Archive for the ‘Places’ Category

Bloody Sunday: An apology almost 40 years in the making

I originally wrote this in June of 2010. I thought it would be worth while to show how things have changed in the years. There have been developments since this, but all the same it is relevant and worth mentioning I think.

Bloody Sunday Monument

Broken bottles under children’s feet
Bodies strewn across the dead end streets
But I won’t heed the battle call
It puts my back up, puts my back up against the wall

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

U2, Bloody Sunday

January 30, 1972
The Bogside area of Derry, in Northern Ireland.
On one side over 15,000 civil rights protesters against British rule.
On the other, British Para’s, the cream of the British Army.

In the outcome over 27 people shot, and 14 dead.

This was the time of Troubles in Ireland.

“… it is expedient that a Tribunal be established for inquiring into a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the events on Sunday 30th January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day, taking account of any new information relevant to events on that day”

Resolution of the House of Commons, 30th January 1998,
and of the House of Lords, 2nd February 1998

The world has changed since those days. Do not take this apology lightly my peers. Let us not return to those days of Belfast and yon. There need be no violence on this day. The point is made. They have admitted their errs. Use it to your advantage and push, politically, diplomatically for the freedom you have fought for.

But if we’ve learned one thing in these past years, is that bloodshed never washes away bloodshed.

Be better than that.

Be Irish.

A tribute to the victims:

Read the rest of this entry »

An Gorta Mór, or The Great Irish Famine

(I first wrote this March of 2012. Each year I try to add at least one new story to my Irish History Celebration posts. I’ve reposted it this month for our Irish Heritage celebration. Enjoy! – BS)

The Famine began quite mysteriously in September 1845 as leaves on potato plants suddenly turned black and curled, then rotted, seemingly the result of a fog that had wafted across the fields of Ireland. I have been told that the cause was actually an airborne fungus originally transported in the holds of ships traveling from North America to England. Somewhat ironic then if you consider how many Irish families in turn fled to North America because of it. Let no one say we Irish have not had a sense of humor in the annuals of history.

In Any event, The Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852. Outside of Ireland it is more commonly called The Irish Potatoe Famine. Within Ireland, and amongst my own family it was referred to as an Gorta Mór or great hunger.

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The Coffin Ships

National Famine Memorial Cuimhneachán Náisiúnta ar an n Gorta Mór in Murrisk, Connacht, in County Mayo

(I first wrote this March of 2011. I’ve reposted it this month for our Irish Heritage celebration. Enjoy! – BS)

Coffin Ships are a rather sad part of Irish history. Originating during the Great Irish Famine, and of course the prison ships to Botany Bay. The first vessel with Irish convicts for Botany Bay arrived in Port Jackson on 26 September 1791.

They were called “coffin ships,” because so many poor souls had been dying on them as of late, leaving behind widows and orphans and broken families. Typically untrustworthy vessels, these ships were purchased literally from salvage yards (where they awaiting dismantling) by unscrupulous owners who had no intention of repairing them. Sailors who agreed to serve on board these floating wrecks typically knew nothing of the dangers until they were well out at sea, vagabonds, and those desperate for work (of which there were plenty) quickly volunteered.

Concerned only with profits, these same ship owners heavily overburdened the ships then insured them against expected losses of cargo. They were quite literally worth more at the bottom of the sea than upon it.

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Bloody Sunday: An apology almost 40 years in the making

I wrote this in June of 2010, not long after the published apology from Britain. It was a hard time in those days, and the events and the handling of those events have only made the chasm wider over the years. This apology, I think, was a good first step in the right direction for both countries to come to a peaceable impasse. It was however, several years late in the coming. – BS

 

Bloody Sunday Monument

Broken bottles under children’s feet
Bodies strewn across the dead end streets
But I won’t heed the battle call
It puts my back up, puts my back up against the wall

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

U2, Bloody Sunday

January 30, 1972
The Bogside area of Derry, in Northern Ireland.
On one side over 15,000 civil rights protesters against British rule.
On the other, British Para’s, the cream of the British Army.

In the outcome over 27 people shot, and 14 dead.

This was the time of Troubles in Ireland.

“… it is expedient that a Tribunal be established for inquiring into a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely the events on Sunday 30th January 1972 which led to loss of life in connection with the procession in Londonderry on that day, taking account of any new information relevant to events on that day”

Resolution of the House of Commons, 30th January 1998,
and of the House of Lords, 2nd February 1998

The world has changed since those days. Do not take this apology lightly my peers. Let us not return to those days of Belfast and yon. There need be no violence on this day. The point is made. They have admitted their errs. Use it to your advantage and push, politically, diplomatically for the freedom you have fought for.

