militarisation of the police.

There is substance to the popular characterisation. The Black-and-Tans, and the Auxiliaries especially, were part of the escalation of violence in Ireland in 1920–1, and they are inseparable from reprisals against civilians. Indeed, it is hard to imagine the RIC executing a systematic reprisal policy without them. A personnel register was maintained at Headquarters in Dublin Castle. The original manuscript ledgers are preserved in the Public Records Office (PRO), Kew (HO 184), and include all policemen recruited between 1816 and disbandment in 1922, including Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries.

  1. RIC record-keeping was meticulous.
  2. Complete, consistent information on individual police careers is available at least until 1919.
  3. The records for men recruited to the RIC from early 1920 are not as complete as those kept for the previous century.
  4. Enrolments and departures during the Black-and-Tan era occurred at a much higher rate, and other work generated by the War of Independence taxed RIC staff resources.

Entries for Black-and-Tan constables are, generally, more complete than those for Auxiliaries. The leanness of information for Auxiliaries suggests that more detailed information was kept elsewhere and/or there was a disinclination to keep accessible records about a counter-terror group.

  1. There is one reference to a ‘secret file’.
  2. Still, the register contains important information about the men who joined the RIC as both Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries.
  3. A twenty per cent sample (every fifth entry) of all those who joined the new RIC beginning in 1920 furnishes a representative population of 2,745 cases—2,302 Black-and-Tans and 443 Auxiliaries.

As the poster shows, a recruitment system was set up throughout the UK. One third (916) of all sampled recruits joined in London. Another 36 per cent (990) were recruited in Liverpool and Glasgow. Nearly fourteen per cent of recruitment transactions occurred in Ireland.

Folk memory holds that the British administration was not very concerned about the backgrounds of Black-and-Tan recruits, as long as they had military experience. An RIC constable who staffed the London office recalled that ‘a canard has been put about that we recruited criminals deliberately, We had a police report on every candidate and accepted no man whose army character was assessed at less than “good”‘.

Douglas Duff, a Black-and-Tan who wrote a memoir, recalled that ‘it had not been hard’ to join the RIC and that he was sent to Dublin the same day he was sworn in. The Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries were overwhelmingly British (78.6 per cent of the sample).

Almost two thirds were English, fourteen per cent were Scottish, and fewer than five per cent came from Wales and outside the UK. An unexpected finding that is at odds with popular memory is that nearly nineteen per cent of the sampled recruits (514) were Irish-born, twenty per cent of Black-and-Tans and about ten per cent of Auxiliaries.

Extrapolating from the sample, more than 2,300 of all Black-and-Tans and 225 of all Auxiliaries were Irish. Many Irishmen joined the RIC in a role assumed by folk memory to be the exclusive preserve of British mercenaries. The information in the register cannot tell us why anyone joined the RIC at a time of intensifying violence.

  • Douglas Duff, for example, was a twice- torpedoed former merchant seaman.
  • Thankful to be alive, he spent a short time in a London monastery.
  • He ‘conceived the idea’ of joining the RIC from newspaper accounts of the Irish conflict.
  • That was on Monday morning—the following Friday, at dawn, I was steaming into Dublin Bay, with a rubber stamp mark on my arm that read “Royal Irish Constabulary”.’ But Sebastian Barry, in his novel The whereabouts of Eneas McNulty, convincingly imagines the difficult adjustments for unemployed veterans of the experience in the trenches.

Eneas, from Sligo, is another unemployed merchant navy veteran who joins the RIC. He ‘knows why there are places in the peelers when there are places nowhere else’, but ‘a fella must work’. As an Irish Black-and-Tan, he experiences ‘the new world of guerilla war and reprisal, for a policeman is a target,

  1. Every recruited man is suspected by both sides of informing,,’.
  2. Eneas’s decision earns him the lifelong enmity of Sligo republicans and, decades later, he becomes the last RIC casualty.
  3. Of the ADRIC Barry observes: ‘Many of the Auxiliaries are decorated boys,
  4. And saw sights worse than the dreariest nightmares.

And they have come back altered forever and in a way more marked by atrocity than honoured by medals. They are half nightmare themselves, in their uniforms patched together from Army and RIC stores.’ The RIC, at least, offered a place for men with such experience, but Eneas was wary of being ‘jostled in the very barracks by these haunted faces’.

Black-and-Tan service records Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century police records are rich sources of detailed information. The average age of the Black-and-Tans was 26.5 years and Auxiliaries were about three years older (29.4 years). Irish recruits were, on average, nearly a year and a half younger (25.5 years).

The ten men who gave their birthplace as the USA were the tallest, at six feet, but the Irishmen maintained the constabulary height tradition at nearly five feet nine and a half inches, eight-tenths of an inch taller than other UK recruits. Among the 490 Irish-born in the sample, nearly 60 per cent came from the provinces of Leinster (26.8%) and Ulster (31.3%).

Munster and Connacht shared 37 per cent almost equally (the county of birth for almost five per cent is not known). Eighty-two per cent of Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries sampled were Protestant, 17.4 per cent were Catholic and there were ten English Jews. The largest proportion of Catholics, not surprisingly, was found among the Irish recruits (59 per cent of the 478 Catholics in the sample).

Fifty-five per cent of the Irish recruits were Catholic, mostly concentrated among the Black–and-Tans. Those born in Connacht and Munster were overwhelmingly Catholic (both 78 per cent) and 60 per cent of the Leinster men were Catholic. Ulster-born Black-and-Tans were overwhelmingly Protestant (72 per cent).

  • The 46 Irish Auxiliaries included seventeen Catholics.
  • Service as a police mercenary attracted single men.
  • Only 25 per cent of the recruits were married, with the Irish the least likely (12.1%) and Scots most likely (31.8%) to be married.
  • Under the ‘old’ RIC Code, only single men were enrolled among the rank-and-file, who had to wait seven years for permission to marry.

It is a measure of the seriousness of the security situation that married men were recruited at all. Besides being younger, Irish Black-and-Tans were probably less likely to be married because of risks to their families. Two categories of prior occupations were recorded for Black-and-Tans.

  1. One hundred and eighty distinct occupations that cover the range of UK industries have been identified in the sample, all but a few of which were held by Black-and-Tans.
  2. More than a third of Black-and-Tan occupations can be grouped into several categories, the largest of which are clerks (4.3%), agriculture (6.7%), labourers (14.4%), mechanics (2.6%), and railway employees (4.5%).

Only 136 of the Black-and-Tans in the sample were recruited directly from military service. Second occupations are listed for almost 68 per cent of those in the sample and 1,802 of those men (over 65 per cent of the entire sample) were military veterans.

  1. ADRIC men, on the other hand, generally showed only one occupation: ‘former military officer’, which accounted for nearly 95 per cent of the sample.
  2. While 70 per cent of English and over 80 per cent of Scots Black-and-Tans had prior military service, fewer than 40 per cent of Irish recruits were veterans.

Irishmen without prior military service continued to join the RIC. Clearly, unemployment forged a previously unseen connection with RIC recruiting traditions among the Irish-born Black-and-Tans. Dublin Castle would have quietly recognised them as the backbone of the future RIC, but publicity would invite IRA intimidation of recruits and their families.

  • The Black-and-Tans, with their military experience, received cursory training at the depot in the Phoenix Park before being posted to stations throughout Ireland.
  • The register contains information on the postings of only 54 per cent of those in the sample, mostly about Black-and-Tans.
  • But the data appear to reliably represent deployments because their known first postings correspond very closely to the counties in which RIC records (PRO, CO 904/148) show both large numbers of incidents and RIC casualties.

Forty-eight per cent of Black-and-Tan reinforcements for whom postings are known went to the six counties where IRA activity against the police was heaviest. The most dangerous county for the RIC was Cork, where at least 119 policemen were wounded and 90 killed.

Cork also received the largest number of Black-and-Tan reinforcements—eleven per cent of the total or (extrapolating from the sample) more than 1,500 police irregulars. Close behind was Tipperary, with less than eleven per cent of Black-and-Tan assignments, or just under 1,500 men. More than 1,000 Black-and-Tans appear to have been sent to Galway.

When Limerick, Clare and Kerry are added, these six counties received more than 6,600 of all the Black-and-Tans deployed. All of the Black-and-Tans were not stationed in the southern and south-western counties at the same time, but they must have been very noticeable additions in small communities, another reason why they were remembered so vividly.

Assignments to other counties varied widely and, for example, many fewer Black-and-Tans were needed to supplement the Ulster special constabularies. The Black-and-Tans had a reputation for violent indiscipline that could be very dangerous to Irish civilians and even other policemen. Members of the ‘old’ RIC had very mixed reactions to their presence and violent behaviour that not all officers were able to restrain.

Black-and-Tans were thought of as ‘gun-happy’ and the Auxiliaries’ ferocity was reputed to be fuelled by heavy drinking. Even officers who regarded the Black-and-Tans as effective assets against the IRA acknowledged that the strict disciplinary system in the RIC Code had not anticipated a large number of men who were not trained as policemen.

Attrition and disbandment The military-trained reinforcements were supposed to enable the RIC to suppress the armed Irish independence movement. But incidents rose steeply and simultaneously with the introduction of the Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries until the Truce. The new recruits showed initial enthusiasm for the work, but the realities of wartime Ireland soon bore in.

During the twelve months prior to the Truce, 330 members of the RIC were killed. The register indicates that 147 (45%) of these deaths were among Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries, a large share of the dangerous duty and casualties. Also, life in crowded, isolated stations (including attempts to impose discipline), boredom and community hostility diminished the appeal of good pay.

The RIC was disbanded after the Anglo-Irish Treaty of December 1921, but only 39 per cent of the sample (perhaps a total of 5,550 men) were still in the force to be mustered out in 1922. Irish recruits, despite the dangers, were much more likely than those from Britain (55 per cent compared to 36 per cent of the English and 39 per cent of the Scots) to be in the RIC at disbandment.

The register is incomplete for 35.6 per cent (almost 4,900) of Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries and we do not know how they separated from the RIC. But the information in the sample for those who left but were not disbanded is probably a good indication.

Dismissals, rarely with details, accounted for 128 of separations, which suggests termination for almost 650 Black-and-Tan and ADRIC recruits. Sixty-one men are reported in the ambiguous category ‘discharged’. The most common termination of service prior to disbandment was resignation. The register contains reasons for only sixteen per cent of those who resigned, which is consistent with the promise in the enlistment poster: ‘If you don’t like the job—you can give a month’s notice—and leave’.

But there were several themes. Some claimed ill health, while about 120 gave reasons related to personal affairs. Just over 30 English and Scots policemen were dissatisfied with the work, a reason that caused only one Irishman to resign. Nearly 70 English and Scots in the sample left to take a better position, an option available to only ten Irishmen.

A reason for resignation cited only by Irishmen is intimidation of family members (ten, or two per cent of the Irish in the sample), which suggests that 100 Irishmen may have resigned to protect loved ones. It was not coincidental that resignations among the Black-and-Tans increased along with the tedium of life under siege, violence and casualties.

