My last Blog “Publish and be Damned……….” introduced both men who served in the British Army in the Great War.
Cooper was the Protestant owner of a huge estate belonging to his family for centuries, part of the Ascendancy.
His life story demolishes the lies spread by the late Professor David Fitzpatrick of Trinity College Dublin (described by Professor Roy Foster as “the most original and influential Irish historian of his generation”) and by his (Fitzpatrick’s) protege, the late Professor Peter Hart, author of “The IRA and its Enemies,” who categorised the Irish War of Independence as a terrorist campaign waged by Catholics on Protestants, motivated by hatred of them and covetous of their property.
Cooper was later elected to the Dail as an Independent, and later as a Cumann na nGael TD in harmony with IRA veterans. Apparently. in their innocence, Eoghan Harris and a legion of others have swallowed Professors Fitzpatrick and Hart’s Fairy tales whole.
Erskine Childers started off as an Imperialist and fought in the Second South African War and in 1903 wrote THE RIDDLE OF THE SANDS, a thriller depicting a German plot to invade Britain. There was never under the Kaiser or under the Fuehrer a desire to invade Britain, nor even an ambition to go to war with Britain, But from 1904 Britain was determined to crush Germany, which was outstripping Britain in industrial production and undercutting British products on the world’s markets.
Childers evolved as a supporter of Irish Home Rule, and responded to the arming of Carson’s Ulster Volunteers by landing rifles at Howth for the Irish Volunteers to be used to defend Home Rule, which had been promised by the Liberal Government in London. Ten days later Britain declared war on Germany, and Childrers, back in uniform fought with distinction. An uncle of mine helped unload the rifles in Howth, then joined the Dublin Fusiiers and fought in Flanders.
After the War, following the betrayal by the British Government of their promises Childers became a Republican. His cousin Robert Barton, who as a British Army Officer helped suppress the 1916 Rising, joined Sinn Fein and was elected to Dail Eireann.
THE AUGUST 2022 EDITION of the IRISH POLITICAL REVIEW reprints a 2012 review to mark the publication of Volume 1 of THE IRISH BULLETIN (bound reprints of issues from 11 November 1919 to 1 May 1920).
The review was by the late Father Brian Murphy of the Benedictine Order.
My piece on Major Cooper and Erskine Childers is based on that review.