Updated: May 16, 2022
Us Irish are a unique race of people. I love my country, I love the county (Antrim) I am from, I love being from the glens, I love being from the Queen of the nine glens of Antrim (Glenariffe). I love the history of my country and local history, the history of the glens, specifically Glenariffe.
There is a lot to be proud of. Irish men when they fought in any war they were known for their bravery. There has been uprisings and rebellions in Ireland every since the British took Ireland. Men have fought and died, sacrificing their lives on many occasion knowing the battle was lost before it even begun. All to keep the spark of hope alive for future generations.
The Irish though were not only known for their bravery in their fighting at home, but in many countries abroad as well.
In the Mexican/American war Irish men who had just emigrated to America enlisted in the US army. Most of them left Ireland due to a forced starvation imposed upon them by Britain. Many people died on route, the ships they travelled in were called 'coffin ships'. The Great Irish Famine lasted from 1845 - 1852. The American/Mexican war was from 1846 - 1848. The Irish had not many opportunities when they arrived in the USA. The US at that time was very much anti-Catholic. By enlisting in the army, they were guaranteed food, and shelter.
When they fought in the American/Mexican war though they seen many similarities between the Mexicans and themselves, and the British and the US. The Mexicans were also Catholic like themselves. The US was a larger stronger force oppressing a weaker country. So a large percentage of the Irish deserted the US Army and fought on the side of Mexico. Many of whom were caught and executed as traitors and deserters. It was not made up solely of Irish but mostly of Irish, and Catholics from other European countries. This group of men became known as the San Patricio battalion, they are still celebrated and honoured in Mexico and Ireland to this day on every St. Patrick's day.
Not too many people know about the San Patricio battalion, I suppose it is not something US schools put in their history books, and for good reason.
The Irish are better known for their fighting ability in the US civil war, they fought on both sides of the conflict. There is the famous fighting 69th on the Union side. The only people to receive physical medals on the Confederate side were a group of Irish for a victory over a larger union force in the battle of Sabine Pass. The medals were made from polished silver Mexican coins that hung from a green ribbon.
They also fought on both sides in the Spanish civil war. Many Irish fought on the side of the Boers against the British in South Africa. They fought in WW1 and WW2 with some siding with Germany. Yet, Ireland was a neutral country. So if Ireland was neutral and they were not required to fight, why did they? Well the Irish people felt passionately about things, they wanted to fight for what is right.
I believe though there was no greater men those ardent Catholics who fought to preserve the faith, and our liberty here in Ireland. People like Fr. Murphy, Joseph Mary Plunkett, Sean Heuston, and of course Padraig Pearse.
St. Archbishop Fulton Sheen, yes, I'm calling him a saint, because I do not need the Church to officially recognise him as one, in order for me to know that he is a Saint. He spoke often about his Irish heritage and how the Irish fought for something they believed passionately about. He spoke of how the Irish suffered, yet kept their humour.
We Irish are very often a contradiction. People consider us a cheerful people, but also solemn. We are welcoming and hospitable, but ready to fight and the drop of a hat. There
are many alcoholics and also a lot of pioneers (people who have pledged never to drink alcohol). We laugh, curse, be vulgar, and then be most courteous.
Sigmund Freud ‘This [The Irish] is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever. ‘ Freud is also claimed to have stated that the Irish are a mass of contradictions and impervious to the rational thought processes that might resolve them. Now I'm a bit of a thick Mick, I think he's trying to insult us, but I'm taking it as a compliment.
If anyone was to read Fr. Calloway's book champions of the rosary, you'll find in it men like Fr. Peyton, and Frank Duff. Born and bred Irish men, who did a whole lot to bring about devotion to Our Lady and the praying of the rosary. Ireland is a small country to have one person from your country mentioned in the book is an honour, but these two Saints contributed greatly to the faith, and their legacies have been written.
Now though I come to the crux of this article, and what it is I'd like to say. I and many fellow practicing Catholics here are greatly saddened and deeply wounded by the Ireland of today. I feel a great shame that the vast majority of the Irish people have let go of the faith. Not only have they left the faith, they now treat the faith with scorn. They believe they are wiser than previous generations. That previous generations were gullible and believed these fairy tales, because they didn't have the internet. That if previous generations had been better informed then they would not have believed all that nonsense.
Nothing could be further from the truth. My aunts and uncles were very smart people. Anyone that knows my family could tell you that. They were extremely academic, but they were also wise. Intelligence and wisdom are not the same. Intelligence is the ability to retain facts, it means you have a good memory. Wisdom though is the ability to take truths and make sense of them. In today's world there is no critical thinking. People just obtain information and never question it. They don't delve into it. People maybe intelligent, but they can also be ignorant.
I can not emphasis enough how much it pains me to see Ireland in this state. Irish people now love themselves, they like the caricature of the Irish around the world. We are so fun and jovial, everyone loves us. We are all about the 'craic' and partying. It makes me sick. I love Ireland but I hate what it is it is being turned into.
What about the Irish that Fulton Sheen spoke of who fight fiercely for what they love? Like the men of 1916. The Irish that are passionate, loyal, and have a sense of morality. Irish before did not try and fit in, they did not give a hoot about whether they looked backward or not to the outside world.
The majority of the Irish population can't get progressive or modern enough, they can't treat the Church with enough contempt these days. The Irish population voted to redefine marriage under law. They voted to remove the 8th amendment, that protected our smallest and most vulnerable, Irish children in the womb. Cromwell himself could not have come up with a better method of getting rid of the Irish. It wouldn't be anywhere near as bad if these 'laws' had been foisted upon us, but the fact the Irish people welcomed it makes me sick. It is a great stain on Ireland. We used to Hail Our Blessed Mother as Queen of Ireland, Our Golden Rose. The Irish kept the faith alive they had to go to mass in secret, they were persecuted since the time of King Henry VIII for their Catholic faith yet we held tight. It's almost now that all the persecution is gone it's now we cast the faith aside. God have mercy on Eire, Blessed Mother Mary, Our Golden Rose pray for Eire. Amen.