INTERNATIONALISTS – AND OTHERS by Donal Kennedy


While on about Internationalists I should include an Irishman, goalkeeper for Belfast Celtic, who played as an Irish International in Central Europe beforeother Irishmen were suckered into playing Britain’s dirty game there in 1914. Four Decades later, as President of the FAI he welcomed the YugoslavNational Team to Dalymount Park, to the chagrin of Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of Dublin. In the meantime he had fought in the 1916 Rising,and, following the murder by the British of Dick McKee in Dublin Castle, led the Dublin Brigade of the IRA during the ‘Tan War. And then had the temerity to continue fighting for the Republic, when the Hierarchy, which had never recognised the Republic when it had the overwhelming support of the people,condemned him and his principled comrades. 

Anyhow, before this second refusal to kowtow to the Bishops, Oscar Traynor had served for sixteen continuous years as a Fianna Fail Minister. AsMinister for Defence in 1952 addressing Irish Army recruits he assured them they would never be employed to deny any nation or people their rights. I suspect that no NATO leader has ever made such a promise. I remember reading in the 1970s when some of Britain’s troops in Cyprus were supposedly put under United Nations Command, and required as “Peace Keepers” to wear the UN Blue Berets. Britain’s Paratroops, paradedunder their Officers and publicly burned the UN Berets. So far as I know the offenders faced neither Courts Martial or other Courts for this contempt.

 I’ve been reading the published “Principles” of the Henry Jackson Society. Its “Internationalism” advocates British Leadership of European defence. This British Exceptionalism is not confined to  Wacky Militarists such as ex? Coke- Sniffer Michael Gove,  his sneering protégé Douglas Murrayand the Para Shoot-Joy-Rider Braggarts. The late Labour MP Leo Abse, in his Psycho-analytical biography of Thatcher (and others) reveals that Clement Attlee was an opponent of theTreaty of Rome, but recognising Britain’s diminishing power, seriously advocating that Britain become the 49th State of the USA, but Britain,being Britain should be leader of that Union.

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