Douglas Duff probably summed up the view of the men who resigned and went home pretty well: ‘Remember, we were mercenary soldiers fighting for our pay, not patriots willing and anxious to die for our country, Our job was to earn our pay by suppressing armed rebellion, not to die in some foolish,

  • Forlorn hope”.’ Even though the dehumanising experience of the First World War was assumed to have hardened Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries, sanctioned reprisals against Irish civilians did not sit well with all of the new recruits.
  • Duff recalled ‘official reprisals’ as ‘horrible and dastardly burning of houses and furniture’ with the ‘due force of the law’.

When the RIC disbanded in 1922, all of those still enrolled, including Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries, were given lifetime annuities (later converted to indexed pensions). The ADRIC entries are almost entirely blank, but the Black-and-Tan entries are much more complete.

  1. Disbandment annuities were based on length of service, with the longest service possible about two years.
  2. The annual payment for each man varied between £55 for those who served longest and £47 for the most recent recruits.
  3. The average payment for each Black-and-Tan in the sample was £52.
  4. Irish Black-and-Tans averaged annuities of £55, higher than the English (£51.3) or Scots (£49.8) because more Irishmen remained in the RIC until the end.

The legacy of the Black-and-Tans The militarisation of the RIC through the recruitment of veterans ultimately failed. Violence actually increased along with Black-and-Tan deployment, and the heavily reinforced RIC only achieved a stand-off with the IRA.

The remaining Black-and-Tan and ADRIC policemen left in 1922 and the ‘old’ RIC went with them. The association of the Black-and-Tans with violence and intimidation against civilians established their reputation. Specific responsibility for reprisals is difficult to attribute, but tradition blames the Black-and-Tans for indiscriminate violence that had not been associated with the ‘old’ RIC.

Military experience in the trenches seems to have made them the right men for Lloyd George’s ‘policeman’s job’. Despite the record and legend of their RIC service, the personal details of Black-and-Tans and Auxiliaries emphasise that they were not remarkable among British workingmen and war veterans, except that they were willing to take a chance on dangerous duty in Ireland.

But the untold story is the surprising number of young Irishmen who joined the RIC in its final months, despite the dangers for themselves and their families. Most Irish Black-and-Tans had not served in the military but, through it all, were the most likely to be serving at disbandment. Why did Irishmen join the RIC in the Black-and-Tan era and how did they escape notice for 80 years? Until 1919 the Irish police service was considered decently paid, pensioned employment and an attractive alternative to emigration.

But did more than 2,000 Irishmen find employment and emigration prospects so discouraging in 1920–1 that, like Eneas McNulty, even the embattled RIC was attractive? Good wages in a time of high unemployment were an inducement. But, still, it is a testament to the post-war environment that so many risked being on the ‘wrong side’ in the War of Independence.

It is perhaps easier to conjecture about why so many Irish Black-and-Tans went unnoticed. Neither the policemen nor their families would have been eager to call attention to their belated RIC service during or after the War of Independence. RIC men were not posted to their home counties and policemen had little contact with the communities in which they were stationed during 1920–1, so it is possible that the recruits were able to blend in with members of the ‘old’ RIC.

Still, that there were so many Irishmen among the Black-and-Tans shows that there is still much to learn about the complexities of the War of Independence.W.J. Lowe is Provost and Professor of History at Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Why were the Irish called black?

What does the term black Irish mean? – The term ” black Irish ” refers to persons of Irish descent who are supposed to be descendants of the Spanish Armada, which sailed around the middle of the 15th century, and had dark hair and or eyes. The term is used among people of Irish descent and sometimes confuses people since it doesn’t refer to dark skin color.

Asked By: Malcolm Johnson Date: created: Oct 22 2023

Are the IRA still active

Answered By: Alexander Nelson Date: created: Oct 25 2023
Provisional Irish Republican Army
Irish : Óglaigh na hÉireann
A Provisional IRA badge, with the phoenix symbolising the group’s origins.
Leaders IRA Army Council
Dates of operation 1969–2005 (on ceasefire from 1997)
Allegiance Irish Republic
Active regions Ireland, England, Europe, North America
  • Éire Nua
  • Irish republican legitimism
  • Democratic socialism
Size 10,000 est. throughout the Troubles
  • Libya
  • PLO
  • ETA
  • FARC
Opponents United Kingdom

  • British Army
  • Royal Ulster Constabulary

Ulster loyalist paramilitaries

Battles and wars The Troubles
Preceded by Irish Republican Army (IRA)

The Provisional Irish Republican Army ( Provisional IRA ), officially known as the Irish Republican Army ( IRA ; Irish : Óglaigh na hÉireann ) and informally known as the Provos, was an Irish republican paramilitary force that sought to end British rule in Northern Ireland, facilitate Irish reunification and bring about an independent republic encompassing all of Ireland,

It was the most active republican paramilitary group during the Troubles, It saw itself as the army of the all-island Irish Republic and as the sole legitimate successor to the original IRA from the Irish War of Independence, It was designated a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and an unlawful organisation in the Republic of Ireland, both of whose authority it rejected.

The Provisional IRA emerged in December 1969, due to a split within the previous incarnation of the IRA and the broader Irish republican movement, It was initially the minority faction in the split compared to the Official IRA, but became the dominant faction by 1972.

The Troubles had begun shortly before when a largely Catholic, nonviolent civil rights campaign was met with violence from both Ulster loyalists and the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), culminating in the August 1969 riots and deployment of British soldiers, The IRA initially focused on defence of Catholic areas, but it began an offensive campaign in 1970 that was aided by external sources, including sympathisers in the Republic of Ireland and Irish diaspora communities within the Anglosphere, and the Palestine Liberation Organization and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi,

It used guerrilla tactics against the British Army and RUC in both rural and urban areas, and carried out a bombing campaign in Northern Ireland and England against military, political and economic targets, and British military targets in mainland Europe.

  • They also targeted civilian contractors to the British security forces.
  • The Provisional IRA declared a final ceasefire in July 1997, after which its political wing Sinn Féin was admitted into multi-party peace talks on the future of Northern Ireland.
  • These resulted in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, and in 2005 the IRA formally ended its armed campaign and decommissioned its weapons under the supervision of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning,

Several splinter groups have been formed as a result of splits within the IRA, including the Continuity IRA and the Real IRA, both of which are still active in the dissident Irish republican campaign, The IRA’s armed campaign, primarily in Northern Ireland but also in England and mainland Europe, killed over 1,700 people, including roughly 1,000 members of the British security forces, and 500–644 civilians.

Asked By: Jason Kelly Date: created: Jul 30 2023

Were the IRA well trained

Answered By: Jose Barnes Date: created: Aug 02 2023

Civil War – Liam Lynch was the first Chief of Staff of the Anti-Treaty IRA. He died during the Irish Civil War, Mick Mansfield, Staff Engineer, Waterford Brigade, 1922. On the outbreak of civil war in June 1922, the government of the Irish Free State issued directives to newspapers that its Army was to be called “The National Army”, and that its opponents were to be called “Irregulars” and were not to be associated with the IRA of 1919–1921.

  • This attitude hardened as the Civil War went on, and especially after the killing of Michael Collins in an ambush in August 1922.
  • Collins wrote to W.T.
  • Cosgrave on 25 July 1922 that those on the anti-Treaty side were “misguided, but practically all of them are sincere”.
  • However, the subsequent government attitude under Cosgrave was that the anti-Treaty side were rebels against the lawful government, and were not entitled to recognition as legitimate combatants.

Some of the officers of the new Irish Army, led by Liam Tobin, formed an association called the “Old IRA” to distinguish themselves from the anti-Treaty fighters. Some pro-Treaty IRA officers, such as Eoin O’Duffy, alleged that the “Irregulars” had not fought the British in the War of Independence,

O’Duffy claimed that the Kerry IRA’s sole contribution in 1919–21 was “the shooting of an unfortunate soldier on the day of the truce”. In Kerry’s case (which saw more Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) men killed than anywhere else outside Dublin and Tipperary), this was far from true; however, some areas such as County Sligo and County Wexford did see considerably more action in the Civil War than in the War of Independence.

Other IRA men such as Florence O’Donoghue formed a group called the “neutral IRA”, which tried to reconcile the two factions. Meanwhile, the IRA in Northern Ireland maintained its links with Michael Collins; the only Northern IRA leader to join the anti-Treaty side was Belfast commander Joe McKelvey,

The Northern IRA launched a renewed military offensive in May 1922, in which it was aided covertly by both the National Army and the anti-Treaty IRA. This was interrupted by the outbreak of the Irish civil war, Many Northern IRA men then had to flee the North in order to escape internment or worse at the hands of the Northern authorities.

Over 500 of them ended up in the National Army during the civil war. The IRA had been expanded hugely in 1922, from perhaps 15,000 men before the truce with the British in July 1921, to over 72,000 by November 1922. Veterans of the War of Independence derisively termed the new recruits “truceileers”.

These were to divide in broadly the same ratio as the veterans; however, most of them did not take part in the Irish Civil War, At the beginning of the Civil War, the Free State had about 8,000 fighters, mostly pro-Treaty IRA volunteers. The anti-Treaty side could muster about 15,000 men but it could not arm them all.

At the start of the war, they had just under 7,000 rifles, a few machine guns and a handful of armoured cars taken from British garrisons (who were under orders not to fire on IRA units) as they evacuated the country. The remainder of anti-Treaty IRA arms were shotguns (3,000 of which were confiscated after the Civil War) and other civilian weapons.

  1. Public support for the Treaty settlement and the new Irish Free State was reflected in the victory of the pro-Treaty side in general elections in 1922 and 1923.
  2. Anti-Treaty forces controversially seized a number of public buildings in Dublin in April 1922, most notably the Four Courts,
  3. Eventually, after two months and under British pressure, Michael Collins decided to remove them by force.

Pro-Treaty forces bombarded the building, which surrendered after two days. Confused fighting raged for another five days, with anti-Treaty elements of the IRA’s Dublin Brigade, under Oscar Traynor, occupying O’Connell Street until they were dislodged by artillery fire.

  • In July 1922, the anti-Treaty IRA units held most of the south and west of Ireland.
  • However, the Republicans, under a new chief of staff, Liam Lynch, soon lost most of the territory they initially controlled.
  • While the anti-Treaty side had a numerical advantage at the very start of the war, they were soon both outnumbered and outgunned.

The Free State’s National Army was quickly expanded to over 38,000 by the end of 1922 and to 55,000 men and 3,000 officers by the end of the war; one of its sources of recruits was Irish ex-servicemen from the British Army, Additionally, the British met its requests for arms, ammunition, armoured cars, artillery and aeroplanes.

  1. By August 1922, the Free State had re-taken all the major towns and territory held by republicans.
  2. The Free State’s best troops were the Dublin Guard : a unit composed of former IRA men, mostly from the Dublin Brigade’s active service unit who were to the forefront in the Free State’s offensive of July–August 1922.

They sided with the Free State primarily out of personal loyalty to Collins. The anti-Treaty IRA was not equipped or trained to fight conventional warfare. Despite some determined resistance to the Free State advance south of Limerick by late August, most of them had dispersed to fight a guerrilla campaign.

