Orange Order Gaelicists

Philip Ferguson plf13 at
Sun Feb 4 14:13:54 MST 2001

Gary writes:

>I once attended a lecture by the then director Gael Linn back the 1962 or
>thereabouts about the connection of the protestant religions with
>Irish.  Once upon a time there were many such connexions.  Casement's great
>friend whose name to my shame escapes me ( Alice Millington?) is  buried in
>my home town and her tombstone is in Gaelic. It says "Ni rabh aon gradh ach
>Eireann".  (She had only one love and that was Ireland). Apparently it was
>vandalised recently.  Douglas Hyde another noted Irish Scholar was
>Protestant too I think.  And of course the ancient harper music of Ireland
>was rescued from oblivion by scholars of the Presybeterian Enlightenment.

Alice Milligan.

She was the founder of the republican (and pro-socialist) paper 'Shan Van
Vocht' in the 1890s.  Connolly had some of his earliest writings published
be her in the paper.

Milligan belongs to a quite different category from Hyde.

Milligan (and the paper's co-founder Ethna Carberry) were republicans and
revolutionaries.  They were part of the last generation of Protestant
revolutionaries of any size (ie there have been individual Protestant
republicans since then, but never an important section of a generation).
Jack White, Roger Casement, Constance Markievicz, Maud Gonne, Michael
Rooney, and various other important republican figures of the time were
also members of this generation of Protestants.

Hyde, however, was a Unionist.  He was part of the generation of Unionists
that embraced the Irish language and Irish culture for conservative and
backward-looking reasons.  Like I said before, there was an aristocratic
layer of  Protestants who spurned 'the filthy modern tide' (Yeats) and
found refuge in (a highly romanticised) Irish past.

The republicans, in most cases, weren't much interested in the Celtic Mist.
They were modernisers, they wanted a free Ireland so that the country could
develop.  Generally they derided what IRB leader Rooney (I think it was
him) called 'thrice mystical poesy'.


"Don't Dream It - Extreme It" (Lana Coc Kroft)

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