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Thread: Rory O'Connor - Bású na gCarad episode

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    Politics.ie Member Little_Korean's Avatar
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    Default Rory O'Connor - Bású na gCarad episode

    I was wondering if anyone had caught last night's episode on Rory O'Connor as part of TG4's Bású na gCarad series?

    The historical series will focus on the execution of Irish nationalist Erskine Childers and several other prisoners during the Irish civil war. Dominic Frisby will play Erskine Childers with Jessica Reagan playing the role of Molly Childers. Other Irish political figures to be dramatised include Rory O’Connor (Will O’Connell), Liam Mellows (Killian O’Donnacha), Joe McKelvey (Jason Matthewson), Dick Barrett (Larry McGowan) and Kevin O’Higgins (Ciaran McMahon), all of who were executed between 1922-1923 with the exception of Kevin O’Higgins who was murdered by a republican group in 1927. The script was written by Pat Butler.
    I thought it was okay stuff. It was fun seeing the figures dramatised, and the actors did competent enough jobs, though as they were only required for short bits, a tour de force of acting wasn't exactly needed.

    Beforehand I hadn't known anything about his early life, so I enjoyed the details like his time working in Canada (allowing him to get an international perspective on Ireland's situation) and his interest in science.

    Could have done without the anti-Free State moralising towards the end. Amazing how some passions still run strong on the subject of the Civil War, which is one thing as a personal opinion, but when doing a documentary, even an objective tone is needed or some counter-viewpoints to ones already expressed.

    One detail: the bit with Kevin O'Higgins giving a gold coin to O'Connor as a way of choosing him as his best man at the wedding - I'm guessing that's accurate? Anyone know anything about that custom, like when did it stop being used?

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    Politics.ie Member McTell's Avatar
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    RO'C was asked at the end of March 1922 if repudiating the Dáil meant that he was proposing a military dictatorship. He replied: "you can take it that way if you want".
    McTell tCurrently, I am missing certain information. That has been requested and will be added as soon as it is available available availableavailable

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    Politics.ie Member Little_Korean's Avatar
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    The episode also left out O'Connor temporarily freezing Liam Lynch out as leader for not being hardline enough.

    Admittedly it's hard for a 30 minute long episode to decide what to keep in and what to omit, but the show seems more useful to those who already know a fair bit about the person already and wants to see a bit of costume (uniform?) drama.

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    Politics.ie Member darkknight's Avatar
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    The killing of friends by friends is probably the most chilling aspect of the Civil War.

    I really admire the ability of TG4 to produce this kind of programme, in spite of limited budgets.

    The first two episodes (Erskine Childers and Rory O'Connor) were excellent. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McTell View Post
    RO'C was asked at the end of March 1922 if repudiating the Dáil meant that he was proposing a military dictatorship. He replied: "you can take it that way if you want".
    I'd like to know the full context and tone of the quote though. Maybe he was just fobbing off the questioner in a kind of "You can believe what you want" kind of a way?

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    Politics.ie Member Little_Korean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argala View Post
    I'd like to know the full context and tone of the quote though. Maybe he was just fobbing off the questioner in a kind of "You can believe what you want" kind of a way?
    I was wondering the same.A flippant reply to what O'Connor thought was an irrelevant question?

    Flippant or not, though, what O'Connor was pushing towards could only have led essentially to a junta running things, and any civilian government a puppet one at best, whatever he intended at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Korean View Post
    I was wondering the same.A flippant reply to what O'Connor thought was an irrelevant question?

    Flippant or not, though, what O'Connor was pushing towards could only have led essentially to a junta running things, and any civilian government a puppet one at best, whatever he intended at the time.
    I don't think that's the only thing it could have led to. The republicans wanted a resumption of war against England until their goals were acheived, wasn't the whole point in seizing the Four Courts and to provoke a British reaction which (they hoped) would unite pro and anti against the common enemy.

    Their strategy was military and not political, but I don't think they wanted a junta running the 26 Counties, they wanted a return to war. I don't think they really gave a huge amount of thought to the form the institutions of government would take after the war.

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    Politics.ie Member McTell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argala View Post
    I'd like to know the full context and tone of the quote though. Maybe he was just fobbing off the questioner in a kind of "You can believe what you want" kind of a way?
    It was at a press conference and he went on to say that "..there were many times when revolution was justified and the Army had to overthrow the Government...."

    That was the government of the Second Dáil that extreme republicans still cling to as the real fount of authority. Then he went and smashed up the presses of the Freeman's Journal a few days later for printing what he had said; the same FJ that had supported nationalism since the 1880s. You couldn't make it up.
    McTell tCurrently, I am missing certain information. That has been requested and will be added as soon as it is available available availableavailable

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    Quote Originally Posted by McTell View Post
    It was at a press conference and he went on to say that "..there were many times when revolution was justified and the Army had to overthrow the Government...."

    That was the government of the Second Dáil that extreme republicans still cling to as the real fount of authority. Then he went and smashed up the presses of the Freeman's Journal a few days later for printing what he had said; the same FJ that had supported nationalism since the 1880s. You couldn't make it up.
    My understanding was that O'Connor smashed the presses because it was essentially a propaganda tool of the pro-Treaty side. It's fairly standard practice in war to attack the communications and propaganda centres of the enemy.

    Also, to say it supported "nationalism" is extremely vague. It supported Parnell and later the IPP, both very very moderate wings of Irish nationalism. It wasn't until 1918 that the journal began to support Sinn Fein, due primarily to its electoral success.

    You make it sound as if the journal had been a staunch supporter of Irish independence from the go whereas it was actually filling a moderate niche in the market, (Redmondism) until that niche collapsed at which point it opportunistically jumped ship.

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    Politics.ie Member McTell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argala View Post
    My understanding was that O'Connor smashed the presses because it was essentially a propaganda tool of the pro-Treaty side. It's fairly standard practice in war to attack the communications and propaganda centres of the enemy.
    Enemy? There was no war on in March-April 1922. Unless you're inventing one... The Provisional Govt (not yet the Free State) imposed its will on the press in September 1922, months after the civil war had started. Not in March. The FJ was a private business and not a propaganda centre. RO'C needed a PR agent is all, but shot his mouth off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Argala View Post
    Also, to say it supported "nationalism" is extremely vague. It supported Parnell and later the IPP, both very very moderate wings of Irish nationalism. It wasn't until 1918 that the journal began to support Sinn Fein, due primarily to its electoral success.

    You make it sound as if the journal had been a staunch supporter of Irish independence from the go whereas it was actually filling a moderate niche in the market, (Redmondism) until that niche collapsed at which point it opportunistically jumped ship.
    That's what most of the population thought as well, so the FJ was on top of the reality. There, we were all opportunists.
    McTell tCurrently, I am missing certain information. That has been requested and will be added as soon as it is available available availableavailable

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