  • The anti-Treaty guerrilla campaign was spasmodic and ineffective.
  • Much of it was composed of the destruction of infrastructure such as the main railway bridge linking Cork with Dublin.
  • They also burned many public buildings and “commandeered” supplies by force, alienating many civilians.
  • Furthermore, without the public support that had existed during the War of Independence and facing an enemy who knew them and the countryside intimately, the anti-Treaty forces found that they could not sustain a guerrilla war such as that fought against Britain.

Only in County Kerry was a relatively effective campaign fought, with the IRA units re-taking Kenmare and other towns from the Free State on several occasions. The IRA’s relative popularity in this area had much to do with the brutality of the occupying Free State troops.

  • Other areas of guerrilla activity included County Cork, western County Mayo, County Wexford and several other localities.
  • Despite the limitations of the anti-Treaty IRA’s campaign, they still inflicted more fatalities on Free State troops (about 800) in the eleven-month civil war than they had on British Crown forces, who lost about 600 killed in the almost three-year-long War of Independence (1919–1921).

The disparity is no doubt due to the Free State troops’ relative paucity of training and equipment compared with British forces. Memorial to anti-Treaty insurgents executed by Free State forces at Ballyseedy, County Kerry, designed by Yann Goulet, The conduct of the Civil War resulted in long-lasting bitterness on both sides. In September special emergency legislation came into effect under which military tribunals were empowered to pass death sentences.

The head of the anti-Treaty forces, Liam Lynch, responded with an announcement that Free State TDs and Senators who had voted for the legislation would be targeted. A number of members of the Oireachtas were attacked, TD Sean Hales was killed and the property of parliamentarians burnt. In addition IRA men around the country burned many of the stately homes of the old Protestant Anglo-Irish landed class—a policy motivated by both class antagonism and nationalist resentment against a class traditionally seen as “pro-British”.

The Free State Government, for its part, officially executed 77 anti-Treaty prisoners. Government forces also carried out a number of atrocities against prisoners. This was particularly pronounced in Kerry, where the fighting was most bitter. On at least three occasions in March 1923, IRA prisoners were massacred with land mines in reprisal for the killing of Free State soldiers.

  1. Ironically, the men accused of these war crimes were mostly from the Dublin Guard, themselves IRA veterans from 1919 to 1921.
  2. By 1923, the defeat of the anti-Treaty IRA seemed assured.
  3. It controlled no territory and its guerrilla campaign had little public support.
  4. The civil war petered out in mid-1923 after the death in action of IRA chief-of-staff Liam Lynch.

Shortly afterward, on 24 May 1923, the anti-Treaty forces received an order, issued by Frank Aiken, their chief-of-staff, to “dump arms”. Éamon de Valera supported this in his speech “Legion of the Rearguard”: In de Valera’s words, ” Further sacrifice of life would now be vain and continuance of the struggle in arms unwise in the national interest and prejudicial to the future of our cause.

Military victory must be allowed to rest for the moment with those who have destroyed the Republic. Other means must be sought to safeguard the nation’s right. ” By this time, thousands of republicans were already prisoners of the Free State government led by W.T. Cosgrave; many more were arrested after they dumped arms and returned to civilian life.

By late 1923, over 12,000 anti-Treaty IRA men were interned. The prisoners were released over the following year, with Éamon de Valera the last to leave Kilmainham Gaol in 1924. In 1924 the IRA counted 14,500 members in total, including young men aged from 19 upwards, but with just over 5,000 weapons in its dumps.

By 1926 the number of members had shrunk to 5,042. By 1930 the IRA possessed fewer than 2,000 members and only 859 rifles, indicating the decline in its military potential. The casualties of the anti-Treaty IRA in the Civil War have never been accurately counted, but are thought to have been considerably more than the 800 or so deaths suffered by the Free State Army, perhaps two or three times as numerous.

Significantly however, the war had not been brought to an end by any kind of agreement between the two sides. The IRA of the post-Civil War era would never accept the Free State as a legitimate Irish government and would continue to oppose its existence.

What is a tan in Irish slang?

Businesses and organisations –

Black and Tans, a nickname for British special constables during the Irish War of Independence. By extension “Tans” can now also colloquially refer to English or British people in general, especially disparagingly. TAN Books, a Catholic publishing company FC Rubin-TAN Kazan, a Russian professional ice hockey club in Kazan in 1991-94 Transportes Aereos Nacionales, an airline based in Honduras known as TAN Airlines

Asked By: Howard Anderson Date: created: Nov 09 2023

What do Irish call Guinness

Answered By: Gabriel Morgan Date: created: Nov 12 2023

“Pint of Gat” – 9 Irish words: A pint of gat. A “pint of Gat” is another name for Guinness, On that note, when drinking Guinness, look towards the horizon so you don’t drink the head. And if someone asks if it’s good Gat, and you’re not sure how to judge it, simply respond with “sure look it.” In use: “Give me two pints of Gat and a bottle of Bulmers.”

How long were the Black and Tans in Ireland for?

Conduct in Ireland – Members of the Black and Tans were paid the relatively good wage of 10 shillings a day plus full board and lodging. With minimal police training, their main role was to strengthen the military might of police posts, where they functioned as sentries, guards, escorts for government agents, reinforcement to the regular police, and crowd control, and mounted a determined counter-insurgency campaign.

  1. The Black and Tans and the Auxies became known as Tudor’s Toughs after the police commander, Major-General Sir Henry Hugh Tudor.
  2. They were viewed by Republicans as an army of occupation because of these duties.
  3. They soon gained a reputation for brutality, as the RIC campaign against the IRA and Sinn Féin members was stepped up and police reprisals for IRA attacks were condoned by the government.

Constable Alexander Will, from Forfar in Scotland, was the first Black and Tan to die in the conflict, during an IRA attack on the RIC barracks in Rathmore, County Kerry, on 11 July 1920. The Black and Tans were not subject to strict discipline in their early months in Ireland and as a result, the deaths of Black and Tans at the hands of the IRA in 1920 were often repaid with arbitrary reprisals against the civilian population.

  • In the summer of 1920, the Black and Tans burned and sacked many small towns and villages in Ireland, beginning with Tuam in County Galway in July 1920 and also including Trim, Balbriggan, Thurles and Templemore amongst many others.
  • In November 1920, the Tans “besieged” Tralee in revenge for the IRA abduction and killing of two local RIC men.

They closed all the businesses in the town and let no food in for a week. In addition they shot dead three local people. On 14 November, the Tans abducted and murdered a Roman Catholic priest, Fr Michael Griffin, in Galway. His body was found in a bog in Barna a week later.

  • Finally, the Black and Tans sacked Cork city, on the night of 11 December 1920, the centre of which was burned out.
  • In January 1921, the British Labour Commission produced a report on the situation in Ireland which was highly critical of the government’s security policy.
  • It said the government, in forming the Black and Tans, had “liberated forces which it is not at present able to dominate”.

However since 29 December 1920, the British government had sanctioned “official reprisals” in Ireland — usually meaning burning property of IRA men and their suspected sympathisers. Taken together with an increased emphasis on discipline in the RIC, this helped to curb the random atrocities the Black and Tans committed since March 1920 for the remainder of the war, if only because reprisals were now directed from above rather than being the result of a spontaneous desire for revenge.

  • See also Chronology of the Irish War of Independence).
  • However, many of the atrocities popularly attributed to the Black and Tans were probably committed by the far more brutal Auxiliary Division; some were committed by Irish RIC men.
  • For instance, Tomás Mac Curtain, the mayor of Cork, was assassinated in March 1920 by local RIC men and the massacre of 13 civilians at Croke Park on Bloody Sunday was also carried out by the RIC although a small detachment of Auxiliaries were also present.

Moreover, the regular British Army also committed atrocities, burning the towns of Mallow and Fermoy for example. However most Republicans did not make a distinction, and “Black and Tans” was often used as a catch-all term for all police and army groups.

The actions of the Black and Tans alienated public opinion in both Ireland and Britain. Their violent tactics encouraged both sides to move towards a peaceful resolution. Edward Wood MP, a future Foreign Secretary, rejected force and urged the British government to offer the Irish an offer “conceived on the most generous lines”.

Sir John Simon MP, another future Foreign Secretary, was also horrified at the tactics being used. Lionel Curtis, writing in the imperialist journal The Round Table, wrote: “If the British Commonwealth can only be preserved by such means, it would become a negation of the principle for which it has stood”.

The King, senior Anglican bishops, MPs from the Liberal and Labour parties, Oswald Mosley, Jan Smuts, the Trades Union Congress and parts of the press were increasingly critical of the actions of the Black and Tans. Mahatma Gandhi said of the British peace offer: “It is not fear of losing more lives that has compelled a reluctant offer from England but it is the shame of any further imposition of agony upon a people that loves liberty above everything else”.

About 7,000 Black and Tans served in Ireland in 1920-22. More than one-third of them died or left the service before they were disbanded along with the rest of the RIC in 1922, an extremely high wastage rate, and well over half received government pensions.

What did the IRA want?

Irish Republican Army (IRA), also called Provisional Irish Republican Army, republican paramilitary organization seeking the establishment of a republic, the end of British rule in Northern Ireland, and the reunification of Ireland, The IRA was created in 1919 as a successor to the Irish Volunteers, a militant nationalist organization founded in 1913.

  • The IRA’s purpose was to use armed force to render British rule in Ireland ineffective and thus to assist in achieving the broader objective of an independent republic, which was pursued at the political level by Sinn Féin, the Irish nationalist party.
  • From its inception, however, the IRA operated independently of political control and in some periods actually took the upper hand in the independence movement.

Its membership overlaps with that of Sinn Féin. During the Anglo-Irish War ( Irish War of Independence, 1919–21) the IRA, under the leadership of Michael Collins, employed guerrilla tactics—including ambushes, raids, and sabotage—to force the British government to negotiate.

The resulting settlement established two new political entities: the Irish Free State, which comprised 26 counties and was granted dominion status within the British Empire ; and Northern Ireland, made up of six counties and sometimes called the province of Ulster, which remained part of the United Kingdom.

These terms, however, proved unacceptable to a substantial number of IRA members. The organization consequently split into two factions, one (under Collins’s leadership) supporting the treaty and the other (under Eamon de Valera ) opposing it. The former group became the core of the official Irish Free State Army, and the latter group, known as ” Irregulars,” began to organize armed resistance against the new independent government.

The ensuing Irish civil war (1922–23) ended with the capitulation of the Irregulars; however, they neither surrendered their arms nor disbanded. While de Valera led a portion of the Irregulars into parliamentary politics with the creation of Fianna Fáil in the Irish Free State, some members remained in the background as a constant reminder to successive governments that the aspiration for a united republican Ireland—achieved by force if necessary—was still alive.

Recruiting and illegal drilling by the IRA continued, as did intermittent acts of violence. The organization was declared illegal in 1931 and again in 1936. After a series of IRA bombings in England in 1939, Dáil Éireann (the lower house of the Oireachtas, the Irish parliament) took stringent measures against the IRA, including provision for internment without trial.

