Internationals in the Irish Civil War

A part of Scottish life for 200 years, Scotland’s Irish community has also been part of the global Irish diaspora during that time. As such it has played a role in the transnational movements associated with the campaigns for various forms of Irish independence. This was vividly illustrated during the 1916 Rising when Volunteers travelled from the west of Scotland to join the rebellion.

This article is a short history of the revolutionary involvement of those members of the Scottish unit of the Irish Volunteers who fought in Dublin in 1916.

What follows below is a short history of the revolutionary involvement of those members of the Scottish unit of the Irish Volunteers who fought in Dublin in 1916, through the guerrilla campaign by the Irish Republican Army [IRA] against the British from 1919-21 and during the Irish Civil War that followed the split in the IRA over the Treaty with the British government.[2]

These sixteen are a small proportion of the roughly 250 Irish Volunteers in Scotland in 1916. This latter figure rose to around 2,500 by the time of Truce between the Republicans and the British in 1921.[3] According to Gerard Noonan roughly 250 members of the Scottish Brigade of the IRA fought in the Irish Civil War on the pro-Treaty side and five died. While roughly 50 fought on the Republican side.[4]

Of course, these figures are dwarfed by the numbers who fought in the Great War. Elaine Mac Farland states that 30,000 Glaswegian Catholics were in the British armed forces in 1916.[5] While Géraldine Vaughan quotes a figure of 15,000 Irish Catholics from Scotland for 1915, that is before conscription had been introduced.[6]

Given that around a fifth of these men had joined Irish Regiments, and that these regiments were heavily involved in British efforts to supress the Rising, it is possible that there were more Glaswegian Catholics voluntarily fighting for the British than against them in Dublin in 1916. Stephen Coyle lists three Crown Forces fatalities of the fighting with Glasgow addresses.[7]

The History Of Men’s Work Boots

We are going to talk about something different today but it is still related to history don’t worry! You may be surprised to here that at the beginning of the 1900’s there was almost no safety standards in the work place. You may have seen the famous picture of construction workers eating their lunch whilst building a skyscraper in New York City. This is probably the best example you could find of a lack of safety standards. These works have no safety equipment, not even a harness and they are sitting on a lentil eating their lunch almost 80 stories up.

I don’t know about other people but that would certainly put me off of eating my lunch! It was around 1910 then that they began to introduce safety standards to the work place. The first introduction of safety standards concerned the first type of safety boot. These new work boots for men were called sabots and they were actually made with a wooden shell (instead of a steel toe that is now used).

10 Fascinating Facts About Lunch Atop A Skyscraper | Mental Floss

Contrary to popular believe the steel toe in a work boot is not actually designed to prevent injury to the worker. It is designed to prevent serious injury and there is a big difference. If a fork lift runs over your foot and you are wearing a steel toe boot, you will still get injured however you might save your foot from being completely crushed. Another common misconception is that if you are run over whilst wearing a steel toe work boot that the steel toe will peel back and cut your foot in half. This is not true and this is part of the S1 safety standard.

Steel toes are now being replaced with composite toe protection. These are metal free but still provide 90% of the protection that a steel toe boot would provide. Although they are not as strong a metal toe they are not far off and it means that you have no metal in your boot which is great for prison guards, police, airport security etc.

So there is a brief history of the work boot. Just a day to day item that we often used and maybe never given much thought to.




A strange time in Irish History – Working From Home, Gaming Chairs and More

I think it is fair to say that no one saw that Covid-19 pandemic coming and we are still very much in the midst of it today however there are still some positives coming down the line with the various vaccines on offer. Unfortunately Ireland has been in one form of lock down or another in the last 12 months and we are currently in the tightest restrictions in Europe with our level 5 Covid restrictions.

This has led to a huge change of life for everyone but it has also created a work from home revolution as employers have been encouraged to allow their workers to work from home for the foreseeable. Some companies are evening saying that this could be here to stay although I believe the novelty has worn off for a lot of people who have spent the last 12 months essentially working from their kitchen or other part of the house that they are also confined to for most of the day.

This has led to people having to invest in their home and get things like office desks, office chairs, gaming chairs, PC monitors and essentially a more professional work from home setup. Companies like housetech who supply gaming chairs have seen a huge increase in sales in the last 12 months which shows that some companies are thankfully benefiting from the pandemic with their website recording a large uptick in traffic when lockdown began.

lockdown gaming chairs

Others who have benefited from lockdown are the courier companies with DPD advertising for 700 new staff to deal with the huge increase in online orders in such a short period of time. Christmas 2020 was their busiest period ever and to be fair we all think that they done a very good job of making sure everyone had a great Christmas.


Ireland’s Recent History – Instagram, Teeth Whitening and more!

You might be surprised to hear that the desire to have whiter teeth is not some new fad of the 21st century. You would think this considering how vein our society has become in the last 20 years or so. This is down to a number of things but social media has a been a huge factor in this.

The rise of Instagram in particular has been thousands of now famous “Instagrammers” who make a living off of taking photos of themselves. When typed out that seems absolutely bizarre but none the less it is true. Ireland is no different and we to have fallen into this narcissistic society.

Gym membership has gone through to roof which is a good thing but it is more for the look than the health aspect. To go with this industries like teeth whitening are also booming according to who have reported huge growth in the last few months. 20 years ago guys would not have had their teeth whitened or gone to tanning beds but now it is socially acceptable.

Is this leading to the death of our culture as we all become more and more like the USA? There is an argument for both sides. Of course the Irish culture has diminished rapidly in the last 20 – 30 years. Due to the boom known as the Celtic Tiger we lost our ways in the success that we secured.

It was the first time Ireland has seen such financial success and we did not handle it well by any means which meant that a lot of people took huge losses in the following decade from 2008 when the recession hit Ireland hard. We did not prepare for the bad times in the good times and this should be a lesson learned as again our economy looks to be getting good again.

We hope that great organisations like the GAA will keep a strong hold on Irish culture and so far they have done a great job. Money can lead us down the wrong path but they have kept true to their roots and we hope this continues so we have a strong Irish culture going forward.



How far Ireland has come?

As 2018 nears its end and we are coming close to celebrating 100 years of independence it is amazing to think just how far our little country has come. Of course being Irish we are biased but we have had a huge impact on the world and that is without invading any countries or any sort of powerful military moves. hundreds of thousands of Irish are now in the UK and it is said that after Dublin, London has the second most Irish people in the world. We then also have millions of citizens in the US with Irish blood especially in cities like Boston, New York and Chicago.

In recent years countries like Canada and Australia are extremely popular destinations for Irish to go and work for a year. Sometimes this is done out of necessity such as when the recession hit us bad in 2008 and other times it is just out of a sense of adventure. New Zealand is another destination that has become popular although not as much so as Australia where the major cities are overrun with Irish. I am not sure if we are seen as a good presence in these places but I believe we are.

Back home Dublin is thriving again and is fast becoming the biggest tech hub in Europe. Dublin has transformed from an old mistress into a thriving cosmopolitan city. Dublin now is unrecognizable when compared with even 25 years ago. We now have the Luas which is the light rail system, the M50 bypass  and lots of employment. Now the tables have turned with many people coming here for work.

The roads have improved tremendously and we have a good bicycle lane network which is well used as well as seeing things like electric scooters and hoverboards being used as a commute to work. Who would have thought all of this 25 years ago? Long may it continue and I dare say no other nation has had a big an impact on the world than Ireland without any sort of military conflict. Ok the USA is the worlds entertainment industry but per capita Ireland still wins!!