Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Top Ten Tuesday - Worst ever Irish

A Corkman no doubt... One of the big stories of last week was in relation to a list compiled by historians for the BBC History Magazine which put together a list of the 10 worst Britons of the last 1,000 years.

There was no shortage of contenders for that honour (or should that be dishonour?) but in the end, Oswald Mosley was chosen as the worst ever Briton. My choice for the gong meanwhile, Oliver Cromwell, did not even make the list!

I noticed that A Tangled Web put forward their own list of worst Britons and I noticed that alot of American blogs put forward their own list of the ten worst Americans.

However I didn't see any Irish blog put forward a top ten list of the worst ever Irish people. With that being the case, I give to you all the ten worst Irish people of all time! So without further ado:

1. James Craig - Partition was the greatest evil ever inflicted on Ireland and this odious individual did everything in his power to make sure it came about. He opposed the democratic will of the Irish people which sought Home Rule, he organised the paramilitary force the UVF, and he was involved in the importation of arms from Germany through the Larne gun-running. While Edward Carson to his credit did not want partition, this heinous individual greeted it with enthusiasm. Craig was influential in the decision to make the Northern polity a 6 county region as it made sure that a unionist dominated entity would be guaranteed. He sold out unionists in other parts of Ireland, including Ulster Unionists in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan to achieve this. Even worse, Craig made no effort to reach out to northern nationalists and these people were neglected and treated like second-class citizens. He is a horrid person and future generations will not judge him kindly.

2. Dermot MacMurrough - Dermot MacMurrough is the infamous figure responsible for inviting King Henry II of England into Ireland. As a result, he is regarded as one of the greatest traitors in Irish history. I won't take issue with that! MacMurrough was ousted as King of Leinster and so he made a pact with Richard FitzGilbert de Clare, Earl of Strigoil, giving him a share of his kingdom of Leinster, and the rest when he died, in return for military help from the Normans. The subsequent invasion led to Henry becoming Lord of Ireland himself, and marked the beginning of eight centuries of English dominance. Where would Ireland be today if this guy had not sought aid from across the sea? Alot better off I'm sure.

3. Leonard MacNally - Throughout Irish history there have been Irish informants working for the British. This practice has continued up until quite recently as we well know. The nastiest informant of them all however was this man, Leonard MacNally. It wasn't until 20 years after his death that the truth came out when his son put in a claim to the British for the continuation of the £300 per annum 'Secret Service' pension which MacNally had received. MacNally was a barrister and was called many times to defend United Irishmen in court. MacNally made a tidy profit from his deceit. He charged the going rate to the rebels he defended in court while at the same time selling their defence details to the British. He made a fine defence for Robert Emmet and cheered him in his last hours, although before appearing in court he had sold, for 200, the contents of his brief to the lawyers for the Crown. This cretin was with Emmet in his last hours also, a man with more class and courage than his cowardly counsel.

4. Ian Paisley - A truly awful human being. A man who no doubt encouraged countless men to go out and murder innocent Catholics due to his bigoted bile. Even today the man is still saying 'No' to everything. Another who won't be judged kindly by history.

5. Basil Brooke - Another vile individual who was PM of NI from 1943-1963. Like Craig he did nothing to help the Catholics of the North and came out with charming statements such as, "I recommend those people who are loyalists not to employ Roman Catholics, 99 per cent of whom are disloyal". As well as that, in the thirties Brooke said that "the Roman Catholics were endeavouring to get in everywhere" and he appealed to loyalists "wherever possible, to employ Protestant lads and lassies". Craig refused to rebuke Brooke and said "I would not ask him to withdraw one word". These are the figures of which modern day unionism is built upon.

6. D.P. Moran - A Gaelic cultural nationalist who was responsible for inciting hatred against those who didn't fit in with his narrow view of Irishness. He was a bigot who believed that the vast majority of Protestants could not be truly Irish though he was ready to admit that there were some individual Protestants who contributed to the welfare of the country. How nice of him! He was responsible for popularising nasty terms such as 'West Briton' which is a term sadly still in use today in some quarters.

7. William Burke - I'll include Burke over Hare since Hare confessed to his crimes and gave evidence against Burke in order to live. Burke and Hare were of course the infamous serial killers who committed a series of murders in Scotland in the 19th century and who sold the corpses to doctors for use in their research. I don't think many will object to this guy making the list. Burke's method of killing even coined a new word.

8. Eoin O'Duffy - O'Duffy was Ireland's equivalent of Hitler and Mussolini and while nowhere near as threatening, he was just as arrogant. He was the first leader of Fine Gael but quickly resigned and he went on to fight for Franco in Spain in the Spanish Civil War.

9. Edward Carson - I don't view Carson as badly as I do Craig since he didn't really want partition however he was well prepared to threaten partition, and his role in opposing Home Rule and the fact he was the first name on the Ulster Covenant earns him a spot on this list.

10. Charles Haughey - Ireland's worst ever Taoiseach. Had the audacity to come on TV and warn the country about tough times when he was up to his knees in corruption and lavish spending. A joke.

So there you have it. The ten worst Irish people ever. Feel free to comment on my choices or to offer up some of your own.


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