The IRA’s activities against the British during World War II severely embarrassed the Irish government, which remained neutral. At one point the IRA sought assistance from Adolf Hitler to help remove the British from Ireland. Five IRA leaders were executed, and many more were interned. After the withdrawal of Ireland from the British Commonwealth in 1949, the IRA turned its attention to agitating for the unification of the predominantly Roman Catholic Irish republic with predominantly Protestant Northern Ireland.

Sporadic incidents occurred during the 1950s and early ’60s, but lack of active support by Catholics in Northern Ireland rendered such efforts futile, The situation changed dramatically in the late 1960s, when Catholics in Northern Ireland began a civil rights campaign against discrimination in voting, housing, and employment by the dominant Protestant government and population.

Violence by extremists against the demonstrators—unhindered by the mostly Protestant police force (the Royal Ulster Constabulary )—set in motion a series of escalating attacks by both sides. Units of the IRA were organized to defend besieged Catholic communities in the province and were sustained by support from units in Ireland.

In 1970 two members of the Fianna Fáil government in Ireland, including future prime minister Charles Haughey, were tried for importing arms for the IRA; they subsequently were acquitted. Conflict over the widespread use of violence quickly led to another split in the IRA. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now Beginning in 1970, the Provos carried out bombings, assassinations, and ambushes in a campaign they called the “Long War.” In 1973 they expanded their attacks to create terror in mainland Britain and eventually even in continental Europe.

  • It was estimated that, between 1969 and 1994, the IRA killed about 1,800 people, including approximately 600 civilians.
  • The fortunes of the IRA waxed and waned after 1970.
  • The British policy of interning persons suspected of involvement in the IRA and the killing of 13 Catholic protesters on ” Bloody Sunday ” (January 30, 1972) strengthened Catholic sympathy for the organization and swelled its ranks.

In light of declining support in the late 1970s, the IRA reorganized in 1977 into detached cells to protect against infiltration. Assisted by extensive funding from some Irish Americans, the IRA procured weapons from international arms dealers and foreign countries, including Libya,

  1. It was estimated in the late 1990s that the IRA had enough weapons in its arsenal to continue its campaign for at least another decade.
  2. The IRA became adept at raising money in Northern Ireland through extortion, racketeering, and other illegal activities, and it policed its own community through punishment beatings and mock trials.

In 1981, after hunger strikes in which 10 republican prisoners died (7 were IRA members), the political aspect of the struggle grew to rival the military one, and Sinn Féin began to play a more prominent role. Sinn Féin leaders Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, together with John Hume, head of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), sought ways to end the armed struggle and bring republicans into democratic politics.

Convinced by the Irish and British governments that a cease-fire would be rewarded with participation in multiparty talks, in August 1994 the IRA declared a “complete cessation of all military activities,” and in October a similar cease-fire was declared by loyalist paramilitary groups fighting to preserve Northern Ireland’s union with Britain.

However, Sinn Féin continued to be excluded from the talks because of unionist demands for IRA decommissioning (disarmament) as a condition of Sinn Féin’s participation. The IRA’s cease-fire ended in February 1996, when a bomb in the Docklands area of London killed two people, though it was reinstated in July of the following year.

Having agreed that decommissioning would occur as part of the resolution of Northern Ireland’s sectarian conflict, the IRA’s political representatives swore to uphold principles of nonviolence and were included in the multiparty talks beginning in September 1997. In April 1998 the participants in the talks approved the Good Friday Agreement (Belfast Agreement), which linked a new power-sharing government in Northern Ireland with IRA decommissioning and other steps aimed at normalizing cross-community relations.

Significantly, republicans agreed that the province would remain a part of Britain for as long as a majority of the population so desired, thus undermining the logic of continued military action by the IRA. Although the IRA subsequently destroyed some of its weapons, it resisted decommissioning its entire armoury, hampering implementation of key parts of the peace agreement.

On July 28, 2005, however, the IRA announced that it had ended its armed campaign and instead would pursue only peaceful means to achieve its objectives. The IRA was back in the headlines in 2015 when an investigation into the murder of a former IRA leader revealed that at least some of the organizational structure of the Provisional IRA was still in place.

Paul Arthur Kimberly Cowell-Meyers The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Asked By: Blake Campbell Date: created: Mar 06 2024

When did the Black and Tans exist

Answered By: Rodrigo Jackson Date: created: Mar 07 2024

2. What was the Royal Irish Constabulary? – The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) was formed as a result of the Irish Constabulary (Ireland) Act 1836 and was responsible for keeping the peace in Ireland, though not of Dublin which retained its own police force, the Dublin Metropolitan Police.

  • Prior legislation, the Constabulary Act of 1822, established Ireland’s first country-wide police force, known as the County Constabulary, made up of four provincial police forces which were subsequently merged to form the RIC.
  • Before 1822, the Irish police force was composed of small groups of sub-constables.

It was not until 1867 that what had been known as the Irish Constabulary became the Royal Irish Constabulary. Initially, the main function of the Royal Irish Constabulary was keeping the peace which in practice involved the suppression of armed rebellion, sectarian riots or agrarian disturbances.

Their role expanded when it inherited the functions of the Revenue Police which involved inquiries on behalf of departments of state, collected agricultural statistics, enforced the fishery laws and performed a variety of duties under the laws relating to food and drugs, weights and measures, explosives and petroleum.

From 1920 to 1922, Royal Irish Constabulary ‘Temporary Constables’ made up largely of ex-soldiers and commonly called the Black and Tans, were employed to suppress revolution in Ireland, alongside an Auxiliary Division (ADRIC) of former military officers.

What is a very Irish last name?

Irish Names & Surnames Origins of the Most Common Irish Surnames and First Names Irish names and surnames are steeped in our country’s rich tradition and centuries of history. In fact, many of today’s common Irish names have origins in Gaelic, Celtic, or Norse languages.

More than a sense of pride, our names give us the ability to trace our Irish roots through the generations. If you’re of Irish descent or simply interested in learning more about Irish names and their origins, keep reading. We’ll explore the 10 most common surnames in Ireland, popular Irish girls’ and boys’ names, and their histories.

The Most Common and Popular Irish Surnames You may recognise some of the most common last names in Ireland, For example, Murphy, Byrne, and O’Brien are a few of the oldest and most common surnames in Ireland, Some may even say Murphy is the most Irish name ever, as it’s currently the most common surname in the country.

Common Surname Gaelic Version Meaning
1. Murphy Ó Murchadha Sea-battler
2. Kelly Ó Ceallaigh Bright-headed
3. Byrne Ó Broin Raven
4. Walsh Breathnach Welsh people
5. Ryan Ó Maoilriain King
6. O’Brien Ó Briain Noble or high
7. O’Connor Ó Conchobhair Patron of warriors
8. O’Sullivan Ó Súilleabháin Dark-eyed
9. O’Neill Ó Néill From Niall of the Nine Hostages
10. Martin Mac Giolla Mháirtín Devotee of Saint Martin

Popular Irish Boys’ Names Today, Irish families and people around the world are choosing traditional Irish names for their children. Many Irish baby boy names cycle in and out of popularity, while others are classics that have stood the test of time. Some typical names include Finn, Rían, and Aiden.

  1. Below we’ll cover these and other Irish boy names, as well as their meanings and origins.
  2. Finn The Irish name Finn stems from the Gaelic equivalent, Fintan.
  3. Fintan mac Bóchra is a character in Irish mythology who is said to have been the only person to survive the Great Flood in Ireland.
  4. This is one of the most popular baby names in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but it’s popular elsewhere too.

This Irish name was adopted by Norsemen and is still common in Scandinavia today. Rían Rían is another popular Irish name with roots in the Gaelic language. The name originates from the word rí, the ancient Gaelic word for king. The royal sentiment in the name Rían is easily understood across cultures.

  • There are cognates meaning king in Spanish (rey), French (roi), and several other languages.
  • Aiden Aiden is a name with roots in both the Celtic and Gaelic traditions.
  • It’s derived from the Irish word Aodh, which means fire.
  • In Irish mythology, Aodh or Aed is also the name of the Celtic God of the underworld and the prince of Daoine Sidhe, a group of supernatural people.

Tadhg Tadhg is an timelessly popular Irish boys’ name with roots in the ancient Gaelic language. It stems from the word taidhg, which means poet or storyteller. This name is most popular in the southwest of Ireland, around County Kerry and County Cork.

Pádraig The name Pádraig comes from the Latin word patricius, which means noble or of the patrician class. This old and traditional name is the Irish equivalent of the English name Patrick. Common Irish Names for Girls Many beautiful Irish baby girl names are popular today as well. Some traditional names you may recognise include Róisin, Saoirse, and Aisling.

Read on to learn about these and several other common Irish girl names. Róisin Another beautiful Irish girls’ name with ancient Gaelic roots is Róisin. This name stems from the word ruisín, which means little rose. You may be more familiar with English versions of this name, including Rosheen, Rosie, Roselyn, and Rose.

  1. There are several well-known Róisins in the world, including the famous Irish musician Róisin Murphy.
  2. Fiadh Fiadh is one of the most popular girls’ names in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland,
  3. This name carries various meanings in the Irish language, including deer, respect, and wildness.
  4. Funny enough, this name was only added to Ireland’s name database in 2002, but it has emerged as a favourite among Irish families since.

Aisling Aisling is another name with ancient Gaelic history. It comes from the word aislinge, which means vision or dream. The term aisling also refers to a type of Irish poetry popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Anglicised versions of this name include Ashling, Aislin, and Ashlyn.

  • Siobhán Siobhán is a common Irish name that dates back to the ancient Celtic culture.
  • The name comes from the word sebhan, which means God is gracious.
  • Interestingly, this name is the Irish equivalent of the modern French name Jeanne.
  • Saoirse Saoirse is a lovely Irish girls’ name with ancient Gaelic origins.

This name stems directly from the Irish word saoirse, which means liberty or freedom. You may recognise this name from the famous Irish actress Saoirse Ronan. Get Help Identifying Your Family Tree with Irish Family History Centre Irish surnames and first names carry a sense of place, culture, and pride.

They can also provide vital information if you’re researching your family history in Ireland. If you’re interested in tracing your Irish heritage, our experts at the can help. We provide guidance, expertise, and key resources to help you discover your Irish roots. to find out which common Irish names appear in your family’s story.

: Irish Names & Surnames

What is the oldest surname in Europe?

Last Names Origins – Way back in 2852 BC, the chinese emperor Fu Xi standardized the naming system, for reasons related to census taking. Until the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC), people seemed to use matrilineal surnames, but afterward, they had switched to using patrilineal ones.

The oldest surname known to have been recorded anywhere in Europe, though, was in County Galway, Ireland, in the year 916. It was the name “O Cleirigh” (O’Clery). In England, the Normans introduced surnames after 1066. At first, names were frequently changed or dropped, but eventually they began to stick and were passed down in a family — by the aristocracy to start with and eventually by the rest of the people.

By 1400, most English families, and also those of lowland Scotland, were using surnames that were hereditary. Wives took the husband’s last name, and King Henry VII (1491-1547) ordered that children’s names be recorded under the father’s last name.

