SHADOW OF A GUNBOAT- AND A DISLOYAL TOAST by Donal Kennedy


Have you ever read a United Kingdom Passport or compared it to an Irish one?

The Irish Minister REQUESTS passage for his fellow citizens.

Her Brittanic Majesty REQUESTS AND REQUIRES…….

The shadow of the Gunboat looms over  the Lesser Breeds,  whether or not they’ve ever heard of The War of Jenkins’ Ear.

I mentioned in my last Blog the Renowned Editor of the Manchester Guardian who was long a confidante of David Lloyd George.

C.P. SCOTT kept and published  Political Diaries recording meetings with, amongst others, John Redmond, John Dillon and Lloyd George, individually, not together. In 1922 Lloyd George was seriously contemplating razing Athens to the ground to enforce
his will on the people of Greece. He had the gunboats. Kemal Attaturk had moved the Turkish capital from Constantinople to Ankara  so as to be out of range of Britannia’s Dreadnoughts .After the 1918 Armistice the British Navy reduced Germany to famine to
extract a false admission of guilt for the War which  British warmongers had been planning since 1904 behind the backs of most members of Parliament.

When Terence MacSwiney started his hunger strike in Cork in 1920 he was taken by Destroyer on his way to London. When he died and his remains taken to Holyhead and booked to go to Dublin en route to Cork, they were seized and put on another
Destroyer (for Cork) so that respects could not be paid to him in the Irish capital.

When Archbishop Mannix of Melbourne  was on his way to visit his sick mother in Ireland in 1920 another destroyer seized him from a transatlantic liner so he could not land in Ireland.

In December 1921, having tricked Arthur Griffith into signing a paper which compromised his instructions from Dail Eireann, Lloyd George threatened immediate and terrible war if the delegates would not sign an agreement dictated by him which renounced the
Republic established and endorsed by the Irish people in repeated elections since 1918. Lloyd George, pleading that his Coalition was being held hostage by the Ulster Unionists needed that renunciation immediately to reassure the Unioinists.

So urgent was it that there was a Destroyer with Steam Up at Holyhead, awaiting his letter to take it to Belfast. A waste of coal, you might think, probably produced by the sweat of honest Welshmen. But Holyhead is a few hours by steam train from Euston. Besides, Belfast could be contacted by telegraph with the speed of light, and nine years earlier when Winston Churchill had braved the wrath of the Orangemen to speak in favour of Home Rule, his speech was reported by telephone from Belfast to a newspaper in London. The Dail delegates, knowing full well the power of a British gunboat and the ruthlessness with which it was deployed, together with tanks, artillery,torture, scaffolds and lying propaganda, did the best they could in the circumstances.

British agents in 1798 reported a toast being drunk in Limerick which might be a  retort to Last Night of The Proms – “The British Navy – Bottoms Up!”

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