March 8, 2010

Requests to return the Gal Gréine flag to Ireland

Posted at 10:50 pm in Similar cases

A more recent case of an artefact in a UK museum – that its original owners want returned because they feel that it symbolises more for to them than it does to the museum it is currently in.

Irish Central

The Keane Edge
by Brendan Patrick Keane

Pressure on a British museum to return Gal Gréine to Ireland, and honor Constance Markiewicz, Irish nationalist and feminist leader

During the Easter Rising of 1916, the British administration engaged in a shock and awe campaign to destroy Dublin, and the morale of Dubliners, by the brute force of its army. Destruction and looting was a psychological tactic, and much treasure was whisked from the capital city of Ireland, back to the imperial city of London, as trophies of the British empire’s brutal resistance to self-determination.

Dublin City Councillor Jim O’Callaghan is urging his City Manager John Tierney to join the growing pressure being put on the British Imperial War Museum to return a treasured flag, looted from the home of Constance Markiewicz. The flag is called Gal Gréine which is the sunburst symbol of Irish nationhood, found in Ireland’s most ancient manuscripts and resumed in the modern period of culturistas and politicos of the Irish national renaissance.

A group of people has also formed to advocate the return, and their site can be found here.

An image of the trophy can be seen on the IWM’s website, here . It was the flag of the Fianna Éireann, the youth movement founded by Ireland’s suffragette leader who was also a Lieutenant in the 1916 Rising and an original member of Éire’s restored independent legislature, called the Dáil.

Among the homes ruined in shock and awe campaign, was that of Constance Markievicz’s, the feminist suffragette who worked to marry the cause of Irish independence to the liberation of women, generally. Like many leaders of the Irish revolutionary struggle, she was a progressive that sought liberation from the economic and social oppression of Victorianism, which held half the world in an economic system of exploitation called empire. She was the first woman to break the exclusivity of male representation in London’s Parliament by her unprecedented election, though she refused to take her seat in dedication to the cause of Irish national resumption, founding instead the Dáil Éireann, Ireland’s own congress. Indeed, she was the world’s first female minister anywhere, cementing the purpose of Irish freedom to be that which would free women and others routinely oppressed.

Also in the archive of the British Imperial War Museum, is a tri-color, displayed on their website upside, which can be seen, here.

Indeed, Irish national liberation struggle made Ireland a place of many firsts in the history of women’s liberation, which was later eroded by the Catholic Church in the Saor Stát and Republic, but which is integrally part of Irish independence from the beginning.

Like Pádraic Pearse who described the British educational system as a Murder Machine, she also hoped to liberate children from the identity of British imperialism, which made many young Irish men turn to soldiery to carve out a living by helping London’s administers steal from the rest of the earth, violently.

She founded the Fianna Éireann to instill in Irish children a sense of pride, free of the British mantras that made pawns of citizens in the expansion of the London’s administration. She hoped to end Irish participation in the exploitation of the world’s natural resources for oligarchical enrichment, and to stop the sweat-shop enslavement of the earth’s conquered majority, as Roger Casement advocated–he was a contributor to the Fianna Éireann’s handbook.

The Dublin City Councillor who is advocating the return, is being criticized for the disparity between his statements about returning the flag, and his letter about the return, which calls for only a loan of the flag, and which sites Irish soldiers in the cause of the British empire as part of his argument, which is really beside the point, and contrary to the meaning of the Gal Gréine.

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1 Comment »

  1. Séamas Ó Sionnaigh said,

    04.05.10 at 7:47 pm

    For anyone wishing to know more about the international campaign featured above for the return of An Gal Gréine, the Sunburst Banner of Na Fianna Éireann, from the British Imperial War Museum back home to Ireland for display in the National Museum of Ireland, please check out our Facebook Page, ‘Bring It Home – An Gal Gréine’ and please join or support us in any way you can…

    Go raibh maith agat!

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