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Anecdotes of The Irish Soldier from 1690 to the Present Day

Anecdotes of The Irish Soldier from 1690 to the Present Day

In a wide-ranging illustrated talk, the reasons behind the Irish Military diaspora were examined. The motivation for emigration caused by that unholy blend of politics, religion, greed and the corruption of dynastic power were related to events with illustrated examples over the centuries. Irish character was clearly a contributor too, with a spirit for adventure and revenge spurred by a need for a purpose in life. The horrific serious clashes of Irishmen fighting their fellow Irishmen in the pay of another dynastic master added to the pathos throughout much of the period. When the French Revolution put paid to the employment of Irish regiments in the French army, there continued for a time Spanish Irish regiments, until they too ceased. Throughout the whole period, there were individuals and famous regiments in the pay of the British Crown, as there remain to this day. Exemplary in their bearing and gallantry, their style and character, they are the proud inheritors of the centuries old tradition of the Irish fighting man. But since 1922, a new and successful element has arisen. Now, Irishmen serve with pride and no small success, on behalf of Ireland herself, albeit in small numbers, for the preservation of peace in numerous trouble spots the world over.

At last it is recognised that the fighting qualities of the Irish fighting man are well used to preserve and improve peace as well as to fight with unparalleled courage and ferocity when their political masters need bailing out and have failed to maintain peace. The outstanding qualities of the Irish soldier, whomever his master, remain a constant. Let us all hope that the tragic history of fighting fellow Irishmen never need arise again. The person who values peace the most is the soldier, for he and his family have most to lose when it fails.

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