What are the Irish gypsy last names?

Common Gypsy names – You may have Romani, Traveller or Gypsy ancestry if your family tree includes common Romani or Gypsy surnames such as Boss, Boswell, Buckland, Chilcott, Codona, Cooper, Doe, Lee, Gray (or Grey), Harrison, Hearn, Heron, Hodgkins, Holland, Lee, Lovell, Loveridge, Scamp, Smith, Wood and Young.

  1. Gypsies sometimes gave their children unusual first names, so you should look out for female Gypsy names such as Anselina, Athalia, Britannia, Cinderella, Clementina, Dotia, Fairnette, Freedom, Gentilia, Lementeni, Mizelli, Ocean, Reservoir, Sabina, Sinfai, Tryphena, Unity, Urania and Vancy.
  2. Male Gypsy names include Amberline, Belcher, Dangerfield, Elijah, Ezekial, Gilderoy, Goliath, Hezekiah, Liberty, Mackensie, Major, Nehemiah, Nelson, Neptune, Noah, Reuben, Sampson, Shadrack, Shady, Silvanus, Valentine and Vandlo.

However, you are just as likely to find that your Gypsy ancestors had perfectly common first names such as Mary, Esther, Joseph or Henry.

Asked By: Ryan Alexander Date: created: Sep 18 2023

What did the Irish call Britain

Answered By: Kyle Gonzales Date: created: Sep 18 2023

West European Isles – The name ” West European Isles” is one translation of the islands’ name in the Gaelic languages of Irish and Manx, with equivalent terms for “British Isle”. In Irish, Éire agus an Bhreatain Mhór (literally “Ireland and Great Britain”) is the more common term.

What is a Mick Irish?

Texte intégral –

1 Teague (variants Taig or Teg) was the standard nickname of an Irishman in England from the 17 th cen (.) 2 Larry, in the past, was considered to be a typical Irish name, perhaps on account of the notoriety (.) 3 Saint Patrick is clearly the original cultural reference but, as Paddy Sammon points out, the Chris (.)

1 Paddy, the diminutive form of Patrick, is today the most common nickname for an Irishman at home and abroad. The name-word has fairly ousted the old favourite Teague or Taig (variants of Tadhg) from this place of honour, 1 and left in the shade former hopefuls such as Larry and Barney.2 Saint Patrick, the titulary saint of Ireland after whom generations of Irishmen were named, has inspired a rich onomastic legacy.3 Today, the only rival to Paddy is the sobriquet Mick (from Michael), a name which has also received wide representation.2 Ireland’s colonial history and generations of Irish migrants provide the basis for explaining these coinages.

Beyond their native shore, and in stereotypical fashion, Irishmen were identified with the very names they bore. Had it not been for these factors, Paddy and Mick would certainly have lived monotonous lives at home, like all other first names, simply identifying individuals. Instead, they have been charged semantically and made to designate cultural types.

As names-turned-words, they are fine examples of antonomasia, a form of synecdoche involving the use of a proper noun to express an idea.3 The linguistic adventure experienced by these two names is most interesting, for several reasons.4 Paddy and Mick are clearly in a league of their own.

  • They have been targeted significantly more than first names denoting nationals of comparable cultures, notably the Scots and the Welsh.
  • Moreover, they have undergone sustained and diverse linguistic reuse.5 Paddy and Mick (and variants thereof) have not only come to designate the typical Irishman, but also, through the formation of compounds and the genesis of popular expressions, they have been associated with perceived national traits.

As such, they are prime cultural markers. In the colonial context of Anglo-Irish relations and in the context of American Republican idealism, these associations have invariably been negative. The Irishman has been perceived as the reviled Other, as the substandard foreigner or immigrant on whom to apportion blame.

  • Typical reproaches centre around notions of intemperance, aggressiveness, and deviousness.
  • Indeed, it was politic for the English coloniser and American puritans to outsource perceived human defects and social ills.6 Paddy and Mick are also of particular interest from a linguistic and stylistic point of view.

The two most typical Irish first names have been reused in a manner that far exceeds the scope of conventional antonomasia. Not only common nouns, but also verbs, adjectives and adverbs have been formed. Prefixes and suffixes have sometimes been adjoined to achieve conceptual variations.

Proper nouns have thus found themselves widely lexicalised and, often times, embedded in popular speech patterns.7 Naturally, all of these elements are interlinked. Cultural and linguistic factors have, over the generations, played off each other. It is the nature of these links, and their modulations in time and space, that I would like to examine in this paper.8 The title of this paper, “Of being on first-name terms with the Irish Other” encapsulates the core issue in two basic ways.

The expression “being on first-name terms” habitually presumes intimacy and friendship. The use of first names to relate to others conveys a sense of equality and ease. Moreover, familiarity and endearment prevail when the diminutive forms of first names are employed.

In the context of the cultural Other, however, here perceived as being Irish, the tone is naturally strained. The use of first names (and particularly the hypocristic forms) to designate the foreigner or immigrant gives rise to condescension and belittlement rather than endearment. Individuals thus addressed are considered as infants or juveniles lacking the maturity of their benefactors and superiors.

Evocation of their typical first names thus creates unnatural familiarity which inevitably breeds contempt.

4 As Richard D. Alford points out, naming systems have two quite distinct but complimentary functions (.) 5 In this paper (which deals with clearly contrasting cases of proper nouns and common nouns), I adop (.)

9 The title (fortuitously perhaps but all the more interestingly) throws up the ulikely “first-name terms”. A name, be it a first name or a surname, is not a simple term. The purpose of a name, strictly speaking, is to identify individuals and to differentiate them from each other, 4 whereas the role of term (typically a common noun) is to give meaning.

  1. A name, stricto sensu, has a referential function and not a semantic one.5 Names-turned-words, thus, constitute a particular linguistic and cultural case.
  2. Paddy and Mick, as first names that have acquired general meaning, have seen their linguistic role radically changed.
  3. As common nouns, they are accompanied by determiners (usually the or a ) and lose their initial capital.

The general meaning conferred on these terms also involves value change. While melioration is sometimes possible, pejoration is the order of the day. Irish names that have been made to designate the quintessential Other typically denigrate.10 For the purposes of this paper, a broad acceptation of the Other will be adopted.

The names-turned-words that will be quoted cover a broad geographical spectrum, and an equally broad time scale. The geographical spectrum encompasses not only Britain and America, but also Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, while the time scale stretches from the mid-18 th century to the late 20 th century.

As the cultural contexts of these countries naturally differ, and as each culture has evolved over time, a strictly homogenous view of the Irish Other as reflected in the English language can not be portrayed. However, it will be seen that major common denominators are apparent.

This paper purports to study linguistically-consecrated Irish names transversally, guided by central themes rather than by geographical or historical parameters.11 The names-turned-words vary also in linguistic register. While some of the terms belong to standard English, most belong to popular parlance, notably to slang and sometimes to rhyming slang.

Naturally, the mechanics of designating the Other are not the same when rhyming slang is involved and when the Other is more tactically designated. Moreover, some of these names-turned-words are eponyms and, as such, their stigmatisation may basically or partly be justified.

6 Homi Bhabha, in his seminal work The Location of Culture, is among those who advocate less rigid re (.) 7 The term “proximate Other” is elaborated by Andrew Murphy in his penetrating study But The Irish Se (.)

12 As a final preliminary remark, it should be observed that the notion of the Other, in itself, is highly complex. Even in its most fundamental theoretical expression, that of the coloniser’s condemning view of the colonised, subtle variation may be seen.

Modern approaches have brought to light significant instability in traditional binary models. The notion of the absolute Other, born of a strict, Manichean opposition between coloniser and colonised, has, in recent years, given way to a more fragmented, unstable, ambivalent and sometimes even contradictory view of the extraneous party.6 This is particularly the case in the context of the Anglo-Irish dyad.

Indeed, a certain type of ambivalence seems to have characterised England’s outlook on Ireland. Ireland, as Britain’s nearest and most recalcitrant dominion, posed a particular intellectual as well as political challenge. Geographical proximity and racial propinquity meant, paradoxically, that the Irish were perceived as being singularly awkward subjects.

8 These points are made by Dale T. Knobel in his arresting study Paddy and the Republic. Ethnicity an (.)

13 At the origin of the stigmatisation of Irish names is certainly the colonial view of the (proximate) Other. But parallel and subsidiary elements further skewered or protracted this fundamentally biased view. American republican idealism, notably, compounded the Irishman’s lot.

The young American republic accorded great importance to the moral virtues and intellectual capacities of its citizens, native and immigrant. Mid-19 th -century Irish immigrants were considered unfit for a lofty political mission on account of their extreme poverty, their Catholicism and their (often) superstitious ways.

Consequently, a specific ethnic prejudice was directed against them. Altogether, the encounter with American republican idealism can be said to have been more censorious for the Irish than the encounter with standard anti-Irish prejudice in England.8 14 The Australian context also, though perhaps less virulent towards Ireland, provided fertile ground for Irish mockery.

The country’s birth as a penal colony no doubt instilled it with a sense of contentious but nonetheless ebullient Englishness.15 Throughout the 19 th century in particular, but also during much of the 20 th century, wherever the Irish emigrant ventured in the English-speaking world, he was confronted with an ingrained cultural prejudice against himself and his countrymen.

This bias found a most suitable frame of reference in his given name.

9 The OED gives the following quote from Arthur Young’s A Tour in Ireland (1780): “Paddies were swimm (.) 10 The negative vocabulary systematically associated with the word-image Paddy in antebellum America i (.)

16 The use of the given name Paddy to designate an Irishman has been traced back to 1780 in literature, 9 but as a popular cognomen it is essentially a Victorian concern. Its commonness among 18 th – and 19 th -century Irish immigrants to Britain largely explains its generic use.

Pat (early 19C +), the abbreviated form of Patrick, for similar reasons no doubt, was also coined early on to colloquially label an Irishman. For the judgemental Englishman, a Paddy or Pat was basically an uncultivated and dim-witted individual native of Ireland. Throughout the 19 th century, he was trivialised, simianised or sentimentalised in line with variations in the social and political climate, but all the while Paddy was pejoratively characterised.

The word Paddy rapidly took root in American English also. By the mid-19 th century, Paddy had become, for Anglo-Saxon Americans, a key “word image” or “word portrait” which, like the adjective “Irish”, commanded a sub-language and was laden with negative value.10 From its British and American footholds, the negatively connoted name-word Paddy was to migrate to the entire English-speaking world.

Paddy or the shorter form Pat, for Anglophones everywhere, was (and indeed still is) the quintessential Irishman. The mere evocation of the name, even today, sets in train an elaborate cultural cliché. The sobriquet Pat has the distinction of having produced a feminine form. A “patess” (early or mid-19C, Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang, OED ) was once used to designate offensively an Irish woman.17 The generic use of Mick dates from the early 19 th century, in Britain and America notably.

Since then, Mick’s linguistic career, like Paddy’s, has taken him worldwide. Today, the word is highly prevalent in British, American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand English to designate an Irishman. Naturally, the tone of its use is offensive. Mick, with its variants Mickey and Mike, like Paddy and Pat, typecast the Irishman as poor and uncultivated.

