I still take exception to Conrad Bladey's diffusion of responsibility
for failure to manage effective food assistance programs during the Irish
famine from those British individuals who owned 86% of Ireland's land and
from Britain's political leadership at the time. In John O'Hart's IRISH
PEDIGREES, (5th Ed.), pp. 727-8, sometime in the early seventeen hundreds
when the Penal Laws were in force, Nial O'Neill tried to keep his lands by
entrusting them to Protestant friends, who used these same laws to swindle
him. So much for the possibility of the Native Irish, as the Encyclopaedia
Britannica labels them, of holding on to their land, whether they lived in
Ireland or England. Some apologists, will do anything rather than admit that
evil was done.
Many peoples who have attacked other nations and oppressed them have
great difficulty admitting guilt and responsibility. The old time Japanese
can't admit the hurts they did to many other Asians. No one owns up to the
murder of eight million Ukranians during the Stalin era. The Khmer Rouge are
all over Kampuchea. Irish Famine victims are in the same boat. The 19th
century British, in their colonial heyday, had little use for other peoples.
In Barbara Cartland's THE KHARMA OF LOVE, Indian railroads had different
carriages for Europeans and Indians. The British also had separate zone in
Shanghai to separate them from the native Chinese. The British slave trade
was the pits, along with any other Europeans who engaged in it. The Irish
were "bog trotters'. My own grandfather, Henry Joseph O'Neill of Boston and
later Brooklyn, N.Y., was told at Ginn & Company (publishers) in Boston in
the early 1900's that Catholics were not advanced. That was in Boston, Mass.
There was no possibility of the Irish entering business or industry in
Ireland prior to the famine. The talk about the Irish failing to adapt is
According to the President of Ireland, there are now about seventy
million Irish people throughout the world. There have been American
Presidents and Canadian and Australian Prime ministers of Irish descent. The
Overseas Irish are part of the "First World". It was a struggle. Our great
grandparents and grandparents never forgot the famine victims for a second.
The late Tip O'Neill didn't. There's no need for hatred or rage. We made it.
But there's no guaranteed economic paradise anywhere, however.
THE READER'S DIGEST had an article about forgiveness. Its advice was to
forgive, but to not forget. JFK said as much. Anger and rage are so
self-destructive. That's my feeling, too. It's best to learn from experience.
Don't let it 'managed famines' ever happen again, anywhere. Work for a
better society. Remember the Irish Famine Victims and the Scots Clearance
Victims. Do something positive.
The Clare County Council and the Clare Historical Society are working on
restoring a mass grave and working house complex at Lahinch Road in
Ennistymon in County Clare, Ireland. A contribution might counteract Conrad
Bladey's wilful amnesia. Such amnesia is really sickening. Happy Fourth of
July. Best regards to all Celtic-L Listmembers.
David F. O'Keefe Tel.  531-8705
13101 Ashford Pt. Drive, Apt. 2210 [log in to unmask]
Houston, Texas 77082-5249 [log in to unmask]