Forwarded from Rkmickey at (Ireland)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Nov 6 16:22:42 MST 2000

Hi, Lurking again, I noticed your post -- you might find this of interest

(review in The Sunday Business Post of Dublin;id-11689)

Man-catchers get the maneaters

Emmett O'Connell Dublin , Ireland, November 5 2000

To Hell or Barbados: the Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland

By Sean O'Callaghan, Brandon, £16

'These Irish, anciently called Anthropophagi (maneaters), have a tradition
among them, that when the devil showed our Saviour all the kingdoms of the
earth and their glory he would not show him Ireland, but reserved it for
himself . . . They are the very offal of men, dregs of mankind, reproach of
Christendom, the bots that crawl on the beast's tail . . . Cursed be he
that holdeth back his sword from blood; yea, cursed be he that maketh not
his sword drunk with Irish blood."

This extract, from a Puritan pamphlet published in the mid-1600s, not so
much alludes to as hammers home the hatred of the English for their Irish
neighbours. It was a hatred that made a hell for the Irish not only in
Ireland, but in Barbados where some 50,000 to 100,000 Irish slaves were
sold to English `gentlemen' for brute labour, for breeding farms, for
whores and for paedophile playthings for pervert planters.

The gruesome story of the fates that befell these 50,000-plus men, women
and children at the hands of a totally degenerate slave-owning class of
English plantation owners is masterfully recounted by Sean O'Callaghan in
this gem of a book, which should be required reading in every school in

O'Callaghan's own military background in the Military College in the
Curragh, his time as an officer in the Irish Army, his later career as a
journalist in Africa and his best-selling book, The Slave Trade (which has
sold over 100,000 copies and has been translated into 13 languages), gave
him the perfect background for his latest, and most unfortunately, last
book. Sean O'Callaghan died in August 2000, as the book was going to press.

O'Callaghan set his story in the time of the Cromwellian holocaust, when
the butcher of Drogheda and Wexford set about his final solution to
Romanism in Ireland with an elaborate and ruthless determination to rid
Ireland of the Irish. It was by far the most draconian plan ever devised
for the complete ethnic cleansing of Ireland.

First was the need to strip the country of the 34,000 to 40,000 Irish
troops, or `swordsmen', as the English called them, who had been captured
or surrendered in the Cromwellian campaigns of the preceding three years.

These prisoners were held in gaols and camps throughout the country and
were both a lingering threat and an increasing burden on the authorities.
Parliament finally decided to let them go to any country of their choice
not at war with England: France, Spain, Austria and Poland.

There was no shortage of offers for their services on the continent, and
soon all had shipped out to their various destinations. The sting, however,
was in the tail, for they had to go alone -- abandoning their wives and
children to their fate in Ireland.

Many, no doubt, intended to return at the first opportunity, both to get
back to their families and to strike another blow against the English, but
few ever made it.

Next came the Irish nobility, gentry and leading proprietors, many of whom
had taken no part in the Cromwellian war. Their lands as well were required
for the new English planters who had financed and officered Cromwell's army.

By the end of 1654, three quarters of the population had been uprooted and
forced into the remaining fourth of the country, Connacht. "Plant Ireland
with Puritans and root out the Papists and then secure it," was King James
I's advice. It was policy Cromwell adopted for his own.

The final solution was then set in motion, famine was endemic, and
cannibalism was mentioned by writers in the 1650s.

On 24 August 1652, there was put into motion what the author calls "the
most thorough and ruthless transfer of the Irish people to overseas
colonies ever undertaken by any English leader".

"Man-catchers" were set upon the native Irish. Mounted and armed with long
whips, they herded the people into holding-pens set up outside towns and
cities, much as cattle would be driven to fairs. The man-catchers were paid
£4 or £4 10s for every young woman and child.

Areference in the Public Records Office in Kew Gardens notes that Sir John
Clotsworthy was given a licence by the English Board of Trade to ship 1,000
Irish children to Virginia.

The historian Dr Thomas Addis Emmet estimated in 1903 that the figure was
100,000 children -- both orphans and those taken from their parents -- who
were sent abroad into slavery in the West Indies, Virginia and New England
"that they might thus lose their faith and all knowledge of their
nationality, for in most instances even their names were changed".

Sir William Petty, a physician to the Parliamentary Army in Ireland, was
chosen to carry out a survey of Ireland before the distribution of Irish
lands and property was to begin. When Petty concluded his survey, Ireland
was the best mapped country in Europe.

Petty estimated the population of Ireland by 1652 to be 200,000 families
(including planters) totalling 1,100,000 people. And worse was yet in store
as the man-catchers swept the countryside rounding up native Irish men,
women and children.

Only the absence of any English labour saved the bare minimum of Irish
labourers to work the land as the "hewers of wood and drawers of water". A
worse fate awaited those transported to Barbados.

What were their names, the 50,000 plus sold in slavery? We do not know:
that part of their humanity was stolen forever. Unlike indentured servants,
they were listed simply as "merchandise" and "ships cargo". A 20 per cent
loss during shipment was considered acceptable, the bodies fed to the
sharks without ceremony.

As the English Protestants did not consider the Catholic Irish as
Christians, they were systematically denied the solace of any religion.
Irish white slaves cost £4 10s a head FOB and were sold in Barbados for
between £10 and £35 each. Allowing for the death rate, the profit for a 250
ton tightly packed ship would be almost £5,000. A handsome return for the
God-fearing Puritan slave-traders.

In Barbados, Cromwell's design was complete. The Irish were crushed beyond
repair. Not one Irish slave ever returned. The first generation of Irish
women, it was recorded, were cold and had to be beaten into submission. By
two generations, all awareness of their Catholic faith was said to be
eradicated and they were trained for service in breeding farms and
bordellos as "white wenches" and were much in demand.

There is no "Top 100 Irish" in Barbados today. The bones of the 50,000 plus
lie in the unhallowed ground of sugar cane fields and ditches.

If they had one stroke of luck, it was that 300 years later Sean
O'Callaghan was there to write their story. Buy this book.

Emmett O'Connell was born and raised in St Jerome's Parish in the South
Bronx. He first came to Ireland in 1958 and since then has prospected in
many parts of the world.

Louis Proyect
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