Dr Ruth Dudley-Edwards, described in a threatening letter by a solicitor hired for its composition, as “a Distinguished Historian” boasts authorship of a book on Orangemen called “The Faithful Tribe.” I haven’t read it so I can’t fault it..
But I have read a lot of her work over many decades which might identify her as a Faithless Scribe.
Featured in a book called “Leading Lives” profiling Irish women who made careers in England, she admits having got herself a British passport. Having done so she has described Irish Republicans who remained lifelong adherents to the Republic established by the voters in 1918 as traitors. Those Republicans correctly maintained that the Second Dail Eireann was never properly stood down, and showed the faith of the boy who stood on the burning deck when all but they had fled. Dr Ruth’s attitude to national allegiance is fickle rather than faithful.
Dr Ruth’s late ex-Husband, Patrick Cosgrove, like herself, was born in Dublin of Irish parents, and educated to graduate level
there. He then joined the state broadcaster, RTE, which would never have existed were it not for Pearse, Connolly and other
altruists whom she maligns for a living. Patrick Cosgrove transmuted into a British jingo of Victorian vintage and a speech writer for Margaret Thatcher. Ruth described him as an English patriot . He was neither English nor a patriot.
A collector of Victorian curiosities might struggle to catalogue him. How a historian faithful to their vocation could claim or endorse the fiction that the 1916 Rising ushered in one hundred years of war puzzles me. After six days of battle in the midst of the greatest war Europe has seen, recruitment for the British forces was frustrated in Ireland and conscription was never attempted, North or South.
Long after the Second World War British conscripts were used as guinea pigs for chemical warfare, believing they were helping research into a cure for the common cold. Some were taken to Australia and stood in trenches within half a mile of the explosion of a Hiroshima size atomic bomb.
I understand that between 1914 and 2000 only one year passed without the death of a British serviceman in conflict. Britain was involved overtly and covertly in armed conflict, sometimes described as Emergencies. Emergencies were not subject to the Geneva Convention, and did not involve the high Insurance Premiums which British tea planters, rubber plantations, and mining interests would have to pay if their wars were honestly catalogued.
Dr Ruth was born in Dublin in 1943, twenty years after the last soldier of the Irish State had been killed in conflict. Not until November 1960 was the next one killed, in the service of the United Nations. I was born in December 1941 in Dublin and I never heard of a bank robbery there till my tenth birthday when some youths with a starting pistol robbed
a bank. It was celebrated by acres of newsprint and I can’t recall hearing of another bank raid , North, South, East or West in Ireland for nearly twenty years. Terry Wogan recalled working for a Dublin bank and carrying in a holdall enough money to buy a couple of houses which he placed by his feet while having coffee alone in Bewleys. Albert Reynolds, when he ran dancehalls in the midlands recalled leaving takings amounting to thousands of pounds in the unlocked boot of his car outside his house. Dr Ruth’s claims should not be taken in good faith, nor do I believe they were made that way,
When Dr Ruth tells us that she has no religious faith I have to believe her. I know many good honest people who don’t believe in a deity and I would trust them with my life.
Dr Ruth’s unbelief must be a source of enormous comfort for her. It carries the message that it’s no sin to tell a lie.