But if we’ve learned one thing in these past years, is that bloodshed never washes away bloodshed.

Be better than that.

Be Irish.

A tribute to the victims:

Read the rest of this entry »

Danny Boy (or Londonderry Air)

I originally wrote this in 2010 here. While I try not to add anything to my original posts when I re-post them I do try to correct spelling, punctuation, etc. I also have a bad habit of adding new pictures upon occassion. Otherwise you should find little, to no differences between the reposted material, and the original. – BloodSpite

Click for larger version

Danny Boy is one of over 100 songs composed to the same tune.

The author was an English lawyer, Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848-1929), who was also a songwriter and radio entertainer. In 1910 he wrote the words and music for an unsuccessful song he called Danny Boy. In 1912 his sister-in-law in America sent him a tune called the Londonderry Air, which he had never heard before. He immediately noticed that the melody was perfectly fitted to his Danny Boy lyrics, and published a revised version of the song in 1913. As far as I know, Weatherly never set foot in Ireland.
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Cloch na Blarnan: The Blarney Stone

(I first wrote this March of 2011. I’ve reposted it this month for our Irish Heritage celebration. Enjoy! – BS)

It’s been said that we Irish are blessed with the “gift of Blarney” or gift of speech. Which is why we make such great story tellers, writers, authors, poets and actresses.

The Blarney Stone, from below

Renowned for such wit and humor as that which came from the likes of Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats and others. For we Irish, words and language are so very important…My grandfather once told me that if a picture is worth 1,000 words then it takes 1,000 words to paint a picture.

But this Irish gift of wit doesn’t come out of thin air, so the legends say, but rather from solid stone!

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St. Patricks Day: About St. Patrick and his Day

I first published this at Techography on March 17, 2007. I’ve reposted it here for posterity and your reading pleasure!- BS

    I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many, had for father the deacon Calpurnius, son of the late Potitus, a priest, of the settlement [vicus] of Bannavem Taburniae; he had a small villa nearby where I was taken captive. I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people, according to our deserts, for quite drawn away from God, we did not keep his precepts, nor were we obedient to our priests who used to remind us of our salvation. And the Lord brought down on us the fury of his being and scattered us among many nations, even to the ends of the earth, where I, in my smallness, am now to be found among foreigners.
    St. Patrick, The Confessio

The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn Succat, and he almost didn’t get the job of bishop of Ireland because he lacked the required scholarship.

Far from being a saint, until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan. At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. During his captivity, he became closer to God.

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No Irish Need Apply

Editors Note: I wrote this December 2010. As its a current Irish affair laced with some history I felt it could use another look this month. Enjoy!

This really chaps my ass.

There just isn’t a better way of me saying that.

What? Is it friggin’ 1860 again?

We have Hispanics of multiple origins pouring over our southern border that our current Administration refuses to secure and furthermore refuses to address (save for amnesty). The vast majority of them are not contributing to our economy, in fact they are draining it quickly. $65 Million dollars...in just one state!

But if your from Mexico, China or India the doors open! Never mind the fact that Ireland’s migrants have just as much education or experience….the short version is: they are the wrong colour. If your from one of those countries this is a great program, and I applaud the ideal of making it easier to get in to the country legally. However setting a standard as to who should go is not a standard of equality.

Reverse discrimination against the Irish, twice now , has never been so disgustingly blatant. In a age when Democrats are constantly repeating how wonderful immigrants are and how necessary they are to our culture, it apparently only applies to certain immigrants from specific places.

But America has taken it a step further, no longer are they simply saying “No Irish need apply”

Now they simply say “No Irish are Welcome here.”

The Irish have already proven themselves in this country, we have done our time and our hardships. The railroads that criss cross the nation were built on Irish backs, with Irish labour.

Unfortunately the same folks who declared immigration necessary are freezing out a proven group of workers, and opening the flood gates to a group that wants a free ride…versus one that has paid its dues. Again great program from one of those countries, everyone else who is affected though? Not so much.

There is no justification for this. I am not racist, I have friends of many cultures, and have been to many countries. But this ruling is not just a travesty of human rights, and an assault to basic human respect it’s a sham and a obvious ploy to buy votes by an Administration that is desperate to receive any support it can get even if it means buying those votes through back door legislation.

