Throughout the history of the oft times strained relationship between Ireland and England or even Britain, the name of Henry Grattan is remembered as a great parliamentarian, orator and pursuer of rights for all of the people of Ireland. His critics might say that he was for the maintenance of the link with England but did subscribe to Home Rule. He was not alone in that endeavour one might argue. Today we still recall the oft quoted ...Grattan’s parliament. Whether he deserves that accolade remains perhaps the subject of interpretation.
In this brief overview of John Field, and owing to the scarcity of material on the maestro, we rely in the main on the work of one David Branson. While Branson’s (1993) gives us an insight into the life of John Field and his career, his direction is in the main focused on the influence of Field’s music on Chopin. As part of that presentation as it were, he includes offerings from respected commentators from the world of music some of whom give recognition to Field’s influence on Chopin while others dismiss it.
Theobald Wolfe Tone
Who fears to speak of 98 was a popular ballad in the Ireland of the 50s and 60s and indeed you might still hear it sung to this day. It invokes perhaps a sense of pride, of unfinished business if you would and of national aspirations. John Kells Ingram it was who penned this verse albeit it was not published until 1840 apparently. Despite its sentiments, Ingram himself turned staunch Unionist it is said. This paradox if you would might represent a microcosm of the convoluted reality of Irish history. It might at least be the common catch cry heard within the ranks of the students of history who take on the daunting task of disseminating what we have inherited.
W. B. Yeats
The 'Door of Reconciliation' is an essential part of the tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. It concerns two families vying for the position of Lord Deputy to Ireland, the king of England’s representative thus. To reconcile to the fact that another bout of bloodshed was in no one’s interest, The Fitzgerald’s of Kildare in the person of Gearoid Mor, cut a hole through a door behind which the Butlers of Ormonde were hiding. Placed his arm through the door inviting the Butlers to shake hands as a sign of good faith, to which the Butlers eventually agreed, and so brought an end to the turmoil that saw these warring families inflict yet more pain on each other.
In Ireland, we like to procrastinate when it comes to issues that authority might not rank as high on their list of priorities particularly when it comes to United Nations conventions. We might sign up to a convention but often it can take years before we ratify it. However, when we see people with disabilities protesting outside Leinster House, it brings the reality home to us that disability is a serious issue in our country. People looking for the reinstatement of a basic necessity while money is being poured down the proverbial drain in other areas begs the question; why is disability such a taboo issue?
Field Marshal Garnet Wolseley
Garnet Joseph Wolseley was a Dubliner who would come to prominence serving in the British Army. He was of Anglo-Irish descent his family line stretching back over a thousand years and associated with Staffordshire in England. He would become a celebrated member of the army establishing his reputation for modernisation and efficiency. He built on his achievements through campaigns in Canada, China and Africa, in the Crimean War and in the Indian mutiny apparently. His exploits would cost him dearly suffering a severe leg wound and the loss of an eye.