In 21st century Ireland we are still going through a political time warp which is manifested in our civil-war centred concentration on a two party system. This historical hangover has its origins in the Peace Treaty of 1921 which brought a premature end to over seven hundred years of conflict between Ireland and England. Because of its sequential ramifications, the partitioning of the country being the primary consequence, a civil-war would ensue with opposing sides becoming the pro and anti-Treaty elements that would ultimately morph into the Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil political persuasions that have between them ran the state since its foundation.
The life of Seán O’Casey has been described and might indeed be determined as an interesting account of the travails of a writer seeking recognition like any of his class. However, one might be forgiven for accepting that class was indeed the determining factor that brought him acceptance by some and rejection by others. The Dublin into which O’Casey was born was still convulsing from deprivation of the body but instinctively galvanising itself as an instrument of idealism to forge a better future. In a divided city, capital of a divided country the struggle for the rights of workers, their families and their city, loomed large in his orbit.
To achieve fame and status as a poet is no mean achievement. That goal was achieved by one Thomas Moore of Dublin. He was acclaimed as national lyric poet of Ireland in 1812, according to Moran (2013). His work had found a willing audience as he switched from the call to the bar to the nuanced methodology of the scribe. This brief overview looks at his life, his suggested detachment from his earlier revolutionary views and his creative qualities as a poet.
It is sometimes said that we don’t always see or appreciate beauty. Equally one might add that that is in the gift of the beholder. Be that as it may, and speaking as a humble but earnest scribe, even those of us with limited capacity to appreciate the world of visual art, can be struck sometimes by its composition of colours, particularly when questioned by the elaborate art that is stained glass windows. The elaborate manifestation of what amounts to the kaleidoscope of creation contained in the work of Harry Clarke leaves even the uninitiated impressed. This humble overview briefly looks at the life and times of the man with samples of his work included.
In this brief overview of Robert Emmet we look at the major events in his short life, the other actors in this story and the long-term consequences arguably that stemmed from this period. Ireland at this time was enduring major changes both politically and economically. Rebellions against English rule was not uncommon and after the Act of Union in 1800 the economic impact particularly on Dublin was significant. England feared the French in the heady days of Napoleon, and the embers of the 1798 Rebellion were not fully extinguished. Wolfe Tone will be remembered as one of the leading protagonists of the 1798 Rebellion, Robert Emmet for the events of 1803.
Seán Heuston first saw the light of day on 21st Feb.1891. He was born into a poor family in Dublin’s inner city. Dublin, once regarded as the second most important city in the British Empire in the 18th century, was in the latter part of the 19th century convulsing into a place of appallingly bad housing and increasing levels of unemployment. The family home of his birth was in Gloucester Street (now Gardiner Street).