  • The cognomen is all the more offensive as it has religious undertones.
  • A “Mick” (1920s +, Cassell’s ) can also label an Irishman of the Catholic faith, particularly in Britain and Australia.
  • From this use, the term “mickery” has been forged to designate the “behaviour allegedly typical of Roman Catholics”, or “Roman Catholic influence” ( Macquarie Dictionary ).

More recently, in the mid-20 th century, a variant of mick, “mickser” (1950s +) was added to the English vocabulary to designate an Irishman who emigrated to the United Kingdom.18 Throughout the 19 th and 20 th centuries, Paddy and Mick (or variants thereof) acquired numerous related meanings.

11 In its time, the first name Teague achieved similar representation with the compounds Teagueland (l (.)

19 Paddy was such a clear cultural indicator that it was rapidly used as a substitute for the words “Ireland” and “Irish”. This is evidenced by the construction of the pejorative compounds Paddyland (mid-19C, Ireland) and Patlander (1820, Irishman).11 Paddy’s synonymy with Ireland was also visible in the nautical term “paddy’s hurricane” (ca.1840), a variant of “Irish hurricane”, meaning, paradoxically and mockingly, dead calm on the sea.

12 The first name Barney in the 19 th century was also associated with tumult and disorder. Indeed, the (.)

20 The most prominent of these putative characteristics were irascibility and bellicosity. Paddy was swiftly associated with that iconic Irish failing, temper, and with the ensuing aggressiveness, as is evidenced by the expression “to throw a paddy” (a rage, late 19C +).

  • This association was further reinforced by the mutation of the term paddywhack to mean a rage or fit of temper (late 19C) and also a severe beating (late 19C +).12 The development of the verb “to paddywhack” (late 19C +), meaning to beat severely, sealed the Irishman’s social fate.
  • Wherever Paddy went whackery was sure to follow.

The word “paddywhack”, as both noun and verb, was widely used in the context of the stage Irishman as well as in the satirical press to ridicule and stigmatise the native Hibernian. As a concentrate of unruly Irishness, it was a potent term of cultural mockery and abuse.

  1. Like many cultural slurs, its meaning could oscillate in line with satirical needs.
  2. Paddywhacking (meaning a severe thrashing) was also the prescribed corrective treatment to be meted out to obstreperous Irishmen.21 The first name Mick threw up a similar related meaning.
  3. In the late 19 th century, the word “mick(e)y” was coined in Australia to mean a young wild bull.

Connotations of the treacherous wild Irishman would appear to have inspired this linguistic use.22 In the context of forced popular emigration and malevolent stereotyping, the Irishman’s profession was necessarily of the lowly kind. The names Paddy and Mick, employed as words, categorically confirmed this.

In the mid-19 th century the word “paddy” was used to designate a bricklayer’s or builder’s labourer (ca 1856). In a similar vein, “mike” (mid-19C-1900s, Cassell’s ) and “mick” (1930s), were bywords for a hod carrier and a road labourer. Paddy and Mick were thus clearly perceived as being the standard brawn behind construction and engineering.

In this context, it was indeed appropriate for Australian rhyming slang to substitute the word “mick” or even “mad mick” for “a pick” (191 Os-1930s, Cassell’s ). With this snappy rhyming substitute, the association between the simple Irishman and the basic labouring tool was bluntly dealt.

13 The Irish first name Seamus must also have been commonly found in American police institutions as i (.) 14 This point of view is aired, amongst others, by William and Mary Morris in their Dictionary of Word (.)

23 In the early 20 th century, in American English, the word ‘paddy’, though still humbly employed, fared somewhat better. Paddy came to mean a policeman. The development of the term “paddywagon” (1920s +, Cassell’s ), meaning a police van, underscored this association.

Indeed, Irish immigrants constituted a major recruitment source for the New York and Boston metropolitan police forces.13 The term paddywagon is generally understood to consecrate the Irishman’s role as a peacekeeper, although some word watchers perceive it as referring to the typical troublemakers who were constrained and conveyed in those police vans.’ 14 While there were, no doubt, numerous Irish hoodlums among the troublemakers arrested in American industrial cities, it is most likely that the police van was named in reference to the persons who typically patrolled in it.

The Irish policeman was certainly a more visible and pertinent cultural reference than his captive fellow countrymen. One way or the other, the term paddywagon was negatively connoted and did little or nothing to revive Paddy’s social fortunes. While the role of policeman was necessarily a step up for Paddy, it was still essentially a subservient and subaltern position.

  1. Moreover, for the free-enterprising American, a paddy was a petty and unappreciated incarnation of the strict rule of the law.24 The Irishman’s identity has long been associated with deviousness and deceit, and typical Irish first names have not escaped this calumny.
  2. The expression “to come the paddy over” (early 19C, Cassell’s ), meaning to bamboozle or confuse, is a fine illustration of this.

Paddy the Irishman, with his disconcerting and impenetrable blarney, represented a devious interlocutor for clear-thinking and straight-talking individuls.

15 The noxious substance has not been clearly identified, although it is generally believed to involve (.) 16 Cassell’s Dictionary Of Slang traces the term to the salon-keeper, Mickey Finn, who ran Chicago’s L (.)

25 American English, through the coining of the term “mickey finn”, powerfully reinforced the association between Irish character and deviousness. A mickey finn (late 19C +, early 20C +) came to mean an adulterated beverage, a drink containing a drug to make an unsuspecting drinker unconscious.

  • The term mickey finn is in fact metonymie as it designates either the knock-out drink or the drug contained therein.15 The origin of the term, also, is somewhat ambivalent.
  • Some word watchers consider that it is a generic Irish name, adopted in the 19 th century when Irish bars in American cities were often rowdy and dangerous places, while others link it to a real-life Mickey Finn.16 One way or the other, be it by direct reference or by stereotypical coining, Irish identity is clearly inscribed in the term.

All the more so as Finn is a culturally-coded Irish surname.

17 In modern American English, in keeping with these licentious times, a “mickey” often refers to a da (.)

26 The term mickey finn has achieved wide currency, particularly in the United States. Its popularity is such that it is often shortened to mickey (1930s +), as in the phrase “to slip someone a mickey”, meaning to knock someone out by means of a toxic beverage.17 Indeed, the elliptical form, today, has practically dethroned the original mickey finn.

  1. In line with such simplification, the verb “to mickey” has appeared in American slang, as has the adjective form “mickied” (1972, Ο ED ).
  2. The adjective forms “mickey-finned” (1957, OED ) and “mickey-finished” (1950s, Cassell’s ) also exist, the latter playing neatly on the Hibernian patronymic and the verb to finish.27 The consistent lexicalisation of Mickey Finn is indeed colourful and subtle, but it has profound cultural implications.

Indeed, such lexicalisation linguistically and intellectually embeds notions of Irish deviousness.28 A mickey finn involves doctoring another person’s drink, but many a Mickey Finn has been associated with downing potent beverages himself. Naturally, Irish names have been linked to alcohol consumption, although perhaps to a lesser extent than one might expect.

  • The word “Michael” has been used in America to designate a hip flask (1910s-1930s).
  • This use has been tentatively explained by the stereotype of Irish drinkers ( Cassell’s ).
  • More accusingly perhaps of Irish identity, the hypocristic “mickey” (1910s +) has been coined in North American slang (chiefly Canadian) to mean a flask of liquor ( OED, Cassell’s ).

The two uses apparently tap into the idea of the necessary proximity of alcohol for Irish imbibers.

18 Paddy whiskey is fabricated by the Cork Distilleries Company. The whiskey’s name, in fact, is a ref (.)

29 In more recent times the word paddy has become a popular term for whiskey. This use, however, was not inspired by negative racial stereotyping, but simply by a famous Irish beverage of the same name.18 30 Along with temper, aggressiveness, deceit and a natural penchant for alcohol, one of the oldest and most enduring putative characteristics of the Irishman was his atavistic ignorance or, at best, his inveterate illogicality.

  • The Irishman’s intellectual deficit, characterised by bulls, blunders and malapropisms, made him a lamentable figure of fun.
  • This, of course, was to brush off typical Irish names.31 Most significantly, the word “paddyism” (1801, OED ) was coined to mean an Irishism, an Irish peculiarity or a grossly illogical statement.

Irish stupidity was also linguistically consecrated in two rhyming slang compounds, “Paddy quick” (mid-19C, Cassell’s ) and “Paddy and Mick” (20C, Cassell’s ), both used as substitutes for thick. The term “paddy quick” plays ironically on Paddy’s wisdom and wittedness, while “paddy and mick”, through the association of the two emblematic Irish given names, deals a double blow to Irish intelligence.32 The word “patsy” (20C, Cassell’s ) in American English may have developed along similar lines.

The American term means one who is easily fooled or victimised. Now Patsy is also a common Irish cognomen. Patsy, in fact, is the pet name for either Patrick or Patricia. As such, as a name pregnant with both male and female Irish potential, it probably epitomised for some the ultimate greenhorn. “Cowardice and indolence were also imputed to the Irishman.

Though Paddy and Mick were known for their belligerent streak, in the eyes of their adversaries and critics they were necessarily spineless. Irish pusillanimity is exemplified in the phrase “to do a mick(ey)” (1930s-1960s, Cassell’s ), meaning to refuse to face up to a challenge, to escape, or to clear off.

19 Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary cites the Italian word pazzo fool as a possible origin of the A (.) 20 Hotten’s etymological explanation gives a sorry account of unemployed (though employment-seeking) I (.)

33 The expression “to do a mick(ey)” would seem to be a variation of the older “to do a mike” or “to have a mike” (early 19 ), meaning variously to be idle, to escape from or to evade work, or to go away. The origin of these earlier uses, however, is somewhat unclear.

The word “mike” has been linked to the verb “to mitch” ( OED ) and to the verb “to mooch” ( Cassell’s ), but the Irishman’s cognomen is also a likely candidate. John Camden Hotten (1864) and Eric Partridge (1949) are among those who, significantly, link the word “mike” to Mick and Michael, and consequently to Ireland.20 Indeed, in the early and mid-19 th century, the name Mike, like Mick, came in for regular linguistic abuse.34 In a slightly earlier period (mid-18C-mid-19C), the term “Paddy Ward’s pig” (probably of anecdotal origin) was used humorously to designate a lazy person, or one who is relaxing ( Cassell’s ).

The reproach of indolence was of course central to the colonial enterprise, and was thus frequently addressed to the native Irish.

21 Eric Partridge (Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English) gives a more specific meaning and m (.) 22 Wilfred Granville considers that Paddy Doyle may have been a notorious defaulter, now forgotten. Se (.)

35 With such poor credentials, and in the light of such rampant prejudice, Paddy and Mick were no doubt well acquainted with penitentiary institutions. Indeed, the dated phrase “to do a paddy doyle” (1919-1948, Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang), meaning to be held in the confinement of a prison cell, firmly equates Irish identity with doing time.21 The surname Doyle (which is typically Irish) leaves no doubt as to Paddy’s extended family.