This action is in a word: disgusting.

This is the third time we have placed such a stranglehold on the Irish community. First in the 1860′s, again in the 1960′s and again now. Furthermore here’s a jaw dropper: The number of people who will emigrate from Ireland in 2010 and 2011 will add up to 120,000. And as the business editor of the Irish Independent pointed out last week, that is the figure given by the last census for the population of Cork City. Compare that to the estimated 10 Million  illegal immigrants in the country currently.

Making it harder for a group who is willing to come here legally, is counter to any sane immigration program.

Want to make a difference?

Legalize the Irish. Contact your elective representative. Sanity needs to be restored.

The Green of March

So its finally March. Usually my favorite time of the year.

As you can see I managed to ensure that the website changed to its typical green hue for the occasion, forests of Ireland a backdrop for something I have done on this website for several years: that of sharing some Irish history, Mythology, lore and my own families history with you.

This year has been crazy, and the last several weeks hectic. Last year our March celebration was marred by the loss of longtime friend and fellow MilBlogger Lex.

I can’t promise you this month will be better. There are things moving in m own life that have me as worried as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but I digress.

It’s March. There is still snow on the ground. Spring is coming soon as the last vestiges of winter make their way from our lives for this year.

Smile.

Be Happy.

Be Green!

The Blood of Cú Chulainn

This one is a fairly new one, as it was just written in 2010. As with our other March stories we thought we’d share it once again! – BS  2013 UPDATE: Video corrected

Irish history is more than just words on paper. Like so many civilizations past we tend to put our stories, our mythos in to song.

Many have heard the songs of Ireland and found them any array of reactions from distinctive, to beautiful, to addictive. Music is not merely a form of expression for the Irish. It’s a way of reliving our past, and it is probably one of the few mediums in which blood has not been shade amongst ourselves.

The son of the god Lugh and Deichtine, Cú Chulainn was originally named Sétanta . He gained his better-known name, Cú Chulainn, as a child after he killed Culann’s fierce guard-dog in self-defense, and offered to take its place until a replacement could be reared.

This is a story oft told me as a young lad

More on Cú Chulainn after the jump

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Easter Rising: The Beginning of the Troubles

This story was first published by myself on March 3rd 2007 at Techography. I republished it here in 2010. – BloodSpite

On Easter Monday, shortly after noon, Patrick Pearse and a band of ill armed and ill prepared poets and romantic patriots rose in rebellion took control of the General Post Office in

Click for large version

central Dublin and several other strategic sites around the city. The Irish Republic was proclaimed in Dublin, and the insurgent Tricolour suddenly broke upon startled eyes flying from the flagstaff above the General Post Office in the very heart of the Irish capital.

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The Orangemen of Ulster

(I first posted this on March 10, 2007 at Techography.com it has been reprinted here for posterity and your enjoyment)

The Orangemen are a peculiar amalgam of history, anger, controversy, patriotism, and pain.

The Orangemen of Ulster March

It was founded in the same County that my own family heralds from…Armagh. Given Armagh’s heritage with apple’s it’s no surprise that we settled in Ellijay then, the Apple Capital of Georgia. The Orange Order is a Protestant fraternal organization based predominantly in Northern Ireland and Scotland with lodges throughout the Commonwealth, Canada and in the United States.

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The Fields of Athenry

I first wrote this back in 2010. I have reposted it for our Irish Heritage Month – BloodSpite

Without a doubt this is my most favored Irish song. It’s not really traditional, having been written in the late 1970′s.

However, the story behind is as saddening as the lyrics.

More after the Jump

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County Armagh: A look at Bandit Country

(BloodSpite’s Note: I originally wrote this in March of 2011. I’ve republished here for this years Irish Heritage celebration. I hope you enjoy!)

I’ve mentioned before that my family hails from County Armagh. However, my family does not align itself with the Ulsters. It’s one of the reasons we left Ireland in the 1940′s my grandfather having had enough of the frictions between the North and South, “We were all Irish, dammit.” he would often curse in his latter years with a shake of his head.

This post isn’t about politics however, it’s more about a place that politics happened.

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Building a Home Library: Phase III

Phase I is here

Phase II is here

So we finally got the majority of the room complete and we have steadily been filling our shelves with the boxes of books we have had in storage for what seems like eons.

