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Thread: Kevin O'Higgins

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    Default Kevin O'Higgins

    War criminal or patriot?

    http://multitext.ucc.ie/viewgallery/1284

    Either way, he paid the ultimate price.
    Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
    George Orwell

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    He indirectly brought FF into Irish politics, so FFers should be happy with him, as should most people as he set up the Gardai (unarmed) which was different to all other countries and he set up the court systems, so I think history looks kindly on him and if he had not been murdered in 1927, he could well have become Taoiseach one day.
    By 2020, 12.75Lts of petrol will cost you just under €30, today it will cost you €16.42 exactly.

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    Politics.ie Member White Horse's Avatar
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    O'Higgins opposed the summary execution of the 77. In addition, he was horrified about the unauthorised reprisal killings in Kerry. He was parmamount in bring the Irish Army under control of the Dail. He is certainly no war criminal.

    As for patriotism. All the people who fought on both sides in the Civil War were patriots. Even people I disagree with like Brugha were patriots.

  4. #4

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    A competent, tough minister.

    good in terms of facing down members of the Army in 1924, developing institutions of the new state, not letting personal feelings get in way of government business (execution of Rory O`Connor)

    Bad: O`Connors and the lads executions not exactly legal, too pro-Imperialist (drove a lot of the Old Republicans out of Cumann na nGaedhal as a result damaged the party in the long-run).

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    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
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    A complicated figure. Very capable and a good post war Minister but too cold and ruthless for my liking, and anyway his stance on the Treaty I could never agree with.

    It was stupid to shoot him five years after the Civil War though - it gained nothing for Republicanism at all.

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    In my opinion, O'Higgins signed the death sentences for Liam Mellows, Rory O'Conor, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey.

    The executing of defenceless prisoners was/is wrong and should be considered a War Crime.

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    War criminal or patriot?
    The manner in which he did things I disagree with. 77 people killed like that in a Western democracy is not right, regardless of the times. But actions like his were common place of the Free State to kill anything that was against them. Post-Civil War he was a good minister. He set up the Gardaí and so on. Overall he was one of our better Justice Ministers. I'd never call him a patriot, he was too much of a Dual Monarchist for that. A war criminal that is open to debate. Either way he was a good minister.

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    Politics.ie Member Catalpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conuil
    In my opinion, O'Higgins signed the death sentences for Liam Mellows, Rory O'Conor, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey.

    The executing of defenceless prisoners was/is wrong and should be considered a War Crime.
    Was that not decided by the Free State Cabinet on the basis of joint responsibility rather than specifically by Higgins alone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catalpa
    Quote Originally Posted by Conuil
    In my opinion, O'Higgins signed the death sentences for Liam Mellows, Rory O'Conor, Dick Barrett and Joe McKelvey.

    The executing of defenceless prisoners was/is wrong and should be considered a War Crime.
    Was that not decided by the Free State Cabinet on the basis of joint responsibility rather than specifically by Higgins alone?
    Yes I believe you are correct O'Higgins actually opposed the executions but the cabinet decided to go ahead anyway. After the decision was made O'Higgins felt it was his duty to defend them in the Dáil.

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    Politics.ie Member Nedz Newt's Avatar
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    O'Higgins became a hate figure over the executions, though some narratives record Mulcahy as the prime mover and O'Higgins as someone who had to be persuaded.
    Later, he became the most eloquent defender of the prosections, and this cemented his reputation.

    I will try to find the reference, I recall reading of a speech O'Higgins made in the Dail attacking Erskne Childers in 1922. It was pure poison, and probably to do with the fact the Childers was as erudite as O'Higgins himself.
    Shortly after, the FS Govt had Childers executed on the flimsiest of excuses.

    To try to be objective, he strikes me as a man I would want on my side, he was intelligent, committed and tough and seems to have had a capacity to work, and to put country before self.
    These are all great qualities, and if the civil war hadn't poisoned the well, would be recognised as such.

    The executions were wrong, and O'Higgins murder equally so.
    genua, et asinus praesepe Osculer, oro

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