23 Interestingly, the first print recording of this phrase uses the word “mike”. It occurs in G. Ingra (.) 24 The difficulty with the rhyming slang explanation is that the Mickey Bliss referred to (supposedly (.)

37 The expression “to take the mick (also “mickey” and “mike”) out of someone” (1930s +) is well known to Anglophones, particularly in Britain and Australia.23 The phrase would seem to be a more polite version of the expression “to take the piss out of someone”, meaning to poke fun.

“To take the mick” is so well known that mock-genteel versions of it have developed: “to extract/take the Michael” and “to extract the urine” (1950s). As the phrase has achieved wide currency, and as it is apparently culturally coded (the typical Irishman’s cognomen is contained therein), it has received a great deal of critical attention.

Its true etymology, however, remains uncertain. Indeed, the locution may not castigate an Irish Mick at all. The most-cited alternative explanation is that the idiom is derived from the rhyming slang phrase “to take the mike/mickey Bliss”, itself modelled on “to take the piss”.

  • The name of a certain Mike or Mickey Bliss, hijacked by the rhyming slangster as a cryptic replacement for the inelegant word piss, was subsequently curtailed to Mike, Mickey, or Mick.
  • Another explanation, considered less likely, is that the term “mick” was derived from the verb “to micturate” (to urinate).

However, these two alternative explanations are somewhat flawed, and the debate remains open.24 The Irish etymology cannot be ruled out. An Irish Mick may very well have been cited as the typical subject of jest.38 Whatever the case, an equally fundamental question is raised by this snide expression.

  • Even if the Irish reminiscence was not present at the phrase’s inception, it is certainly apparent in its modern-day, popular acceptation.
  • Etymological theory is one thing, and popular perception is another, and the phrase is widely held by those who use it or hear it used to cast aspersions on Ireland.

This, in itself, is highly significant. It reveals a readiness in the English-speaking public, when confronted with a seemingly-Irish term pejoratively employed, to expect or presume Irish mockery.39 Several other terms and expressions involving the first name Paddy and Mick testify to a long and extensive tradition of mockery of things Irish.

25 The definition given in the OED for Paddy’s lucerne is the following: “a local name for the tropica (.) 26 For Webster ( Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, hereafter WTNID), mick is the head of a (.)

40 In Australia, the use of the term “paddy’s lucerne” (late 19C, OED ) to designate Queensland hemp (a plant used as forage in some regions but considered as a troublesome weed in that state), 25 clearly illustrates the Irish name’s perceived negative connotations.

Driven by those negative vibes, the term “Paddy’s market” (late 19C +) has established itself (in Australia notably) as a standard reference for a cheap second-hand market. “Paddy’s lantern” (1930s +, Cassell’s), used to designate the light of the moon, probably takes a gibe at traditional Irish backwardness (the absence of electricity in rural Ireland).

The choice of the term “paddywhack” (late 19C, Cassell’s ) to mean an unlicensed almanac, confirms the Irish first name’s perceived spurious qualities. In Australia, the rhyming slang expression “on one’s pat” (20C, Collins, the contracted form of “on one’s Pat Malone” meaning alone), adds solitude to Paddy’s unhappy credentials.

  • The Cockney rhyming slangster’s choice of the term “mike” (19C, Oxford Dictionary of Rhyming Slang ) as a substitute for spike (the casual ward of a workhouse where the homeless could find accommodation) equates Irish identity with poverty.
  • In this particular case, stereotypical considerations aside, phonetics may have been well served by semantics.

And, interestingly, Australian slang has adopted the term “mick” to designate the side of a coin in a toss-up situation (20C). This use is all the more intriguing as its definition is somewhat unstable. Mick, apparently, designates the reverse side (tails) of a coin, but it has also been linked to the head side.26 Word-watchers have thus far failed to come up with an explanation for this use, but perhaps it might have something to do with considerations of the luck of the Irish, or lack of it.

27 Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang defines the word “paddy”, as used by American Blacks, as “a White man (.)

42 In Black American English, the word “paddy” (or “patty”) has come to mean a white person, any white person (1940s +, Cassell’s, OED ). This is indeed quite a sea change. The nickname of the traditional social underdog has come, by a complete turn of fortune, to designate the standard cultural white type in the eyes of a historically-abused community.

Unless of course the etymology of the American Black English word has nothing to do with the Irish cognomen Paddy.27 While this is indeed possible, Irish mockery is nonetheless palpable as the word used by American Blacks rings of Irishness; Irishness that has simply been equated with whiteness. Used this way, the word paddy represents the major Other who is typically despised.43 A similar mutation of the word paddy has occurred in Australia.

Australian English has recently transformed paddy into a Chinese person (20C, Cassell’s ). One is tempted to see in this use a reference to Asian paddy fields but, for Jonathon Green, the Irish sobriquet Paddy provides the basic inspiration. The name of the traditional working-class immigrant has been reused to designate a more recently arrived alien.

28 For an outline of this survey, see Lee Pederson’s article “An Approach to Urban Word Geography” pub (.)

44 The cognomen Mick, too, has undergone local mutation. A survey carried out in Chicago in the 1960s reveals that “mick” was used in that specific context as a pejorative term for a Mexican.28 45 In these particular cases, whatever the local grievances, the mutations of Paddy and Mick were made possible by the profound negative undercurrents of these Irish first names.46 Paddy and Mick, over the generations and in several countries, have been prominent markers of alterity, usually in the negative mode.

Interestingly, Paddy and Mick, when linguistically evoked within Ireland, also have negative connotations. The most striking example of this is provided by the expression “to be/to come paddy last” ( Collins ), used self-mockingly by Irish people to characterise their poor performance in sporting and other competitions.

Another example can perhaps be seen in the Irish use of the word “mickey” to designate the penis (20C, Cassell’s ). The name Michael has thus gone down the same road, albeit locally, as William (willy), Richard (dick), and John (johnny). Used to designate the penis, mickey is clearly a euphemism, and though as such it may be charged with puerile or prude affection, this can hardly be seen as a glorification of the popular first name.47 Clearly, Paddy and Mick, at home and abroad, have come in for singular linguistic treatment.

Though many of the examples quoted above are limited by constraints of time and space, as a body they constitute a formidable onomastic system of reference. All of the major negative hetero-stereotypes of the Irish have been incorporated into colloquial English on the basis of two prominent Irish first names.

Notwithstanding particular local and historical factors, a familiar pattern is apparent. Throughout the English-speaking world, Paddy and Mick have provided facile linguistic targets and served as convenient cultural scapegoats. They have been everyone’s favourite hates.

29 Michael Duffy, The Englishman and the Foreigner, Cambridge, Chadwyck-Healey Ltd., 1986, p.18. Duff (.) 30 J.O. Bartley, Teague, Shenkin and Sawney. Being an Historical Study of the Earliest Irish, Welsh, (.) 31 The word taffy has also been linked to the river Taff which flows through south Wales. Wales is als (.) 32 The word “jock” has numerous colloquial meanings including “a stupid, unimaginative person”, “an at (.)

48 Irish names, as we indicated earlier, are in a league of their own. The Irishman has been the butt of much more scorn than the Scotsman or the Welshman, other denizens of the Celtic fringe. Though all three, throughout English history, were considered as “domestic foreigners”, only the Irish were systematically and brutally denounced.

Ireland’s pre-eminent role as England’s bugbear is evident in Michael Duffy’s study of the 17 th – and 18 th -century English satirical press.29 James O. Bartley has highlighted differential treatment of the stage Irishmen, Welshmen and Scotsmen in popular theatre.30 Strictly on the basis of lexicalised first names, this discrepancy is also clear.

Scottish and Welsh first names have very little been tampered with. Jock (20C, from John) is perhaps the best (or worst) English can do to name-brand a Scotsman, while Taffy (late 17C +, from the Welsh form of David, Dafydd) 31 is the standard and lonely tag for a Welshman.

  • Moreover, these names-turned-words are essentially limited to a generic use.
  • Unlike their Irish counterparts, they have not been made to designate and denigrate typical cultural traits.32 And, on the other side of the divide, it is interesting to note that there has been no onomastic retaliation.
  • The traditional pejorative word for an Englishman within the British Isles is a “Sassenach” (18C, Collins, used by both the Irish and the Scots), and this term, despite the promise of its gusty phonetics, is simply the Gaelic word for an Englishman (from Late Latin, saxones Saxons).49 What is it about Irish identity (as opposed to Scottish or Welsh identity) that has brought it to such prominent, and prejudiced, world attention? The answer is clearly linked to the perception of the colonial or foreign Other, and the Irish, in this respect, compared to their Celtic neighbours, have stood out significantly more in the Anglo-Saxon controlled world.

Since the 16 th century, Hibernia and Albion have been locked into a relationship of mutual disdain and mistrust. Each, for the other, has been the embodiment of evil and perfidy. This historical enmity provided a profound source of prejudice and a powerful drive for cultural mockery.

  • But something else was needed to broaden the debate.
  • This dynamic was provided by emigration on a massive scale.
  • Sheer numbers, no doubt, constituted a basic determining factor.
  • Mass emigration in the 19 th century to Britain and America notably, but also to Australia, ensured widespread dispersal and re-enactment of the Irish question.

The high visibility of the Irish (arriving by the boat-full and congregating in urban areas) magnified their apparent distinctiveness. The Catholic background and the extreme poverty of many Irish emigrants no doubt constituted additional factors. In cultures that were marked by religious regeneration and in which the Protestant work ethic was synonymous with material as well as spiritual well-being, poor Irish Catholics had precious little going for them.50 Whatever the particular differences (and historical grievances) between Britain, America and Australia, a core population was united in defence of basic cultural principles, and equally united in identifying extraneous ways in the Irish populations that visited their shores.

Such unanimity was bound to have wide-reaching consequences, consequences that were to be linguistically engraved. Countries that had first-hand knowledge of the typical Irishman, inspired by first-class prejudices, naturally focused on Irish first names. Typical Hibernian first names were there for all to see, hear and jeer.

In the Anglo-Saxon determined world, Irish names were a tool of political vindication and a source of popular entertainment. Paddy and Mick, like their comrades Teague, Barney and Larry, were caught in cultural trap and could not escape their fate. On and off stage their names were to be elaborately staged.

Wrenched from their individual bearers, as stereotypical markers they were mockingly portrayed. Stripped of their proper noun status, as common nouns, verbs and adjectives they were variously displayed. For all intents and purposes, Irish first names were fair cultural and linguistic game. For John Bull and his eager cousins, at any rate, it was a natural scheme.

As far as any true-blooded Anglo-Saxon could see, Paddy was there to be whacked, and Mick was there for the taking.

Are Fenians the IRA?

External links –

  • Fenian Brotherhood
  • BBC History article on the Irish Republican Brotherhood
  • 1865 newspaper Article describing the Fenians
  • History Learning Site > Ireland 1848 to 1922 > The Fenian Movement
  • The Fenian Movement in the US including digitised materials about their activities. From the Immigration to the United States, 1789–1930 collection, Harvard University Library Open Collections Program

What did the Black and Tans do in Cork?