One thing to keep in mind, that while this is a Library room, its also meant to act as a quasi study, a Victorian, or throwback room heralding to our former culture norms, a room that is comfortable and made for relaxing, ready and quiet reflection. We wanted it to be old looking, and old feeling from start to finish, with only a handful of modern conveniences.

With that in mind lets be off!

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The new guys

I feel a bit sanctimonious posting about new dogs immediately after the loss of Huck.

The problem, unfortunately is more one of a lack of blogging on my part rather than one of poor intent. I’m trying to make it a point of posting more, but where as before I felt inspired, angry at the world in some cases, and otherwise driven to add my voice to deluge of people shouting against the whiles of the world, these days I find myself more often shaking my head in disgust and walking away.

At any rate a more pleasurable topic.

As of yesterday, Sherlock, Watson and Mary arrived at An Dun. It’s hard to say whom was more excited us or the pups. Training has begun, but not in earnest. I need to acquire three cages as the ones we initially procured are not going to be sufficient in anyway. That said we are all extremely excited to have the rug rats

I need to start with a couple of hat tips. First a big shout out got to the Baxter County Arkansas Animal control whose adoption process was not only painless but enthusiastic.  The only downside to their operation is it is a “kill shelter” but I also understand why they don’t feel they have a choice starting with the funding just inst there. They rely on folks like me who want a pet and who aren’t looking for something with a pedigree 90 miles long.

We want a family member, not a paper trail and the staff there was more than excited to assist us. I cant say enough about these folks who I spoke to via phone and E-mail almost on a every other day basis.

Next All Creatures Veterinary Hospital in Mountain Home, Arkansas.  They not only spayed and neutered the new additions to our home, they treated them for worms, distemper, rabies and fleas. They didn’t break the bank doing it either. For someone who wants to adopt an animal the process that Baxter and All Creatures has set up is not just reasonable its a medical god send frankly as your pet has damn near everything you need before you walk out the door without costing you a fortune.

You folks are awesome.

Lastly Dr Sherman at Oak View Animal Clinic.  Dr. Sherman has had the misfortune of being with us through loss. She will now get to be work with us through the good fortune of life. We like her and her staff, the fact they have different payment options in a medical area that’s cost can quickly become exorbitant is beyond helpful and the fact that she is beyond competent is frankly an added bonus.

It’s nice to have An Dun filled with the sounds of canines again.

 

The Story of Huckleberry Finn: The orphan dog

January 2002.

My soon to be wife and I were driving from Buffalo, NY to Avoca, AR looking to get a new lease on life.

I hadn’t been out of the Army long and a string of bad luck, and troubles followed in my wake. I needed a change before I changed the path on which I was traveling.

My mom and her husband had just closed on a house, and were moving out of a place that they were renting, a single wide trailer. It wasn’t much but the landlord agreed to transfer the lease to us.

While cleaning the place preparing for our arrival so they could move, my mother had hit a Burger King for lunch and was eating it in her truck. It was then she heard a whining sound outside her drivers window and turned to find a Rottweiler puppy outside her door.

So began our journey.

Huck, The Uberdog

Huck, The Uberdog

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The Battle for Fox Green Beach

This story was originally written by me at our sister site Techography.com June 5th, 2006.  As so many of my work, the original article is no longer in the archives there. I republished it here in May of 2010.  I bring it back around every June as a remembrance to the D-Day Invasion and for those whom have gone before. It’s that time of year again, to bring it back to the front page. The time to Remember. Always, Remember.-BS

Our supporting Naval Fire got us in….without that gunfire we positively could not have crossed the beaches…” Col S. B. Mason Chief of Staff, 1st Division

I mentioned before I owned a picture of that painting. (You can too But mine has more history as I got mine from the now dissolved Navy Aviation Ordnance School out of Oceania, VA.) I received it from my father, a US Naval veteran, at age 7. It has hung on walls in my homes ever since, and in my bedroom as a lad. I never knew that years later I would be inspired to write about those units, that beach, that day. Maybe he did.

Water. My father and uncles told me once that at sea the ship becomes an island, and the water becomes all encompassing.

It surrounds the Landing craft, reminds you of that old poem

“Water water everywhere, and not a drop to drink…”

The wind is cold, the spray is miserable. The clothes are soaked through, and the landing craft is pitching and yawing like a kite in a windstorm. The boys vomit from the roller-coaster affects of the seas and smashing waves that jar your teeth out of your head.

The place, is Normandy, the beach is Fox Green.

Welcome to the Invasion

Read the rest of this entry »

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