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20 May 2011, 16 Iyar 5771.
1. A Historical Survey of Proposals to Transfer Arabs from Palestine
1895 - 1947 by
2. The Gold of Ancient Ireland.
3. The Irish Contribution to British Military Prowess.

Ireland in 1914
Victoria Cross Awards
Irish Assistance to Britain in WW2.
Present-Day Irish Recruitment to British Military.


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1. A Historical Survey of Proposals to Transfer Arabs from Palestine
1895 - 1947

2. The Gold of Ancient Ireland.

Gold, Silver and Enamel

From A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland 1906

CHAPTER XII....continued

[2. The Gold of Ancient Ireland.
Gold, Silver, and Enamel, as Working Materials.

Gold and Silver. 'It is certain that gold and silver mines were worked in this country from the most remote antiquity, and that gold was found anciently in much greater abundance than it has been in recent times. According to the bardic annals, the monarch Tigernmas [Tiernmas] was the first that smelted gold in Ireland, and with it covered drinking-goblets and brooches; the mines were situated in the Foithre [fira], or woody districts, east of the Liffey; and the artificer was Uchadan, who lived in that part of the country. In the same district gold is found to this day. But other parts of the country produced gold also, as, for instance, the district of O'Gonneloe near Killaloe, and the neighbourhood of the Moyola river in Derry. There were gold districts also in Antrim, Tyrone, Dublin, Wexford, and Kildare. The general truthfulness of the old Irish traditions and records is fully borne out by the great quantities of golden ornaments found in every part of the country, of which numerous specimens may be seen in the National Museum, Dublin.

As in the case of gold, we have also very ancient legends about silver; and it was, and is, found in many parts of Ireland.

Enamel and Enamel Work.'On many of the specimens of metal-work preserved in the National Museum may be seen enamel patterns worked with exquisite skill, showing that the Irish artists were thorough masters of this branch of art. Their enamel was a sort of whitish or yellowish transparent glass as a foundation, coloured with different metallic oxides. It was fused on to the surface of the heated metal, where it adhered, and was worked while soft into various patterns, The art of enamelling was common to the Celtic people of Great Britain and Ireland, in pre-Christian as well as in Christian times; and beautiful specimens have been found in both countries, some obviously Christian, and others, as their designs and other characteristics show, belonging to remote pagan ages.
Gold, mined in Ireland, was shaped into beautiful lunulae (moon disks), probably worn as decoration by tribal leaders and priests. Gold has been found in bogs or under standing stones, perhaps left as offerings for the gods. Later, in the Bronze Age, Ireland's metalworking skills were the best in Europe, with Irish craftsmen creating quantities of beautiful gold jewelry, exquisite bronze horns, tools, and weapons of all kinds. Trade routes distributed the manufactured goods while raw gold, tin, and other materials not found in Ireland were imported from Britain and continental Europe.

The Irish Bronze Age may have ended in economic collapse, since technology declined as contact with Europe lessened around 500 B.C. Some Celtic La Tene (from Switzerland) iron artifacts have been found in Ireland, but there's no evidence that a European Celtic invasion introduced Iron Age technology. Irish smiths learned to fashion the new metal, copying European styles and developing their own. Ireland's Iron Age was a status-conscious culture with prestige objects displaying the height of blacksmith art. Irish builders and engineers also raised huge earthworks and temples. A massive 120-foot-wide circular wooden temple was built, burned, and buried at Navan Fort in Ulster, perhaps in sacrifice to the local god.

3. The Irish Contribution to British Military Prowess.

Ireland in 1914

In all, about 210,000 Irishmen served in the British forces during World War One. Since there was no conscription, about 140,000 of these joined during the war as volunteers. Some 35,000 Irish died. Irishmen enlisted for the war effort for a variety of reasons. Some, just like their fellows in other warring states, joined up for the perceived justice of the cause.

Victoria Cross Awards

Some might expect that since the Irish Free State was NEUTRAL during WW2, NONE were awarded.

However, 4 Irish from independent Ireland won the award in the second World War.

1 from Northern Ireland won also, a Catholic from the Falls Road, West Belfast.

It's worth mentioning that a large percentage of the small Irish Army actually deserted to go over and fight in the UK forces. In fact, larger numbers from the Irish Free State served in UK forces than from Northern Ireland.

It should also be noted that most Irish V.C. awards date from the 19th century*. After that, for political reasons including nationalist agitation against recruitment, many Irish were much less inclined to join up. This is on top of a trend that can be seen as a steady decline in their percentage of the British Army from the 1830's, when they were the largest nationality in the army, to the beginning of the Boer War when they made up 12% of the army and 11% of the population. This trend reflected both a decrease in percentage of the UK population as well as emigration of young men and increasing nationalism and feelings of injustice resulting from the policies of the UK. During World War 1 Ireland, partly because of the lack of conscription there as opposed to other parts of the UK, had a slightly lower percentage of its population in uniform than England, though slightly more than Sotland and signifigantly more than Wales.

(Between the founding of the award, during the Crimean War, until the start of the Boer War the Irish percentage declined from around 1/3 to the above mentioned 12% yet for most categories of other ranks, such as privates, lance corporals and corporals, various sergeants, musicians, etc. the Irish held the highest number of V.C.'s. during the period)
Read more:

Irish Assistance to Britain in WW2.

UK PM Chamberlain met de Valera 25/4/38 shortly after Austrian Anschluss made War probable. They signed UK/Eire Free Trade Agreement, which:
- settled land annuities (UK Loans);
- transferred the Treaty Ports to Eire, to be neutral: Irish calm was vital to UK - Brits. could man trenches or tools, not both. UK must gain volunteers, not Fenians, nor waste soldiers to guard wet enclaves;
- Ulster would be exempt from conscription, its border open;
- Eire's citizens would not be 'alien', but welcome, free to enter/work in UK without passports, and to remit currency home. Munitions factories in NW England became Paddy fields (families with such names as McCartney and Gallagher took root). In 1942 hardcore provided by the Luftwaffe was turned into airfields by 60,000 strong Irishmen, freeing Brits. equating to an Army Corps: there were '165,000 next-of-kin Irish addresses in the Br.Forces', in Aug.'44 D. Childs, Br. Since '39, Palgrave, 2002, P.55.

Present-Day Irish Recruitment to British Military.

There is an Irish website which has a military forum and questions about British army recruitment form a regular part of it. Almost equal to questions about Irish army recruitment. In fact the idea of seeing action is attractive to many young men. You won't get that in the Irish army.

BARS List of Contents.


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