Background – The Irish War of Independence began in 1919, following the declaration of an Irish Republic and founding of its parliament, Dáil Éireann, The Irish Republican Army (IRA), waged guerrilla warfare against British forces: the British Army and the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC).

In response, the RIC began recruiting reinforcements from Britain, mostly unemployed former soldiers who fought in the First World War. Some were recruited into the RIC as regular police constables who became known as ‘ Black and Tans ‘. Other former army officers were recruited into the new Auxiliary Division, a counter-insurgency unit of the RIC.

The Auxiliaries and the ‘Black and Tans’ became infamous for carrying out numerous reprisals for IRA attacks, which included extrajudicial killings and burning property. In March 1920, the republican Lord Mayor of Cork, Tomás Mac Curtain, was shot dead at his home by police with blackened faces.

In reprisal for an IRA attack in Balbriggan on 20 September 1920, ‘Black and Tans’ burnt more than fifty homes and businesses in the village and killed two local republicans in their custody. This drew international attention and became known as the Sack of Balbriggan, Two days later, following the Rineen ambush in which six RIC officers were killed, police burnt many homes in the surrounding villages and killed five civilians.

Several other villages suffered similar reprisals over the following months. IRA intelligence officer Florence O’Donoghue said the subsequent burning and looting of Cork was “not an isolated incident, but rather the large-scale application of a policy initiated and approved, implicitly or explicitly, by the British government”. A group of “Black and Tans” and Auxiliaries in Dublin, April 1921 County Cork was an epicentre of the war. On 23 November 1920, a non-uniformed ‘Black and Tan’ threw a grenade into a group of IRA volunteers who had just left a brigade meeting on St Patrick’s Street, Cork’s main street.

  1. Three IRA volunteers of the 1st Cork Brigade were killed: Paddy Trahey, Patrick Donohue and Seamus Mehigan.
  2. The New York Times reported that sixteen people were injured.
  3. On 28 November 1920, the IRA’s 3rd Cork Brigade ambushed an Auxiliary patrol at Kilmichael, killing 17 Auxiliaries; the biggest loss of life for the British in the war.

On 10 December, the British authorities declared martial law in counties Cork (including the city), Kerry, Limerick, and Tipperary, It imposed a military curfew on Cork city, which began at 10 pm each night. IRA volunteer Seán Healy recalled that “at least 1,000 troops would pour out of Victoria Barracks at this hour and take over complete control of the city”.

What are the Black and Tans in Palestine?

“Going Beserk”: “Black and Tans” in Palestine Full text: The role that former “Black and Tans” played in Palestine during the years prior to 1948 has not been adequately studied. Their story does not begin there, but rather with the British actions in Ireland several years earlier.

  • The “Black and Tans,” whose official name was the “Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary,” were auxiliary police that the British brought to Ireland to try to squelch the Irish Rebellion in 1919 and 1920.
  • The Irish had grown more and more critical of British rule and by 1919 many Irish were openly resisting British control.

Some forms of resistance included armed struggle. In an effort to shore up their slipping police and military control, Britain enlisted men into quasi counter-insurgent squads. They consisted mostly of young British veterans from World War I who subsequently received little if any training about how to “police” a civilian population.

They were called “Black and Tans” because their uniforms consisted of black pants and tan shirts, apparently the result of making do from the remnants of various squads or brigades.1 Not surprisingly, the “Black and Tans” used a wide variety of techniques and strategies in their attempts to squelch the Irish Rebellion.

These included the following: the demolition of homes of suspected rebels or in some cases, entire villages; arrests and imprisonments without warrants, charges or trials; beatings; torture; and rape. The reports that were recieved from Ireland impacted public opinion in Britain and the United States, which in turn mounted pressure on London to withdraw from southern Ireland.2 By 1922, the “Irish Free State” (today’s Republic of Ireland) was established in the south and the British retreated.

Who were the Black and Tans for kids?

By Alyson Gray – The Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries were part of the British crown forces in Ireland (which also included the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) and the Ulster Special Constabulary ) and both groups were recruited during the War of Independence to supplement the regular police division.

  • From the beginning of the conflict in January 1919 to its end in July 1921 an undeclared state of war existed across Ireland between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the forces of the British crown.
  • As war was never officially declared, and a countrywide state of martial law was never brought in (martial law was declared in December 1920, but it only applied to certain counties), the military was confined to a supporting role and the RIC were charged with the task of restoring law and order and curbing the actions of the guerrilla units of the IRA.

In response the IRA began a campaign of intimidation against the RIC. This campaign took several forms. In August 1919 Sinn Féin issued instructions to its members to avoid interactions with any members of the force, a strategy in keeping with a Dáil Éireann decree of 10 April 1919, that all English forces in Ireland be ‘ostracised socially by the people of Ireland’.

As the war ramped up violence towards RIC constables became more present. In a 12-month period, ending in December 1919, the IRA killed 18 policemen. Six months later, by the summer of 1920 the number of dead policemen had more than doubled. Simultaneously, the IRA began attacking police barracks throughout the country, which forced the closure and evacuation of many of the smaller, more remote barracks.

The RIC was not equipped with the weapons or training to deal with these attacks and needed support. The British government responded to this by creating two supplementary police forces: the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries. Major-General Tudor standing in front of the Royal Irish Constabulary on the left and Black and Tans on the right at the Phoenix Park depot in 1920. (Image: RTÉ Archives, 0508/026) The Black and Tans The Black and Tans were constables recruited into the RIC force during the War of Independence.

Membership was made up of unemployed rank-and-file ex-servicemen who had fought in the First World War. They were recruited from all parts of the United Kingdom, but mostly came from Britain. Recruitment began in January 1920, with the first set of reinforcements arriving in Ireland soon after and distributed to barracks across the country to serve alongside the traditional RIC.

Approximately 10,000 men were recruited for the force throughout the conflict. At first they wore improvised uniforms which were a mixture of items from the RIC and the British Army. The RIC uniform was dark green but appeared to be black and the army uniform was khaki – these ‘black and tan’ colours led to their nickname.

They eventually switched to wearing traditional RIC uniforms. Left: Three Auxiliaries on Henry Street, Dublin. Right: Auxiliaries with a captured motorbike in Dublin. (Images: National Library of Ireland, HOGW 123 & HOGW 128) The Auxiliaries The Auxiliaries, officially known as the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary (ADRIC) was a paramilitary unit of Ireland’s regular police force, the RIC.

They are also sometimes known as the ‘Auxies’. The Auxiliaries were an elite counter-insurgency corps drawn from ex-commissioned military officers who served during the First World War. As they were classed as officers they were paid accordingly – the £1 a day they received was more than twice the rate of an RIC constable.

  • The ‘Auxies’ acted as a mobile striking force and raiding group against the IRA.
  • The first recruits to the ADRIC arrived in Ireland at the end of July 1920, after a six week training course in The Curragh, they became operational in September.
  • The Auxiliaries wore a similar uniform to the Black and Tans but had their own insignia and wore Balmoral caps.2,200 men saw action with the Auxiliaries during the War of Independence.

Ruins from reprisal attacks. Left: Balbriggan after the sack of the town in September 1920. Right: The remains of Roche’s Stores in Cork city, with only one wall left after the burning of the city in December 1920. (Images: RTÉ Archives, 0505/076 & 0501/017) What impact did they have? Both the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries were notorious for their violence and became known for their method of reprisal for attacks made upon them and their RIC colleagues.

One of the most notorious incidents of this was the Sack of Balbriggan on 20 September 1920, in which a group of Black and Tans, based at the nearby Gormanston barracks, attacked the north county Dublin town: they destroyed a number of homes and businesses and shot two IRA suspects, in reaction to the shooting of RIC District Inspector, Peter Burke.

This action became a pattern for the Black and Tans throughout the war. The destruction of property and attacks on civilians became a regular occurrence. The Auxiliaries meanwhile, were not particularly effective as a counter-insurgency force and often found themselves open to attack.

  • On 28 November 1920 an Auxiliary police patrol was ambushed by the IRA at Kilmichael, Co.
  • Cork, resulting in the deaths of 16 members of a 17-man patrol.
  • Several weeks later, on 11 December another patrol was ambushed in Cork – later, much of the city of Cork was burned in reprisal,
  • An Auxiliary cadet was also held responsible for the murder of Catholic priest Thomas Magner from Dunmanway, Co.

Cork on 15 December 1920. It was ill-discipline and indiscriminate acts of this nature that attracted international scrutiny. The British Labour Party published a report based on an investigation carried out by a specially appointed commission, which drew attention to the lack of discipline in the two forces, stating that the Auxiliaries ‘inspired terror as the authors of reprisals whose brutality and destructive effects were only equalled by the skill and forethought with which they had been planned.’ A report published in 1921 by the American Commission for Relief in Ireland, the membership of which included members of congress and other high-profile politicians and public figures, compared the Black and Tans to ‘lynch mobs’, saying that ‘decent folk everywhere are shamed and scandalised that such things can still be in their day and generation.’ READ: Report of the Labour Commission to Ireland & the Report of the American Committee for Relief in Ireland via Internet Archive Both reports drew attention, not only to acts of large-scale destruction and murder carried out by the two forces, but also to brutal assaults, arson, theft, looting, drunkenness and intimidation.

The Report of the Labour Commission to Ireland put it bluntly: ‘Things are being done in the name of Britain which must make her name stink in the nostrils of the whole world.’ While the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries did fulfil their purpose in bolstering the ranks of the RIC and taking the fight to the IRA on many occasions, their brutality and use of reprisals turned the civilian population more towards republicanism and as more awareness was drawn to the repressive policy in Ireland, the British government came under increasing pressure from home and abroad to settle the Irish question.

What happened once the war ended? Both forces were disbanded in January 1922 following the end of the war and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. While many of the members returned to civilian life, some men remained in policing – with some joining the newly established Royal Ulster Constabulary.

When did the Black and Tans exist?

2. What was the Royal Irish Constabulary? – The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) was formed as a result of the Irish Constabulary (Ireland) Act 1836 and was responsible for keeping the peace in Ireland, though not of Dublin which retained its own police force, the Dublin Metropolitan Police.

  1. Prior legislation, the Constabulary Act of 1822, established Ireland’s first country-wide police force, known as the County Constabulary, made up of four provincial police forces which were subsequently merged to form the RIC.
  2. Before 1822, the Irish police force was composed of small groups of sub-constables.

It was not until 1867 that what had been known as the Irish Constabulary became the Royal Irish Constabulary. Initially, the main function of the Royal Irish Constabulary was keeping the peace which in practice involved the suppression of armed rebellion, sectarian riots or agrarian disturbances.

Their role expanded when it inherited the functions of the Revenue Police which involved inquiries on behalf of departments of state, collected agricultural statistics, enforced the fishery laws and performed a variety of duties under the laws relating to food and drugs, weights and measures, explosives and petroleum.

From 1920 to 1922, Royal Irish Constabulary ‘Temporary Constables’ made up largely of ex-soldiers and commonly called the Black and Tans, were employed to suppress revolution in Ireland, alongside an Auxiliary Division (ADRIC) of former military officers.